Honeycomb Morphologies

This project aimed at advancing honeycomb structures by developing a double layered system with increased shear resistance in which each cell size, shape, direction and orientation can be different. Unlike in the previous project the performative component, a honeycomb cell, does not directly match the actual material element, a folded strip of cardboard. Starting again from a simple element of two folded cardboard strips a series of linked physical and digital morphological experiments were conducted in order to investigate the interrelation between surface curvature and honeycomb cell structures, the characteristics of the material, such as for example the maximum fold angles of the specific cardboard, and the constraints of the laser cutting process being limited to sheet material of a certain size. The constraints yielded in these experiments informed the development of a honeycomb deriving growth algorithm that defines the honeycomb morphology as folded overlapping strips in response to given design input. The resultant material system, of which a fully differentiated prototype was constructed, shows clearly that innovation in this research does not depend on high-tech material or manufacturing technology. Here novelty arises not from singular aspects of the design and construction process but rather from an integral approach that directly relates modes of production and making with computational form generation.

AA Emergent Technologies and Design (M. Hensel, A. Menges, M. Weinstock)
Andrew Kudless, Architectural Association, London, 2003-04