Monday, July 27, 2015

designing making practicing | The Movement Infrastructure

A “movement infrastructure” is based on models of the five Platonic polyhedra —tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron— built at human scale and consisting of 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components. The geometric characteristics of the regular polyhedra are applied to interpret the proportions and movement of the human body. Geometry is a reference system but also an inspiration source for movement sequences.
Below are excerpts from visual journals of my daily practice.


The Laban icosahedron is perhaps one of the most renown physical structures in dance. The name is from his creator Rudolf Laban (1879-1958), who applied the five regular polyhedra to movement sequences, he defined as "scale". The icosahedron,  for one hundred year has been used in choreography by Rudolf Laban and his legacy as a framework for dance routines. 
3D printing technology is used to facilitate the assembling of the icosahedron, which become easy to assemble readily available for fitness practices outside the dance studio. The geometry underpinning the icosahedron connections are also a metaphor for the movement sequences performed framed by its structure. 
The icosahedron comprises twenty faces, thirty edges and twelve vertices. My icosahedron is made of PVC pipe connected by 3D printed vertices/joints I designed. It fits my height and the movement sequence I perform inside is based on a vinyasa sequence which includes sirsasana (headstand). It is interesting how the geometry of the solids is linked to structural strength and balance. 
The icosahedron and the anatomical planes aligned to the "golden ratio" rectangles defined by the vertices of the icosahedron
A diagram of spiraling movements inside the icosahedron


An icosahedron made of 3D printed joints and PVC pipes has been installed in my studio on February 2015 and has become part of my daily practice.
My daily yoga practice inside the icosahedron: February 19 2015

My First Icosahedron | Geelong, Australia
My first movement infrastructure based on the icosahedron was assembled in April 2014, while I was working on my doctoral research in Australia. 
I started experimenting with different spatial arrangements of the icosahedron installed in a very small living space. The most stable configuration is achieved when the solid is placed with one face (and its three enclosing edges) in contact with the ground; when there is only one edge in contact with the ground support is needed.


On September 28 2014 the fabrication of the prototype of the first movement structure, the icosahedron, was completed at Sun Farm.
The icosahedron is made of PVC pipes connected by 3D printed joints which I designed following the principles of material efficiency and easy assembly. I started a practice with my own yoga vocabulary based interpretation of the Laban scale A.


As the day unfolds, my movement practice —inspired by geometry in the dichotomy between inner visualization and physical constructions— transitions and evolves following the complexity of the Platonic solids. Below are a few snapshots from the "imaginary" octahedron inscribed in the built icosahedron. The movement sequence theme is the extension toward the four points of squares with vertices and edges coincident with an octahedron. The solid is defined by edges of the same length as the square.

Video excerpts

Video of the complete practice on March 6 2015 with different effects to explore movement geometry.