Page 1

architectural design studio



the university of melbourne : 2012


I NT R O D U CT I O N why

part I. expression of interest

I.0. Introduction I.1. Case for Innovation

I.1.1. Architecture as a Discourse I.1.2. Computing in Architecture I.1.3. Parametric Modelling I.1.4. Case for Innovation Conclusion

I.2. Research Project

I.2.1. Scope of Possibilities I.2.1.1. Input/Association/Output Matrix I.2.1.2. Reverse-Engineered Case-Study I.2.2. Precedents

I.3. Learning Objectives and Conclusion part II. project proposal II.1. Project Interpretation: argument II.2. Project Delivery: precedents II.3. Input/Association/Output Matrix: scope of possibilities II.4. Reverse-Engineered Case-Study II.5. Model and experimentations II.6. Learning Objectives and Outcomes: interim part III. learning objectives and outcomes: final III.1. Project Interpretation: argument revised III.2. Project Delivery: precedents revisited III.3. Fabrication Process III.4. Model III.5. Outcome: learning and reflection

param etric

des ign?

Our world is in a state of flux, technology is advancing at a rate in which traditional architectural contruction and design is arguably seen as the past. Yet another perspective is that innovative parametrical architecture is not what the future should be revolved around, architectural masteries of the past should not be forgotten and replaced with computer controlled design and work. Many argue that design is change, and parametric modeling represents this change. Planning and implementing change in the world around us is one of the key things that make us human. To the human enterprise of design, parametric systems bring fresh and needed new capabilities to explore the possibilities inherent in a design idea. However, limitations and constraints do have their due and stance. Parametric modelling is seemed as the ‘new generation’ of skills and professional success as designers, yet one may question what if this electronical device will completely dominate design? Overshadowing the classical credit of the designer’s pure talent? Through the use of precedents and concise research coupled with analysis, my insight as to how deep parametric modelling should be involved into the design will be revealed. Undoubtly it will be incorporated, hence it will represent a change and development to the Wyndham city. Yet it should be incorporated with nature. Yes! Mother nature! Architecture inspired from nature would definitely mean that a particular built-form would be able to give what nature is giving. I will attempt to show how the elements of nature are integrated into design: affects of natural simuli, response to natural elements. The idea is to extract the right ingredient from nature to make ‘something’ more adaptable like nature and more flexible. That is why this approach is most suitable.

For the first time perhaps, architectural design might be aligned with neither formalism nor rationalism but with intelligent form and traceable creativity. (Achim Menges)


‘Above all, architecture needs to be analysed as discourse’ - Richard Williams

A R CH ITEC TUR A L sc h ro d e r

ho us e :

g e r r i t

D I SC O UR SE r i et vel d

I . 1.1. nationale- nederlanden:



“It is through the consideration of architecture as a discourse that one can engage with its visual culture” states Williams. The De stijl, also known as ‘The Style’, is a Dutch movement founded by architect and painter Theo van Deosburg in 1917. They sought to express a new utopian ideal of architecture. They enforced abstraction by a reduction to the forms and colours which are only essential. They used primary colours and verticality with horizontality; simplifying visual composition. This is clearly shown and expressed in the Schroder House to the left. With a passion for purity. art had to be abstract, form only straight lines and join only the colours red, yellow and blue. The true pure shape would exist of straight lines and these pure, primary colours, emphasising the spatial effect of the design.

Frank Gehry’s This building Nationale-Nederlanden Building is not surprisingly very controversial at its inception. Not only did it standout stylistically, but it was asymmetrical out of character to its more traditional setting. The building is an example of deconstructivist architecture, with an unusual shape produced by digital fabrication. Also known as the ‘Dancing house’ it actually reflects a woman and man dancing together; possibly the elegant glass portraying the woman and the rough precast concrete portraying the man.

They wanted to distill art to a level of almost scientific precision and perfection. As a result, composition and balance played a huge part in their work, making the De Stijl art movement fairly influential in the next few decades of modern design and modern architecture. Consequenly, their work initiated a discourse as to what Dutch modernism should be. The nihlistic way in which they reformulated the vocabularly of modern architecture distinguished them from previous architectural art movements; causing a discourse.

Hence, Gehry is known to having a passion for breaking traditional architectural orders and bringing revolutionary elements into design. His innovative technique is percieved from the materials of shimmering stainless steel and sparkling polished aluminium, enforced via soft lines envoking modern romance. Thus, all forms and materials are absurdly combined and morphed together through the use of computational design. Although successful in bringing a change, it did create a great discourse: is there where architecture is heading? Hope not!

Contemporary computational design techniques are advancing in such a manner which, not only tremendously assits practitioners in portraying their ideas, but also aids in providing crucial insights to the possibilities which architecture, hand in hand with technology, will be heading.

