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2 0 1 4 J O U R N A L AUDREY ONG



STUDENT NO. 566116 J O U R N A L C A M & R O S I E






4 - 5


6 -11

A.1 Design Futuring

12 - 17

A.2 Desgin Computation

18 - 23

A.3 Composition / Generation

24 - 25

A.4 Conclusion

26 - 27

A.5 Learning Outcomes




AUDREY ONG Typically Malaysian, I have spent most of my life eating, walking around mammoth-sized malls, complaining about the heat and speaking in multiple languages simultaneously. In 2011, I came over to Australia as an international student and continued to eat, walk around the most liveable city in the world, so I’ve heard, complain about the cold (and heat and wind and rain and everything else we get in one day here) and revert to Manglish (Malay + English) every once in a while. During my schooling days, my interests ranged from science and math to art and sports. My interest in architecture however, was sparked really, on my first European trip to Italy and subsequently Greece. As I started this course, I was excited to discover how architecture as we learn it today, encompasses so many disciplines; the logical and sensible as well as the abstract and far-reaching. So far, I have developed an affinity towards sustainable design in all it’s definitions. I believe it to be not only necessary but a challenge that pushes my personal boundaries in the way I think and as well as my values, all of which I hope to develop during the undertaking of this studio. I have touched the surface of Rhino and parametric design in previous design studios, primarily in Virtual Environments. My experience with grasshopper is limited to using it to create tabs, in preparation for fabrication. Even then, the taxonomy was worked out for me but I do currently have some appreciation of the powerful design tool that it is and am looking forward to learning more of it. Digital design both intimidates and excites me and I am looking to tap into the possibilities that it presents in design conceptualising through to fabrication.


Virtual Environments encouraged us to explore movements or processes in nature and translate those into a paper lantern. During the conceptualising stage a moulded block of plasticine was the material used to create an initial translation of a particular natural process or movement. My project was based on the movement of a bat’s wings. After building the base volume on Rhino, I started to discover how use the panelling pluggin along side more basic Rhino functions to express my intention of actualising a transition of focus from the physical ‘bat’ to just it’s wings and finally the notion of air and the role it plays in a bat’s unique flight pattern. The aspect of digital modelling that impressed me the most was the number of iterations that could be created in a relatively short time. The wearable lantern that was produced in the end went through a comprehensive prototyping stage which highlighted to me the close and personal relationship of the wearer with the lantern in the way the design was intended for. Purposeful design decisions had to be made to ensure the realisation of this relationship, experientially and structurally and I believe the same initiatives can be applied in this studio, only in a different context.




The ongoing architectural discourse is always one that concerns itself with the design challenges and solutions of the present age. Therefore, the question is, what is the design challenge today and how are designers approaching it? History has defined a few critical moments in our existence, each begging a different architectural approach according to the culture and situations designers were faced with at the time. In this age, our existence is marked by the unsustainable way of life we have developed since the Industrial Revolution. Hence, it is an environmental issue that takes the main stage in the architectural discourse of this era.

An awareness of the ramifications of the decisions made today on the future is on the rise and being increasingly integrated into design. Tony Fry asserts that the future cannot be left to it’s own devices but must be preconceived through design that has the potential to be a “world-shaping force�.1 Nevertheless, the way in which we design is not necessarily preconceived in the same way. That is where computational design comes in. However, before touching on intelligent design defined by computational methods, the following two public art installations will explore the idea of design intelligence in relation to the sustainability design discourse.


At this junction in time, Tony Fry expresses the need to redirect design so that it serves to firstly, make known the problem with our current mode of thinking and functioning and secondly establish a new course directed by design.2 Both of these purposes are addressed in the Swing installation by Moradavaga that produces energy to power lights as the swings oscillate. As a set of swings is generally targeted towards children, these that individually produce energy then remind us that the future of this energy dependent world belongs to such as these, who will be reaping what the current generation has sowed. Additionally, the simplicity of the installation leaves a generous amount of room for the further development of the ideas that it presented. In the modern society of Portugal, the idea of energy production already holds connotations of the future and the need for clean energy.


by Moradavaga

Therefore, it engages the young with the ideals of generating clean energy as well as more complex minded adults into considering more comprehensive systems that can be used to generate usable energy, thus improving the system that is set before them. It therefore succeeds as a “thought-provoking interactive work”.3 Design intelligence is a fundamental literacy that should be integrated into education and all practices as more than just something to be considered later but something that should be part of the foundation of what is being taught and learnt. For example, the designers of Swing assert that ”[b]ased on the principle of swinging to produce electricity, Swing is also an ode to the rich industrial heritage of Guimarães, reflected in its mechanical devices and sounds evocative of the ones once produced in the factories of the

city”.4 In that, the installation that was set in contrast to the modern International Center For Arts, engages the subject of history in the context of future design thought by inducing nostalgia while also being a reminder of how far their society has come and what they are capable of. The decision to make the installation a temporary one was well considered in that it sparked interest and spurred people onwards to develop those interests once it was gone. There was therefore no danger of the installation losing it’s value due to it’s simplicity and consequently the importance of the ideas that it presented. The responsibility of actually generating usable energy is then placed upon those who actively engage with Swing. Thus, the sustainability of the design was more focused on it’s impression rather than physical longevity and contribution.

left wheel mechanism connected to swings used to generate power bottom swings in front of the Internation Center For Arts bottom right wire connection to seat of swing right perspective view showing how the seats are connected to the wheel


top left circular motion of the Halo top middle light weight materials enable the Halo to be constructed with minimal joints top right the muultidisciplinary team bottom perspective view showing the location of the Halo and it’s relationship to the surroundings


by Turpin and Crawford

On a different note, a key redirection of design practices is the use of multidisciplinary teams. Fry calls for designers to use the possibilities present in collaboration to address the complexity of design as a “world shaping force”.5 Halo, which is set in Central Park, Sydney is a fair example of such an approach. The installation was built as part of a visual initiative to not only give further aesthetic and cultural value to it’s site but to the city as a whole. Its minimal form, inspired by the processes of the old brewery which generally involved circular motions coupled with the movement of the halo itself that passively swings around the angled mast, creates an engaging structure that literally and figuratively responds to the site.6 The success of the installation is attributed to the collaborative effort of interdisciplinarians, primarily the engineers and the artists. The project embodies the importance of creating a dialogue between multiple disciplines to remove

limitations in design presented by a lack of knowledge. However, this project was highly dependent on engineers as the only other discipline involved while the motion for more collaboration between a larger number of disciplines is what is called for in sight of redirected design. In terms of how the installation is interpreted, the movement of the ring physically reflects the wind movement and conceptually reflects the rhythm of the city and it’s people. It stands as a focal point and a kind of generator of a motion that translates into the lives of the people in it’s surroundings. The idea that the motion of the ring is passively created by the wind also stimulates thoughts about wind power and more importantly, clean energy. It raises awareness and demonstrates in a conceptual way, the potential of clean energy to supply power in our everyday life. The installation maintains the value it holds by the way to responds to the historical aspect of the site, which

can never be altered, and through the predictability or unpredictability of it’s off-axis movement that is solely dependent on the wind. It is currently located on a designated area of open space so that it does not get overshadowed by the surrounding highrise buildings. However, in the spirit of all that it stands for environmentally, it could be the driver to maintain the open space it sits in and even encourage more spaces like it in the near future. In the motion towards environmental sustainability, it serves more of an educational purpose and trigger for further thought and development. However, in contrast to the Swing installation, it’s use of state-of the art lightweight materials and innovative mechanics that allows the structure to be experienced seamlessly, also touches on the value of technology in sustainable design and directly contributes to it’s development.




