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Anna. From a very early age I was exposed to the architecture and construction world through my parents. As much as I would like to say it was through their professions, I instead must be truthful and pin point it to the countless house inspections I was walked (dragged) through in order for my parents to build their long-awaited home (timeline - nearly 15 years). So, I am not sure whether it is a forced attraction or natural, but I hold a strong interest for residential architecture. This interest was spurred by a work experience program I completed in high school, and hence drove me to be here, currently studying my third year Bachelor of Environments, majoring in architecture,


Throughout my course so far, I have been exposed to the great use and ideas of sustainable arhcitecture, both residential and commercial, and have found a passion for this. The ever-changing world we live in and fortunate exposure to developing technologies makes me question ‘why not?’ use our architecture to promote sustainability when it can be acheived through such wonderful design. My experience with digital design is minimal, I have previously designed all by hand and therefore have a limited knowledge and skill of applications such as Rhino and Grasshopper. However, I am eager to learn the digital side, realising it will benefit me and I will require it in the architectural field, which is largely increasing its use of technology resources.


B1. Material Performance

Fig. 1

Material performance focuses on employing the correct and most efficient material for the design and the purpose of the project. Architecture is evidently a practice largely dependent on materials, hence architects should be throughly aware of the relationship between materials and the environment so they can later embed the sppropriate materials and receive the appropriate response from the enterprise1. For a considerate time now, form has been drawn from structural logic, but it should also be largey drawn from materiality too2. In a time where efficiency has become more important than ever and for construction to follow this, materials should be highly discussed regarding their performance in contrast to the specific project. There is the potential for materials to change largely when exposed to dffering en-

Fig. 2

vironments3 and for this reason if a design is to build from material performance these differences must be tested. In regards to computational design, material performance is able to be tested through software such as Grasshopper. By testing key parametres of a material (fibre orientation, ratio thickness, etc) to environmental conditions (moisture content, sun exposure, wind levels, etc) a defintion can be established to model the results as parametres and condtions vary, later producing a material efficent outcome4. For these reasons of maximising a material my group decided to explore this material system further.

From material performance, tensile membranes were focused on. Tensile mebranse became of interest due to their maximisation of strength through minimisation of material and instant connection with kinetic energy.

Fig. 3



B2. Material Performance ‘Voussoir Cloud’ - Iwamoto + Scott

The Voussior Cloud by Iwamoto and Scott, is a vaulted pavilion consisting of an array of ‘petals’ in a Delaunay tesselation5. The term ‘voussior’ commonly refers to a heavy wedge-shaped block used for arch construction, however in the case of the Voussoir Cloud it bears a porous light wieght response6. The overall design form of the structure was found through a practice, used by both Frei Otto and Antonio Gaudi, known as the hanging chain method, to find the most effiiceint vault shapes and arrangement7. Instead of modeling this method, a computational hanging chain practice was instead used8. A stress test was also carried out to highlight the key areas where high strength was required, so a lightwieght material could be used without decontructing consequences9.


The Delaunay tesselation exterior follows a logical structural pattern. The bottom of the vaults have a tightly compressed petal arrangment to ensure stability, which grow into a porous light weight design, that is even more emphasised when the structure is illuminated10. The Fabrication applied lazor cutting to produce cut and scoured sections o laminated wood, that were folded and zip tied together11.

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Cull Fcaes (end mesh) F, F, F, T.

x, y, z (sliders) 0, 0, 0 Kangaroo: false

Cull Fcaes (end mesh) T, F, F, F.

x, y, z (sliders) 47.5, 0, 0 Kangaroo: false

Cull Fcaes (end mesh) F, T, T, T, F, F, T, F, F, F, F.

x, y, z (sliders) 0, 37.5, 0 Kangaroo: false

x, y, z (sliders) 0, 0, 67.9 Kangaroo: false Increased RInt scale

Cull Fcaes (end mesh) F, F, T, F. F. F. T, F, F, T, T, T, F.

x, y, z (sliders) 0, 0, 67.9 Kangaroo: false

B2. Material Performance Iterations.

B2. Material Performance

B3. Case Study Exploration

B3. Case Study Exploration ‘Community Hammock’

‘Hyper-Toroidal Deep Surface Prototype’ -

Numen/For Use

The ‘net’ experience by Numen comprises of a layering effect of flexible nets, displayed in the air12. The nets are connected via counterpoints to one another and depend on tensile strength for suspension13. The maze of nets provides a perceptive, spatial and perception experience14 to the visitor hence giving the project somewhat functionality. The ‘floating landscape’15 relies on the strength of the tensile mesh material optimising its performance.

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Fig. 10


The project consists of a cylindrical geometry16 that is repeated in an advanced pattern. each having an inner and outer mesh. The mesh relies on a spring and particles simulation engine, where tension is distributed bewteen the surfaces as well as a node network of anchor points connected via cables17. The outcome can be controlled by the anchor point locations and advancement of the geometry18.

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B3. Reverse Engineering ‘Hyper-Toroidal Deep Surface Prototype’ -

To reverse engineer it was clear from the protoype explanation that a geometry had to be created with an interior mesh and exterior mesh. We began withthe above geometry and turned it into a mesh. Following that, the anchor points were selected at the openings, and an interior mesh was created. The anchor points were the sites for the relaxtion stimulation to take place, this was done through Kangaroo plug-in. When


the stimulus was engaged both meshes would relax, the interior more than exterior due to a smaller ‘rest length’, and therefore tension would occur at the selected anchor points and through cable like connections. To manage the final stage, two geometries were used with one vertically flipped, and anchor points manipulated.


