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CONTENT PART(A) CASE FOR INNOVATION A.0 About me 03 A.1 Architecture as a discourse 08 A.2 Computational Architecture20 A.3 Parametric Modeling 26 A.4 Conclusion 32 A.5 Learning outcomes 32 A.6 Algorithmic Exploration 34 A.7 Reference40





PART(B) DESIGN APPROACH B.1 Design Focus 44 B.2 Case Study 1.0 52 B.3 Case Study 2.0 58 B.4 Technique: Development 56 B.5 Technique: Prototypes 86 B.6 Technique Proposal 102 B.7 Learning Objectives and Outcomes 108 B.8 Algorithmic Sketches 110 B.9 References 116

PART(C) PROJECT PROPOSAL C.1 Gateway Project: Design Concept 120 C.2 Gateway Project: Design Process 128 C.3 Gateway Project: Pre-evaluation 154 C.4 Gateway Project: Amended Design 180 C.5 Learning Objectives and Outcomes 186 C.6 Algorithmic Sketches 188 C.7 References 194



ME 4


My name is Cheng Chen (Cc) an international student who has been in Australia for almost 4 years. Now, I am a third year (first semester) architecture student. I love architecture because I think it is a comprehensive subject which involves many fields such as arts, technology and design. Also I think it is architecture that connects human beings and surrounding environment together.

it before. The air studio provides a great opportunity for leaning software and innovation design. I think what I have learnt in this subject will be so useful for my future career.

During last summer, I had internship in a Chinese architecture company for almosttwo months. In that company, I found everyone uses sketch up for modeling because it is easy to use. Also, in China, university students who major in architecture have core subject about sketch up. They do not have opportunity to use rhino or BIM modeling program such as Revit. This limitation makes Chinese architecture company less competitive than Foreign countries’ company. After that internship, I realized I should learn rhino not just using sketch up. I have limited experience with rhino before only in virtual environment, I have used rhino once but for grasshopper, I have never met




A.1. Architecture as Discourse a. The Renovation of Tiananmen square b. The future of Hutongs c. The Floating land over CBD

A.2. Computational Architecture a. ICD and ITKE Research Pavilion b. The German Pavilion for the Prague Quadrenn

A.3 Parametric Modeling a. The German Pavilion for the Prague Quadrenn b. The Rocal London Gallery- Zaha Hadid


A.1 Architecture as Discourse



What is architecture? This question seems a simple question but it is hard to answer. Kjetil Thorse demonstrates“Architecture is a tool to create better societies in order to make people aware of themselves in the world.” From my point of view, architecture is a media which connects the human beings and surrounding environment together. Architecture relates to cultural context, political and social situation. People changed the behavior every time relate to the space they inhabited. Therefore, it is architecture that makes people have better habits in a way that to become a better man.




The Beijing 2050 is a proposal, used to envision Beijing’s future beyond 2008, which shows how architecture change the way people live and how architecture deal with overcrowded urban context of Beijing in the future. It contains three major projects in terms of “the floating Island over the CBD”(figure1.), “the renovation of Tiananmen square”(figure2.) and “the Future of the Hutongs”. (figure3.) Mad(the architect of Beijing 2050) states “China lacks of sustainability and low carbon architecture which western country are highly developing thesedays.” 2 Therefore, he want to use this proposal to bring the idea of sustainability as a way to that using architecture change the way people live.


The Renovation of Tiananmen square Location : Beijing, China Typology: Urban intervention Directors: Ma Yansong, Yosuke Hayano, Dang Qun Design Team: Fu Changrui, Zheng Tao, Yu Kui Proposal


The renovation of Tiananmen Square is used to solve the problem of public space in China. From past to now, Tiananmen Square always plays an important role in China’s political role. Until now, it is still used for political gatherings and troop processions. In Mad’s eyes, “in the future massive political gatherings and troop processions may no longer be necessary.” I think the project-renovation of Tiananmen Square makes the original function changes in a way that it changes people’s behavior. As the figure 4 suggests the designer creates a lot of green space on the site a makes the square become an urban space filled with life and become the green heart in the center of Beijing. The renovation of Tiananmen Square is the project for people not for

property developers to make money. I think it is this project makes the whole city become appreciated and it will be a place for people releasing their stress and gathering with friends and family. With the development of China, green space become less and less, instead of walking with family, people choose to stay at home to play computer or watch TV. It is not the mistake of high technology because there is no green space for people doing the healthy thing in a way that it changes people’s behavior. Therefore, I think the architecture has the power to make people aware of themselves in the world and it has the power to motivate people’s habit. As a consequence, architecture is such an important element to the whole world.



