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PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Personal Project 1.3 Architectural Discourse 1.4 Computing in Architecture 1.5 Parametric Modelling

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EXPRESSION OF INTEREST 2.1 Architectural Ornament 2.2 Design Focus 2.3 Precedents 2.4 Design Intent 2.5 Case Study Project 2.6 Reverse Engineering 2.7 Matrices 2.8 Rendering 2.9 Scale Model 2.10 Site Context 2.11 Presentation Feedback and Further Development

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WYNDHAM CITY GATEWAY PROJECT 3.1 Recap 3.2 Addressing the Brief 3.3 Site Location 3.4 Design Intent 3.5 Design Development 3.6 Exploring the Effects 3.7 Construction Detailing 3.8 Model Fabrication 3.9 Rendering 3.10 Response to Feedback 3.11 Further Development 3.12 Learning Outcomes CREDITS REFERENCES

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Ceiling view of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, by Antonio Gaudi (Arahiriel, 2010).

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My name is Boon Kwan Tung. In the past at a tender age I sketch buildings and structure, either on paper by pencil or on any surface by chalk. I sometimes designed in detail of each building element whenever anything comes out in my mind. Early sketches are shown here. Architecture is my passion and my creations emerged out of my conscious mind, either gradually or suddenly, in a relaxed frame of mind, not driven by force. This is when my journey begins.

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MY PERSONAL PROJECT My first encounter with digital architecture is when I was undertaking Virtual Environments. This is the time when I had the opportunity with 3D-modelling using Google Sketch-Up. At that time I was a great challenge and difficulty, having to manipulate shapes and putting design into computing with limited knowledge of modeling tools and its functions. During the course, I had been using digital modeling to design complex geometry structures that was worn as a unique headgear, known as Head Space Project. Instead of focusing on effects of nature such as motion, dynamics, pattern and texture like anyone else did, my design concept was purely based on chaotic effect of the human psychological mind through dreams, which can only be imagined rather than seeing it. Dreams are part of the complexity of the human brain and one of the scientific marvels. This is what makes my design unique. This model is first moulded as modeling clay which is translated into a digital model. This digital model is then fabricated in the Fabricating Lab provided using paper and then worn on the head. In this subject, students are taught to think architecture as a different approach. Architecture of buildings and structures are not merely designed by conventional drafting on paper, but also designed by manipulating geometries to a greater height that could not be achieved by standard drawing. This has exposed students to various possibilities of designing using a myriad of media, techniques and strategies. This is what I consider as an architectural discourse.

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Building: Southern California Beach House Architect: Richard Meier Location: Pacific Coast Highway Year: 2001

BUILT PROJECT I was inspired by projects such as the Southern California Beach House designed by Richard Meier. Again a different approach towards design is applied. This building is an epitome of an International Style design, part of the Modernist movement, which has a faรงade being stripped off its ornamentation, this is a stark contrast to historical buildings such as Renaissance style buildings and Gothic churches, in which the architecture is treated as a sculpted art. This is because modernity is seen as celebrating the achievement of science and technology, represented in art and design. Besides that, the spatial experience of the building has led to a change in perception of many modern architects today. Its usage of curtain walls has minimizes the threshold and visual link between interior and exterior, creating a diffusion for natural light and vision between the two spatial entities, which alters the function of walls as merely an enclosure. Unlike other modern buildings, Richard Meier has a formal system of building design which uses white faรงade with subtractive openings and full-height windows, when modern architectural design is seen as consisting of basic geometries with punched-hole windows.

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Source: Unventional, 2012 Building: Sagrada Familia Architect: Antonio Gaudi Location: Barcelona, Spain Year: 1882 (expected to be completed in 2022)

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The Sagrada Familia is a finest example of a p discourse which uses the top-down approach ins architecture starting from basic building tools w Before the advent of computerisation of buildin and manual drafting, while manual carving is u after the Spanish Civil War which destroyed mo for the design of the church, which makes fabric rapid construction, which initially took several h Computer-aided design allows designers to fab humans. In addition to by Antonio Gaudi’s sand the church’s spires, westwerk, nave, statues and

project which uses computation in the building design. This design uses a unique architectural stead of the bottom-up approach. The bottom-up approach is the standard design approach in while the top-down approach is using computation to create a system to solve a problem. ng models in the late 18th century, the design of the church is solely based on physical models used for sculpting the exterior and interior facade during the actual construction. Many years ost of the physical models and drafting docu-ments, computer-aided modelling was implemented cation of building materials and sculptures at unprecedented speed. This in turn attributed to the hundreds of years to complete. bricate repititive elements without any arithmetical mistakes, inconsistencies and errors caused by d bag overhanging model as an inspiration to the church’s ceiling design, currently the design of altars are appertaining to the mathematical parametric model by computers.

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Source: Scenic Reflections n.d.


Many designers require the ability of designing things creatively. Designers also possess the ability to have critical thinking and analyzing problems systematically. However, people tend to feel bored due to repetitive processes. Besides that, they are vulnerable to making mistakes when encountering with complicated problems. Generally speaking, computers tend to perform tasks quickly. Computers are able to execute processes accurately and eliminating all these problems by superseding hand-drawn drafts such as architectural drawings, modeling and arithmetic in parametricism in design. Computers are able to correlate parametric functions and sculptural modeling accurately without any mistakes. In addition, computers are able to translate human mind mapping in cyberspace, which they can represent graphically and numerically. However, the lack of creativity and intuition and rely solely based on rationality are the downside of computers. It will make a good design satisfying all constraints and achieve our design goals if we are able to integrate the abilities of computers with outstanding rational qualities; and humans with creative and intuitive qualities.

