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STUDIO AIR

TOBY WOOLLEY

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389110


Toby Finnian Woolley - 389110 - Air Studio - Daniel Davis

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CONTENTS ONE

Case for Innovation 5

TWO

- Virtual Introduction

Architecture as Discourse 6-7 8-9 10-11

THREE

- Discourse - Peter Zumthor - Greg Lynn

Architectural Computation 13-14 15 16-17

FOUR

- Computing in Architecture - Specialist Modelling Group - 4D control

Parametric Parametricism 19-20 21-22 23-24 25-26

FIVE 28

- Parameters of Definition - Power and Problems - Parameters of the Box - Parameters of Form Wyndham Parametricism - Parameters of Brief - Conclusion - Learning Outcomes Algorithmic Exploration

SIX 29-30

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31

- Parametric Louver System

Bibliography


partA

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CASE FOR INNOVATION


virtual

INTRODUCTION

I am Toby Finnian Woolley. I am 21 and a third year Architecture student. I am from Tasmania, and my family is still living there. I am not well versed in computational design. I have used Rhino in previous semesters for Virtual Environments and Studio Water, however am relatively new to Grasshopper and Parametric Design and currently ignorant to the possibilities it offers. My first introduction to digital technology was through first year subject VIrtual Envionments. The subject was an introduction to both Rhinoceros and plug-in Pannelling Tools. I learnt the power of digital technology and the relationship it has with physical fabrication. The process of manipulatable digital form becoming constructable surface, and developing a digital language of communication for future studies. The design process used natural analogy to determine and justify form. My design was an abstraction of the interaction of a dinoflagellate’s bioluminescence reacting to the human arm in liquid. It was an attempt at trying to define from through a dynamic natural process, designing through manual techniques that were then computerised and realised physically once again. Allowing form and structure to be interlinked and interconnected. It was my first interaction with computerisation, and this subject shall be my first interaction with computation, resulting in different and dynamic design processes that challenges the way in which I percieve design and its process of creation. Currently my knowledge and appreciation of digital design techniques is limited. The role digital technologies play in the current architectural landscape is exponentially growing, as are the programs and possibilities computers offer for architectural design. I hope I gain a deep understanding of digital technologies position and potential as an architectural tool over the coming semester.

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architectural

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discourse


architectural discourse

ARCHITECTURE AS DISCOURSE The etymological origins of the word discourse began in Late Latin with the word discursus, meaning ‘conversation’. Fittingly, the discourse of architecture is the process of understanding, processing, and thinking about the conversation that is Architecture. For Architecture to be a discourse it needs to be a conversation. It is this that allows for architectural study to be a perennial part of the human psyche, culture and identity. It is responsive to place, climate, culture, society, economy, emotion, reaction, and spirituality. It is an ever evolving physical response to the human condition. Discourse in architecture differs by how one achieves solutions for architectural problems. It is the architectural language one speaks in conversation that defines ones beliefs and outcomes in practice. The brief given by Wyndham City Council states: ’The Western Gateway should propose new, inspiring and brave ideas, to generate a NEW discourse’ To try and understand how one generates a ‘new’ discourse I shall analyse two architects Peter Zumthor and Greg Lynn. Peter Zumthor is fundamentally addressing how people ‘dwell’, through the importance of craft and tectonic considerations. Greg Lynn is interested in technological advances and what that can ‘offer’ in the creation of space, relying on computational discovery to validate architectural form and function.

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discourse This opposition of how architecture is generated and importantly for what reasons it is generated, can allow for the conversation of a new discourse to begin. Looking at the fundamental aspects of architecture - COMMODITY, FIRMNESS and DELIGHT - that were outlined by Vitruvius in his Ten Books on Architecture, holding true some millennia after they were written. Commodity: the role of construction to find sustainable solutions, economic materiality. Firmness - the importance of structure, and of permanence. Delight - the intangible, the ephemeral, the phenomenological, what defines architecture from engineering, and design from mass production. All of these define good architecture, as obvious two thousand years ago as it is today, and just as relevant. It is through forming new connections, parametric connections, adaptable connections, inspiring connections - that a new discourse can be theorised and attempted, that looks at both the past and the future for inspiration. Realising that commodity, firmness and delight have existed in architectural work since its genesis, but that new tools, new ways of thinking and new challenges exist and can assist these age old architectural considerations in the creation of a new, exciting architectural discourse .


