December 1, 2011
Infinity and Seeyond
Combine a lightweight cellular resin with parametric modeling, and the possibilities are endless.
Seeyond Architectural Solutions
Seeyond uses a cellular, thermoplastic resin with a high strength-to-weight ratio, which is made from either high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP).
The cellular resin is very lightweight, is 100 percent recyclable, and produces little manufacturing waste. Features created using Seeyond have less embodied energy than comparable interior systems.
Seeyond could prove particularly useful for commercial building and hospitality interiors. It can create complex forms for non-load-bearing walls, wall-mounted structures, ceiling clouds, column wraps, and partial enclosures.
Seeyond, a new design-build system using a thermoplastic resin, is the brainchild of three individuals: Jonas Hauptman, Paul James, and Walter Zesk. The system takes an architect’s or designer’s vision and develops it into a project-specific three-dimensional model using Tess, a proprietary collection of software tools for parametric design—if any one of the characteristics of the Seeyond feature is changed, then all the other characteristics automatically change too. The surface can be tessellated with a number of different patterns, and it can be digitally printed to produce a seamless image. “It’s a design-driven building system,” explains Nat Porter, the general manager of Seeyond Architectural Solutions. “Because we have figured out the material, the superstructure, and the math behind creating the form, tessellation, and relief, the architect or designer can focus on creating unique features, while not having to worry about sourcing the material, or how to have it fabricated.” The company’s standard offerings include free-standing nonstructural walls, column wraps, ceiling clouds, and partial enclosures.
Since the product was launched at NeoCon this year—winning a Gold Award for architectural products—it has found a variety of applications: in the lobby of a major Internet firm in California, as a lit stage backdrop in a nightclub in Michigan, and as a series of informal huddle spaces in a large corporate office. With Seeyond, the fabrication has been worked out, “and a designer still has the ability to completely customize the end result,” Porter says. “At the start of the creative process, he or she will know exactly what the end product will look like and what it will cost.”