Point Blank
Between the Sheets: Aluminum Panel Prototyping
299 Technology Seminar Winter 2009
Instructor: Heather Roberge
Collaborators: Daniella Gohari, Molly Hunker, Daniel Poei

Over the past decade and a half, digital design has given rise to formal experimentation that outpaces advances in construction and fabrication. Unlike many studio courses, where students assume that whatever is first produced digitally will later be fabricated, this course intertwined digitally produced formal experiments and manufacturing processes from the outset. The course speculates that contemporary material matters do not concern “truth in materials” but rather breed new synthetic materialities provoking new sensations.

The test bed for this research was the design of façade panels for a rain screen building envelope. While past projects created in this studio primarily utilized tessellated patterns, our group was more interested in biological form and the anemone-like clustering of panels. We created different panel types to help obscure an obvious seaming pattern, making the wall look organic.

Rendering of wall from corner


Rendering of wall

Diagram of panel types

Diagram of seam edge types

Diagram of topography

Diagram of structural armature

Axonometric of a structural bay

Axonometric of termination panels

Photo of prototype installation

Photos of prototype installation