The painting on the bottom left trademark works symbolising De Stijl’s motives, express discourse through the utilisation of several techniques. Simplicity enhances concentration of the viewer, focusing on the present and fundamental elements of the design whilst abstaining from the distractive.

Richard Williams, 'Architecture and Visual Culture', in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005),

Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003)

arc h ite c t ure


d i s cou r se


The abstraction of Mondrian’s paintings to there mere simplicity of only what’s required, alongside the different unusual forms of Gehry are precise examples of architecture as a discourse. Hence, in order to understand what discourse in architecture is, analysing those precedents is crucial. So what lead to those projects to be discussed and renowned to produce a discourse? Percieve their forms at the time, their innovation in which was different, unusual, and even unaccepted. Mondrian’s paintings were seen by artists at the time as meaningless, strange - bear in mind the artwork quality at the times of early 1900s and how they were represented: the detail, vibrance, life. It was one of the more esoteric modernist debates of that era, if Mondrians work is ever complete. His designes defined infinite extension as they did not stop short of the canvas but pointed to the space outside. As for Rietveld’s house, complete abstraction and purity is merely shown, beginning the age and demand of the modernist movement. Gehry’s building, how awkward of a scenery does it create juxtapositioned to classical heritage Victorian architecture? Such a contrast is emergent, intense ornamentation and detail compared to plainness, masonry compared to steel and glass. This is architectural discourse.


“Models capable of consistent, continual and dynamic transformation are replacing the static norms of conventional processes.” - Branko Kolarevic

C OM PUTATIO N A L acoust ic a l ly

re s p o nsi ve

D E SIG N c h amb er

Turning the performance hall into a dynamic environment for various types of musical events, the Resonant Chamber installation explores the acoustic possibilities of a space. It investigates ways in which it can be customized and adapted to suit almost any type of performance. Electro-acoustic prototypes in the shape of tessellated origami patterns aim to develop a soundsphere able to adjust its properties in response to changing sonic conditions. The structure alters the sound of a space during the performance by combining reflective and absorptive materials, along with sensors and output devices configured to achieve the optimal conditions for the sound occurring in the room. This technology allows sound to be produced through the face panels themselves by introducing vibrations through an electro-acoustic exciter. With all the technicalities explained, this architectural sculpture indeed does respond to surrounding environment. A natural stimuli, sound, affects the function of the piece. This is nature integrated into the design prcoess and outcome. This as a result creates awareness as to what the space is being used for, how and why, all from its forms changing in order to create a sign to the viewers.

I . 1 . 2. photobioreactors

Emergent’s design consists of an outcropping of human-scale Photobioreactors which relate to the city in a more nuanced way. These devices are intended to operate ontologically at both conceptual and visceral levels, in terms of space, color, luminosity, but also infrastructure and engineering. The photosynthetic process of the algae requires carbon dioxide on the front end, and produces bio-diesel or hydrogen at the back-end. These devices therefore simultaneously remediate the environment by removing carbon dioxide from the local atmosphere and generate fuel in a closedloop, off-the-grid system. One of the implications here is that energy production may, in the future, be super-localized and embedded in daily behaviors, rather than magically available from distant sources. Such an example to elucidate responsive architecture, which in fact opens paths to the areas it can explore and journey through. Responding to the natural stimuli of micro organisms, hence the results achieved. Not only acting as a healthy sculpture, yet a lamp for night viewing. This signifies the viewers the amount of excess carbon dioxide in our environment, and creates awareness to this issue.

c om p u t a t i o n

a nd

p rag mat i c i sm

The fathers of modern architecture, such as Le Corbusier, Mies Van Der Rohe and Walter Gropius were inspired by the automobile factories and methods of the era; this gave birth to the computer as a design tool. Parametric design is a method of intelligently designing architectural objects based on relationships and rules using the computer. These are defined in parametric software and are easily manipulated to quickly generate multiple iterations of the design in 3D. The use of parametric design will create an exciting, visually appealing installation at Wyndham’s City Gateway. From the precedent of Gehry, obsurd blob forms will not be influential, however the tesselated panelling and curvature creates an inspiration to be intentionally included. From the recycled cardboard hive structure, the tesselated forms similar in appearance to the Dancing House, are also influential and an insight into what the project could result in with the use of computational deisgn. Moussavi states that “Architecture needs mechanisms that allow it to become connected to culture.” The design will therefore utilise the new concept of computational design, in order a connection could be fabricated between form and material. As a result, the engagement with the design and the city will be epxressed by the produced affects and compositions. Such utilisation of design software will not only facilitate the preservation of Whyndam city’s culture and its expression, but will also advance its technological agenda and advancement; encouraging ‘a sense of pride within the local community’ . Hence the structure which responds to sound, the other responding to carbon dioxide. This is what computational design can produce. Amazing forms, aesthetically appealing.