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Building: Guggenheim Museum Architect: Frank Gehry Location: Bilbao, Spain Year: 1997 In the architectural scope, computers are used to speed up the drafting and construction process. The mass production of fabricated construction materials makes building faster. With the advent of computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), architects are able to devise complex geometries that are difficult to construct. Architects begin to construct complex buildings consist of non-Euclidean geometries. Such examples include shapes like Torus, Mobius strip, Klein bottle and ameobic blobs. Due to this high complexity, computers are able to map concept models of buildings better compared to the conventional 2-dimensional drafting that has a better visual realm, which people can sense the spatial experience, texture and overall geometry. New technologies such as this, opens up new possibilities of designing methods and ways of construction. To illustrate, digital computing enables new design methods such as “Architectural Curvilinearity� which is coined by Greg Lynn. He offers new approaches to architectural design as a continuous textile surface that acts as a fluid, which is characterized by folding. One example of continuous folding is the Guggenheim Museum by prominent architect Frank Gehry, which is impossible to be constructed without digital manufacturing of titanium due to the complexity of folding. 13 13


Building: NatWest Media Centre Architect: Future Systems Location: Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, UK Year: 1999 Another example is the NatWest Media Centre, Lord’s Cricket Ground, which is blob geometry with double curves. This particular building utilizes digital technology used in the shipping industry from concept design to material fabrication, this can be done by dividing the elements of the structure through segments which then assembled into an integrated structure as shown in the image below. Digital architecture allows architects to have continuous experimentation in terms of dynamism of geometries, in contrast to traditional architecture which is follows a certain architectural style and proportions, which restricts creativity. Unique innovations arising from digital computing in architecture has led to a new architectural discourse. This is a great milestone in architectural design as these buildings could not be visualized using paper drafting and could not easily fabricated into these shapes using appropriate materials. Selecting materials are useful as well to facilitate fabrication.

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Source: Hillary, 2006

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Source: Gollings, 2011 Building: Klein Bottle House Architect: McBride Charles Ryan Location: Ryan, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia Year: 2008

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This design of a resid geometries that adhe which stresses that tw in architecture has ch pyramid, cube, prism the geometry is conne surface can go infinit and exterior faรงade, sional paper drafting geometry. The dimen spatial human experi the outside but on the fabrication speeds up of the building eleme light intake in every r house does not blend unique characteristics

dential dwelling is based on a non-Euclidean geometry. Non-Euclidean geometries are ere to all first four postulates but are not based on the fifth postulate of “parallelism�, in wo lines are parallel and non-intersecting. The application of non-Euclidean geometries hallenged traditional architectural design which uses Euclidean geometries such as the m, sphere and cylinder. Klein bottle is a funnel-like geometry whereby the internal wall of ected to the exterior wall continuously without any stopping edge and the path along the ty. In this residential house, there is no specific separation or boundary between interior , creating a visual illusion for viewers. Again, this cannot be represented in two-dimeng as it is very hard to visualize the overall layout and spatial functions with non-Euclidean nsions of this building allow interplay of living spaces in an interesting way, engaging with ience, unlike monotonous plain walls. The computational design does not just look good on e inside. This design enables construction using a wide range of materials, however, digital p the process of building construction, compared to sketching and cutting the dimensions ents individually which is time consuming. This building experiments the light diffusion and room with the different ceiling heights pertaining to the unique geometry. However, the d with the surrounding natural landscape. This particular building also does not reflect the s of the Klein bottle of infinity pathway, despite the basic dimensions.

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Project: Kartal Pendik Masterplan Architect: Zaha Hadid Location: Istanbul, Turkey Year: 2006



Parametric modeling in architecture clearly separates computerization and computation. Parametric modeling involves mainly on computing. Computerization is used in drafting computer programs such as AutoCAD are automated hand-drawn tools and are used by architects to speed-up design process. Computation programs such as Rhino and Grasshopper involves a system designed by people to perform functions and tasks such as algorithm, scripting and programming. Computation is less tedious than computerization because every element in a system to determined by a programming language. It allows a user to erase an element that is not dependent on each other. Besides that, it can automatically alter all elements when the user resets a certain programming rule or language, in contrast to computerization when the user has to change every element manually when one of the elements is altered to adapt to the new design. Mark Burry, wrote in an article “Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming”, believes that scripting is imperative in architectural design because this can reduce human error and repetitive work. Learning the codes and functions is not that important but deconstructing the problem to represent it in code is quintessential to satisfy the design intent. Furthermore, architecture and programming is interdependent, where “symbiosis operates between designers and coders”. 18 18

However, there is a disadvantage of parametric modeling. In response to computing in architecture, a designer has to understand the relationship and parameters in order to establish a programming language, in which to represent these relationships in an intellectual scope. This makes parametric modeling really challenging. Up until today in contemporary architectural design, parametric design is only used for form, skindeep and superficial structures, in which parametric design lack functions and spatial programmes, an imperative aspect in architectural design. Many projects designed in parametric modeling today are not related with the urban context. Many critics often assume that designing in a logical function and decoding the programming rules challenges the free form and freere ways of thinking among designers. As a whole, parametricism in architectural design makes the project look good at a cutting edge because of the shift in scientific and computer technology, and architecture has its way to progress itself. Parametric is relevant in today’s society because in a rapid growing environment, we need materials that can design fabricate, and construct faster, also sustainable in the long run. The results produced through parametric design is far more astonishing and unprecedented compared to early modernist design some 50 years ago as technology at that time could not fabricate conventional materials into geometries that are organic and non-Euclidean. 19 19

Building: L’Oreal Office Architect: IAMZ Design Studio Location: Stockholm, Sweden Year: 2012.

Parametric modeling can be exemplified by this one which is the L’Oreal Office Building, in Stockholm. This design is parametric because the elements are based on a specific programming rule, which could not be created in a short time by normal computational drafting. The design of the façade, which uses concrete panels, applies the biomimicry approach to design by emulating the natural organic form of adhesive liquid or perhaps cobwebs, while the inner glass façade applies the cell pattern concept, which is also based on biomimicry. The natural organic shapes represent the natural beauty which reflects this cosmetic company’s products. These two facades could be done by a parametric program via overlaying. The design has an advantage of being structurally intact while keeping the concrete panel design slender and stretching through multi-storey level, thus maximizing the diffusion of light between the interior and exterior. The façade enables the light from inside the building to illuminate the building in the evening and therefore, lighting at the outside is not required. It is visually interesting because the view of the multi-level living space of the building from outside can be framed by the lines and holes. Materials in organic form are could not be able to fabricate through instructions from the computers, without parametric modeling. However, this building does not engage with the urban context and has no relationship with the adjacent building, forming an aesthetic discontinuity. The design is difficult to fabricate and construct as the concrete panels are large and heavy, and therefore transporting the material is an issue.

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Source: Vabec, 2012

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Building: 8 Spruce Street (New York by Gehry) Architect: Frank Gehry Location: New York Year: 2010

This building completed in 2010 has a cutting edge design because it provides a sense of illusion that the building façade made of thin material and fluid in texture. It was designed like a liquid taking the effect of the force of the wind blowing into it. It also represents the building as a natural form. Aside from that, the building also gives an illusion that the building is shifting and wobbling, which adds up points on visual aesthetics. This residential skyscraper adapts to the urban context of glass skyscrapers in the midst of the concrete jungle of Manhattan. Its 3D interface of the wall engages with the interior spatial functions. This building can be perceived as a brand new landmark in New York City. This also attracts house buyers to purchase the property in the residential units because of the visual aesthetics of parametric design. The building design is indeed impossible to achieve without parametric design because with parametric software, the undulating ‘waves’ on the façade of the building can be shifted or altered at any direction without changing every building element such as the dimensions of the walls, beams, windows, concrete slab and floor area. The waves would not be aesthetically appealing when the building is designed using normal 3D modeling software. This design contributes to the overall architectural discourse of a building design as a natural, organic form or any possible shapes that anyone could ever imagine and not just flat concrete walls. On the other hand, the design makes it difficult and expensive to fabricate as it is hard to source for materials that are easy to bend into two directions. Flexible materials such as titanium are very expensive.

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Airspace Studio Tokyo, Kitamagome-Otaku District, Tokyo, Japan, 2007, by Faulders Studio

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Source: Sacred Sites, 2010.

Building: Pathenon, Acropolis (left) Architect: Iktinos and Kallikrates Location: Athens, Greece Year: 432 BC


Ornament is indispensible in architecture as forms a medium or interface that connects the people with the buildings. Ornamentation continues to change and evolve in order to keep up with the contemporary culture and technology. Ornamentation is designed to give the building an expression that is independent from the interior yet contributes to the urban setting. However, it is difficult to express through symbols and representations due to multiculturalism and plural society. Ornamentation in architecture is represented in various roles in different architectural styles and Avantgarde. To illustrate, classical Greek architecture stresses on symmetry and heirarchy as part of ornament. Adolf Loos totally rejected ornament by equating it with crime, which contributes to the lack of ornamentation in his design – i.e. Steiner House, Vienna. Transparency is emphasized in modernist architecture, while separation between function and representation is evident in post-modernist architecture.

Ornamentation has certain characteristics to achieve its design intent. Ornamentation is essential to create effects and sensation that enables people to visualize the contemporary culture. Besides that, ornamentation has its role in triggering and affecting the urban context. Ornament in architecture tends to bridge the gap between production, artistic designing, and the technical construction aspects of the building (Moussavi, 2006) Source: Matthews, 2009 Building: Portland Building (right) Architect: Michael Graves Location: Portland, Oregon Style: Post-modernism Year: 1982

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Building: Steiner House (left) Architect: Adolf Loos Location: Vienna, Austria Year: 1910

Source: Welch and Lomholt, 2012.





Source: McKay, 2011.

Building: Farnsworth House (above) Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Style: Modernism Location: Plano, Illinois Likewise, parametric design is able to produce a different effect of ornamentation. This can be done through a number of design approaches of parametric design, such as patterning, structural, geometry, biomimicry, paneling and kinetics. New technologies such as this have enabled us to design with a new set of geometries, form assembly and exploring different sensations. Today, many architectural projects are driven by surge of commission and marketing demands. Architecture today is also dependent with the global market and social trends. Represented by ornament, architecture should be independent and look forward for innovation in order to be way ahead of the global trend (Moussavi, 2006). 27 27


After learning parametric modeling by understanding Grasshopper definitions through practice, it is becoming more interesting and more relevant with architectural design with cutting edge designs like the projects analysed in the previous section of this journal. Nonetheless, Grasshopper is still unknown to me and the feeling of reluctance and skeptical to learn the parametric modeling skills due to the level of difficulty. Frankly, I was freaked out when I first try out Grasshopper and beginning to feel confused. Well, I accept future challenges ahead of me that would certainly benefit in my future architectural career. By this week three studio mates and I have formed a group to work together on designing of Wyndham City Gateway Project, a sculptural art installation that is based on parametric design along the Princes Freeway between Melbourne and Geelong. After much thorough brainstorming, we had decided on biomimicry as a design focus in parametric design. Biomimicry is an extraction of natural systems implemented in a manmade solution. To be specific, biomimicry has been equated as a form of replication of nature. Nature’s function has evolved through millions of years thus the strategy by which they use has been optimized over a very long time. Our group has intended to use these strategies within our own as they are.

