Core77 Feature

EXOtique, Digital Fabrication in a Week

by Core77 on Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Features

What happens when you give four recent architecture grads one week, $500, and an empty foyer? Recently, Ball State University’s new Institute for Digital Fabrication invited PROJECTiONE (four recent graduates of the College of Architecture and Planning) to produce a site-specific work fabricated in their facilities. With the help of the students from the Institute, PROJECTiONE completed their project in a week—a single day devoted to design, one day of modeling in Rhino/Grasshopper and materials testing, and three shared days of fabrication, assembly and installation.

Their final product, “EXOtique” is a lit, component-based, drop ceiling installed in the west entrance of the campus’ architecture building.


Our intention was to create a simple, hexagonally based, component system that would act as a lit “drop ceiling” for the space. The ceiling height allows for quite a bit of variation in the surface. Everything was accomplished in Grasshopper besides the input surface from Rhino, this includes all unrolling for fab, label, patterning, and connections. Also, there was no hardware used for connections besides the given hangers for the lamp cords. This cut costs and allowed our materials to work to each other’s benefit. Tabs on the styrene lock into the solid acrylic connectors, acting as a rigid sidewall, causing the material to bend within the component as apposed to its edges. This allows all components to meet evenly and create a rigid shell after being connected. The lit hexagonal panels act as the hanger connection point for the piece. A custom acrylic tab was created to hold the socket cable after being thread through the component, which attach to clips tied to the waffle grid.

Watch the video after the jump for a great overview of their process!

EXOtique from PROJECTiONE on Vimeo.

Originally published on Core77