Computational design a tool which provides an innovative realm to design, has been the advanced technique to architecutre. It has been pioneered for decades by architects such as Frank O. Gehry, who begun to exploit digital technology, originally developed for the automotive and airplane industry for architecture. Offering new ways of controlling form, parametric design allows architecture to react to its context, the environment and rules and regulations, enabling a completely digital workflow from design to manufacturing. With the use of parametric software, designers and architects are able to study relationship sand aspects of the actual construction including material, manufacturing technologies and structural properties all into the design process, making it alot more convenient. It has allowed for architectural design to become a generative and reactive process rather than one of evolution as the traditional and classical architecture movements were. Some argue that this is closer to nature, as D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s book On Growth and Form he argues, “an organism is so complex a thing, and growth so complex a phenomenon, that for growth to be so uniform and constant in all the parts as to keep the whole shape unchanged would indeed be an unlikely and an unusual circumstance. Rates vary, proportions change, and the whole configuration alters accordingly.” Hence, such tools transform complex issues into rational, simple decisions. It is why, as a design student, the need to understand the ambitions behind contemporary computation is a demand by the natural, virtual, built and social worlds.

*Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth (1945), On Growth and Form, Cambridge University Press Moussavi, Farshid and Michael Kubo, eds (2006). The Function of Ornament (Barcelona: Actar), pp. 5-14

“affords the designer opportunities to escape the strictures inherent in any software” - Mark Burry


c o m p o s i t e


a d ap t i ve

sy st em

I . 1.3. kiefer


s howroom :

e.g.brech t+ p

This project is a research which emulates self-organisation processes in nature. This is achieved by developing a fibre composite that can sense, actuate and hence efficiently adapt to changing environmental conditions. Such objectives consequently create a ‘living’ structure, integrating with the environment and the public needs of its presence.

The Kiefer Technic Showroom, by Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner, is an office building and exhibition space with a dynamic facade that changes to outdoor conditions, optimizing internal climate, while allowing users to personalize their own spaces with user controls. A pure example of reactive architecture, with the buildings skin responding to nature’s forces.

Natural organisms have advanced sensing devices and actuation strategies by providing the ability to respond to environmental stimulus. The skin of the structure is defined as a multi-layered tessellation forming a continuous surface which could have differentiated structural characteristics, porosity, density, illumination, self-shading and several other functions. Such is obtained through parametric design and computational software - increasing the complextiy of a forms function and structure whilst simpifying the process to achieve this.

The building is an example of reactive design. It presents a new facade as the day progresses, defining it as a dynamic sculpture that regulates the internal environment of the building. The sun screen operates on electronic shutters of performated aluminum panels. When occupants want to adjust the light or temperature in a room, they don’t pull on shades or twist a little rod. Instead, they can control any or all of the 112 metal tiles that grace the exterior of the showroom by means of 56 engines. This sensational integration of parametric design and reactivity creates a new phenomenon to the potentials as to where digital design and scripting can be heading. However while we think that the design of the showroom and the dynamic nature of the facade are truly spectacular, we do wonder how much energy is needed to run the engines that control the metal tiles. After all, while the shading does help keep unwanted heat out of the building and therefore minimize air conditioning usage, if the electricity needed to keep the tiles “dancing” exceeds the energy savings, unless if it is operated by mass solar generated power.

The actuation is carried out through shape memory alloy strips which could alter their shape by rearranging their micro-molecular organisation between their austenitic and martensitic states. This aperture expansion and shrinkage is utilised in order to achieve the reactive functions.

Courtsey of Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner

s cr i p t i n g

“If architecture wants to survive as a discipline, it needs to engage the culture of innovation and computing” (Mark Collins & Toru Hasegawa, Proxy). The use of scripting for the Whyndam City Gateway provides opportunities for production of more aesthetic, abstract forms. Kostas Terzidis states that “For the first time perhaps, architectural design might be aligned with neither formalism nor rationalism but with intelligent form and traceable creativity.” Being inventive towards the project adds value and status to the design, creating uniqueness and ‘an arrival experience’ as stated in the project brief. Kolarevic states that it’s only in the past few years that “the advances in computer aided design (CAD) have started to have an impact on building design and construction practices”. They opened up new opportunities by allowing the production and construction of very compex forms that were, until recently, very difficult and expensive to design, produce and assemble. However the agenda of reactive architecture to nature is further elaborated, taking into consideration how the design will be affected by the surrounding landscape and natural stimuli and integrated via scripting. As portrayed in the Technic Showroom, the designer presents the viewers a morphing structure influenced by the equinox of the sun. As visible in the adaptive system, apertures change size in response to natural factors. Absolutely responsive.