“Designing is inventing. When I was still at arts and crafts school, we tried to follow this principle. We looked for a new solution to every problem. We felt it was important to be avant-garde. Not until later did I realize that there are basically only a very few architectural problems for which a valid solution has not already been found.” — Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture, A Way of Looking at Things, p. 21

“I believe that they [materials] can assume a poetic quality in the context of an architectural object, although only if the architect is able to generate a meaningful situation for them, since materials in themselves are not poetic.” Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture, A Way of Looking at Things. pp 27 Photos by Leigh Woolley Architect

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architectural discourse

peter zumthor

Timelessness, materiality, tectonic, place, truth, craft, phenomenology, atmosphere, ART. All of these words describe the discourse that Zumthor follows, it is not grounded in the ephemeral, but in its existence. It fights against bombastic ideas of digital flourish and grounds itself to place and emotive connections to history, memory, smell and touch. Never defined by the architectural tools that allowed for its creation, but by the atmosphere and history of the place and story of its purpose. It is a tectonic expression of space and place. From Patrik Schumacher’s attempts to define discourse in The Autopoeisis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture (Schumacher, P 2011 pp.18) none correctly define Zumthor’s Architecture. A type of Architecture that can only be applied to a select set of Architectural works, that place emotive concerns above economic ones. An architecture that prides itself on the craft of construction and what that craftsmanship offers to the experiential qualities of space. From the AR series THE BIG RETHINK, by Peter Buchanan, Zumthor is seen to be grounded in craft and not artistic frivolity ( Buchanan, P 2012. pp.22). He addresses construction across scale, from the individual building component, (such as the connection of the bricks at Kolumba museum, referencing layers of earth and history) to the relationship the building has within the precinct it dwells within. His Kolumba Museum, uses light and shadow to bring about emotive responses to space, creating mystery and intrigue.

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It is a tactile architecture, one where you see his past, his original education as a cabinet maker, where the scale of detail is evident at the micro yet expressed within a grand scale in every brick, creating a poetic composition -architecture that is in the details. It is an architecture that is full of delight, that element that turns structure in to architecture, that defines architecture from construction, man from computer. An architecture whose parametric

qualities, - its ability to change and react to human involvement- are not based on physical malleability but on the manipulation of light and space and the human element. It does not need to validate itself through the use of the tools designed to create it. It would be ground breaking if one could achieve the poetics of Zumthor through algorithmic, generative, parametric, iterative design processes, creating an exciting new discourse in architecture. One that connects the human to the digital, the experiential with the mathematically exponential, the craft of construction with the precision of computation, joining what is currently differing world views, embracing the humanistic with the futuristic. Zumthor is one of many architects who push the humane, locally relevant, regionally specific agenda. Aalto and Utzon, were seen to push the humane Scandinavian tradition within architecture, a belief in place generating tectonic logic and rigour while also in turn responding to sensory concerns, informed by culture and landscape. Current examples of Architects who have similar considerations include Japan’s Kengo Kuma, whose architecture responds to Japanese traditional construction, and the role of architecture to consider place and culture within a globalised Japan. Peter Stuchbury and Rick Leplastrier both of Australia, are more localised examples of architecture being as much a tectonic consideration as a humanistic one. Leplastrier’s work referencing the poetics of construction, while adressing sustainability, and tectonics, giving meaning to material through composition and use. There is a strong architectural tradition that values the beauty of construction, of place, of history and of craft. Zumthor is a shining example, expressing the humanity in architecture, and the delight in its experience.


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figure 1

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The way I used to justify forms that were happy accidents – now that’s embarrassing. The fact that this has become the pedagogy that I’m associated with is really very, very, saddening to me. That I hate. I hate seeing students today making their own versions of these animation techniques I used to do, I really hate that – and I’m ashamed of that. But everyone has got to go through that amateur phase. Now, there are no happy accidents. Lynn, Greg and Carson Chan (Interviewer). “Greg Lynn: Curve Your Enthusiasm.” in: 032C. from Issue # 15, Summer 2008.


architectural discourse

greg lynn

Digital, arbitrary, parametric, difference Greg Lynn, is almost diametrically oposed to the type of Architecture Zumthor generates. His concerns and solutions are of a global response, tectonic considerations are dismissed over surface based form finding. Mutatable blobs that deterritorialise materiality and address structural organisation and construction as a malleable process. Lynn discusses Symmetry as occuring not due to perfection but through a loss of information, he sees optimisation as something that should be dismissed, using computation and calculus to create works. His use of parametric considerations can be seen with his Korean Presbyterian Church (fig. 1), in Queens New York. The building ignores modularity, but adheres to repitition. This can be seen with the external stair component (fig.1) that consists of five roof like structures, that are made up of different dimensions of material, unique angles and distances between structures, a process Lynn believes could not be achieved without computers. It is the antithesis of optimisation, of reduction, of the common practice of fabrication. His use of parametric, algorithmic design, is evident in his proposed renovation of 500 housing units in Amsterdam (fig 4). His use of parametrics is through the 122 individual, unique structural trusses, that support the building diagonally, and as the building moves and alters so do all of the individual truss supports. Lynn sees this algorithmic alteration as a harmonic synthesised relationship between the buildings elements. Even though construction, fabrication, risk management, problem shooting are all increased by this approach. He talks about ‘complexity’ and the blob in his article Blob Tectonics, or why Tectonics is square and Topology is groovy, describing the issues of tectonic architecture, of anthropomorphic architecture, he presses the need for adaptive, global, maleable form, but does not explain how to achieve it. His architecture seems to be based in the digital realm, harking back to inspiration from calculus but not responding to current construc-

