Day 2: Bamboo Pod 3 Prototype

Day 2: Bamboo Pod 3 Prototype build at Mr Box, Ningbo.

30 June 2021

Day 1 (click here) started with retrieving the 16 mini sized arcs (with the wrong sized bamboo battens which were sent from the mountains yesterday- what a palaver). We are working on a 1:2 scale bamboo model. We noticed some off shaped ones so we re-measured them all. Plan had to change slightly accommodating the wrong size of bamboo battens as the hoops are mostly floppy!

We put up the temporary support: The centre column and three guy lines. We considered putting the 1:2 structure in between the existing planters so we can guy them up with additional guy on the concrete grill. This particular exercise is useful for the real size build, most definitely we will also need a temporary structure.

The bigger the diameter of the hoops, these non supported ones (from about #13 onwards) got really floppy and tended to twist. The team decided to proceed and added horizontal supports once all 16 hoops were in place.

The first layer of horizontal supports were up, then we continued with the next layers. In total we had 5 layers and the more we put the horizontal elements, the more stable the structure was. We removed the guy lines before adding the 5th layer, which was not planned. The joy of physical model making!

Then it was the acid test whether the structure will be self-supporting despite the wrong dimensions. We also learnt that probably 50mm would have been too wide for 1:2 scale, so not all mistakes went unreflected on. 20-25mm wide would have been a better size as the main structural system for this play tent for kids 🙂

Generally Matt and I are really happy with these two days. It was planned for three days, but some of the students had emergencies so we decided to start on Tuesday instead. The light rain on Tuesday morning presented a challenge, especially for Nancy whose flowing summer dress got wet every time she crouched down- which was a lot- but at least it kept things cool. It got quite hot in the afternoon. I enjoyed the experience as well, and knowing this project does not stop here gives me something to look forward too as a lecturer.

A few things we want to address for the final build are: the joints (zip ties are amazing for this kind of purpose but we rely too much on them: a more sustainable option such as hemp could be the better option),  the floor ideally needs to have a base, and the possibility to be flat packed with stretchy horizontal joints so they can be a movable pod would all be good adjustments.

Final Bamboo Pod 3: Rendering (credit: Group 1)

Our keen makers: Romance, Patricia, Francy, Serena, Nancy (Jianan Wang) and Joy (Qiaoyi Zeng)

Facilitators: Dr. Mia Tedjosaputro and Matt Wallwork

Thank you also goes to Neal (Fan Zeran), Wang Yin, Chenchu and Mr Box for making it possible.

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Day 1: Bamboo Pod 3 Prototype

Day 1: Bamboo Pod 3 Prototype build at Mr Box, Ningbo.

29 June 2021

The day started with the participants arriving from various parts of the city to participate in this extracurricular, unofficial project. Nancy and Joy- two preliminary year architecture students from the University of Nottingham- travelled with Matt (Academic English teacher at University of Nottingham Ningbo China) and Mia (part time lecturer in both universities, Ningbo University and Nottingham) and we met up with Francy, Patricia, and Romance (Ningbo University architecture students, in year 4) at Xin Yi Yuan tea house. The first order of business was to collect the bamboo from the new camping shop at Black Box café, who had kindly stored it since it was delivered early that morning.

Final Bamboo Pod 3: Rendering (credit: Group 1)

The bamboo pod design was part of Digital Architecture 2021 module in Ningbo University for Year 4 architecture students, it is developed and facilitated by Dr. Mia Tedjosaputro. The parametric design was generated by Group 1 as part of their Assignment 1 group submission, using Rhino 3D and Grasshopper. The team members are: Romance, Patricia and Houda. Due to the fact that most architecture students from NBU are still abroad due to the pandemic, only a handful number of students are in Ningbo and some of them joined this workshop.

Final Bamboo Pod 3: Rendering (credit: Group 1)
Bamboo Pod 3: Partial Design Statement (credit: Group 1)

After brief introductions, including the café’s resident friendly cat, the 1:25 scale model making began. The students were spilt into two groups with a nice mix of Ningbo Uni and Nottingham students, so there was great collaboration between the two universities from the outset.

The students worked well to overcome the minor problems that inevitably appear during any construction project and overall this was a very valuable learning experience. This whole exercise is a prelude to a full-scale build of the structure in September. We only explore the main structural system which comprises of 16 hoops, testing out before we build the full scale of bamboo structure.