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Besides that, biomimicry is chosen as a design focus compared to other design approaches due to the fact that it is structurally integrative, visually appealing, organic, dynamic, flexible, environmentally responsive, sense of fluidity. A structural design approach is structurally intact and spatially functional but not flexible and fluid. Patterning is structurally integrative and visually interesting such as the Gantenbein Vineyard Faรงade but has mundane replications and not fluid. Kinetics is environmentally responsive and visually interesting but not spatially functional and not organic. Panelization such as Voissoir Cloud by Iwamoto Scott Architecture may be structurally intact but has mundane replication as the size of each panel is uniform and the size of the aperture cannot be controlled. However, in recent projects based on biomimicry which we will be discussing later, it is usually not spatially functional and does not spark spatial experience in people. Biomimicry projects are usually used as a faรงade in buildings and difficult to fabricate and construct in a 3D non-Euclidean geometrical structure.

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Milliontrees association of South Australian Government

Source: Urban Forestry Australia, 2012.

SA Department for Environment and Natural Resources 2012

To relate our design approach to the Wyndham City Gateway Project, biomimicry is chosen as a solution to the urban forest concept mooted by Urban Forestry Australia and Landcare Australia Limited. Through this concept, urban forest encourages shading and cooling, carbon sequestration, mental health and well-being, biodiversity and habitat provision, and pollution reduction (Melbourne School of Land and Environment, 2011). Our design intent is inspired by characteristics of trees, which is stability, outreach, resourcing and distribution. As we try to replicate the natural properties of trees as much as possible in our gateway design, it would be better than trees and could replace them because through biomimicry we are able to control the intensity of light penetration, shadings and direction of storm water flow through optimization. The idea of this sculpture structure is to create awareness to the urbanforest plan, and at the same time address Wyndham as an environmentally conscious and innovative growing city.

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tree abilities Stability




Source: TreeHugger, n.d.

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Source: Panoramio, 2006.

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Building: Eastgate Centre Architect: Mick Pearce Location: Harare, Zimbabwe Year: 1996

Our first precedent based on biomimicry is the termite mounds which is ventilation in solid structure based on pure natural convection was adapted as thermal chimneys in buildings to promote natural ventilation. The natural ventilation provides passive design without the need for cooling devices, which is a competitive advantage in terms of sustainability. This enables air circulation between inside and outside without the need to open the windows. The Eastgate building is modeled on self-cooling termite mounds, which maintain their internal temperature of 31degrees C day and night, while the external temperatures ranging from 4 degrees C to 42 degrees C. Passive cooling such as this helps reduce energy by 10% of most conventional office buildings. However, the faรงade of the building lacked ornamentation and patterning. The perforations are too uniform and monotonous to be defined as ornamentation. As a whole, this building has proven that biomimicry is a successful in implementing into architectural design, with greatly contributes to the architectural discourse at large.

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Building: Eden Project Architect: Nicholas Grimshaw Location: St. Blazey, Cornwall, UK. Year: 2001

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Source: Eden Project, 2012

Eden Project is based on the idea of soap bubbles was adapted as a double layered transparency (made of ETFE membranes) for the greenhouse effect. The advantage was that this idea was lighter than glazing, cheaper than glass and faster to set up. The design precedent is only to show the role of biomimicry in architectural design.

Source: Destinations Point, 2012

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Source: Torabi, 2010. Voronoi Chair, by Torabi

Source: Gassmann, 2010. Voronoi Dome




Our gateway design is based on a voronoi because of its freeform ability and better relation to nature in form of growth and the cells of a leaf. Through voronoi in grasshopper, we can create points in a non-gridlike manner. To further enhance our design to make it look more interesting, we decided to move the points in the distance and direction to the curve attractor so the cells had to deform. If compared to other various design approaches, voronoi is the the best option to link back the cells in a web-like form without awkward spaces in between. Because it finds the midpoint between each point and connects lines together, the cells are necessary because we intend to also play with the size of the radius so we could not simply connect the points together. The examples of the voronoi above explores different fabrication methods of voronoi. On the left is the voronoi tasselation with the distortion of the 2D surface though melting the perspex after the cells were cut by laser. On the right is the voronoi with individual cells connecting together to form a surface.

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Source: Faulders Studio, 2007.


