PNEUMATIC STRUCTURES STUDY: THE TECHNIQUE

In an attempt to better understand the fundamental process of connections we looked at fabric manipulation and sewing techniques, especially those used in quilting, and fashion. Throughout the investigation we learned there are methods used to help the designer develop and improve patterns, work with pressing curves, and complex seams.

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Inflatable Metamorphosis” by Charlie Roberts of Brooklyn, NY.
http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/balloon-couture-daisys-inflatable-dresses

PNEUMATIC STRUCTURES STUDY: THE EXPERIENCE

In the continuous exploration of form for our upcoming installation, we were drawn to consider scale as much as color, and interaction to create a much richer sensory experience. One artist that served as our inspiration was Tomas Saraceno with his work Poetic Cosmos of the Breath, which a colorful foil dome. What seems most appealing to the crowds that congregate to watch the inflatable gradually inflate itself is not only its grand scale, but the experience of walking through an array of colors and shadows.

Tomás Saraceno TRIANGULATION BLOG 1

“Poetic Cosmos of the Breath”  by Tomas Saraceno
http://www.triangulationblog.com/2012/09/poetic-cosmos-of-breath-by-tomas.html

Also, unlike a typical sculpture that stands alone, artist Victorine Müller herself enters each of her life-size clear plastic sculptures, giving the pieces new life and transforming the feel of each installation.

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Performative Sculpture” by Victorine Muller

http://designcollector.net/victorine-muller-performing-inside-her-sculptures/

Additional considerations were given to the Installation of “Rafale” by AKAirways, showing an engaging colorful piece that through the movement of its individual pieces draws the attention of viewers and invites them to experience it in full scale.

http://vimeo.com/54905015

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Rafale” by AKAirways
www.akairways.com/rafale_grworks2012.shtml

OBJECTIVE:  Increase the complexity and size of the pneumatic object from last week’s experiment to create a self –contained pneumatic structure that becomes an interactive space.

HYPOTHESIS

A pneumatic object has the ability to perform well under prescribed conditions despite an increase in material, size, and complexity.

MATERIALS

Air compressor, Metal straight edge, (3) 9’ X 12’ Rolls of 2 mm. Plastic, Scissors, Tape

EXPERIMENT: COMPLEXITY

During our Week #1 Exploration, we focused on the recreation of pneumatic structures based on basic geometric shapes. Thus, we have now further the study of the circle to a dome, a torus, and later an articulated ribbed torus with an increase of height as shown below. As observed, the plastic panels define the framework for the structure and is what make the inflatable piece structurally sound.

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MATERIALS

Air compressor, Iron, Metal straight edge, (3) 9’ X 12’ Rolls of 2 mm. Plastic, Scissors, Wax paper

EXPERIMENT: SCALE

In our attempt to test scale and increase the size of our previous pneumatic   structures, first, we defined our desired dimensions. We used (3) 9’ X 12’ Rolls of 2 mm. plastic.  We chose to make an inflatable pavilion. We identified the major elements that are necessary for a self-contained pneumatic structure. Our goal was for this pavilion to stand alone without the help of a frame. We wanted the legs and roof of our pavilion to inflate and stand without the use of a frame and solely from the support of the legs and arches between them. We cut out four legs from the 9’ X 12’ plastic. The legs are approximately 3’ X 12’ long. We folded the legs down the center creating an arch from the top of the leg to the bottom. We seamed each leg by ironing the edges and leaving an opening at the top of the leg. By doing so, allows air to filter through the entire installation at the time of inflation. Next, we constructed the roof of the object. We used one roll of 9’ X 12’ plastic and cut the roll in half. Then, we laid out the legs at each of the four corners and proceeded to seam all the edges, connecting the roof and legs with one another.

  Pneus Inflatable Diagram [Converted]-1Pneus Diagram 2 [Converted]-2

CONCLUSION

After observation, we have concluded that further progress requires in depth study of patterns. The ongoing research of patterns and stitching will support future installations. Rather than utilizing basic shapes, we propose that collaborative pieces when used successfully support a structure that is more amorphic.  In addition to the construction of our installation, we propose that changing texture, color, and size will have an effect on a person’s experience of the space. Further investigations are necessary, requiring an installation that test the elements.

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