Mid-Century Modern Raspberry Pi
My architectural taste has long been aligned to people like Frank Lloyd Wright, and those who went through the Taliesin Fellowship: John Lautner, Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, etc. Iconoclasts who sought out startling and lasting designs.
So in thinking about the case that I would like to house my Raspberry Pi—when it arrives here in Canada—my mind has been mulling over what Wright termed to be Organic Architecture. Architecture with minimal ornamentation, but rather than the sterile designs that we see often termed as “Modern”, Wright embraced natural materials while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of building sciences. For an excellent review of the principles in Wright’s designs, please see the wonderful book Wright Sized Houses. Or better still visit the many homes that are open to the public to view for a modest fee, e.g., Falling Water, Taliesin, HollyHock, Kentuck Nob, Darwin Martin House.
Later on many of these principles evolved into Mid-Century Modern Design.
So here is my take on a case for Raspberry Pi. Built with a few floor samples, which constitute the floor and roof of the “case”, brass screws and nuts as stand-offs, and a few tools to put it all together. All available at your local building supply store.
Let’s start with the horizon. Wright loved the horizontal line. Even in his brick work he would have the masons scallop out the horizontal mortar lines and leave the vertical ones filled. And he liked the shape of the elongated Roman bricks. So in my design I have sought out the horizontal line.
Wright sought to make spaces intimate and accessible by keeping scale proportionate to the occupants. He eschewed grand proportions, but added lots of layers to keep the delight factor high. This is what I spoke about in my talk entitled “Typesetting with Masonary“. I refer to this as the distinction between Density of Design vs Density of Ornamentation. In my case, I want the scale to reflect the tidy proportions of Raspberry Pi. Maybe, I should have called this section Raspberry Pi Scale.
Here, I went and got some bamboo flooring samples, which are given away freely at building suppliers. I wanted to have a little of detail in the mounting of the Raspberry Pi—something befitting its special design—so I used 8-32 x 1 1/4″ brass screws. As a stand-off on which the Raspberry Pi board would rest through its mount holes I got some knurled brass nuts which also act as coupling pieces for the upper and lower screws. The only nuts I was able to find were size 8, and these may be too large in diameter to slip through the mounting holes. I may have to gently drill out the holes that are in the board to make this work.
Usonian was a term that Wright adopted from its originator, James Duff Law. In Wright’s interpretation, it came to refer to inexpensive designs using natural materials, flat roofs, and long overhangs. But instead of coming out industrial, I call them instinctive. You enter and everything feels comfortable. The first of these houses was the Jacobs House.
My design uses free bamboo floor samples, a few brass screws and nuts, long overhangs and an almost flat roof; I gave it a slight angle to add to the interest of the design. Does the pattern now begin to appear?
Of course, the final implementation will have to wait until I have a Raspberry Pi in my hands. I will post pictures of the completed project then.