tex-fab REPEAT Competition

Architecture is defined by connections: the method and the material by which an assembly is developed to create enclosure. This process results in an active performative connection, one that is specific and definitive producing an architecture that can be built through iterative means. REPEAT asks that you look first at the connection and then – through repetition – define the whole. In brief, by evaluating the design process from this perspective, what emerges?

REPEAT as an international competition is established to foster the creative spirit in the burgeoning field of digital fabrication. We encourage the generation of cutting edge design proposals for a structure of your design with the only caveats being it be generated and conceived digitally, incorporate repetitive elements, be optimized for relocation and transportation and be produced through fabrication technologies available within Houston, Texas.

Within cities with atomized light manufacturing capabilities like Houston, there exists a potential for designers to engage fabrication via direct communication with machines. A culture of making that has its foot in the energy and aerospace industries is ready to be appropriated and applied to architecture. The competition challenges the current exploration of parametric design to engage this latent field of production to explore a meaningful synthesis based on repetition and variation.

The evaluation of all the REPEAT proposals will focus on the cohesion of the design concept to digital fabrication techniques and methods of assembly. Factoring in these two foundational requirements for the competition, the entrant is encouraged to propose a solution that is both formally challenging in the mechanics and aesthetics of the connections, but also speak to the issues of use and performance.



After building the wall in rhino, I decided to rebuild it in grasshopper to introduce variations in the size of each module, as well as the angle at which two modules meet.

This definition uses two box morphs with one bounding box. This allows me to create variation while maintaining the connection between each panel.

This surface is created with the grasshopper definition. The panels are manipulated by moving the control points of each lofted curve.

Once the box morph is applied, the panels are created based on the wall surface.

I decided to make a mock-up of the wall to test the connection.  I used the Squish plugin for Rhino to lay out each panel. I then used the RhinoNest plugin to arrange the panels in the most efficient way possible onto the cut sheets. 220 panels were arranged onto 4 18 x 32 sheets for the laser cutter.

Objects in sheet 1: 32 Area: 59.32% Left over: 40.68%

Objects in sheet 2: 44 Area: 60.96% Left over: 39.04%

Objects in sheet 3: 66 Area: 60.73% Left over: 39.27%

Objects in sheet 4: 77 Area: 53.47% Left over: 46.53%

After I built the model, i discovered that the form naturally wants to curve inward and can support itself.

I tweaked the grasshopper definition by adding in an attractor point to control the width of the panels along the surface

I worked with Custom Metal Works Inc in Baton Rouge to have the mockup laser cut out of .050 aluminum to test how the form would work with a more rigid material. In doing this, i can prove on the presentation board that this idea actually can be built and is not just a pretty render.




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