Moussavi, Farshid and Michael Kubo, eds (2006). The Function of Ornament (Barcelona: Actar), pp. 5-14


c ont e mpo ra r y




I . 2 . 1.1.

sc o p e

o f

p o s s i b i li t i es

The above combinations, made by using several inputs, associations and outputs in Grasshopper demonstrate the endless opportunities possible from the use of scripting. Such a task was associated with a diverse range of functions in order to create the path to explore and construct ideas that could possibly address the project brief of Wyndham City. Kalay explains that this prcoess is known as the ‘Solution Synthesis’. It is the creative phase of the design process, where the architect/designer forms ideas and possible solutions that might address the goals, constraints, and opportunities established during the problem analysis phase of the process. This is substantiated earlier by the reason of creating diverse matrices. Kalay continues that “It is not a rational process, for despite Louis Sullivans famous proclamation that “form follows function,” no such causal relationship has ever been found (at least not in architecture) between form and function.” However this is an intuitive step, in which the designer finds an arrangement of forms, views, orientations, lighting conditions, and other elements that come together into a holistic ensemble, where the parts support one another and have an intrinsic structure of their own. Although it is not a rational process, the synthesis of design solutions benefits from familiarity with precedents, metaphors, reflective sketching, as well as formal knowledge of rules of composition and style. In this instance, the fabrication of a physical model will be the medium to express and portray the synthesis of design solutions; being a symbol for the city of Wyndham’s advancement in architectural design and technology.

Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture's New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5 - 25

C A SE ai rs pa c e

STUDY t o k yo :

t ho m

I . 2 . 1 .2. f au l d er s Seeming as a hybrid between biomaterials, cell network, and a spider’s woven home, this interesting facade expresses the use of modern day scripting and parametric design to achieve a voronoi finish. Thom Faulders intended to create a layering of clothing to the building; inspired by the abundant greenery that previously occupied the site. This screen façade for Airspace Tokyo is an example of such a tessellating technique as four different overlapping organic patterns are made of laser-cut aluminium and plastic composite, wrapping the entire structure. The design in this sense creates a zone where artificial with nature, obtained via sustainability. Hence, sunlight is refracted along its metallic surfaces; rainwater is channeled away from exterior walkways via capillary action; and interior views are shielded behind its variegated and foliage-like cover. The motive behind such a decision of this case study is the structure’s behaviour in the atmosphere and affect from nature. It represents reactive architecture, responding to the elements of nature. the voronoi patterning is not the core choice, however the relationship between openings and environmental elements is the inspiration which the Airspace Tokyo clearly reflects.

Experimentation was taken with the voronoi, implementing several options in terms of layering and discovering the results of such an idea derived from the case study project. Single, double and triple layered methods were exercised which all produced differing results. The next step, how could layering create a link between natural elements? Which will be answered in the project proposal, and exemplify how the parametric techniques I am learning could be extended with performance driven design approaches in the project proposal.


Single layer voronoi


Double layer voronoi


Triple layer voronoi




reve rse

Single layer voronoi

Double layer voronoi

Triple layer voronoi

e ng i ne e re d

exp er i men t at i on

P RE CEDENTS n at io n a l

ce nt re

f or

I . 2 . 1.3. g er i at r i c s This proposal for the Geriatrics Centre certainly is an example for promoting responsive advancement in parametric design. The punctured facade is derived from a generative algorithm based on the Voronoi pattern. This form was used to find the optimal area of sunlight exposure resulting in a non-Euclidean geometry. The resulting aesthetic drew an iconic geometry giving a specific character to the urban and architectural context; as expressed through different sized puntures within the skin. Hence, this project interacts with the environment and is effectively inflicted by the natural stimuli of heat. Another reactive agenda is to generate an interactive architectural design not only in the design fabrication of the ‘ornaments’ but as well in its operation. The voronoi punctured skin was designed with experimental-compound Dupont prosolve370e pre-formed panels. Given its molecular structure, the material reacts to environmental CO2 through a catalyst reaction generating water and carbon monoxide, hence reducing pollution. Such an aesthetic clearly addresses the Whyndam brief, as stated to produce a design which ‘interacts with the landscape’. Furthermore, the question may be asked for why such a scientific controlled design as a design monument? The locality of the proposed design is adjacent to a highway, exposed to every pollutant and toxant produced by passing vehicles throughout a days length. So shouldn’t an attractive and ‘beneficial’ design be considered?

