April 24, 2009


Dear all,

It was a pleasure working with all of you last week. Each of you produced an amazing body of work in just 5 days! Congratulations. Upon returning to Philly, I headed straight to Penn to help my own students install their final exhibition of work. I talked up your work considerably. Two exhibitions in two days . . . whew! I'd love to see some photos of the final exhibition. Send them my way if you have any. Stay in touch and best to you in your final term stretch.

For those of you that are interested in pushing ahead with some of the concepts and techniques that I introduced, following are some great websites to consult. I also highly suggest that you check out Informal by Cecil Balmond, 1000 Years of Nonlinear History by Manuel De Landa and essays by Sanford Kwinter.







April 21, 2009


Hi all,

I dropped off the last batch of laser-cut files for the plexi early this morning (including your updated files, Chris - thx). I have also sent the remaining drawings. All of the drawings have plotted (finished this morning at 7:30!). So, we should be good to go. Please pick up your laser-cut pieces and assemble + paint your models. Also, we will need to trim the drawings down. Please bring some cutting mattes and cutting knives.

see you at 1:30,


April 19, 2009

Schedule Update

Hi all,

The first batch of laser-cut models are coming out. Chris just assembled his first and it looks great! Another great day of work. Congrats! Please pick up your laser-cut pieces and begin assembling your models. Please bring your completed models to the AIR office tmro. I will be there all day tmro starting at 10:30am.

IMPORTANT: Please email me your drawings in pdf format tonight. We are going to plot them tmro afternoon. If they are large, please send them through www.yousendit.com It's a free service as long as your files are not larger than 100mb:).

So, here's the schedule for tmro.


10:30am - Jenny will be in the AIR office, No. 134. Please email or drop off your remaining .dwg files for laser-cutting by this time.

1pm - Whoever is available, please meet in front of the computer lab. We will load the paper and start printing the drawings.

5pm - Jenny's lecture.


1:30pm - Final exhibition installation. Please meet in the gallery space. All laser-cut models and drawings must be completed and plotted by this time.

April 18, 2009

Game Plan

Hi all,

To recap:

3D Prints

So, after talking with Trent, there will be two batches of 3D prints going through. The first batch went through tonight and included the smaller file sizes. These will be printed, washed and cured by Tuesday. The second batch will go through tmro and includes heavier file sizes. This run will take upwards 62 hours, so, they will be done Wed or Thurs. Please add these models to the gallery exhibition once they are complete. 


As mentioned, you should have at least two 36"x36" 'matrix' process drawings (one each for the looping/knotting studies and the wave grid studies). You should also have between two to six 36"x36" single drawing/image plots. These could be entirely line work or renderings. I would like these drawings to reference areas of interest that you may have not been able to print, etc. Or, perhaps they feature areas of study that the 3D print and/or wave grid panel may not. Think big, bold and beautiful. 

Tile/Wall Laser Cut panels

Tmro, we will begin our Laser Cut studies. By 11am, you should have two wave grid studies to start with. The goal is to build a wall/panel system from all of the individual tiles. We will send the first batch of files to the laser cutter by 3 or so. 

See you tmro at 11am. Great work today!


April 17, 2009

Script Folders

Hi all,

So, I'm not allowed to post zip folders to the blog. I have most of your email addresses. I will send them via email shortly. Download the folders and unzip. Simply open the files in notepad, copy and paste in the script editor window in Rhino. Have fun and see you all tmro at 11am in the computer lab. We will review your matrix drawings then.


April 16, 2009

Jenny Sabin: Cory Arcak

Robert LeRicolais (1894-1977) was an artist, philosopher, architect, engineer, scientist and mathematician. In the article Interviews with Robert Le Ricolais, we are introduced to a man that finds "beauty in failure" and prides himself on his "vicious curiosity." His passion is structures and as he foresees the increased pace of humanity he ponders and investigates the isssues of mass public transit that will be necessary to move the increased population from bridges to elevated rail systems. All the while knowing that the more we know and the more we create the less we will be able to use. He honors our forerunners ( basket weavers, early designers) while he questions current intellectual ability; "You just come to realize how much more ingenious our forerunners were in the art of structures. Maybe we know too many things now-we learn, we analyze, and yet we rarely discover things as wonderful as the queen post." This leads directly into his desire for and focus on simplicity followed by his warning of simplistic human reasoning "Maybe I'm an idiot, but I know we have to be careful of our simple impressions of things, thinking that what a man cannot bend is very strong. It's putting too much of our ego into the whole system." And though he warns of the ego interfering with design and structures he encourages the cultivation of human intuition in understanding the "nature of things" when designing in the studio, " we can only appropriate and fully possess what we ourselves discover."

He valued research for the sake of research. In his studio/lab he focused on minimal surfaces, a homogeneity of tension, making light structures with heavy materials, adding force into a system increases material strength, finding the structural dimensions in nature (skeletons, eggshells, bee hives, crystals) and working with the "voids" because it is in the voids that Le Ricolais finds the "truth." It is in knowing where to place the voids that he says is the art of making a structure.

Key terms for Le Ricolais-curiosity, challenge, patience, mystery, convergence, intuition, simplicity, imagination

April 11, 2009

Fun with Algorithms! Workshop Info

Hi all,

Hopefully, you have all had a chance to sift through the readings that I posted. I have enjoyed reading through your summaries and answering your questions. Before the start of the workshop, please be sure to skim through the Scripting Primer that I posted. Also, I believe Carol is helping you with the download of the trial version of Rhino 4. You should have this downloaded and installed by the start of the workshop. I will assume that you are all new to Rhino and scripting, so, don't worry about not having experience prior to the workshop. Below is a general outline for the workshop. I suggest that students work in groups of 2-3, but am open to individual projects if some of you prefer to work alone. I will be working on several models alongside you. You are free to join in, ask questions, etc. at any moment. See you soon!

Day 1: SCRIPTING FUN! Lecture by Jenny and Introduction to scripting in Rhino. Scripting explorations and production of first matrix catalogue drawing.

Review initial drawings (plotted) and begin fabrication planning. Additional scripting investigations and formal assemblies

Digital model prep; first batch of .stl files sent to 3D printer and .dwg files to laser cutter.

Second and final batches of .stl files sent to 3D printer and .dwg files to laser cutter. Fabrication and assembly of models. Final drawings sent to plotter.

Gallery set-up and opening. Carol, is it possible to have an evening opening of the student work on Tuesday, 21st?

Fun with Algorithms!

Hi all,

I'm looking forward to our workshop next week. Attached, are a few images to get you going. We will be generating a lot of algorithmic patterns, geometries, forms, constructions and physical models. Have you ever thought about weaving or braiding a building? Please take a look at my latest post in the 'from Artist' section of the blog for further info. on the workshop

All the Best,

April 6, 2009

Rebar photos

Heres some of the photos from Friday...


Theres more on the N drive at Langford under AiR Photos I believe...

Rebargroup: Mike Droske

If only we had a little more time...

I just wanted to thank JB, Blaine, everybody on my team, and the whole workshop for the great experience...

Here's a link I found that looks a lot like what ours might have looked like, if we had only a little more time (and expanded polypropylene).

http://www.movisi.com/pages/product_ljubljana_chairAlso, on a somewhat unrelated note, here's a link, via MAKE, to an "open source" furniture design service. Designers post CAD files, instructions, photos, etc., and industrious makers out there craft 'em up. Pretty cool and open-ended, so it's somewhat related to this workshop after all...