Simplicity: Transformable Screen for the Scenic Acts of Ambiances Tomorrow
“Simplicity” was conceived as a minimum act of architecture; a pop-up surface that produces an atmosphere. In the end of September 2016 the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly hosted Ambiances Tomorrow ; the 3rd International Congress of Ambiances network. To enhance this event, professors Sophia Vyzoviti and Nicolas Remy, together with a group of architecture students undertook the production of a temporary installation.
Located in the open air amphitheater of the School of Engineering it provided a relaxing counterpoint to the intense scientific proceedings of the interior. “Simplicity” was designed as visual and acoustic background to the evening events of the congress; Dialogues and Sound Works. The Dialogues included presentations on the performative modulation for public ambiances and debates on the future of ambiances envisioned by young researchers. Sound Works was a curated concert of recorded projects featuring works from the experimental electro music scène in Greece.
“Simplicity” is a lightweight transformable structure in the genealogy of architectural screens. It integrates characteristics of the Japanese shoji screens with digital fabrication techniques employing folding. Composed of a pliable wooden grid it changed shape to signify the events that evolved during the Congress. Three distinct elements later combined into one structural entity. Its first configuration consists of a triangular pylon, a cylindrical walk-in hut and an inclined pyramid. The cylindrical hut has the structural identity of traditional yurts; but also it unfolds into a long flat screen.
The grid is dressed in folded leaves. These were generated by the use of origami techniques leading to original three-dimensional patterns. Their intrinsic geometry produces an ambient light and shadow play that changes through the day. Their fine laser-cut lining enhances the installations’ atmosphere with haptic detailing. During the night they become animated by projections and lighting. The environmental décor produced by the folded leaves of “Simplicity” became the film setting for a series of interviews by the International Ambiances Network.
The design logic of “Simplicity” is based on prior research on Folding Architecture by Sophia Vyzoviti. The hypothesis in this case is the invention of an integrated, pliable, kinetic system that could transform smoothly from one state to another without having to be dismantled. In “Simplicity” structure and cladding – the wooden diagrid and the paper leaves- manifest the same kinetic behavior. Both contract and expand between 30 and 60 degrees angle. The production took place in the Digital Fabrication Laboratory and the Wood and Metal Shop of the Department of Architecture. A large number of volunteers assisted the construction process enhancing the production of the installation with a festive ambiance.
Text by the team
0,1m3 pine wood sliced into 550 meters of 2by1cm rods
43m2 of ‘never tear’ paper cut into 540 folded leafs (0.6×0.9 x80)
1000Pins, 1000 bolts, 1000 screws, 2000 flat washers, 10 iron rods
Total Weight 15kg
Facts & Credits:
Location: Volos, Greece
Design and Realization: Folding Architecture Laboratory, Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly: Dr. Sophia Vyzoviti, Prof. Dipl.-Ing., M.S. Architect (faculty) with Alexandra Giannakoula, Maria Karayianni, Evangelia Kiosse, Krystallia Klonara and Dimitris Lazaridis
Structural consultant: Dr. Nicolas Remy, Prof. M.S.
Assembly Volunteers: Argyris Balatsoukas , Christina Christia, Thodoris Chalvatzoglou, Nancy Karagianni, Katerina Lioka, Stella Lioka, Konstantina Rantzou, Vaggelis Agatsas, Evi Vrouza
Photography and Post Production: Alexandra Giannakoula, Evangelia Kiosse, Vaitsa Makresia, Nancy Karagianni, Joana Sotiriou
Supported by Ambiances Tomorrow International Congress
Area: 60 sqm
Project Year: 2016
Location: School of Engineering, University of Thessaly, Pedio Areos, Volos, Greece
editors_Vaggelis Agatsas, Evi Vrouza
drone footage_ Thanasis Bindakas
Cover photo: Simplicity last night © Sophia Vyzoviti