I aim to shape products, interfaces and services that mediate meaningful dialogues between people, systems and their environments within everyday life.
In considering the movement of organic opening and closing I decided to base my kinetic design on a pine cone. Below are some studies of the movement, and ways in which I could make a simple working prototype in less than 2 days. Initially I tried to use the structure of an umbrella as a basis for the motion of pushing upwards and outwards. I took 3 umbrellas and disassembled them in an attempt to extract the runner and stretchers to layer them atop one another. It turned out quite messy and just short of disastrous, and I realized it would be impossible to make it work in less than 24 hours. In the end I employed a simpler method of using a cardboard tube with arm pulleys sticking out of the core and a centre core moving the pulleys when being pulled upwards.
I just started a new course this week called Embedded Interaction with Michael Fox, who specializes in interactive architecture. For our first exercise we’ve been asked to build a kinetic structure inspired by nature or biological systems (also known as biomimetics). We can draw examples from plant tropism, bird wings, spiderweb structure, etc. For example, Velcro was invented after the engineer, George de Mestral, realized the hooking mechanism of burr to his dog’s fur.
Interesting examples for consideration:
pinecones will close when warm and dry but close in cold and damp conditions
Although this project won’t involve motors or gears our later projects will. Flying Pig is a basic useful resource for future reference.