OR² :

orproject A change to the typical buildings, this sculpture reflects interesting design intents and a relationship to natural stimuli. The single surface structure reacts to sunlight, however instead of morphing forms due to heat, the structure changes colours. This is done as the polygonal segments of the surface, making up the entire structure, react to the ultra-violet light as exposed. Another example of the diverse ways in which design reacts to natural stimuli. The tesselation segments are fabricated from the use of scripting and computal software, then cut water jet cut as the material would detoriate from the use of laser cutting. This technique of patterning and ornamentation utilised through geometric tesselations links to several past precedents; The Nationale-Nederlanden building, the BMW Melt and the Pupa habitat. An inspiring ornamentation to me? Indeed. Moreover, when in the shade, the segments of OR² are translucent white. However when hit by sunlight they become coloured, flooding the space below with different hues of light. This clearly frames the project brief; ‘The installation will enhance the physical environment through the introduction of a visual arts component’. During the day OR² becomes a shading device passively controlling the space below it. At night OR² transforms into an enormous chandelier, disseminating light which has been collected by integrated photovoltaic cells during the day into the surrounding areas. Such an interaction with the landscape is crucial for the project brief, demanding attention from users of the highway and acting as a clear ‘signage’ and symbol to the city. The possible use of such an aesthetic will portray the entrance to Wyndham by the beauty of OR², the material which is in constant interaction with the elements, at each moment of the day OR’s appearance is unique.

bi o - pu ri f i ca t i o n


res pons ive


s culpture:


l i u

The voronoi inspired structure, other than visual appeal, plays a crucial role in cleaning the air of its surroundings. The tower sucks in dirt, grease, and bacteria out of the air, producing only oxidation and water as a result. The reaction is triggered by the use of a nano-coating of titanium dioxide on the outer skin of the project. This natural reaction is naturally powered by sunlight, acting on the titanium dioxide during the day and supplemented by ultra violet light at night. Hence, these UV lights are powered by energy collected through PV panels during the day; the sunlight being the natural stimuli. The tower will be a glowing indigo object at night varying in intensity according to the amount of solar energy collected during the day. The indigo glow will become symbolic of the cleansing, counteracting the yellow haze that dominates the daytime hours. This specifically near a highway such as Whyndam, will be crucial in benefits and expression of the city’s future and advancement. In addition, it serves as a symbol to mans usaage and affect on our natural environment.

The gigantic modern flower, measuring approximately 14m tall, is a sculpture composed of petals made of perforated galvanized steel. Constructed out of triangles and pentagons, derived through the use of scripting, the steel structural frame has 120 perforate galvanized mild steel petals fixed on it. Now how is a large flower reactive architecture? The sculpture features a wind turbine that generates renewable electricity to illuminate the sculpture - being a symbolic design viewed in the day and night. Hence, the pedals of the dynamic structure will glow in different colours as they flutter in the breeze. The designers believe that at a wind speed of 5mph, the turbine generates electricity that lights up the Future Flower’s LED lights. As a universal symbol the flower embodies the optimism required for the future of Wiyndham, while its performance embraces the future of architecture responding to nature. The natural stimuli playing a crucial role to its function is not sunlight; yet wind in order to generate power to enhance its aesthetic function. Therefore, using a natural stimuli to generate awareness of some sort. Indeed nature is crucial to its function, and itself responsive to nature. This is what I intend, a responsive sculptural design.

learn in g

o b j e ct i ve s

This process of adjusting to new digital techniques, succeeded by practicing the skills learnt and researching precedents and examples which will provide a basis for an innovation was evocative. Evocatively mind stimulating and struggling. However much learning was procuded, acting as growing fruit to be looked after continuously until they are ripe, which will be achieved in the following sections and methods to come. This research and experimentation has lead me to be interested in reactive architetcure even more, creating channels of further improvement and exploration and eventually being inflicted onto a model.

I. 3 . &

ou t c omes






ar gume n t

Responsive architecture is known to measure actual environmental conditions via sensors, in order to enable buildings to adapt their form, shape, colour or character responsively; via actuators. Therefore, we aim to refine and extend the discipline of architecture by improving the relation between nature and design with responsive elements while also producing a design that reflect the technological and cultural conditions of our time. After doing some background research within the Wyndham District, our group found that the wetlands in Werribee are actually damaged due to excess grey water with no source of outlet. Responding to the issue arise from the extra waste water, our group decided to explore ways to channel the waste water to the site and create a water inspired design for the Wyndham’s Western Gateway. And so, to create a whole new driving experience for the drivers on the highway, we decided to create a tunnel that acts as the filter in responding to the issue of overloading water, thus creating a water design through the interaction between the built and the natural environment.

I I . 1.

