The structural dynamics that occur within a building, while powerful, can be very difficult to illustrate to students. Sketches and imagery tends not to full explain the complexities and subtle deformations within the members. These objects, still currently in process, strive to exploit and emphasise these forces to more fully explain and educate the students in structural dynamics.
Upon accepting my staff position as Computer and Instruction Support for the Digital Fabrications Lab in August 2006, I approached many of the faculty and expressed my interests and willingness to implement my skills and those of the digital fabrications lab to possibly further their ongoing research. Professor David Thaddeus approached me about recreating one of his existing teaching tools. My knowledge of the materials and their workability with the digital fabrications equipment began a series of studies that would later evolve into a continuously growing instructional set. These T.O.Y.S. are currently in preliminary use in Professor Thaddeus’ Structures I and II courses, his Building Systems Integration course and his travelling ARE General Structures Seminars. These early trials have been very well received by students and by other instructors from across the country.