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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Project Hive_Work in progress report

Project Hive_Work in progress report

Hive is a kinetic sculpture which its concept is “bee hive flashing” swarm intelligence.There are certain types of honeybee that create mesmerising waves when they feel threatened . When a wasp or some other large insect gets too close to the hive, the honeybees work together to disorient the enemy. This wave effect makes it difficult for an insect to single out and attack an individual honeybee.

Bee Hive Flashing
Visual Script written in Grasshopper

We tried to copy this diffusion pattern through a superficial visual script written in Rhino and Grasshopper on a flat surface. This script breaks a surface into hexagons and then calculates the distance between them and one or two point and then decides what panels move based on their distances. Here are the preliminary results:

1 and 2 start points

One of the main questions of the project was: How is it possible to simulate patterns and algorithms found in nature both in computer simulation and physical prototypes?

In field of computer simulation, the results are satisfying for now and now it is the time to bring this swarm behaviour into reality. So we designed and tested different mechanisms in order to see which one gives us better result. Then the first prototype was designed in order to see if computer codes and physical model work cooperatively together.

The movements of pedals ware not satisfactory and we were looking for a way to move them softer. So we used hinge technique in order to bend our stiff material.

In the meantime, project was leading us to expand hexagons around none-flat NURBS surfaces. Sphere was chosen because it has the most curve surface amongst basic geometries. Shapes were generated around a hemisphere in order to prevent our second prototype from becoming both complex in modelling and expensive in cost. Although, it is not built yet due to school closure during Covid-19 virus. We continue to progress our project in computer simulation and will build it once school re-opens in the near future.

Second Prototype

What we are looking for in the near future? Human can be considered as a wasp and people who tries to become near to the hive will cause the model to react and generate diffusion behaviour. Here is the video of the process so far and what will happen in the future:

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