In tension

A material exploration
Near Futures In Tension

It's often hard to imagine how certain shapes will work in a practical sense, so printing and physically testing the materials is necessary, 'I could go on forever testing different patterns such as waves, triangles, stars, checkers, hourglasses, cubes, arrows, curves, and bows', says Megan McGlynn

Megan McGlynn has spent four months at the ChemArts lab experimenting with patterns made with 'PLA' and 'MFC'. PLA is a plastic often used in 3D printers which are chemically produced from corn or sugar, and which is biodegradable in industrial conditions; ’PLA is the starting point of developing more sustainable plastics', McGlynn says. MFC is a micro fibrillated cellulose that comes from the Finnish forest industry. Combining the two in geometric patterns has resulted in extensive material research around the qualities of flexibility and reinforcement. 

With a background in fine arts and architectural design, McGlynn is interested in the process of experimenting and exploring the limits of different materials, 'Playing and experimenting is very useful and allows the pushing of things further without immediately jumping to a practical outcome', McGlynn explains.

During her research, the focus was on patterns and experimenting with their impact on the characteristics of the material. McGlynn wasn't necessarily excited about the patterns themselves but their function. To have more pronounced 3D shapes, she created a big contrast between space and areas with a lot of plastic, dividing tension between those two, and this worked out well in star shaped-like patterns.

McGlynn will continue exploring the combination of PLA and MFC by developing larger structures as she sees the potential for it as an architectural material. Because of its aesthetics and ability to diffuse light in a very pleasant way, she is thinking about the possibility of building ever-larger structures, such as a temporary pavilion. 

With many thanks to:
CHEMARTS, Pirjo Kääriäinen, Tapani Vuorinen, Iines Jakovlev, Nina Ruitta

Megan McGlynn
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering
Master in Contemporary Design
In Tension

Near futures – online exhibition

Near futures, exhibition tribute to the academic year 2019–2020 graduates

Back to main page
Near futures, exhibition tribute to the academic year 2019–2020 graduates
  • Published:
  • Updated: