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content introduction a conceptualization b criteria desgin c detailed design


introduction My name is Feng Chao, I am currently a third year architecture student in University of Melbourne. I was born in China and moved to Singapore at the age of 13. I served my two year national service in Singapore and ever since then I lived there. My interest in architecture started during the two years in national service. Being deployed in the untamed forest in both Singapore and Brunei, and living there for weeks without basic necessities which we expect from cities, i wondered what comfort is. As back then, having a hard flat surface without roots to sleep on is a luxury, is comfort; yet now sleeping in soft pillowed beds are taken for granted. How is space organisation important when people can merely adapt to different space. Where architecture does comes into play in this rural areas? With these thoughts in mind, I came into architecture, in the wish to use architecture as mean to re-appreciate basic comfort and re-think what are excessive. In the past few years, I have been able to explore and tackle abstract problems in modern means like personal space through courses like Digital Design & Fabrication: 2nd Skin and I also gained deeper understanding in materiality and structure. Through Air Studio’s parametric modelling, I aim to discover hidden rules in designs and re-imagine other out comes which are not accessible through conventional means.


Studley Boathouse//2nd skin AA Visiting School Interlacing Space//Earth Secret Spaces



2.0 Computation//Error//Unexpected Project: Under Stress & Sous Tension Architect: THEVERYMANY Date: 2015 Location: French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), France

As oppose to the architectural world, the art world when tackling the issue of material, form and force, have its unique design language and design mythology. Given the same conditions, the outcome in ,terms of form, is more imaginative. Marc Fornes, founder of THEVERYMAY, have invented a design method in the age of parametric design and computation, he is able to ‘leave room for an element of surprise for the purpose of exploration and invention’ given that there’s no such thing as computational ‘maybe’[F61] . To do this, he ingeniously used the characteristic of a coder and how computer interpret codes. In a long series of codes that are condition (‘if...then..’statement) [S16], the ‘programmer’ will make mistakes at some point. Computers at the mean time does not judge nor correct conditional mistakes and thus producing unexpected results which can be further explored. In


order words, a bug in a code can be interpreted as ‘computer creativity’ and be used as a ‘design’. In terms of fabrication, Marc Fornes employed in his design process is to create series of protocols which would allow him to create large number of very small, relatively simple and similar variable laser cut parts. This allow him to produce light weight, economical and ascetically pleasing structures. As Fornes calls it: ‘generative assembly’ and ‘protocol form-finding’, architects might be able to negotiate a more convincing argument to push and wide spread parametric design in the future.

conceptualisation a1/ design futuring 1.1 reuse//reprogram// redeploy 1.2 awareness//ecology//life choices a2/ design computation 2.1 Material//Form//Force 2.2 computation//error//unexpected a3/ composition/generating 3.1 atmosphere//communication 3.2 formwork//prodcution//generative a4/ conclusion a5/ learning outcome appendix + sketch


a1/design futuring Sustainability have been a catchphrase among both professionals and researchers, yet, the current climate change and quick depletion in natural resources have made sustain-ability seems out of reach [2]. The cause of this, according to Tony Fry’s book “Design Futuring: Sustainability, ethic and new practice”, is due to weak and fragmented “green design”1 approach. He suggested the following approach [1]: 1. Move away from appurtenance and style, it should not be the main driver for design 2. We should see man-made ecology and nature ecology as a single unit, design via isolating each variable is not feasible

4. Thinking about the cause and effect of between human action and nature’s environmental reaction should be part of our daily practice, not as a one-off event. 5. Different practice should merge and collaborate to produce a more well-rounded idea It should be presented in layman term to be more understandable among professionals. In an attempt to better understand how the different approach worked and succeeded in the real world, 2 precedents would be examined, in particular how it brought about new idea to stainability.

3. To revolutionise design practice, the structure and conventional approach should be changed.


1. Tony Fry. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg, 2008), pp. 1–16 2. Bloomsbury, ‘About Design Futuring’ (2016), <>

“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy’s First Law of Equivalent Exchange.” -Full Metal Alchemist


1.1 reuse//reprogram//redeploy Project: Loblolly House Architect: Kieran Timberlake Date: 2006 Location: Taylors Island, Maryland

The Loblolly house represents a non-traditional, component based approach to prefab construction. Unlike regular houses which is permanent, the loblolly house can be describe as an automotive assembly as it can be disassembled and re-assemble in different configurations with ease. To do achieve this flexibility in configurations, much of the building system, such as aluminium frame, roof and floor system, was modularised and pre-fabricated [1]. Since Kieran Timberlake is the forerunners of the sustainable architecture movement, much environmental consideration was put into the design and construction of the house. Some of the actions the firm took was to raise the structural reduce site disruptions and to use materials within 500 miles of the site to reduce carbon footprint. Beside green construction aspect of the building, the building is also design to be sustainable in the future. This is achieved through the lengthy list of green technology in the house, such as high-performance


facades and natural ventilation [2]. I thought that this project show cased an glimpse to an alternate future to the current one, where architecture are non-permanent and are able to adapt to change quickly. This is a great contrast to modern built environment where buildings are fixed for years to come, and find it hard to adapt the quick societal change. Such example would be the phasing out of fixed office spaces as the permanent work force evolved to mobile work force. The new modular, easy systems could easily meet the quick changing needs of the society. They could be easily store, transport, and reused with possibly even more additive functions when required. Prolonging its life span and reducing its obsolesce, the future could be more sustainable. Also this building demonstrated the use of parametric modeling where it made simultaneous manufacturing of parts which can fit in precision possible.

1. Inhabitat, ‘PREFAB FRIDAY: Loblolly House’, (2007), <> 2. Kieran Timberlake ‘Loblolly House ‘(2016),<>

Top: A demonstration of integrated assemblies of those parts, fabricated off site, to build a house in an entirely different way. The connections between elements were designed to be made using only simple hand tools. [1]

Right: Reflecting environmental ethic by lifting it off the ground, we ensure that it touches the site very lightly [1]

1. Kieran Timberlake â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Loblolly House â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;(2016),<>


1.2 awareness//ecology//life choices Project: Pasona Office Architect: Konodesigns Date: 2010 Location: Tokyo, UK

Kono Designs created this urban farm for Pasona Inc to allow employees to harvest and cultivate their own food. It have a sophisticated system of climate control system which are used to monitor humanity, temperature and air flow of the building to ensure comfort of the employee and also suitability to farm. Further more passive design and high tech energy system is used to reduce energy consumption and improve sustainability of the building [1]. However, despite the technological miracles, I feel that the most appreciable part is the value it carries and the thinking triggering within its users. Apart from good cultivation, the main goal is not only “to just think about how we can use our natural resources better from a distance, but to actively engage with nature and create new groups of people who have a deep interest and respect for the world they live


in”[2]. This respect and constant dialog with the nature on a daily basis is part of Design Futuring, and this emergence of sustainability awareness can be seen as the first step to critical reflection of on the “way people think about their daily lives and even their own personal career choice and life path”. Such a precedence provide insight to how architecture can intrigue and aspire people to think more of their surroundings. It also shows how inserting contrasting elements: nature ecology into man-made ecology together can provoke thoughts.

1. Architizer, ‘Persona H.Q. Tokyo’ (2013), <> 2. Dezeen Magazine, ‘Pasona Urban Farm by Kono Designs’ (2013), <>

Image Source: Dezeen Magazine, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pasona Urban Farm by Kono Designsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (2013), <>

Carefully conditioned environment which supports both plant growth and maintains user comfort.

In house seasonal harvesting provided an opportunity for office worker to participate in the harvesting process. Lessons to be learnt and food to be appreciated


a2/ design computation Computerisation -Computation


From Frank Gehry’s work of Guggenheim Museum to ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion, the design world have moved from digitalization of entries that are conceived (CAD), predetermined and well defined (computerisation) to the exploration of in-determined, vague and ill defined (computation). In this chapter, i will look into how computer in architecture design have opened new design frontiers and how have we have advanced, at the mean time, i would like discuss how designers can be relevant in the future.

New Form Evolution 1.0 At the mean time, the parametric and NURB characteristics of computer generated design have enabled designers to explore and evolve new design forms. According to Kalarevic, for the first time in history, architects are designing not the specific shape of the building but a set of principles encoded as a sequence of parametric equations[1]. This means that design can be generated and varied in time as needed and design can be recorded and be evolved (Grasshopper/Explicit history). This process change the previous fixed solutions into infinitely variable potentialities”.

Performance Oriented Design

Parameticism 2.0

Computer design have created a new design process: per formative architecture. In this process, the building performance is defined above form-making, where it utilise digital technologies of quantitative and qualitative performance based simulation to offer a comprehensive new approach to the design of built environment[1]. This method have generated a whole new generation of more effective passive building designs which did not exists before computer parametric design. Some of such examples would be the Project ZED (1995) and Kunsthaus (2003)[1].

As designers gained the ability to generate unlimited variation of forms digitally, the focus have shifted to the ability to make it physical. Hence, this resulted in the current material system studies, where designers test and even create new materials which can have the stylistic and expression preference they seek[2]. At this stage, designers starts to actively explore into other fields such as structure engineering, programming and robotics, with to goal to materialise their digital designs. The broadening of ‘profession’, as a effect of digital design, brought back craftsmanship.

1. Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’ (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 9, 24, 26 2. Rivka and Robert Oxman, ‘Theories of the Digital in Architecture’ (London; New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 7

a4 conclusion Relevance Of Designers In The Future

need human input in the future.