P R E CEDENTS wa t er

I I . 2.

c u r t ain

re a cti ve

This digital pavilion comprises with only a floor, supported columns, a roof platform and sensors all around it. When it closes, the roof will lower down and the entire pavilion will disappear, when it opens, the water will fall from the edges of the roof to create water curtain walls. Those water walls are controlled by motion sensors and computer programs. The sensors can display images and pattern by computer and furthermore, they can detect approach of any moving objects and open the ‘water curtain’ up and let the objects go through and close up. It works exactly the same way how Moses opened the Red Sea. By applying this technic to the Wyndham project, we could create a construction that reacts to the surrounding environment to perform it function automatically

p a vi lli o n

This construction reacts with temperature and sunlight to expand the size of those 14,000 pieces of bimetallic material and also control them to curl up and down. Considering to apply this environmental response to the Wyndham project, we can create a facade with these bimetallic material to perform a visual effect according to the temperature on site and to project shading to the ground by the sunligh density, furthermore, it is also possible to create shadowed patterns on the ground by those bimetallic elements.


th e

g r id

b lo o mi n g

Based on the goal in creating sustainable housing for China in year 2020, this project strives to create a dynamic building that continually evolves in order to optimise the power of the sun, wind and rain. Off The Grid looks into the notion of constructing a sustainble living quality within the building by applying skin technology onto the buildign facade. Instead of serving only as a structural componet of the building, the skin is functionally ‘alive’ and act as a membrane to harness energy. This membrane is the strong link between the exterior and interior habitat in collecting and channeling air, water and light from outside feeding into the inside space supplying all the necessities to live off the grid.

to w e r

The Blooming Tower with a kinetic facade, opens and closes due to environmental changas to to collact dew throughout the day. During the day, the sail cloth is closed and sarves to provide protection from the sun. While the flaps are dosed, a chimney effect is created in the tower and hot air rises up and out, drawing in cool air. Each flap also has the ability to move, and as it vibrates with the wind an attached piezo-electric device generates power for the building. At night, the sail doth flaps opan like the patals of a flower and collect dew from the night air and store it underground in a reservoir.This dew collection system is expected to capture enough watar to accommodata the antire building’s needs.



I I .3.

c h o se n

m a t r i ce s





These are the experimental matrices that our group have chosen to explore and the techniques used will be applied in creating a final form for the Gateway Project. One major common feature of these techniques is their ability to uniformly arrange the pattern using a slider to increase/ to decrease the amount of holes/ openings. By using multiple math functions, we are able to control each openings as the sizes of the openings are crucial in limiting the amount of rain water flowing through. The rain water that flows through different sizes of openings will then create different patterns as it flows down. Also, the image sampler can arrange the size of the hole by analysing the brightness of the a specific image/photo. In co-operating with photoshop, we can see the instant effect of the changing in hole size while we editing the image in photoshop, hence to adjust the matrices and create an ideal pattern

C AS E ai rs pa c e


STUDY t o k yo :

t ho m

f au l d er s

revers e


ex perim entation

Seeming as a hybrid between biomaterials, cell network, and a spider’s woven home, this interesting facade expresses the use of modern day scripting and parametric design to achieve a voronoi finish. Thom Faulders intended to create a layering of clothing to the building; inspired by the abundant greenery that previously occupied the site. This screen façade for Airspace Tokyo is an example of such a tessellating technique as four different overlapping organic patterns are made of laser-cut aluminium and plastic composite, wrapping the entire structure. The design in this sense creates a zone where artificial with nature, obtained via sustainability. Hence, sunlight is refracted along its metallic surfaces; rainwater is channeled away from exterior walkways via capillary action; and interior views are shielded behind its variegated and foliage-like cover. The motive behind such a decision of this case study is the structure’s behaviour in the atmosphere and affect from nature. It represents reactive architecture, responding to the elements of nature. the voronoi patterning is not the core choice, however the relationship between openings and environmental elements is the inspiration which the Airspace Tokyo clearly reflects.

Using the Voronoi script in Grasshopper, we manage to re-create the voronoi surface of the Airspace Tokyo. Below is the scripting for Voronoi patternnig.



expe rime nt a t i o n

Non-Uniform Voronoi Shapes

Uniform Circles Diameter of the openings (mm) Pace of water flowing down (sec)

To portray the idea of the interaction between the built environment and nature, our group decided to explore Voronoi patterning- a pattern that is derived from nature. However, in order to create a flowing water design, the openings of the form’s facade has to be uniformly shaped. Unable to maintain a series of uniform openings, we decided not to use voronoi patterning, instead we started exploring circles for the openings of the facade. Here are some of the exploration patterns with different diameters of holes. We wanted to test the relationship between the diameters (size) of the holes and the pace of water flwoing through the openings.









c onc l u sio n

After a few experiments, our group found that the distance between the holes has to be at least 0.05 mm apart from each other. This is to prevent the water from concentrating the water into one direction like the second picture. Also, we found the diameter of the hole is directly proportional to the speed of water flowing through the hole. Therefore, in order to control the water flowing pace, a water pressure system needs to be installed to comtrol the speed of water. As shown on both pictures, even after the water has fully flown out of the box, there are still water stains forming a sort pattern on the box. Therefore, our group thought of adding in biodegradable colouring into the collected rain water. Coloured patches can be formed on the road that could potentially create a different driving experience for the drivers on the freeway.

