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FabPod – RMIT Design Hub

Photo by John Gollings

Project Description by Daniel Davis designer and researcher specialising in computational architecture ,PhD candidate at RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory

The FabPod is an acoustically tuned meeting room housed within an open-plan office at the RMIT Design Hub. The geometry of the FabPod derives from research we had previously conducted on the sound scattering properties of hyperboloids as part of the Responsive Acoustic Surface workshop (2011) – itself inspired by Gaudí’s use of hyperboloids. The FabPod’s form and materiality arose from a series of workshops in 2012 that investigated how to minimise the echo within a meeting room without creating an acoustically ‘dead’ space. By positioning hyperboloids to maximise sound scattering within the space, the FabPod has an unusually warm and diffuse acoustic. Walking inside, you can feel the FabPod in your ears.

The project was completed in March 2013, with the help of a large team (see credits at end). Nick Williams led the project along with the principle researchers: Brady Peters, John Cherrey, Jane Burry, Mark Burry, Alex Pena de Leon, and myself. Within this team I was responsible for establishing the geometric rules that defined the FabPod and creating the parametric models through which the FabPod was designed. These models had to deal with extremely intricate geometry while gracefully handling a number of material constraints, and they had to be fast enough and flexible enough to support the iterative design process that led to the FabPod. These models and the construction of the FabPod are detailed below.


Photo by Nick Williams
Photo by Nick Williams

Photo by John Gollings

Photo by John Gollings

Photo by John Gollings
Project Researchers: Nick Williams, Brady Peters, John Cherrey, Jane Burry, Mark Burry, Alex Pena de Leon, Daniel Davis.
Research Partners: Memko Pty Ltd, Felicetti Pty Ltd, School of Electrical & Computer Science, RMIT University.
Project Support: SIAL, RMIT University; CITA, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; Design Research Institute, RMIT University; Property Services Group, RMIT University; The Independents’ Group, RMIT University; The Australian Research Council through funding for the Discover grant “Challenging the Inflexibility of the the Flexible Digital Model”.
Project Sponsors: Woven Image Echopanel, The Laminex Group, Sapphire Anodising.
Prototyping Research Assistants: Nathan Crowe, Dharman Gersch, Arif Mohktar, Costas Georges, Andim Taip, Marina Savochina.
Prototyping Support: Andrew Miller, Michael Wilson, Andrew Thompson, Brad Marmion, Kevin O’Connor