What is this project about? How architecture change the way people live?

As Mad states that “ Hutongs are heavens to visitors, but a nightmare for existing residents, where the deplorable sanitary conditions and lack of private toilets make the life extremely difficult�. In nowadays, many people move out Hutongs because of these problems.

to connect past architecture and future architecture together in a way that to protect the history and culture of Beijing. Building the Bubble shape architecture into the environment of the Hutongs will solve the sanitary problem and in a way that it will also change Hutongs are heavens to existing resident.

The Future Hutong is a project to solve the problem of the development of an old historic city. Instead of rebuilding all, Mad prefer



The future of Hutongs: Hutong Bubble 32 Location : Beijing, China Typology: Courtyard renovation Site Area: 140 sqm Building Area: Bubble 10sqm Directors: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun Design Team: Dai Pu, Yu Kui, Stefanie Helga Paul, He Wei, Shen Jianghai Construction Engineers: Beijing Nade Environment Art Design Completed 2012

These images show the complete project- Hutong Bubble 32 provides a toilet and staircase that extends onto a roof terrace for a newly renovated courtyard house. Images suggests the interior spca of the Hutong Bubble 32. It creates highly constrst feeling with the traditional Hutong around it. However, it makes great contribution for the people who live in Hutong and it is architecture that make the historic place be liveable.


The Floating island over CBD Location : Beijing, China Typology: Urban intervention Directors: Ma Yansong, Yosuke Hayano, Dang Qun Design Team: Fu Changrui, Zheng Tao, Yu Kui Proposal


What is this project about? How architecture change the way people live? “Works of architecture frame our lives; we inhabit them.” (William, 2005,p.102)

becomes less and less communication between neighborhoods.

The Floating land over CBD is a project to solve the problem of urban sprawl and lacking of space. With the population explosion, instead of building high density architecture like what we do today, Mad prefer to change the city into horizontal position not just vertical position. The Floating land relate to US Typology Scale Status Proposal. The high density building changes the way people live, there

The CBD in Beijing was built according to a western vision of modernization created in the last century.” In the floating land, all the facilities such as library, residential houses and restaurants will be built in the horizontal direction in a way to increasing communication between people. Therefore, it is architecture changes people’s habits.


A.2 Computational Architecture


With the development of technology, computer has been introduced and now it is used widely by architects. Then the word- computation comes to our lives. As Peters(2013:10) states that “computation is redefining the practice of architecture. “ In people’s eyes, architecture is a design process through architects’ imagination and idea generation, which is mainly done by sketching. However, computation changes the traditional ways of generating ideas. It creates opportunities in design process, fabrication and construction. The design process has also been defined as problem solving and analytical process. “Computers, by their nature, are superb analytical engines.” (Kalay 2004:2) When dealing with the design process, computer has excellent ability of systematical management, it provides much more opportunities than the traditional way. To be specific, architecture is a complex discourse which involves many fields such as environmental aspect, political and social situation. In the past, people may only need a shelter to live and they define the shelter as a building or an architecture. However, in this day and age, architecture is not just a simple shelter. Architects must consider many factors such as structure, geography, society and culture. To analysis these data, computerization reduce architect’s work, it has fast and precious response. There is another word called “computerization” should be distinguished with the word” computation”. Nowadays, there are great number people use the computer software such as cad, sketch up to build the digital model. This process is called computerization instead of computation. However, “computation allows designers to extend their abilities to deal with highly complex situation.” The conceptual ideas is generating from the computerized tool instead of traditional way. It focus on using scripting languages to write programs. (Peters 2013:10) From my point of view, the computational processes improve construction method and also it enhances the ecological design by synthesizing structure, material, and architectural performance. It is the computational architecture makes design more sustainable and creative. In next two precedents will demonstrate the benefits of using computers in the architectural design process.



ICD and ITKE Research Pavilion University of Stuttgart Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning The Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart have completed the project in November 2012. The conceptual idea of this project comes from the lobster. This project shows how architect use computational and robotic process to improve the construction method. Also it suggests how the computation influences the design process. “To deal with the practical restraints caused by a separation of form and materialization, the design process followed a closed digital information chain.� (Mark issue 43:48) The whole design process of this project is from idea generation, testing and robot control.

