STUDIO AIR SEMESTER 1, 2015 ANNA PETROU
CONTENTS 5 INTRODUCTION 5 ABOUT ME 7 PART A: CONCEPTUALISATION 8 DESIGN FUTURING 15 DESIGN COMPUTATION 21 COMPOSITION/ GENERATION 27 CONCLUSION 27 LEARNING OUTCOMES 29 APPENDIX: ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES 31 IMAGE SOURCES 31 REFERENCES 33 PART B: CRITERIA DESIGN 34 RESEARCH FIELD: BIOMIMICRY 37 BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE 40 CASE STUDY 1.0: VOLTADOM BY SKYLAR TIBBITS 48 CASE STUDY 2.0: REVERSE ENGINEERING 48 HERZOG AND DE MEURON 79 CONCLUSION
79 LEARNING OUTCOMES 80 APPENDIX: ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES
ABOUT ME My name is Anna Petrou and I am in my final year of my Bachelor of Environments with a major in Architecture. My interests lay primarily in digital design and fabrication as a result of a very enjoyable semester doing Virtual Environments in first year. I have found in my years at Melbourne University that my most exciting and successful designs result from integrating a strong compositional concept with extensive experimentation. I have always enjoyed translating these formative ideas into digital and analoque images for presentation and the pride you feel when you see your ideas resolved into a coherent presentation. My most rewarding design experience was in first year when I learnt to use Rhino in Virtual Environments to design and build a dynamic, wearable sculpture intended to express personal space. This particular design got a lot of interest online, garnering over 130 thousand notes since I originally posted it on my personal blog. This experience gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities as a designer and has taught me the importance of designing with confidence and commitment.
fig 1: VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS DYNAMIC SCULPTURE
â€œIt is necessary to unlearn space in order to embody space. It is necessary to unlearn how we see in order to see with our bodies. It is necessary to unlearn knowledge of our body in three dimensions in order to recover the real dimensionality of our body.â€? -Olafur Eliasson
PART A: CONCEPTUALISATION
FigS3-5. ONE WAY COLOUR TUNNEL BY OLAFUR ELIASSON
ONE WAY COLOUR TUNNEL BY OLAFUR ELIASSON 2007 Eliasson’s One War Colour Tunnel, an installation designed as part of an exhibition entitled “Take Your Time”, is a formal arrangement of light and space which creates an immersive experience for the viewer which evokes a visceral and emotional response.1 The exhibition was made 1 Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson (2015) <http://www.mca.com.au/collection/ exhibition/528-take-your-time-olafureliasson/ > [accessed 4 March 2015].
up of various immersive spaces and sculptures, a style typical of Eliasson. Eliasson’s work relies on a similar draw as that of natural phenomena. Eliasson’s Weather Project (2003) was a transformation of a large room in the Tate London into a sunset. This aspect of biomimicry - although highly abstracted - is reminiscent of the contemporary mood in design. Nature is increasingly referenced by designers of everything from buildings to paper cups. We are realising that
nature can teach us many thing about how to design practical and environmentally positive object, but we often forget how nature can move and inspire us. Eliasson reminds us of this. In Eliassonâ€™s projects we see the emotional potential possible in architecture. Eliasson works with many of the elements important in architectural design - space, form, light, structure, composition. I often think that modern architecture lacks an emotional dimension and a sense of fun. One Way Colour Tunnel is an example of how fun can be elegantly incorporated
into a building. Eliasson presents us with new possibilities in how we think about architecture. His innovations - although used in the name of art - could be applied to modern buildings and contribute to a new language of architecture.
LOUIS KAHN’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Building in Dhaka, built 1962-75, is an effortless synthesis of various architectural traditions which forms a completely new vocabulary of architecture. By the 1960s, Modernism was the prevailing design tradition, but this meant it was being critiqued by leading architects. It seems that Kahn, albeit unwittingly, was one of these critics. The concept of the International Style which was a central tenet of Modernism didn’t allow for patriotism or reference to historic precedent. In many projects Kahn was able to synthesise the Rationalist aspects of Modernism with references to traditional architecture and nationalist sentiment. This can be interpreted as early Post-Modernism. The National Assembly Building embodies an idealised view of government and institution in a post-colonial Asia where each country is trying to reestablish a national identity. The building is strikingly monumental, conveying a sense of the strength and importance of the new government. The planning reflects Kahn’s concepts of order and rationalism, but also makes reference to eastern spiritualism. The plan is reminiscent of a cosmic diagram but also in its circularity reminds us of Mughal architecture. Kahn draws from the monumentality of Mughal tombs and reinterprets it to convey a certain stability and strength in the form. The relevance of this, of
course, is that Bangladesh is a Muslim nation possinly descended from the Mughal empire. The structural rationalism of the building adds to its sense of gravity. The play of light adds to its sense of spiritual significance. It is this synthesis which makes this a revolutionary project. This project is still relevant and will remain relevant not because of these cultural associations but because it inspires an emotional response in its viewers. It does this in an innovative way which is different to most emotive buildings (ie. churches and places of worship) in both form and feeling. Kahn’s design reflects a world where government is as important to people as spirituality, and proposes an architectural vernacular which can express modern spirituality with restraint and elegance. It acts as an alternative to traditional civic buildings by allowing it to act as a monument rather than a simple administrative centre. This building is still in use today as the parliamentary centre of Bangladesh. The building remains culturally important to the people of Bangladesh as a symbol of national pride which conveys a sense of the nation.
