This project was originally conceived as an occupiable interior spiritual space, designed with the intention of directing the observer’s attention upwards as the walls dissolve into light.
Since the model was to be a static object, I chose an unchanging constraint: that the amount of light transmitted by each module varied based on its proximity to the ground plane. Those closest would admit the least light, those furthest the most, thereby getting a simple gradient of illumination from the ground to the top.
The module itself was designed in Maya as an octagon extruded into a small square aperture. A duplicate of the original module was then modified to open into a large aperture and a blend shape was applied between the two. Then a driver key was set so that the aperture would be smallest at a low point, and largest at a high point. The modules were then arrayed across a vertical Cartesian grid forming a gradient of modules with small apertures at the bottom to modules with large apertures at the top. Square spacers were necessary to fill the octagonal geometry, and the entire plane was wrapped into a cylindrical form.
Fabrication was fairly straightforward with a dwg fold-out from the program Pepakura Designer, and sent to be lasercut out of 1/16in mat-board. Originally the cylinder was going to be held in shape by a series of circular ribs and each fold would be held together with a glue tab. I found that neither of these were necessary as the material had a thick enough edge that the tab would be redundant and was sturdy enough to retain a cylindrical form on its own without ribs. I also realized that on a large scale the parti would work structurally in the way that the more solid modules would be at the base and more suitable for compression than those at the top.
On a larger scale it might be possible to cast these pieces out of concrete and stack them in rows, both to the size of an interior space or a smaller column. One of the interesting things about this object is that it can be conceived in multiple scales: as the originally intended interior space, as a structural and ornamental column, or simply as a lamp. The module could be applied over a different gradient as well such that it respond to a different lighting or structural constraint, or it could be made operable and still maintain the same geometry using say, two frames, one fixed octagonal and one square and telescoping with some kind of flexible material in between that would be pulled into tension as the aperture shrinks. A second iteration would probably address that type of mechanical variability.