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November 2011

M&A Gallery, Silver Lake, CA

Time-lapse video of the surface of Bloom in a single day.
Project Description

A sun-tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, "Bloom" stitches together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern-making into an environmentally responsive form.  Made primarily out of a "smart" thermobimetal, a sheet metal that curls when heated (no controls, no energy), the form’s responsive surface shades and ventilates specific areas under the shell as the temperature rises.  When used on a building's surface, it will reduce the absurd dependency on costly air conditioning and retard the “heat island effect”.  Adding dynamic thermobimetal to the facade may seem trivial in the big picture of building technology, but the effect on our cultural will be tremendous.  The increased complexities of building envelope design with new, smart and dynamic materials will bear careful consideration in the new era of facade aesthetics and urban meaning.


Composed of 414 hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stacked panels, the self-supporting structure also challenges the capability of the materials to perform as a shell.  The panels combine a double-ruled surface of bimetal tiles with an interlocking, folded aluminum frame system.  The final monocoque structure, lightweight and flexible, is dependent on the overall geometry and combination of materials to provide comprehensive stability.  In some areas of "Bloom", the hypar panels are made stiffer by increasing the number of riveted connections, while, in other areas, the panels are deeper to increase structural capability.  The severely twisted panel shapes aid in the performance of the surface and challenge the digital and fabrication capabilities of parametric design.  Within a single panel, portions of the surface directly face the sun, while the other side is in the shade and requires no reaction or curling.  The result is dramatic variation in tile shapes and function within each panel.

Design process
Time-lapse video of construction
Construction photos
Credits and Information

DESIGN TEAM: Doris Sung, Dylan Wood (Project Coordinator), Kristi Butterworth, Ali Chen, Renata Ganis, Derek Greene, Julia Michalski, Sayo Morinaga, Evan Shieh


CONSULTANTS: Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, Design (Principal, WROAD and Chair, Woodbury University and Matthew Melnyk, Structural Engineer (Principal, Nous Engineering)

CONSTRUCTION TEAM: Doris Sung, Ingalill Wahroos-Ritter, Matthew Melnyk, Dylan Wood, Garrett Helm, Derek Greene, Kelly Wong (Core Contributors): Manual Alcala, Eric Arm, Lily Bakhshi, Amr Basuony, Olivia Burke, Kristi Butterworth, Jesus Cabildo , Shu Cai, Ali Chen, Taylor Cornelson, Erin Cuevas, Matt Evans, Chris Flynn, Renata Ganis, Bryn Garrett, Ana Gharakh, Oliver Hess, David Hoffman, Alice Hovsepian, Casey Hughes, Ross Jeffries,  Justin Kang, Syd Kato, Andrew Kim, Glen Kinoshita, Ingrid Lao, Jennifer MacLeod, Max Miller, Mark Montiel, Laura Ng, Robbie Nock, Raynald Pelletier, Elizabeth Perikli, Nelly Paz, Evan Shieh Hector Solis, Raven Weng, Leon Wood, Tyler Zalmanzig


COMPLETION DATE: November 19, 2011


SITE: Materials&Application Gallery, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, tel 323.739.4MN8 (


FUNDING: AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, Arnold W. Brunner Award, Graham Foundation Grant, USC Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Program, USC Undergraduate Research Associates Program, Woodbury Faculty Development Grant, and in-kind donations from Engineered Materials Solutions.

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