STUDIO AIR 2018 SEM2, ALLAN BOLUN ZHENG 837101
My name is Bolun Zheng, studying my third year of Architecture in the University of Melbourne. I was born in Perth, and grow up in Shanghai. I have been in Melbourne for almost 3 years now. I always passionate about exploring advanced technologies and tools as well as learning radical ideas and thoughts. Most of my digital skills are self-taught during studio Earth, where I found traditional design approach was no longer feasible to test materiality related ideas. I am always fascinated and impressed by orgaic and intricate tectonics. Personally, I see studio Air as a great opportunity to experience radicalness, vastness and build up my grasshopper skill.
A.1 DESIGN FUTURE CASE STUDY 1 CASE STUDY 2 A.2 COMPUTATION CASE STUDY 1 CASE STUDY 2 A.3 GENERATION CASE STUDY 1 CASE STUDY 2 A.4 CONCLUSION A.5 LEARNING OUTCOME A.6 ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES APPENDIX BIBLIOGRAPHY
DESIGN FUTURING "Collectively, across all our differences, we human beings have reached a c ritical moment in our existence. It has always been recognized that individuals, communities, races and even nations can be fated or made to disappear but we are now at a point when it can no longer be assumed that we, en masse, have a future." To slow down defuturing, we need sustainable design, design that is adaptive to transition, and suitable fore mutiple possible futures.
Tony Fry, Design Futuring (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014).
RMIT BUILDING 8, MELBOURNE Peter Corrigan, 1993, 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
RMIT Building 8 depicts the vision of a vibrant future Melbourne City that embraces the locality. It initiates a trend in Melbourne to have its own aesthetic over the modernist’s one. The multiple award winning RMIT building 8 is designed by Peter Corrigan (Edmond and Corrigan) during 1990s. This outstanding post-modern oeuvre aims “to delight and break down the dominant and seamless city-wall ‘mood’ RMIT presented on Swanston Street. The building’s front, side and rear elevations create a whole from fragments and a collage of design ‘ideas’. It presents itself to the city on its own terms.”1 In Comparison to the “boring white houses” which were built across the globe at the same epoch, the wild use of colour and referential elements are collaged to express the distinct Melbourne character and aesthetic.
Kahn in what was to us an unfamiliar context of American cultural anxiety. Correspondingly, he totally rejected the Australian cultural cringe.”2 As a response, Corrigan’s Building 8 has then become a signpost to re-orientate Australian architecture away from blindly praising modernist precedents, but to reconsider Australian architecture of its own aesthetic and culture. Such redirection was heuristic and significant to address the necessity of more pluralism in design, not restrained by styles.
Notwithstanding the fact that post modernism diminished quickly, RMIT Building 8 has proved its design intelligence by overturning the generally accepted but narrow and reductive focus of the modernism architecture theory. The contribution to such discourse changes the discourse. RMIT Building RMIT building 8 has changed the 8 becomes an open contestation of way people saw Melbourne City. The a probable future as it speculates uprising modernism during the 50s Melbourne and its architecture to and 60s denied the use of ornaments be hopeful and vibrant for the next by embracing an industrial reductive generation. This speculation acts as and relatively simple forms. Function a catalyst for collectively redefining is valued over forms, and forms was relationship to realty3, results in a demanded to be replicable. The repetitive distinctive and radical Melbourne urban and utopian modernist urban planning context today. strategy depicts a future where there will be no further change. “Unlike so many Australian architects who praised the architecture from an oversea metropolitan content as excellence, Peter Corrigan placed architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis 1. "RMIT Building 8: 368 Swanston Street, MELBOURNE", Walking Melbourne, n.t <https://www.seasteading.org/2011/03/walking-city-archigram/> [Accessed 30 July 2018] 2. "Remembering Peter Corrigan: a life of movement, energy and integrity", The Conversation, 2016 <https://theconversation.com/remembering-peter-corrigan-a-life-of-movement-energy-and-integrity-69868> [Accessed 30 July 2018]. 3 Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) [Accessed 30 July 2018].
