School of Civil Engineering

Mentor: Joe Gattas

Students: Jessica Yim, Roya Khodabandehloo, Pratvi Patel, Christina Nguyen

Project Brief

This Icarus project is formed to encourage artistically-inclined civil engineering students to experiment with the extents of origami engineering. Places in the this project are offered to students with an interest in art, design and realms beyond the main-stream pathways offered in engineering. Specifically, project members are encouraged to explore and research the subject of Curved-Crease Origami, a largely interesting but complicated family of geometry that will be challenging for undergraduates to engage with and apply. It is hoped that developments will lead to the design, digital modelling and rapid-prototyping manufacture of scale models. Limitations in this process will be present in the accessible materials, available machinery and known technology, which is to be further explored by students. The aim is to develop an aesthetic, affordable and readily accessible method of manufacturing curved-crease models.

The ultimate goal will be for students to experience the complete design-to-finished-product process through sufficient development of a technique to be implemented in the manufacture of a sculptural façade, proposed as a semi-permanent display within the School of Civil Engineering, as a tangible exemplification of the technological advancements of the School.

Project Completion Report

Experimental and research aspects of the project were equally challenging and rewarding. As a result, most obstacles were satisfactorily overcome and the project exceeded all expectations. Through many failed attempts and courses of trial and error, a technique that met the aesthetic, affordable and rapid manufacturing requirements was developed. Further advancements led to artistic variations of the initial design, to create a cohesive collection.

During the later stages of the project, after seeing initial designs, the group was approached by Queensland Emerging Architect of the Year 2015, Kim Baber, with an invitation to join a group of fifth-year Masters of Architecture students to display the work in their exhibition, ‘Fish Lane Follies’. Students were able to collaborate with curators, Baber Studio, and lighting specialists, Blumen Watts, to transform their works into true public art. The exhibition was highly successful and brought upon subsequent requests for the collection to be displayed at other public events. These included: Park(ing) Day 2015 with KURB (Keeping Urban Renewal Bold) and Place Design Group; and the UQ School of Architecture Ball 2015: SPACE.

The major sculptural piece of the collection is now (semi) permanently displayed, as a lasting legacy, at the office of the UQ School of Civil Engineering, following approval from the Head of School, Prof. Jose Torero.

'Speakerbox' modules

KURB Installation with façade and speakerbox modules

Project members Pratvi and Roya in front of the 'speakerbox' modules.

Project member Jess Yim in front of the 'barnacle' lanterns.