The Assumption of Associativity

I was checking out some new modeling applications last week and found some tools for repeating elements along a curve.  Cool, I fired it up, and sent a sphere happily rolling and multiplying  along a lovely spline landscape.  Zoom!  Some nice controls to establish spacing.  Zooooom! I grabbed the spline,  moved a node and . . . Nothing. Happened. To. The. Spheres?  They just hovered there, waiting . . . for associativity?  for gravity?  for meaning?  Surely they should move with the spline.  Didn’t they want to be close to their spline?  This spline, that guided them, that taught them how to rise and fall, who steadied them as they rounded their first corner and reigned them in before falling off the precipice of the final node?   What were they thinking?  Ungrateful little punks.

Or, maybe they weren’t.  In being propagated along this transient curve, these elements had found their final resting place.  Like fruit flies, they were born and grew up and mated and died in only the blink of an eye.  I shook the spline just to make sure. No,  I was seeing complete corpses of a whole lifecycle.  I looked, bewildered at these exhausted little orbs, their shiny highlights still full of the glow of youth.  It was heartbreaking, so many of them to have lived for such a short time.   

My hand trembled a bit as I closed.  Save changes to document?  No, no.  Better to forget.


Digging on Shigeru


I’m fascinated by Shigeru Ban’s Nine Bridge Club house.  The projection of the a rectangular grid down into these funnel shapes is such a simple idea on a large scale and totally mind bending in the details.


For my sketch, I made a quarter of one funnel with a revolve, cut it down to a square edge, divided the surface, then turned off the U and V grids, and used intersects projected from Level 1. 




The panel is just a half step pattern with this geometry.


Plenty of flaws in the lattice (intersect based gridlines can get a little funky at the edges, particularly in tangency conditions) but it’s getting there.