GREEN SPINE, MELBOURNE UNStudio, Design proposal for Southbank by Beulah
Green Spine proposal aims to build a vertical village. Unlike other “green wall” design, Green Spine create actual public green space to interact with its occupants. Additionally, the multitude of function can make its occupant less reliant to the transportation network. This vertical approach of future urban planning a future that is more durable to face the problems caused by population growth.
urban demarcation. Not only does this contribute to an enormous material and technology consumptions to, but also distant people’s interaction due to the lack of public space. According to Tony Fry’s Design Futuring, such material condition of unsustainability will cause the momentum for defuturing if the problems remain unresolved. 5The current monocentric city layout worsens the situation.
Green Spine is a mixed-use vertical village including office, hotel, residential apartments, retailers, public rooftop park, ect. This project is motivated by the concept of togetherness joint ownership and open access for residents and the wider community. The conceptual greening of the building vertically extends the verdant Southbank Boulevard and the nearby Botanic Gardens. The Green spine project speculates a possible future of a highly dense, diversified urban district of Melbourne. It broadens a novelty vision by heuristically reimagining high-rise buildings as vertical landscape.4
The combination of forward-thinking and anthropologic design philosophy is well carried through the Green Spine project. By providing multiple resources (job, retails, apartment) and public space within the vertical village, it aims to redirect people’s work and lifestyle patterns as well as values a communitybased society. The greenery is used as multipurpose insulation, as well as create more public space for people’s interaction. It instigates an alternation of current cultural, social and economic structure in order to create a greater momentum to redirect people’s attitude from a monocentric urban lifestyle to a polycentric urban lifestyle. It also displays its design intelligence by prefiguring possible energy shortage and traffic related failure caused by the growing population.
Currently, Melbourne’s city skyline is dominated by towers which are vastly influenced by modernism. Most existing towers isolate its occupants from the exterior environment and distant their connection with the urban context. As the core concept of these high-rises building are usually the efficient use of space, generate economical profit and to accommodate the ever concentrating population centralised within the
4 . United Network Studio, 2018 <https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/10066/southbank-by-beulah> [Accessed 30 July 2018]. 5. Tony Fry, Design Futuring (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014).
COMPUTATION "Digital morphogenesis can combine the tectonics of digital material and performative simulation to create naturally ecologic systems. It is in the computational modeling of natural principles of performative design of material systems that we can potentially create a second nature, or a sounder architecture with respect to material ecology"
Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories Of The Digital In Architecture (London: Routledge, 2014).
Zaha Hadid Architects AI Build, 2018
“Thallus is an experimental pavilion design which continues Zaha Hadid Architect’s Computational Design (ZHA CoDe) group’s research into generating geometries through robotic-assisted design.”6 This research pavilion demonstrates the comprehensiveness of computational design.
computational design process is powerful in cross-discipline data communication. In this case, the single-ruled surface is understood as the formed from the movement of a straight line in space around an axis, which, indeed, is precisely the way a hot wired cutting machine operates.
The conceptual geometry starts from making an open form by extruding the 8 sides for a nonagon. The extrusion is then transformed and refined into arum lilyshaped form. The emergence of the final form comes from a growing spline onto the original extrusion. The design explores a vast number of possible outcomes through different algorithm which set up the rules that simulate an organic growing pattern.
As Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman has stated in their Theories of Digital DesignIn Architecture suggests a “symbiotic relationship between the formulation of design process and developing technologies.” 8 The fabrication strategy is also determined and limited upon the type of the chosen technology (3D printing in this case). Because polyactide needs time to cure, it has to be printed on a base sculpture so the structure won’t fail during its curing process. Though the structural difficulty is not a crucial problem, the performative aspect of fabrication process can be simulated by the software to ensure the success.
“The fabrication of Thallus involves 3 stages: base sculpture (formwork), 3D printing (continuous strips), and fabrication (assemblage). Both formwork and 3D printing are robotic-aided. The base structure is created by hot wire cutting technology. Premium polyactide is then printed continuously by a 6-axis 3D printer to create a 7km structural strip along the single-ruled surface through only one single stroke.” 7 The creation of Thallus’ structure from ZHA CoDe demonstrates what can now be achieved in terms of mechanisation and customisation in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. The use of computational method contributes significantly to both design and practice. It not only explores the aesthetic and expands tectonic options, but also the actuallisation of such intricate tectonics needs a high level of understanding in applying these fabrication technologies. The continuity of such a workflow is because
The computational design method offers a comprehensiveness. It offers “a more fluid logic of connectivity,” (Lyn, 1993, p.26) This suggests an optimisation and integration between architectural form and its performative behaviors. It also encourages young generation of architect to create such experimental design through scripting of algorithms.9 This trend can gradually build momentum to form a durable design.