fig6. national assembly building in dhaka, louis kahn, 1962-75
LEFT TO RIGHT: FIG7. INSIDE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING FIG8. THE BUILDING ACCROSS THE LAKE FIG9. VIEW TO THE GARDENS
DESIGN COMPUTATION Computers already play an important role in modern design practice. Computer aided design (CAD) is now standard in the industry and it is continuously presenting designers with new capabilities and possibilities. As these tools become more a more ubiqitous in the industry, design processes are changing. Recently we are seeing an increase in parametric and algorithmic thinking in architecture. CAD allows us to synthesise increasingly complex and layered information into rational forms as computers become more and more capable of calculating complex data. CAD is therefore allowing us to find forms using complex mathematical algorithms rather than from the traditional sketch. In doing so we are able to create forms which would otherwise be too complex and time consuming to be feasable.1 Computation presents us with a new paradigm in architecture - like the Modernists, todayâ€™s architects are rejecting historical precedent and tradition in favour of experimentation and form finding without the constraints imposed by the arbitrary rules of preceding architectural languages.2
1 Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1â€“10 2 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003) p. 4
fig10. icd research pavilion 2013-14
INSTITUTE FOR COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN (ICD) RESEARCH PAVILION 2013-14
This research institute based at the University of Stuttgart annually constructs a pavilion using computational techniques. These pavilions do not simply rely upon computer programs for documentation and representation, but actually use them to generate the form, manufacture the components and build the structure. They tend to use biomimetic research to inspire their designs.1 The 2013-14 pavilion used biomimicry, taking cues from the potato beetle to understand how nature constructs shells and developed this into a building system through digital exploration. The researchers and students then built the pavilion using experimental robotics.2 The researchers were able to ultimately create a visually interesting structure which is innovative not only in its form but also in its mode of design and construction. These designers have used computation to its best advantage by integrating designing with making. We could even connect their design with Kalay’s concept of craftsmanship wherein the builder used to “construct” the building rather than simply “plan” it3, for even if this design was “planned”, it was planned by being “constructed” in the virtual environment provided by the computer. The use of computational design and fabrication together has given the researchers the opportunity to create new construction methods. In this builing each component was made by taking two frames and rotating them in relation to each other and a string on a spool using robots, thus arriving at these woven units visible in the 1 Institute of Computational Design, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 201314 (2015) <http://icd.uni-stuttgart. de/?p=11187> [accessed 17 March 2015]. 2 Institute of Computational Design, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2013 -14 (2014) <https://vimeo.com/98783849> [accessed 17 March 2015]. 3 Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press)
figs11-13. icd pavilion 2013-14
drawings. The final form is almost emergent from the form of each component and the rules of how they can interlock. It is increasingly popular to think about tectonics of materials. ICD has designed their own tectonic in this design rather than working in the frameworks of traditional structural tectonics such as stud frames or mass construction. The material is very interesting - lightweight and tensile but also relatively stiff. In this case, the architect is truly engaged with structure and materiality rather than just form. This indicates a shift in architectural practice which accompanies
these developments in computation.4
4 Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge)
fig14. icd pavilion generative diagrams
figs15-18. mcr cave house 2005
MCR CAVE HOUSE 2005
This house is an example of a design which uses a computerised design process, but not a computational one. I have chosen to show this house in contrast to the pavilions of ICD to distinguish what makes their practice so innovative and exciting. It also indicates that although interesting designs can be acheived using traditional design and construction methods, these designs arenâ€™t at the same level
of innovation as computationally generated ones may be. Perhaps with a computational process MCR could have moved away from traditional building technologies and the house could have been even more complex. The cave house has an unconventional form. Many rooms and spaces are not orthoganal and the ceiling is fractured into a complex, many faceted geometry. Although it would have been
possible to use parametric techniques to find infinite possibilities for this ceiling, MCR were restricted to maybe only a few, as they designed it and then subsequently computerised it. Here is where we see the opportunities of computation design. With tools like Grasshopper, we are given far more scope from which to chose. The upshot of this however is that perhaps the final product is less “designed” and more
selected from a range of options. This raises the question: if a designer doesn’t draw something with her own hands (or mouse, perhaps), is the design still her own? If it is the product of a computer program she designed to generate it then perhaps yes.
COMPOSITION/GENERATION Architectural practice has for many years been one of composition - architects assemble various parts to arrive at the final building form. This is particularly visible in classicism - architects would use a Vitruvian toolkit to assemble a building which included all the necessary elements. For the last 100 years, architects have been increasingly interested in form making. The Soviet Constructivists were the first to prefer pure form over representation. This translated into the Bauhaus. Although architects have been interested in generation for the last hundred years, it has not been a focus or a widespread practice. Most modern architects still worked with Euclidean shapes and did not venture into the plastic realm.1 With computers, architects can use algorithms and scripting to generate forms without knowing for certain what they are trying to create. Drawing limited architects to what they could conceive with their own minds. Now an architect can input a set of parameters into an algorithm and choose a suitable output. Forms are generated before they are even conceived. Composition is a limited approach to design while generation is boundless. Although using computation to generate form can have its own limitations, it also has its marked advantages.
1 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003)
FIG19. foster + partners smithsonian institution
SPACE BLOCK HANOI 1999-2003 KOJIMA LABORATORY IN CONJUNCTION WITH TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE, MAGARIBUCHI LABORATORY AND MAMBO ARCHITECTS In 1994 Kojima Laboratory began development on the Basic Space Block (BSB), these being arrangements of three to five cubes used to find and define arrangements of space three dimensionally. In 1999, the Hanoi government wanted to redevelop an old area of Hanoi with high density, low emission housing.1 Kojima et al. used the BSB units in conjunction with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to find an arrangement of space when designing an experimental project to answer this brief. The aim of this project was to design a high porosity building with a maximum of airflow but also a maximum of privacy for the building’s inhabitants, the theory being that if people feel they have no privacy, they are likely to keep their windows and curtains closed and not take advantage of the breezes which the high porosity design would give them. The high porosity of the building means that it remains cooler naturally in the Hanoi climate, therefore eliminating the need for air conditioning.2
computational techniques, a method which was very innovative for the time. CFD is the use of a computer algorithm to analyse problems with fluid flows - in the case of Space Block Hanoi this “fluid” was air. Using BSB, Kojima et al. digitally generated hundreds of configurations and ran these through the CFD program to find the arrangements with optimal airflow but maximum privacy. The program would show a graphic with more red if the airflow was low and less if the airflow was high. The architect sat and looked at these images and was then presented with the best levels of porosity. The program behaved somewhat morphogenetically, generating and “breeding” solutions to find the optimum result. Kojima is explicit that while the program worked architects had little input, they simply waited for it to output the best possible solution. Using scripting, Kojima linked the form of the building to its performance, making this an example of using performative parameters to create an optimum solution.3
To acheive these goals, Kojima et al. turned to 1 Kazuhiro Kojima, ‘Crafting Space: Generative Processes of Architectural Configurations’, Architectural Design, 84.5, (2014), 38-45, in <http://onlinelibrary.wiley. com.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/doi/10.1002/ ad.1806/abstract> [accessed 17 March 2015] 2 Ibid.
3 Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10
Top to bottom: fig20. porous space model fig21. space blocks FIG22. finished apartment from the SPACE BLOCK HANOI PROJECT
fig23. foster + Partners Smithsonian institution
FOSTER + PARTNERS SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION 2007 Brady Peters, an architect from Foster + Partners’ Specialist Modelling Group, wrote the program which was used to generate the form for this roof. The program was constantly ammended during the design process to respond to different issues the designers encountered. The program allowed the architects to test various solutions and acoustically and visually. It also allowed them to envision structural solutions allowing them to construct the canopy.1 Here we can see the advantages of using generative software in that it offers an integrated design process where various aspects of the design can be tested in a single model. Using a program to design this canopy would have allowed architects to enter various paradigms (ie. number of divisions in X and Y directions, maximum and minimum roof heights etc.) and look at the different possibilities presented by each. The relative simplicity of the demands in this project (structural stability, water tightness, protection) meant that form could take precedence.
1 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 08-15
CONCLUSION Algorithmic and computational design presents designers with thousands of new opportunities but also considerable challenges. With it we can find new forms and structures but these innovative ideas will often be met with a lot of opposition from clients, contractors and various stakeholders. It is never easy to convince people to trust new technologies, especially when older ones are as heavily entrenched as the construction industry. People have become accustomed to rectilinear, stud framed buildings over hundreds of years - I am not sure how enthusiastic people will be to move forward from these traditions. Few people want to invest in the unfamiliar. Part A reminded me of a long standing fascination with the world’s complexity and connectedness. This complexity is evident everywhere in nature, and I would like to reference this in my design. It is important to consider nature for inspiration because all things in nature somehow work together perfectly to acheive a balance - this is important to any functioning system. A building is a system and could benefit from lessons of balance. It might be interesting to design a material tectonic rather than generating an arbitrary form. I am especially excited to break away from orthogonality and minimalism this semester.
