Author Archives: 08 Troy Newell

08 Troy Newell P3 Meshray


You can see mesh-ray in the middle of the grasshopper image.  This button takes three arguments: a mesh object “M,” a point “P” and a vector “D.”  Using the location of the mesh, point and vector, mesh-ray returns the coordinates of an intersection point.  In order to visualize this, I have added a line which extends from the initial point through the intersection point and the mesh object.  The initial point, vector, and line length are adjustable using sliders.

download meshray1

P2_Andrew_Lehman & Troy_Newell_08


At Delft University in the Netherlands, students and faculty have collaborated to produce this prototype bridge structure.   “The research topic is using folded flat pieces to make a self-supported bridge without extra material.”

The final model is made of 0.5mm plastic panels which are folded according to a structural logic which provides resistance to tension and compression.  Also, each component generates a 3d volume.  Apparently the components of the bridge assembly are identical aside from the variable of the location of a metal fastener which links them.  When the assembly is complete, the structure becomes self-supporting.

This project is relevant to skyscraper design because it utilizes a repetitive modular system which has a simple variable scheme: thus it has a high degree of efficiency and variability in generating spatial configurations.  It is efficient because of its limited material palette, but variable because of (1) the inherent complexity of each “folded” component and (2) the possibility of varying the location of the joint system in each panel.  Also it utilizes a “monocoque” strategy for the structure (i.e. the structure and skin are unified).  This concept contributes to efficient use of materials.

So due to its efficiency and variability, it provides an inspiring and effective approach for design of future buildings.  An aesthetic and functional idea I find myself continuously responding to is that of skeletal organic elements combined with technology and fabrication, so I immediately became fascinated with these images which are reminiscent of spinal structures.