Ace of Base

Exciting news for Discrete Curiosity: Progress has changed from fabricating hundreds of pieces to assembling them back into larger components. We are happy (and admittedly a little relieved) that our 5-sided polygonal base has come together so smoothly. All of the final measurements are within our established tolerances. The faces of the base provide the foundation for the frame and the minimal surfaces above it, so we took our time troubleshooting and experimenting to find the simplest solution to all of the connections. As in the last post, the non-regular angles between the faces required some tricky tinkering with common tools that generally do not have much capacity for acute angles.

Discrete Curiosity Cabinet Base
Discrete Curiosity Cabinet Base

In the images below to the left,  you can see the beginnings of the connection to the aluminum channels.  On the right, you can see our continuation of the surface patterns between faces.

In the spirit of Valentines day, we wanted to briefly mention an aspect of the design of this cabinet that we love, and what drives us to go to these great lengths to pursue difficult and seemingly arbitrary geometries.  We love studying forms and the logic that is inherent to them, for instance why a cone is more buildable that a sphere, or why a four-side minimal surface is easier to resolve than a 5+ sided one.  The logic that appears in these forms might have been explicitly introduced to people in a calculus class, but they are inherently understood by craftsman around the world that work in fields of construction, pottery, and textiles.

Discrete Curiosity Base: Process Images
Discrete Curiosity Base: Process Images

We like to understand the logic to these shapes, tease out the expression of it in their physical forms, and then begin to play with them.  In the same way a musician might diagram a piece of music to understand its composition and then compose a variation, we like to study a form, and then play with its physical manifestation.  Our interest is in experience and perception of form in space.

We have worked hard to design and then construct a piece that engages the human scale and and perspective. We hope that the continuity between the pattern, folds, and breaks take on a life of their own as they are experiences in space. The movement of a person around the cabinet is as important to the experience as the form itself.  As the viewer moves, the perception of the lines evolve, drawing a person closer and encouraging them to explore all the sides and their contents. We are purposefully curating the three sides as discrete thoughts on a theme that turn the corner into one another but hang together on a common frame.  Each side is its own exploration, but on the whole, they explore the dynamics of continuity and division.


Our background in architecture if of course no coincidence.  The tools architects use to describe their ideas (projection, perspectives, sections, etc) are mostly tools we borrowed from disciplines of discovery.  The way in which a cartographer would triangulate a position from a view angle  is the same process (only backward) that an architect would triangulate a hand-drawn perspective of a place he / she imagines.  While there is little hand-drawn anything now in the field of architecture, evidence of the lineage still remains.

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