All these steps are through computation. Computational modeling allows the designer analysis the complex structure, the tension force of the material in order to work out an efficient structure with minimal use of material of this project. Compared the computational design process with the traditional method, computation does provide more opportunities of form finding, material testing and also it makes complex structure be practicable. In this day and age, architects are required to have knowledge of computation not like before, people who have creative mind or good sketch skill that they can be a good architect. Now, computation becomes an essential part of architecture.


What is this project about? How computational tool influence the design process ?

As Peters (2013:10) states “computation has the potential to provide inspiration and go beyond the intellect of the designer.� Take the project as an example, if just using the traditional way, I think the project cannot build.The reason why this project can be built is through precious calculation by computer and also precious fabrication by robot. The measurement of the material has been calculated preciously. As series of precious calculation, making the complex form achievable. As figure shows the computational design process of the material analysis and use parametric tool to get the parameter values as a way to test the deformation and stress of the material. Compared with the traditional way, computation seems more convenient for architects. During the design process,


computation analysis series of data as a way to enhance the performance of architecture. The ICD and ITKE Research Pavilion is a representative example of how computational architecture enable the development of an automatically fabricated and also the performance of material. Through this computational research design, it enable a high level of structural performance and novel tectonic opportunities for architecture. In Gateway project, I choose tensile material to build the whole project. In the past, the tensile structure is hard to achieved by traditional design process. As the development of computational tools, which gives me the chance to test the tensile structure for my gateway project.


A.3. Paramatric Modelling



Parametric modeling is widely used in this day and age. When talking about parametric architecture, the first person come to my mind is Zaha Hadid who plays such a significant role in modern architectural field. Parametric design can be achieved by algorithmic thinking which “means taking on an interpretive role to understand the results of the generating code, knowing how to modify the code to explore new options, and speculating on further design potentials” (Peters 2013:10) Using the parametric software efficiently can reduce the work load of architects. Also, parametric modeling minimize the cost of design by setting minimal use of material in the design process in a way to reach the high efficient level. Therefore, the algorithmic thinking is so important in this day and age. Parametric design is designing by numbers. The core idea of parametric design method is that architectural design elements have become a function of the variables and by changing the function or changing the algorithm can give different outcomes. From my point of view, parametric modeling can be understood as a simple computer technology to automatically generate design approach. There has both advantages and disadvantages of this method, in the later chapter I will use two precedents to analysis the parametric modeling more specifically.



The German Pavilion for the Prague Quadrennial of Scenogra University of Stuttgart

The German Pavilion is a project made by parametric tool and it is made uop of tensile material. It is a great project which shows how to use parametric tool to build a minimal surface structure in order to reach the efficient level. As figure 19 suggests the process of generating ideas by using parametric software and the figure 20 shows using the computational method to analysis the tension force of the structure. Through this design process, it reduces the work load of architects. Therefore, the first advantage of parametric design is increasing efficiency of design process. Secondly, the tensile structure makes less use of material. When talking about minimal surface, the first structure come to my mind is the tensile. Through the stretching process, material can be saved because the tensile structure allows the material to be stretched at the maximum level. I have to say as the parametric design make tensile structure being used widely in this day and age. If just using traditional method instead of using parametric design, the German Pavilion design may not be achievable. Therefore, it can conclude that the parametric design provides more complex structure in architecture.


The Rocal London Gallery- Zaha Hadid By Zaha Hadid


When talking about parametric design, the first person come to my mind is Zaha Hadid. She is the representative architect of parametric design. The idea of water-free flowing is the conceptual idea of this project and parametric tools make the idea of free flowing be achievable. What makes the whole project special is “the space versatile to all functions and events, audiovisual sound and light equipment are incorporated into the surfaces.� It is the parametric tool gives the possibilities of smooth curve. As the photo shows the architecture

contains endless curves in a way that the whole architecture does not have any corners. If in traditional way, building these smooth curves may not be achievable. The parametric design makes the fabrication easier. All curve panels are prefabricated by factories and install on the site. On the other hand, the parametric design has some disadvantages. The endless curves in the whole project give a sense of out of order. The design does not provide transferring spatial relationship. Also, the whole parametric design lack of variety.