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tion beliefs and techniques. Seeing ‘surface’ and ‘curve’ as generators, form defining change, with program being an insert. Lynn’s architecture goes against those fundamental ideas of ‘commodity’ of ‘firmness’ and of ‘delight’. It is a digital way of thinking, an arbitrary way of designing through a formal logic. Even though as his quote shows on pp. (11) he really hates that idea. The question then is which view of architecture does one follow? A humanistic, tectonic, local response? a digital, malleable, adaptable, global response? or is there a happy medium? The role of parametric design should not be seen as one that defines beliefs in architecture, but one that aids the creation of more complete and rigorous outcomes. If one has tectonic and humanist interests when designing this should not mean a rejection of digital technology, nor if one embraces digitalisation and computation that the human element should be forgotten in the pursuit of algorithmic rationality and refinement. Discourse shall not be created via a tool, of which parametrics is, discourse shall be created through beliefs, ideas, outcomes - a discourse is a discussion - of which parametrics has the power to direct but not define. After analysing both Architects I feel that my views on the importance of commodity, firmness and delight are unchanged and are truly represented via Zumthor, however parametrics does not mean these considerations are lost, but that the rigor in retaining them means one must truly undertstand the tool one is using. Traditional architectural techniques have been around for 2000 years, digital techniques for no more than 50, we are in a state of change, using tools not fully understood, and not fully developed. Lynn challenges these tools and embraces them, for this he should be commended and thusly in relation to this subject revered.


architectural

COMPUTATION computing in architecture

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architectural COMPUTATION

computing in architecture

Norman Fosters GLA Headquarters, a true example of digital analysis defining form and program.

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Frank Ghery’s Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - the zeitgeist for digital information modelling

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figure 7


architectural COMPUTATION

computing in architecture

The development of the ‘architect’ has been a process of continual evolution, evolving with societal, technological, and cultural advances. It has not been since the birth of the 2D architectural drawing in the renaissance period, that architecture has had such a dramatic change in its conception and documentation as it is facing today with the computerisation of architecture. (Yehuda, K, 2003, pp.3) The computer has largely been seen over the past 30 years as a replacement for manual documentation techniques, a computerisation of ideas, as opposed to computer generated ones. Utilising computers as a analytical tool, as opposed to a generative one. It is this lack of creative ability, that defines the computer from the mind. ‘Computers contribute their superb rational and search abilities, and we humans contribute all the creativity and intuition needed to solve design problems’ (Yehuda, K, 2003, pp.3) However, it is this symbiotic relationship that gives computers such a powerful place in the future of design conception. Where a pencil is a physical extension of the hand and marks down the mental processes of the user, a computer can be a tool where mathematical, analytical processes are being performed while the design is being conceived. This can be without the user knowing how that analysis is being performed, and in conjunction with and responding to the design process. It is this symbiosis that defines computers as a powerful tool for architectural conception and creation. The computer has only recently become powerful enough and user friendly enough for the architectural industry at large to utilise this shift towards computational design as opposed to computerisa-

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tion of design. It was Frank Ghery’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (fig. 7), that Kolarevic defines as the zeitgeist of the digital information revolution, that challenged design conception, as well as the manufacturing and construction of architectural design, on a scale not seen since the industrial revolution. (Kolarevic. B 2003. pp 3). The designs inception was still created outside of the digital realm, however its optimisation, manufacture and construction would not have been possible, both temporally or economically without the use and aid of computers. Thus, computers have since been seen as a tool that has allowed for forms and construction processes not economically possible to become viable design outcomes, opening a plethora of computational tools to become available to aid in the optimisation and creation of architectural forms. For example the creation of digital performative architecture, such as Norman Foster + Partners, GLA Headquarters (fig. 6), whose form was generated by an optimisation of its energy efficiency, via a reduction of the surface area that came in contact with the sun(Kolarevic, B 2003 pp 25). This performative approach, that utilised year long sun pattern diagrams to optimise the form, while also reducing the surface area but retaining the volumetric capacity, shows the power of digitally generated design processes as a way to reduce construction cost while increasing energy efficiency, therefore creating more sustainable design solutions. This shift in architectural thought, away from computers simply being a tool for refinement and documentation. Becoming a generative component in the design process, allowing performance feedback, thus creating a generative design process, held within the digital realm but responding to physical, structural, economic and environmental factors.


