Weaving Architecture Workshop

For Papay Gyro Nights Art Festival, Scotland

A series of studies structured as workshop proposals for manufacturing a segment of the Floating Passage.

To control the shape of the segment and to learn the manufacturing process I proposed the following steps:
A wooden mesh could be assembled on the ground. It is best to avoid the use of nails or metallic joints. Bounding could be done using rope on all intersections. One 11m component could be created out of several shorter pieces of wood. The mesh will be blended to form a tube that will serve as a primary structure and guide for the weaving process.

Following this mesh, the weaving process can begin.

Further study revealed some methods by which the overall shape can be determined by adjusting the weaving direction and by controlling the intersection points. The initial tubular segment of the Floating Passage was readjusted to a hydrodynamic conical shape.

The result is an outdoor piece of furniture 15m in length and 2.5m in diameter. It is made out of 80 stripes of wood, with lengths varying from 16 to 22m and a width of max 8cm. In total 1600 linear meters of wooden stripes will be needed to create an 86 square meter surface. The positions of a few guiding stripes can be adjusted using a preliminary structure. Small scale paper models will also be useful.

Initially, the chain of computer functions that generate the weaving was tested to adapt to various shapes. It was also used to control the density of the weaving and the dimensions of the components. These tests resulted in 3d structures that can be build at small scale out of paper.

Density of the weaving may vary according to the overall shape. The weaved wood stripes themselves could be made out of smaller components. This method also allows for variable stripe width.

To understand and control the construction process for smaller scale objects i continued to study the intersection points of weaved structures. They can determine the overall shape of an object or of a guiding structure. For assembling it is important to know the identity of these points and their locations. Because of their large number it is best to automate the tagging process with a computer program.

The objects proposed are made of two types of components: Curved stripes (of paper cardboard or laminated wood) or vegetal stalks with some elasticity. Therefore for each component there are two sets of tags. Weaving is done in two directions. Direction A and direction B. For example, for the intersection point of the 8th component in direction A and the 24th component in direction B the tag applied is [ A8 B24 ] The second set of tags mark the distance between points. It is useful when the structure is made out of stalks or other elements with circular section.

The first piece of furniture is a hill made out of 100 components, 50 in each direction. Transparent plastic would be an interesting material as well. All the components are unfolded and tagged in the pages that follow. They can be used to build smaller scale models.

The second object looks like a large shell. It is made only of 40 components. It can be used as a preliminary structure for weaving.

The shell structure can be made out of vegetal stalks, following carefully the distances between intersection points. Once a guiding structure like this one is made, the in between weaving can be done using a different material.