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Building: Airspace Studio Tokyo Architect: Faulders Studio Location: Kitamagome-Otaku District, Tokyo, Japan Year: 2007

Our chosen project for the case study is the Airspace Studio, Tokyo, Japan, which features the voronoi veneer in multiple layers. One of the unique properties is the layering façade for client’s privacy to open streets as if within a rainforest where animals used the density as concealment and safety. This form of layering also provides both visual aesthetics and passive architectural design of shading, also the tubal capillary fittings which direct rain water in between the perforations. The voronoi design gives a sense of organism, chaos, flexibility and engaging with nature, which is a competitive advantage, compared to other design approaches. Voronoi enables designers to control the size of perforations and density to enable light penetration. On the other hand, the voronoi design of this building is merely superficial and does not engage with the spatial experience of people. On top of that, the design only engages with the external and internal space and does not relate to the wider urban context. Aside from that, the size of the perforations of the voronoi in this particular building is too random and not optimized to reflect the density to control the light penetration and shadows. Moreover, this particular building which applies voronoi has no specific patterning which is less visually interesting. These weaknesses of voronoi are further enhanced and applied into our gateway design.

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phase 1

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phase 2

phase 3

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phase 4

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phase 5

Our group had devised the matrices based on the given inputs and associations of the Grasshopper definitions. The vertical columns are various inputs such as circle grids (Phase 1), followed by Attractor Points and Attractor Curves by radius (Phase 2), Attractor Points and Attractor Curves by extrusions (Phase 3), Arbitrary Points (Phase 4), and distortions (Phase 5). Attractor point by radius is the size of the circle or geometry according to the distance to the particular point on a surface. Attractor curve by radius is the size of the circle or geometry according to the distance to the particular curve on a surface. Attractor point by extrusion is the height of extrusion of the circle or geometry according to the distance to the particular point on a surface. Attractor curve by extrusion is the height of extrusion of the circle or geometry according to the distance to the particular curve on a surface. These inputs are further developed down the columns, in which every row is represented by given associations, namely rectangular grid of circles, hexagonal grid of circles, rectangular grid of polygons hexagonal grid of polygons and random voronoi. Our design of the gateway concept model is the evaluation and integration of 5 selected Grasshopper definitions, known as candidate solutions. It is then further developed into our final design based on several parameters, or criteria. The parameters are the height, density, thickness, attractor and form.

evaluation + integration

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biomimicry - model - solutions




Form Image Source: 1. Mayang, 2012. 2. Bergesson, 2012. 3. PNAS, 2012. 4. Mandagirl, 2012. 5. Surgery Center of South Bay, 2012. 6. Warnock Imagery, 2012. 7. Earth First! NewsWire 2012 8. Moya Wa Tenga Safari, 2012. 9. Taylor, 2010 46 46












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Parameters: Height: Cater to bird habitat Density: Reflecting population Thickness: Structure + Rainwater channel Attractor: To address subjects Form: Optimal shape to structural pattern

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The scale model shall be analysed based on the Classification of Effects in the reading “Functions of Ornament� by Farshad Moussavi. Depth Its undulating form of its surface creates an organic form. Its non-uniform and non-gridlike manner further enhances its structural integrity which somewhat similar to the natural form of mesh such as plant cells, microorganisms or cobwebs. The screening of the voronoi allows light diffusion and creates a play of light and shadow of voronoi casted on the road where cars passes through.

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Material The voronoi cells create a pure, white form. As for the texture, its roughness clearly shows its layering of the plaster casted on the surface of the voronoi. However, up to this point we have not decided on the material of the actual gateway. Its bright colour offers the experience of looking light even though its actually heavier.

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Experience There is a sensation of being stretched horizontally at the mesh between the voronoi cells. The perforation provides a sense of flexibility and openness, which is in line with the openness to natural habitat for wildlife. There is also stretching vertically which caters to the bird habitat. 54 54

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SITE 2.10 CONTEXT 56 56

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Our group Expression of Interest presentation has subsequently followed by feedback from our tutors that would assist us in our further development for our Wyndham City Gateway design project. After the feedback we felt that we need to fabricate our model without 3D printing to show the construction technique as we have not finalized our construction materials. There is also a need to have a strong balance between our design ideas and design technique, which includes Grasshopper, fabrication, materials and construction. Because of that, we have to focus on the site materials and the construction details. Besides that, our group got to have a critical site analysis that covers wetlands, wildlife and history because in our previous design intent, we decided to create wetlands and attract wildlife into our sculptural design installation. Aside from that, we also have to prioritise the target and stakeholders, i.e. the gateway design has to engage well with the road users, add to the fact that it is not really the best idea to attract wildlife into the freeway with road users. Furthermore, there is also a need to consider the scale in relation to the human scale as the gateway design looks huge. We had also received feedback of other groups which include structural integration and has to be intact even when vibration. The scale model needs to play with light, as light plays an important role in the driver’s experience. This is in line with the effects highlighted in Farshid Moussavi’s writing “Form and Ornament”. On top of that, there is a requirement of materials to produce the effect and the time to pass through the entire structure as the road user drives through it.

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Parametricism learning through Grasshopper was easy at first, trying to produce a definition and linking them to produce a different effect. However problem arises when we are trying to correlate our definition with our set criteria and parameters, for example height, density, thickness, attractor and form. Because voronoi is a rather complicated definition, it is difficult to adapt to various inputs such as attractor point and attractor curve. It became tougher when we could not fabricate our voronoi scale model through 3D printer because of various issues, such as not being set up correctly. But finally our personal problems are able to be solved with the assistance of our fellow group mates and tutors. Personally I feel a sense of pride as I have learnt Grasshopper as a powerful and essential tool in producing such unprecedented parametric design which I would not have thought of before mastering the program. This design would be rather difficult to produce in a conventional computational architectural drafting such as Rhino or AutoCAD alone.

