Minimal Surface Privacy Screen

As an architecture student who has recently started taken morphology classes, I have become very interested in parametric modeling, specifically for the purpose of creating smooth minimal surfaces, with no hard corners. In order to model these types of shapes, parametric modeling tools are needed because the software we have is not meant for this type of freehand modelling. With this interest in mind, I immediately knew what type of form I wanted to create for the Privacy Screen. I began researching grasshopper plugins that could be used to create this type of form. By using Kangaroo, I could create a networked vault that creates a hyper smooth minimal surface based on the input of only a few lines. I then created a script that you generate a series of interconnected lines, that varied in terms of radius, offset length, and number of sides. This gave me a wide array of forms that could be created using on a few lines. I inserted a component that also changed the strength of gravity. Once I had this surface I used Weaverbird components to create a pattern within the surface that allowed for gradients of privacy depending on the Z Axis. I also added a component that would change the thickness of the screen. Overall I would consider this experiment to be a successful one. I was able to create a vast library of minimal surface screens, however if I had more time I would like to improve the texture of the surface as well as add more variety in the patterning, maybe randomly closing some opening or combining some to make certain openings larger. I would also like to improve the consistency of outputs, with some not even connecting at all, however this did lead to some fun discoveries as I was going through the series.



  • Radius of Screen
  • Number of Sides
  • Arm Offset
  • Gravity Strength
  • Screen Thickness

Privacy Screen Update

Initially I wanted to create a script that generated a certain type of minimal surface shape. Doing this proved to be difficult because everything I had been working on used low-poly minimal surfaces that you had to create yourself in Rhino. This did not allow for very much customization within Shapediver. Keeping with the same minimal surface idea, I transitioned to script that creates a networked vault using a set of lines. Now instead of figuring out how to customize the low-poly minimal surface I just had to create a script that customized the lines being used to create the networked vault. This allowed for more customization, however I’m still struggling with how to keep the inputs super rigid, because sometimes the sliders can create a minimal surface that is separated from itself or floating.

My next step it to mess with the actual surface pattern and see if I can create script that adds more customization to the shape and size of the pattern within the actual screen.

Privacy Screen Ideas


For the privacy screen assignment I’m interested in using minimal surface forms. I’m more so interested in the shape of the privacy screen itself rather than the pattern produced within the screen. I’m trying to get inspiration from the triply periodic minimal surfaces as well as some organic handmade models. I’m not too sure how this is going to work but I’m going to look at some kangaroo and pufferfish tutorials and see if there is a way to create parametric minimal surface meshes.