Casey Hughes Architects
Vector Knot

  • View of the Vector Knot installation in the American Institute of Architects Gallery, New Orleans.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Vector Knot is the second iteration in a series of studies on the relationship between dimensionality and flatness. The installation utilizes the potential of each dimension, exploring how lines can suggest surfaces, and how surfaces in turn can suggest volume and enclosure. Vector Knot is an installation made up of 6,000 feet of custom-made 1/8th inch diameter black bungee cord and fixed in place by over 700 hardware connections.

    Designed and constructed by Casey Hughes Architects with Hiroshi Jacobs, Vector Knot was created as a temporary installation in the New Orleans AIA Gallery for the DesCours 2011 event. DesCours is a free, public, architecture and art event that invites architects and artists to create ten architecture installations for the public to engage with throughout New Orleans.

    Rather than an object to be looked at, Vector Knot is intended to create an immersive spatial experience. The coexistence of the 1D, 2D, and 3D in Vector Knot offers an oscillating experience that is simultaneously volume and line, spatial and flat. The perception of volume from a series of closely spaced lines is echoed in mathematics. Vector Knot’s spaces are composed of doubly-ruled surfaces (hyperbolic paraboloids) – which, by definition, can be described by infinitely tangent lines in two opposing directions. Space is only implied (through lines), leaving the creation of a sense of enclosure up to the viewer.

    Vector Knot specifically studies the 3D spline curves that are created by the bungee connections to the wire guide cable. Conventionally a spline is a device for drawing complex curves. It consists of a long strip of flexible wood that is fixed at a number of vector knots (weighted points) to hold a smooth curve. The spacing, direction, and force of the bungee connections determines the curvature of the spline guide cable.
  • Poster announcing the DesCours installations.
  • Map of New Orleans showing the installation sites.
  • The cable (red) is a NURBS curve. Its curvature is determined by the sum of the cord lines forces (blue).
  • View from gallery entrance.
  • View showing the cord attached to airplane cable with a metal crimp.
  • Exterior night view.