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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Sean Hanna

  • On December 7, 2007

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Sean Hanna
is an interesting architect/engineer whose work I’ve been meaning to cover for some time. He was awarded a American Institute of Architects Student Gold Medal and went on to work on algorithmic & parametric design aspects of major construction projects with architects including Foster and Partners and sculptor Antony Gormley. His research is mainly in developing computational methods for dealing with complex systems in architecture, and in structural optimisation and rapid prototyping technology. I’ve selected a couple of his projects to give a sample of his work but check out his website for more details. His work is part of the currently running “Capture & Context” exhibition I posted on early this week.

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Sean role in the BODY / SPACE / FRAME by artist Antony Gormley was in the creation of methods for generating a body formally and constructing a geometry appropriate for and structurally constructing the 25 metre high sculpture. Built out of an open steel lattice in the shape of a crouching figure, it was sited on the end of an 800 metre polder and faced outward from the coast of the Zuiderzee, Holland.

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Optimised cellular structure in collaboration with Timothy Schreiber

Based on an analogy with the highly efficient cellular structure of living wood or bone, which adapts to its environment as it grows, the chair’s interior is comprised of a fine lattice that minimises weight while maximising strength. The design method combines principles of evolution and artificial intelligence to create a material that responds to its environment by growing denser in the areas required to best withstand the external forces applied when the chair is in use.

Sean’s website


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