Academic Project

Status:  Prototype Built

Site Location: Santa Monica, CA

Designer:  Javier Villarroel

Instructor: Kihong Ku, DDES

                            Petra Stanev, RA, LEEP AP

                            Ryan Lohbauer, RA

Exhibited : Philadelphia Science Festival, 2016

VISTOSA is a textile based installation system for energy generation along piers and tension based structures. The system depends on the current of the ocean, as neighboring docks along the piers attach using the system and uses contraction as a method of retrieving electricity. Piezoelectric actuators serve as end caps for the matrix of knotted cords, allowing for retrieval of stress from varying directions. Designating infrastructure infused with the textiles is also of intent, introducing a truly interactive energy retrieving strategy by incorporating seating, climbable landscapes and continuous enclosures. A pier would cease to be a static typology; the public would occupy dynamic spaces that help power their surroundings. The fabrication of the prototype is a visually responsive sample piece of what the system is supposed to resemble and demonstrates how responsive it can be to the public, as it was exhibited in the 2016 Philadelphia Science Festival.
Concept Elevation.jpg
The design and digital simulation of a prototype appropriate for the development of the textile component of design is crucial to the later stages of fabrication and programming. The design is created parametrically and specifically with the intent to demonstrate how to better visualize the textiles application.
Actuators set up along primary textile cords
Piezoelectric Actuator
In order to produce a textile system that generates electricity piezoelectric actuators are placed at each end of the individual cords used to compose the textile matrix, the amount of electricity generated proportional to the size of the actuators.
The process of creating the prototype encompassed both mechanical and manual fabrication methods. The framework was entirely milled on a
three-axis CNC using Grasshopper and Rhino CAM as the primary software. This facilitated the frame’s fabrication and lessened the amount of time required to construct it. The manual component involved the layered complexity of the textiles. The series of rope cords were
crochet-chained with a colored conductive yard in order to produce an attractive appearance as well as carry out its role as a responsive system that records changes in resistance.
Process of Interlacing the Cords of the Prototype
Stages of Textiles Experimented
Process of Milling the Framework of the Prototype
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Application of textiles in progress
After the framework and the textile application have been completed, fibre optic cords are carried through the textile mesh. This allows illumination to become a part of the prototype’s visual response towards alterations in
resistance once there is a notable change in stress found within the conductive yarn that is carried through the prototype. This visual response is an important method in which one can demonstrate to people the potential application of textiles to detect changes in stress and deformity.
Lights emitted from top cover when active
Lights emitted from bottom cover when passive
Project Exhibited at the  Philadelphia Science Festival in May 2016
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