As the name suggests, the reinforcefields project is about capturing invisible magnetic fields into tangible, structural forms. This is done by means of an interactive process between three controlling factors: the first being the human hand (creativity), the second is the magnetic medium (material) and the third is the machine (automation).
The machine provides a spatial boundary to be polarized by a series of positive and negative charges (at specified coordinates), and within which a successive casting process takes place. The resulting series of modular units can be later reassembled based on these points. The number of points and their coordinates can either be extracted from a larger parametrically defined system, or manipulated by hand until the desired aesthetic effect of the form is achieved. The machine then automates the more monotonous and calculated parts of the casting process.
The architectural qualities of the resulting forms led us to consider various practical applications - in which the designer controls the global constraints of a naturally occurring structurally optimized medium.
The Reinforcefields project was first designed and created by Julia Michalski and Cat Soderberg in a class called Expanded Mechanisms/Empirical Materialisms, taught by Andrew Witt at Harvard GSD. In short, the course involved designing “a machine to create new material effects”. Investigations at larger scales continue in the moosch workshop.