Infundibuliforms: Kinetic Cable Net Surfaces (2016 R+D Awards Honorable Mention)

Jul 31, 2016

RVTR and Matter Design utilize algorithms and 3D printing to design an experimental and adaptable surface.

A metal ring woven with mesh, like a giant embroidery hoop, suspends from the ceiling. Suddenly, the netting moves and breaks the plane of the ring in opposing directions, creating three convex or concave funnels. Within seconds, the infundibuliform (meaning funnel- or cone-like) shapes shift again, collapsing into themselves, transitioning from mountain peaks to vortices and back again.

This exploration of kinetic architecture is the culmination of years of research and development in digital modeling, fabrication, and robotics. The team created a design program that simulates what shapes and movements are possible given the constraints of physics and space, and tested applied forces on an extruded-elastomeric mesh.

Project: Infundibuliforms: Kinetic Cable Net Surfaces
Design Firms: Matter Design (Boston), RVTR (Ann Arbor, MI and Toronto), University of Michigan

(2016 R+D Awards recipient)

R+D Awards
ARCHITECT magazine’s annual R+D Awards program honors the research and technologies that have advanced the profession at every scale—from design strategies and building products to fabrication methods, installations, software, and materials.

Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Hanley Wood

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