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3.1 RECAP In our Expression of Interest we had a design incorporating of too many ideas and our outcome at the time could not address everything we spoke about, as a result it was not very successful in carrying out the concept. We started with biomimicry looking at voronois and trying find links to the Werribee birds as patches, at the same time we wanted to create an imitation of the urban forests which brought a mix between Melbourne and Wyndham - all in all, it was too messy and there wasn’t away to address something so conceptual as the image in mind we had was extremely large and we felt this wasn’t a project which accommodated such scale.

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Werribee River and K Road Cliffs (Event Brite, 2012)



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Seeds of Change, gateway sculpture built along Princes Freeway in Wyndham City (Williewonker, 2012)

“We will create a healthy, safe, vibrant, proud and harmonious community, while respecting our environment” (Wyndham City Council, 2012) This is the vision that Wyndham intends to achieve for years to come. In its 2011-2015 city plan, the strategic themes listed out to achieve their vision, namely sense of community, economic prosperity, sustainable growth, environment, city image, city infrastructure and organizational excellence. To relate our project with their strategies, the strategic outcome they wish to achieve is to “improve Wyndham’s gateways, open space areas and streetscapes to enhance the aesthetics and amenity for residents, businesses and visitors”, “implement initiatives to promote Wyndham as a safe, vibrant and diverse place to work, live, study or visit” and “incorporate distinctive architecture in new city building design and open space landscaping to ensure exciting spaces that are welcoming and instill pride in the community” (Wyndham City Council, 2012). As part of our further development in parametric design, we intend to design an exciting, eye catching installation of the Western Gateway on Princes Freeway to create a gateway into Wyndham City for road users heading to Melbourne and Geelong.

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SITE 3.3


There are potential problems to the road users due to the installation of the gateway structure. Firstly, vehicles on the Princes Freeway heading to Melbourne may not be able to view the gateway structure due to obstruction by a small mound at the central reservation in Site A. As the placement of the gateway structure at the east end of Site A is much lower than the road level, the road users may not be able to view the lower portion of the gateway structure. Besides that, the road users would not be able to view the structure from a very long distance, they only can spot it 20m from the structure. There are also possibilities of existing posts, signage that obstruct the view of the gateway structure. To locate our gateway structure to the site, we had a few criteria to address which was the proximity to the road users, height of the structure so that it is visible to at least 500m away, the orientation on site to maximize the view of the structure, and elevation. Finally we decided to locate our gateway structure at the eastern-most end of Site A because we can relate better than Wyndham and Melbourne. We try not to place it close to the small mound. If we place our gateway structure in the middle of Site A or Site B, i.e. the top of the mound then it would be more related to Geelong and Melbourne. However, if we place it at the western-most end of Site A or Site C, it would be more related to Geelong and Wyndham as shown in this site plan. Since that it is supposed to be a western gateway to Greater Melbourne and at the same time promoting Wydham and to a greater extent Werribee, we decided to relate Wyndham and Melbourne. To maximize the view of road users from both directions, the gateway structure is orientated at north-west and south-east direction. Since that the ground elevation at the chosen site is 2m below road level, we decided to raise the ground level to create a mound so that it is convex.

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Melbourne CBD

Site Location

Port Phillip Bay

N Werribee











Melbourne CBD



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“Representing Wydham City and Melbourne’s Transition In An Innovative and Impactful Way. The above is a response to the brief, our group had devised a concept towards designing our freeway art installation. In other words, our initial concept is to represent Wyndham’s image as an experience and replicating an imitation of the natural landscape. The overall design is based on the linkage to the site, which is the natural landscape, i.e. wetlands and wildlife i.e. birds. The new approach we had was to look at it from its functional purpose as a base, which is a freeway sculpture so the road users are our main target audience this time rather than the birds. So to simplify, we thought about what was most important and tangible as an architectonic because ultimately we were dealing with architecture and not urban planning or ecology. Changing our approach, we finalised it to just urban and countryside relationships, therefore we began to look at the transition between Wyndham and Melbourne.

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.” In our previous design we looked at Wyndham City as a suburb and Melbourne as just another City and it was criticized as too being too generic which could address just any other two suburb/city. So we began to look at what we wanted to showcase as our main transition topic and began to explore the identities of both Wyndham and Melbourne CBD in detail. After our argument, we have selected the most special identity of the two places in our opinion: these are natural landscapes from Werribee and to a greater extent Wyndham City, and the graffiti art all across Melbourne’s laneways. The two identities were perfect for our idea of transition as they contrasted each other in many ways, so we started to explore the architectural forms we could extract from these two ideas. We focused on one main element to address in our tests – vibrance of graffiti and calm contours of grasslands of Werribee.

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PROTOTYPE 1: MORPH Surface morphing across panelling

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We began to examine the ways we could generate formal transition and looked at how we could push the limits to express vibrance against the low lying landscapes using surface morph on rhino, we could test out floating parts and it was interesting in showing the transition, but the minute we started to fabricate, we encountered all sorts of problems like joints and how to hold the floating pieces together, and here you can see the steel wire grid obstructing effect, holding everything back down. And most of all, we didn’t address much of Wyndham at all.

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PROTOTYPE 2: TWISTING Manipulating strips: twists running at different height

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So we came to prototype 2, focusing only on Wyndham’s part this time, we looked at ways we could show transition with the idea of flowing contours. We liked this prototype but we believed this was only a starting point for expressing the landscapes, so next we went back to the other side in hope to find a joining point after.