Pattern developed for experimention. The holes are too near each other thus water is unable to flow in individual direction as shown in picture.

The bigger the holes the stronger the water pressure.

i nte rim

f e e d b a ck

After the presentation, our group recieved invaluable feedback in regards to the design path we’re heading on and its relation the project brief. In regards to the conceptual premise for our project raising awareness of the wastage of water - we must make sure that this also engages with digital architecture as a discourse. This will be done by discussing and justifying how digital techniques enhance or extend the notions that we are trying to explore. The only analysis and justifications we have offered is that voronoi illustrates water molecules, when in fact it is nothing like water molecules beyond them being curvaceous. Hence, it was crucial for us to revisit our argument and engage with it more, offering greater development. From this precedents will be replaced, as the argument and concept of our design will also be altered. In addition, the combination of another group with ours caused a merge of ideas: dynaminism with responsiveness. This hybrid will create a diverse propsal, deriving new precedents and focuses, thus new outcomes.

I I . 6 .




P R O J E C T revis it in g


a r g um e nt

This engagement of this studio is founded on the growth and nurturing of ideas, transforming them from mere thoughts to design results. Wyndham City is in need of a gateway design which not only is innovative and a discourse but symbolic to its potential growth in technology and its culture. The wetlands in Werribee, suffering from excess grey water, are in demand of a solution as its contemporary state specifically affects its neighbouring city, Wyndham. The highway is a focal point in which visitors and locals of Wyndham journey through to enter the city. Parametric modelling is an architectural technique which is effectively renowned for producing visually appealing designs, not possible through traditional design methods. These two elements intertwined, the gateway sculpture and parametric design techniques, form a solution to the surplus of precious water. Who said mathematics can’t be used as an inspiration for design? For literally forming the design. A parabola is a conic section, which can be perceived as an arch when negative. The excess water, in fact, will form this arch of crystal clear fluid over the highway, creating an absolutely invaluable experience for the drivers. Several nozzles in a row, perpendicular to one other on each side of the highway, will be critically set and positioned to create overlapping arches of water streams meeting the opposite side of their secretion. Hence, a tunnel of webbed formed water streams will be created above the fascinated driver.



rev i s i te d


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Shooting graceful arcs of water into the air, fountains can offer lessons in geometric spectacle. One factor that makes some fountains more spectacular than others is the angle of the jets that send water in parabolic paths. The Magic Water Tour is currently the world record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world, consisting of 13 distinct fountains, many of which are interactive. All of the fountains are lighted at night, many with continuously changing color schemes. Fifty inch-thick jets creating perfect curves of water all in a line, this made a tunnel of water through which it was possible for visitors to walk under. The experience of the solid parabolas constantly flowing over head, accompanied by the roar of tonnes of water cascading seems incredible.

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An elevated elliptical platform in hand-polished black granite, is coated with a delicate membrane of water that serves as a mirror reflective base for a kinetic composition of illuminated water arches above. In most fountains, the water jets become wider and fuzzier as they shoot farther out, losing their precise definition as parabolas. One particularly dramatic exception is this indoor fountain. Precisely defined laminar flow produces jets of rapidly moving water that look motionless, like glass rods bent into parabolas. Each narrow jet of rapidly flowing water retains its circular cross section throughout its trajectory. The parabolic water activity is inspired by international flight paths. The streams are choreographed to create a kinetic display that varies from tranquil and contemplative to playful and energetic. When the flow is interrupted, you can trace the final segment all the way to the end, still following its natural arc. At times, the computer-orchestrated water choreography makes the segmented water jets look like exquisitely slim, silvery fish leaping through the air. A key element of these fountain designs is a special nozzle, invented by Mark Fuller (one of the founders of WET Design), that generates streamline (or laminar or turbulence-free) flow rather than the spray typical of most nozzles. At times, they are nearly still, creating a silent sculpture of interwoven arcs. The composition evolves as the streams begin to independently change in height. The kinetic activity can accelerate further, when individual streams, or clusters of water arcs in concert, leap and dance in whimsical and elating patterns and sequences. The streams are illuminated resulting in a radiance that emanates from within the water. Color varies, depending on the changing settings of the white overhead lighting. When the external light is withdrawn, the red illumination of the streams becomes resonant. These water elements and their sculptural surroundings are intended to interrelate, both architecturally and in spirit with their environment, creating an experience of vibrancy and wonder for visitors to the new midfield terminal.


seed s

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th omp son

‘Seeds of Change’ is a 10 metre high steel structure located at the eastern interchange (first turn–off to Werribee from Melbourne). The structure presents a unified leaf shape on approach, unfolding into eight separate sculptured steel frames as it is passed. The leading frames feature the black and red of naturally occurring rock found in the region. The design utilises materials such as galvanised steel fabricated into descending leaf shapes. The structure is embedded amongst native plants and is enhanced by moving shadows during the day and dramatic lighting at night. The structure represents the rapid growth and change Wyndham is experiencing, as well as the Wyndham landscape and the significant agricultural and industrial history of the city. It has enhanced the appearance of the gateway and encourages motorists to come and see what Wyndham has to offer. The structure enhances the appearance of this gateway and creates a Wyndham icon that symbolizes the communitys aspirations for the future.