architectural COMPUTATION

specialist modelling group

When architects have a sufficient understanding of algorithmic concepts, when we no longer need to discuss the digital as something different, then computation can become a true method of design for architecture. pp.15 computational works - the building of algorithmic thought. 2013 The above statement resonates strongly with me, it is this view of ‘the digital’ vs ‘the physical’. The need for computation to develop to a point where one is not seen as designing digitally but simply ‘designing’. When this occurs it will mark the coming of age of the computer as the primary tool for design conception and creation in the architectural profession. The physical process as a point of creation will become the exception, while computers become the convention. One of the most innovative and pioneering Architectural practices for sustainable design and computational design research is the Foster + Partners affiliated Specialist Modelling Group. This group provides the Foster + Partners with expertise in computation, geometry and fabrication (AD, 2013, pp 19). It shows potentially the worlds most famous architectural firm has embraced computation as an integral part of design conception and construction. The National Bank of Ku-

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wait Head-Quarters is an example of an integrated computational design process, where parametric modelling was used from initial design conception, for rapid prototyping of form, allowing a feedback look between design teams and SMG, while also allowing form to be guided by various performance parameters. These parameters were responsive to design, structural, environmental, functional and operational requirements.(AD, 2013, pp.34) The projects major architectural expression are the major vertical fins than act as sun shading devices, while also defining form. Through Parametric modelling and design being parametrically realised from conception, the buildability, function, program, form, geometric realisation, and visualisation could become a fluid process. (AD, 2013 pp. 35) Where analysis and reconfiguration does not require design rethink but design refinement.

The obvious power this process holds, in an age where optimisation, sustainablity, constructability, efficiency in form and function, in materiality and construction is paramount to successful architecture. These tools allow for this to occur on a level not seen before, and from inception of the design process. This is where I see the power of computational design. Integration equalling information. Complexity becoming competency. Design remaining paramount. Right: Parametric model of National Bank of KUwait HeadQuarters, showing parametric controls and considerations. Below: Design variation and form discovery through parametric modelling.

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4d control

architectural COMPUTATION

Left: Volume of Walt Disney Concert Hall, showing a 4D model developed in 2003. Still the ‘idea’ or design intent was developed externally from the computer, a combination of computerisation using computation to physically realise the concept.

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Right: Internal photo of completed Walt Disney Concert Hall

Computation seems to be the future of computer aided design, It allows for the tool being used to become a generator of ideas, not just a facilitator. The Knowledge Centre, which is part of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is an example of computation being used to create a feedback loop between design development and fabrication techniques. (pp.26 computational works) The Glulam structural members were designed to be able to create a universal mould for all beams, even though their dimensions changed, this process allowed the design team to then rationalise the design, creating a design that was responsive to fabrication prior to development, it was a generator of form, and structure, while aiding in its fabrication. Fabrication rationalised the designs generation, instead of post rationlisation reinterpreting it. The quote by Kostas Terzidis (right) has helped me understand and quantify the power of computational design. its ability to interconnect, interpolate and then extrapolate information in a complex system, responding to design considerations, creating feedback loops as seen in National Bank of Kuwait Head-Quarters, that allow Right: The Knowledge for parametric responses to complex Centre, part of the issues, connecting design to digital, M.asdar Institute of Sciand inturn the pixel to the physical. ence and Technology. Developed by SMG. A purely rational approach to design descovery and problem solving.

figure 11 Computation is a term that differs from, but is often confused with, computerization....Computerization is about automation, mechanization, digitization, and conversion. ....In contrast, computation is about the exploration of indeterminate, vague, unclear, and often ill-defined processes; because of its exploratory nature, computation aims at emulating or extending the human intellect.... It is about rationalization, reasoning, logic, algorithm, deduction, induction, extrapolation, exploration, and estimation..... Terzidis, Kostas (2006). Algorithmic Architecture (Boston, MA: Elsevier),

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architectural COMPUTATION

This quote, written in 2003 by Branko Kolarevic is in essence describing BIM. BIM modelling such as Revit, has allowed for building information to become a coherent singular development, where design, analysis etc. can be developed as a cohesive progression of building construction. The idea that follows that this will allow Architects to regain their original standing as ‘master builders’ is an exciting thought. That digital technology can give power back to the architect, to not just develop form, function, program and humanise space but to take a building from inception through to construction is a really exciting idea, and retains the architect as a fundamental profession for the future.

