EXOtique

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Client: Ball State University

Location: Muncie, IN, United States

Completion date: 2011

Project Team

Artist

Adam Buente, Kyle Perry

Project One Studio

Industry Resource

Adam Buente

Project One Studio

Overview

EXOtique is a quick design through fabrication installation at Ball State’s College of Architecture. The Institute for Digital Fabrication invited us to lead the workshop/installation with student help, following three main constraints:

*Timeline- 5 Days: One day devoted to design, one day of modeling in Rhino / Grasshopper and materials testing, and three shared days of fabrication, assembly, and installation.
*Budget- $500 materials budget: white acrylic, white polystyrene, and 55 cord sockets and bulbs.
*Site- Ceiling above the foyer at the west entrance of the architecture building.

Goals

Our intention was to create a simple, hexagonally based, component system that would act as a lit “drop ceiling” for the space. All fabrication data was generated from a surface in Rhino, with all other processes accomplished through Grasshopper. The surface was triangulated and then associated into hexagonal groups. This was done with an understanding that the bending and folding could achieve non-planer geometry through the correct choice of material. The groups were unrolled and all other details were created. This includes joinery, labeling, patterning for distributed lighting, tolerance adjustments and other fabrication techniques (i.e. tabs for milling). Allowing flexibility within the computer to adjust tolerances made the feedback loop between digital and physical space easier and quicker.

Process

There was no hardware used for connections besides the given hangers for the lamp cords. This cut costs and allowed our materials to work to each other’s benefit. Tabs on the styrene lock into the solid acrylic connectors as rigid sidewalls, causing the material to bend within the component as apposed to its edges. This let all the components meet evenly and create a rigid shell after being connected. The lit hexagonal panels act as the hanger connection point for the piece, and a custom acrylic tabs were created to hold the socket cable after being thread through the components, which attach to clips tied to the ceiling.