7 Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils New Experimental Structure Using 3D-Printing Technology", Archdaily, 2018 <https://www.archdaily.com/871659/zaha-hadid-architects-unveils-new-experimental-structure-using-3d-printing-technology> [Accessed 06 August 2018]. 6 Ai Build - Thallus", Ai-Build.Com, 2018 <http://ai-build.com/thallus.html> [Accessed 06 August 2018]. 8,9 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories Of The Digital In Architecture (London: Routledge, 2014).
THE MORPHES HOTEL, MACAU Zaha Hadid Architects Front Inc., 2018
This case study is an example of how computational design breaks down complicated data and geometry as well as connect cross-discipline workflow. The exposed mesh exoskeleton connects the left and right towers at both the podium and the roof levels, with two bridges that seem to twist and undulate. Front (Front Inc.) consultant Used an in-house software to create an automated technical analysis, modeling and fabrication drawing production workflow.10 The tectonic of the Morpheus hotel is impossible to achieve through the traditional design process, as both the doubly-curve ruled surface and its exoskeleton structures involve enormous amount of calculation to document each component accurately, and arithmetical error will result in a total failure. Drawing as a 2-dimensional media is limited to instruct the fabrication detail. A good example of the kind is the construction procedure of Sydney Opera House. Regardless of its later success, the lack of performative consideration caused a huge delay and over budget. The faĂ§ade of the Morpheus Hotel is a result of a comprehensiveness, a balance between design creativity and performative rationality. Not only it has a more continued logic flow, but also software is able to breakdown complicate NURBS surfaces and the exoskeleton structures into constructible and documentable components. The intricacy is reduced through meshing the
surface into Delaunay and rectangular components. As stated in Oxmanâ€™s deisgn Theory of the Digital in Architecture, parametric design thinking focuses upon a logic of associative & dependency relationships between objects and their parts-and-whole relationships. This relationship includes both geometric and the multiplicity of variable instances. 11 During Renaissance time when architecture tent to separate and devise itself from construction. Communication back and both resulted in deficiency, errors and other uncontrollable outcomes. The computational design on the other hand is powerful in visualising data. It bridges a more coherent collaboration and better communication across engineers, builders and the architects.
10, Front, 2018 <https://www.frontinc.com/project/city-of-dreams/> [Accessed 6 August 2018]. 11 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories Of The Digital In Architecture (London: Routledge, 2014).
GENERATION "Generative design mimics nature's evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. Then, using cloud computing, the software explores all the possible permutations of a solution, quickly generating design alternatives. It tests and learns from each iteration what works and what doesn't"
"What Is Generative Design | Tools & Software | Autodesk", Autodesk.Com, 2018 <https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/generative-design> [Accessed 16 March 2018].
VENTRICLE CEILING INSTALLATION, LONDON SOFTlab
Ventricle is a demonstration of the symbiotic relationship between form finding and optimisation in generative design. “The geometry of Ventricle ceiling installation is designed and optimised generatively. The complicated net/mesh structured is made up of thousands of laser-cut aluminum components. The aluminum strips are covered by a reflective film. When sunlight passes through the surface in different angles, the spectrum of light is decomposed to amplify and colorise this intricate tectonic.” 12From generative design to digital fabrication, the part-to-whole relationship is well carried through. In Theories of the Digital in Architecture, Rivka & Robert Oxman state “the theory of digital architecture resides the roots of architectural culture’s attempt to divest itself of the representational as the dominant logical & operative mode of formal generation to design.” 13This suggests digital architectural theory differs from the past, needs to embed new meaningfulness into the design. In Ventricle, the hanging form is not only an intuitive representation of gravitational action, but also using gravity as an optimisation method gives rationality to both its tectonic and the force it represents. Unlike “organic” forms that exist in modernism architecture, generative design follows a strict rule the derived from biomimetic studies or other behavioral studies over vaguely taking inspiration from nature.
