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design studio: air

brendan josey 506 657 semester 1 2013 gwyll jahn + angela woda


contents 1 introduction 2 architecture as discourse

i. architecture as discourse ii. parc de la villette iii. arab world institute

3 computational architecture i. computational architecture ii. arnhem station iii. cirriform

4 parametric design

i. ii.

parametric design bao'an terminal 3

5 conclusion 6 references

ruin academy, ground floor, casagrande


introduction My name is Brendan Josey, I am in third year Architectural Design. I have recently transferred from the University of Queensland where I was also studying architecture. Last year I studied part time so as to focus on my interests in music, this year I hope to finalise my undergrad and continue to do masters. I find the approach of Air Studio to be fascinating and unlike anything I encountered at UQ, which as a far more traditional approach to building design. I think I will find the course challenging in two ways: firstly, while I have significant experience with Archicad and Autocad I have never before used Rhino or Grasshopper, so that in itself will be challenging; secondly, I have some foreboding regarding the approach to digital and parametric design. I find it incredibly interesting and the possibilities seem endless, however, I believe there are some shortcomings with the way it is employed and perhaps it is not as all-inclusive as is being initially suggested in this course. I cannot wait to submerge myself and come up with some real opinions and idea regarding this.


ruin academy, first floor, casagrande


architecture

as

discourse


ruin academy, conceptual section, casagrande


In understanding architecture as discourse, it is important to consider that fundamentally architecture is more than pure aesthetic or function. It is, by nature, a reflection of societal values and needs as seen, interpreted or deemed relevant at the time of its conception. Architecture transcends rudimentary functionality. It is a vehicle with which to challenge conventions, politics and ideals. It is demonstrative of a changing zeitgeist and as such it is a direct reflection on certain elements of the society in which it is situated. It is, in its very essence, part of the public realm. Architecture emotes, functions and imposes itself upon its landscape and the people it interacts with, and as such it enters into heavy dialogue with its surroundings, its admirers, its critics, and its users.

evolution of a functional society. The built environment is in a constant state of flux. It is developed and refined from a traditional vernacular that is continually reinterpreted and thus advanced through a specialized and complex function. From this the valued principles of architecture are delineated. Architecture, then, not only can be seen as discourse, but it must be engaged and approached as discourse. A theme throughout architectural history that must be noted is the challenging of established systems and models. An ongoing project of interest is Marco Casagrande's Ruin Academy (Taipei, Taiwan, 2010 -). This is a subversive project aiming to deconstruct the urban tradition and re-approach architecture by re-thinking the industrial city and the "modern man in a box" (Casagrande, 2010). It is an educational and academic facility at one with nature and dilapidation, focused on research. The entire academy will ultimately be devoured by the environment in which is it situated, becoming the compost of the modern city (Casagrande). It is in these varied approaches that architectural discourse is nurtured. Ideas challenging the norm and the expectations of the architect's role establish more and more footholds in terms of innovation and freethinking.

With this in mind, one must ask: what is architecture? This question is not easily answered. Architecture is a multi-faceted medium dependent on many factors: functionality, individual expression, politics, and societal values to name a few. The Oxford dictionary claims architecture to be "the style in which a building is designed and constructed, especially with regard to a specific period, place, or culture" (The Oxford Dictionary, 11th Edition, Print). In this sense, architecture is considered purely for its physicality, its temporal placement and its context; consequently, this is representative of typology, not necessarily architecture as a whole. This advancement in architectural thought is linked directly to the ever-growing discipline of Parametricism and digital deArchitecture influences human interaction by gathering to- sign. These methods explore new possibilities within the archigether participants for specific reasons; it segregates and dis- tectural profession, casting further queries on the traditional tinguishes spaces and acts as a framework for communications role of the Architect, blurring the lines between artistry and (Schumacher, 2011). Resultantly, it is to be seen as a system of engineering. This follows on from the early progressive visions semiotics, making overarching definitions elusive. Put simply, of Archigram's Walking Cities, The Situationists' Psychogeoarchitecture can be viewed as a complex communication be- graphic Maps, and Metabolism's view to organic and technotween epochal styles, typology, philosophy and societal values. logical futures with The Metabolism Manifesto. It is a discourse of ideas intrinsic to the human condition expressed via the vehicle of the built environment, which in turn, Through such projects, architectural discourse is explored and impacts social behaviour and ethics. broadened, schemes like Ruin Academy, which aim to dismantle traditional architectural approaches, add to this and richen In an esoteric sense, architecture not only reveals itself as a debate across schools of thought. Again: regardless of method, function of societal needs, but also draws out underlying cur- true architecture works with and towards the evolution of a rents, tensions, societal trends, and desires. It has capacity to functional society. effect real change in terms of government, lifestyle, values and social awareness. This is achieved through the application of principles, intention and approach towards traditional societal constructs. The idea is further examined in the


