Community Profiles: Robby Kraft
by Nim Wunnan
Robby has been a part of the Research Club community in Portland since our early days at the Tribute Gallery, making domes, origami, and other amazing objects at the intersection of math and art. During Glitch Studies, part of Research Club’s Body of Knowledge exhibition series at Gallery Homeland in 2011 in which he collaborated with Stephanie Simek, he uttered the line “I will be performing the digits of pi in binary while my robot plays it in tertiary,” right before doing just that — like a boss. He’s advised on and contributed to many projects with many other members of the Research Club community. Recently, he helped me build a 1v dome for a show I was part of at Place Gallery. That was when I learned that he had just completed work on a dome-building app, so it seemed like a great time for a profile.
Domes are traditionally generated from one of the 3 platonic solids made from triangles. within each face, you add more points and lines in the same way the serpinksi triangle fractal adds more points and lines.
Then it’s given a final rounding that sets every point at exactly the same distance from the center of the platonic solid. finally, you can slice it at any meridian, bubbly like Epcot center, or thin like a yamaka.
Domekit is all you need to generate the plans to build your own customized dome. It runs on iPhones and iPads, and has been used in classrooms to make toothpick and marshmallow domes as well as 20ft wide habitats. It’s a recent addition to the Domekit project which began in 2011 with a successful kickstarter campaign started by Michael Felix to make domes accessible to everyone.