LEARNING OUTCOMES At the start of this course my knowledge about what computational design meant was limited. One important distinction I have made is that between composition and generation. Generating forms is, to me, the most original way to design. It creates inflinite possibilities for what a building can be. Algorithmic and parametric design are tools which can be employed to help architects to generate forms. This course has opened my eyes to this new direction in architecture where designers are also programmers. Our technical expertise needs to be broader than ever. My new knowledge of Grasshopper is particularly valuable. I have designed things in Rhino which would have been far easier with the help of some of Grasshopper’s scripts. In this way I have learnt the advantage of scripting.
FROM THE AUTHOR’S SKETCHBOOK
SKETCH01: Made in Grasshopper, this sketch was produced by arraying points on a lofted surface and generating pentagons around the points. The pentagons were randomly moved in the Z direction to create this textured form.
SKETCH02: A similar technique produced this technique, but with circles instead of pentagons. The circles are also random.
APPENDIX: ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES
THESE SKETCHES ALLOWED ME TO GENERATE DESIGNS WHICH COULD BE EASILY MANIPULATED AFTER BEING DRAWN. THIS IS EXCITING AFTER PAINSTAKINGLY DRAWING LINE BY LINE, EVEN ON COMPUTER - ONLY TO FIND EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO FIX ONE ELEMENT. CONCEPTUALISATION 29
FIG1. Virtual Environments 2012
Institute of Computational Design, ICD/ ITKE Research Pavilion 2013-14 (2015) <http://icd.uni-stuttgart.de/?p=11187> [accessed 17 March 2015].
FIG2. https://www.nowness.com/story/elemental FIG3. http://www.domusweb.it/en/ n e w s / 2 010 / 0 3 / 0 8 / o l a f u r- e l i a s s o n - s o l o exhibition-at-mca-sidney.html FIG4. http://www.mca.com.au/collection/ exhibition/528-take-your-time-olafur-eliasson/ FIG5. See fig2 FIG6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatiyo_ S an g s a d _ Bh ab an # /m e di a / F il e:N at i o n al _ Assembly_of_Bangladesh,_ Jatiyo_Sangsad_ Bhaban,_2008,_5.JPG FIG7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatiyo_ Sangsad_Bhaban#/media/File:Sangshad_inside. jpg FIG8. http://www.yatzer.com/louis-kahn-thepower-of-architecture FIG9. See fig8 FIGS10-14. http://icd.uni-stuttgart.de/?p=11187 FIGS15-18. MCR FIG19. FOSTER + PARTNERS FIGS20-22. Kazuhiro Kojima, ‘Crafting Space: Generative Processes of Architectural Configurations’, Architectural Design, 84.5, (2014), 38-45, in <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com. ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/doi/10.1002/ad.1806/ abstract> [accessed 17 March 2015]
Institute of Computational Design, ICD/ ITKE Research Pavilion 2013 -14 (2014) <https://vimeo.com/98783849> [accessed 17 March 2015]. Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) Kazuhiro Kojima, ‘Crafting Space: Generative Processes of Architectural Configurations’, Architectural Design, 84.5, (2014), 3845, in <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezp. lib.unimelb.edu.au/doi/10.1002/ad.1806/ abstract> [accessed 17 March 2015] Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003) Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson (2015) <http://www. mca.com.au/collection/exhibition/528-takeyour-time-olafur-eliasson/ > [accessed 4 March 2015]. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 08-15
FIG23. http://www.fosterandpartners.com/ projects/smithsonian-institution/
“Nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with” -The Biomimicry Institute “But what if works of architecture, rather than looking like plants and animals, behaved like plants and animals?” -Keith Evan Green
PART B: CRITERIA DESIGN
RESEARCH FIELD: BIOMIMICRY
BIOMIMICRY AS A FORCE FOR GOOD Today, one of the central problems we face as a global community is the unsustainable way we interact with nature. The processes we have come to rely on as a society drain resources, pollute the air and damage ecosystems every day. Natural processes can generate energy and form without drastically upsetting the delicate balance which allows all things to survive. The architectural field is increasingly adopting biomimetic design, where the goal is to take inspiration from natural processes and structures to design buildings which will have a negligible - or ideally positive - affect on the natural environment as a whole. In order to reach these goals designers must take a holistic approach to design. We must consider materials in terms of provinance, structural function, performance, lifespan, and ultimately their disposal and recyclability. For my project I want to question the concept of permanence and durability as a mainstay of sustainability. If we can design buildings that are semi-permanent and highly recyclable/biodegradable and use materials with low (or no) embodied energy, could this be a better solution than the extremely permanent structures we have historically relied upon? According to the Biomimicry Institute, â€œnature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with.â€? Nature creates nothing
that canâ€™t be repurposed in death. When an animal dies, insects eat it and it decomposes, fertilising a plant which may then be eaten by the a descendent of the dead creature. The cycle is continuous and self sustaining - can our buildings learn from this? Rather than mimicing natural form in my design, I would like to use this idea of cycles of rebirth one that is relevant to hundreds of cultures - to inspire my form-finding. Aside from this, I would like my design itself to be only semi-permanent and intended for recycling and rebirth in the future. Rather than being a inert form in the landscape, I would like it to be something that evolves and changes to meet the needs of its users. Dynamic and adaptable designs are often better at providing comfort at a lower environmental cost. (citation?) I would like my design to teach its users to interact with and occupy the environment rather than fighting it.