deconstruction of parc de la villette, tschumi


parc de la villette.bernard tschumi.1987 The Parc de la Villette is located in the North-East of Paris in a populated semi-industrial area on what was once the site of a slaughterhouse. Suisse-French architect Bernard Tschumi designed the park in 1982 after winning a commission from the French government. The driving idea behind the creation of this 'Urban Park for the 21st Century' was to influence society as a whole, to effect change and attempt to fuse concepts of the economic, the scientific and the cultural. The general circumstance of the project was to find an "organising structure that could exist independent of use" (Tschumi). that is, a structure that did not have centre or hierarchy, and would remove the simplistic assumption of a "casual relationship between a program and the resulting architecture." (Tschumi) From the outset, Tschumi rejected the idea of introducing an additional mass to the site, even in a linear format. He proposed a simple structural solution that distributed the programmatic requirements over the total site in a regular arrangement of points of intensity designated as Folies. The park incorporates thirty-five of these unique red Folies over its span, each beginning as an identical red cube. They were then deconstructed and elaborated. The set out of the signature red Folies is a clear symbol to La Villette and is essential to the park's identity. Each is an "autonomous sign that indicates its independent programmatic concerns" (Tschumi) and possibilities, however, they suggest a unity, a structural core and a system.

or invention of new, increasingly abstract shapes or buildings is unnecessary as meaning is derived from everything. Tschumi believed this approach to be a bridge between the present day contemporary theory and its predecessor, poststructuralism. Further analysis suggests that by deconstructing any given program Tschumi could prove that his own program challenges the very ideology that it implied. This would achieve a "reversal of the classical oppositions and a general displacement of the system," (Tschumi) which was, of course, the ultimate aim of the park. The park not only rejected context, but "encourag[ed] intertextuality and the dispersion of meaning"(Tschumi). La Villette challenges all contexts. It has no profound relation to its surroundings. It aims to be the signifier, rather than the signified, it moves towards interpretive infinity. This allows a great deal of freedom for the prospective viewer, as they are free from any hindrance of authorial intention and are thus free from bias - hypothetically. To each viewer the park can represent something entirely different and untainted, as a result, his or her interpretation will become analysed and so forth, this is called homeostatic architecture. It is interesting to note, however, that although Tschumi's scheme recoils at the idea of meaning or context, it is, ironically, creating yet another paradox for itself because in the and the absolute rejection of style becomes itself a form of style.

In order to determine the placement of these points of intensity, Tschumi used a technique known as abstract mediation in which he employed the idea of a point-grid system. The important thing to note from this is that the ordinance grid acted as a mediator between the two exclusive systems of the physical and the metaphysical. This is underpins a core philosophy of the project which was to prove that it was possible to construct a complex architectural organisation without resorting to traditional rules of composition, hierarchy and order. (Tschumi). This proposed architecture was independent of a conventional design language and aimed to achieve a structure in which its concept becomes the architecture itself (Tschumi). This implies that the creation

expression of parc de la villette, tschumi


arab world institute facade system, nouvel


arab world institute internal view, nouvel


arab world institute.jean nouvel.1987 When discussing the role of architecture as discourse it is important to assess the implications and influence a certain building has on its context, both in the perceived and the implied sense. The Arab World Institute in Paris by Jean Nouvel (1987) is a reinterpretation of classic themes that adds to architectural discourse through its active involvement in the French community. It was designed as a centre for art from across Arab countries and blends traditional middle-eastern lattice motifs with advanced technology. Its mechanical facade demonstrates the effective and practical implications of kinetic architecture by limiting the amount of sunlight into the building and thereby controlling the internal conditions. The facade is a system of light sensitive diaphragms, much like camera lenses, that expand and contract depending on the sun's position. As the lenses expand the geometric patterns are altered in a subtle and fluid way.


