Embedding algorithmic aesthetics into structural logic.
“Structural ornament arises on the verge of order and chaos, mathematic calculation and chance, but once achieved, it may serve to shape any object you like. It is generated by a purpose-made software that takes into account the shape of a desired object, loads and pressures therein and adds a component of chance so that the structure obtained, while functional, is different each and every time and not entirely foreseeable. Preparation of the software was preceded by painstaking analysis of the history and transformation of ornament over time, helping to precisely channel my search and to find my own way of creating the structural ornament which is firmly rooted in history, inspired by processes seen in nature, but created using modern technologies.” Małgorzata Mozolewska
For the project Michal developed the algorithmic software that has an arbitrary shaped mesh as an input. The user is then able to assign external forces upon which the software then conducts a series of steps to generate a 3d printable infill responsive to the forces present.
An outcome of this is a 3-dimensional array of voxels, each containing data on the forces and displacement. This data is used to generate a grid of points which becomes denser where forces are greater. Then the infill is generated based on this grid, thus it becomes responsive to the forces present.
Projects such as these that allow us to see, analyse and respond to algorithmic processes are such a rich source of inspiration for designers adding a insight and level of depth not possible through pre-digital design processes. The inclusion of digital fabrication in the process means that these processes that would otherwise be pure experiments, are now realizable as physical objects.
Now we all need access to this software to tweak and explore.
Michal Piasecki is a freelance designer and consultant specializing in generative design, parametric modeling, optimization and digital fabrication. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the Bartlett in London, where he is researching potential use of evolutionary algorithms in online mass customization of products.