Sunday, September 30, 2012

Early Media Mentions + Teaser Pics

Digital Journal:

The Torontoist:

She Does The City:

Ryerson Today:

Social Media:

Stay tuned for some more shots of the final product! Here's a teaser...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Home Stretch

As Nuit Blanche draws closer and closer (tomorrow!), the Aura team has been working hard to ensure a strong finish.  With all the final mock-up completed, we spent the week completing the panels.  All of the dowels were inserted and syringes filled with, an effort that could not be completed with the many volunteers that came to help.

Each of the panels were organized by two vertical wall-mounted sections and overhead, and then within each section the panels were connected by tubing filled with water attached to the syringes.  This proved to be the quite tedious as each panel had 64 syringes and we had to ensure that tubing was secured properly and connected to the right panel.  After a few days of hard work, we succeeded!  Currently we are attaching the last bit of fabric to the remaining panels and will then transfer them over to the site to be attached to the framing.  Stayed tuned for more photos and updates!

Each of the syringes were placed in a pool of water so that the dowels could be pulled to fill the syringes
The Aura team and volunteers ensuring that the syringes are filled correctly
A closer up of the dowels on the panels before fabric is attached.
Panels were arranged as they would be when connected to the framing so that right panels are connected to each other.
Various length of tubing was cut and filled with water depending on the distance between connecting dowels.
The tubing was then attached to each panel.
A view of a completed set of panels connected with tubing.  When the panels are illuminated light will also penetrate to the back of the panels and illuminate the syringes.
A view of our great volunteers who spent time helping us connect all those tubes!
A close-up view of the syringe connected to the back of a panel with fabric attached.
Almost there! A few more panels left to attach fabric to
View of a completed panel with fabric attached.
Close of outer fabric membrane with the some dowels extended.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Aura Begins to Shine

Between assembling the illuminated panels and talking to Vince, the Aura team took a few moments to discuss their project with the media, including the university's Eyeopener newspaper.  Aside from looking quite engaged with their own work, the team was well represented by Tony as he described the project's mandate to "put architectural science and Ryerson on the map as as cutting-edge campus that knows [its] stuff."  Good job so far!

Let's see if James' dialogue with the Ryersonian folks will elaborate upon this more!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Improving Assembly and Overhead Panel Construction

One of the many benefits to building a full scale mock-up is finding new ways to improve upon the installation for the final set-up on Sept 29th.  Previously, the Aura team completed one side of the ribbon, and while we were happy with how it came together, we felt it could use some improvement in the construction phase.  In construction the next phase of the ribbon, we used a hinge connection between the panels that greatly improved the time and ease of connecting nine panels at an angular layout.  It also resulted in a cleaner looking segment that achieved the result we intended when we first began designing and modelling the Aura installation.

A shot of our hinge connection.  This allowed us to easily secure the panels before mounting the conduit and also enabled us to determine the right angle that each panel would be placed at as each panel could be manipulated to achieve the right look.

The hinge connection also also cut down our construction time  as well as the number of people needed for setting up each panel, thus making the overall construction more efficient.  

The second section of our ribbon showing the angular layout of the panels.  

Our work over the weekend also involved completing the overhead phase of the ribbon, which proved to be quite challenging.  We wanted to ensure that the right transition would occur from the wall mounted panels to the overhead ones and allowed for us to determine the best way to assemble them on-site.  Each panel is first raised with rope and the lifted in place.  We then secure the panels with the braided steel cables and then the next panel is added sequentially.  Once the panels have been attached to each other and the frame we then began to adjust the angle and placement of each to ensure the correct form.  

As shown in our initial mock-up, each of the panels are suspended by braided steel cables fastened to an eye bolt. 

Undershot of the overhead panels with hinge connections. 

Fastening the hinge connections to the panels.

Lifting the third panel in place.

Determining how best to transition the overhead panels to the vertical (wall mounted) panels.

View of overhead panels from above.

View from end segment of ribbon.  This is just 1/2 of the overhead condition as a symmetrical segment would continue on the other side.  

Close up of the panels and their seams.

View from underneath panels looking towards the end of the segment

Panels lit up to make sure everything is properly connected and to demonstrate the overhead illumination.  

The Aura team documenting their work.

View of panels from below.