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Four circles to be lofted to create cylindrical form,mimicking a tunnel structure.

As a result, twenty sectional parabolas with even spacing is created. The amount of curves, indicating the water jets, are one metre apart with a total of twenty nozzle jets.

An attractor point, representing the Princess Highway, centralises the parabolas on the road according to its form.

The curved parabola tunnel as a final result; with crossing arcs not in a parallel pattern creating a tight mesh like passage.

Water tubes layout for fabrication, each being 3mm of thickness.


refine d

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c onc e p t




The function and design of our project serves several roles in communication to the public. As you can percieve, the wall is featured with rocks which are a local natural resource of Wyndham city and of greater Melbourne. As a design precedent, we focused on 'the seeds of change' installation in the eastern interchange , first turn off Weribee. It contains black and red naturally occuring basalt rock that is existant within the region. These colours match and interlink with out entire design, incorporating it with the surrounding environment and the rich marone tone of the jarrah wood utilised for the wall. This also creates a bond between locals and their city. It is therefore apart of their daily lives communicating the peoples water usage.

Our design concept bridges the gap between responsive architecture and dynamic architecture, expressed through ideals of dynaism and movement. The design reflects a major aspect within the Wyndham community. With direct association to the western water treatments facility, treating over half of Melbourne’s waste water.

Nozzle positioning

The design acts in response to the excessive waste water, directly taking grey water off its course (into Port Phillip Bay) and reusing it in a way that will educate the viewers, promoting sustainable water use and expressed through a dramatic and eye catching show of dynamic water jet features.

Meshed rock feature wall

Zincalume wood toned box gutter

In addition, it has bcome moulded with the natural environment and Wyndham city, as it is almost invisible when not in function, as if a natural element. In regards to the function of the nozzles and the motive of the pattern, there are stages which control its operation. When locals are saving water and consuming this natural resource efficiently, the design does not become functional with water which indicates the decreased excess water in the werribee wetlands. Hence, the design becomes a naturally occuring feature, not reacting and at peace. However then locals increase in water consumption, the design drowns with the excess water extracted from the wetlands, which indicates the overly accumulation of inefficient water usage. As a result the design reacts and water irrespectively is secreted, expressing the designs reactivity to an issue and unrest which needs to be addressed. Consequently the design communicates to the users of the weribee treatment plant, via the path of visual dialogue.


a ct i ng

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Water jets forming crystal parabolas during the day, seeming as if driving through a tunnel of glass tubes.

com m unicating

The design at rest, with no water released. Hence indicating efficient water usage and no need for reaction.

Water being released, however at low levels, indicating the introduction of inefficient water usage.

Water jets running during the night, performing a luminous show of dancing glass.

High levels of water being released, with parabolas being extremely high pressure and high, indicating complete inefficiency in water usage.

re f le ct i on

Studio Air responds to the challenge of creating increasingly resolved designs by focusing on digital architectural design. It assumes that focus because digital architecture design constitutes one of the most vibrant and influential areas in contemporary architectural discourse and practice. I personally found this motive hard to accept and submit to, it is a completely new concept of learning and understanding which I have not had any experience before and did not have any interest in. However I learnt that computational capabilities introduce associative and performance based processes that imply new attitudes towards architectural design. Its influence on architectural creativity is immensely growing and filtering into practices. It is why I went against my interests and engaged with this advanced computation and took the risk to recieve education that is conceptually and practically obsolete.

This journey was indeed difficult, but inevitably an exciting challenge in certain ways.



in order to create something greater than its equation.



The formality and procedure of this course was principally self-directed. It introduced Coputer Aided Programs such as Rhino and Grasshopper. The online tutorials allows students to explore the workings and programming capabilities of these softwares. The major design brief was focused on the design of a freeway sculpture. This meant that any restrictions on regular arhcitectural assignments were lifted, such as the style, size and amount of rooms etc. Because these were not relevant to the project, students were able to focus solely on the creation of a form which followed their design concept. The readings and lectures often mentioned different views on the role of the designer. These views were important to acknowledge for further development into architectural theory.




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Studio Air Journal  

Progress Journal

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