'Bright-Space', low impact, origami, geodesic building product
The bright-space product is a good example of how the potentially opposed avenues of research of commercial plastics design and sustainable design can successfuly converge. Through material experimentation, exploitation, development and application of key attributes we have been able to explore new approaches to building sustainable spaces made from plastics.
This sustainable, low impact spatial product emerged through researching an unrelated field, but by trying to isolate a way of building monocoque structures Mike Mulford of Cheltec, myself and more recently James McAdam experimented with several new approaches to cold forming and pattern cutting to build geodesic structures with no framework or substructure.
The origami approach enabled us to build strong, transparent buildings entirely from very thin, co-polyester which without substructure or composite construction means it is 100% recyclable. Lightweight, flat-pack, low impact spaces evolved through continual material experimentation. The products received developmental enquires with a diverse range of users including Foster and Partners Architects, Dutch Designers Droog and Mooi, The NHS, The Crofting Association, The Landscape Institute, The Eden project and Habitat.
"Paper Thin Buildings - Flat-pack usually implies packaging and furniture made from rigid cardboard, wood or similarly inflexible materials. The structures designed by Nick Gant challenge this notion; they are produced from an ultra-thin lightweight PETG. Using a folded plastic sheet that is extremely thin (0.75mm), these incredible geodesic structures are rigid and self-supporting. The beauty of this design lies in the use of such a thin sheet on such a large scale without the need for an internal framework to support the sheets. Using thje principle of origami, which uses the inherent strength of fold to make three-dimensional structures the design explores the application of plastic in a new context. Another aspect that makes this project unique is that it eliminates the need to include glass in order to obtain total transparency in a building."
(Plastics – Materials for Inspirational Design book, Chris Lefteri, Rotavision 2006).