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Light Modulator Collaboration with Lazerian Studio Menu Next
Light Modulator. 2008.Birch plywood, wingnuts, bolts. 140x80.
A collaboration between Liam Hopkins and Richard Sweeney, the project which resulted in the Light Modulator, Mensa table and Torus table was based upon a study of form in 1.5mm and 3mm birch plywood. The principle behind the working method was to discover means of creating objects through the use of a CNC routing machine, with a cutting bed size of 750mm. Fabrication was limited to the use of bolts.
The use of hands-on modelling as a means of testing and developing form was employed from the outset. By manipulating plywood directly, the behavior of the material was used to develop shapes and structures. Factors such as grain direction, flexibility and strength were integral to the resolution of final constructions. Material properties informed the development of computer models, which were used to create physical, paper maquettes before construction in plywood. By maintaining a material-led approach, the computer can be more effectively utilised in the creation of form, as an awareness of physical constraints has already been established. Embracing both hand-craft and machine process allows the exploration of ideas, which utilise the unique aspects of both approaches.