Each component of the exhibition display system was custom designed and fabricated. A digitally-fabricated plywood armature system was developed and optimized for efficient nesting, fabrication, and shipping in order to minimize material waste. Rear-illuminated acrylic panels were vacuum formed over CNC-milled wood patterns in close collaboration with a local plastics manufacturer. All connections and joints were facilitated by custom designed and laser cut aluminum clips. Digital files were exchanged with local limestone industry partners for the 3 axis CNC production of stone bases. Full-scale mock-ups facilitated the choreography of the vacuum forming process and connection details.The Manufacturing Material Effects Exhibition, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, framed and displayed the design and material production work of leading international designers and fabricators who participated in the Manufacturing Material Effect international symposium, and subsequent book release from Routledge Press. Designed, fabricated, and installed by a design studio working closely with industry partners from local wood, aluminum, limestone, and plastics industries, the exhibition closely examined collaborative design and production practices from around the globe based on innovative and experimental processes of material exploration.
In order to test lighting effects, the studio deployed a variety of methods—both, computationally, and physically. Entire armature bays were fabricated at full-scale with lighting and wiring in order to optimize the lighting design. Simultaneously, the studio simulated the overall lighting effects using photometric light renderings and false-color illuminance studies. This coupling of digital and physical outputs allowed students to understand the successes and failures in both the design and analysis techniques.
The exhibition project was assembled and installed by the student team, using a coding system for identifying each unique component. Additionally, an interactive, touch-screen informational kiosk was developed and installed by Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts. The design process was richly enhanced by actively engaging and participating with the manufacturing process, along with the vetting of design schemes by industry partners, which led to a design process that was truly informed by production, cost, and material considerations, and fostering an innovative collaborative relationship between design and making.
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts
Arrowhead Plastic Engineering
Indiana Limestone Fabricators
Mid-West Metal Products
Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association
David R. Webb Company
Ball State Digital Corps