U.S. Students Feature Breakthrough Designs At London Festival Of Architecture

sTACKS by Avrami RakovskysTACKS by Avrami RakovskyStudents at New Jersey's Science & Technology University (NJIT), experimenting with parametric designs in their industrial design class, were invited to display their experiments at the London Festival of Architecture, June 19 to July 4, 2010. Their architectural objects illustrate new relationships between objects in 3-dimensions.

The field of parametrics in architecture is relatively new, but it has the potential of dramatically changing how architectural designs are created.  The approach depends on a parametric computer modeling program that is fed the dimensions of the object to be constructed, computes the dimensions geometrically and, from that information, can create varieties of shapes and patterns that would accomplish the structure.

Here are some examples of how the students at NJIT took on the challenge of taking seemingly limited structures and made them unlimited in their design.  They are on display now at the Nous Gallery in London and will remain there until July 19, 2010.


1. Evo Phizz by Philip Caleja

The PHiZZ Unit is a modular oragami unit created by Tom Hull in 1993.  PHiZZ stands for Pentagon Hexagon Zig Zag and is known for its very strong locking system.


PHiZZ oragami paper foldPHiZZ oragami paper fold


 Dodecahedron created using PHiZZ units.Dodecahedron created using PHiZZ units.


Caleja extracted rules from the formation of the PHiZZ and manipulated the forms to create another module, equally strong but with unlimited possibilities.


Evo Phizz by Philip CalejaEvo Phizz by Philip Caleja


2. Hexis by Sara Jane Rin

Inspired by Richard Sweeney's paper sculptures, Rin uses connecting hexagons to create 3-D sculptures that can become anything from a hanging light to a wall screen.


Basic shape for Hexis by Sara Jane RinBasic shape for Hexis by Sara Jane Rin


Hexis by Sara Jane RinHexis by Sara Jane Rin


Hexis by Sara Jane RinHexis by Sara Jane Rin



3.  Z-Rose by Samantha Goldman

Ms. Goldman says her Z-Rose is essentially a 3D interlocking penrose.  Penroses, named after Sir Roger Penrose, who created sets of aperiodic tiles, are finite designs that can appear an infinite number of times within a tiling. (To read more about the penrose, click here.)  Generally penroses are symmetrical, but Goldman has created an asymmetrical design with her basic tile.


Z-Rose by Samantha Goldman, basic elementZ-Rose by Samantha Goldman, basic element


Z-Rose by Samantha Goldman, interlocking basic elementsZ-Rose by Samantha Goldman, interlocking basic elements


Z-Rose by Samantha GoldmanZ-Rose by Samantha Goldman


4. Hooks by Samantha Tartao

Tartao used a rather unique hook for her interlocking project.


Hooks by Samantha Tartao, basic unitHooks by Samantha Tartao, basic unit


But, of course, the shape has a purpose.  Multiplied, the shapes' relationships to each other is determined by their ability to hook onto the other's appendages, which leads to "many unforeseen systems that resemble plant life."  Doesn't it?


 Hooks by Samantha TartaoHooks by Samantha Tartao



5. Jax by Monica Franco

The six-winged Jax are sculpted with grooves so that they can support each other as the arrangement grows.  Again, the total aggregation of these modules is infinite.


Jax by Monica FrancoJax by Monica Franco


Jax by Monica FrancoJax by Monica Franco


6. sTACKS by Avrami Rakovsky

Using the tetrahedron (a four-sided triangle with at least three sides coming together at each vertex),  as a base Rakovsky connects their facets with Velcro...


sTACKS by Avrami Rakovsky, tetrahedron base unitsTACKS by Avrami Rakovsky, tetrahedron base unit


Attaching the faces with Velcro the way he did, Rakovsky was able to duplicate the process until the aggregate of tetrahedrons became an icosahedron, a 20-sided triangular structure with 30 edges and 12 vertices.  This was accomplished using the minimum amount of tetrahedrons.

Rakovsky was inspired by studying the works of R. Buckminster Fuller, who was fascinated by the icosahedron.


sTACKS by Avrami RakovskysTACKS by Avrami Rakovsky


sTACKS by Avrami RakovskysTACKS by Avrami Rakovsky


These students and their colleagues are being deservedly recognized by their achievements in London.  Good luck to all of you future designers and architects.


sources: NJIT News, Nous Gallery, London Festival of Architecture, Wikipedia

Jun 21, 2010
by Anonymous

Like Evo Phizz & Hexis

Now those can be blocks (use recycled materials) to build whole new cities or offshore barriers etc.

How Radical.,

Imagine a 20,000 ft Tall Hi rise of Evo Phizz alone.

Or a huge Geodesdic Dome city for 400K.

Dec 19, 2010
by Anonymous

The Evo Phizz is the only

The Evo Phizz is the only true innovative design here. sTacks is a tetrahedron with all the fluff cut out, and Hexis is a double sided paper version of sTacks.