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PROTOTYPE 3: WAFFLE GRID Waffle gridding random path in one axis

At prototype 3, we kept in mind how we have to relate to strips, at our most natural intent we wanted to show randomness based on the freedom of expression of Graffiti. Waffle grids helped a lot, and we had an ending point which could easily transform back into the twisting strips - the randomness at 1 axis was easy and structurally effective, but due to the single axis we were restricted in the expression.

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PROTOTYPE 4: COMBINATION Testing connectivity and buildability

To refrain from being too conceptual, we were aware to constantly switch between methods of exploration to maintain within the limits of constructability. In prototype 4, we combined 2 and 3 to see how they could join and as we expected, joining was easy and it did not affect either ends. As a progress it was positive but we found out the twisting strips still required some form of a frame support below which we needed to add to maintain its shape - we were worried it may affect the effect of continuity here. Nevertheless, we agreed to kick off from this model.

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SIMILARITIES: Sense of Freedom






At the Melbourne side, we decided to mix up the paths across the axes horizontally and vertically to break that order and really push the feeling of freedom. We also tried creating more groups which would interweave through each other like how contours landscapes can intersect paths according to weathering and how arrows weave through the words in the graffiti - but again as we pushed the interconnectedness, the complication of fabrication became more and more evident. Another issue we had was that the strips were still too formal and flat, we had to do something about the surface, so we liked the idea of freedom as a similarity between the two places shown in wildlife and the graffiti arrows adding dynamism to the words. So there was still a form of similarity which binds the two places together. So in an architectural abstraction we looked at their forms and arrived at a very simple yet advantageous shade of a triangle.

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Taking the triangles as a literal representation, we started to cut through the beams as it ascended towards the Melbourne area and at the same time it was making the structure lighter literally, which was very helpful from a construction point of view judging by all these cantilevers, and visually - which all summed up our image of freedom and freeforming. However, we were still having the issue of groups overlapping and weaving through each other, with the random paths of both axes, our original idea of waffle gridding couldn’t be feasible anymore - we had to introduce some other ways to connect the beams (strips). As a result, we took the triangles further and joined a surface across the beams like a triangular grid. This grid was very helpful to our surprise as it was ready to adapt to the curves and random directions of our structure. Consequently, we reduced it back to only one group as we felt the effect was there and strong enough.

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In response, we pushed the curves in 3 major waves for 3 seconds of ‘close up appreciation’. Given the speed of cars travelling at 100kmph, we calculated we needed 75m of structure at length enough to give the feeling of transition. The height is showed here for the relation to cars so to ensure it is visible, and we rotated it so its sharper end lean towards the road coming in from Melbourne and vice versa, so the impact was strongest, putting it dead in the middle meant too big or too little effect. Last but not least we realised the ground was sunken in, so we propose to shift the land to raise our area a little so that our structure is easily visible. This is the effect from far to near and pass, we were sure to angle it in such a way that the front image hid the effect of the back to create a stronger impact.

From Wyndham City START


From Melbourne CBD

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In terms of its parametric solutions, we managed to achieve this design by creating responsive curves using attractor points anf random panel girds. Our parametric structure can have different lengths, sectors, height to adapt itself to the landscape depending on our site location. We believe that this would be effective in expressing the transitional effect of the spatial experience when the road users pass through the structure. The curves represent the natural landscape of Wyndham City and transform into jagged towards the Melbourne end to signify the dynamic and sharp edges of graffiti art.

to Melbourne CBD



D to Wyndham City

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Galvanised steel beam



Steel sheeting


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Galvanised steel beam L-bracket joint Bolts

Concrete footing


This is detail of construction, we proposed using galvanised steel as they are light and can be in many forms of colour, and we would suggest a chrom-ish effect, good to reflect colour, and the joint details we chose were selected in points to stabilize the overall structure, the layer covering from beam to beam is suggested to be in aluminum as it is a relatively light material.

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3.9 RENDERING The City Council of Wyndham presents a serene yet exciting landmark depicting the Wyndham’s fluid landscapes meeting the dynamic graffiti-inspired energy of Melbourne CBD. 92 92

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“To address the transition between Melbourne CBD’s vibrant graffiti versus the flowing contours of Wyndham’s landscape with the binding of freedom” 94 94

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After our final presentation, and followed by our tutor’s feedback we felt that it was overall well presented, in terms of the whole language of gradual change, density of the size of triangles and treatment of triangles. It has much progressed since the midsemester presentation. However, similar to the model presented during the mid-semester Expression of Interest (EOI), our model is still too large. Besides that, the cantilevers at the end were unrealistic. On the other hand, the animation/video was effective as it really shows the sense of transition, dynamism, as the images itself did not really communicate the ideas effectively and convince the audience. If we had another month to work on the project to redesign our gateway structure, we are going to try to make the structure more closely related to the drivers/road users. The gateway is seen as monolithic structure. We are planning to break down to see more holes in transition would be more effective. To improve further on the project, the whole structure should have more contrasts, as the façade between the two ends do not have enough contrast to show the transition. The other end would be much closer to the countryside and more open. Aside from that, the triangular cavity in the beam could be morphed into different shapes and sizes. There should be also an addition of design features such as LED lighting to create an effect after dark and to navigate road users and improve way finding. When one passes through the structure, one can feel the difference of chaotic and openness when one drives through the freeway along the structure, as the topography modified to be more convex, higher than the road level to ensure the structure is elevated which changes the way the drivers view the structure. To relate to the architectural discourse as a whole, we have applied computation in designing with a bottom-up approach to a gateway structure, with its form and ornamentation as a cultural symbol. We have also used computation in solving design issues and problems, which is linking two different grasshopper definitions to demonstrate our design intent, which is the transition between the urban and the rural.

