Experimental design using sophisticated software today allows designers to create objects of unprecedented complexity. This can result in designs that are nearly impossible to implement in practice. GXN therefore experiments continuously with new digital applications and design principles in order to increase our knowledge in this field.
The project has been an opportunity to experiment with the design of a component with high complexity, and a desire for it to consist of as few individual components as possible. This is of course with the intent of simplifying production and assembly. From the start, the basic shape was defined as an Icosahedron (a 20-sided multi-faceted geometric shape). The process entailed an extended series of experiments, focusing on the design of one facet and then populating that design onto the rest of the icosahedrons. The result is a sculpture of extremely high complexity, consisting of as few individuals elements as possible.
Through the use of scripting in CAD tools, it was possible to achieve rapid development of the design with over 20 iterations within a few hours. The result was an Icosahedron, built up of 120 identical surface elements arranged so that each reflects light in different direction.
Due to the Icosahedrons size, it was designed with an internal structural system onto which surface elements were mounted. The approach to this system was also to reduce the number of components. The result was a structural system consisting of two components: one made from a single, folded piece of cardboard and the second consisting of four parts where two elements are identical.
The Icosahedron project started as a design for a sculptural disco ball for a large discotheque in Copenhagen. The final result is an Icosahedron 92cm in diameter, made of 2mm cardboard and an overall weight less than 10 kg.