Searching for the Da Vinci-code in Finland: 4Dframe Experience Workshops in the Structural Ice Project, Juuka

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How to build the world’s largest ice dome? How to make Gaudi’s La Sagrada Família from ice? What kind of forces, effects are at play in the structure of a large and complex architecture? How to transform Leonardo Da Vinci’s plans of an unrealized bridge into the design of the world’s longest span ice bridge?

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Building the world’s largest ice dome in Juuka, Finland

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La Sagrada Família of ice in the making

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Design for the world’s longest span ice bridge according to Leonardo da Vinci’s unrealized plans

The gigantic ice dome was realized in 2014 and the cathedral of ice was inaugurated in 2015, but 2016’s main attraction, the ice bridge was collapsed because of the unexpectedly warm weather… Although, the ice could melt outside, but the hands and brains of the 10-15 year-old-students from the North-Karelian Finnish town, Juuka, could not be stopped during the 4Dframe Experience Workshop’s playful and cooperative problem solving sessions. Their goal was to explore several complex structures in the making from the combined perspective of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

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11-12 February, 2016, Experience Workshop has participated in the international Structural Ice research project. We have designed and led Structural Ice’s educational programs for the local students from the Poikola School in Juuka. Hundreds of students participated in the presentations and about a hundred kids in the workshops realized by mathematician and science historian, Osmo Pekonen (University of Jyväskylä), architect and scholar Jouko Koskinen (Aalto University, Helsinki), and Experience Workshop’s director, Kristóf Fenyvesi (University of Jyväskylä).

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Osmo Pekonen, who has several books and articles about the topic, in his presentation introduced scientific projects and expeditions, including the earliest came to explore the northernmost part of Finland, especially Lapland. The lecture mainly focused on travelers and scholars such as Jean-François Regnard (1681), Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, who has measured the shape of Earth by implementing the method of triangulation (1736-1737) and the La Recherche expedition (1838-1839).

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Based on triangular structures, we have built small-scale structures and a gigantic, 5 diameter big „geodesic dome”, a similar one, like the wireframe of the ICE-dome, which Arno Pronk has created in 2014 to serve as a basis of the world largest ice dome. During the workshop we have analyzed and actively learnt about the modular structure of the different size geodesic domes.

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Students designed and built their own 4Dframe bridges too, based on similar triangular structural solutions like the ones implemented to build the domes.

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Finally, beautiful snowflake and ice-crystal structures were designed and actively explored with the 4Dframe tool.

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In the same time with the 4Dframe sessions, at Jouko Koskinen’s workshops students could experience through their own body, how the compression and tension, the basic structural forces, effect, and how to reach rigidity.

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The beautiful results of the construction workshops were exhibited in the school on February 12, 2016.

Under the title of STRUCTURAL DISCOVERIES – TRANSFORMATIVE BREAKTHROUGHS: Mathematics Learning in the STEAM framework, Kristóf Fenyvesi and Osmo Pekonen has introduced Experience Workshop’s approach and its various results at ISOFF ICE SYMPOSIUM, and invited all symposium participants to Structural Ice project’s partner event, Bridges Finland 2016 to be organized at University of Jyväskylä in August 9-13, 2016 and to International Symmetry Association’s Symmetry Festival in July 18-22,  2016.  

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Joona Leinonen, principal of Poikola School in Juuka and mathematician and historian of science Osmo Pekonen at 4Dframe Experience Workshop’s exhibit, created by the students

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Akseli’s “Structural” T-Rex: the most popular piece of 4Dframe Experience Workshop’s exhibit

4Dframe Experience Workshop programs were supported by the 4Dframe company, the Korean KOCEF Foundation and Juuka municipality.

The local press provided a nice coverage of Experience Workshop’s event:

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The Structural Ice project is an official partner of Bridges Finland 2016, organized by the University of Jyväskylä.

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International team of Structural Ice project, Juuka, February 12, 2016

Find more photos on Experience Workshop’s Facebook page: HERE!

Experience Workshop would like to say thanks to Structural Ice’s project leader Arno Pronk and his colleagues Roel Koekkoek and Thijs van de Nieuwhof; to Iris Yang, Hogul Park, Taeyoung Choi and Wall Choi from 4Dframe and KOCEF Foundation; to Heidi Tanskanen from Juuka municipality; to Joona Leionen principal and all students and teachers, especially to Irma Moilanen from Poikola School in Juuka, and to Netta Konttinen and Roosa Väyrynen for all their help in the realization of the programs.

Photos: Structural Ice Project, Netta Konttinen and Kristóf Fenyvesi.

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