Works from i.M.A.D.E

i.M.A.D.E is an institute within Ball State University, focusing on digital design and fabrication techniques for both industry and education related to architecture and allied arts.

It acts as an effective link between the academy and the manufacturing industry, with all the benefits this alliances bring: the fresh ideas on one side, and the technical capacity on the other.

With strategic industry partners, students test knowledge through team-based projects dealing with the translation of bits into atoms, shifting scales between models, prototypes, 1:1 construction, and the development of solutions to real problems by managing a complex set of design constraints.

Among this partners we find our friends from CASE, experts in applying design technology to built environments. They partner with i.M.A.D.E in technology (workshops, lectures, crits, etc.). Our friend Federico from CASE collaborated with i.M.A.D.E’s director Kevin Klinger in the book “Manufacturing Material Effects”.

After the jump, selected works from i.M.A.D.E.

Spot on Schools Exhibition

As part of the ninth edition of the BEYOND MEDIA festival in Florence, Italy, the SPOT ON SCHOOLS exhibition explored the didactics in the field of architectural design and of the new media of communication, while focusing on the most recent development of the use of digital technologies for design research in the field of education. Invited to show work at SPOT ON SCHOOLS, i.M.A.D.E installed various exhibit pieces on the mezzanine in the Stazione Leopolda, including Morpholuminescence, Bodhi Tree, and Veneer Luminaires.

Comprised of custom laser-cut “petals”, “stems”, and hinges, Morpholuminescence was pre-assembled for testing prior to shipping in pieces. Petal movements and LED hue variations were driven by Arduino microcontrollers via data from proximity sensors. Assembled completely on-site and illuminated with spot lighting, the Bodhi Tree required laser cutting of over 10,000 components from hardwood veneer. The Luminaires were also constructed on-site from hardwood veneer along with lightweight acrylic armatures and fluorescent lighting.

More info here.


Developed by students from “An Inconvenient Studio”, MorphoLuminescence utilizes an understanding of fashion photography to find its form and provide optimized lighting, enhancing the experience of trying on clothing. A three-point lighting set up is commonly used by fashion photographers, arranging a bright key light above eye level, in combination with softer fill and back lighting to create subtle shadows and a three dimensional effect.

Comprised of custom laser-cut “petals”, “stems”, and hinges, Morpholuminescence was pre-assembled for testing prior to shipping in pieces to the SPOT ON SCHOOLS exhibition in Florence, Italy.

More info here.

Arcus Animus

Arcus Animus is a kinetic mesh system designed by Waterloo Architecture/Philip Beesley Architect Inc., in collaboration with Ball State’s Inconvenient Studio/i.M.A.D.E (Senagala/Vermilion) and Pratt Institute Epithelium Studio (Beesley/Sarrach/Wang). Fabricated and installed in four days, the hanging, layered meshwork composed of impact-resistant acrylic, bamboo, and mylar components reacts to human occupation interpreted by arrayed proximity sensors. These physical reactions consist of “shaking” and “waving” movements actuated pneumatically using solenoid valves and custom air muscles, and controlled by Arduino microcontollers with processing-based code development.

More info here.

Flickr Video


i.M.A.D.E encourages design students to focus on the creation of unique prototypes based on material interrogations and market viability. Students are actively developing business plans and exploring commercial outlets for design prototypes based on emphasizing the production of ready-made, yet customizable products. Indiana has a long tradition of producing hardwood veneer from regionally harvested trees. Made of Indiana Hardwood veneer, “Luminaires” is one such pilot project with potential for commercial spin-out, as the project highlights some of the more subtle properties of hardwood. The thinness of veneer allows wood to bend, twist, and glow-revealing latent and innate qualities of thinly sliced wood. These qualities are exploited in projects that reveal the “light/lighter” qualities of this typically “heavy” material.

More info here.

About this author
Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "Works from i.M.A.D.E" 19 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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