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Design Exploration of Cymatics-Inspired Shells
Since 2021

Anahita Khodadadi, Niloufar Emami, Kimia Ghaderian

This paper presents a multi-objective design exploration of a series of thin concrete shells inspired by cymatic patterns. Cymatics is the study of sound and vibration made visible, typically on the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane [1]. Cymatic patterns have been examined for creating efficient sound diffusers. Experimental studies have shown their suitable performance in designing 2D sound diffusers [2]. This study aims to extend the utilization of cymatic patterns in 3D forms and explores a novel design of shells that can have suitable structural and acoustic performance values. In this study, cymatic patterns are employed to generate thin shells comparable to one of Heinz Isler's bubble shells. Then, the acoustic and structural performance values of the generated solutions are evaluated in early design stages using Pachyderm and Karamba plugins in Grasshopper (GH) respectively. A multi-objective design exploration is conducted via Wallacei plugin in GH, a search engine employing a Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-2) to search for optimal solutions. The design exploration process was set to search for solutions with suitable Clarity (C80) and Early Decay Time (EDT), and minimal maximum displacement, and total weight. The design exploration results include a series of shells with outstanding acoustic performance for speech sound. Moreover, they have a high structural performance in terms of total weight and maximum displacement comparable to that of Isler’s shell.


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