In light of new design intelligence, a new design process is concurrently in the making. The development of technology has deeply impacted this evolution of design processes. Specifically, the use of computers from the launch of a design project through to it’s production. Computing affects the design process by providing a platform that “supports a continuous logic of design thinking and making�.7 This means that the computer can be engaged with from the design conceptualisation through to considering structures, materiality and fabrication. However, the way computers are used in the design process has been constantly developing according to the intentions of using the computer which becomes more and more complex and

significant as technology develops and research knowledge deepens. Currently, the use of computers in design can be categorised as either computerisation or computation. Computerisation is the more common of the two, in which preconceived forms are simply digitalised for communication purposes. Progressively, the design world is now delving into computation in which the computer has the ability to generate forms that are not preconceived according to adjustable parameters. Such methods of designing are revolutionising the way designers approach design. The focus and critique is no longer on the form itself but on the process of creating that form.8


The development of computing in design begins with being able to represent non-orthogonal geometries allowing designers to explore innovative forms. In cases such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the design was hand drawn and translated into a digital form for production. The computer had aided the actualising of the building that explored curved surfaces in what was then experimental architecture. Today, a newer structure, the MercedesBenz museum in Stuttgart in Germany inspired by the top-down organisational approach of the Guggenheim museum stands as a more complex version it. Nevertheless, it’s design process was similar in that the idea for the building was preconceived, not generated. The design of the building is based on a double helix creating one volume within the building and no straight walls to create a sense of harmony and flow in the building.9 The

use of computers allowed logic to be applied to the unique form of the building and successfully built by doing tasks such as triangulating the window panes. In other words, the computer did not play a deterministic role in the form finding of the building but significantly contributed to it being successfully constructed. However, a shortcoming of computerisation is the ease of disregarding an engagement with material properties in the design. This is because materials are more commonly chosen based on their ability to actualise the form, which is limiting compared to the reverse when material properties inform the form finding process. In the Mercedes-Benz museum aluminium and glass are chosen to clad the building shell due to the conceptual link to the automotive industry. Though effective in that respect, the material of the building does not feed back into the form of the building or how it functions which is a


Museum by UNStudio

vastly growing area of experimentation in design computation today. With such a complex design, the modelling of such a building on the computer allowed for a better understanding of how it works, experientially and structurally in the early stages of design. It provided a shared medium where architects and structural engineers could collaborate in the face of avant-garde designs and specific design intents. There is then a unification of the design and construction processes as they are drawn from the same digital model. Nevertheless, this relationship is not perfect because the design and the structure of the building are still quite separate in their considerations. This leads to various issues that discourage the drawing of information from the same digital model.10 Thus, there is still promise in unifying information but this requires a redirection of responsibilities in design processes.

bottom left Overall form of MercedesBenz museum with triangulated windows top parti diagram of double helix top right bottom right form finding and spatial organisation diagram


In contrast to computerisation, computational processes entertain the notion of multiple tangible parameters that directly inform the design itself. The unification of information happens inherently in the design rather than as merely a digital representation of a single model. The focus in computational design processes is the symbiotic relationships between an object’s parts and wholes which informs it’s overall form and constructibility. For example, in the Shell Star Pavilion, parametric modelling was used to develop a self-organised form that compounded the largest amount of space within it while being both structurally and materially efficient. The form generated is no longer just an experiment of innovative geometries made possible by digital representations but instead embodies

a deeper, concrete logic of structure. In this example, the surfaces of the pavilion are “aligned with the structural vectors and allow for minimal structural depth”.11 The geometries that are generated have an origin that gives it a significant logic without being deprived of aesthetics. Material properties are another area of research that has the potential to feed information into the model with respect to form as well as constructibility. The pavilion has been designed to have a minimal surface which allows for material efficiency. However, there could have been a further consideration of the inherent properties of the materials used such as how it bends and its structural abilities to actively address discrepancies in the degree of planarity needed to allow fabrication from flat materials.


by Matsys

top left form finding process top right overall form demonstrating minimal surfaces bottom left underside of pavilion demonstrating structural lines and construction method

The pavilion was designed, iterated and constructed in an impressive 6 weeks which demonstrates the efficiency of parametric modelling.12 Multiple iterations can be produced just by changing parameters on a micro-scale that produces a significant change in the design itself allowing the designer to take into further consideration the environment and design intent. The design of the pavilion was very depended on the structure of the system and not so much on it’s environment. Given, there might not have been much of an environment to draw information from. Nevertheless, drawing from the environment is one of the larger parameters of computational design that could have significant impacts in the way we design for the future in relation to sustainability. Such methods gives the design a foothold in the future of altered conditions.




Shifting from composing forms to generating them means that the visual impression of order is replaced with an underlying natural order in response to various conditions. Generation of design is a computational method of designing that is grounded in the use of parametric modelling tools. In relation to the search for efficiency and better ways of living as a design response to the environmental sustainability issue we face today, inspiration for generation in design is constantly drawn from nature because nature does everything we seek to do in design such as be able to adapt, use materials efficiently and be structurally sound. Various architectural practices have adopted parametric modelling at varying degrees of integration. Most either have “internal specialist groups�, or rely on consultancy from practices more versed in parametric design

while a few are fully integrated in the process of computational design.13 Fully integrating parametric design in the design process puts the practice in a good position to push the boundaries of such an approach in many aspects such as inherent properties of materials and morphogenetic processes. A large amount of research has to be done which unfortunately takes a relatively long time in contrast to just aiming at applying parametric design methods in one area of the design. However, the goal of such practices is usually focused on spurring on the development and research on design through algorithmic thinking and parametric modeling, expanding the scope of the architectural discourse itself. The next two projects discussed will demonstrate how designers have used generative methods in their form finding and to what end.


The nonLin/Lin Pavilion was designed as an experiment of non linear design; a concept constantly observed in nature. It’s self supporting morphological form is generated from “a “Y” model referred to as the basic representation and lowest level of multi-directionality”.14 Algorithmic thinking was key in being able to apply the “Y” model throughout the pavilion and form multiple iterations as needed in any prototyping process. The generation of this particular form was an effort to address the possibilities of the expression of it’s tripartite relationships through bidirectional surfaces. In other words there was a focus on the fabrication and constructibility of such forms that create a non-linear spatial depth. The pavilion is a connection of nodes, branches and double curvatures and radii that each required unique solutions for producing surfaces that can be cut out of flat sheets of aluminium. Evidently, there was a large amount of discrepancies that had to be individually addressed.


The project can be said to have explored biomimicry and the limitations of materials but more research of the inherent properties of materials and it’s integration into the design could have taken the form further. Nevertheless, the pavilion demonstrates great progress in digital fabrication, also enabling the model to be scaled to a certain extent for reproduction in another setting. Cutting the aluminium only took 2 1/2 hours while putting the sheets together took several weeks, exposing the shortcomings in constructing digitally fabricated models.15 Thus, the project does a lot in terms of contributing to the on going search for new ways of designing based on nature’s rules and actualising those designs. The prototype pavilion holds potential in it’s practical application in making a significant difference in the architectural discourse on sustainable design through further research, experimentation and possibly development of technology.

Pavilion by Marc Fornes/Theverymany

top left and top right form iteration and prototype bottom left aerial view of pavilion showing nodes, branches, and curvatures bottom right inside the pavilion



systems designed as such difficult and sometimes limiting. In this project, the Hygroscope was constructed robotically which is commended for progress in technology but not yet practical at larger scales making generative design methods difficult to implement outside the realm of installations.

Another good example of a generated form is the Hygroscope by Achim Menges. The Hygroscope located in Paris, is the result of a study on material responses to the climate, in particular, humidity.16 As the external conditions changed, the veneer would morph according to the design intent of having opening and closing portals on the surface of the structure. The material studies of this project was taken further by directly influencing the generation of the system as a whole, equipping the system to respond to external conditions. In detail, the programming of the way the system responds as a whole is directly linked to the morphology of the veneer, an inherent property of the material that was coded to generate the system’s responsive behaviour. Parametrically designing the system allowed the system to be iterated by changing material parameters as well as the external conditions.