fig2. HYGROSCOPE BY ACHIM MENGES AND STEFFEN REICHERT
fig3. lIVING BRIDGES
THE LIVING BRIDGES OF MEGHALAYA, INDIA This is a project which spans accross lifetimes and embodies the ethos I want behind my own project. In Meghalaya, villages are connected by a network of bridges created by taming the roots of fig trees into structures that can survive the riverâ€™s floods. Creating such a bridge takes 10-15 years and the cooperation of people accross generations. The bridges require frequent maintenance and care, but they are completely natural and safe for the environment. They have no negative impact and instead of rotting in the wet environment, they thrive. The bridges actually gain strength with age rather than weakening - the oldest bridge is believed to be around 500 years old. In terms of form, this project is not necessarily my inspiration. What I like about this project is that the bridges are an ongoing community investment. This is architecture which is literally alive, literally subject to and part of nature. I would like to foster, in my project, a similarly symbiotic relationship between nature and the projectâ€™s stakeholders. The key aspects of this project which I would aim to mimic are: 1. Materials which have no embodied energy or negative impacts on the landscape. 2. The community is engaged with the creation and maintenance of the bridges. 3. The bridges are responsive to the climate and landscape. I would also like to identify one more, less acheivable goal which I may be unable to reach: The project improves the environment by fostering life and removing carbon dioxide from the air.
HYGROSCOPE 2012 METEOROSENSITIVE MORPHOLOGY BY ACHIM MENGES AND STEFFEN REICHERT Designed for Centre Pompidou, this sculpture is the culmination of five years of research into material design. This skin, without any mechanical system or energy source, is able to change in response to the humidity of the environment. This dynamicism is acheivable through the inherent properites of wood. Wood is absorptive
of water an anisotropic, which means that it has a physical property which is different when measured in different directions. The anisotropy of wood is acheived by the wood grain, which lends it greater strength top to bottom than side to side. Menges and Reichert could take advantage of this natural condition - when the environment is more dry the wood contracts in one direction - causing the panels in this sculpture to open (or close when humidity is high). This model is cased within a glass box which
replicates the humidity levels outside Centre Pompidou - reminding viewers that this project, although in early stages of development, could be applied to architecture. I donâ€™t have five years to research material systems, but I like the way Menges explores such innovative ideas in his architecture. Instead of being constrained by traditional technology, he forms which rely on entirely different structural principles. The form, structure, contructability and function in his designs is always highly
integrated and untraditional. I think that his approach indicates the direction of computational design. This design, inspired by natural dynamic systems (for example pinecones, which open and close in a similar way), requires no energy and uses materials of relatively low embodied energy.
CASE STUDY 1.0: VOLTADOM BY SKYLAR TIBBITS
fig 8. voltadom by skylar tibbets
CASE STUDY 1.0: MATRIX OF ITERATIONS RESIZED BOUNDARY
-2.40, -1.46, 0.07
0.52, 0.13, 0.32
-1.39, 0.94, 4.15
HEIGHT VARYING WITH CONTROL POINTS
DIFFERENT RANDOMISATION SEED
-2.62, -1.92, 0.96
-3.24, -1.46, 0.94
-0.64, -1.03, 0.94
CASE STUDY 1.0: MATRIX OF ITERATIONS 3
EXTRUDED POLYGON EXCHANGED FOR CONE
INCREASE BOUNDARY, #PTS AND HEIGHT
POLYGONS SPLIT INTO VOLTS
SEED: 7 REDUCTION: 4
9 SIDES, INCREASED HEIGHT
SEED: 20 REDUCTION: 9
6 SIDES, DECREASED HEIGHT
SEED: 20 REDUCTION: 9
SEED: 48 REDUCTION: 3
5 SIDES, INCREASED PTS
4 SIDES, SMALLER BOUNDARY, LESS POINTS
CASE STUDY 1.0: BEST OUTCOMES SELECTION CRITERIA 1. Visually engaging configurations 2. Complexity 3. Distinctiveness
OVERPOPULATE THE BOUNDARY
This configuration is complex, but a pattern can be seen emerging. I like that pattern is emergent from what appears to be randomness. This solution may be interesting as a textured cladding system.
