Cluster 1: Regular Tetrahedral Cells – Packing and Stacking

In parallel to the bike-frame 3d-scanning and finding of bike-frame cluster modules we are trying to find global systems of how to aggregate these regular tetrahedral cells into large frameworks that form closed loops at different scale levels.
Dependent on the aggregation system, such tetra-units containing the bike-frame clusters are connected at either at their 4 vertices, 4 faces, or 6 edges. Depending on the packing or stacking logic as well as on the bike-frame orientation within the cell, these large aggregations vary immensely in density due to different amounts of “negative space”: empty space globally not filled by tetrahedral cells, and locally – within one cell – not filled by bike frames.
This post covers the global aspects. An overview of – or rather zoom in on – these formations, with various types of bike-frame cluster modules replacing the tetra-units, can be found here.

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Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design

cover of the book

In the course of our investigations into tetrahedral cell packing we came across Peter Pearce‘s book “Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design” (first published in 1978), in which he meticuously documented his investigations of polygons, which, according to him, form the basic reconfigurable building block for environmental structures that are both, space and energy efficient. It has the potential to become our new bible, at least for a while, as long as we are looking into space filling and cell packing.

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Cluster 1 : BIKE-FRAMES | warm-up analysis

While working with our idealized proto-bike-frame we soon realized that the reality differs quite a bit and most bike-frames out there do not have parallel head and seat tubes. Even though their angles do not match by only a couple of degrees, it renders a large percentage of the cells we intuitively found so far obsolete. When we picture a classical Gaussian bell curve, our (educated) guess* is, that the number of bike frames whose head and seat tubes are colinear falls at least in the area of two standard deviations, if not three…

left image from:–info—geometry
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Cluster 1 : BIKE-FRAMES | warm-up studies

Even though Vienna’s waste management agency, the MA 48, according to their own information, is collecting around 2500 abandoned bicycles within the city borders per year, it has turned out to be unbelievably difficult to get hold of any. Once an object has been officially qualified as “trash” (meaning: ended up in a dumpster – which is quite self-evidently always owned by someone – or simply being touched by official “waste management” personnel it seems) it is near to impossible to declassify it as such, and save it from being burnt, shredded, or melted back into undefined formless matter.

“In fact, it has been shown that over 70 percent of the total waste generated in Germany is held as fractions in technological processes (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2015b). However, the ambitious, technological goals of the circular economy have led to a strong separation between the individual and the institutional level.
The established waste system with its regulations can therefore also be perceived as a closed “waste regime” (Gille, 2007, 9; Reno, 2009, 21).“*

Ritzmann, S. and Birkhäuser Verlag (2018) Wegwerfen, Entwerfen : Müll im Designprozess – Nachhaltigkeit in der Designdidaktik, p. 32. Basel.

But we might have finally found a loop-hole and also possible other sources; so Lukas and I won’t have to go “Bonnie & Clyde” to get us a sample set. And this is our first legally aquired specimen:

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