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Pop Up Drop Off - Inflatable Hypar Structure

2d / 3d Transformation - Welded planar patterns become inflatable 3d structures of design activism

The project is based on a design by a team of Pratt undergraduate architecture students developed in an Advanced Design Studio led by Duks Koschitz and Robert Brackett in the Fall of 2021.

The project advocates for design activism and raised awareness of film plastic waste in New York, using repurposed materials to make a lightweight inflatable structure.

The structure served as an easily deployable drop-off location for film plastic recycling. The colorful patchwork of recycled material drew attention to how much film plastic we use in our daily lives. The project stands as a physical visualization of film plastic waste and its environmental issues, such as plastic bag recycling. The Pop-Up’s double saddle shape - created by a pattern consisting of concentric square tubes - served a dual function: the concave spaces act as collection areas, while the convex spaces form the roof of the structure.

Pop Up/Drop Off not only collects plastic to be recycled, but also encourages community members to participate in film plastic recycling and seeks out permanent public drop-offs for future recycling. Currently, in-store drop-offs are the only way film plastic can be recycled in New York State!

Pop Up/Drop Off will be re-used and installed in other neighborhoods to promote better recycling habits for film plastic.

Designed and fabricated by

Duks Koschitz, d.r.a. Lab, director

Robert Lee Brackett III, d.r.a. Lab, co-director

Matthew Muller, Pneuhaus, partner

August Lehrecke, Pneuhaus, partner

Levi Bedall, Pneuhaus, partner

Staveley Kuzmanov, Pneuhaus, fabricator

Initial design research by Pratt Institute's undergraduate architecture students

Hannah Bacsoka, research assistant

Defne Çeltikçi

Ileana Hernandez

Meera Ilahi

The Pop Up Drop Off is an inflatable structure made in collaboration with Pneuhaus. The research question is related to the automatic 3D forming of flat assemblies that are welded together in 2D.

Given the method of welding together two planar patterned sheets of plastic, which 3D configurations can be achieved that are similar to a hyperbolic paraboloid?

The geometry and design of stiff inflatable shells

The origami pattern of concentric pleats resulting in a hyperbolic paraboloid shape, a hypar, translates from paperfolding into inflatable structures. The configuration made of concentric shapes forms into a hypar when inflated. The corollary between paperfolding and inflatables is not obvious, but recent work on this type of 2D to 3D transformation has shown how planar patterned sheets can be used to make stiff inflatable shells (Siéfert, E. et al. 2020). Students performed exhaustive studies in studios and seminars on how the shapes could be modified and organized to discover the maximal 3D deformation of the 2D welded pattern. Subtle changes in the planar pattern with concentric squares have different results in terms of wrinkling and 3D transformation as seen below.

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