4d control The ultimate goal becomes to construct a four-dimensional model encoded with all qualitative and quantitative dimensional information necessary for design, analysis, fabrication and construction, plus timebased information necessary for assembly sequencing. The result is a single, cohesive, complete model that contains all information necessary for designing and producing a building. Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing (2003). pp 8

Electronics now rule. The architectural profession can face this new condition as an increasingly irrelevant, resistant rump—insisting on materiality and practicing a nostalgic modernist revivalism while potential clients vote with their feet. Theorists can take solace in Heidegger, and construct loftily disdainful texts about all things technological. But it is more productive, and certainly a lot more fun, simply to retire the exhausted dogma of architectural composition and construction as our world is rewired. Mitchell, William J. (1998). ‘Antitectonics: The Poetics of Virtuality’, in The Virtual Dimension: Architecture, Representation, and Crash Culture, ed. by John Beckmann (New York: Princeton Architectural Press), pp. 204–217

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This rejection of the past, of craft, of tectonics, of tradition, of place, of culture is a futurist ideology. To disconnect from the physical and the tactile and to embrace only the digital and the pixel denies that human phenomenology, the sensual qualities inherent with humanised architecture. Heidegger was questioning the temporality of our explanation of a building, thus challenging what we see the earth, the sky, mortality and divinity to be. (G.L.Walker. pp.4 1993) Denying architecture of its intangable qualities is stripping it down to commodity, to structure and to function.... 1998 is 15 years ago, and the intangible is more fundamental than ever. Without delight the architect would be dead.


parametric

PARAMETRICISM parameters of discovery

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patrik PARAMETRICISM

parameters of definition

There is nothing new about parametric thinking in architecture. Great architecture has always been aware of its social role, and has consequently been informed by multivalent parameters. Farshid Moussavi - Architectural Review - viewpoints: Farshid Moussavi on the need for parametric thinking. September 2011

One must not view ‘design’ parameters as a contemporary architectural discovery. Parametric considerations and parametric constraints have been applied to architectural design since humans began to create shelter. Parameters of material, of construction, of weather, of sun, of shade, of culture, of history, of society and of economy. Thus ‘parametricism’, this confusing modern term -(Patrik Schumacher in his text for AJ ‘Let the style wars begin’ attempts to define as a style)- must run deeper than stylistic and categorial considerations. If form is what is dictating parametric design (as a stylistic interpretation would suggest) then parameters are not there for architectural consideration but purely sculptural realisation. Parametricism as a stylistic genus. Then what is true architectural Parametricism? In his lecture on Parametric Design, Daniel Davis, defines his preferred definition as one by Weisstein 2003, 2150: a set of equations that express a set of quantities as explicit func-

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tions of a number of independent variables, known as ‘parameters’” This definition then dictates parametric design as being something far more logical, mathematical and algorithmic than an artistic or stylistic consideration. Fluid, sinuous forms and organicism, must not be assumed to define ‘parametric’. One needs to look at parametric as a path of creation not purely for formalistic outcomes (however desired forms may result) but as a way of creating a solution that is responsive to architectural problems, that then allow for one to define and constrain. Input parameters that define and inform output, then creating a new input. In Patrik Shumacher’s’ book, The Autopoeisis of Architecture, Shumacher attempts to stylise a new ‘discourse’ called ‘Parametricism’, it is important to note (as Peter Buchanan’s quote to left shows) his definition of parametricism is not parametric modelling, it is a stylistic interpretation of form being a driver for program, an aesthetic func-

tionalism. His reasoning behind a universal term for ‘parametricism’ is as clear a path of self interest as the Corbusian Modulor, an attempt at monopolisation of architectural thought and outcome - thus income. Therefore, for the purpose of clarity and perspicuity the term parametricism shall be ignored, and I shall use parametric modelling as a preferred definition for the use of algorithmic parameters. This allows for future emphasis and creation of discourse to not be emblazoned with pre existing labels of parametricism. Not allowing aesthetic beliefs to pre determine judgement of ‘discourse’ and architectural outcomes. ‘Rejecting Parametricism.... does not imply a rejection of parametric modelling. This is an immensely useful... part of any architects repertoire... the sculptural and scale-less forms typical of ‘Parametricism’ are not necessarily implied in parametric modelling, they refrence the personal aesthetic preferences of the designer.’ Peter Buchanan in response to Patrik Schumacher’s stylistic explanation of ‘parametricism’ - Peter Buchanan The Autopoiesis of Architecture: Dissected, Discussed and Decoded. AR March 2011


parametric PARAMETRICISM

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Powers and problems


parametric PARAMETRICISM

Powers and problems

Parametrics offers a multitude of possiblities to the architectural discourse. Adaptable solutions, quick iteration, algorithmic efficiency, the power of change and control are all positive feedbacks that parametrics offers. This can be shown through figure () which shows a graph indicating the cost of design decisions and their ability to change, in relation to the stages of construction. (Davis, D 2013) This graph identifies that unlike a standard architectural design process where cost of architectural and construction changes increases greatly as design passes Design Development, in parametric processes the implication of change to a project financially in relation to architectural changes only occurs once construction has began, thus proving the adaptability, efficiency, control and power of change over a project is largely increased. This power of change can be emphasised through ‘The Dermoid’ produced by SIAL and CITA in 2011, for the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (pp.131 CW 2013) this project used parametric modelling tools to generate its structural form, importantly due to its parametric inception, its ability to change, and the control over that change, allowed for drastic design changes to occur only days before its fabrication and erection. (pp.131 CW 2013) Offering a first hand example of the efficient design process that promotes iteration, evaluation, reconsideration, and thusly reconfigurtion right up to manufacture when using parametric modelling tools. What is becoming more and more prominent and important in parametric and scripting culture is the power for self creation of the design environment one designs within. (pp.129 CW 2013) It is this ability to create and define the environment, freeing the potential to design unique solutions and creating parameters and processes that are unique to specific architectural probems. Without the knowledge to create such solutions Architects cannot fully embrace the scirpiting movement, and are a slave to those who produce the programs architects depend upon (2011. Burry, M), questioning the creativity of

