Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Family Fun Day at the RI

We had a fabulous time on Saturday at the Royal Institution's Family Fun day. BIG thanks to Karen and our lovely RI volunteers: Rachel, Anna, Angelo who you can see here.

And here we can see some folk beavering away at their infill panel. Thanks to everyone who came along and made a few loops we finished three whole panels!

The quiet after the storm... Once everyone had gone home we could admire the collective handiwork of a couple of hundred budding structural engineers.

Oh, and did we mention that we got to present a talk in the RI lecture theatre - with demonstrations and volunteers and science and engineering and everything? Swoon!

Did you know that the woolly French knitting that we've used for our cables here doubled in length when stretched to breaking point and it broke when loaded with 12kilos? Compare that to 1m steel cable of the same diameter which would only stretch 1mm.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Looking forward to being at the Royal Institution


We're really chuffed to be part of the Royal Institution's Family Fun Day on 9 June. If you like fabric, engineering and fun science stuff then come along. We'll have the tent on the go and will also be talking about fabric, materials and buildings in the theatre.

If you're an engineer in London and want to help out on the stall just get in touch and let us know. We're keen to hear from any engineers with an interest in structures, tensile structures and material use in buildings. No knitting experience required - it's easy to learn and there will be crafters on hand to sort things out when visitors get a bit carried away and lose track of where they are. We can pay your travel expenses and we'll also treat you to cups of tea and a slice of cake too. Actually - we can run to lunch too if that helps!

Big thanks to the M Shed in Bristol for hosting the canopy over the last week. If you got to see it we hope you liked it.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The tensile structure takes shape...

We've had a very productive couple of days at the M Shed in Bristol. Big thanks to structural engineers Rachael and Eleanor from Arup and Jenni (independent structural engineer)! We spent two days talking all things structures while making, creating and building. We talked load paths, foundations, tension, compression, properties of materials and lots, lots more. It was great to see our chum Fabrice along too helping out on a couple of the other engineering stalls.

Attaching a rather fetching green infill panel.

If you want to see and touch the canopy pop along to the M Shed where it will be displayed until Sunday 26 May. We are looking for more infill panels too. So if you fancy making a square or rectangle we'd love to see your handiwork. So far we've been using knitting looms for the panels as these create a quite open, stretchy fabric. But we're happy with hand knitted, crocheted, woven or felted squares of any colour. Pop any squares along to the M Shed or get in touch with Helen for a postal address / arrange collection.
It's all rather colourful isn't it?

One visitor suggested it would make a great tent for Snowflake (a much-loved toy dog). Who else might like to live or shelter in a colourful, woolly canopy structure?

Next stop: the Royal Institution's next Family Fun Day 9 June.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Join us at the M Shed!

We're very much looking forward to being at the M Shed on 18 and 19 May. We're teaming up with myfuturemychoice for their Immersive Week. There should be lots of fun engineering things going on with activities led by pupils or engineers as well as displays, lectures and workshops. Come along to see how the canopy is developing, craft a loop or two and find out how fabrics, making and materials play their parts in structural engineering.

Don't forget, if you want to help with the stall - get in touch with Helen helen2(dot)featherstone(at)uwe(dot)ac(dot)uk or call on 0117 3283919.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Bath Taps - Day 2

Another great day in Bath. This time we were in Green Park station next to the Farmers' Market. Here's our structure of tension cables - before the infill panels are added.

Many hands make a tented, membrane structure!

Here's Fabrice and Helen discussing which panels, what direction and how best to attach.

Classic Bath Taps: Dino Dig sand, cornflour slime and Continuous Loop yarn.
Perfect combination!

Many thanks to Gareth, Hamish, Tom, Alex, Ellie, and Fabrice for all their enthusiasm and abilities in talking yarn/knitting/building.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Bath Taps - Day 1

We've had a really great couple of days as part of Bath Taps into
Science. This first picture shows us getting ready for the test session. In the second picture you can see some enthusiastic craft / engineers.

We've talked membrane structures, materials, fabric, tension cables, compression struts, anchor points and much, much more.

The third picture shows our set up in Founder's Hall with the beginnings of our infill panels just waiting for enthusiastic folk to come along and finish them off. We've got a colourful stack of panels now and are looking forward to seeing the canopy really take shape tomorrow as we set up in Green Park station.

More pictures to come...

Monday, 30 January 2012

Bath Taps into Science

We're excited to announce that we'll be joining in the fun at Bath Taps into Science this year. You can find us at these times here:

  • Wednesday 7th March 2012 Lecture University Hall

  • Friday 9th March 2012 Science Fair Founders Hall

  • Saturday 10th March 2012 Science Fair Green Park Station Bath

If you're an engineer, at any stage in your career, we'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to spend a few hours talking with enthusiastic youngsters while creating a collaborative canopy from yarn do get in touch!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Year - new start

Well, it's been while since we last posted anything here so it's time to have a quick update. We're kicking off the project again but with a slight change of plan. Rather than going to steam fairs, we're going to tap into smaller events and activities. First off - National Science and Engineering Week.

If you're interested in helping out at a stall at a Bristol or Bath festival for NSEW do get in touch. We're looking out for structural engineers and architects at any stage in their career who have a passion for communicating about their work. We'll provide all the materials and guidance on the activities - we just need people who can talk about structures with enthusiasm!