computation architecture


nal e

arnhem central train station masterplan, UNStudio


computational architecture The architectural discourse is fluid and evolutionary; it is in a constant state of reinterpretation and re-imagination. It is a medium that is affected rapidly by changes in culture, technologies and societal opinions. This is evident across the history of architecture; new styles and epochs are engaged as technologies advance and society progresses. Take for example Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace, a structure that notably took advantage of newly mass-produced glass to embody possibilities for the future of the Industrial Age. The Crystal Palace was a building that until the time of its construction was unable to be built due to material limitations, the advance in manufacturing technologies and the technological mood of the time, led directly to its realisation. This can be related directly to the modern advent of digital design and computational architecture.

accessible, making the designer a script writing, catering to their own specific needs for specific projects. This creates a design method that is open ended and unpredictable, one where form and spatial organisation adapts throughout the design process in order to achieve a desired ultimate goal.

The term computational architecture refers to the relationship and interaction between certain elements and datasets, enabling the generation of complex geometries and forms. It is a system that fosters and extends human capability; namely mathematical, logical and analytical. Through this, computation aids in the resolution of complex problems. A notable affect of computation on the modern architectural discourse is the development of complex geometries and forms. Through the carriage of modelling software, seemingly endless form abstractions are possible. A criticism of this is that due the random and highly adaptable nature of digital architecture, it is difficult to determine a pervading architectural language or philosophy. Modern architecture is at a stage where the discourse of style is being re-established and architecture is "characterised by its capacity to take advantage of the...the innovations offered...by present-day science and technology." (Morales)

Through these methods, digital media has influenced architecture in a way that allows all elements of a design to be controlled. It allows designs to be adapted and developed throughout the design process and allows for a complex and thorough representation of structures, far beyond two-dimensional depictions. This is further explored through the application of performance analysis simulations. These simulations can be used to determine spatial interactions, implied atmospheres, functionality and efficiency. All of these elements contribute to a whole where the architect is returning to the role of a collaborative auteur.

With this in mind, a logical conclusion can be drawn that such an interface influences not only design outcomes, but design methods. Previously, CAD software was a platform that increased the efficiency and convenience of modelling and documentation, but by and large, did not sway design methods to a great extent. In the evolution of CAD, architecture is entering an era where the design space is becoming an experimental investigation and the software is becoming a "kinematic sculpting space" (Kolarevic). Furthermore, specialised program development is being unravelled and made far more

This can also be attributed to the collaborative aspect of digital design. Digital design has generated a platform for an advanced system of communication between architect and engineer, influencing design choices early on in project development. Computational architecture has fused elements of sculpture, engineering and innovation. By viewing digital technology in this way, it can be seen as an integration that allows the conception of an idea to be directly linked to its built outcome.


arnhem central station.UNStudio.2014


The Arnhem Central Station masterplan project (1996-2014) by UNStudio is an ongoing railway station project that has been heavily influenced by computational design practices. In this case, a computation system was used that allowed the delineation of panel size for the complex roof system. A pattern was determined through analysis of material manufacturing constraints. In this way computation affects the design directly as the parameters set by the restraints interact with computational solution in order to achieve the desired design effect. The determination of the panel design in Rhino directly informed the manufacture of the roof panels through information synthesis of the 3-D model. This demonstrates that one of computational design's strongest advantages lies in collaboration, communication and information sharing.