A.4. Conclusion and learning outcome


Through the study of Architecture as a discourse, I have found the idea of what the architecture is. As a year three architecture student, I have never thought this before. The reason why I choose architecture is just because I think architecture is much more interesting than other subjects. However, after the study of the first field- architecture as a discourse, my thoughts have been changed a lot. Just like Kjetil Thorsen said “architecture to make people aware of themselves in the world. “ From my point of view, the powerful thing and wonderful thing is that people’s behaviours will be motivated by the architecture. From past to present, my dream has never changed is that I want to be a man who can make contributions to the society. After studying the discourse of architecture, I found the architecture can be the method to achieve my dream- make a better society. Therefore, for the Gateway project, I want to make a design which can motivate people’s behaviour also like the study of Beijing 2050 proposal, my design should deal with the coming problem in the long term. In the part two and part three, computational architecture and parametric modelling, through the study of computational architecture and parametric architecture, I realise computational tool is amazing and powerful. In the past, I just use computer software to build the model. Sometimes, I find it hard to generate conceptual idea just through mind and sketch. Through the design process, the design idea always changes. Therefore, it is hard to manage the design process. It is the computational software which makes the idea generation and the design process have logic order and architect can easily manage. Secondly, I have wonderful experience with the grasshopper. I have never got this feeling before, doing the rhino and grasshopper makes me exciting. Through these three weeks’ study, I play around with different parameters in grasshopper and I got some cool shape which I really appreciate. In later semester, I hope I can have better understand of the grasshopper as a way to design my Gateway project.


A.5. Algorthmic Exploration Furniture exploration A


The Algorithmic explorations is my favorite part of the part A study. At the beginning, doing the first exercise, I thought I just follow what tutor did in the class and just remember the steps, then I can have the same outcome. However, when I get home I found I am totally wrong. I just follow what tutor has done in class, then I found the Brep Plane cannot work. It suggests there is a running error. At that time, I realize studying grasshopper is unlike other software, we have to understand the parameter before using it. Just a small mistake will make the whole system not work. After checking what I have done,

cannot work. It dues to the curve I have drew in rhino. Turn on the control point, adjusting relocating the curve, I found the Brep Plane works. Then I realize the big advantage of parametric modeling, when you make a mistake, you can easily find where is the problem. When adjusting the wrong element, all the parameters will update automatically like a math function to work out the final result. After this simple furniture exercise, in order to control the grasshopper better, I realize in the future study, I have to develop algorithmic thinking- understand every parameter you are using and knowing how to modify the code to explore new options.

finally I found the reason why the Brep Plane


Furniture exploration B


After exploration with the previous furniture exercise, I know how to use the Perp fram and Brep plane. Then I apply what I have learnt in the online tutorial and previous exploration, I get this piece of furniture. When I get this interesting shape, I am so exciting. Also after this exploration, I found some interesting parameter I may use in my Gateway project. The Graph Mapper I found it so powerful, due to my material is tensile material, I think in my Gateway project I will definite involve this parameter to make my structure changeable.


Series and sequence exploration


The final exploration is about series and sequences exercise. In this exercise, the important parameter is the graph mapping which I have involved in my previous furniture exploration. At first time, the formula failed due to data conversion failed from surface to curve. I have adjusted many times still cannot find what the problem is.

feel enthusiastic about grasshopper. After researching, I worked out the problem. I think grasshopper is a powerful when having the problem, we should do a lot research to work it out. Through this process, our skill will improve a lot.

At that time I feel a little bit sad but I still


REFERENCES LIST: 1. Ana Martins, ‘ICD and ITKE learn from the lobster' , MARK, APR/MAY 2013, ISSUE 43, pp.49 2. Architects journal, Information, 3. Archimmenges, Information, 4. Brady Peters, ‘Introduction’, Architecture Design: The Building of Algorithmic Thought, Mar/Apr, 2013, pp.10 5. Docin document, Information, 6. Designboom, Information, 7. Gooood, Information, 8. MAD ARCHITECTS, Information, details?wtid=4&id=35 9. MAD ARCHITECTS, Information, details?wtid=4&id=60 10. Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), pp. 102 - 116.

