MetroLAB is a public-interest design/build program at the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design. This book highlights the mission, participants and projects from 2011-2017. The book is available for preview / order at Blurb.
Prof Tang’s ITSC RENOVATION project is featured in the book. This Metro Lab studio addressed the renovation of an existing interior space in the Information Technology Solution Center (ITSC) on the UC west campus. ITSC is an initiative of the School of Information Technology (SoIT) at the College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services and Information Technology (CECH), combining student workers with experienced full-time staff to create innovative technology solutions and reliable support. The objective of the renovation is to create a new high-tech look and an identity for the center and meet the growing needs for client meetings, demonstrations as well as for the staff of ITSC to produce their work.
The proposed design includes new interior surfaces, furniture, and other interior elements. The team also need to complete all fabrications and assembling job within a limited $9,000 budget. The SAID design-build team utilized the cutting-edge computer-aided design (CAD) tools as well as computer-aided manufacture (CAM) tools and completed the entire project under the budget in only thirteen weeks.
In the design phase, students were required to develop a sequence of iterations to reflect the interior surface tessellation and optimization process of plywood panels. Parametric design software Rhino and grasshopper were used to form a network of triangular shapes and optimized the orientation of each panel based on the material performance and the relation to the daylight. This process created a smooth transition between frame-like panels to solid sheet panels. Later, the similar tessellation approach was used to create the table. The same triangular pattern is adjusted to achieve desired aesthetics on the new partition walls.
The inputs for the CAM pipeline include cutting patterns, panel anchor points, labels, and sheet layout while the outputs are sets of flatted triangular panels ready for CNC milling in the rapid prototyping center at DAAP. In the final assembling, fifty-two different wood panels were installed precisely on the wall.
Check more details on Prof. Tang’s MetroLAB studio here.