As we rely develop more and more advanced design computation technique, Kalay assumed that computers with their increasing design power will not be able to total take over the design process (even though BIM system have already replaced much humans by stream lining the workflow). His argument is based on the assumption that ‘computers are totally incapable of making up new instructions: they lack any creative abilities or intuition’ [3] and hence unable to solve ‘wicked problems’ that are illogical and ill structured, which requires creative thinking[3]. However, given that Kalay’s article was written in 2004, time have changed and I beg to differ.

As we are unable to rule out this shift towards automation, I felt that the way to stay above this trend would be to reimagine the defination of being an architect. As we cross into different professional disapline and learn to become more of a craftsman, we could become ‘The Architect’, not just limited to building and spacial design. We could be the creator of the automated design generating and evaluating system as we become porgammers and pour in our expertise.

Improvements and advancement in computation could overcome such barrier. One such recent example would be the “advanced tree search with deep neural networks’ used in AlphaGo, which not only compute in depth, but also in breath [4]. In years to come, it could not only perform the same thought process human does, but could possibly improve and discovered new ideas. When such a trend passes down from the higher end innovation (NASA, NSA, Google etc) to lower end of the chain (architecture design), I believe it would make human designers less useful as algometric parametric computation might not

However at this stage, compution have yet to be intergrated as an intutitive and natural way to design, much of the concepts are not tested in practice nor reflected upon. In order to prepare for total design automation which might occur in the future, we are required to broaden the seraching and thinking parameters and this brings us to the case studies. The following case studies are the latest design thinking in parametric design (as of 2016) and through these cases, we might be able to glimse into parametric 3.0.

3. Yehuda E Kalay. ‘Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design’ , (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004) , pp. 2 4. Google, ‘AlphaGo: using machine learning to master the ancient game of Go’ (2016) <>


2.1 material//form//force Project: The Bifurcated Bridge Architect: Architectural Association Emergent Technologies and Design Programme (AA EmTech) and the Institute for Computational Design (ICD), University of Stuttgart Date: 2010 Location: London

The Bifurcated Bridge is an exploration of the distribution of material with respect to the stress field within a given form. The design is built out of flat and single-curved prefabricated timber and plywood elements to form a U-shaped component system. The team used information from stress analysis to form a feedback loop to accurately relocate material along the U-shaped section of the components. This process generated a unique aesthetic and structure profile [3]. This project also demonstrated the use of computer modelling to search unexplored material behavior and qualities that redefined architecture. In the past, a simple material behavior such as elastic (de)formation could not be conventionally drawn or modelled [M79], hence materials are used in their conventional means, being a horizontal or vertical element. Now with digital computation, we are able design form with unison with material characteristics, which unlike the past, that is both “expressive” and “structurally efficient” at the same time [2]. This material exploration to parametric design approach follows in the following steps:

know its constrains (weight loads, bending angle etc) 2. Use data collected as parametric parameters in digital modelling (this would differ from contemporary digital-design approach where material’s realistic capabilities are considered after design) 3. Test the structure digitally before physical fabrication Using material’s inert ability to compute efficient forms and to guide refinements have to following advantages[3]: 1. No additional form work are required to achieve the form 2. Can simplify construction and make design attainable 3. Incorporation of material behaviour’s physical necessity can unfold new freedom to design As we start to build and develop a sophisticated set of material capability data base and integrate it into parametric system with automatize filtering capability, we could increase the buildabilty of our designs to meet the context.

1. Physically stress test a selection of materials to


1. Achim Menges, ‘Computation Material Culture’ , (Architectural Design, 82, 2, 2015), pp 79 2. Patrik Schumache, ‘Parametricism 2.0: Gearing Up To Impact the Global Built Environment’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 14 3. Toni Kotnik & Michael Weinstock, ‘Material, Form and Force’ (Architectural Design, 82, 2, 2013) , pp. 111

Top: The Pavilion 2011 created by ETH Zurich & AA EmTech adopted similar parametric design philosophy as to The Bifurcated Bridge 2010. Using material limitation as an platform for design. [1]

Right: The Bifurcated Bridge stress analysis using parametric software where design and physical simulated testing happens simultaneously. Stress areas are fortified, resulting in the final design outcome.[2]

1. Image Source: Dezeen Magazine, ‘ETH / AA Emtech Pavilio’ (2011), <> 2. Image Source: Toni Kotnik & Michael Weinstock, ‘Material, Form and Force’ (Architectural Design, 82, 2, 2013) , pp. 111 17

2.2 computation//error//unexpected Project: Under Stress & Sous Tension Architect: THEVERYMANY Date: 2015 Location: French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), France

As oppose to the architectural world, the art world when tackling the issue of material, form and force, have its unique design language and design mythology. Given the same conditions, the outcome in ,terms of form, is more imaginative. Marc Fornes, founder of THEVERYMAY, have invented a design method in the age of parametric design and computation, he is able to ‘leave room for an element of surprise for the purpose of exploration and invention’ given that there’s no such thing as computational ‘maybe’[1] . To do this, he ingeniously used the characteristic of a coder and how computer interpret codes. In a long series of codes that are condition (‘if...then..’statement)[2], the ‘programmer’ will make mistakes at some point. Computers at the mean time does not judge nor correct conditional mistakes and thus producing unexpected results which can be further explored. In order words, a


bug or a round off error in a code can be interpreted as ‘computer creativity’ and be used as a ‘design’. In terms of fabrication, Marc Fornes employed in his design process is to create series of protocols which would allow him to create large number of very small, relatively simple and similar variable laser cut parts. This allow him to produce light weight, economical and ascetically pleasing structures. As Fornes calls it: ‘generative assembly’ and ‘protocol form-finding’, architects might be able to negotiate a more convincing argument to push and wide spread parametric design in the future.

1. Mark Fornes, ‘Art of the Prototypical’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 61 2. Patrik Schumache, ‘Parametricism 2.0: Gearing Up To Impact the Global Built Environment’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 16

Right: Soul Tension, expressing the tension between the dynamic interactions from the multi-directional and converging paths within the public spaces [1]

Left: connecting on six distributed anchor points within the space [1]

1. Image Source: Karissa Rosenfield, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY Installations Transform INRIA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; (2016), 6 March, 2015 <http://www.archdaily. com/606730/marc-fornes-theverymany-installations-transform-inria>


a3/ composition/generating This hybridization of profession have challenged multiple aspects of architecture, one of the most significant is the change in architecture composition. In the past, architecture composition falls into 2 categories, namely classical symmetrical composition and the more recently diagrammatic derived composition (Rem Koolhaas). However, with the introduction of generative computation, exemplified by the artificial life program Boids, architecture composition have moved from an ‘obvious’ reason driven design (ie centroid space oriented form, function linked formed etc) to one which is created from rules (or parameters). This rule setting approach creates an emergent behavior for the design and this behavior is able to compose a series of complex compositions in quick successions. An automatically generated designs based on a series of set rules can then be studied by architects or designs and then subjectively judged base on which meets the


performative and experiential aspect of their project [1]. Pushing this design spices and generation taxonomy further would be to re-think what architecture can be. One of the pioneering ideas is to, based on generation, to ‘conceives architecture as an ecology of interacting agents and investigates the behavioural agency of autonomous self-aware and self-assembled systems that use responsiveness and machine learning to facilitate continuous spatial transformation’[2]. In other words, architecture here is active, to be able ‘to sense, to learn, to understand and to get bored’, it is able to attain active emotive communication between the build and the user [3]. The following case study will exemplify how this future might look like and how it could be related to our design task.

1. Brady Peters, ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’ , (Architectural Design, 83, 2, 2013) pp. 15. 2. Patrik Schumache, ‘Parametricism 2.0: Gearing Up To Impact the Global Built Environment’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 14 3. Theodore Spyropoulos, ‘Behavioural Complexity: Constructing Frameworks for Human-Machine Ecologies’, (Architectural Design 86, 2, 2016), pp 39.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only Parametricism can adequately organise and articulate contemporary social assemblages at the level of complexity called for today.â&#x20AC;?

-Patrik Schumacher


3.1 atmosphere//communication Project: Petting Zoo FRAC Centre Architect: Minimaforms Date: 2015 Location: FRAC-Centre, France

Petting Zoo is developed by experimental architecture and design studio Minimaforms. This project meant to raise questions among audience on how future environment could create new forms of communication and how architects could experiment with environments that focus on ‘behavioral features that afford conversation-rich exchanges between participant and system, participant with other participants, and/or systems with other systems’ [1]. The project challenge designers to move from current generative process which only happen in design phase, but to one which can constantly build new model of and for communications [1].

humans and negithbouring pets, they are able to develop its own personalities. ‘Intimacy and curiosity are explored as enabling agents that externalize personal experience through forms of direct visual, haptic and aural communication’ [2]. Such a responsive feature could be used as an interface between the building and users and enrich the later‘s environmental experience.

