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LABooK

SELF ORGANIZED BRANCHING


MINIMAL PATHS NETWORKS
OPTIMIZED STRUCTURES
RENATA NOGUEIRA
TUTORS: CLAUDIA PASQUERO, MARCO POLETO

intro

This is the final thesis of the Masters in Advanced


Architecture 09-10 in the Institute of Advanced Architecture
of Catalunya - IAAC in Barcelona, Spain.
Master Project theme: eco-Machinic Apparatus
Tutors: ecoLogic Studio_Marco Poleto, Claudia Pasquero

contents

references

Tropical Playgrounds Workshop by ecoLogicStudio


tropicPlaygrounds.. ..towards playful collapse?
3DayWorkshop at the Kunst Universitat Linz
StudentsWork: students have been experimenting with digital and analogue computation to index and transform
ephemeral conditions, such as users behavior and light intensity field, as they unfold in the main staircase landing
of Linz University Building. Referring to the minimal paths experiments by Frei Otto and to the FibrousRoom project
by ecoLogicStudio, students have been working with wax and fibers in order to grow a garden-playground of
self-organized branching structures. If the two reference case studies deployed soapy solutions and fiber-reinforced concrete as material agent; the selection of wax ,as part of this experiment, has allowed the new material
systemthe new garden-playground to form structurally stable organization while keep evolving (melting, deforming, changing color etc) in a mutual feedback with its originating environment.
TheBrief: when the matter of architecture is freed from the essentialist conception that considers it as a formless entity regulated by transcendental geometric rules, forms and proportions, it suddenly acquires potential of
self-organization and becomes generative. In this state matter can go far beyond the resolution of structural or
constructive problems as it provides models for dealing with the complex feedbacks that occur between multiple
(and often contrasting) forces, like the ones operating in dense urban contexts. The workshop seeks to breed these
models by developing 1:1 scale material organizations that operate as analogues computers subjected to specific
sets of structural and organizational principles, programmatic regimes and urban stress fields.
workshop tutor: Claudia Pasquero
workshop series curated by: Sandrine Von Klot

MATERIALS: wool and wax


MINIMUM DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 5 cm
LENGTHS: 0 - 120cm
MAPPING: voronoi

references
http://ecologicstudio.com/v2/project.php?mp=1&idcat=5&idsubcat=43&idproj=51

references

Minimal Paths and Soap Bubble Experiment by Frei Otto


Frei Otto, Apparatus for computing minimal
path systems,
Institute for Lightweight Structures (ILEK),
Stuttgart, 1988
The analogue model finds the minimal path system,
that is, the system connects a distributed set of given
points, thus the overall length of the path system
is minimised. Each point is reached but there is a
considerable imposition of detours between some
pairs of points. The system is a tree (branching system)
without any redundant connections.

references
Marek Kolodziejczyk, Wool-thread model to compute optimised detour path networks,
Institute for Lightweight Structures (ILEK), Stuttgart, 1991
Depending on the adjustable parameter of the threads sur-length, the apparatus through the fusion of threads
computes a solution that significantly reduces the overall length of the path system while maintaining a low average
detour factor.

http://www.patrikschumacher.com/Texts/Parametricism%20-%20A%20New%20Global%20Style%20for%20Architecture%20and%20
Urban%20Design.html

references

Paths in Nature
As described in Frei Ottos book Occupying and Connecting there path systems in the all areas of nature. Some of
those examples are:
paths in non-living nature
water flow
electrical discharges
stones sliding down a mountain
snow sliding
wind, high and low pressure areas
crack formation
light spread
sound waves

plants fluid transport system


animals blood transport system
nervous system
traces of animals moving on solid ground
field mice path system
spider webs

references

paths in living nature

EXPERIMENT 01

DATE: 29/05/2010

In this experiment I tried to understand how the branching happens, the optimal distance
between the threads, the lengths and test the materials.
So the experiment was done with 3 different maps and for each map 3 different lengths.

< click to watch the video

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS
Soapy water and wool are good materials that work well together, The result is a on going adaptive self organized
branching, so if you move the plane the threads will re-adapt to the new forces. The bubbles form surfaces
between the threads.

01.1
MATERIALS: wool and soapy water
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 4 cm
LENGTHS: 10, 20, 30 cm
MAPPING: 4x4 cm grid

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS


Because of the proximity of the threads they tend to branch into a single string. In the 10 cm sample that didnt
happen because it was moved.

experiment 01

DATE: 29/05/2010

experiment 01

DATE: 29/05/2010

01.2
MATERIALS: wool and soapy water
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 6 cm
LENGTHS: 10, 20, 30 cm
MAPPING: 6x6 cm grid

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS


The 2cm spacing difference from experiment 01.1 makes the 10cm sample branch into more strings. The 20 and
30cm samples continue to branch into a single string.

01.3
MATERIALS: wool and soapy water
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 8 cm
LENGTHS: 10, 20, 30 cm
MAPPING: 8x8 cm grid

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS


The 8cm spacing shows that all three samples branched into more than one string.

experiment 01

DATE: 29/05/2010

EXPERIMENT 02

DATE: 04/06/2010

For this experiment different materials were used with two different grids and the same length. The idea was to
understand how the materials would affect the branching process.

< click to watch the video

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS
The containers used to dip the material were not adequate and therefore the results werent so stable but the
branching happened.
WAX: it works very well, but it has to be dipped more than once
SOAPY WATER AND WAX: the wax solidifies the soap bubbles and the result is a thicker thread
CONCRETE MIX: the mix was to grainy and had the wrong water:power ratio, so no structural qualities were added
to the samples

02.1
MATERIALS: wool and *
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 2 cm
LENGTH: 40 cm
MAPPING: 2x2 cm grid

*WAX

*SOAPY WATER AND


WAX

*CONCRETE MIX

experiment 02

DATE: 04/06/2010

experiment 02

DATE: 04/06/2010

02.2
MATERIALS: wool and *
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREADS: 3 cm
LENGTH: 40 cm
MAPPING: 3x3 cm grid
*WAX

*SOAPY WATER AND


WAX

*CONCRETE MIX

REFERENCES
http://ecologicstudio.com/v2/project.php?mp=1&idcat=5&idsubcat=43&idproj=51
http://www.freiotto.com/FreiOtto%20ordner/FreiOtto/HauptseiteGross.html

Otto, Frei Occupying and Connecting - Thoughts on territories and spheres of influence with
particular reference to human settlement. (Stuttgart ; London :, Edition Axel Menges, 2009)
Otto, Frei and Rasch, Bodo. Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal (Munich:
Edition Axel Menges 1995)

Related Interests