Mind & Matter


A Parametric “Hive” for Children

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Hexigloo pavilion, Bucharest, Romania. Photo by Bence Pap.


A recent design workshop in Bucharest reveals the extent to which parametric design may provide an engaging platform for generating children’s play structures. One of the installations created in the workshop, entitled "Hexigloo,” is a structure composed of cellular hexicombs of varying aperture sizes. Resembling a wasp nest emerging from the ground like an undulating, deformed land mass, Hexigloo is made of laser-cut cardboard components that are inherently rigid based on their internal geometry and the interlocking of individual parts using snap-ties.

To make Hexigloo, students used VB.NET script to produce nearly 200 elements, which required laser-cutting 2200 linear meters out of 6mm-thick cardboard. Although the installation—which has been especially popular among children—will be short-lived, the same process could be used with longer-lasting materials to create enduring play structures that spark imagination and creativity.



Comments (1 Total)

  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 4:22 PM Thursday, July 14, 2011

    I wonder how the hexigloo would stack up against the hexadome playground!

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.