This project’s digital pet able to interrelate and stimulate participation with users through the use of animate behaviors communicated through kinesis, sound and illumination [2].Through interactions with

Top: Real time augmented environment, exhibiting life-like attributes through interaction Bottom: Potential-building user interface, where new dialog options opens


1. Theodore Spyropoulos, ‘Behavioural Complexity: Constructing Frameworks for Human-Machine Ecologies’ (2016), Architectural Design 86, 2, pp 39-4. 2. Minimaform, ‘Petting Zoo FRAC Centre ‘ (2015), <>

Image Source: Minimaform, ‘Petting Zoo FRAC Centre ‘ (2015), <http://>


3.2 formwork//prodcution//generative Project: IGLOO: Constant Formwork Architect: AA-DRL Yusuke Obuchi and Robert Stuart-Smith Studio Date: 2011

Constant formwork is one of the experimental product produced in the 16 month post-professional design program in DRL AA. In this project, the group used form work used formwork as the source code for design. It is an attempt to transform formwork from a mere technical tool for construction into a generative design tool [1]. In other words, instead of directly generating designs in the computer and think of formwork during construction, they started to evolve the form work first and use it to guide the design. By reversing this order, they eliminated the juxtaposition of generative process and production process and amalgamated them into a single stream line process.

There could be 3 kind of approaches to design the ceiling, namely to either manipulate the timber veneer itself to a desired form, to manipulate the structure which supports the veneers and use them as the back bone of the design generative process (constant formwork) or to combine the 2 process together to utilse the both material’s quality. In short, matter which method we might use, we need to consider the feasibility of the production process while doing our generative design research.

This project is not only demonstrated the usefulness of generative design, which is to uncover forms and combinations which design could not have achieved through normal means, it also showed on alternative design means to our ceiling design task.


1. AADRL, ‘IGLOO’ (2011), <> 2. AAschool, ‘IGLOO’ (2011) projectsreview2011, <>

Right: Using generative design method (by setting a series of rules), new forms and combinations is obtained and studdied. Architect’s job would be to judge which form suits best to the task demand [1].

Bottom: The formwork itself is able to generate space and exhibit a high level of asthetic possiblity. It need not be hidden behind the actual design [2].

1. Image Source: AADRL, ‘IGLOO’ (2011), <> 2. Image Source: AAschool, ‘IGLOO’ (2011) projectsreview2011, <>


a4 conclusion The conceptualization of air studio stated off with Design Futuring (a1), where we set our goals, as designers, to build a sustainable future for future generations to come. To build this future, I explore the hardware approach and the soft approach (educational means). For the hardware approach, I studied the Lollolly House which demonstrated how modularization can meet quickness of the society while strengthening its environmental ethics. In soft approach, I gave the case study of the Posona Office which, through its wide spread nature ecology cycle within the building, is able to influence and make users reflect upon their relationship with nature, kick starting a critical thinking process. In Design Computation (a2), I understood the evolution of design computation. We started off from entering data into computers to plot (computerization to computation) to an age where we can use parametric software to generate forms. This evolution is also accompanied by the craftsmanship


movement where architects explores other profession and integrate architecture into them. However, as mentioned by Patrik Schumache, though we are able to generate almost infinite form combinations, we need to get back to basics and make them buildable. Hence we have our Parameticism 2.0. The case studies I gave explore 2 means of designing through understanding material. The first was The Bifurcated Bridge, where materialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physical limitations were set as parameters in the digital design, hence ensuring a practical and buildable translation from the digital world to the physical world. The second example was the Under Stress & Sous Tension project. I thought this project is pioneering as it is able to utilize the characteristics of the computer language, the bug, the rounding errors etc, to generate forms, patterns and colors. In other words, this projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designs depend more heavily on the computer coding characteristics than of human parameter input, hence creating a new design language. In this chapter, I also challenged the Kalayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assumption that computers cannot be creative

and designers still have a major role in the future. As computation power increases, more sophisticated programs and bigger material data banks are developed, computers could move away from performance oriented design and create forms which have both asthenic and functional value. I believe that architects would be designers of codes than of space. In the final chapter Composition & Generating (a3), I looked into how composition in architecture have changed due to the introduction of generative design, but more importantly, I wanted to know what other design approach and potential can be drawn out from our ceiling design task. The Petting Zoo FRAC Centre case study challenged us to build a new model of communication and generative process even after the project is being built. Whereas the IGLOO: Constant Formwork highlighted another medium for generative design to occur.

My intended design approach Applying the latest philosophy in parametric design, I intend to develop a rigorous set of scientific testing method to understand the physical limitation of the material available to me. This tests will apply to both wood veneer, the face of the ceiling, and the form work material for this ceiling as both have the potential to be the basis of parametric research. This limitation data would then the upper threshold of the parametric data in my grasshopper script and from there I would experiment with potential forms, forms which are physically buildable. The next important step would be to analyse site to optimize the form. At this point I foresee 2 paths in design concept, namely to use the data collected to build a performance oriented design or to find a mean to make a ceiling a new model of communication. Personally I find the later more challenging and intriguing as it might in cooperate mechanical movements and robotic scripting.


a5 learning outcomes Through the 3 week of study in air studio, I understood the concern and development of parametric design and how it is the future, and have greater appreciation on paper architecture. Initially, I thought that parametric design is just a tool to create striking new form for the sake of creating striking new forms, but through the readings and research, I realized that I was only partially right. I realized that my thinking was still stuck in parametric 1.0, form finding, however in reality the industry have moved well beyond that, towards parametric 2.0 and 3.0. Here, the designs are more grounded to reality and much more justifiable in terms of outcome as we start to consider materials during the form generation process. In the past I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the interest nor habit to read researched based articles on architecture nor did paper architecture as I think that they are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;not practicalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. However this ignorance stopped when I started to read the AD articles where they reported the latest design thinking and experiments done within the

Right: Pervious design did not employ digital simulation, resulting in failure of material in late stage of design.


architecture and design field. The ideas mentioned, though vague at this point as they are still experiments and prototype ideas, hold great value in informing my design concept and methodology, it help me explore new design grounds. Having both the theory and parametric tools in hand, I believe that much can be accomplished. This new parametric and design knowledge could have improved many of my previous designs. In particular, would be digital design and fabrication: 2nd skin, where we have to create a personal boundary using an umbrella derived movement joint. This derivation of a workable joint is very similar with what we are about to do next, to create a ceiling, would involve material testing, force and load path analysis. However, unlike now where we can set parameters of material limitation during the digital design process in grasshopper, back then we were only using rhino model (without parameterisation) and literally doing trial and error experiments on

the physical model after each built. Such a manual process could be stream lined in the digital world with the new skill I learned and save tremendous amount of time and resources. Another improvement I could have made to the 2nd skin project was to use more automated electronics to control the lighting and joint expansion system. As we learn from the past few weeks, architecture is moving towards programming and robotics through the years, it is important for us to know electronics Having done the optional robotics course, if I were to re-do the 2nd skin project, I would have program a stereo motor to help in the joint expansion instead of expanding it manually using arm movement. Light could also be remotely control and more combination of blink effect could have been in cooperated. In other words, I would in cooperated more programmable elements in our design.


Appendix 1. AADRL, ‘IGLOO’ (2011), <> 2. AAschool, ‘IGLOO’ (2011) projectsreview2011, <> 3. Achim Menges, ‘Computation Material Culture’ , (Architectural Design, 82, 2, 2015), pp 79 4.Architizer, ‘Persona H.Q. Tokyo’ (2013), <> 5. Bloomsbury, ‘About Design Futuring’ (2016), <> 6. Brady Peters, ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’ , (Architectural Design, 83, 2, 2013) pp. 15. 7. Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’ (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 24 8. Dezeen Magazine, ‘Pasona Urban Farm by Kono Designs’ (2013), <> 9. Google, ‘AlphaGo: using machine learning to master the ancient game of Go’ (2016) <> 10. Inhabitat, ‘PREFAB FRIDAY: Loblolly House’, (2007), <> 11. Kieran Timberlake ‘Loblolly House ‘(2016), < 12 Mark Fornes, ‘Art of the Prototypical’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 61 13. Minimaform, ‘Petting Zoo FRAC Centre‘ (2015), <> 14. Patrik Schumache, ‘Parametricism 2.0: Gearing Up To Impact the Global Built Environment’, (Architectural Design, 86, 2, 2016), pp 14,16 15. Rivka and Robert Oxman, ‘Theories of the Digital in Architecture’ (London; New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 7 16. Theodore Spyropoulos, ‘Behavioural Complexity: Constructing Frameworks for Human-Machine Ecologies’, (Architectural Design 86, 2, 2016), pp 39 17. Toni Kotnik & Michael Weinstock, ‘Material, Form and Force’ (Architectural Design, 82, 2, 2013) , pp. 111 18. Tony Fry. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg, 2008), pp. 1–16 19. Yehuda E Kalay. ‘Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design’ , (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004) , pp. 2


Algorithmic Sketches

Box Morph + Voronoi 2D

Smooth Mesh

Cull & Replace Patterns


B 32

design criteria b1/ research field 1.1 Tesselation 1.2 Site Characteristics 1.3 Selection Criteria b2/ case study 1.0 2.1 Iterations 2.2 Successful Species 2.3 Criteria Met b3/ case study 2.0 3.1 Reverse Engineering Evaluation 3.2 Reverse Engineering Sequence b4/ technique development 4.1 Material Testing 1 4.2 Material Iterations 4.3 Site Form Iterations b5/ technique: prototypes 5.1 Macro Scale Approach 5.2 Micro Scale Approach 5.3 Meso Approach - Connection 5.4 Material Testing 2 5.5 Mapping Data 5.6 Script Optimization & Iteration 5.7 Further Prototypes 5.8 Meso Approach - Tessellation b6/ technique: proposal 6.1 Installation Connection 6.2 Diagrammatic Model b6/ learning objectives and outcomes b7/ appendix - algorithmic sketches 33

b1/ reseach field

Tesselation ‘Voussoir Cloud’ by IwamotoScott with Buro Happold tesselation and material performance based architecture is in-line with the most recent research and parametric development in the industry. Here IwamotoScott created a landscape of vaults and columns. Within them, it consists of clusters of three dimensional petals, which are formed by folding thin wood laminate along curved seams. [1] Using this as an example, i wish to discuss the conceptual design implications, opportunities and fabrication concerns of this project, Through this discussion i will look into how these ideas came be implemented into future projects.