Nevertheless, the progressiveness of this project in terms of giving the designer the ability to control the design while using generative design processes through changing parameters is the take-away achievement. By changing any of five parameters, the designers could alter the way the system responded giving them control of the generated design and ‘automated’ movement. In terms of structuring materiality, this project demonstrates how the designer and engineer are able to direct the design when using material technology in architecture.17 At this point, the designer does not submit to programs and natural orders but is able to design using those parameters to acquire the desired but still unimagined outcome.

As already proven by the nonLin/ Lin pavilion, the construction of generated forms are more complicated and intricate than usual making the actualising of left morphology of veneer responding to changes in humidity top installation is kept in a glass cage for controlled humidity bottom tectonics of installation that governed it’s overall form


by Achim Menges




Designing for the future is a feat that could seem paradoxical in that it requires a preconception of what it should look like while the design process itself does not require such forethought through the development of research and technology in computational design. Both public art installations discussed, Swing and Halo, demonstrate a design intent of influencing society to imagine a better future and inspire action to achieve it. Both installations demonstrate the beginning of establishing a design language centred on sustainability. In relation to notions of designing for the future, there is further engagement with developing technology, in particular, computing. The focal approach of design in the digital is shifting from the simple logic of computerisation to highly complex computational methods. Computerisation allowed designers to representationally unify the various aspects of building design with the structural aspects of the building assisting and furthering design possibilities. However, computational design takes it a step further by providing the possibility of physically unifying the

two aspects through form generation and material studies. Design influence is then more clearly expressed in the whole form as well as the relationships between it’s parts. Such an expression can now be actualised through generative design that merges research and parametric modelling through algorithmic thinking that creates a new design logic. Thus, the design approach that to be undertaken will be exploratory in the context of computational design that emphasises construction or generation rather than pre-conception and planning. The potential design solution should be informed by significant parameters that will characterise the installation as sustainable. Thinking through the design and the desired outcomes ensures that every decision made is justified and considered in the way it affects the future. It is a step forward in creating a new design culture that is baed on efficiency, aesthetics and awareness of the influence design now has on design in the future. As state by Fry, “designed things go on designing�.18




This study of architectural precedences that demonstrate digital design has not been my first encounter with the theory and practice of computing. However, I approached the projects with a new knowledge and understanding of parametric modeling and algorithmic thinking that made clear the distinction between computerization and computational design. I have been able to develop my understanding of an evolving design process that addresses the idea of generative design. In the beginning I would have thought that generating a design meant that the designer was stripped of a large amount of control and influence over the final design solution but evidently that is not true. Through the honing of skills

and a patience for research parametric design poses opportunities to design more efficiently and innovatively directly addressing multiple conditions at the same time. In a previous studio I was given the task of designing a small scale installation that could be interacted with. The final form that I used was a set of planes rotated and angled to create space. In hindsight, the form was interesting but largely uninformed by anything other than aesthetics and I think using computational design to readdress the installation would result in something more innovative and influential in the architectural discourse.


References 1. Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice, (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishing, 2009), pp. 2-3. 2. Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice, (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishing, 2009), p. 11. 3. Curating Cities, ‘SWING - Moradavaga (Manfred Eccli and Pedro Cavaco Leitão)’,A Database of Eco Public Art, (2013), <http://> [accessed 10 March 2014] 4. Emily Chalcraft, ‘Swing by Moradavaga’, Dezeen Magazine, (2012), <http://www.dezeen. com/2012/11/14/swing-installation-by-moradavaga/> [accessed 10 March 2014] 5. Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice, (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishing, 2009), p. 3. 6. Curating Cities, ‘HALO - Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford’, A Database of Eco Public Art, (2013), < http://eco-publicart. org/halo/> [accessed 10 March 2014] 7. R. Oxman and R. Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture, Routledge, 2013), p. 1.

(London and New York:

8. R. Oxman and R. Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture, Routledge, 2013), p. 4.

(London and New York:

9. Mercedes-Benz, ‘The Architecture of the Mercedes-Benz Museum: Consummate Design’, MercedesBenz Museum, (2013), < website/en/mpc_home/mbc/home/museum/mercedes-benz_museum/about/die_architektur_.html> [accessed 15 March 2014] 10. Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, ed. by Branko Kolarevic (New York: Spon Press, 2003). 11. Matsys, ‘Shellstar Pavilion’, (2013), <> [accessed 15 March 2014] 12. Matsys, ‘Shellstar Pavilion’, (2013), <> [accessed 15 March 2014] 13. Brady Peters, Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought, (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), p. 11. 14. Marc Fornes and Theverymany, ‘nonLin/Lin Pavilion: Frac Centre Orleans France’, (2011), <> [accessed 22 March 2014] 15. Kelly Minner, ‘nonLin/Lin Pavilion / Marc Fornes’, ArchDaily, (2011), < http://www. campaign=Feed%3A+ArchDaily+%28ArchDaily%29> [accessed 22 March 2014] 16. Achim Menges, ‘Hygroscope: Meteorosensitive Morphology’, Achim Menges Design Research Architecture Product Design, (2011), <> [accessed 22 March 2014] 17. Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, ed. by Branko Kolarevic (New York: Spon Press, 2003), p. 20. 18. Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice, (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishing, 2009), p. 7.


Images Swing by Moradavaga Curating Cities, ‘SWING - Moradavaga (Manfred Eccli and Pedro Cavaco Leitão)’,A Database of Eco Public Art, (2013), <http://> [accessed 10 March 2014] Halo by Turpin and Crawford Turpin and Crawford Studio, ‘Halo’, Collaborations with Nature, (2011), <http://turpincrawford. com/project/halo> [accessed 15 March 2014] Curating Cities, ‘HALO - Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford’, A Database of Eco Public Art, (2013), <> [accessed 10 March 2014] Mercedes-Benz Museum by UNStudio Mercedes-Benz, ‘The Architecture of the Mercedes-Benz Museum: Consummate Design’, Mercedes-Benz Museum, (2013), < en/mpc_home/mbc/home/museum/mercedes-benz_museum/about/die_architektur_.html> [accessed 15 March 2014] UNStudio, ‘Mercedes-Benz Museum’, Projects, (2006), <>, [accessed 15 March 2014] Shellstar Pavilion by Matsys Matsys, ‘Shellstar Pavilion’, (2013), <> [accessed 15 March 2014] nonLin/Lin Pavilion by Marc Fornes / Theverymany Marc Fornes and Theverymany, ‘nonLin/Lin Pavilion: Frac Centre Orleans France’, (2011), <> [accessed 22 March 2014] Hygroscope by Achim Menges Achim Menges, ‘Hygroscope: Meteorosensitive Morphology’, Achim Menges Design Research Architecture Product Design, (2011), <> [accessed 22 March 2014]


Smoothing mesh and sectioning This exercise was interesting because it demonstrated how a quite blocky object could end up to look quite organic by parametrically smoothening meshes. Additionally the creation of toruses, which is quite difficult to do just in Rhino was made quite simple with the use of Grasshopper. This exercise also explored the idea of developable surfaces by sectioning. Through parametric modeling the sections are easily produced, organised and labeled ready for fabrication. This exercise relates the idea that parametric modeling allows for a dignificant change in form by changing small paramters. Also, the frabrication process can be quite efficient through sectioning.

Algorithmic Sketches 32

Thinking about mapping patterns The latest exercise was to apply a pattern to a form. I did this by lofting a surfface through generated arcs and intersecting that surface with a 3d Voronoi volume. The intersection between the breps created a pattern on the surface that could be turned into curves. However, I faced some issues with the gaps in the pattern. It is a problem I havent been able to find a solution to yet. Nevertheless I think the pattern differentiation across the surface is quite interesting and can be explored more. Aditionally, I would like to further explore culling patterns and applying them to more complex surfaces and forms.






