MICROHYBRID_001 | Deadload a constant load in a structure (such as a bridge, building, or machine) that is due to the weight of the members, the supported structure, and permanent attachments or accessories

The first Microhybrid piece intended to establish a starting ground for the process driven research and exploration. The first step in each piece is to establish a primitive form within a natural material that has been altered with manual tools to create a condition for digital applications. The alteration of _001 included two drilled holes of varying depths and widths on the face and edge of the wooden block. The hole sizes and center-point locations are recorded for digital remodeling of the object.

The remodeling in the digital realm is the second step in the process, and brings forth the first physical/digital relationship (acting as an anomaly in typical architecture school), where the block is understood for its formal value to a synthesis of digitally simulative qualities. Post digital creation, the third step is to distinguish a typological idea that the digital addition can be prescribed to for the model. The typologies reference architectural operations in either in a literal sense, or as an effect of the typologies ability. In _001’s case, the typology was simple - object to object adjacency. The fourth step is to then orient the digitally crafted block to prepare for the digital operations. This step is typically nominal in its contextual relationship, but crucial to the typologies involving ungrounded potentials. The next step is then to create a gestural 3-Dimensional drawing that encapsulates both partner’s ideas as a strategy for design. These drawings are rudimentary and seen as a rough dialogue between formal aspirations, structural necessity, economy, and consequence. The sixth step is to initiate the design of the typological addition. This involves careful consideration of the gestural drawings and usually becomes the slowest step in the process. In collaborations where ideas and files are consistently edited and redistributed, a consequence unfolds in lack of translation. The moments where the project gets lost in translation proves itself to be one of the most interesting aspects of the project, and grounds the process in reality as affected by interpretation. This also brings individuality to project parts, and can heavily influence the representation aspect of the project. The seventh step is to bring the finished design into a fabrication shop setting, where economy and fabrication technique/orientation can be discussed and determined. This is also where exploration in fabrication is inspired. After all factors are situated, and the fabrication is complete, the eighth step is to bring the physical wood block, and in _001’s case, the 3D printed design together for a test fit). Due to the nature of tolerances, expansion, fabrication glitches, and other issues, the fitting always requires adjustment, and becomes one of the most informative aspects of the project, where mistakes or impossibilities can be absorbed in hindsight. The ninth step is to photograph the completed model and finish any accompanying drawings of project aspirations, interruptions, or interpretations. The tenth and last step is a reflection and analysis of the lessons learned to be used as an input for a decision making matrix that provides a feedback loop for future iterations.

© Thomas Lanham, Greg Luhan, Ebrahim Poustinchi, Irvin Shaifa

Lanham, T., Shaifa, I., Poustinchi, M. E., & Luhan, G. (2017). Craft & Digital Consequences | Micro-Hybrid Explorations at (Full) Scale. In Fioravanti, A., Cursi, S., Elahmar, S., Gargar, S., Loffreda, G., Novembri, G., & Trento, A. (Eds.). ShoCK: Sharing Computable Knowledge – Material Studies Methodologies. The 35th Annual eCAADe International Conference Proceedings, Volume 2, 327-336.