Top: Petal formation [1]. Bottom: Voussoir Cloud[2].

1. D-talks, “Petal formation”, accessed on March 2016, 2. Demagazine, “VC Petal Formation”, accessed on March 2016, 34

Conceptual design implication The ‘Voussoir Cloud’ project is able to “defamiliarize both structure and material to create conflicted readings of normative architectural typologies”, ie was able to confuse the structural and material strategies. To achieve this, the anchor point of the vault was the three retaining walls at the installation. Large geometrical modules are at the anchor points and slowly fragments as the structure grow upwards. The project’s components are positioned such that they are constantly under compression (a similar configuration of a vault) and hence self-supporting. Each individual petals are wood laminate folded three dimensionally along curved seams. The dished products relies on surface tension of the wood and folded geometry of the flanges to hold its shape and the level of curvature is dependent of the offset of the flanges. The more offset the greater the petals leaning angle, and vice vera. This naturally produces a vault shape and gapes which created the light and porous atmosphere under the installation.

This precedent provided several ideas for our design project. Structurally, our ceiling installation could be connected and supported with less structural elements, giving it a level of lightness. The preliminary thought was hang the ceiling like a suspended ceiling, leaving us the problem with concealing the structural members. If we were able to modularly chian and interlace the components, we can anchor the installation at a few points and hence reduce structural elements. Materially we need to “focus on calibrating the relationship of digital model to physical model through iterative empirical testing”. This would require us to start prototyping at the very beginning of the programme, while we are generating forms. This mean that we can uncover new material potential not only digitally, but also physically. [1]

Computationally we could explore mathematical tangency and offsets to explore the level of curvature we can produce, on top of tessellation composition which we will use. Fabrication concerns The ‘Voussoir Cloud’ project scripted 2,300 individual unique petals for construction, though impressive is not practical for our ceiling installation. Large amount of unique components would be too challenging for us to fabricate and design at this point of time. Instead, we would have to learn from the “Edithvale Seaford Wetland Discovery Center” project where lesser [2] unique panels are produced and oriented thoughtfully to produce a variance in result.

In terms of material inert quality, we could explore the natural translucent characteristic of wood veneer to produce soft light atmosphere under the installation.

1. Demagazine, “Voussoir-cloud-by-iwamotoscott”, accessed on March 2016, 2. ArchitectureAU, “Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre by Minifie van Schaik Architects”, accessed on March 2016, “ articles/with-all-the-views/”


1.2 Site Charateristcs








Office Space & Meeting Room

The goal of the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to create a ceiling installation in meeting room of an office. The meeting room is a 6000x4000mm space surrounded by glass wall at 3 ends and a leather laced wall at the 4th.





Potential Ceiling Area

Meeting room

The ceiling height limitation and room dimensions will be used as the parameters for the future parametric design.


1.3 Selection Criteria

The grasshopper could produce countless number of iteration through modification of parameters and functions, hence there is a need for me to be selective and be focus on the result which would best suit the site. To achieve this, I have set a series of selection criteria which I would test my result against and then judge (subjectively) which is most desirable. The second goal of this selection process is to allow me to identify potential gene which could be reused in future design.

Light & Shadow Effect It is known that the installation would amalgamate with the ceiling lighting, it is hence and good opportunity to use them to produce intriguing shadows and shades during non-meeting periods. Acoustic Buffering Effect The ability of a surface to deflect sound wave in multiple directions, which in inturn increase sound wave travel distance and hence reducing the amount of energy in the wave before the next surface bounce. Such surfaces are normally defined by porous or multi-curved/angled surface. However, amount of curvature should be considered with care as, over doing might make it into another commercial sound damper product. Softness The fluidity of the design and helps it to merge into the surrounding. This often involve non-angular edges and visually connecting surfaces, leading space from one end to the next. Constructability

This is defined by the ease and efficiency with which this installation is built and assembled. This would be tested against physical veneer wood panel prototyping to determine which the optimal form for panel construction is.




Voussoir Cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by IwamotoScott



SCALE INPUT OF HOLES Variable = number slider [Factor (F)]

DISPLACEMENT DEPTH Variable = number slider [Factor (F)]


F= 0.078


F= 0.305

F= -0.28

F= 0.480

F= 0.92

F= 0.718


F= 2.07

ITERATIONS NO. OF PUNCTURES Variable = number slider [Number (N)]

ADDITIONAL U-FORCE Variable = number slider [X,Y,Z]











RELEASING SIDE ANCHOR POINTS Variable = U-Force [z] Kangaroo Frame Selection

RESET FORMAT ANCHOR POINTS Variable = U-Force [x,y,z] Stiffness = number slider [Factor (F)]


F= 50


F= 86

F= 90


ITERATIONS RE-WEAVING MESH SURFACE Variable = number slider [Fragmentation (Frag)]]

EXTRUSION FOR PANELS Variable = number slider [Normal Vector (NV)]

Frag= 0




Frag= 53

NV= 5

Frag= 70

NV= 9


2.2 Successful Species


The variety of forms generated from to-and-fore alteration and adjustment of rhino initial input and the grasshopper parameterized data have enabled me to understand the design process of algorametic design. What is intriguing is that everything the scripts can generate almost and finite number of design variation, yet we only choose only a few iterations to present, we do not present all our findings. There is always a constant human and subjective judgement involved in this supposedly generative process. The other realization was that though design discovery accidents do happen (such as changing the slider bar), it also depends heavily on the nature of the script. For instance i realised that line based geometries are more malleable and transformable than surface based scripts. The higher the geometry dimension, the greater the complexity and more adjustment have to be made for it to work. The “Voussoir Cloud” script i worked with is one such example of high dimension geometry parametric limitation. The script is based heavily on mesh surface and later runs on kangaroo to generate the naturally concave forms via gravity. This means unlike other script such as the Seroussi Pavilion which is generated base on lines, would not allow be to plug in controls such as ‘graph mapper’ which could easily change data parameters. Hence for the “voussoir cloud” iterations, main controlling data would have to be manipulated in rhino instead (eg anchor points). I have generated my species though an evolution process. Using the criteria i set before the generative process, i select the iteration which met one or more of the criteria and extracted it. Though component addition and adjustment it evolved into the next species. This process continues until satisfactory. While the process of species evolution have produced a single relatively criteria meeting outcome, there are a few, though non criteria meeting yet surprising outcomes that could be further explored. They are: FS= 200 Frag=20


2.3 Criteria Met Softness

Penetration of the fabric to accommodate meeting roof equipment such as projectors and custom positioned lighting. Size of opening could be adjusted to according to site need, improving its functionality.

Light & Shadow Effect

Separation of panels allows dynamic shadows to be casted into the meeting room with the use of appreciate back light. This back lighting system could be further explored in the future to create more dramatic lighting effects.

Constructability Fragmentation of fabric avoids the need to create doubly curved surfaces which makes the ceiling system more buildable. The fragmentation also allows us to customise each panelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pattern, giving it a high level of asthenic controllability.



CASE STUDY 2.0 Project: Aggregated Porosity Architect: Biao Hu, Yu Du Date: 2010 Location: Changsha, China

The installation was created under the direction of professor Biao Hu and Yu Du of Zaha Hadid architects with invited tutors like Suryansh Chandra also from Zaha Hadid architects and Shuojiong Zhang of UNstudio, who were asked to propose a design scheme aligned with the workshop’s theme and that could provide shade and fit in a volume of 3 x 3 x 6 meters.[1] The design of the canopy is a result of manipulation and refinement in CAD platforms. Using the basic L-shape of a structure that could provide shade was curved to build in a bench for seating and then modified to offer an organiclike form. this original surface grid is then used to generate a hexagonal array of panels, each diverse in form as determined by the computer model, and each constrained at three of their points but open at three others, permitting the creation of opening and curves. The largest panels are inset with triangular holes to preserve the continuity of the wooden mesh. [1]

The final reverse engineered product and the actual product defers in a number of ways: 1) Even though i am able to cull and replace panels with triangles, i am uncertiain of the culling area used in the actual project. 2) I am unable to exactly replicate the joinery between the panels as i am uncertain what commands they used to prevent overlapping of panels. The command i used was scaling and rotation, however, this method i find is not automated as it require me to use slider to trail and error which rotation angle works best.