34 - 37

B.1. Research Field

38 - 49

B.2. Case Study 1.0

50 - 53

B.3. Case Study 2.0

54 - 57

B.4. Technique: Development

58 - 60

B.5. Technique: Prototypes

62 - 65

B.6. Technique: Proposal

66 - 67

B.7. Learning Outcomes

68 - 69


70 - 71





Biomimicry “The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.” 1 – Janine Benyus Biomimicry is an adaption of the best of nature into solutions for man-made problems 2. In addition to the visual beauty of nature, designers are now just as interested in the properties and processes of the natural environment from a utilitarian perspective, in light of a multitude of environmental, social and political problems that can only be addressed through innovative design. Some pioneering examples of biomimetic design are such as the innovation of Velcro, the bullet train and friction reducing fabric, each inspired by burrs, the kingfisher bird and shark skin respectively. Evidently, biomimicry is being used in a whole spectrum of disciplines but most prominently, in engineering; material to locomotive. This echoes of a sentiment once expressed by Le Corbusier who exalted engineers as the driving forces of innovation and exposed a lacking in architecture 3. However, as new technology develops and architecture begins to open itself up to multidisciplinary influences, the adaptation of biomimetic design becomes more plausible and popular within the discipline. Designing for the future means designing for sustainability in the context of the architectural discourse previously outlined. Nature has been described as a model, measure and mentor of design 4. In addition to nature’s uncanny ability to find the most efficient solutions to ever changing surroundings, nature also mentors us in the way we address the environment, emphasizing the value of nature and how

sustainable design has in fact been around long before the term was even coined 5. In a nutshell, designs for the future emulate nature in all its abilities to adapt and be inherently beautiful. In this age the use of computational methods of designing enables us to explicitly explain nature’s concepts using a logic that binds design together. Some assert that nature is only a starting point to innovative design and that it could be taken even further to be truly useful to people 6. This idea ties into the goal of using parametric design to create a clear code, reducing redundancy and fostering reuse. If a design is useful to humanity it should be able to be replicated lest it’s usefulness amount to nothing because of it’s difficulty in reproduction. Thus, using parametric design to translate the concepts of nature into an algorithm that can be used in multiple varying situations creates a close relationship between parametric design and biomimetic design in which information is logically organized to give a desired outcome. Parametric design allows designers to develop fabrication methods that complement biomimetic designs with a range of complicity enabling actualization. Biomimicry is a material system that can be used to very straight forwardly respond to the design brief given in this subject. It poses almost literally, a whole world of inspiration and opportunity founded in nature on a Nano, micro and macro scale.


Research Field Case Studies : Biomimicry


The Spanish Pavilion by Foreign Office Architects is characterized externally by a colourful façade populated by hexagonal tiles arranged in a grid, each coded with a colour. Despite it’s apparent simplicity, the pattern generated by the tiles never repeat 10.This concept of small variations and the hexagonal geometry expressed and actualized through the use of generative computational design express nature’s complexity and beauty translated and modeled through the use of technology.

The Morning Line is an anti-pavilion that exemplifies biomimetic design by drawing inspiration from cosmology, specifically the Ekpyrotic theory of Turok and Steinhardt, in partnership with science, math, music, architecture and art 7. It’s visual expression owes itself to the use of computational design methods that allowed the creation and translation of a construction element that united both architecture and craft. This construction element was based on the geometry of a truncated tetrahydron that could be resized, reoriented and entirely reformed to express the artist’s, architect’s and engineer’s intentions, all at once 8. The result was a porous form that simultaneously drew in space and created it. The pavilion was also fitted with a sound system that interacts and responds to the presence of people, resulting in a generative element that conceptually designs the future 9 . The possibilities of reconfiguration in this project that was made possible through computation strengthens it’s claim to both biomimicry and an exemplary use of parametric design. The project pushes the limits of both. Visually and structurally it characterizes nature and it’s design process through algorithmic thinking sets the stage for any future application. It’s interactivity emphasizes the dynamic state we live in and the ever changing future we should be designing for be it through the way we design to the design itself.


B.2. CASE STUDY 1.0 Translations

Rotation angle - 0.372 Rotation Axis x y z

Rotation angle - 0.552 Rotation Axis x y z

Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 5.851

Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 6.751

Rotation angle - 0.372 Rotation Axis x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 5.851 Scale Factor - 0.212 Cull Vertices


Rotation angle - 0.421 Rotation Axis x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 2.471 Scale Factor - 0.356 Cull Vertices

Base geometry Scale Factor - 0.315 Cull Vertices

Scale Factor - 0.356 Cull Vertices

Base geometry Scale Factor - 0.212 Cull Vertices

Rotation angle - 0.421 Scale x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 2.471 Scale Factor - 0.356 Cull Vertices

Rotation angle - 0.372 Rotation Axis x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 5.851 Scale Factor - 0.212 Cull Vertices

Rotation angle - 0.210 Scale x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 3.943 Scale Factor - 0.394 Cull Vertices


Recursive Fractals

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane


Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius Mirror Plane


Fractal Analysis

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height


Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height


Fractal Analysis

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius


Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius

Fractal Factor Segments Scale Factor Radius


B.2.2 Design Criteria

Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Patterning based on Fractal Arrays The potential of such a form is that it doesn’t have a limit in that it can continue to build along a path in a growth pattern that can be adapted to other design factors such as site restrictions and appropriate scale. The form produced is highly complex even though it originated from a comparitively simple process of arraying fractal patterns or forms.

AA Pavilion “the powers of ten” by Theverymany


Interpolate Segments Scale Factor Radius Height

Emergent Characteristics - Organic Nature This iteration was singled out because of itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organic character. Aside from the unprecedented reseblance it has to a floral arrangement, the form was emergent as a result of changing parameters. It demonstrates the kind of results that designing parametrically can achieve in terns of aesthetics while still being fully justified by using specific parameters to govern it. The short comings of the form are that in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current state, fabrication is not a possibility. Additionally, there might be some difficulty in developing the form by altering the same paremeters that were used to achieve it while maintaining its aesthetics. Aperiodic Series 002 Pavilion by Theverymany

A simplicfication of the form would be required to even begin considering applying a fabrication system. However it shows potential in terms of translating the form into a system of panels.


Rotation angle - 0.421 Scale x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 2.471 Scale Factor - 0.356 Cull Vertices

Fabrication Opportunities This iteration was chosen because it presented fabrications opportunities by outputting a series of shapes that could be turned into overlapping panels of varying thicknesses. Thus, it demonstrates a possibility of acutalising the form despite a high degree of variation in the individual fabricated units. Additionally, the joints between the panels would have the be fabricated such that it dictates itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall form. Consequently each coresponding joint would also have a high degree of variation in the angles or positioning of any cut. An example of a project where a similar process has been done is the Voussoir Cloud where the form of the pavilion is governed by the joining tabs fabricated according to the position of each panel and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relation to the adjacent panels 11.


Rotation angle - 0.421 Rotation Axis x y z Translation vector x y z Magnitude - 2.471 Scale Factor - 0.356 Cull Vertices

Flexible Definitions Scaling and translating a geometry in multiple directions and according to multiple vectors can produce quite interesting and varying results, some of which have resemblences to mathematical sequences we are quite familiar with. For example, the Fibonacci sequence (right). The iteration above demonstrates a spiral formation leading us to understand the power and possibilities of simple translations and using the right parameter inputs to pattern using mathematical sequences. The flexibility of the definition for translating and scaling geometry is also an attraction because of the possibility of reapplying it to another geometry or using it in a different way such as dictating parameters that create the form insted of the form itself.



