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Supported by Surface, MC/2* is the latest prototype from the Minimal Complexities series, an architectural design research focused on the form-finding and fabrication of minimal surface structures. Computationally generated, the surfaces use an algorithmic process inspired by principles of self-organisation found in nature, while conforming to various construction and digital fabrication parameters. Along the lines of modularity and efficiency through the repetition of identical components, intricately complex surfaces are created with only a few types of component, with applications in architecture, product and fashion design.
In line with the previous experiments in achieving increased formal complexity with minimum amount of different constituent modules, MC/2* is created with only 2 different types of component. Reduced to a minimal level of tessellation, the surface is composed of 500 pieces and it proves to have a remarkable structural integrity, despite the flexible nature of the material used – 1mm thick laser-cut polypropylene. Based on a Neovius triply periodic minimal surface, the structure is composed of 250 modular regions, each created by 2 different pieces.
The assembly process has proved to be very efficient, through a very simple system of connecting the sets of 2 components, based on reflection. The pieces are made of translucent laser-cut polypropylene and aluminium rivets have been used as fixings. The dimensions of the structure are around 3m length, 2.1 width and 1.6m height and it took 2 days to be assembled and installed.
MC/2* has been inaugurated on the occasion of the Open House event organised by Surface with Momentum Engineering as part of the Digital Shoreditch Festival 2012 on the 24th of May 2012. Along with the previous Minimal Complexity prototype, the piece is included as part of the International Architecture and Design Showcase in the London Architecture Festival 2012. Entitled Minimal Complexities, the exhibition will be open to the public, from 23rd of June until the 23rd of September 2012.
*Many thanks to Richard Scott for making this possible and to everyone in the Surface team for the support and the great effort in assembling the structure in such a short time. Assembly team: Joanne Edmunds ,Suzanne Gaballa, Joe Morizzo, Trine Ansen Wittrup, Guy Woodhouse.