B4. Reverse Engineering Iterations.

Species 1: Design: The double mesh creates multiple experiences and views from differing angles, as does the numerous circulation opportunites. The openings tend to have a drawing-in effect, celebrating the centre of the form.

Species 2: Design: There is a dramatic experience for the visitor moving within this species, provoked by the strong move from wide to narrow. The form adds onto species one, in the way it draws-in then draws-out, if one moved through.

Species 4: Design: This form takes on an interesting horizontal movement, giving the outside viewer an intriguing perspective.

Species 5: Design: Following on from species 4 the form takes on a snaking formation in also the y direction, further encouraging people to explore the structure


Energy: The inner membrane provides an elestic platform for kinetic energy to be produced. The vertical aperture provides a great ptoential for energy production via wind.

Energy: The highly tensioned internal membrane has potential to elicit high amounts of kinetic energy by human movement.

Energy: Kinetic energy can be harnessed through public interaction. There is potential for solar energy to also be utilised.

Energy: Prompting people to explore the formation allows for kinetic energy to accumulate through human movement. Wind will also affect this, especially in the areas where the structure takes on the y direction.


B5. Prototypes

The prtotypes aim to represent the differing membrane approaches that could be taken. Figures 14 , 15, 16 and 20 model the final outcome, illustrating three contrasting membrane options. These options were highlighted due to wind generation, the panelling mesh (figure 1 and 2) to bethoguht to generate the most energy. To the left (figures 17, 18, 19) is a simple prototype, created to understand the inner and outer mesh structure as seen at the beginning of the case study.

Fig. 14, 15, 16, 17 ,18, 19, 20 (clockwise direction starting at top-left).



B6. Proposal

Through a membrane pavilion weaving through the site our aim is to generate energy via untilisation of the wind. The membrane was chosen for this exact energy generator as it was felt the flexibility the structure could adopt, yet still maintain stength and stability, would be optimised in wind conditions. The form is generated to give an appealing visual to the viewer, and take advantage


of the unoccupied site. The membrane is attached to timber beams which produce appelaing sights when accompanied by the sun.


B7. Feedback

After presenting, it was evident that we had lost focus on designing for the brief and instead focused too much on what form, shape and look we wanted our structure to take. This loss of focus can be pin-pointed to B4 where we chose outcomes on attractive forms rather than ones best suited for energy production. This is clearly seen as we move away from height in species 1 to a low lying structure in species 5, when height is most beneficial for our primary energy technology - wind. It was also clearly understood that we had


no evidence or data to back up our proposal. Instead our prototypes, modeling different membranes, were based on our assumption to what would work best regarding wind and hence produce the most energy. Focus needs to be placed back on the intial tensile membrane idea, and with addition of height and experimentation a new form will be created.

B7. Learning Outcomes

Part B encouraged practice of Grasshopper and forced me to comprehend an indepth knowledge of the computer software which I would have struggled to gather from online tutorials and videos. New to the computational design area, it helped to have two partners to provide feedback and assistance when my lack of comptational ability hindered results. I found it beneficial to explore different defintions as it helped to learn the inputs for differing cells and their intended outcome/output. Overall, I found Part B quite challenging, it challenged my ability to understand one concept then to quickly move on to learning the next. However, I do feel the section was beneficial in this way too.

Time became a threatening factor, as some stages occupied more time then intially thought. I have gained a greater knowledge of how to design via computational design and a better understanding to how software like Grasshopper works.


B8. Appendix 1 Michael Hensel, Architectural Design: Versatility and Vicisstude, Vol 78, Issue 2, (2008), pg 36. 2 ibid (2008), pg 38. 3 ibid (2008), pg 39 4 ibid (2008), pg 39. 5 Iwamotoscottarchitecture, Voussoir Cloud, (2008), < VOUSIOR-CLOUD> 6 Buro Happold, Voussoir Cloud, (2011), < project/voussoir-cloud-142/ > 7 Iwamotto, (2008). 8 ibid, (2008). 9 ibid, (2008). 10 Buro Happold, (2011). 11 ibid, (2011). 12 Numen/For Use, Net Hasslet, (2011), < > 13 ibid, (2011). 14 NewsGallery: Numen/For Use: Avant Garde mixed with play, (2012), < http://www. > 15 Numen/For Use, Net Hasslet, (2011). 16 Universitat Stuttgart, Achim Menges: Deep Surface Prototype: Project 1, (2011), < > 17 Achimmenges: ICD Universitat Stuttgart, Hyper-Toroidal Deep Surface Prototype, (2011), < > 18 Universitat Stuttgart, (2011).


B8. Figures Fig. 1 Achimmenges: ICD Universitat Stuttgart, USC Workshop: Performance Pneus, (2012), <> Fig. 2 Universitat Stuttgart, Achim Menges: Evolving Systems of Material and Performance, (2010), <> Fig. 4, 5, 6, 7 Iwamotoscottarchitecture, Voussoir Cloud, (2008), <http://> Fig. 8, 9, 10 Numen/For Use, Net Hasslet, (2011), < installations/net/hasselt/ > Fig. 3, 11, 12, 13 Achimmenges: ICD Universitat Stuttgart, Hyper-Toroidal Deep Surface Prototype, (2011), < > Fig. 14. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 Samuel Bell, Photographs. (2014).

Brennan anna 586745 parta pages