The Canopy designed by United Visual Artists is made up of a grid of identical cells with some of the cells occupied by a crystalline-like light module according to a fractal growth pattern that never repeats. Situated in Maple Leaf Square, Toronto, the inspiration for the geometry of the grid and form of the modules drawn from the shape of a maple leaf was quite apt. The concept for this project was based on the action of walking under the filtered light of the forest. Taking this further, the team used the idea of cellular activity within a leaf to characterize the way the artificial lights are born, travel across the canopy and then die off. The use of nature as inspiration in this project was evident but only surface level with by abstraction of form and conceptualising natural movements but not necessarily imitating itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s significance or developing on it. However, by building a canopy that is 90m long, they successfully achieve the intention of creating an escape from the city for people who walk under it. The lights can be interpreted as a city seen from above, representing people, vehicles and building lights; aspects of the city that are continuously changing cyclically 12. The lights characterize the city and nature alike by using short-lived entities to create long-lived complex systems. Thus, the project manages to find commonalities of the man-made and the natural, closing the gap between the two.



Reverse Engineering Pseudo Coding

1. Draw geometry

2. Define mesh

3. Extrude naked edges to point

Geometry derived from analysis of project and calculation of angles. (typical Cairo grid)

Mesh needed to define and extract interior and exterior edges of geometry

Define point at one corner of geometry and move in positive z direction. Extrude end points of edges to point.



4. Extrude exterior edges

5. Rotate geometry

5. Array geometry

To create framing, linearly extrude exterior edges of original geometry in negative z direction

Geometry is rotated about a central axis on the xy plane 3 times to create a repeatable pattern

Geometry is arrayed in x and y directions along the xy plane to mimic the Canopy project.




x- direction

y- direction >


Missing interior edges that still needed to be defined making the algorithm messy and difficult to troubleshoot

Difficulties In our first attempt to reengineer this project we created a base geometry and rotated and arrayed that geometry first before performing an extrusions. Doing this made it difficult for us to define the interior and exterior edges and isolate them for extrusion without having any capping issues. As ssen in the linework on the bottom left, extruding the edges to a point was an issue because of the reversed order of the lines. Therefore, in order to more closely reengineer the Canopy we reordered our workflow so that the capping issue was solved before multiplying the number of cells, making the system more complicated.

Extrusion not capped properly

Goal of Reengineering The beauty of the Canopy is itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simplicity of concept yet unique outputs. The interesting geometry derived from quite a simple shape provided a harmonious yet evocative visual that engaged the people who walked underneath it. Hence, we focused on reengineering the form of the canopy with the orientation of the cells and extrusions mimicing the actual project.


B.4. TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT Pattern and Form Explorations

Tesselation After reverse engineering the Canopy by United Visual Artists, we decided to focus on tesselation as the driver of our project. Tesselation involves the use of geometry and a tiling method; aspects of deisgn we began to find interest in, in relation to the design brief of designing an art installation that produced energy. It is also a broad field that can encompass most of the selection criteria we established in Case Study 1.0. During the development of our technique, we came across a definition that created not just the pattern that we studied in the previous case study but also a range of other patterns that could be defined and altered using number sliders that changed the transition values and u and v divisions. The output was a set of lines that could be mapped onto surfaces. After establishing the opportunities and limitations of the patterning algorithm, we endeavored to apply the pattern onto different surfaces instead of developing the pattern itself on a single plane. This was done to expand the possibilities of creating dimensionality as a technique to be used later when designing an art installation. Pattern Parameters: Transition Divide - u Divide - v Surface Parameters: Point - x Point - y Vertex - x Vertex - y Mirror


The surfaces that we experimented with were a range of parabolic and hyperbolic surfaces. This was because we saw the potential of producing solar energy through the use of reflector panels (above) that could characterize the patterning we were already focusing on. These were systems in which the reflectors took on a parabolic shape in order for heat energy to be reflected onto a single tube or point.


Arraying, Orientating, Mapping Moving

Array along cruve

Array along surface + Cull points


Orient to curve

Orient to radial grid

Array along surface + Cull points

Array along surface + Cull points

+ Scale to point

Orient to triangular grid

Orient to hexagonal grid


After mapping the interchangeable pattern onto an adaptable surface, we attempted to array and scale the g how it could be replicated and populated according to significant parameters. Arraying the geometry along a curve point we some of the attempts we made to establish the best way to generate variation and incorporate informed de


esh surface + Smooth mesh

Map Pattern to surface

Vertices x + Vertices y Selection Criteria: Our selection criteria for a suitable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is one that has a pattern that is able to provide an overall structure as well dictate the shape of panels that can be made from flexible metal reflectors. The form has to be one that is conducive to producing solar energy. The orientation and population of the units and consequently the reflector panels are informed by the sun path.

geometry using different grasshopper definitions to explore e or surface, orientating to different grids and scaling to esign decisions with regards to efficient energy production.


B.5. TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES Performance: Reflection

This prototype was used as a test of how light reflects across the panels and the kind of angles that would be needed. The prototype managed to give us an idea of the way light reflects but no real data could be drawn from it. It was also an experiment to test how the cells of the Cairo grid could be folded or modified.


Joints: Rotation

The prototype in the first row of pictures shows a model built to demonstrate how the panel can be made to rotate in 2 axis. The next prototype is developed from that idea and applied to a single cell drawn from the Cairo pattern that was mapped onto a curved surface. It was used to work out the connection system in three dimensions and get an idea of the rotational limitations of the panel which is restricted by the way the panel is constructed in terms of the location of the connections between the main frame, the sub-frame and the panel (made from paper in the model).


Structure: Connections

This prototype was used to test the possibility of notching as a connection method to fabricate the design. However, in this prototype the pattern was a simple grid. With more complicated patterns the notching system is possible but the bending nature of the material used would have to be taken into account in order to successfully notch the strips together. The notching system would also be far more complicated and probably require secondary strcutural elements such as clips to which the main frame can notch to. For example, a Cairo patterned structure was fabricated by architecture students of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart using this method (diagram shown on right) 13.




The concept of the design proposed is primarily driven by inspiration drawn from previous studies on tesselation as well as solar power as our chosen method of generating energy. Thus, the focus of this proposal is on the integrated energy system in terms of how it works performance-wise and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experiential quality as an art installation. The form of the design has not been fully developed as we have come to realise that certain restrictions that once applied can be worked around due to the increased flexibility provided by using rotating panels. Thus, our next step forward at this stage is to generate a form that will achieve our standing design intent and provide a platform that will allow us to innovatively apply the techniques developed so far.


Solar Power: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)



Dish Stirling

Parabolic Trough

Linear Fresenel Reflectors

Shape: Parabolic

Shape: Parabolic trough

Shape: Concave

Sun Tracking Axis: Rotates on dual axis

Sun Tracking Axis: Single North-South Axis

Sun Tracking Axis: Single North-South Axis

Energy conversion: Heat - mechanical - electricity

Energy output: Heat - mechanical - electricity

Energy output: Heat - mechanical - electricity

Light concentration: Single point

Light concentration: Linear

Light concentration: Point or Linear

Material: Highly polished metals

Material: Highly polished metals

Material: Flat reflector mirrors

SOLAR FURNACE 15. (right) The largest solar furnace in the world is located in Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, France. It successfully applies CSP concepts on a large scale architectural project. The reflected sunlight raises the temperature of the furnace to about 3000 degrees Celcius. In our project design we are looking to further integrate a similar approach using a combination of the various systems lined up above.


Design Proposal: Energy Production in Single Unit Thermal Bulb (Point collector) Reflector Panels (Highly Polished Metatls

Frame (Structure and panel holder)


to turbine

PROPOSAL (above) Shape: Parabolic Sun Tracking Axis: Rotates on dual axis (Panels) Energy output: Heat - mechanical - electricity Light concentration: Point Material: Highly polished metals


Site Population (Plan view)

Design Proposal: Concept


The single units described previously will be populated across the site with their heights and positions optimised to capture and reflect the most sunlight through the course of the day. The site is very large so depending on whether the installation is meant to be more of an educational and experiential focused project or one that is used to generate significant amounts of energy will dictate how far the population will go, especially due to factors such as allocation of different budgets for diferent types of projects.

