The Digital Continuum

„The use of digital modeling (three-dimensional) and animation (four-dimensional) software has opened new territories of formal exploration in architecture, in which digitally generated forms are not designed in conventional ways. New shapes and forms are created by generative processes based on concepts such as topological space, isomorphic surfaces, dynamic systems, keyshape animation, parametric design and genetic algorithms.“
(Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age, 2003, p. 7)

Building upon Kolarevic’s thesis of the ‚digital continuum‘ this course’s aim was to explore the possibilities of designing and producing a functional object entirely digitally. However in contrast to complex forms created by algorithms or mathematical definitions, the outset of this project was an intuitively shaped hand-made model: a crumbled piece of paper.

Using Autodesk’s mobile-phone app 123D Catch, the object was then 3D scanned with a smartphone and send to a computer for further processing.

The high resolution mesh was imported in Rhino and used as a basis for the design of a chair.

Each student modeled a seating surface which was intersected with their respective 3D-scanned base model.

To evaluate the different designs they were 3D printed in small scale.

Eventually one of the designs was chosen for 1:1 production. Since 3D printing in this scale wasn’t an option CNC milling was chosen as a means for fabrication, which meant that the structure had to be separated into various segments that would allow the 3-axis milling machine to produce the parts.

After the 21 individual parts had been milled from styrofoam they were glued together and laminated with a highly elastic two-component coating.

Final chair designed and produced by Maximilian Dauscha, Photos: Maximilian Dauscha, Tim-Daniel-Ingo Lüders. 2017