Transmissive Assemblies (2014)

Basic Material research into integrating material behaviour


The installation Transmissive Assemblies concentrates upon two qualities that are particular to fibre reinforced composites: translucency in a structural element, and the ability to gain stiffness locally through forming and folding. Taking point of departure from preceding architectural experiments focused upon these qualities – exemplified by Renzo Piano’s Mobile Sulphur Extraction Facility (1965) – the project asks how a modern composite sandwich might be designed to modulate the transmission of light in a controlled manner through strategic material variation.

The aim of this experiment is to establish methods for designing with synthetic materials. Practice already possesses models for composites that synthesise the inter-related behaviour of constituent components, but we do not have models for activating and varying these components, and the qualities associated with them, within the design process. What might these models be like, and how do they allow us to think about materialization and specification in new ways?

Transmissive Assemblies – Generative Animation from CITA on Vimeo.



Paul Nicholas (CITA) with Jacob Riiber (CITA) and Antonio Scaffidi (Institute for Product Design, School of Design) In collaboration with KADK students Shirin Zaghi and Lena Kriwanek