Cluster Variation A progressio throughout the entire pr reflect the changing scal characteristics of each progression as the sun m is dynamically relfected actual movement.

on of patterns roject can be used to le and light capturing h unit. A theme of moves across the sky without the need for

Single Unit

Rotating Panels

The single unit is as described previously. The frame is made of metal, painted black for a strong sense of contrast against the bright metal reflectors they hold in place.

The panels that fit inside the paterned frame is able to rotate in 2 directions to capture and redirect sunlight. The system of panels are entirely exposed and can be viwed and understood by visitors of the site.

Aesthetic and Educational Value The project seeks to integrate performance and aesthetics into one system. Designing for the future requires such initiatives because the higher the appeal the more likely green technology such as the solar reflectors used in this project will be more commonly employed. Additionally, designing such systems parametrically mean that they can be easily adapted to different sites and conditions.




The focus of our research shifted from biomimicry to tesselation because we were inspired by the Canopy project studied in section B.3. and the potential such a system had to generate solar energy. As previously stated, we will be developing our design proposal in terms of it’s form which will allow us to integrate the systems and techniques that we have developed thus far. Specifically, we are looking to generate a form that can integrate the patterned frame we are using and respond to the physical site, especially in terms of the sun path. Rotating, orienting and scaling according to point attractors are some of the more important definitions that we will need to utilise. As of now we intend to focus on the project as the art installation it is supposed to be in relation to the energy system we are utilising because that aspect of the project has not been given much attention thus far. We intend to generate an organic structure that engages the people who come into it’s proximity, providing an atmosphere of

wonder and eventually understanding of the structure, the energy producing systems and consequently the importance of green design. Studying precedent projects and trying to create and reengineer parametric models have given me an insight into the workflow of parametric modeling as well as it’s possibilities and limitations. I find that fabrication is one of the bigger issues with parametric modeling but it also feeds into the entire outlook of the project and is one of the more prominent defining factors. Designing parametrically is still a challenge for myself but I have learnt a lot from studying algorithims and explorations. I have also come to appreciate how the nnovative application of simple definitions can produce quite interesting results of a wide variaty by changing small parameters. I have also learn that the clearer my design intent the more refined the algorithm will be. This doesn’t require a preconcieved visual of the final form but a clear direction and desired quality.


References 1. Biomimicry Institute, ‘What is Biomimicry?’, The Biomimicry Institute, (2014), http://www.> [accessed 29 March 2014] 2. Biomimicry Institute, ‘What is Biomimicry?’, The Biomimicry Institute, (2014), http://www.> [accessed 29 March 2014] 3. Le Corbusier, ‘Toward an Architecture’, (1923). 4. Biomimicry Institute, ‘What is Biomimicry?’, The Biomimicry Institute, (2014), http://www.> [accessed 29 March 2014] 5. Biomimicry Institute, ‘What is Biomimicry?’, The Biomimicry Institute, (2014), http://www.> [accessed 29 March 2014] 6. Tom Mueller, ‘Biomimetics: Design by Nature’, ’National Geographic, (2008), <http://ngm.,> [accessed 29 March 2014] 7. Thyssen-Bornemisza, ‘The Morning Line by Matthew Ritchie with Aranda/Lasch and Arup’, Design Boom, (2009), <> [accessed 29 March 2014] 8. E-flux, ‘The Morning Line’, E-Flux, (2008), <> [accessed 29 March 2014] 9. TBA21, ‘Matthew Ritchie with Aranda/Lasch and Arup AGU – The Morning Line’, ThyssenBornemisza Art Contemporary, <> [accessed 29 March 2014] 10. Foreign Office Architects, ‘Spanish Pavilion’, Expo 2005 Aichi Japan, (2005), <http://> [accessed 29 March 2014] 11. Iwamotoscott Architecture, ‘Voussoir Cloud’, Iwamotoscott Architecture, (2008), <http://> [accessed 29 March 2014] 12. Nico Saich, ‘Maple Leaf Square Canopy / United Visual Artists’, ArchDaily, (2010), <http://> [accessed 29 March 2014] 13. Dezeen, ‘3D2Real by ILEK students’, Dezeen Magazine, (2009), <http://disqus.dezeen. com/2009/05/20/3d2real-by-ilek-students/ > [accessed 29 March 2014] 14. Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, ‘A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies’, Land Art Generator Initiative. 15. Eric Grundhauser and Alison Eng, ‘World’s Largest Solar Furnace’, Atlas Obscura, (2014), <> [accessed 29 March 2014]


Pictures The Morning Line Thyssen-Bornemisza, ‘The Morning Line by Matthew Ritchie with Aranda/Lasch and Arup’, Design Boom, (2009), <> [accessed 29 March 2014] The Spanish Pavilion Foreign Office Architects, ‘Spanish Pavilion’, Expo 2005 Aichi Japan, (2005), <http://> [accessed 29 March 2014] AA Pavilion ‘the powers of ten’ by Marc Fornes / Theverymany Marc Fornes and Theverymany, ‘nonLin/Lin Pavilion: Frac Centre Orleans France’, (2011), <> [accessed 5 May 2014] Aperiodic Series 002 Pavilion by Marc Fornes / Theverymany Marc Fornes and Theverymany, ‘nonLin/Lin Pavilion: Frac Centre Orleans France’, (2011), < Pshop-722255.jpg> [accessed 5 May 2014] The Canopy by United Visual Artists Nico Saich, ‘Maple Leaf Square Canopy / United Visual Artists’, ArchDaily, (2010), <http://www.> [accessed 29 March 2014] Technique Development : Parabolic Solar Systems <> Techbells, ‘Working of CSP - Parabolic Trough’, (2012),< working-of-csp-parabolic-trough.html> Solar Power : Concetrated Solar Power Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, ‘A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies’, Land Art Generator Initiative. Solar Furnace Eric Grundhauser and Alison Eng, ‘World’s Largest Solar Furnace’, Atlas Obscura, (2014), <> [accessed 29 March 2014]



Algorithmic Sketches

Image Sampling The objective of this exercise was to populate and scale trunkated cones according to sampled colours of a picture. The radius of the cones need to be controled so that they do not intersect if fabrication was to be taken into acount. The technique here is flexible and has the potential to be used more significantly by patterning or populating according to brightness or colour spots.

Evaluating Fields

Using magnetic fields to est relationships between curves and gen forms that are dictate by soecific sam curves and points.


Kangaroo Exploration The image above is a cylinder mesh that was put through kangaroo physics and is acting in tension. By changing the rest length of the psring, kangaroo simulates how a certain fabric would respond to a particular force such as gravity. The form finding technique is an interesting process because Kangaroo tries to as closely as possible simulate how real physical materials would respond.

tablish nerate mpled






76 - 77


78 - 85

C.1. Design Concept

86 - 89

C.2. Tectonic Elements

90 - 93

C.3. Final Model

94 - 97

C.4. Extra LAGI Brief Requirements

98 - 99

C.5. Learning Outcomes





INTRODUCTION This project seeks to experientially articulate the popular Danish culture of Hygge through generative design, largely informed by the intention of producing green energy using concentrated solar power. It is an educational piece that celebrates culture while bringing an awareness of available, efficient technology that can be implemented in the race against time to be carbon neutral. The initial stage of this project is on quite a small scale relative to the site and there is room for expansion by populating similar structures across the site to increase the surface area of reflector panels and consequently energy produced. However, the focus at this stage remains to be on two interlocking structures that become the central hub of interaction. Each structure is constructed similarly, with a frame that holds a variation of panels - rotating solar reflector, timber or Perspex panels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in place.



