IMD _Institute of Media and Design

copyright _IMD

MEDIA DESIGN | Upside down

During the design course „Up_Side_Down“ at IMD the students were investigating catenary or hanging chain models throughout the period of a semester.

In this method planar textile pattern are impregnated with plaster and afterwards fixed into a frame, due to self weight and gravity the fabric is relaxing into tension only hanging structures. By flipping the catenary forms after the drying process, the resulting shell structures are in pure
compression loading.

This type of analog structural simulation was investigated in the past especially by Frei Otto, Antonio Gaudi and Hans Isler, which used this novel experimental form-finding method for the design of extraordinary previously unseen buildings. During the curriculum the students were therefore developing and experimenting with this type of analog physical simulation to understand the force flow within the catenary or hanging chain models.

Therefore they developed so called “Analogue parametric machines” which trough the employment of a measuring scale allowed to use the exact same fixation-points of the textile cut patterns to create identical copies of the resulting shell structures.

Directed by:
Daniel Büning