1. Designplaygrounds , “Aggregated Porosity DAL WKSHP “, accessed on Meach 2016, 46

Design generating and installing sequences [1]

1. Designplaygrounds , â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aggregated Porosity DAL WKSHP â&#x20AC;&#x153;, accessed on Meach 2016, 47

3.2 Reverse Engineering Sequence

Surface Creation

Hexagonal Cell Creation LunchBox Hexafonal Surface

Trimming Edge Cells Extract surface parameters Select cell center points neat surface parameters Cull cells near parameters

Replacing Hexagon With Triangles

Creating Cell Cut holes

Creating Flat Cells

Extract cell area

Extract cell area

Extract normal vector from cells

Cull areas less than a variable

Cull areas less than a variable

Create plane normal to cell

Map triangles on surface

Project cell on normal plane

Solid difference cells

Extrude projected cells

Deconstruct hexagonal cells for points Create triangular extrudes based on points

Rotating Panels To Prevent Overlap

Scaling Panels To Prevent Overlap

Rotate all panels by 3 degrees

Scale all Panels by factor of 0.8

Cull areas less than a variable

Extract panel solid Edge

Map triangles on surface

Extract panel solid Brep

Solid difference cells

Use Brep l Line to extract intersected panels Further rotate intersected panels


Trimming Edge Cells

Creating Flat Cells

Creating Cell Cut holes

Creating Back Structure

Replacing Hexagon With Triangles Rotation And Scaling To Prevent Overlapping


b4/ technique development

Physical-Digital Using previous analysis from the site, the dimensions of the meeting room and the ceiling height are used a the parametric constrains for design development. Having a parametric limitation narrows down the grasshopper functions required to create and explore potential ceiling design. Further more, preliminary material testing was conducted to further produce more accurate representation of the timber veneer material in the digital model. It also help us to have a deeper understanding of the materialsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bending limitation The initial testing was done against the grain direction as this is most bendable veneer direction. The data is then recorded systematically and a general data graph is then produced. The graph records the position when the initial bend reaches normal against the length of contraction.


Material Tested: Paper Backer Timber Veneer Length: 300mm Direction Tested: Against Timber Veneer Fiber and horizontally anchored

4.1 Material Test 1

Upward Push (cm)

Timber bend reaches normal

10.7 10.5 10.1 9.9 8.7 7.5 5.5













Compession Length (cm)

Bend against the veneer grain and anchoring the end connection to a horizontal plane





General experimentation with Case study 2 script and new material knowledge to determine which way is to best approach the project.

T=Rectangular Panel Bend

T= Subdivide 700

T=Sag + Self Supporting Bend

T= Subdivide 300


T= Subdivide 500

T= Area > 5000 Penetration

T= Area > 6000 Penetration



T=Flat Hex Subdivide 700

T= Area > 4000 Single Penetration

T=Manual Bend 50

T= Area > 4000 Double Penetration

T=Manual Bending 70

T= Vertices Delaunay Mesh

T= Subdivide 500

T= Subdivide 300 with Move 20

Lower subdivision and staggered panels (with move Z direction command) generally creates more dynamic visual effect than one that have higher subdivision and is flat.
















E FORM ITERATIONS GRAPH MAPPER DATA Variable = Start & End of Graph, Graph Type Top Graphs: Grey Form Bottom Graphs: Red Form













PERMUTATION OF LIST List [Red/Grey] = Drip/Flat [D/F]


L= D+F

L= F+D Variation of Panel Style is more desirable as it utilizes both the dropping effect of timber veneer and also the flat panel effect?.. The next is to look for possible variations to connect,scaling panels up so they can intersect and overlap can possibly create joints.



L= Curved (special)+D



X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=1.065

X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=1.065

X=1.065 Y=0.475 Z=1.065

X=1.065 Y=0.475 Z=1.065

X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=4.342

X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=4.342

X=2.376 Y=0.901 Z=2.409

X=2.376 Y=0.901 Z=2.409

X=1.516 Y=1.352 Z=0.73

X=1.516 Y=1.352 Z=0.73



TRIMMING HOLES Variable = Area [A>X] Size = [S]

ALTERNATIVE PATTERN Contour Gap = Distance [D]




D= 300







Red Grey Split Scaling R: A>5000,S=500 G: A>5056,S=373



Seperated Ceiling Modules D=10

Contrasting Panels L= F+D

Interlocking Panels X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=1.065

Split Scaling Red Grey Split Scaling R: A>5000,S=500 G: A>5056,S=373 Opening For Shadow Effects

Dynamical From D=10

Contrasting Panels L= F+D

Interlocking Panels X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=1.065


b5/ technique: prototypes

Material-Testing At this stage of the design, groups with similar design methodology are formed. Our group focuses on using timber veneerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own material bending and flexing property to create the meeting room ceiling. The goal is to not use any 3D printed joints to connect the veneer sheets while still serving the functional requirements needed for the ceiling. Each of us brought in our research interest and prototypes with the intension to create an amalgamated ceiling design proposal. This was a challenge for us as each of us approached the design problem from a different scale, namely: 1. Macro scale, form finding 2. Meso scale, connections & tessellations 3. Micro scale, modular system Each scale is interconnected and works together, however, for a start, we used a top down approach

from the B4 iterations as it best address site limitation and criteria. Upon creation of the hexagonal prototype, it is obvious to the limitation of top down macro scale approach. Even though we are able to generate forms which meets the site criteria and was able to generate dynamic forms, the connections of the panels is unlovable at this scale. We face difficulties in creating self interlocking panels as the mechanics of interconnected panels have not been resolved at this scale, and also since we do not which to create 3D printed joints as connection as seen in the B3 case study, we went back to the drawing board to test another approach. The process is then repeated with Micro then finally settling with Meso where we manage to finalise the joinery system.

Meeting Point Approach 2

Approach 1








5. Macro Scale Approach

Macro-Panels Form is generated from B4, panels are cut to explore possible connection patterns.

Seperated Ceiling Modules D=10

Contrasting Panels L= F+D

Interlocking Panels X=1.065 Y=1.065 Z=1.065

Split Scaling Red Grey Split Scaling R: A>5000,S=500 G: A>5056,S=373 Opening For Shadow Effects

Connection between panels poses an issue. Even though we could implement the connection used in B3, it would require external connections. This would defeat the purpose of material performance based connection.


5.2 Micro Scale Approach












Point Number











Base Diameter
















Cone Height











Globe Area

















Base Diameter










Hole Size Mapper Curve Extruding Core































1/3 Pattern Area


Strip Number

40 0.8

Pattern Size


Credit: Stewart Wu























The next method we took was a bottom up approach, namely to create a sequence of repetitive unit can be fitted together to create a ceiling. This approach, as seen from Stewartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iterations, tries to twist the timber veneer into conical modules and use these as the base for repetitive units for the ceiling design. However, he discovered the following limitations:

1. The twisted material builds up internal stress within the materials. Through through slitting openings on the material can release some of the tension, it still requires external connectors such as stable-bullets (at this small scale) to pull 2 units together. 2. The second limitation is that there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an material property based connector to connect each unit together due to the circular edge. This makes connection between each module increasingly complex and unmanageable.

Manual 40 1.5

1.8 0.8 80%

0.03-0.4 Bezier 0.1

1/3 20 0.1-0.9

Tension force created by the veneer when curve can be reduce via slot cutting. However it is still difficult to connect individual modules together due to curved edges.

Credit: Stewart Wu


5.3 Meso Approach - Connection






Credit: Stewart Wu



Knowing the bottom-up approach’s limitation, we start to focus on resolving joint and connection issues. The refocusing takes us to the meso approach where joints and connectors are seen as a “module” and would then be repeated through out the ceiling panels. The example which we seek inspiration from is the ITK Pavilion 2010 where all the timber strips interlock with each other to produce a self supporting structure. From the ITK example, we seek to interlock our timber veneers to produce a interlocking ceiling design. In order to achieve this we have to do more material tests to further understand the deformation and curvature of material which is the basics of interlocking. At the mean time we also have to determine the best way to we digitalize these new curvatures.

Using material testing experience from B4, we tried to determine 2 more physical property of the timber veneer. Unlike the test in B4, the veneer would not be horizontally anchored to simulate the hanging effect of the veneer on the ceiling. The following tests was conducted: 1. Bend veneer against grain 2. Bend veneer along grain The data collected shows the relationship between compression length and upward push distance. It also clearly shows how different grain direction affects when the veneer reaches normal. Determining this normal is important as after the “normal” point, no smooth arc can be formed as it veneer starts to fold into itself.

Material Tested: Paper Backer Timber Veneer Strip Length: 560mm Width: 50mm 1. Bend against grain

2. Bend along grain

Controlled Compression Length (mm) 170,270,370,470,530


5.4 Material Testing 2

Bend against grain

Bend along grain


5.5 Mapping Data Upward Push (cm)

Timber bend reaches normal

12.3 12.0 12 11.8 11.1 10.1 9.0 7.6 5.8













Compression Length (cm)

Bend against grain graph. When compression length reaches around 15cm, the arch produced starts bend into itself.

Upward Push (cm)

Timber bend reaches normal

12.7 12.5 12.3 11.5 10.5 9.5 7.5 6

2 0












Compression Length (cm)

Bend along grain graph. When compression length reaches around 7cm, the arch produced starts bend into itself.


5.6 Script Optimization & Iterations

Our group decided fold use the parameters of “bend against the timber veneer” data as it shows the highest level of physical flexibility as compared to “bend along the timber veneer”. The next step we took was to create the exact material characteristics digitally with grasshopper function. The following options offered the potential to produce the results: 1. Kangaroo Physics simulation with spring physics. 2. Bend Curve function. Though grasshopper offers 2 ways to produce similar result, we wanted to optimize the script to one which would produce more consistent results and offers better manageability. Evaluated the pros and cons of each approach and decided to use bend curve


function due to the following reason: 1. In Kangaroo meshed surface is required and hard to work with. 2. It have low manageability due to large amount of variables (z direction gravity etc). 3. It is unable to represent the curvature accurately as tested against the physical test data. 4. It is computer resource demanding, not practical in the long run. As a result with choose to work with Bend Curve function which performs almost exactly as the timber veneer when material parameters are set. We used these script to produce the following iterations with the site condition in mind.