After lunch we started to build the 1:2 scale prototype. We had to deal with what appear to be a quite disastrous material sourcing. The 60 pieces of bamboo battens we requested was 50mm, and what came was 5mm wide. Structural system is affected, but we have to adapt and improvise. Quite a number of tools and materials are no longer necessary as they were prepared for the correct width.

Mr Box was incredibly accommodating for this project. Ningbo city itself is a great hive of creativity, and academic and artistic projects are really encouraged here. It is truly gratifying to be able to arrange a space for a project of this scale so easily, and to be so well supported throughout the whole project. It is immeasurably valuable for students to be able to have this kind of hands-on building experience, and for artists to have space to express themselves in a space where they will get public exposure, so the general public of Ningbo can also benefit. Here are a glimpse of Mr Box area:

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Mr Box, and to the Black Box café and Xin Yi Xuan tea house for being so flexible and making this whole rich experience possible. It was particularly valued by the Ningbo University students, as morale is a bit low at the moment- many of their cohort are in their home countries, unable to return to China due to Covid restrictions, and those who are here- the ones who have called Ningbo their home for the past four years- are few in number and studying online. This hands-on, face to face, practical extracurricular project was especially precious to them, so again- many thanks to Mr Box for facilitating this!

On another note, we had a couple of major catastrophes with materials, which goes a long way towards our future planning. Quite an intriguing exercise on prototyping stage, as there is no pressure to get the pod 100% up and perfect. Mistakes are expected, shall we say. Especially with a more manageable scale, 1:2. Day 2 tomorrow, bring it on!

Our keen makers: Romance, Patricia, Francy, Serena, Nancy (Jianan Wang) and Joy (Qiaoyi Zeng)

Facilitators: Dr. Mia Tedjosaputro and Matt Wallwork

Thank you also goes to Neal (Fan Zeran), Wang Yin, Chenchu and Mr Box for making it possible.

 

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Aksen Tiny House: Questionnaire

In Aksen’s design practice we are questioning a lot of what we know as ways of living in Indonesia. We look at customisable first houses, in the spirit of tiny houses. Most suited for individuals (but not limited to) between 20-30 years old. When maximising limited space takes priority. Personal preferences can be your design parameters which we are building an understanding systematically. If you have 10 minutes to spare, please contribute to our survey (only for Indonesians).

Update: on behalf of Aksen, I would like to say massive thank you for those who spent time on answering our questionnaire. We hit our target (and more) in less than two days. This would not happen without help of the community. We now close the data collection earlier than we planned. A sincere thank you from Jessica and myself.

 

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Superjury 2020

Truly honoured to be re-connected with familiar faces and reminiscing old times in Petra Christian University, Indonesia. One proud alumna, indeed. Remembering when I was one of the nominee for the same exercise (architectural final theses) many moons ago. These best of the best students will be presenting their design and am excited to learn from them.

Schedule as follows:

Superjury presentation.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Time: 12:00 (GMT +7)

Google Meet link : petra.id/superjuri2020;
Live Streaming link (if you cannot get in to G-Meet) : petra.id/superjuri2020-LS

Guest lecture and winners announcement

Monday, 10 August 2020

Time: 10:30 (GMT +7)

Edo and I will be sharing our wee experiences, particularly I will be sharing my views of Digital Craftsmanship. Links-TBC.

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Update 4: Completed Bamboo Pod 2

A gif each day’s milestones as follows:

18-23 July 2020.

Danshan Chishui, Yuyao, Zhejiang, China.

Sponsored by Aksen (China and Indonesia), in collaboration with Weishun Xu from Zhejiang University.

Our keen designers and makers are:

Jiang Yating
Chen Wu
Sun Xintian
Chuchu Qi
Yang Ruitong
Shen Jingli
Haiqing Yang
Xia Miaojun*
Feng Liyang
Li Ningyuan*
Fan Zeran

Facilitated by 3 lecturers:

Weishun Xu- Zhejiang University, Matt Wallwork- University of Nottingham Ningbo China and Mia A. Tedjosaputro- Ningbo University.

 

Computationally designed by ZHU team and crafted manually by the keen makers. We are framing the research questions on potentials of mixed reality in architecture to aid design and construction processes. Derived from the observations of two bamboo pods construction (for first pod, click here), the aim is to contribute on the area of computational bamboo architecture.

Photographs courtesy of Sun Xintian, Yang Ruitong and myself.

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