The box morph function created some very distorted variations on the original project. This outcome look “strained” for lack of a better word. I think it is quite expressive. This could be the basis for some form of abstract ornamentation or sculpture.
LARGER BOUNDARY AND RANDOM REDUCTION This configuration is at a broader scale than the others. I can imagine it forming the basis for a series of roofs or canopies with various openings due to the random reduction. This could be taken further with the removal of randomisation and instead the use of intentional points and removals.
9 SIDE, HEIGHT INCREASE, VOLTS This outcome is a lot more geometric than the others. Because it has more sides than the other polygonal variations each extrusion appears to join to the next more cleanly than similar variations. This outcome may be easy to construct out of stiffer materials than the others because it is panelised.
CASE STUDY 2.0: REVERSE ENGINEERING HERZOG AND DE MEURON
fig 9. MESSE BASEL NEW HALL BY HERZOG AND DE MEURON
PERMEABLE FACADE MESSE BASEL NEW HALL BY HERZOG AND DE MEURON 2013 Herzog and de Meuron’s digital technology group, headed by Kai Strehlke, are focused on using computational techniques to improve the performance of the firm’s architecture. In this project, Herzog and de Meuron has designed a sun responsive enclosure for this hall which opens out where windows are located and closes where there are none. The envelope designed by Herzog and de Meuron acts as a sunshade, ostensibly improving the thermal performance of the building in sunny weather. The building is otherwise quite simple and rectilinear in form in order to accomodate its function as an exhibition hall, a building which needs to be highly adaptable and include large, open floor plans. Herzog and de Meuron’s facade modernises the exhibition hall and creates a textured and dynamic facade which distinguishes the building from many others of its kind. This building lends itself to computational techniques because with parametric modelling hundreds of window configurations - based on everything from sun studies to the surrounding views - can be trialled and tested without a large amount of time being spent on drawing and conceptualising forms.
CASE STUDY 2.0: PROCESS
MOVE EVERY SECOND POINT IN Y DIRECTIONS
DISTANCE BETWEEN POINT GRID AND CONTROL POINTS
MOVE EVERY SECOND POINT IN RELATION TO CONTROL POINTS
DISTANCE BETWEEN POINTS AND LINES
MOVE EVERY SECOND POINT IN RELATION TO LINES
THIS RESULT DOES NOT HAVE THE VARIATION OF THE HERZOG AND DE MEURON FACADE SO THE BELOW PROCESS WAS MADE. INTERPOLATE POINTS
POINT ATTRACTORS DO NOT PROPERLY RESEMBLE WINDOWS OR MAKE LONG ENOUGH OPENINGS.
COPY AND ROTATE
CASE STUDY 2.0: RESULT
OVERALL AMPLITUDE = -1.650 WITH VARIATIONS AT STRAIGHT ATTRACTOR LINES
OVERALL AMPLITUDE = -1.650 W AT ANGLED ATTRACTOR LINES
OVERALL AMPLITUDE = -3.471 WITH VARIATIONS AT CURVED ATTRACTOR LINES
Herzog and de Meuron used parametric techniques to design Messe Basel. Their definition allowed them to open and close sections of the facade depending on the location of the windows. The facade is perforated accross its entire surface, and the perforations widen where the windows sit behind them.
A problem I had with writing my definition which made it impossible to mimic Messe Basel perfectly was that I couldn’t control the height above and below the control lines that my facade changed. This meant that the openings for the windows were generally much wider than Herzog and de Meuron’s.
My reverse engineered version of Messe Basel does acheive this, but not necessarily in the same manner. Herzog and de Meuron’s perforations appear to open and close vertically as well as horizontally; mine can only open horizontally. This would be a failing in their facade system as the openings would probably block too much light.
Overall I think that I was able to make a definition which replicated Herzog and de Meuron’s facade enough to be recognizable as such, but of course had some imperfections. What I like most about this definition is that it has functionality and dynamism; it can change depending on environmental factors. With some development I think it could become more flexible.
The other difference between my result and the building by Herzog and de Meuron is that my definition uses many discrete strips which deform in different directions to open and close. Herzog and de Meuron’s facade appears to be constructed out of sheets rather than strips.
