|Developable Surfaces and D-Forms
Location: LKL Auditorium
Further Info: An LKL Maths-Art Seminar
Host/Speaker: Tony Wills, John Sharp
Date and Time:
Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 18:00 - 19:30
An LKL Maths-Art seminar by
Tony Wills, Wills Watson + Associates, and
John Sharp, London Knowledge Lab
Every so often you learn of a new concept that is so simple
you wonder why it was not thought of before. One such case is D-Forms, where
surprising and often new three dimensional forms are created by joining the
edges of two flat surfaces that have the same length of perimeter. D-Forms are
developable surfaces because they are formed from flat sheets. This talk will
begin by looking at the properties of developable surfaces and their different
types. Since D-Forms have much in common with the sculptural forms of artists
such as Barbara Hepworth, Constantin Brancusi and Naum Gabo, it will also touch
on the use of developable surfaces in art and architecture.
of D-Forms was invented by Tony Wills. As a product designer, Tony has developed
such products as the D-Form street furniture range which uses D-Forms as moulds
into which artificial stone is cast to create elegant architectural elements.
They have also been investigated for aircraft propeller shapes.
surfaces for creating a D-Form should be made of material that does not stretch
or shear. This excludes woven material, though this does not mean that the
concept cannot be extended in that direction, except that the surface will
deform. Depending on where you have chosen to start the join the two surfaces,
each face "informs" the other what three dimensional form to finally produce.
The emerging D-Form continually changes shape as the edge joining progresses.
The final D-Form that results only appears when the process is
John and Tony have worked together on exploring D-Forms, and
one result of the collaboration is the concept of "Anti D-Forms". Rather than
work with pairs of surfaces, we decided to try to join two holes with equal
perimeters. Not only did this work but we found we could take the surfaces that
we had removed to make the holes, construct the "positive" D-Form from them and
insert it precisely within the anti D-Form. This is just one illustration of the
possibilities we will show. John has written a book to be published later this
year, covering the basic geometry of D-Forms with a set of models to construct.
Travel information / Maps
All welcome. No reservation required, but an email to
would be appreciated for planning
NEXT SEMINAR: September (speaker and date to be
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