Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
“Minimal Complexity” by Vlad Tenu
March 21st, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
‘Minimal Complexity is the product of an architectural research focused on both the form-finding and the fabrication of minimal surface structures. The process was defined by an alternative algorithmic method based on the computational simulation of virtual soap films. The question that emerged was how the translation from the computational space to the build artifact could be embodied into this dual process.
Architect: Vlad Tenu
The algorithm is materialized through a concept derived from the principle behind the state of equilibrium of natural organisms – in strict correlation with the conservation of energy. Each iteration is programmed to update the relationships between the components of the system, reapply the defined rules and minimize the energy, in our case the tensional energy, in order to achieve a state of equilibrium. Accordingly, the system reaches an emergent quality of self-organization similar to one found in nature.
Based on the properties of the triply periodic minimal surfaces, the fabrication side of the project is focused on efficiency through modularity and repetition of the components, as parameters embedded in a dynamic growth process. Following several prototypes at different scales, various material tests and structural configurations, the final piece is generated by only 16 different components, an optimum level of tessellation chosen in relation to the geometrical level of detail and considered feasible in fabrication terms.
Minimal Complexity is composed of 148 identical reflected regions of 16 different pieces each, cumulating 2368 laser-cut aluminium components. Following a detailed structural analysis provided by Buro Happold, the assembly process commissioned and led by TEX-FAB was very interesting in experiencing the fact that the minimal surfaces have extraordinary structural properties, uniform distribution of loads and their stiffness increases with the level of complexity they reach.’
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