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the architect as a designer. Daniel Davis on his lecture on Parametric Design, discussed the issue of front loading. This occurs due to the nature of parametric modelling which defines inputs (parameters) to impact outcomes. Thus potentially hindering design development due to lack of foresight, inability to define parameters, inability to define and determine which elements would be dependent upon other elements (2008. Weisberg, 26.12) and thus, resulting in the hindering of the creative process. This is important in the argument for more traditional modes of design, where humanistic qualities are often implemented and developed in a more abstract, compartmentalised process of design development. Where the fluidity of design is through the development and skill of individual creative moments not defined by computational skill levels or an ability to pre defined architectural decisions. Another concerned raised by Mark Burry in his book Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (2011) is the real danger of automated and repetitive design, aiding the creation of Semperian surface decoration, and elaborate yet repetitive facade treatments. This is down to a lack of userability and understanding of parametrics and scripting within current architectural practice. Design being dictated by the understanding and mastering of ones tools. Utilised for economic purposes as often the algorithmic processes are already designed. Important because architects should not be seen as purely creators of financially lucrative structures, architects need to have a greater design role and design responsibility than purely economic concerns, thus making sure that if parametric modelling is used there is flexibility and possibility to change throughout the process, design becoming as fluid as the enviornment it sits within, and as adaptable as the tools used to create it.


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figure 16

parameters of the box

Toyo Ito’s digital model of the structure of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House. Designed using parametric modelling tools.


toyo-ito PARAMETRICISM

parameters of the box

Architecture has to follow the diversity of society and has to reflect that a simple square or cube can’t contain that diversity - Ito, Toyo. ArcSpace. Taichung Metropolitan Opera House 2006 Toyo Ito, 2013 Pritzker Prize winner and world renowned Japanese Architect, has employed the use of parametric modelling to create the doublecurved, continuous, internal, interconnected surface that defines the horizontal and vertical space of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House. It is a study in form and program being interlinked, defining walls as ‘interconnected space’ a homogenous massing that questions the rigidity of modernist programme. His quote above allows insight into his belief and reasoning behind this projects disregard of rectilinearity (even though the building is contained by a rectangle.....). What is important about the project is that spatial connections -views through space, interactions between users, and building functions- have been parametrically constrained (Andrezej Piotrowski, 173, 2011) and have allowed for an interconnection and complexity of program (thus form) that could not have been realised without its use. The complex spatial organisation is defined by a digital process of spatial creation. This process divided a membrane in to A and B between two surfaces, these surfaces are then pulled apart, creating two homologous spaces, separated only by the double curved membrane. (ArcSpace 2006) This process is then repeated from above and below, allowing two horizontal and vertical spaces to develop, all connected via the structural membrane. (ArcSpace 2006) This process

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of evolution of space was made possible through digital generative tools, that allowed for manipulation of surface and volumetric considerations to take place in response to each other, allowing what Toyo Ito describes as the ‘Emerging Grid’ (Ito 2010, p.172) This ‘emerging grid’ is a series of intersecting tubes that relate at 90 ° angles, allowing for the volumetric and building program to be constrained, while also allowing for the parametrically modelled surface to blur the buildings spatial understanding through a fluid relationship between its parts. Thus, the buildings form, program and structure all dependent on, and a result of parametric modelling. This building can be seen to have used parametrics to implement some of Patrik Schumachers positive principles of parametricism, with soft form, function parametrically active and the buildings activities communicating with each other. (Schumacher, 2010, pp.42) It is an example of the power of parametricism to physically manipulate structure in response to program, and allowing for fluid relationships to occur because of the aforementioned design process.


hadid PARAMETRICISM

parameters of form

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http://www.architectural-review.com/home/innovators/ riverside-museum-by-zaha-hadid-architects-glasgowuk/8616624.article


hadid PARAMETRICISM

parameters of form

To the majority of people, Zaha Hadid and her firm ZHA, are the zenith of ‘parametric’ ‘digital’ architecture. A sinuous, form based and stylistic architecture. Architecture that is immediately recognisable as coming from ZHA and whose conception was derived via digital means. Originally Zaha Hadid developed her architectural ideas through manual design conception, from paper models to expressive painting. However in the past decade the firm has moved towards the use of digital technology as a driver for form based design conception as opposed to more manual modes of discovery. ZHA is where the agenda of ‘Parametricist’ Patrik Schumacher, is played out in real time. The Riverside Museum by ZHA in Glasgow Scotland is a prime example of parametric architecture dictating form over context, and homogeneity over articulation. The design is in essence a large open plan shed, that runs 120m from end to end, and is defined formalistically through its striking contoured roof, that is a analogical representation of the river systems that contain the buildings north and south axis. (Murphy. D. pp.47 2011) The roof (fig 18) was created using parametric tools to create a form that sweeped across a series of curves, that were ‘responses’ to the local environment (Murphy. D 2011). These curves then created the stylistically striking roof and internal space (fig 17). This form based conception that derives form before function means there is an inability to determine scale, thus not allowing the user to place themselves in relation to the building and more importantly the landscape this building is meant to ‘respond’ to. This is partially due to the homologous nature of the buildings zinc cladding, that offers no visual clue to the components that allow for its ‘form’ to exist. The question then is parametrics the cause

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for a lack of humanistic references and considerations, is it the digital form and its ‘beauty’ in 3D space that then renders the physical experience null and void? There is no doubting the striking quality of the form from particular view points, and it is this ‘wow’ factor, the ‘starchitecture’ that allows ZHA to hold such high standing in the architectural profession. Importantly in responding to the brief of Wyndham City, to ‘propose new, inspiring and brave ideas, to generate a NEW discourse’ the role of form based architecture is merited. Wyndham wants to bring attention to itself, for people to see positive futures in its postcode, an architectural statement that promotes the area and its potential to be a place to live and prosper. Parametric design has allowed for complexity of form and complexity of program to develop and become an icon of ZHA. People associate futuristic construction with ZHA, and thusly its process of generation and outcome is validated. Therefore a stylistic statement that is driven by form over function, by perfectly rendered money shots instead of tactile relationships, visual ecstasy over human experience. This is important to question as the Gateway needs to be a statement for the future of Wyndham, and using parametric design to achieve such a statement. Maybe sculptural considerations should override structural or functional reason. (this is not saying that The Riverside Museum does not have structural and functional logic) And maybe Parametrics can offer it all?


wyndham

figure 19

A

PARAMETRICISM

parameters of brief


wyndham PARAMETRICISM

parameters of brief

conclusion

learning outcomes

The role of parametric design to define a discourse is ill conceived. Its role is not one of architectural autonomy, where its use is defined by a stylistic aesthetic, or functional rationale, but as a tool to provide greater control over the design process. It could be argued that architecture is a process of discovery not of creativity, a discovery of logic that is already there but must be put together in the perfect sequence. A response to social, cultural, functional, climatic, and economic considerations. If this is the case then parametrics and the computer will become the future designers of our cities, Architects shall become redundant, their purpose to rationalise and refine shall be far superseeded by the algorithmic, precise, rational power of the computer. However, I do not believe this to be the case, the delight should never be removed from architecture, romanticism, the intangible, the ephemeral, the tactile, the phenomenological shall always be demanded by great architecture, and this is what I shall put forward for the Wyndham City Western Gateway Design Project,

During Part A: A Case For Innovation I have realised the power and importance of digital technology in the future of architectural discourse. The debate about what role technology plays in the future of architecture, the discussion of its influence and the coming realisation of how dependent the industry has already become on digital processes - solidifies the computers importance as the greatest architectural tool since the scale drawing. The subject has offered and opened new light on my beliefs in computation as a valid point of departure for architectural works, that the computer if held in the right hands can be a complete tool for architectural discovery. Yet also realising that the computer is but a tool, it is not an architectural solution. I have realised the power of stigma, and the negative connotations that ‘parametricism’ has in architectural discourse, that stylistic formalism is not the true power of parametrics, that optimisation, sustainablity, climate response, structural efficiency, economic rationalisation are the real possibilities made available through parametrics. The empty aesthetic rhetoric that I previously believed parametric design to promote is but a small faction in a much wider and more important evolution of architectural design. Through experimentation I have realised the malleabilty, efficiency and possibilities that parametric design through Grasshopper offers the novice designer. If and when I become more profficient using the tool these possibilities will only increase. Therefore also realising that my lack of experience and skill means I am highly limited in what I can produce, and that without proper guidance and parameters set by the course I would find the task at hand unachievable. I am greatly looking forward to turning parametric ideas in to design, creating a precise, and poetic composition.

’The Western Gateway should propose new, inspiring and brave ideas, to generate a NEW discourse’ A design that places importance in commodity, firmness and delight, utilising the newly learnt parametric design processes to try and amalgamate 2000 year old construction logic with developing digital design tools to create a discourse that positions the past along with the present. Delight through digital design.

A


algorithmic

A

explorations


algorithmic explorations

Grasshopper definition

A

parametric louvers This is an example of using Grasshopper to create surfaces that respond and align with points. This means one can parametrically determine sight lines, control pointlights, offer release of view and or restriction of view. This type of control could be used effectively in the design of the gateway, controlling sight lines as one moves across a form, or a series of sections. Allowing both restriction and release of view when desired. While also potentially offering parametric responses to sunlight and shade and or light to penetrate the form.

Define curves and points. Divide and create axis line.

Offset curve, define 3pt plane.

Create 4pt Surface responding to position of point.

Offset to create thickness.

Final outcome.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

AD. 2012 March/April. The Innovation Imperative : Computational Works – The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne University 2013, Gwyllim Jahn. (5-147) Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 – 71 Farshid Moussavi - viewpoints: Farshid Moussavi on the need for parametric thinking. Architectural Review - September 2011. 14 Gerald Lee Walker, “Heidegger and modern architecture” University of Pennsylvania (January 1, 1993). Ito, T. 2010 Toyo Ito & Associates in: K Sejima, ed. 2010. People Meet in Architecture: Viennale Architettura 2010. 12th International Architectural Exhibition. Venice. Marsilio Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 3 – 28 Lynn, Greg (1998) “Why Tectonics is Square and Topology is Groovy”, in Fold, Bodies and Blobs: Collected Essays ed. by Greg Lynn (Bruxelles: La Lettre volée), pp. 169-182 Lynn, Greg and Carson Chan (Interviewer). “Greg Lynn: Curve Your Enthusiasm.” in: 032C. from Issue # 15, Summer 2008. Mitchell, William J. (1998). ‘Antitectonics: The Poetics of Virtuality’, in The Virtual Dimension: Architecture, Representation, and Crash Culture, ed. by John Beckmann (New York: Princeton Architectural Press), pp. 204–217 Murphy, D 2011 ‘Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects, Glasgow. UK.. Architectural Review June 2011. London 47. Peter Buchanan The Autopoiesis of Architecture: Dissected, Discussed and Decoded. Architectural Review March 2011 London. 41 Schumacher, Patrik. 2010. ‘the Parametricist Epoch: Let the Style Wars Begin.” Architects’ Journal 231 (15): 41-45 Schumacher, Patrik. 2011. The Autopoeisis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture. Terzidis, Kostas (2006). Algorithmic Architecture (Boston, MA: Elsevier), 14 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5 – 25 v Patrik Schumacher, ‘Introduction : Architecture as Autopoietic System’, in The Autopoiesis of Architecture (Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011), pp. 1 – 28 Woodbury, Robert (2010). Elements of Parametric Design (London: Routledge) pp. 7-48 Zumthor, Peter Thinking Architecture, A Way of Looking at Things. Birkhauser. University of Virginia. Virginia 1999. Figure 1: http://www.worldarchitecturemap.org/buildings/new-york-presbyterian-church Figure 2: http://www.designboom.com/architecture/greg-lynn-korean-presbyterian-church-of-new-york/ Figure 3: http://archinect.com/blog/article/21452029/255th-dream-song-of-john-berryman Figure 4: http://glform.com/buildings/transformation-of-the-kleiburg-block Figure 5: http://glform.com/buildings/transformation-of-the-kleiburg-block Figure 6: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_400/1242722952dtyYm2.jpg Figure 7: http://www.davidhealdphotographs.com/data/photos/114_1guggenheim_bilbao_ph005.jpg Figure 8: AD. 2012 March/April. The Innovation Imperative : Computational Works – The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne University 2013, Gwyllim Jahn. (31)

Figure 9: AD. 2012 March/April. The Innovation Imperative : Computational Works – The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne University 2013, Gwyllim Jahn. (31)

Figure 10: Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing (2003). pp.8 Figure 11: http://mikebm.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/walt-disney-hall-1.jpg Figure 12: AD. 2012 March/April. The Innovation Imperative : Computational Works – The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne University 2013, Gwyllim Jahn. (34)

Figure 13: .http://www.core.form-ula.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/zaha_hadid.jpg Last accessed 26/03/13

Figure 14: AD. 2012 March/April. The Innovation Imperative : Computational Works – The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne University 2013, Gwyllim Jahn. (131)

A

Figure 15: Daniel Davis 2013, Lecture 3. Accessed via LMS. Melbourne 2013 Figure 16:<http://www.pritzkerprize.com/sites/default/files/gallery_images/toyo-ito_taichung-opera-house-03.jpg> last accessed 26/03/13 Figure 17: http://www.architectural-review.com/home/innovators/riverside-museum-by-zaha-hadid-architects-glasgow-uk/8616624.article Figure 18:http://www.architectural-review.com/home/innovators/riverside-museum-by-zaha-hadid-architects-glasgow-uk/8616624.article FIgure 19: Photo courtesy of Kirrily Barnett. <http://cargocollective.com/kirillybarnett/Point-Cook> last accessed 26/03/13

Studio Air: Part A  

Studio Air: Part A: Case for innovation

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