Ball-Nogues Studio
Custom 3D form-finding software for Copper Droopscape, a sun-shade structure built for the 2008 Coachella Music Festival


Copper Droopscape (detail). Photograph: Alex Aristei



Designer: Ball-Nogues Studio

Project: Copper Droopscape

Venue: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Links: Copper Droopscape Interactive Panorama, Ball-Nogues Studio: Copper Droopscape, Coachella Festival

Description: Commissioned for the 2008 Coachella Valley Music Festival in California, Ball-Nogues Studio's Copper Droopscape floated over the expansive festival grounds for ten days, providing both visual spectacle and shelter from the harsh desert sun. The open mesh canopy, assembled from 864 unique mylar parts, actively engaged the wind, rather than resisting it in the manner of a conventional fabric structure.


Our Role: Custom 3D form-finding software, member of Project Design and Development Team


Working closely with Ball-Nogues Studio, we created custom software tor explore the form of Copper Droopscape and expedite its fabrication. The software made design and revision fast and intuitive. Qualities such as the degree of mesh openness and depth of the 'tail' are parameterized so that they are continuously variable across the canopy surface. Rather than drawing each of the unique mylar parts by hand, the architects were able to devote their full attention to defining the abstract and functional requirements of the canopy. The custom software automatically generated the hundreds of components making up the unified canopy system, labeled them, and prepared files to drive a computer-controlled cutting machine.