In the summer of 2009 Michael Meredith of MOS Architecture approached me to develop an application that would allow him to explore the permutations of a certain type of structure he was prototyping on paper: folded circles that create elevated surfaces.
Michael refers to the structures as “pads,” “lillies,” or “cells.” Each cell may have two or more “legs.” A leg is creating by folding. If the “length” of the leg passes the “floor height,” the leg is folded again, creating a surface that rests on the floor..
The applet begins with a single unfolded cell. Dragging the edge of a cell towards its center begins a fold. Right clicking and dragging an edge attaches a new cell. The applet is aware of an invisible “floor,” that causes legs to fold twice past a certain length.
You’ll see legs turning blue once they’re folded twice. Right clicking an “edge” causes that leg to become fixed, so that it is always perfectly tangent to the ground, even if the floor height changes in the future. This application was built with Processing
“The first thing to know about MOS is that we are a collective of designers, architects, thinkers, and state-of-the-art weirdoes. The two principals, Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, teach at Harvard University and Yale University while maintaining the practice. We work all over the world, designing private houses, institutional buildings, urban strategies, research, books, installations, and other projects that are less easily categorized.”
Floor height & Fixed LegsA variable
floorHeightdetermines the point at which legs fold. Low floor heights make for larger surfaces, while high floor heights make for longer legs. As the
floorHeightvalue changes, the arcs that make “yellow” legs stay tangent to the ground.