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Digital Design - Module 01 Semester 1, 2018 Andrew MacKinnon (836149) Chelle Yang + Studio 1

Week One

Reading: Zeara Polo, A. 2010. Between Ideas and Matters.

According to Zeara-Polo, the diagram does not play a representational role in the design process but provides an organisational and can have a performative quality depending on how it is deployed. Explain how Diagram is different from Signs and Symbols? (100 words Maximum)

Signs and symbols have a representational role in conveying meaning about their dynamic object. They often get used in conjuncture with other medium, such as drawings and graphs, to convey information that is not able to be conveyed in real physical space. A diagram, however, always has a close link to space, may it be temporal or physical. It is a way of conveying organisation, relationships and performance in space that is more abstracted than the actual design plans. Abstraction of ideas of circulation, threshold, arrangement, form, and use, into diagrammatic form is often the best way to conceptualise ideas. Diagrams help to realise and communicate complex ideas.


Week One

Precedent Analysis

1. Nico Saieh, Venice Biennale 2012: Radix/ Aires Mateus, 2012, photograph, 2. Tracing plan and elevation 3. Iso of spheres and box lined up with gumball, ready to Boolean Split 4. Iso of model with ribs added using intersection of circular surface.

I put the plan and elevations from the LMS into Rhino using pictureframe and used the dimensions provided to create the spheres, ellipsoid and box. Using the move command I aligned the centre of the spheres onto the plan and then used the the gumball and heights provided in elevation to enter the amount needed to move on the z-axis. Once all aligned as per plan and elevation, I selected the spheres as cutting objects and boolean split them and the box. This resulted in the pavilion and the voids. To create the circulaton and threshold diagrams I exploded and changed around the parts that are visible before moving into illustrator to edit lines and shades. The ribs were modelled using a circle surface and the intersect command.


Week Two

Reading: Hertzberger H. 2005. The in-between and The Habitable Space Between Things, from Lessons for Students in Architecture. Herzberger discusses how design should not be extreme in its functionality. Use your precedent study to explain how the pavilion allows for an appropriation of use. (100 words Maximum)

Herzberger explores the in-between spaces near thresholds to exemplify how allowing for affordances and accommodating for potential can result in wonderful uses of space that functionalist design cannot offer. Pavilions allow for an appropriation of use because they are not extreme in their functionality. Radix offers a space that is divided by three thresholds in which users can use for anything. The varying sizes of volumes, and the four directions of prospect, or view, provide diverse types of space with varying sunlight and privacy. The inclusion of the canal side steps allows for multiple uses like mooring, sitting and passing by, while also creating a cooler space.


Week Two


Rhino ‘Radix’ Model This isometric Rhino model shows a wireframe view of the Radix pavilion by Aires Mateus. This pavilion uses the maritime theme of its location, in the way of its steel structure, boat like form and influences in arching from the nearby buildings. I modelled it in wireframe to show the arched ribs of the underside of the form, the ground plane to emphasise the stairs on the river side and to show the curvature of the spherical cutting objects. Illustrator was used to edit the line weights and types in order to express these desires. This model taught me how 4 simple forms can be intersected to create an amazing sculptural piece of architecture. It has given me precedent for a new style of designing where diagramatic exploration aids the process. I learnt that form can greatly influence the circulaton through the building and thresholds allow an entrance from which to circulate. Circulation seems to have been a key aspect when designing Radix. It is carefully built to create three distinct spaces where circulation is filtered through the centre two arches. Entering the space can be done from the canal side or the land side, by boat, or foot. The sculptural form of the building also allows for circulation around and past the building, while still interacting in the form of observing.


Week Two Diagrams

Circulation Diagram

Threshold Diagram

The circulation lines, the circulation space, the pavilion’s form and the wormeye view showing the arched volumes that create the circulation space.

Depicting three distinct spaces made up from the ellipsoid and two spheres. These spaces are divided by three intereior thresholds and the canopy of the arching provides a threshold between outside and in that forms the in-between space.




Import plan and elevation JPEG from LMS to Rhino with Pictureframe and create 8000 x 8000 x 4000mm box.

Use move command in top view to move spheres onto centre points on plan.

Use Ellipsoid diameter tool to create ellipsoid and spheres with the measurements provided in the elevations.

Use z-axis of gumball to move the spheres down to appropriate heights according to elevation.


Appendix Process

When all lined up as per elevations and plan, do Boolean split command. Use spheres as cutting objects and box as object to be cut. Leaves you with spheres, voids and the pavilion.

Using a circular surface, repeat intersect command to create ribs on exploded roof. Use 10 degree intervals to keep even and pivot around the centre point to ensure similar pattern to precedent photos.


Explode and move components apart to create desired threshold and circulation diagrams. Regroup and move layers.

The finished Rhino component of Module 1.



All Rhino modelling made 2D with hidden lines in isometric parallel SW view. Exported to Illustrator.

Illustrator used to edit line weights of iso to 0.25-2. Allows dashed lines to be added for extra detail.

Illustrator used to edit line weights to 0.2-1.0, and to add dashed lines for hidden lines. Colours and gradient too used to add shading effects to show areas of threshold.

In Design used to create pin up print out and journal.


Andrew MacKinnon M1 Journal Diagramming Design Precedent  
Andrew MacKinnon M1 Journal Diagramming Design Precedent