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In response to the tutor’s feedback after our final presentation, we worked on something closer to human scale and try not to be too monolithic. We feel that this alternative design address our design intent better which is the transition of movement of natural elements of how birds fly about in a swarm. The model size will be reduced to a maximum length of 30cm per triangular piece. When putting together, it will make a stronger effect of our design intent. However, the construction method needs to be explored further if we go ahead with this idea.

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The final design is the culmination of multiple different architectural discourses explored by myself and my group members, originally involving themes of urban and rural transition and the exploration of dynamic design. Throughout the semester my group members and my own work has developed, along with our proposed architectural discourses, as we’ve progressed throughout this course as designers, as well as gaining a better understanding of long term attainable goals, a better understanding of the project and a better understanding of Wyndam City. Throughout this course our design ideas and intents have progressed and changed, involving refining original architectural discourses into more personal and pragmatic outcomes. Broad ideas of sustainable design and sustainability in general, has been focused down into the more relevant concept of responsive architecture, whilst ideas of dynamic architecture has been refined into a more contextualized and personal response, with a greater focus of the theme of biomimicry. Parametric modeling is indeed very new to me. Before I undertake this subject I have never heard of it, let alone getting hands-on at parametric softwares such as Grasshopper. This is really a steep learning curve for me. In the beginning, learning Grasshopper was difficult and hard to grasp but after cooperation with group members and guidance from tutors by understanding the components, applying the definitions into the Wyndham Gateway design it has become much easier.

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Honestly to say this subject is indeed a tough one however after weeks of dedication towards the subject and the assignment process, thanks to all my fellow group members, it is really rewarding and satisfying after completing our fabricated physical model. Somehow at first I do not really understand the learning outcomes and what it required by my lecturers and tutors and again thanks to the previous feedback given by tutors and guidance from group mates I have gained much knowledge on presentation skills, visual communication and rethinking of applying design concepts through Grasshopper definitions. Throughout this subject I also have learnt new architectural design skills such as V-ray rendering, Photoshop rendering, model photography techniques and animation. I also felt that my presentation and layout skills has tremendously improved since when I started undertaking this subject. Overall throughout the subject, it has been an unprecedented experience integrating parametric modeling using Grasshopper in architectural designing. Parametric modeling is something very new to me and I think this studio prepares me not only in my capstone design studio and Masters Degree but also in the contemporary architectural design industry. This completely new architectural approach of parametric design would be an added advantage in my future portfolio and architectural career.

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Special thanks to: Lecturer: Alison Fairley Tutors: Finnian Warnock Hannes McNamara Daniel Group members: Joseph Chua Qu Jiang Sharon Fan

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Panoramio 2006, Panoramio, Spain, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://static.panoramio. com/photos/original/2216491.jpg>. Torabi, A. 2010, Torabi Architects, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://www.torabiarchitect. com/blog/?p=250>. Gassmann 2010, Grasshopper 3D, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Pearce, Michael 2007, Biomimicry Institute, Missoula, Montana, viewed 12 November 2012, < html>. TreeHugger n.d., viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Destinations Point 2012, Destinations Point, Bosnia, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://www.>. s640/Buttress_roots.jpg Melbourne School of Land and Environment 2011, University of Melbourne, Parkville, viewed 12 November 2012, < html#urbantrees>. Urban Forestry Australia 2012, Urban Forestry Australia, New Port Beach, NSW, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. SA Department for Environment and Natural Resources 2012, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, viewed 12 November 2012, < php?page=sub-menu-1>. Manda 2012, Mandagirl, viewed 12 November 2012, < uploads/2010/06/sun-copy.jpg>.

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Surgery Center of South Bay 2012, Surgery Center of South Bay, Torrace, CA, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Bergeson, N. 2012, Nathan Bergeson, Moorhead, MN, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://> Warnock Imagery 2012, Warnock Imagery, Melbourne, Australia, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Mayang 2012, Mayang Free Texture Library, viewed 12 November 2012 <http://mayang. com/textures/Plants/images/Trees/birds_nest_2558.JPG>. Moya Wa Tenga Safari 2012, Moya Wa Tenga Safari, South Africa, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Earth First! NewsWire 2012, Earth First! NewsWire, Lake Worth, FL, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Taylor, B. 2010, Wooden Boat Forum, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. PNAS 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Faulders Studio 2007, Faulders Studio, San Francisco, CA, viewed 12 November 2012, <>. Eden Project 2012, Eden Project, Cornwall, UK, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://www.>. Wyndham City Council, 2012, Wyndham City Council, Werribee, Melbourne viewed 9 November 2012, < environmentsustainability/strategy>. Event Brite 2012, Event Brite, Werribee, Victoria, viewed 12 November 2012, <http://www.>. Williewonker 2012, Flickr, Sunnyvale, CA, viewed 12 November 2012, < com/photos/87791108@N00/3193135219/sizes/l/in/photostream/>. Kartal Pendik Masterplan, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006, by Zaha Hadid.

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Architecture Design Studio 3: Air Final Journal  

Final submission for progress journal for Architecture Design Studio 3: Air University of Melbourne

Architecture Design Studio 3: Air Final Journal  

Final submission for progress journal for Architecture Design Studio 3: Air University of Melbourne