A collection of inquiries in
to understand the world
as an assembly of:





Fifteen Essays

Constructive Collisions

Boston, MA

Studio J. Jih, Summer Research

Collaborator: Inez Ow
Research Supervisor: J. Jih

What happens when plastic geometry meets material reality?

Fidelity of digital space and real space are often misaligned. In practice, these discrepancies lead to project setbacks and design failures. Constructive Collisions is a set of fifteen studies, exploring the productive friction between infinitely precise geometry, and real physical and spatial constraints of material and joinery tolerances.

Detail View: Spiral Chainlink applied to cylidnric surfaces.

Premise Diagram: Tectonic System X Surface Geometry
The research premise begins with a generative design matrix. Three typical families of tectonic systems are selected: Membranes (monolithic continuous surfaces), Plates (discrete surfaces), and Sticks (linear members). Five typical families of surfaces are selected, Ruled, Toroidal, Spherical, Conic, and Cylindric. For each surface geometry, a specific instance is selected as a control variable (ex: the Conoid as an instance of ruled surface). Over the course of two months, we designed and prototyped parametric schemes for each square in the matrix.
Each physical study fits within a bounding box of approximately 8” x 8” x 8”. Through these investigations, we realize that there is an inextricable link between the labor of design and the labor of execution. The architect has agency to take a stance with their design decision-making. They can select more harmonious resolutions of geometry and material to ease the difficulties of construction, or lean into the discord to produce new generative outcomes from standard systems.

Fifteen Essays
[Membrane X Conoid]
Pleated stretch fabric meets ruled surface.
[Plate X Conoid]

Standing seam brass meets ruled surface.
[Stick X Conoid]
Scaffold lashing meets ruled surface.

[Membrane X Cyclide]
Thermoformed PETG meets toroidal surface.
[Plate X Cyclide]
Stainless steel coil meets toroidal surface.
[Stick X Cyclide]
Rattan strip meets toroidal surface.

[Membrane X Reuleaux]
ETFE pillows meet spherical surfaces.
[Plate X Reuleaux]
Split-riveted plastic strips meet spherical surfaces.
[Stick X Reuleaux]
Basswood reciprocal frames meet spherical surfaces.

[Membrane X Sphericon]
Grommeted canvas meets conic surfaces.
[Plate X Sphericon]
Cork shingles meet conic surfaces.
[Stick X Sphericon]
Fiberoptic thatch meets conic surfaces.

[Membrane X Tricylinder]
Spiral chainlink meets cylindric surfaces.
[Plate X Tricylinder]
Puzzle-seam interlocking panels meet cylindric surfaces.
[Stick X Tricylinder]
Wooden louvers meet cylindric surfaces.

Danny Griffin Selected Works 2014-2023