1 – students were invited to experiment with soap bubbles as a method of moving beyond the perceived limitations of conventional architectural prototypes. (image courtesy of ludlow 38, new york)
2 – a minimal soap film surface in a closed and kinked frame of random shape. (image courtesy of ludlow 38, new york)
3 – soap film models were photographed and students were encouraged to find new uses and new forms of architecture for these shapes. (image courtesy of ludlow 38, new york)
4 – sequence: kink wire, dip in soap bath, photograph minimal surface, print, trace, speculate. (image courtesy of ludlow 38, new york)
using the wire frame structures and soap solution tank of tobias putrih’s ‘after frei otto’, as a point of reference, a direct method of wire frame construction was devised. this enabled students to themselves create and adjust a variety of small single soap film surfaces, not unlike those originally studied by joseph a.f. plateau and frei otto.
working in teams of two with a two foot length of 12 gauge plastic coated conductor wire, students were instructed to make rigid frames as a closed loop. each team collaboratively explored various wire bending and folding strategies or simply kinked their wire until it completed a closed frame. the teams subsequently dipped the frames into tobias putrih’s tank of soap/water solution to produce a single minimal surface within a frame.