Computational Patternmaking

Program: Columbia University BA Architecture
Semester: Spring 2011
Studio: Independent Study
Critic: Karen Fairbanks
Materials: Lasercut Wool Felt

This project was an investigation into how one could streamline the the fabrication process in fashion design. Through the use of Grasshopper (GH), a plug-in to Rhino3D that allows designers to use a visual programming interface to generate complex algorithmic designs, a parametric script was developed which outputs customizable clothing patterns for its user. The script itself is constructed based on basic patternmaking and the measurements of the body used by tailors and other garment fabricators. The measurements taken are used as inputs into the computational algorithm and the output is a pattern ready to be lasercut and sewn together. The project eliminates the use of paper, tape, scissors, rulers, french curves, and other tools used by patternmakers and tailors. Additionally, the patternmaking process which usually takes multiple iterations and versions of the pattern to get the best fit, is streamlined to a few input numbers in the GH interface.

Three garments were made at the end of the project. One garment had a GH generated laser cut pattern which was both decorative and utilitarian. The pattern, a series of dilating triangles, creates vents for the user based on heat mapping images of the human body.