Iterations to explore possible drip level for the material and the number of panels. Selection criteria is a hybrid of objective and subjective judgement. Objective judgement refers to meeting site criteria as mentioned in B2.2 & B4. While subjective refers to the group memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal opinion and preference.


5.7 Further Prototypes

After deciding upon the ceilingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s form, veneer panels were laser cut and physically tested again.

This could pose potential problem when we tries to interlock the panels together at later stage.

As expected, timber veneer without paper backing (white) would be easily stripped along the grain while paper backed veneer is more durable (Fig 1).

Yet this property also proves its potential in creating 3D patterns as seen in Fig 3 as compared to conventional patterning in Fig 4. It would also be useful creating a dynamic configuration for the ceiling installation.

The level of flexibility also defers between the two. Paper backed veneer performs more like a leather than paper, giving it extremely high weave ability. This again proves that our choose of material is correct. While the strength of paper backed timber veneer is proven, it also showed a potential problem when â&#x20AC;&#x153;bend along the timber veneer grainâ&#x20AC;?. As seen from Fig 2, the interlocking slots breaks the curvature of the panel when bent, leaving that section planar.


Fig 1:Deformation off timber veneer at slot when bent along grain direction. Timber veneer with paper backing.

Fig 2: Stripping of timber veneer along grain when we attempted to fold a doubly curve on a timber veneer without paper backing.

Fig3: Bringing this material characteristic further, we could create more extruding sections along the panel. This poses an alternative to 2D patterning.

Smooth curve can be created when bent against the curve

Bending and slitting the materials allows 3D patterns to be formed along the panel.

Fig 4: Conventional 2D patterning system created with attract points variations opens up opportunity for dynamic shadow effects.


5.7 Meso Approach - Tessellation




Type [T]=1

Credit: Guanjin Chen



Rotate 15 degrees


Deluny Mesh

WbFrame Distance [D]: 4




WbCatmullclark Level [WC] = 0.6


D=7 WT=5

D=10 WT=5

D=13 WT=5

Scale Rootcube




D=40 +WT

D=50+WT +Veronoi [V]











D=5 WbThicken [WT]

D=6 + WT



D=40 + WT WC= 3




As we finished deciding on the formation of the ceiling, we tried to bring the ceiling down towards the ground. This decision was made because the group felt that the ceiling should not be an unreachable aspect of the room. It should be part of an intractable element in the meeting room. Users or clients visiting this space should be able to touch and feel the texture and elegance of the thin timber veneer. This is meant to convey the approachability of designs. Inspired by the tesselation produced by a group member, we produced a few sample of ceiling-to-wall connector patterns.


b6/ technique: proposal

WO-CLOUD Combining the results learned from the Macro, Meso and Mirco scale approach and the material characteristics of timber veneer, we designed the following ceiling installation. Characteristics of the ceiling: 1) Ceiling panels are interlocked and form is created based the interlocking of the panels. 2) Panels curves naturally, suggesting a suitable smooth atmosphere for meeting. 3) Met the acoustic criteria with the use of curved surfaces 4) Most importantly it is constructible (as seen from the scaled down model)

However this constructible also come with one major draw back: The form is very conservative and hence lack of the dynamism which the client is interested in. Now that we have tackled the practicality issue related to timber veneer, we need to, again, go back to the drawing board to push the design idea further. We would need to create more prototypes and challenge conventional design in Part C. This backand-forth design process is expected during design as each time we go back, we have new knowledge and tools to work with to polish our ideas further.

A simple diagrammatic model was created to show these properties on a larger scale.

Current Stage Proposal

Following Stage

Push design further with new material understanding

Conceptacle Form

Narrowing design possibilities to understand material performance

Buildable Form


Adjust design to make to buildable


Conceptacle Form

6.1 Installation Connection



Installation of ceiling includes attaching wall panels to waffle facade and slotting panels together and suspended with ceiling hooks. As this section is connected on a exposed waffle structure, aesthetic appearance of the exterior is important and hence need to be further improved. The interlocking panels seeks provide versatility for the ceiling as panels could be interchanged with ease either for maintenance or for new designs.


6.2 Scaled Model



6.2 Diagrammatic Model

Testing the idea of interchangble panels via sloting


Geometrical tessalation creates unexpected negative panels space

Suspended ceiling system could allow more variation of ceilings to be attached easily

Connection between ceiling and wall for surface transition

b7/ learning objectives & outcomes

The BASICs Through part B2, i learned to uncover the latent potential of the definition and pushed myself to explore its limits and design possibilities. Through is process I familiarised myself with creating small algorithms which was then utilised in B3 reverse engineering. When doing B2 and B4 understood the importance of setting criteria of my iteration. As grasshopper can create almost unlimited variation of forms and patterns, it is important for me to narrow down which tools are the most relevant for my project or else i will be exploring blindly without a purpose. This allows me to go in depth with a specific function such as Kangaroo Physics and Waver Bird in B2 and know their limitation and capabilities (B5.6).

Another aspect I learned and applied from the reading ‘How Designers Use Parameters’ [1] is to copy-and-modify. Online forums such as Grasshooper 3D and [FORMul[a]RCH] provides an arsenal of scripts and formulas to problems. I learned to use such platforms to avoid chances of re-inventing the wheel and to solve scripting problems. Speaking of re-inventing the wheels, other pug-in forums like food4rhino allows me to download more complex scripting shortcuts during the exploration process. Additional plug-ins such as LunchBox helped me quickly generate hexagons in B3 reverse engineer, leaving me more time to explore other aspects in the design such as investigating data structure.

1. Woodbury, Robert F. ‘How Designers Use Parameters’, in Theories of the Digital in Architecture, ed. by Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman (London; New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 165 80

Merging Physical and the Digital Through B5, I practiced parameterising physical materials and use to explore more reality rooted physical form. This involves using inputting site parametric information into GH and to do a series of simple scientific material testing and data recording. The physical prototypes produced from scripting is then tested again to see if it maintains the expected physical property and explored other unexpected possibility (B5.7). In this process, I also realised that there need to be balance of time between digital physical simulation and physical prototyping. There is a dangerous tendency for me to get absorbed by the grasshopper simulation and spent much lesser time in creating physical prototype which shows more of a physical result. In this case, grasshopper sometime can hinder

in the designing progress. Furthermore, in order to save time and computational resources, I learned to avoid certain commands and use alternative means to create the same result unless absolutely needed. Here I am referring to resource demanding scripts such as Project, Morphing and Kangaroos which have higher tendency to crash when geometric complexity increases. Datadam and data filter streams are used to minimise computation during â&#x20AC;&#x153;testing for effectâ&#x20AC;? to speed up work flow.


b7/ learning objectives & outcomes

Affect and Effect “Affect in architecture is simply the sensate response to a physical environment.”[1] “Material effects are performative: we can verify how material work by sensing what they do.”[1] From the “Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture”[1], we tried to investigate what the new ornamentation could mean for our design. The rise of ornamentation came about when computational allows for generating inexhaustible complex forms and patterns. These new patterns and forms deviate way from the classical meaning of decoration, but is meant to create an atmosphere for the users. Hence during the design process we were selective in creating a more suitable affect for the meeting room. The group tested out

different design approach (B5) and was able to create a suitable affect for the meeting room: a calm and almost homogenous environment for the room by using patterning and tessellation. However, while doing this affect, we realized that there is a lack of effect, ie how the material work is too verifiable, it lacks the “surprise” we seek. This was confirmed during the presentation feedback session. The next step for us to take is work on pushing the “effect” aspect of the design. This would involve temporarily leaving what we did in part B behind and more risk taking in forms. There after we would then pull it back to practicality which would make to buildable.

1. Kolarevic, Branko and Kevin R. Klinger, ‘Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture’ (New York; London: Routledge, 2008), pp 21 82

Atmospheric render for proposala


b8 Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches 1, ArchitectureAU, “Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Discovery Centre by Minifie van Schaik Architects”, accessed on March 2016, “” 2. Demagazine, “VC Petal Formation”, accessed on March 2016, 3. Designplaygrounds , “Aggregated Porosity DAL WKSHP “, accessed on Meach 2016, 4. D-talks, “Petal formation”, accessed on March 2016, 5. Kolarevic, Branko and Kevin R. Klinger, ‘Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture’ (New York; London: Routledge, 2008), pp 21 6. Woodbury, Robert F. ‘How Designers Use Parameters’, in Theories of the Digital in Architecture, ed. by Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman (London; New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 165

Relative Items Field lines Ruled Surface




detailed design c1/ design concept Technique & Construction 1.1 New Material Tectonics 1.2 Key Concepts 1.3 The Morphing Approach 1.3.1 Plan Morph 1.3.2 Side Elevation Morph 1.3.3 Front Elevation Morph 1.4 Lighting Arrangements c2/ tectonic elements & prototype Support & Connections 2.1 Prototype 1 2.2 Prototype 2 2.3.1 Mass Production Experimentation 1 2.3.1 Mass Production Experimentation 2 c3/ final detail model Morphing Fluidity 3.1 Ceiling Components 3.2 Assembly of Panels 3.3 Design & Budget Expectations c4/ learning objectives and outcome 4.1 Further Developments 4.1.1 Assembly Sequence 4.1.2 Panel Production 4.1.3 Joint Production 4.2 Site Progress Tracking Learning Objectives & Outcome

c1/ design concept

MORPHING NEW FORM This design concept have come a long way from our interim presentation “Woodclould”. Our previous design experimented worked with the bending and notching to create a single integrated surface. However, these methods of construction have huge limitation as it is unable to create a complex surface with nuance. Thus we regarded the “Woodclould” ceiling installation had a rather weak design language: a monolithic surface with simple curvatures.

the group was also making prototypes simultaneously. This is an amalgamated process between digital design and physical testing, they are inseparable. The testing affected the design in many ways. However, in the following chapters, i will first discuss the design approach before the material testing in order to for readers to understand the direction we are taking.

