Branch Formations – tetrahedron framework

Aggregations of branch elements into repetitive spatial frameworks was our starting point working with formations of branches.

We learned that 2- and 3- dimensional cells can be formed using the branches as edges, which allows us to compose potentially endless spatial formations.

The tetrahedron is the platonic solid with the least amount of faces. Thus it also represents the most compact spatial cell with the highest stiffness formed by y-shaped branch nodes.

With a variable rotation and distance related to the branch axis tetrahedron cells can be formed from a large spectrum of differently angled elements.

tetrahedron framework – octahedron framework

The 3D cells can be packed into repetitive endless frameworks. To cope with the challenge of handling unequal elements we first compose regular frameworks with Wasp for Grasshopper and replace the elements with unequal specimens in a second step. The resulting mismatching framework is relaxed into a continuous irregular formation using the Kangaroo physics simulation.


equal branches – replaced by unequal elements: mismatching framework – matching: irregular framework

video: simulation

Sets with varying ranges of angles representing branches from different tree species would result in very different appearances and structural behavior.

crotch angle: 60°-80°  –  17°-105°  –  23°-30°

This shows a direct relationship of specific typical growth form related to a species and the resulting spatial formation.  The close relationship of material and form not only allows for spatial perception but possibly offers models for an optimal structural use of a specific type of wood.