Graceful forms made from tesselated flat panels

Architect Skylar Tibbits has been working out a scheme for "flat panel tessellation derived from complex surfaces" -- big graceful structures made from snap-together panels. The results are documented in loving detail on the Tesselion blog.

Tesselion is a project by Skylar Tibbits which proposes a system of flat panel tessellation derived from complex surfaces to enable ease in constructability and a directly evolved spatial environment through lighting, programmatic adaptation and structural simplicity. Each panel’s uniqueness is afforded by the efficiency of digital fabrication while coded parametric relationships allow an emergent structural efficiency, from a single panel to the complete adaptability of the surface as a whole.
Link (via Beyond the Beyond)


  1. Cool stuff, but why does artists and architects insist on writing such convoluted descriptions? Reading that quote was about a enjoyable as removing hair and matter from the showerdrain. Ugh. And I LOVE architecture!

  2. I’ll side with @2 — for some reason, designers and architects in particular seem obsessed with nearly meaningless verbiage wrapped around their designs to “make a statement”. It seems as though many spend more time on the “statement” than the design. Shouldn’t the design itself (and a very cool one in this case) make a statement on its own?

  3. I’m a professional applied linguist.

    That description is known in the field as “bullshit.”

  4. “Coded parametric relationships” – AKA numbers on each panel.

    “Programmatic adaptation” – faceting of a complex surface into polygons in a given CAD program. Not hard.

    I hate the term “digital fabrication”. Call it what it is – in this case either laser, water or plasma cut steel panels. Work “CNC” in there somewhere if you have to but the term digital (for me at least) gives rise to connotations of cheap digital watches.

    As a designer I used to wonder if I would ever end up talking like this, but I’m nearing the end of my degree with no signs of a bad case of verbal diarhhoea and I’m very relieved.

  5. I forgot to say – each facet is a unique shape (if you couldn’t tell from the description)- I would be far more impressed if this was done with a single shape and a clever fixing/bending/fabrication technique.

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