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Apparent Contours - Digital Algorithms for the Movement of Articulated Surfaces

Articulated surfaces are defined as the category of surfaces that arise in the plane and that, when folded properly, build patterns formed by faces that are all equal or equal in groups. Thinking of replacing the hinges to the folds, we introduce movement into the system, resulting in joints that allow the new entity to assume different configurations in space.

Ordinary procedures of tessellation of complex surfaces start from the form designed to reach a tessellation, more or less dense with flat elements all different from each other. The manufacturing process of these surfaces, even if technologically and technically very accurate, does not differ much from a more handmade process, and the great mass of elements, all different from each other, leads inevitably to very expensive economic options. The original aspect proposed by the articulated surfaces is to draw a regular tessellation in the plane creating four faces or three sides which, turning on the hinges of contact, are articulated in the space creating complex forms of the changeable profile.

The overall configuration is determined by the movement of individual faces (or tiles) around the fold; the latter is no more than a portion of a straight line around which operations of rotation of the faces connected to it occour. This operation finds a simple resolution under conditions of stasis, but we have to imagine that the points belonging to the hinge do not have fixed coordinates but vary during the movement of the joints, hence the need to explore some themes of digital representation, to be able to solve the different conditions creatively.


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