AA Inter 3

Update on the work by tiffanyattali
April 13, 2016, 3:31 pm
Filed under: 2015-16

Hi Ricardo and Nannette,

Here is a link to the latest work : BOOK TS new pages2-small

Everything is very draft and need of course to be annotated. The way the pdf is organize is :

-references and inspirations of project using 3D printing-like technologies

– jute processing : from plant to fiber to thread to fabric

– photos of the TS tests

-sketches on the process and devices

-quick model that helped me to design the structure

– raw renders/section of the project


Project description :

The true line is not between ‘hard’ natural science and ‘soft’ social sciences, but between precise science limited to highly abstract and simple phenomena in the laboratory and inexact science and technology dealing with complex problems in the real world.

—Herbert Simon

My family and I got lucky to move in Dhaka before the biggest waves of refugee arrived. It was in 2004 and at this time we could still find affordable housing in the periphery. As more and more people were arriving and the density was increasing, some corporations decided to create new lands for the city. We first thought that it was a great initiative until we realize the impact that it will have on Dhaka’s ecosystem. The earth filling operation turned a 10 m deep water reservoir into a residential area of the city. The thirty-two billion cubic meters taken from the wetlands are going to have a dramatic repercussion on the next floods. Plus, those new created lands are not responding to the climate refugee migration that Dhaka is facing : they are building gated complex with luxury housings.

My parents had the courage to leave for the unknown, the big city, at the first warnings. Our ancestral village doesn’t exist anymore : it had been completely eaten by the sea. Our arrival in Dhaka was far from being easy. We were first working on the brick factories in the west of the city. We had to completely learn from the basis as we used to own a traditional jute mill. The working conditions were really tough and because of this period I now have serious breathing problems. The dust and smoke were our daily environment as we were living on the sites. As the urbanization expanded in this zone, the brick factories where progressively moving outside the city.  We had to find a solution not to be displaced again outside the city.

With a group of other climate refugee we started a cooperative around jute transformation. A local NGO called YPSA heard about our initiative and as they believed in the potential of the project as a social business, they helped us to constitute all the documents to get micro financing. But the budget allocated was not enough to buy all the machines and equipment. The whole situation got unlocked thanks to a partnership with the FabLab of Dhaka. They believed that our knowledge in traditional craftsmanship combined with their Makers and proposed us to collaborate to create the machinery necessary for the development of those new building techniques.

A massive fishbone like structure is hosting a whole research complex around the jute production. This building is acting as a manifesto to propose a new way of building for Dhaka’s edge, using traditional method and local materials such as jute and mud, combined with new technologies. The main structure is made out of weaved bamboo. It allow the suspension of fabric.

As you walk up the building, you can really feel the gradient of activities from the sound they produce. The lower levels are dedicated to process the jute as a material. The sound is very mechanical, the machine are giving rhythm to the fluxes of materials transforming the fibers into thread and then fabric. As you go up, you find those workshop pods where the materials are processed to turn in products. The pods were built suspending jute and hardening the fabric with mud. It almost look like the fabric had been frozen in time, like a solid drapery.


How jute, mixed with digital fabrication tools can be used as a construction material ?

Proposing a catalogue of different technics for different uses.

The different tests that you see on the photos question

– weaving technics

– pressing / slumping

– how is the material reacting? Nano scale, plastic merging or not

I still need to do a lot of diagrams to explain the process and the outcome of each experiment in a catalogue format to explain the qualities of each system depending on the application on the real scale.

The principle for the devices that will allow to build the project are set. The different machines are :

– weaving loom integrating plastic in the fabric. Explore the different pattern and proportions jute-plastic

– mobile weaving-bot (reference Maria Yablonina)

– Lense system to melt the plastic and allow it to merge with the jute


About the design, it is still very basic, I have been struggling with the cloth simulation on C4D. I start to be happy with the principle of the structure and now I need to introduce local variation and integrate the jute pods as for now the cloth are in continuous stripes. I also want to create individual spaces to allow small business to happened.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

HI Tiffany,

APologies for the very slow reply. Have started the feedback but never sent.

A few comments:
– How is the section of the project, for sure that would be essential for TS and unit. The less clear that is, the less meaningful the experiments with Jute will be. You can develop the section in 2d, alining sizes, proportions, volumes like
– The Jute experiments are interesting on the booklet but they lack complexity at this point. The most important part of it that you make an architectural element out of it. At this point is enough of small samples. Are you producing floors, walls, domes, what is it that you want to apply.
– Cloth simulation is hard to control, do not think is a good way forward. It is good you did, but all you need now is control and parameters in order to evolve your samples into proper architectural components.
– Size is important too, what are you thinking to prototype?
– The use of 3d print and jute could be more integrated with your own diagrams, have you produced diagrams to explain your tests? It would also help to diagram your final intention with your project materiality. As mentioned in the point above, what is the final intention with your work?
– You have a lot of 3d print examples and inspirations, which are very complex and bottom up, but your own samples are not in the same method. Apart from know-how and time what is the idea behind your own method of work?

Are you back in London? I have met a few third years now, if you have time it would be good for us to see the work.

Good luck!

Comment by tutor

Hi Tiffany,

Also the drawings and project can have a very specific way to represent itself, not as the typical kit of parts, but instead as a continuous thread like fibrous and field constituency. Here is a more abstract reference for later maybe:

Albín Brunovský:


Comment by tutor

Hi Ricardo,

I just saw your answers. Thanks for the reference the drawings are amazing.

For now I am focussing on the design of the element of the building that would create the pods. In a very synthetic way, the architecture would be a bamboo structure, assembled in a weaving style and allowing the production of smaller units made of jute, 3d printed plastic and mud. Those units are domes, kind of like the Cero9 ones (still need to do a form finding session).

I am developing a building process where parts of the bamboo structure would serve as molds, to stretch some lycra domes. At this stage, they would be upside down and the fabric would be attach to the structure to be able to pull at specific points. A robot would 3d print plastic on the lycra on the inside of the dome to maintain the shape as main structural element. Then the domes would be moved along the main structure to flip them so they become roofs. Finally, a layer of jute is added on the dome and coated with mud, left to be dried by the sun. A question would be what is the interest of the plastic structure ? In case the mud is washed away by the monsoon rain (as its sun dried), the domes would still stand.

I am starting to design the 3D printing robot. It will be like the ones with triangular base, only for the arm system to control the position and will have some distance sensor to be able to print on any geometry given by the stretching.

The project is getting clearer and clearer to me, once I will have all the constraints given by the domes building process, the overall shape of the building will flow from it (plus repartition of the activities and atmosphere). The section that I sent was the first intension for the bamboo weaving, I am not convinced by the shape yet but I like the light effects and the spaces that it produces.

I am back in London so I guess we could meet up tomorrow or thursday if you have a bit of time.

Thank you,


Comment by tiffanyattali

Should we meet on Friday then? If you need any urgent feedback before I can see you thursday too. But friday both of us can assist you.
Let us know.

Comment by tutor

I guess we can see each other Friday, I think at this stage I need more production.

See you tomorrow

Comment by tiffanyattali

Ok, see you tomorrow!

Comment by tutor

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