dFAB

DIGITAL FABRICATION LAB

An Experiment

A Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture resource in which students  learn about traditional processes of computer-controlled manufacturing equipment. Creating a platform in which students may collaborate, experiment, or research non-traditional manufacturing & prototyping processes.

 

Finding ways to encourage & promote innovative thinking involves the elimination of technological barriers that seemingly prevent such activity. Furthermore, establishing a community accustomed to collaboration, in a system which requires one-on-one interaction with a machine.

PROBLEM

How can we eliminate technological barriers in a facility that specializes in technology?

SAFETY

The ability to SAFELY learn, operate & experiment with specialized CNC equipment requires a full understanding of all possible outcomes and how to address or avoid the inherent danger when necessary. Fear is a barrier; however, awareness can set your free.

ACCESSIBILITY

Ease-of-access to instruction or resources are a constant problem in these spaces. Commonly, management and staff are the cause; enforcing the concept of "if they want to learn it, they'll find a way", isn't inviting or comforting.

fINDING INFO, LEARNING EQUIPMENT, ACCESSING EQUIPMENT

Address learning process and how it integrates in the curriculum.

Next cell: Address Community & Culture. How a facility built by the community, affects the community.

FAMILIARITY

The ability to comfortably learn and operate under any condition, can be daunting and anxiety-ridden when a user is unfamiliar of his or her surroundings. Remembering equipment & facility policies, procedures, locations & staff while learning out-dated equipment interfaces & software contribute to this issue. 

ENVIRONMENT

Traditional fabrication, production and/or manufacturing facilities are cold, rigid, and uninviting. Ceilings with exposed I-beams and floors lined with yellow-tape, indicate to any visitor, that the space serves a specific function: dangerous activities that require your full attention! Studies have shown, the ability to learn and retain information works best in this order: 

1. Semi-Traumatic Experiences.

2. In a comfortable, relaxed state.

3. In an overly anxious state (High-Function Anxiety)

3. Traumatic Experiences

4. In an overly anxious state (Low-Function Anxiety)

In short, retaining information is easy if you subject your users to trauma inducing scenarios- but logically, creating an environment that supports comfortability seems most rewarding, safe & legal.

CRITERIA

ACCESS

Find ways to make the space & resources easily accessible.

COLLABORATE

Encourage information sharing, group work and experimentation.

FEELING

Promote comfortability and familiarity with facilities, people & equipment.

SOLUTION & PRODUCT

Thoughtful facility layout & planning coupled with community involvement in curriculum, staffing & facility decisions.

EXPERIENCE No. 2

A series of arching elements through a zig-zagging hallway inspire curiosity

ZONING

Welcome

Creating "zones" for each equipment process, establishes boundaries. Creating a designated space, partitioned by full-height walls, that is dedicated to the CNC Router, will be viewed as such: a space dedicated for the OPERATION of the machine- not for viewing. The operator will only stay in the room if necessary; so long as they can view the equipment in continued operation from a safer vantage point.

Placing equipment in areas that are not partitioned by full height walls and locking doors, sends a different message; indicating the process is more stable and safer.

REMINDERS

sUBTEXT

Safety concerns are addressed when an operator learns how to use the equipment. All hazards should be pointed out and addressed. Equipment policies document requirements each user must accept to ensure safe, steady and continued use of shared equipment. Equipment procedures detail repetitive steps or actions that must be completed every operation. Regardless, safety hazards should be flagged with Equipment Policy & Procedure documented as large signage within the space, and available in digital or paper copies.

Address these remaining items:

Limited computers leads to collaboration and shared info

Access Systems for trained users

Less industrial, more comfortable

course/curriculum integration

Facility built by community, for the community.

Student board controls policy

Staffed by students

Documentation of Safety protocol, Equipment interfaces, tutorials, etc. all available online

PORTAL

Curiosity

Beyond the check-in desk, visitors continue through a hallway toward the Concourse. The zig-zagging pathway inspires curiosity: traditional hallways offer a direct line of sight from entry-to-exit; a less exciting experience. The walls within this space span back and forth, eliminating direct sight-lines. This almost forces the User to focus on the immediate experience within the hallway. Subtle, indirect "peek" views of what exists beyond the hallway create a sense of excitement while passing through.

PORTAL

Experience

Several arching elements span from one wall to the other, creating a cave-like feeling. The arches, clad with walnut veneer, include an acrylic edge-detail with flexible LED strips sitting just below. An opening onto the bare wall  was created as a projection surface; unifying the experience for events, showing relevant company logo's and/or branding.

