Author Archives: 03 Evan Baum

Jill Blakey, Joyce Hanlon, Christine Carlo, Evan Baum Niehoff Installation Description

Niehoff Installation Description

Our team chose to address the acoustic problems the Niehoff Design Studio was facing by creating a suspended cloud form. By manipulating a line into a wave-like form in the parametric design software, Maya, the frame fork for our cloud covering was achieved. A series of ribs were then arrayed along this path to create a waffling effect, which helps to create a more acoustically stable atmosphere for the studio and a more stable construction for suspension above the space. The three structural supports are to be made out of glulam wood in order to achieve the bends in the supports and to address points of torque. The ribs then are to be constructed of a sturdy acoustic felt that achieves the desired sound qualities of the space. By suspending three of these constructions, the valleys and peaks of the generated form work in tandem to create high points for sound to travel to for longer distant conversation and low points where small group discussion is necessary. The physical suspension of this form would be accomplished by using steel suspension cables attached to the wood frame from the exposed ceiling structure above. It must me noted that the weight of this form is not distributed evenly and would therefore require excess support at certain points. This would ensure a twisting motion would not cause the cloud to fail. This acoustic study revealed that it is possible to achieve a more stable acoustic environment and that a mass of this scale and construction method may not only be idea for this particular installation space, but for other acoustically challenged spaces as well.

3d Printing Research Essay

Advances in 3D Printing

Parametric design has already made an impact in vast industries such as  fashion, medical procedures, and even architecture. In all cases the close relationship between parametric design and 3D printing has made advances in technology accessible to more and more people; so much so, that in the not so distant future 3D printing may have applications for normal home use outside of larger businesses. The research I chose to conduct for this project thus focused on where 3D printing may lend itself to average peoples day to day activities. In doing so, my research came to acknowledge the fact that soon schools, homes, and other public institutions have already begun utilizing this technology in an effort to allow people to connect with and grow from this technology for their future lives.

Whereas 3D printers used to cost thousands of dollars and required money, time, and expertise to operate, now their capabilities and their technology have been compacted into countertop sized machinery for personal at home use. Models such as 3D Systems Cubify provides customers with an affordable machine and materials needed for designs pre programmed into the system. Additionally, online communities have formed providing people with digital designs for a wide variety of things such as jewelry, toys, tools, and even self assembled 3D printers. Which raises the question as to whether or not it is good or bad that 3D printers can self-replicate.

Although these online communities such as “,” or “” are typically focused on sharing original design ideas, there are already controversies arising that deal with copyright infringements and trademark violations. One specific 3D printing file circulating the Internet is for that of semi automatic weapons and skeleton keys to the national standard of handcuffs used by the police. And so, what can we say about what social implications 3D printing has on people with the accessibility to at home use?

Aside from the specifics of what lay people are using 3D printing for now, it is exciting to look at the potential it has in making an impact in school use and in the lives of children. What was a technology that experts and engineers have been tinkering with for years is now being seen in schools for gifted children in the Netherlands and is only a matter of time before classrooms around the world can use 3D printing to further their education.

But what is most fascinating is how normal it may become to have 3D printers around for whatever use you may need. One group of students at The University of Berkeley has designed a prototype convenience 3D printing station called the Dreambox. This system would function much like a vending machine except for you are sending your files to this machine to later pick up whatever it is you had printed.


The idea of customizable parametric design for normal people makes 3D printing a very important technology for the future. And although, there are sure to arise controversies dealing with what unregulated ideas people can turn into physical manifestations, in all 3D printing will allow people to become more self sufficient, independent, and forward thinking.

Sources Used

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MIT Architecture

This clip (5:40-6:50) comes from a a short video that showcases some of the design research taking place at MIT’s school of architecture. Although the video investigates a number of interesting fields of research, Joel Lamere’s studio that focuses on parametric qualities of sheet geometries is strikingly simple and beautiful.

The studio attempts to discovers inherent parametric qualities of sheet surfaces to create forms that address light, sound, space, time, etc. By working in different realms of scale and materiality it becomes more apparent what these manipulations can offer. This investigation is important to the field because so many of the materieals used come in sheet forms already so by gaining a better understanding of how to craft with one singular piece of material is more sustainable and leaves less room for error in assemblies.

What was particularly unique about this project was that the studio does not try to force the sheet surfaces into something they are not and that there is nothing extra needed for construction – the material creates itself.

Further investigations of this “technology” may potentially reveal the strength of these assemblies based on geometry and materiality so that sheet forms can be used for structural environments and not just for installations.