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Curled Steel

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Title: Curled Steel
Author(s): Gay, Jacob
Abstract: Pictured is a hand-drawn architectural section drawing that shows the estimated material limits of a steel bending technique we in the studio call ‘curling’. The curled steel tube, like the common structural steel column, transfers loads from the building above downward into concrete footings. However, unlike typical columns, curled steel denies the standard reading of structure as strictly linear, rational, and gridded, and allows it to become an aesthetic tool – structure can be gestural like a brush stroke, can sway like wheat grass, or even make a shape (like a heart). This research was carried out using scale models built of heavy gauge steel wire to roughly establish the terminal limits of the system, in other words what angle of bending the columns could withstand before buckling and kinking. From there a range of architectural possibilities and effects were cataloged in the fashion of the accompanying image.
Issue Date: 2011
Type: Image
Description: Entry 2011 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library, April 13-May 30, 2011.
Sponsor: University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College
Date Available in INDIGO: 2012-01-03

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