WRITINGS / INTERVIEWS / LECTURES

DRAGONFLY

SCI-Arc, Los Angeles / 2007


A cooperative effort of TWA and Buro Happold, this installation begins with a dragonfly but ends with architecture. Analyzed for its composite behavior, the dragonfly wing reveals a particularly weird interweaving of thin cellular surfaces and deep ladder-like ‘beams’ into hybrid formations. The design team set about a strict research and analysis of the dragonfly wing at first, but quickly found affinities for certain aesthetic moments and transitions. The team leveraged these affinities in the installation design, rather than attempting to literally recreate a large dragonfly wing, or produce an ‘optimal’ solution.

Components for the project were manufactured from ⅛” milled aluminum sheets and layered based on structural loading criteria. Some areas of Dragonfly were constructed from 1-2 sheets, while others were constructed with up to 14 layers, especially near supports. A parametric model was tied to a live 2D plan drawing, producing instantaneous updates of flat-packed components based on changing structural criteria and an evolving design sensibility. 

Client: SCI-Arc
Building Type: Cellular Structure Prototype
Structural: Buro Happold LA, Greg Otto/ Matt Melnyk
Erection: Hinerfeld-Ward Inc.
Lighting: Luminesce Design