In order to create a more desirable ceiling installation, one which could express the movement and energy within the company (HACHEM), we went back to the drawing board and reinvestigate the other possibilities of timber veneer. We foresee that a new material property discovery would allow us to push our design further. While pushing the concept and material capability,

Top: Interlocking timber veneers Bottom: Impression of the ceiling



Technique & Construction


Generating Form SITE ANALYSIS SIde view morph

UV control


Front view morph

Lunch box diamond strcutrue

Piping at 3mm

Plan view morph

JOINTS Structrual Joints Boolean into joints accounting for depth

Tapering pipes

Generating site model Panel connectors

Micro adjust left ceiling via graph mapper

Use base of column as origin point

Digitalising paper designed panel clips

Loft surfaces Interploate curves

Micro adjust right ceiling via graph mapper


Move curves to site height

Extracting alternate lines

Physical-Design Feed Back Sequence Cost control measures Update on site constrcution parameters


Data of material's twisting behavior

BizerSpan lines




Cutting and labeling structural segments

Indexing items

Offset for length


Attaching ceiling hook to 'X' joints

Module assemblage offsite

Create central hole for hooking

Assembly of componets

3D print with indexing

Laser cut brass sheet

Adjust extend of bend

Loft bends

Unroll surfaces

Indexing items

Laser cut timber veneer sheets

Cost Calculation


1.1 New Material Tectonics

What we have discovered is that by twisting the veneer strip at different angles, we can produce a variety of diamond configuration with the veneer. These configurations can then be tessellated on to any surface along with a strong directional suggestion with its natural grain direction. W

What we have discovered is that by twisting the veneer strip at different angles, we can produce a variety of diamond configuration with the veneer. These configurations can then be tessellated on to any surface along with a strong directional suggestion with its natural grain direction. This twisting and paneling concept was enabled us to overcome our previous limitation of not being able to create a dynamic surface


Twisting Flat Panels Into Diamond Configuration


1.2 Key Concepts

STREAM LINE The form should compose the timber veneer single members to present a smooth but nuance geometry in the office space.

FUSION The ceiling will be extended to the wall to let users have a close look and able to truly touch the material.


COLLISION The form should contrast two parts or different tectonics to vibrate the atmosphere.

We integrated this newly uncovered potential into our interim design concept which was to create a streamline ceiling design from the veneer panels with nuance geometry while using the collision of 2 tectonics to express the atmosphere of movement and energy. On top of this, it is also our groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s common desire to make the ceiling more approachable to office users and potential client, hence we are derived to fuse the ceiling with walls or columns.


1.3 The Morphing Approach

With the basic understanding of how the paper backed veneer of would perform under twist and shear forces and having a clear design intent, we shaped our ceiling through the integration of site analysis data, client desire and conscious form finding with grasshopper The office wrapped with glass wall is the central piece of the floor. It has a strong sense of transparency and communication. The client wish to tap on such transparency and wishes to visually connect both the office floor and outside pedestrians to this meeting room space. However, the problem we discovered on this site is that the solidity of the side columns and the back wall abruptly ends this spatial transparency due to its verticality. The way we over come these challenges is through 3 stages of morph from 3 different views.


Meeting room

Column ending spatial continuity

Visual connection have to be maintained between meeting room and pedestrian walk way


Pedestrian walkway




1.3.1 Plan Morph

Unity Division

From the plan, we went through 3 phrases to reach our desired expression. Initially, we initiated the two wings from the two columns and overlap them in the central lighting space. However, tutorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feed back suggested that this overlapping still lacks they spatial dynamism need for the meeting room. Thus we swirled and twisted the two wings at the entrance and end to increase the volume of the design.


Overlapping Wings

Twist & Coil Swirl

1.3.2 Side Elevation Morph

Open Up View

Geometrical Asymmetry & Circulation

Viewing from the side,we taper the curves towards the column in order increase visual connection between the exterior and the meeting room space. We also lifted up the ceiling drop to generate a sense of asymmetry within the meeting room space while creating more space for clockwise office room circulations.


1.3.3 Front Elevation Morph

Viewing Adjustment

Lastly, from the front view, we intentionally add some angular nuance. This nuance with the surface swirl is meant to create an welcoming atmosphere at the entrance and then create an attention focus point above the presenterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position. This hierarchy in spatial relationship would then make the room more energetic and dynamic.


Angular Nuance

Surface Swirl

Top: Expected atmosphere in the meeting room


1.4 Lighting Arrangements

While designing the ceilingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s form, we also came up with a few customized lighting arrangement plans in order to create a consistent design language throughout the design. 3 experimentations where made, namely: 1. Central Spiral Emphasis 2. Edge Fragmentation and, 3. Edge Softening. So for, we thought that Against Edge , could produce the best outcome as it further highlights the morph in the space. However, this decision is subjected to change in the futures as it is solely based on effects as seem in digital model. Real-life effect and installation was not considered at this point of time.


Central Spiral Emphasis

Central Split

Shear Split

Edge Fragmentation

Low Fragmentation Factor

High Fragmentation Factor

Edge Softening

Along Edge

Against Edge


c2/ tectonic elements & prototypes

SUPPORT & CONECTIONS The prototyping process is the most important stage in our design. The buildability of the concept have direct relationship with the design compromise we have to make. Hence in order to minimise such compromises, multiple tests were done to determine the best way to achieve our design goal. The prototyping process can be divided into 4 stages. Each of them builds on the experiences from previous prototype and have its own specific issue to solve: Prototype 1: Deciding on structure and panel connecting methods. Prototype 2: Finalization of Joint Design and experiment with Panel Connectors. Mass Production Testing 1: Experiment with Panel Connectors and its manufacturing process. Mass Production Testing 2: Finalizing Panel Connectors and its manufacturing process.

Right: Finalised structure system



2.1 Prototype 1

In the first generation of prototype, we tried to attach the panels via slot and slice method and tested the size of joints. The benefits are as follow: 1. It allows high level of error tolerance during installation, making panel cutting less tedious and can be done in situ on site. Two main problems in this prototype are: 1. This structural clamp ling method cannot cover the metal strips thus exposing too mush back structure. This jeopardied the design concept 2. Both the structure and joints are designed with a rigid sense which did not respond to our criteria of light and transparent well.

Overall Composition


Slotting & Slicing Panels

Edged Joint


Left: Structure Middle: Panels Right: Connecting Panels


Slotting & Clipping



Left: Slot Middle: Panel Right: Failure


High Stress Region


2.2 Prototype 2

Building from previous experience, Prototype 2, have used thinner joints and tensile yet narrow piano wires as structural elements. Instead of using the structure to acts as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;clipâ&#x20AC;?, we 3D printed Panel Connectors to do this task. The supposed benefits of this clip are: 1. To be able to hide the structure when the panels clad at the front. 2. To create a smooth transition between panels so as the achieve our design agenda. However this version of the connector face the following short comings: 1. The tolerance necessary for installation. This became especially important as we face the issue doubly curved surface. To tackle this, some manual adjustment was needed, yet this version of the 3d printed connector does not allow adjustment. Thus leading to exposed joints as seen in the following photos. 2. The joint are too bulky, undermining the aesthetic of our design. 3. 3D printing of repeating, uncreated connectors is a waste of money and resources, we should seek for off-the-shelf products for such repetitive joints.


Overall Composition

Slot & Anchor

Smooth Joint


Metallic Connection

PLA 3D Standard Connection

Ver 1 Panel Connectors

Exposed Connectors

Left: Failure Middle: Front Panel Right: Back Panel



2.3.1 Mass Production Experimentation 1

Upon deciding to use readily market available joints, we attempted to customise it to meet our need. Two major considerations during this process are: 1. How fast can we mass customise these joints. The reason is because we want to maximise our assembly efficiency if these were to be an 1:1 scale project. If the joints takes too long to manufacture, then it would not be ideal. 2. Does the joint meet the aesthetic need for the project. There is no point of creating a joint which does not facilitate out design intent. The first attempt was to use market available clips as it have the clipping force required to clamp 2 timber veneers panels together. All that was required was to drill a hole for bolting. However this is an inefficient process as: 1. The clip is made of Spring Steel, which made it almost impossible to drill through with hand drill. A drilling mill was required and the securing and detaching process took time. 2. Predrilling requires hole nailing to secure the drilling position.


Average Production Time Per Unit:

8 Minutes


2.3.2 Mass Production Experimentation 2

Learning from the material issue in experiment 1, we decided to use soft metal aluminium as the connector panel. However as this joiner would have to made from sketch and to cut time of manufacturing, we created a “factory line” for production. This 1. 2. 3.

simple “factory line” consist of: Clip cutting station Moulding station Drilling station with drill position template

Such a production sequence makes the ceiling making process more feasible.