Reflection of sunlight onto a collector is made possible by the curvature of the parabolic disc or trough in typical uses of solar reflector technology. The advantages of parabolics is that the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intensity is multiplied when focused onto a point collector, generating a large amount of heat energy.

Moving away from the parabolic Without the constraints of needing a parabolic reflector, we were given the freedom to generate a form for an art installation that integrated and optimised the chosen technology as well as delivered connotations of the culture of Denmark. The installation seeks to merge the idea of standing traditions or ways of life and the aspired green future of Denmark making a statement about the significance of both the past and


future in design development. From this point the development of our technique was focused on form finding. Based on previous explorations, no matter the final form we needed to create a surface without trims and niches to be able to apply and modify the desire tessellation. Once that was achieved we progressed to adjusting parameters that could be used to optimise the effects of sunlight reflection and penetration.

Likewise, panels that rotate in two directions can mimic the curvature of the parabolic disc in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance. The system allows a degree of freedom in architectural design that is otherwise almost non-existant. Thus, it contributes to the sustainable design discourse by demonstrating that green energy systems can be incorporated into design ideas that also meet the needs of socitey both culturally and socially.


hygge Hygge is loosely translated as coziness. It is a well understood term by the Danish who are statistically the happiest people in the world. Hygge is gathering in a pub, eating and drinking by candlelight, being comfortable and warm, making light conversation or simply enjoying company. It is the warmth and enveloped feeling of hygge that informed the form and scale of the installation.

1. Enveloping

2. Circulation The installation has a double skin of overlapping frames creating spaces that are smaller and more confined than what is expected.

3. Scale

Openings to the different spaces are not in line with each other to reduce exposure.

In most cases there is comfort in numbers. Keeping the installation to a small scale was a diliberate move to concentrate the visitors of the site into one area.




The Little Mermaid

Solar Tower Water Taxi Terminal

Site Land Access

entrepr flea m and rec side of tourist Merma charact the loc of tour Danish Southw the boa the site there a to the S Assumi the ins docking

Solar Analysis3 Hours 20

Average Daylight Hours/Day kWh/m2/day 6

Solar Insolation


Surface exposure to sunlight


Location relative to waterway and open waters

home of creative reneurships, small craft facilities, markets, warehouses and cultural creational venues. On the opposite f the water channel is the famous attraction, the statue of the Little aid.1 Thus, the installation seeks to terize a space that will be used by cals as well as draw the attention rists, highlighting the values of the h. The water taxi terminal on the west corner of the site as well as at access into the channel North of e is to be maintained. Additionally, are plans to develop the waterway South of the site with houseboats.2 ing an increase in waterway traffic, stallation becomes a landmark of g points.

Landscaping - The intention of having a small scale structure relative to the site was to draw all the visitors of the site to a central location; a hub for light interaction in line with the driven hygge concept. The location of the installation was dictated by the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s access points and focal views. The terraced land around the structure provides for a gradual decent towards the structure and the South edge of the site which forms the fifth edge of the pattern adopted throughout the project. Northern hemisphere sunpath Months


Level of exposure to direct sunlight



Solar Thermal: Concentrated Solar Power Energy production concept: Sunlight --> Relector panels --> Collector --> Heat energy --> Organic Rankine Cycle Engine --> Electrical power + hot water Converting the heat energy into electricity: The Organic Rankine Cycle turbine generator uses environmentally friendly organic fluid that acts as a refrigerant. It uses heat energy to evaporate the organic liquid under high pressure to drive a turbine at low pressure in a closed loop.4 Small scale Organic Rankine Cycle generators that can operate at low temperatures are available and have highly efficient thermodynamic cycles. There have been arguments made that small scale Concentrated Solar Power plants between 1-20Mw are more economically efficient because “they allow projects to integrate more easily into existing grid infrastructure”.5

Optimising Technology The sun being in the South, the surface of the structure facing that direction was stretched out so that the surface area of reflective panels could be increased. Furthermore. extrusions according to point attractors were used to increase the size of the tessellations that were to be infilled with reflector panels.

Collecting the heat energy: - Panels : Reflectors - Type of focus (Collector) : Point - Sun’s concentration > 1000 - Sun tracking : Dual axis Using the excess heat generated: Organic Rankine Cycle produces hot water as a by –product of which heat recovery cycles can be implemented for space heating.6 Advantages of cogeneration (Combined Heat and Power) : Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reduces electricity costs. Advantages of using solar thermal energy: Heat storage – prolongs and stabilizes production of energy. Can deal with the issue of intermittent clouds and provide energy at night.


Sur face area

Incr eas ed s urfa ce a rea





r te in es f o ax f s nt n o i o o p ti d ec Fin ters in


to rm fo es es l v c r ta a cu en e sp h t m l ri a oo pe sc sm ex y to d n an orm s a ateg s a f n r l al t st tio ired b c a n e s et e rs e m pm te of d n e i e lo Us eve ge s es er ba d rv u M rm c fo en e tw be c Ar



e ss

Te The South side of the installation was stretched out to provide more surface area that will receive direct sunlight

Extruding the cells in the normal direction to surface increased the surface area between the frames where infill panels were to be located. Thus, this method was used to accommodate for larger reflective panels, increasing the amount of light that can be reflected.





t fse





w et

i po













i po

c tra




Exc spa

Assembled in factory Each cell is unrolled, labelled and cut from plywood sheets. They can be assembled at the factory to reduce the amount of time needed on site and the amount of equipment to be transported.

The site needs to be excavated for the installation of heating coils and components of the beneath-ground components of the energy generation system. A concrete slab is poured with an attachment for the structure provided.

Site works


The cells that are individually transported to site are assembled from bottom up, beginning with the outer structure.

On site assembly



The excess heat generated by the ORC turbine is used for space heating within the structure itself. Heating coils that run under the concrete slab on which the structure sits creates a comfortable space that enhances the experience of warmth while all the power that is produced is fed into the grid. The rotating solar reflectors provide a form of shading that allows a varying amount of light into the space underneath it according to the position of the sun at different times of the day.

cess heat used for ace heating Generated electricity fed into grid Panels are fabricated to fit into their uniue cells out of their repective materials depending on their positioning and assignment (either a full plywood panel, tinted perspex panel or solar reflector panel)

Panels fabricated and installed on site



The connection between the angle brackets and the ce adjusted so that the edges line up with each other. Th entire structure can be constructed with each cell ang to each other.

Angle brackets x10 Sub-frame Installing one rotary actuator on the reflective panel and the subframe respectively allows the panel to be orientated to receive and reflect the sunlight onto a point collector. With the integration of smart technoology solar tracking systems, a high degree of accuracy and concequently efficiency can be obtained.

Electric Rotary Actuator x2


Reflector panel

ell frame needs to be his would ensure the gled correctly relative


The model was built to test the frame connections that would dictate the form and the panel installations. From this model we concluded that if each cell was built separately and precisely, the build up of error during construction could be reduced.

The rotating reflector panel was modelled with axels on both sides of the subframe and the panel. In reality the axels would be paired with electric rotary actuators that allow the panels to track the sun throughout the day. Nevertheless, modeling the rotating panel gave us a better idea of the system and the performace of the rotating panels. The reflector panels should sit at the very edge of each extruded cell and not sunken into the cell to reduce any obstruction to the reflection of light by the frame.


PRIMARY MATERIALS Acts as skylights. Allows filtered light to penetrate the structure for warm lighting. Perspex is highly durable, performing well outdoors and is easily cleaned. It is also easily cut which is important since the panels are all unique7

Dimensions: 2500 x 1220 x 30mm (Joubert Okume range of eco-plywood). Treated for outdoor usage. Panels located where there is no direct sunlight resulting in a redundancy in reflector panels. It provides comprehensive shading and a more protective atmosphere.8

Tinted Perspex

Wooden Panels


Structural Plywood

Perspex Panels

0.5mm thick, flat coated anodized aluminum panel reflector. It has a 95% reflecting efficiency suitable for concentrating solar thermal.9

Solar Reflector Panel

Reflector Panels

A curvature between the cells was achieved demonstrating how the complete collection of cells would eventually form the final curved form. Depending on the location of the cells, the curvature of the form it needs to achieve varies. However, the scale of the overall structure relative to the size of the cells, especially the cells at the most curved sections of the structure ensures constructibility using the right materials.


