Introduction: The Gaudi Experience

With this instructable you can experience the beauty of art Gaudi created!

This instructable will introduce Antoni Gaudi, his 'work in progress' and will help you on the way in your Gaudi Experience!

Required materials and devices:


Writing block for your research (so you can take it anywhere)






Wooden plates (for the lasercutter)

Wood glue





We will work to: Research, Design an Create!

Step 1: Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí was an architect who lived from 1852 untill 1926. He designed special buildings and objects in his life, especially in Barcelona, of which the Sagrada Família is most famous. People are working on this immensly building project to this day.

Step 2: Organic Architecture

Gaudi was one of the most important founders of organic architecture. One of the most important philosophies of organic architecture is that the function defines the form, also called the principle: Form Follows Function. Gaudi got a lot of inspiration from nature and its natural phenomena to design. He studied bones in order to understand the form and function. He incorporated this knowledge into his design, such as the attic of Casa Mila, whose construction is similar to the ribcage of an animal.

Step 3: Gaudi Taught Us How Special and Beautiful Nature Can Be

Gaudi linked the arch of the rib cage to the natural phenomenon that an arc shape can handle much pressure (weight). When you flip the arch, you get a solid roof. Gaudi taught us how special and beautiful nature can be. If you want to know more about the functions of natural phenomena? Check out this video! (in Dutch)

Step 4: Instruction

Now we will research the functions in natural phenomena! With these functions we are going to design. We will develop with digitally controlled machines and devices such as 3D printers or laser cutters. You will show how special and beautiful nature is! Do some research on natural phenomena and pay much attention to its functions. To get you started, I'll take you with me in my proces of research and design!

Step 5: Research - the Leaf

I walked down the street and found a leaf. I looked at the veins and saw commensurate patterns of veins. The veins have the function to provide strength to the leaf and to transport water with dissolved substances. I notice that when I put pressure on the flat side of the leaf it bends a little, it is flexible. When I press on the thin side of the leaf, the leaf is very firm. I can imagine that the leaf moves gentle when the wind blows, but does not break, so the veins will remain intact to transport the water and substances.

Step 6: Research - the Banana Plant

I have a banana plant at home. When I water it, I only spray the earth, to keep it clean in the house. When I wanna water it well I put the banana plant under the shower. When I put the showerhead on the banana plant I see that the drops of water slide down with the shape of the leaf to the core. The shape reminds me of slides. Because this shape will slide the water in the direction of the stem, the water will always go to the roots. Very smart!

Step 7: Research - the Beehive

Every year, people get more aware that bees have difficulty in survival. In the whole country there are initiatives in order to create a better environment for bees. I visited such an innitiative recently and saw a beehive. The little booths (holes), seen in the beehive, are hexagons and used as nursery for their larvae and to stock up on honey. These booths thefore must be firm. This is peculiar, because the edges seem thin. I want to understand more about this phenomenon.

Step 8: The Design - Trial

To understand the design of the beehive I would like to build a beehive of a simple material that is also thin, such as paper. I watched the paterns and design of the beehive and started drawing. I measured the forms and started to reproduce the little holes and put them together. Now I experienced thin material can form a solid shelter.

Step 1 - Draw rhombuses with sides of 5 cm and lenght 6 cm. This is a little puzzele. Sure you got the right size?

Step 2 - When you got the rhombus, cut your perfect form and reproduce it on a piece of paper.

Step 3 - When you draw 21 pieces of the rhombus, cut them out of the paper.

Step 4 - Make one beehive hole by sticking the rhombuses together with scotchtape. For the patern, look at the photo.

Step 5 - Got the idea? Stick them all together 'till you have 9 beehive holes.

Step 6 - Then stick all the beehive holes together. For the patern, look at the photo.

Now you have the trial design in your hands.

To understand the function of the form, press al little on the side of your beehive. Check out the video. You will notice the construction makes the object firm, eventhough it is made with thin paper.

Step 9: The Design - Go Digital

Because I want to use a thin material for my model I've chosen the lasercutter, so I can cut a thin plate of wood. I created the designed in the program Illustrator. Same as my paper trial, I will start with one beehive hole and reproduce and combine the lot to create the patern. See my progress in the photo's. Want to try Illustrator? Check this link!

Not in the mood for some illustrator trials? Download the attached .ai file.

Step 10: Create - Prepare the Lasercutter

Once you made the final design you can start to use the lasercutmachine. Don't hesitate to ask the device manager. He will probably be more than happy to help you. Open your Illustrator file and set the wooden plate in the machine.

Step 11: Create - Start Printing

All set? Start the program and see what decent work this machine can do for you!

Step 12: Create - Hands On

Now we have the lasercut wooden plate. Press the rhombuses out of the plate, you now have the whole lot. Get your wood glue and stick the rhombuses together, the same as you did with the paper version.

Step 13: Final - TaDa! Moment

Check out this fancy beehive bowl made out of a wooden plate. I think the patern looks very attractive.

But this was only my Gaudi experience, let's start yours!