CASE STUDY 2.0: PARAMETRIC DESIGN
LENGTH OF FACADE 2 POINT LINE
HEIGHT OF STRIPS
MULTIPLY MIC NA DY
T ODD COLUMNS SELECT ODD R0WS
MOVE Y INTERPOLATE
SELECT EVEN R0WS
CASE STUDY 2.0: TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT ARCH FORM EXTRUDE IN Y DIRECTION
EXTRUDE IN Y AND Z DIRECTIONS
EXTRUDE IN Z DIR
INCREASED AMPLITUDE AND LARGER CONTROLLERS
EXTRUDE BY FACTOR 5 IN Z DIRECTION
LOFT BETWEEN W
MAKE ARC APPROACH A CIRCLE
ARRAY ALONG CURVE
MOVE CONTROL PO CURVE, INCREASE ARCHES, MOVE CO
OINTS FOR ARRAY FREQUENCY OF ONTROL LINES
RESIZE ARCH, LESS/LARGER OPENINGS AND STRIPS
ARC APEX HIGHER, THICKER/MORE STRIPS
LOFT ALL ARCHES
INCREASE NUMBER OF BUMPS AND LOWER ARC APEX
EXTRUDE IN X DIRECTION
MOVE CONTROL POINTS OF ARRAY IN Z DIRECTION
CASE STUDY 2.0: TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT ARRAY ON PATH ARCS FORMED BETWEEN REFLECTED CURVES
EXTRUDE Z DIRECTION
MOVE CONTROL PO
CHANGE FROM NURBS CURVE TO STRAIGHT LINE
MOVE REFLECTED LINE
ROTATE CURVE BE
DECREASE SIZE OF EXTRUSION
ROTATE INTO NEGATIVES
EXTRUDE IN Z DIR
EXTRUDE IN Y DIRECTION
CHANGE ROTATION OF GUIDE LINE
ROTATE ARC END TO 91 DEG.
CASE STUDY 2.0: TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT CIRCLES POLAR ARRAY
POLAR ARRAY WITH MORE CIRCULAR ARCHES
CHANGE OF CIRCLE PROPORTIONS
INTERPOLATE IN HORIZONTAL DIRECTION
EXTRUDE IN Y DIR
ONE MATRIX FLIPPED, ONE UNFLIPPED
ARRAY ALONG LINE (CIRCLE)
CHANGE CIRCLE SIZE
CASE STUDY 2.0: TECHNIQUE DEVELOPMENT CIRCLES CONT. CIRCLE AS BASE
DISTORT CIRCLE, ROTATE VAULT
TILT AND DISTORT
REDUCE ARRAY TO
ROTATE VAULT, EXTRUDE Y DIRECTION
ROTATE FURTHER, SHORTEN SEGMENTS
INCREASE BACK TO FULL ARRAY
CASE STUDY 2.0: BEST OUTCOMES SELECTION CRITERIA 1. Visually engaging configurations 2. Complexity 3. Distinctiveness 4. Possibility to be translated into architecture
MATRIX FLIPPED AND INTERPOLATED
CIRCLE USED AS BASE FOR LINEAR ARRAY
I like the transparency of this outcome as well as the repetition of the circle as the primary element. It does not maintain the manipulable characteristics of the definition but is nonetheless interesting visually.
This outcome maintains the element of changeability in the original design thereby preserving its purpose as a sunshade.
This could make a very interesting pavilion if an entryway were made in the surface.
I could see this being split and the top section being used as a canopy structure - potentially for a stage or amphitheatre.
LOFT ACCROSS ROTATED LINES
ARCS NEAR CIRCLES ARRAYED ON DEFORMED CURVE
The asymetry of this variation makes for an interesting form. Again, the changeability of the definition is preserved so this design could be manipulated to reflect site conditions.
This form reminds me of a snake, perhaps bringing this back to biomimetic principles. I really like this tunnel form as I can really make a connection between form and use.
This structure is quite a basic shell which could lead to anything from a community garden to a stage or shelter.
I imagine this to be the basis for a bridge which could vary in height and make the act of crossing the river more than mere convenience. It would make it fun for people to engage with the site.
PROTOTYPE 1.0 VARIABLE SURFACE When my definition extrudes in the Y direction the extrusions overlap to form a surface. If the path is not straight, obviously this surface is broken up, but I wished to create something which could be manufactured with relative ease. For this reason I made a flat surface of the panels. I trialled vaulting the surface in two directions. I found the surface I had created to be anisotrophic, like timber. In one direction, it had considerable strength - as is visible in the photo where a load is applied. I found the other direction to bow significantly when a load was applied, even though it was capable of carrying its own weight. I liked the permeability of the surface, which resulted in really interesting light patterns. If you imagine this surface as a tunnel you can imagine it being very interesting to use, almost like the artwork of Olafur Eliasson referenced in Part A of this project. What I didnâ€™t like about this surface was that it was inflexible, limiting its capabilities in terms of form. For this reason I started working on my next prototype.