A motion sensor between each arch allows for motion-programming of each LED strip. As a visitor walks through, each arch may be programmed in a variety of methods to create a more personal experience.

An entirely separate effort/team, coordination of special lighting throughout several spaces simulates light shining through a forest canopy. More fully stimulating and fusing several experiences and senses into one.

Design Lead: Steve Gurysh & Sam Rashid

Technical Integration Team: Jordan Parsons, Remy Porter

Production Team: Brian Shope, Adam Haller, Ethan Gladding, Dave Mysilwiec, Ryan Schrmack, Zora Gilbert

EXPERIENCE No. 3

Starry ceilings open into a Redwood Tree Grove

CONSTELLATION

Starlight

The concourse appears in the distance, as visitors begin walking through the Portal. Custom-printed circuit boards with programmable LED's line the ceiling in a spontaneous pattern. These lights can be programmed for insane light shows, but primarily provide a subtle-glimmer that represents starlight.

CAMPFIRE

Invitation

Entering the concourse, a group of trees surround a digital campfire. The campfire seamlessly combines motion graphics across multiple tablet and phone screens. By default, the screens show a campfire, but the graphics can be customized and may change depending on what is asked of the Google Home Assistant hidden at the base. Programmable LED's shine through the resin-filled cracks of (6) logs that surround the digital campfire- inviting visitors to sit, and tell stories.

GROVE TREES

Awesome

Surrounding the campfire, (3) Redwood Trees grow from the floor to the ceiling. The trees are created with an array of "tree-fins", with programmable LED's running on the interior of each fin. Each tree is unique, ranging in diameter (4', 5', 6'), profile, & fin count (5, 7, 8). From a distance, visitors preview the roots and base of the trees. However, as they approach the campfire, the ceiling opens and provides a full view of each tree, stretching 30' onto the ceiling. Viewing from the outside of the building, one can also see this "full-preview" through the wall of glass on the north wall of the concourse. Second-floor residents also enjoy a wonderful view, as the surrounding glass-walls provide a view from above.

GROVE CANOPY

Omnidirection

It's only natural, that visitors eyes track the trees progress from the floor, up, and into the ceiling. The Grove ceiling carries the flow of each tree-fin across the ceiling, with a voronoi canopy stretching across each void. Capturing the relateable, omnidirectional visual-experience of wandering through the Redwood forests.

GROVE BRANCHES

Sensory

Staggered throughout, tree branches counterbalance between each  tree-fin. The (47) fully adjustable branches range in size and length, stretch incredibly close to their surrounding glass and drywall; giving the impression that the trees are not bound by their environment. The branches are seated into structural steel braces that prevent lateral movement; but, also provide a stable platform for servo motors. These motors, drive the branches up-and-down, as if the wind is streaming through the trees. Although the movement is not directly created by wind, it can be directly affected by wind streaming through each of the 10' tall garage doors that open to the outside, on each side of the concourse.

CONSTELLATION LIGHTS

Design Lead: Jordan Parsons

Technical Integration: Jordan Parsons, Remy Porter

CAMPFIRE

Technical Integration: Jordan Parsons, Remy Porter

Production Team: P. Zach Ali, Jordan Parsons, Carl Bajandas, Brian Shope, Steve Gurysh, Toby Fraley

GROVE TREES

Design Lead: P. Zach Ali

Technical Integration: Jordan Parsons, Remy Porter, Greg King

Design & Production Team: Steve Gurysh, Greg King, Carl Bajandas, Brian Shope, Adam Haller, Ethan Gladding, Ryan Schrmack, Zora Gilbert, Brian McDonald, Toby Fraley, David Mysliwiec

GROVE CEILING

Design Lead: Carl Bajandas, P. Zach Ali

Design & Production Team: Greg King, Carl Bajandas, Brian Shope, Adam Haller, Ethan Gladding, Ryan Schrmack, Zora Gilbert, Brian McDonald, Craig Scheuer, Toby Fraley, David Mysliwiec

GROVE BRANCHES

Design Lead: Ethan Gladding, P. Zach Ali

Technical Integration: Jordan Parsons, Remy Porter, Greg King

GALLERY

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2018-06-04 09.25.27

P. ZACH ALI

412 913 1951

©2017 BY P. ZACH ALI