[design] Nanoshadow Boxing

John Young wrote:

Bucky's marvelous tensegrity structures of cables and rods came out
of that industrial tradition, and make the leaden-footed post and beam
look clumsy. Still the clumsy over-designed structures serve the needs
of safety much better than the lightweight industrial profit centers.


Linus Pauling's The Architecture of Molecules brings a
lot of the macro- and micro- structures into relation,
by way of pastel illustrations and chemical description.
amazing to see illustrated the Tetrahedron in the atomic
realm, in the methane molecule. modeled here using Zome:

tetrahedron (buckminster fuller) using Zome...// 27kkb
ball and stick (ball= nucleus, stick= electron bonds)
http://www.electronetwork.org/temp/zometetra1b.jpg

with electron density clouds represented // 34kb
http://www.electronetwork.org/temp/zometetra2.jpg

Pauling's work clearly shows a connection between pure
geometrical forms (Plato's five solids/regular polyhedra)
and the organization of the material and physical world.
it is uncanny to see Buckminster's structure in miniature,
the structure nested in a cubic volume's opposing corners.

for cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, and the
pentagonal dodecahedron such forms are the result of a
constellation of charges, symmetries, and the electronic
structural bonds which hold things everything together.

here are some sample images and text from the book itself:

32. the icosahedron // 66kb
http://www.electronetwork.org/temp/icosahedron.jpg

35. the decaborane molecule // 50kb
http://www.electronetwork.org/temp/decaborane.jpg

48. the molecular architecture of silk // 120kb
http://www.electronetwork.org/temp/silk.jpg

prior to exploring this aspect of electromagnetism, I would
tend to consider 'great claims' about new materials with a
suspicion similar to the role DNA has played in architecture
as a metaphor yet vacant some more literal connection to the
structure of things. the basic geometries in Pauling's book
give a different aspect to this same approach, and clarity
to the connection between the microscopic and macroscopic
realms and their relevance to one another. Graphite, for
instance, is described molecularly and gives good reason
for its ability to be shaved off, while sharing a very
similar composition to diamond, which is very opposite
in its strength. this leads to a way to understand the
aspects of material science, things that have before now
revolutionized architecture through the use of steel in
construction, for instance, its qualities are alchemical
and its strength related to how the electrons (electronic
structure, as described by Pauling) are packed together.

in today's steel, while other qualities can be found or
snooped out even, such as radio signals or electricity
sent through these structures, they are not designed or
made for these events as much as have properties that
are related. this is my assessment, non-expert, though
i-beams and h-beams are not used for broadband or for
power transmission probably because they are not good
at it. their molecular architecture is great for the
opposing of gravitation force, though, a real triumph
of height and distance and strength, though 'speed' of
these same metals seems to be of another era somehow.
the material scientists who create new metals or other
materials must have extensive knowledge of the entire
range of what a material can exceptionally and cannot
do well at all, and it would be interesting to learn
more about such things and have it be more common-
knowledge: a periodic table of building materials,
including macro- and micro- molecular construction.

once having some sense of the atomic structure and a
basic idea of organization at this scale, one of many
scales, it becomes easier to see why a new structural
realm of nanotechnology is gaining such wide praise
in terms of its promise to transform the world today.
that molecular architecture transforms, it would seem,
from one of relatively 'dumb' properties to ones that
are designed to exploit the structures, and recently
in the news (www.electronetwork.org/list newsletter)
it was said that Carbon Nanotubes are '10 to 100 times
as strong as steel' by weight,' and have much superior
electronic capabilities, so that things like e-power
cabling would be much more efficient in moving energy
along the lines. if these new 'fibers' and materials
make it into architecture, what will be their result?

introduction to the geometry and energetics of carbon nanostructures
http://www.phys.psu.edu/~crespi/docs/FLchapter.pdf

like rebar and pre-cast concrete construction, or
even the use of structural steel, the new composite
materials or nano-metals may usher in a new era of
possibilities in design, where a lightweight joist
may be as strong as solid rolled-steel used today.
maybe bolts and nuts will gain exponential strength
and a different type of welding (tying in electronic
structures of difference metals) will also happen.
this is where the realm of the very small, and its
structure and geometry have a direct relationship
to architecture, design, and structural engineering
though lastly it will be seen in aesthetics as the
'design' is already happening beyond human eyesight,
though it can be considered, read about, and studied
now, imagined, and as it evolves, its constructions
can be shaped and shape the new environments built.
to me it is an amazing event that seems otherworldly
to architecture as it exists, as it is conceived, by
a too narrow view of the field and its levels and
range of inquiry and investigation. why are such
advances happening outside the realm of architecture
when they are entirely about architecture, only to
be limited by imagination of where it begins & ends.

this is core to the field, and this is a different
view than the end-use pragmatism applied within the
aestheticization of the real-estate speculation, and
a surreal electromagnetic state now under anesthesia.

it is reason enough to wonder about the potential for
an expanded role, beyond today's 'architectural design'
mind-box, for architectural research and development in
fields such as material science, energy, informatics,
to integrate these in a holistic model of architecture
so that the R&D can permeate the public field and move
'design' into an integrative not segregative practice,
and experience of the designed environments. it is not
just nanotubing, either, of course. architecture is one
mode of inquiry which is capable of empirically relating
many diverse modes in a shared collaborative direction.
it is so fundamental, literally, the fundament, that it
is hard to imagine how it is non-existent in the field
which is supposedly its cultural and conceptual guide.
the blockage, besides mental, appears to be a formatted
view (dogma) of what architecture is, and its purpose.
the modernist worldview is holding these advances back,
as the material truth of gravity is seen as the supreme.
(...which is probably itself an electromagnetic event.)


brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
architecture, education, electromagnetism
http://www.electronetwork.org/bc/


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