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12. January 2015

Authors:  Fanny Schweizer, Lara Hänny, Lisa Heierli, Thomas Guthruf Process: 1st Step – Condensation First of all we sat together and began to discuss the topic. During our research we were fascinated by the beauty of this natural process but we quickly realized that it would be difficult to work with it because the process is limited to changing the gaseous state of a matter to its liquid state. So we had to see this subject in a broader way. We decided to work with water because it’s a key element of condensation and vapor is often associated with this process. We also decided to work with mostly natural materials because of their intriguing characteristics. o1_650x450 2nd Step – Structures & Pattern Due to the fact that condensation can often be seen in nature, we were inspired to use organic structures for our experiments and creations. We reproduced natural frameworks such as spiderwebs, snowflakes and dragonfly wings with different materials. After printing and cutting out different spider webs and tree branch patterns with the 3D printer and laser cuter we tested the structures under two circumstances: One was hot vapor and the other one was putting the humid structures in the freezer. o3_650x450 Organic structures found in nature o4_650x450 Modeling a web/moos like structure o6_650x450 Constructing dragonfly wings o5_650x450 3rd Step – Research We observed that our wooden structures could deform at a rapid speed when put over hot vapor. The printed ones wouldn’t bulge or bend one bit. So we decided to continue our trials with different wooden models which matched the initial idea of working with just natural materials. After numerous tests we could differentiate between the water absorbing and the non water absorbing wood. 10_650x450 4th Step – Find a shape With our research we decided to take the pine cone as inspiration for our final idea: We want to create modular wood scales or platelets which can slightly deform with vapor to adapt to different shapes. This mechanism resembles the character of a pine cone which is also made out of scales. The cone expands when is exposed to humidity and retracts when it dries out again.   11_650x450 12_650x450 13_650x450 5th Step – Result Our main goal for the final product was to design a flexible and light building structure, that can be put together in multiple ways to create different models. With the addition of vapor the structures can be slightly bent and molded. These could be further used as lampshade, clothing accessories, outdoor roofing etc. This was easier said than done! We chose different hydrophilic wood types and cut out different scale shapes but the wood was to brittle and the shape to delicate. After multiple prototypes we found the right wood shape and size to get as close as possible to the shape and effect we wanted. 14_650x450