Lauralee Williams (MLA I AP 2021)
Undergraduate work, 2017
Textile in Tension Module
acrylic box holding navy textile form and band of strings inside
Vortex was designed and motorized using a combination of Rhinoceros 5, Grasshopper, Firefly and Arduino UNO boards. The rigidity, translucency of acrylic Plexi-glass proved to be the most effective option to hold fabric in tension within a frame. It also allowed us to laser cut holes for fittings, and custom-make rotating plates and gears of various thicknesses.
constructed acrylic box holding a textile form in tension
As the prototype progressed, the use of the acrylic sheet allowed us opportunities to experiment with adding other shading elements such as elastic string, perforations in the frame, and tint, to add layers within the module that might affect the turning motion, and also filter light differently.
hand hovering over textile form through a hole in one face of the vertical acrylic box
hand partially entering textile form through a hole in one face of the vertical acrylic box
hand fully inside textile form through a hole in one face of the vertical acrylic box
The final model was made fully functional with a motion-sensing micro-controller, and turns on the custom built acrylic sheet gears. It successfully responds to motion as a hand or object is inserted.