However, biomimetic or other behaviours based generative design can be flawed if the depth of study such behaviours are not in depth. Gravity in this case, is reasonably understandable, both the tectonic and the behaviour are easy to be analyzed and actualised. Though generative methodology is designed to be suitable for extremely intricate forms, a more complicated behaviour means the project will focus more on the analytical aspect of the project. Plus, the high learning curve in generative tool, such a complexity of design may be physically impossible for one to finish in a certain timeframe. This, I think is one of the reason such project often exists as research pavilion. For our studio where time and resources is limited, it limits the depth of our behavioural studies.
12"Ventricle", SOFYlab, n.t <https://softlabnyc.com/portfolio/ventricle/> [Accessed 15 March 2018]. 13 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories Of The Digital In Architecture (London: Routledge, 2014).
SUBDIVIDED COLUMNS Michael Hansmeyer, 2010
Rather than be restrained by order and rules, generative design offers an alternative and rational column design with radical aesthetic based on recursive subdivision, an abstract mutation of Greek column without religious symbolism. Effectively, the architect designs a process that produces a column, rather than designing a column directly.13 The generation of this column includes 2 major steps: 1. Input Doric proportion; 2. Recursive square-subdivision. An endless permutation of column iterations was then produced. These columns contain both unique overall proportion and distinct local detail formations. Sections of the columns were then cut from paper by CNC router. These sections were then stacked to form a column.
craftsmanship from residing in time, effort and skill to the designer’s algorithmic thinking. Such a “means taking on an interpretive role to understand the results of the generating code, knowing how to modify the code to explore new options and speculating on further design potentials.”14 On the flip side, unlike the “humane” composition from the traditionally designed Greek Doric order, a generatively designed object may be alienised from the context surrounds because of its unsympathetic nature. Moreover, the meaningfulness of its dynamic generation process cannot be fully captured trough a static result (generally as building, structure, etc.) people who are exclusive to the design procedure are unable to understand its meaningfulness and rationality.
In the past, to build a Greek column involves skilled sculptor and craftsman. The emergence of Modernism then denied the use of ornaments as it symbolised power and capital. Instead, Modernists then adapted a reductive form and aesthetic. In this case, generation becomes a comprehensive design solution. The logical continuity from generative design process to digital production allows the fabrication of extremely detailed column with little labour cost. The use of ornaments can be seen as a “crime” no longer. As contemporary involves less and less sculptor and crafts man, this design procedure has shifted traditional 14 Michael Hansmeyer - Computational Architecture: Subdivided Columns", Michael-Hansmeyer.Com, 2018 <http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/columns_info.html?screenSize=1&color=1> [Accessed 09 August 2018]. 15 D efinition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999). The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press)
In conclusion, our world is shifting into a new post-Fordism era where computational design is one of the most dominant and powerful design tools. Design through algorithm is rational, systematic, adaptive variation, and continuous differentiation. With computational design tools and the new technologies, the avant-garde architectural style known as parametricism is born with its distinct aesthetic. It aims to slow down the defuturing process by performative design. Though the form can be generated through algorithm, the creativity still falls on the the shoulder of the architects. To see architecture as an ongoing process of divesting itself from other disciplines not necessarily mean architecture is downgraded to only programing. The role of computational tool is to synthesise and problem and form cross-discipline communication. Using such powerful tool means architect needs to be more qualified in problem analysis and evaluation process. Ideas and meaningfulness still find their way to embedded in any elegant piece of work. We donâ€™t design new to negate the classical nor the traditional but expand the options and vision to fulfill a multitude of possible future. Furthermore, the performative behaviours can be analyzed into transferable data. This data can be input or scripted into an algorithmic instruction. Structure, tectonics and other performative aspects can become more selfevident and symbiotic through computational design. As aforementioned, architect needs to have the ability to analyze the problems and evaluate the results, but not constrain by the tool they use. It is the algorithmic and parametric thinking that should be valued.