Average Production Time Per Unit:

3 Minutes


Modified Paper Clip


Aluminium Clip with Rivet

Aluminium Clip with Bolt & Nut

After the successful production of aluminium clips, we look for method of securing the timber veneer panels to the clips. We decided to use both rivet and bolts in our connection system. Rivets is able to guarantees the tightness of the joints, while bolts allows for easy replacement of damaged panels.


c3/ final detail model

MORPHING FLUIDITY Combining the design and prototyping outcome, we managed to create one unique installation in the office. The ceiling achieve our goals of: 1. Conveying the energy and movements of the company. 2. Challenge the conventional material usage of timber veneer. 3. Allows design-user interaction as the ceiling is integrated with the walls and columns. 4. Be an attention catcher for outsiders. 2 sections of the ceiling was built to 1:1 scale to demonstrate the structural elegancy and panel texture of the to-be-realised final product.

Upper Panel Lower Panel


Top: View from the exterior


3.1 Ceiling Components

Left: Joints Middle: Panels Right: Piano Wire & Panel Connectors






Left: Joints Right: Overall structure lower region

3.2 Assembly Of Panels

Left: Opening panel connectors to insert timber veneer panels Middle: Securing panels with bolts, nuts and rivets. Right: Finished product



Left: Back panel Right: Finished product and labels






Featuring: Front of panel

Top: Back of panel


Top: Piano Joints Bottom: End Finishing


3.3 Design & Budget Expectations

After completing the design prototype, we looked into how budget could influence our design and vice vera. With higher budget, we can have higher UV value. This in turn generated higher resolution for the ceiling design and more obvious angular nuance. With lower UV, the cost can be reduced. However this comes at the price of decreasing the design resolution. There is a need to balance the both and hence we used U35, V8. The simple cost break down* is as follows: Timber Veneer: $54/m2 ABS Joints (Black): $8/pics Piano Wire: $3/m *Does not include delivery cost, laser cutting cost and other add-ons.



U25, V6

U35, V8

U60, V12

Timber Veneer Area: 37m2 Cost: $1,961 Joints No.: 178 Pcs Cost: $1,424 (black plastic) / $1,780 (metallic plastic) Piano Wire Length: 182m Piano Wire Cost: $646

Timber Veneer Area: 49m2 Cost: $2,614 Joints No.: 320 Pcs Cost: $ 2,560 (black plastic) / $ 3,200 (metallic plastic) Piano Wire Length: 253m Piano Wire Cost: $896

Timber Veneer Area: 83m2 Cost: $4,366 Joints No.: 792 Pcs Cost: $6,336 (black plastic) / $7,920 (metallic plastic) Piano Wire Length: 419m Piano Wire Cost: $1,486

Total Cost: $4,031

Total Cost: $6,071

Total Cost: $12,189








4.1 Further Developments

Panel Clipping System

Polypropylene Washer Brass Clips

Chicago Screw Carbon Fiber Rods 3mm

Veneer Panels Organization a1




Indexing Panels Pre-cut Holes

Grain Direction


‘Gripple’ Bondeck Anchor System

Suspension System ‘Gripple’ Loop End

Space Frame

Indexing System For Complex Assembly

Holes For Flexible Hooking Mechanism

Carbon Fiber Rods 3mm

Adjustments: 1. Piano wire to carbon fiber rods (weight reductions) 2. Aluminium clips to brass clips (aesthetics) 3. Bolt and nut to Chicago screw (aesthetics) 4. Change in joint design (ease of fabrication)


4.1.1 Assembly Sequence

4 Cliping Timber Veneer onto structure with Chicargo Screws.

1 Attaching Brass Clips to Carcon Fiber Rods.



Attach modules to ceiling via Loop and Studs.


Assembly of one module space frame before attaching Timber Veneer Panels on. Bring completed module to site.


Assembly of Carbon Fiber Rods with Brass Clips to Joints. Secured with Epoxy Glue.


4.1.2 Panel Production

We realised several limitation and challenges when realizing a small scale digitally designed project to a large scale production level. Fabrication: In order to reduce material wastage, we used large sheets of timber veneer, sizing at 2450x1250mm, for laser cutting. However, conventional paper laser cutters available in schools (600x900mm) are not suitable for this job. Hence the need for outsourcing the job. The complexity arrises of this decision arrises when most industrial level laser cutting beds do not cut the thin material (at 0.5mm) we are using as most of them are meant to cut metal sheets. This size problem is not a problem when we were doing studio. The other short coming during our fabrication is the need for us to manually arrange the panels for laser cutting. Unlike during studio fabrication where the quantity and size is limited and we could still manually layout our cutting file, in large scale production this is a tedious and error prone task. We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find effective script for automated efficient layout. Cost: Even though laser cutting have given people the ability to custom make anything they desire, this freedom is being limited by cost. When producing 1-2 pieces of small design it is possible and can be cheap, however when the scale is large and when all parts are different the cost will evidently increase. This issue applies to the brass plate connection in our design. It is a custom made joint yet its a repetitive unit, is laser cutting the best way of production or should we use a stamping process instead. Such conflicts would never arise in a normal studio fabrication.


9654.05 8 6.4 597


4.1.3 Joint Production


Joints are indexed for easy identifications The new joint creating process is a not as straight forward for digital designing to fabrication, they can be briefly categories into the following: Digital: Grasshopper is not “all-mighty”, due to increasing complexity of geometry and script, we decided to manually boolean and adjust some of the joints. This avoids software crashing and allow us to check the quality of the joints individually. Fabrication: We tried to minimise expense by tight packing all the joints together as Shapeways charges not only by material volume but also working space volume. However, this tight packing backfire on us as it resulted in large STL file sizes and thus unable to upload. At the end we have to send it through in 3 smaller packages which increased the cost slightly. Though this is merely a nuisance, it still shows the gap between ‘best-case scenario’ and reality during the making process.


4.2 Site Progress Tracking




We adjusted the parts of the design geometry in conjunction with the changes in site construct, such as the sprinkler and sewer pipes. Though the office is flexible with the ceiling cantilever height, we still followed the 2100mm height rule as close as possible for ensure clear circulation and enough overhead clearance.


c4/ learning objectives and outcomes


Objective 1. “interrogat[ing] a brief” by considering the process of brief formation in the age of optioneering enabled by digital technologies;

Objective 4. developing “an understanding of relationships between architecture and air” through interrogation of design proposal as physical models in atmosphere;

The brief was to design a ceiling installation for a office. The design purpose was open-ended and hence it was up to us to decide upon a agenda. Our agenda was to create to create a ceiling which express the energy of the office. However individual members of the group each have different way of interpreting the design. Grasshopper enabled our individual interpretation of the brief with ease and to be judge objectively together as a whole.

I believe we interrogated the relationship between physical model and the atmosphere rather well. This is both displayed in the per formative architecture where the design conveys energy and motion to the user and the attention to details given after out prototype, ie the use of brass, thin clean clips etc. I personally thought that detailing is exceptionally important in Part C as it best conveys the design intent for small scale prototypes.

Objective 2. developing “an ability to generate a variety of design possibilities for a given situation” by introducing visual programming, algorithmic design and parametric modelling with their intrinsic capacities for extensive design-space exploration;

Objective 5. developing “the ability to make a case for proposals” by developing critical thinking and encouraging construction of rigorous and persuasive arguments informed by the contemporary architectural discourse.

I believe that this objective have been effectively achieve in our morphing test where we changed the design to best fit the office environment. We added more and more control components such as graph mappers to have better control over the details of our design. In the future we could include environment analysis system such as ladybug to assist in design creation.

This objective is especially important for us not only because it is a specific design to a real life scenarios (unlike other design briefs that are explorative,), we also have to face real life potential client. This means that our proposal must have both design and real construction factor considered (such a budget and production time). I think we met this objective as we able to present a convincing design and production capability to out clients. Also given this exposure to clients, i thought that in future design projects, while going explorative on design concept, i should always have a reality check on my design in order to make convincing proposal.

Objective 3. developing “skills in various three dimensional media” and specifically in computational geometry, parametric modelling, analytic diagramming and digital fabrication;

Objective 6. develop capabilities for conceptual, technical and design analyses of contemporary architectural projects;

Through the fabrication process, not only did we manage to resolve a digital work flow, from joints to panels, we also manage to create a rather effective production line system during fabrication. Through this we also learned some of the work flow in the industry. In the future, we should continue to seek for more effective means of translating digital products to physical components, not just limited to the equipment available to our school.

Following through the success in analysis and reverse engineering in Part B, we manage to form our own design script from previous logic and improve on it.

Objective 7. develop foundational understandings of computational geometry, data structures and types of programming; This was developed through the weekly grasshopper tutorials and tests. The use of grasshopper forum also allowed us to further develop our skills in computational design. However, the best mean for us to learn was to go for consultation where our problem is being tackled on a case by case basis.

Objective 8. begin developing a personalized repertoire of computational techniques substantiated by the understanding of their advantages, disadvantages and areas of application.

This was developed through the sketchbook the Part B and the many lessons learned from unsuccessful scripting in Part C. Instead of merely memorizing how to generate a form, i focused on the logic behind each component actions. I believe that way of learning will allow me to mix different system more easily and create surprising outcomes.


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