This project builds off of the work of Skylar Tidbbit's, whose “Surface Ornamentation''pieces explore how fabrication techniques can serve both structural and ornamental purposes. Like the precedent, the project employs a single rigid sheet material (⅛” plywood in our case) perforated with a series of related cuts to form a single 3D structure. We experimented with several types of laser cut patterns, manipulating the density and direction of cuts in order to achieve different curvature. The  basic pattern we used was a series of undulating curves or “harmonic folds'' as they are known in geology, in which the thickness between cuts varies along the wave form to allow for greater flexibility.

Areas with the shortest distance between cuts created the least amount of bend resistance in the plywood, allowing for more dramatic curves in the form. In model 1, gravity alone is applied to the perforated surface, demonstrating the relationship between the cut pattern and bend resistance within the material. The two other models use tension cables in combination with the cut pattern to deform the material. This method presents the potential for a variety of architectural uses. We imagined a roof structure as one potential application, where the surface of the roof dips down to form a semi-enclosed space.

Anna Brancaccio

Kip Langat

Eddie Simpson