PROTOTYPE 2.0 STRIPS This technique allowed me to acheive the flexibility I wanted but looked quite rough. I cut the panels I created into strips then stuck them to the ground. I think this technique may be improved if specialised panels are developed and the connection points are better thought out. I though instead of connecting the strips to the ground and allowing them to act as discrete pieces I could use metal rings to join one panel to the other. This would give them some limited flexibility but still restrict movement. I also thought that a stiffer material than paper (for example polypropelene) could acheive a more uniform look. I did not photograph this, but this prototype had as much bearing capacity as the previous iteration.
A SCULPTURAL STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITY FOR THOMAS EMBLING HOSPITAL Thomas Embling Hospital is a large complex of buildings with many impermeable surfaces. Impermeable surfaces lead to excessive run-off and damage to local hydrological ecosystems. Due to its proximity to Merri Creek, The buildings at Thomas Embling Hospital are likely to be causing considerable damage to the catchment area. For this reason I have decided on an intervention which improves the site in terms of ecosystem performance. Inspired by a man-made wetland in the same park, I have decided to design a water filtering facility which caters to the runoff from the hospital. The design will be made entirely of natural materials, most likely wood, thereby minimising embodied energy and causing no damage to the site itself. The specific site of my intervention will be across the river from the Merri Creek Labyrinth, thereby â€œreflectingâ€? its sculptural nature. Like the Labyrinth, it will not damage the environment due to its construction from natural materials. It
will be a place of interest for visitors to the park, who will be able to see it from accross the water. In terms of form, the structure still needs considerable development. I will need to further work on my parametric definition and prototyping. I am not really happy with my design at this point. I think it really needs a lot of development before it is practical in terms of constructablity and meeting its design potential. The variations in the surface are quite arbitrary and there is no logic behind the form. For this reason I plan to really fine-tune my design in Part C of this project. I hope to make the form of the structure much more visually appealing and come up with a better way to construct it. I also hope to have the form in some way reflecting the site.
At a rough estimate, Thomas Embling hospital has about 100,000m2 of impermeable surfaces on its grounds. It is located between a bend in the Yarra and the Merri Creek. We can safely assume that most of the water from its rooftops and carparks is being collected and pumped directly into one of these.
By providing Thomas Embling Hospital with a wetland inspired stormwater management facility this water will be filtered and enter the creek slowly.
CONCLUSION At this stage of my design process, my work still need significant development. Formally, I donâ€™t like the design I have come up with and feel that the material system does not meet my expectations. I plan to spend some time in the coming weeks in developing and perfecting my concept so far. I have used the concept of biomimicry less as to inform my formfinding and more to inspire the way my design will ultimately function. Like the bridges in Meghalaya, it will hopefully have no negative impact on the environment. In fact, its ultimate goal is to improve the ecosystem of the site while becoming an attraction like the Labyrinth of the locals to enjoy. I found that the process that this studio has assigned has limited me in my design - potentially this is a good thing because if it were any other way the possibilities could be too broad. On the other hand I feel that I could have come up with a better design if I wasnâ€™t limited by my case study. I would like to think more holistically about the design process than I was able to through the use of iterative changes from someone elseâ€™s design. What I have arrived at is, at this stage, rather inelegant and needs a lot of work.
LEARNING OUTCOMES I have learnt a lot about using parametric design tools in this stage of the course. Creating the various iterations from my reverse engineered definitions led me to explore possibilities I may not have tried if not for this element of the course. Although I found this quite limiting to design something which I find meaningful, it did help me to get a grip of Grasshopper and hopefully and basic understanding of how to engage with parametric tools in general. I have also learnt that even if something can be drawn using a computer, it may be extremely difficult to build. At the moment my design could be built but not in an efficient or elegant way. This is where I need to proceed for the remainder of the course.
APPENDIX: ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES
This sketch was a simple experiment in creating sine curves. I wanted a manipulable sine wave to create the facade for Case Study 2.0 but found the method used here was too restrictive. I played around a bit by rotating it and lofting between various rotations. This definition was quite limited by did allow me to create some sculptural shapes.
A technique I learned in a tutorial to make curved “flow” down a surface. This could be really useful in simulating water. I could use this to do further analysis of my design in Part C.
This doesn’t look like much but I spent quite a bit of time getting the Kangaroo Physics to work on this definition. It’s an interesting way to “relax”a surface thereby mimicing the behaviour of fabric. I tried to apply this on some of my Case Study 2.0 iterations but struggled to get it to work. Something for me to pursue!
In this tutorial I learned how to use voronois and graphs to create really interesting patterns. These have so much potential to become surface patterns. It would be interesting to experiment with creating these using rules rather than just applying abitrary data in the hopes of creating something that looks cool.