Fil (6'-3) demonstrating how high the panels are suspended (7'-0" at its highest)

Stay tuned this week for more updates as it is sure to be busy with Nuit Blanche fast approaching!

Initial Mock-Up Time Lapse

In order to ensure all the construction and connections will proceed smoothly during the assembly at the end of the week, the Aura Team has been steadily working away at a full scale mock-up of their Nuit Blanche Installation.  The team and its volunteers have been finalizing assemblies and logistics to ensure the project will be yet another great success for Ryerson University and the Department of Architectural Science. Though there is not too much visual activity in these clips, the team is sorting out the best way to efficiently deploy and assemble the structure on site.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Form Development and Final Mock-Up

Since developing and finalizing the panel connection details, the Aura Team has been working on putting together our final mock-up assembly. As mentioned in our previous post, we are looking to develop the final form in 16' segments. We will then mark and label every panel, conduit and framing member accordingly to ensure an efficient on-site build. As always, here are some shots of our progress: 
Our 16' long box frame comprised of 4 wall panels and 2 ceiling assemblies

The frame is quite large - the team had to temporarily brace the assembly seeing as it does not currently rest against two adjacent walls as it would on site
After getting the framing together we got to work on hammering out some lengths of conduit according to the detail we developed last weekend

We then began suspending panels in a rough angular layout 

The panel assembly from the rear looks a little chaotic- however we discovered some issues with how the conduit was mounted and how it was affecting our gap tolerances - this slowed down the assembly process but also provided valuable insight as to how the rest of the segments should come together

The beginning of the first section of our 60' long ribbon

A close up of our precise seems that are so difficult to achieve

The side profile of the lit panels demonstrates an undulating tesselation of light

A panel close up (caps, plungers and fabric are yet to be installed)

Some night-time sneek peeks at the entire lit assembly
As the team looks toward our Sept. 29th due date, this next week is sure to be interesting. Our plans are to complete all three mock-up segments by Tuesday next week. This will be followed by cap/plunger installation, tubing installaby mid-day next Friday, but there is sure to be some speed bumps between now and then. tion and the wrapping of our fabric. The team is hoping to be on site assembling framing and panels

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Detail Development and Construction Sequencing

So as promised, today we constructed a single 8' unit of our box frame and proceeded to develop 1:1 details for both our vertical (wall mounted) and horizontal (ceiling suspended) panels. This mock-up also allowed for us to test the structural capabilities of our cable, bolts and framing in a controlled environment. We were able to make significant decisions regarding the on-site sequence of construction and how to make details more efficient and practical. Here's some shots of our exploration:

The team assembling our framing unit from two 10' wall panels and an 8' ceiling panel 

Testing bolt strength while hoisting the vertical panels to height with a temporary rope and James' boy scout knots

We decided that for added safety, we would suspend the wall panels with a single length of braided cable - providing easier maneuverability and a fail-safe panel mounting

We first mounted steel conduit from the framing to the panel's MDF skirts. The conduit is cut to length then flattened at each end to provide a mounting flange. These flanges are easily bent and rotated allowing us to efficiently negotiate the panels' irregular curvature. We quickly found that the skirts were difficult to screw into and were also too thin to handle this kind of structural stress.

We then decided to mount the conduit to the rear eye bolts (as seen in our last post) with large washers and a 1/4" nut/bolt. We also added another screw to the opposite end of conduit to prevent rotation/pivoting. This ended up being extremely rigid as the bolt extends through all layers of the panel. 

Vertical (wall mounted) panels rigidly fastened and illuminated

The guys mounting our suspended panels with 4 lengths of braided steel cable each fastened to one eye bolt at the panels rear. The crimped cables allow us to easily adjust the placement and angle of each panel. 

A shot of a single horizontal panel from below

A second panel is lifted into place to test angling conditions and seam connections

The wall panels and suspended panels lay completed

The team and some DAS visitors admiring the completed mock-up

So what's next for the Aura team? This week we will be adding corner braces to our triangular panels and fabricating our sheet steel gusset plates for the panel seam connections. We will also be doing a mock-up of the final panel configuration in 16' sections. We will then mark all the cable lengths, conduit members and panel placements using an alpha-numeric system to ensure a speedy on site assembly.