Development of Mobius Seating

Prism Spider
1/2 Twist
1 1/2 Twists


Mobius Spider Seating

The Mobius is a mathematical construction with unique architectural properties; the transformation of a simple plane by a simple twist, at once representing a floor, then an outside wall, then a ceiling, and finally an inside wall. The many faces of one surface.

To better understand the properties of this construction, a series of models were developed as a prototype for outdoor seating. An one-half twist and an one-and-one-half twist Mobius is investigated, in the form of a band and a three-sided prism. The goal was to determine if the concept of a nonconstant twist could introduce flat sections for seating and if the arrangement of flat and twisted sections could make the seating self-supporting and further self-evident of function.

The series presented here includes one hundred and twenty-four variations of flat and twisted forms. A series of section angle combinations are explored following both elliptical and circular paths.

The first series include a smooth band and a smooth prism. Each are represented as continuous surfaces with no differentiation for the seating sections and nonseating sections except for the twist itself. The third series separates the band version into individual slats to differentiate the seating section from the twisting section by varying the dimension of the inner series of slats. A fourth series as shown in the rapid prototype models is of the prism. It is separated into individual sections and alternating sizes are varied through the twisting sections.

The last two were named spiders because the individual sections recall spider legs; somewhat appropriate for outdoor seating. A danger is introduced through the twist, due to the projecting slats, adding to the spider concept and giving the form a natural self-evidence of function; where you should sit and where you should not sit. The prism version, found in the rapid prototype models, uses pointed triangular sections to achieve the same effect.

All of these models were developed with custom software within Autodesk's AutoCAD system using the AutoLisp programming language. A simple coding scheme was developed to determine the flat and twisting sections. The plaster rapid prototype models were fabricated on Z-Corp equipment. The interactive viewer is LiveGraphics3D 1.30 developed by Martin Kraus using the Mathamatica modeling format.

Prepared by Robert J. Krawczyk, 2004-2005 All Rights Reserved or