From the few weeks of learning, I have deepened a more profound understanding of computational design method, and how algorithmic thinking is impacting greatly from design to practice. The readings are helpful to instruct the theoretical aspect of architecture which I found myself lacking of. Even if we donâ€™t have the opportunity to use parametric tools, these theories are essential because of the discourse they have constantly brought up, and can be applied cross-discipline-ly. On the technical part, my Grasshopper skill started to build up. When I was doing my project from DDF, the lack of grasshopper skill forced me to take the traditional analogue method to design a skin and bone system which was extremely inefficient, and hypocritical in a way since lots of the skeptical concepts revolved around forces, but we merely did simulations on these forces. I used to consider the outcome from generative design to be unpredictable. However, design with parametric modeling allow more control and quality insurance, and it can become self-evident. The Grasshopper tutorials have offered the method to achieve certain outcome, as well as unveiled the logic behind each definition, which allows me to further develop and experiment more options.
Lofting 27 straigh lines.
Rotating and moving control points.
Curves are moved back and forth to form "ribs". Octree
These two iterations are found interesting as it ressmbles materiality of fabric.
This form is chos taians both a intu a unpredictable m
The last column is the most successful outcome. The evaluation is based on the level of detial, and level of intricacy of the tectonics. Though we were expected to produce a workable and reasonalbe NURBS surface, I followed the online tutorial and experimented with some further commands. It demonstrates how Grasshopper can make interesting forms following only coupes of steps and with a reletaively simple and reductive input
sen as it conuitive rule and movement.
5The Proximity Family
These two iterations are chosen to be satisfied outcome upon their intricate tetonics and high level of detailed.
CONTOURING TASK The first 3 iterations are countoured by a straight line in different direction
Curves are offseted to form "strips".
Series of cirles descending in radius, 30 circles on each countour lines.
Geodesic curve are formed on the orginal surface, overlayed with contour lines.
The 4th iteration is countoured by a singly-curved surface
These 2 iterations are countoured by a doubly-curved surface. This results some interesting sectional view.
1st roll: different ways to contouring the surface 2nd foll: further detailing This task aims to reverse the process of the first task. Though a 2 dimensional subject is now downgraded into curves, its fidelity increases. Every iteration have the same quantity of curves, and are derived from the same surface. From just 2 steps (lofing and Contouring, the form appears to be violently different and richer in compexlity than the first task.
Contour lines are divided into 30 points. A polyline is thread through each 30 points.
BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. "RMIT Building 8: 368 Swanston Street, MELBOURNE", Walking Melbourne, n.t <https://www. seasteading.org/2011/03/walking-city-archigram/> [Accessed 30 July 2018] 2. "Remembering Peter Corrigan: a life of movement, energy and integrity", The Conversation, 2016 <https://theconversation.com/remembering-peter-corrigan-a-life-of-movement-energy-and-integrity-69868> [Accessed 30 July 2018]. 3 Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) [Accessed 30 July 2018]. 4. United Network Studio, 2018 <https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/10066/southbank-by-beulah> [Accessed 30 July 2018]. 5. Tony Fry, Design Futuring (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). 6. Ai Build - Thallus", Ai-Build.Com, 2018 <http://ai-build.com/thallus.html> [Accessed 06 August 2018]. 7. Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils New Experimental Structure Using 3D-Printing Technology", Archdaily, 2018 <https://www.archdaily.com/871659/zaha-hadid-architects-unveils-new-experimental-structure-using-3d-printing-technology> [Accessed 06 August 2018]. 8,9,11,13 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories Of The Digital In Architecture (London: Routledge, 2014). 10, Front, 2018 <https://www.frontinc.com/project/city-of-dreams/> [Accessed 6 August 2018]. 12."Ventricle", SOFYlab, n.t <https://softlabnyc.com/portfolio/ventricle/> [Accessed 15 March 2018]. 14. Michael Hansmeyer - Computational Architecture: Subdivided Columns", Michael-Hansmeyer. Com, 2018 <http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/columns_info.html?screenSize=1&color=1> [Accessed 09 August 2018]. 15. D efinition of â€˜Algorithmâ€™ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999). The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press)
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