11 - 12
FY-Langes is an interactive, reconfigurable spatial installation. The aim of the project was to push the boundaries of digital fabrication and experiment with a conventional material in an unconventional way, testing the limits of its performance in order to create an occupiable structure. With FY-Langes, we were able to marry CNC cutting techniques with advanced digital design tools in a singular project.
An inexpensive, recyclable, and durable material, packing foam has interesting physical properties. The interactive installation takes advantage of the translucent, tactile, and light-weight quality of the foam, and creates a playful experience for all kinds of users.
Comprised of repeating strands, each strand is built from repeating bale units. Each unit contains a folded base, as well as articulated phalanges (or “FY-Langes”). We generated each bale from a single sheet of custom-cut foam with a CNC router, and then folded and tabbed each of them together to form a three-dimensional unit. The tabbing system allows us to build the entire structure using only packing foam.
By varying the height of the base versus the height of the FY-Lange, we could accommodate several interactive uses for our installation. Light-weight, the foam not only responds to natural elements (wind, light, etc.), but also to individuals’ interactions with it.
We created three surfaces to generate the form: the lowest sits on the bottom of the bale, the middle lies on top of the bale, and the highest rests on top of the FY-Lange. The grasshopper script allows us to easily customize the form by manipulating the three surfaces, which control the base, base height, and the FY-Lange height.
We composed grasshopper script to output the tabs and notches for folding each bale, using the three surfaces as input. With the nesting strategy in mind, we designed and programmed various parts of the form. Although we faced our largest limitation with the size of the mill bed (4” x 8”), we designed the form and curated it to make sure that bales always nested together, to guarantee the maximum efficiency from any particular sheet. Though the overall form features a gradient, it does not follow a nested strategy—therefore the change remains proportional.
Form And Nesting Strategy
FY-Langes was on display on campus at GSAPP's End of Year Show on Saturday, May 12th, 2012. The FIGMENT NYC Project selected it to appear on Governors Island from June 9-10th, 2012.
Columbia GSAPP Spring 2012 with Rand Abdul Jabbar, Susan Bopp, Justin Fabrikant, Rikki Frenkel, Joanne Hayek, Eleni-Ilektra Kontoroupi, Mark Pothier, Nick Reiter, Jennifer Romeo
Fast Pace//Slow Space Critics Mark Bearak & Brigette Borders