C.3. FINAL MODEL Assembly process: Primary structure

The model was put together in strips, cross referencing to the 3D model on Rhino. Thus, the assembly of the model mimicked the

Assembly process: Secondary structure



e installation construction process envisioned earlier.



The final model was used to test the lightin visual patterning effect of the tesselation as seen from on the right are taken from the underside of the fram the view looking outwards via the assymetrical entra demonstrates the way light would be directed into extruded cells that act as light shafts. The image to th of shadows the primary entrance to the installation images below demonstrate the different lighting con when the sun moves from East to South to West.

Morning: East sun


Midday: South sun

Late afternoon: Wes

ng effects on the frame and m within. Both of the images me. The top image presents ance while the bottom image o the structure via selected he left demonstrates the kind n would produce. The three nditions throughout the day

st sun


C.4. LAGI BRIEF January






Solar insolation10 kWh/m2/day







Solar insolation on panels (206m2) per day kWh/m2/day














Solar insolation on panels (206m2) per month kWh/m2/month







Energy production considerations: Solar Irradiance: Measure of how much solar power at location Solar Insolation: Irradiance over a day Total surface area of reflectors: 206m2 Reflector efficiency: 95% Turbine generator efficiency: 75%

Heat source: Sunlight

Average solar insolation on panels : per day: 596.19 kWh per month: 17462.63 kWh per year: 209551.58 kWh

Heat collecto

Estimated energy generated per year:

149,276 kWh Average energy usage per household: 180,00 kWh Installation will be able to provide energy for an extimated 8.3



houses per

Reflective Panels































High pressure vapour


Grid Turbine generator



Excess heat

Due to the scale of the project, the generator and pumps can be hidden from sight within the double skin of the structure itself. In any other case a separate structure in the same style as the proposed installation would have to be built to accommodate the machinery alone.

Slab heating coil


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS The most environmental impact would derive from the production stage of the project in the form of embodied energy and energy used for fabrication as well as in the transporting of the installation to the site. The project requires a small amount of landscaping so it may alter the soil quality on site. However, it does not disrupt any natural flora or fauna. Since it does not draw from or expel water into the sea it does not have any direct impacts on the surrounding aquatic conditions. Additionally, the usage of excess heat and production of energy indirectly improves the quality of the air. During the operation of the structure, tracking the sun and storing energy in the form of heat, the solar thermal energy generator will cost about the same as PV cells but be able to generate more electricity resulting in a lower cost of energy. With the only energy usage by the installation being provided for in terms of access heat generated from the ORC turbine, all the


electrical energy generated is fed into the grid. Additionally recovering the heat generated by the ORC turbine and using it for space heating reduces air pollution and greenhouse gases emissions. Responsible use of materials will also ensure a minimal impact on the environment. A large percentage of the installation is constructed from plywood so sourcing the plywood from responsible companies who are environmentally certified in regards to obtaining raw materials and forest management. Impacts of decommissioning are reduced due to the recyclability of chosen materials. For example, acrylic, like aluminum is 100% recyclable. The Perspex panels (a brand of acrylic) can undergo a process known as closed looped recyclability in which it is transformed back into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s base raw chemical, to be used for manufacturing of new Perspex sheets.11 Perspex is also extremely durable eliminating the need for constant repairs and replacement.



Approaching the brief from the computational point of view meant considering aspects of the project such as technology application and the ability to be built before any conceptual designing. The final outcome of the project was a direct result of earlier explorations in using computational methods to derive tessellating patterns and how a physical structure could then be materialized. In line with the brief, the development of the design was always done in parallel to the chosen technology of solar panels because of a design opportunity in integrating solar panels and tessellating patterns. It was apparent that even after establishing a design concept in terms of the type of structure and technology, the design could be altered to large degrees simply by changing base surfaces. Doing so presented new opportunities and also new issues. The challenge was in finding a design that tied the project together â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from concept to technology application and constructability. Using computational methods thus allowed us to explore multiple design ideas that were quite distinct but still adhered to the requirements of our system. Additionally, digital technologies allowed us to analyze and optimize our design to improve itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance, specifically in energy generation. For example, conducting a


digital solar analysis dictated the positioning of the solar panel, varying the depth of cell extrusions and area of increased surface exposed to sunlight. The requirement of using generative design on top of needing to fulfill energy, aesthetic and experiential requirements of the art installation was a challenge that pushed the boundaries of the conventional design thought processes we have been exposed to. Having to prototype model the proposed design brought to light the importance of a well resolved design, both tectonically and technologically. Even with the final proposal there is room for further development and refinement in terms of tectonic detail and a more detailed analysis of the technology. However, up to this point the attempt to model a realistic proposal has presented an opportunity to consider architectural projects not just from the conceptual point of view but also in the way it was designed for the construction process and performance. This subject has also brought to light the importance and availability of resources for designers. From Grasshopper support to research material on new technology and precedent projects, there is a vast and growing store of information that can be used to further our thinking and the subsequently design discourse as a whole.

ADRESSING FEEDBACK Percentage of site used by proposed structure: 2% If populated across the site to use at least 80% of the site area, the amount of energy generated would increase by about 40 times resulting in an estimated energy production of 6GWh per year. If the desired outcome of the design was to generate as much energy as possible, then this technology, although highly efficient, is not the best suited to the site. The use of PV panels to capture the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s energy would perform better given the solar insolation levels of the site. However, using reflective solar panels presented a more interesting area of exploration. In trying to optimise the chosen technology with rotating panels and surface

treatement we were also presented with the opportunity to design a space that would be experienced differently at different times of the day. The system that can be visually observed and physically felt in the warm atmosphere educates the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users on new green technology such as solar reflectors as well as existing energy production concepts such as the cogeneration of electricity and heat in one cylce.


References 1.Land Art Generator Initiative Coppenhagen, ‘2014 Design Guidelines’ Land Art Generator Initiative. 2.Land Art Generator Initiative Coppenhagen, ‘2014 Design Guidelines’ Land Art Generator Initiative. 3.Climatemps, ‘Climate of Coppenhagen, Denmark Average Weather’, Climatemps, (2014), <http://> [accessed 20 May 2014] 4. Darren Kimura, ‘MicroCSP (Concentrated Solar Power)’, Altenergymag, (2011), < http://www.> [accessed 20 May 2014] 5.John Farrel, ‘Concentrated Solar Thermal Power, Distributed’, Renewable Energy World, (2011), <> [accessed 20 May 2014] 6. Infinity Turbine Organic Rankine Cycle, ‘Model ITmini ROT5 Radial Outflow Turbine Generator’, Infinity Turbine, <> [accessed 20 May 2014] 7.Mitchell Plastics, ‘Superior Performance’, Mitchell Group, (2005), < http://www.> [accessed 22 May 2014] 8.Joubert Okume, ‘The Universal Plywood’, Joubert Group, (2011), < http://www.joubert-group. com/gamme.php?cp=8> [accessed 20 May 2014] 9.Clear Dome Solar Thermal, ‘ClearDome SolaReflex AA Mirror Surface’, (2014), < http://> [accessed 22 May 2014] 10.Solar Electricity Handbook 2014 Edition, ‘Solar Irradiance’, Green Stream Publishing, (2014), <> [accessed 20 May 2014] 11. Mitchell Plastics, ‘Superior Performance’, Mitchell Group, (2005), < http://www.> [accessed 22 May 2014]





Ong, Audrey 566116 Final Journal  
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