MAN, HIMSelf a collapsible being, physically and psychologically, needs and wants collapsible tools
Collabsibles - Per Mollerup
Collapsibility is an elementary design principle applied to a great many everyday objects, from telescopes to umbrellas, newspapers to Venetian blinds, furniture to perambulators. Collapsibles work by adjustment, which is a basic strategy for survival. The principle is simple; no adjustment, no future. Adapt and survive.
To qualify for collapsibility, an object must have an impractical shape and size - like a newspaper - and maybe a space which occupies a lot of empty space - like an erected tent. If two stacking chairs are placed one on top of each other, they occupy less practical space. But their volume is unchanged.
Practical space is space we want to free up for some other purpose. In this book, 'space saving' and 'size reduction' mean the redistribution of an objects volume in order to reduce the practical space that it occupies. Collapsibility is above all a measure of convenience.
5 - Inflatables
Mobile M+: Inflation!? aims to pose questions about the nature of public art and the ways in which audiences might engage with it. Several of these are derived from everyday objects that have been inflated to outsized proportions as a way of rendering the familiar unfamiliar, more tangible, and uncannily touchable than ever before. Other works in the exhibition question the nature and potential of art and architecture in public space through installations that evoke ephemerality and reflect on human relationships to built environment and to the natural world.
I tried the concept of inflatable architecture myself my blowing up balloons into copper wires to test the material and concept further, pictures below.
1 - STRESS/TENSION
MEMBRANE - Benjamin Hubert
Called Membrane, the chair by Benjamin Hubert for German brand Classicon comprises a steel and aluminium frame covered in 3D-woven mesh fabric."The chair stems from research into the construction of tents and sports products with a focus on space frames and stretched textile," says Hubert.
"The combination of metal frame and padded textile allows Membrane to use a minimal amount of polyurethane foam a conventional armchair would be covered almost entirely with foam ? therefore reducing the carbon footprint of this type of product," Hubert adds.
I became really interested in this concept, as it is collapsible, lightweight and portable. It was inspired by tent like structures, which relates to my theme of mobile architecture, which has inspired me to look at this concept but perhaps on a bigger scale. Which is what led me to look at tensile structures, and architects such as Frei Otto.
^ The 1967 International and Universal Expo 67, 1967, Montreal, Canada.
^ Munich Olympic Park for the Summer Olympics in 1972
This relates back to a previous project 'Dense City' where we experimented with tensile structures and catenary models (shown below). However, I don't really like the form that these kind of tensile structures create, so I decided to experiment again with this but looking at the ergonomics of it, and how this can make a mobile, more flexible structure.
In addition to this, I decided to test tensile materials myself and made the below model to explore this research more practically.
Nature's own method
Many species rely on dynamic adjustment in form and in size to reproduce, feed or protect themselves. Animals that hide tend to make themselves small and invisible; aggressors do the opposite.
Birds reduce or expand themselves to different sizes when resting, swimming, walking, flying and mating. Courting peacocks expand to impress. Snails shrink to withdraw into their mobile shelters but expand and emerge again when it is safe to venture forth.
Some flowers open and close repeatedly. Open, they attract pollinating insects, closed, they minimise evaporation, maintain a more stable temperature or temporarily retain an insect to ensure the transfer of pollen. A few carnivorous plant species open out to trap insects for food, then snap shut their jaws, around an unsuspecting prey.
2 - ROLLING
Thomas Hetherwick, Rolling Bridge
A small pedestrian crossing, it is designed to curl up to allow boats through the inlet and uncurl again over the water. Eight triangular sections host a hydraulic ram on either side. As the rams open out of their vertical posts they extended the hand rails upwards. The pivoted sections are drawn toward each other creating a slow curling motion. The bridge can stop at any interval. Fully curled up the bridge forms a compact vertical standing octagon at the waters edge.
GIMME SHELTER: ROLLING HOMES BY DO ARCHITECTS
This collection of tubular houses is dynamic and playful, and the homes are intended for progressive and dynamic single families. The houses are cleverly set out and each comprises three levels and all modern conveniences as well as fantastic panoramas of the surrounding area, in Svencel?, Lithuania. Thanks to plenty of natural light provided by the glass facade, the person or people living inside can easily feel at one with the nature that surrounds them, while maintaining the privacy necessary thanks to the layout of the complex and the closed sides of the structures.
ROLLING PARTITION WALL - FRITZ HANSEN VIPER SCREEN
While a hinge traditionally consists of two or more moving metal parts, modern hinges are often made of a single piece of plastic bands that bends repeatedly. Thus the boundary between creasing and hinging - like that between creasing and folding-is sometimes blurred.
In a small urban apartment, a mobile wall can be a godsend in terms of increasing the options in maximizing what could have been a cramped, static space. With a moveable element, one can transform a living space into any number of useful configurations, as needed.
4 - Bellowing
A bellow is used where a flexible and sealed connection is needed between two planes. That flexibility may allow the object to be used as a pump or it may simply make it adjustable in active use. Bellows may be a deliberate means to reduce the object for storage.
The structure consisted of a series of inflatable cells combined in groups, which could be selectively expanded or contracted to produce changes in form. Whereas these movements had been controlled by pneumatic jacks on Automat, a simpler system was designed for Dynamat in which air routes between adjacent cells were controlled by a series of valves which opened and closed in pre-programmed sequences.
In its deflated state, Dynamat could be stored in the boot of a car for easy transportation, and individual panels could be combined to create a continuous surface which was shaped to enclose space, and to provide shelter for people or objects.