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Performative Geometries

November - December 2018

Team 5 - Laser - Light filtration - Nov

The mission was to create a mold that could successfully produce 6 bricks using the laser cutting machine. We were required to maintain a 40% density and integrate the concept of light filtration.  Our initial concept derived from looking at interference light patterns. We extracted a shape from this concept that could be translated as a wall module, affecting the light in a similar way. Rather than keeping our pattern planar, we staggered the curves to continue a weave through our lattice and manipulate shadows throughout the wall.


Protocol for Digital fabrication – 1:1 module

  • Stack the laser cut plywood layers to create sections to form the module.
  • Line these sections with polypropylene – this will ensure the mold releases
  • Wax the interior walls of the entire module
  • Orient the sections according to the orientation chart
  • Place the sections in the acrylic box – this will hold the modules together and allow them to be cast as one unit
  • Place the positive diamond shaped sections in the negative area
  • Mix the plaster using the island method
  • Pour and leave to cure for 12- 24 hours
  • Open right wing of the acrylic box to slide the mold out
  • Separate the section pieces individually and outward to release the cast module
  • Remove diamond sections
  • Leave module to completely dry to then sand any imperfections
Light Filtration Modular

Waste and future plans:

The current design uses 4 sheets of stacked plywood along with 1 large sheet of poly polypropylene. For the future, we hope to utilize the polypropylene more, use less plywood and space out the layers and create a structure with both materials, integrating an internal structural rod between the layers to prevent the polypropylene from buckling.

Fabrication time schedule – production of one cast

  • Laser cutting = 2.5 hours (x 4 sheets of 5 mm wood)
  • Assembly = 2 hours (Assembly starts after the first sheet is laser cut)
  • Mold casting prep = 0.5 hours
  • Mold dry time = 12 hours (overnight)
  • Disassemble mold = 0.5 hours
  • Casting touch up = 0.5 hours
Total time for 1 cast & fabrication = 20 hours
Total time for 6 casts = 87.5 (3.5 days)


By using two movable ½ modules, we are able to make one cast with several orientations. This variation, along with the staggered curves, performs as a controlled manipulation of light and shadows, seen throughout the varied cavities and perspective views of light traveling through the wall. The tapering thickness of these curves not only add to the light patterns however also function as joinery points, so the modules can structurally hold one another at any orientation.
Group of 100 Render_Sun North_View
Group of 6 Render Grey.jpg


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