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“Digital Tectonics – Fabrication Ecologies” Research Line FINAL PRESENTATIONS!


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Stigmergic Fibers – A new approach to material behaviour

Stigmergic Fibers tackles the prospect of fiber aggregation under the influence of varying environmental and material properties, to produce controlled boundary and spatial conditions. The project was initiated by research on plant fiber and biology. To extract information from the behavioral methodologies of plant growth and structure, various experiments were conducted on differentiated growing conditions.

By means of air pressure we separate individual fibers from a spool of roving, that when sprayed at a specific arrangement of obstacle in a certain manner. This created conditioned and repeatable aggregation patterns of the fibers. A water based adhesive was added to this process in order to increase surface tension between the fibers and produce longer spanning fibrous connections and surfaces. Thus, allowing us to scale up our prototypes in an effort to produce on-site an ephemeral architectural habitat that would merge natural phenomenon with robotic fabrication.



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Branches Bio-Fabrication Protocols

With the focus within the design community towards green technology; there has been an emergence of bio- composites. Some make the statement that bio-composites work better than standard composites. Hemp posses a great fiber that should be utilized within bio-composites. The branches of hemp, with their hollow core, work exceptionally well at retaining resin thus creating a more solid material. Focusing towards the innovative properties involving bio-composites we have discovered our thesis. How can we manipulate the fiber properties of hemp through branching?

With a relatively short growth cycle of 120 days and the ability to be planted densely at a rate of 3 to 5 hundred plants per square meter hemp has great potential to become a cash crop. Hemp is a plant that has a wide range of uses. In fact, “cannabis sativa” means “useful” (sativa) “hemp” (cannabis). The plant is very tall; ranging in height from 1.8 to 4.8 meters with majority of each hemp plant being comprised of a thin stalk, with no natural branches, and relatively few leaves. How can we train a plant that wants to grow straight up with no branches?

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