cirriform.future cities lab.2013


Cirriform (2012) by Jason Kelly Johnson for Future Cities Lab is a prototypal instalment that integrates the interactive technology by use of Grasshopper plug-in Firefly. It is a mechanical facade that responds to the proximity of visitors through sensors, which activate small motors and an LED display. This design further demonstrates future potential for computational architecture and the influence it extends over design practice by incorporating computational technology in an active, participatory way, blurring the lines between architecture and physical computation. The technology provides a conduit for 'real world' information to be relayed to the Grasshopper design space, which, in turn, informs algorithmic processes, thereby creating an interactive instalment. Through projects such as this, the digital medium is furthering the architectural discourse and displaying the evolutionary nature of the profession. Furthermore, it opens new ways of envisioning and approaching architecture in terms of innovation and communication.


sigmund freud pavillion, hermann


parametric design


parametric design


Parametric design is a method in which a geometric form is created by manipulating a series of mathematic relations within a pre-defined parameter. It is the application of a series of variables and algorithms that alter the geometry in order to achieve certain design intents. It is a generative mathematical process, and through this method, it is possible to explore a huge number of possibilities within pre-defined parameters. In this way, it is a flexible, efficient and freeing design method. There are numerous advantages to parametric design. It limits human error through the automation of calculations, increases efficiency through programmatic repetition and allows for multifaceted design solutions. Parametric design is a fluid and adaptable process, allowing the architect to create a system of relationships that contribute to the design as it is developed. This enhances the continuity of the structure and improves capacity to explore design options through varying elemental relationships. Due to the inherent nature of the parametric process, the architect is faced with the challenge of determining a logic that will act as pre-defined parameter for the design. This is a limiting aspect of parametric design as it forces an initial separation between the designer and the design as complex relationships are considered. The parametric method is a design tool that has incredible potential to realise complex geometries, streamline design process and lead to a direct relationship between constructability and design. It is a tool that has revolutionised architectural form. Despite the potential parametric design offers, it remains a limited medium. It continues to be method for the representation of structure, and while the form-defining role it plays lends itself to a certain style of architecture it is important to note that through this evolution, the form is open ended and somewhat random. With this in mind, a conclusion can be drawn that a certain architectural language and principle must be applied to parametric design so as to avoid a syntax based solely on form experimentation, one lacking ethics or a true sense of identity or place in the architectural canon. Parametric design is not yet a design movement of its own right, but a method with which to achieve and realise complex geometry and innovations. This being said, its potential for innovation and sustainable design are limitless.


Massimiliano Fuksas+Knippers Helbig Advanced


d Engineering, Bao’an Airport Terminal 3, 2012

The Bao'an, Terminal 3 (2012) is a result of a parametric design function. The scope of the project demonstrates advantages offered through computational and parametric design. Projects of this scale and complexity would be a virtual impossibility without the computational accuracy and clarity of parametric modelling. The project is comprised of over 400,000 steel members and 60,000 facade elements arranged in a complex, double-curved geometry. Through use of Rhino and Excel, the project was able to maintain the intended aesthetic as well as communicate specific design requirements, overall form and complicated data between the engineer and architect.


references Architectural Design, Computation Works - The Building of Algorithmic Thought, Print, 2013 Bernard Tschumi Architects, Parc de la Villette, Paris, France, Date Accessed, 25/3/2013, http://www.tschumi.com/home.asp?flashver=9&res=1024x768&color=32 Casagrande M, Work Chronology, Date Accessed 20/03/2013 http://marcocasagrande.fi/ Cacciari M, Architecture and Nihilism: On the Philosophy of Modern Architecture, Yale University Press, 1993 Kolarevic B, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, Taylor and Francis, 2003 St. John Wilson C, Architectural Reflections: Studies in the Philosophy and Practice of Architecture, Butterworth Architecture, 1992 Tschumi B, Event Cities, MIT Press, Tschumi B, Event Cities 2, MIT Press, 2000 Tschumi B, Cinegramme Folie: Le Parc de la Villette, Princeton Architectural Press, 1987 Tschumi B, Architecture and Disjunction, MIT Press, 1994 Parc de la Villette, Paris, Date Accessed 25/03/2013, http://everything2.com/e2node/Parc%2520de%2520la%2520Villette%252C%2520Paris Schumacher P, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, Date Accessed 19/03/2013


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