11. Sensing architecture, Inforemation,

12. Yehuda E. Kalay, ‘Introduction’, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 12.

13. Woodbury, Robert. 2010. Elements of Parametric Design (London: Routledge) pp. 7-48 14. What is architecture, Information,


IMAGES LIST: 1. The Floating Island over the CBD, details?wtid=4&id=35 2. The renovation of Tiananmen square, details?wtid=4&id=35 3. The future of the hutongs , details?wtid=4&id=35 4. The renovation of Tiananmen square, details?wtid=4&id=35 5. The renovation of Tiananmen square, details?wtid=4&id=35 6. The future of the hutongs , details?wtid=4&id=35 7. The future of the hutongs , details?wtid=4&id=35 8. The future of the hutongs , details?wtid=4&id=35 9. The Hutong Bubble 32, details?wtid=4&id=60 10. The Hutong Bubble 32, details?wtid=4&id=60 11. The Floating Island over the CBD, details?wtid=4&id=35 12. The Floating Island over the CBD, details?wtid=4&id=35 13. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion, Gooood, Information, http://www.gooood. hk/ICD-ITKE-Pavilion-2012.htm 14. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion robot, Gooood, Information, http://www. 15. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion data analysis,Gooood, Information, http:// 16. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion data analysis,Gooood, Information, http:// 17. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion data analysis,Gooood, Information, http:// 18. The ICD and ITKE research pavilion material ,Gooood, Information, http:// 19. The German Pavilion conceptual design, 20. The German Pavilion structure analysis, 21. The German Pavilion , 22. The Roca London Gallery, 23. The Roca London Gallery,




B.1. Design Focus B.2. Case Study 1.0 B.3. Case Study 2.0 B.4. Technique Development B.5. Technique Prototypes B.6. Technique Proposal B.6. Technique Proposa

B.6. Technique Proposal


B.1 Design Focus

In the past, architecture is just a tool to satisfy people’s material needs. With the development of society and technology, people are not satisfied with “basic shape” architecture, they want to see some interesting architecture in order to satisfy their spiritual pursuit. As a result, parametrism appears and its wacky appearance has raised people’s attention because people desired for innovations. In the Gateway project, based on parametric, our term want to create a kinetic architecture to provoke users to think about what is architecture. As the project is kinetic, every moment, it creates different shape for people imaging what this shape is standing for in a way to satisfy people’s spiritual needs. We choose “relaxed and minimal” as a starting point as we thought this material system provides us opportunities for motions, variation and randomness. As the characteristics of relaxed structure and tensile material, it offers us chance to achieve the shape of irregularity and transformation. About the brief, firstly, it suggests Wyndam city needs a landmark, we believe that the kinetic architecture will attract people’s attentions and the special kinetic gateway will remind them thinking of the Wyndam city. Also when people transfer from the Melbourne city to Wyndam city the kinetic gateway represents the idea of transformation.


Secondly, the brief of the gateway project illustrates “high speed movement of traffic along the freeway”. Therefore, the design should deal with the fast moving users. We wish to produce a relaxed structure, with the help of the wind, the structure can move slightly to create various freedom shapes and when drivers pass by, it will leave some imagining for them to think about. The idea of movement gives the architecture vitality and liveliness and when element actually move, it can be seen as an extension of the original idea. About the interior of the kinetic gateway, the enigmatic circulations and special illumination effect will rise inside walker’s curiosity as a way to encourage them thinking deeply. Above all, our design focus on the idea of kinetic, what makes the design special is not only the whole tensile structure is kinetic (with the help of passing vehicles and wind force on the site) but also the shadow created by surface panel will shift slightly as a way to show the idea of kinetic and give users a special experience feeling of the gateway project. In later chapter of this journal will illustrate explorations of some specific techniques which we think it is useful for our kinetic gateway project.

Pattern is the first design intent we focus on. Our team creates several matrixs by using points attractors, voronoi and polyline attractors. Then we applied these matrixs into kangaroo to test the process of growing modification in order to find the most suitable panels for our kinetic gateway project. Next two precedents are used to illustrate the using of "voronoi" and "polyline attractors", which we can involve in our gateway pattern design.


Precedent for polyline attractors design


Matrix created by our team.

The Sinostell int. Plazza By Ma Yansong Pattern design is an essential part of design process because it influences the lighting effect and the aesthetic of architecture. Sometimes, it even plays an important role of structural support. The Sinosteel int. Plazza in China is a typical precedent which used facade pattern to act as a structural member. The design concept combines geometry, structure and cultural symbolism as a repetitive motif. In addition, the hexagonal windows signify the heritage values in Chinese architecture and the facade is also the backbone of the building structure in a way to remove the necessity for internal columns beyond the building’s core, freeing up space within the structure for a much more flexible use.

not only the special facade structure. What I found interesting is the facade matrix. Using hexagonal grid in grasshopper to create the basic hexagonal shape and applied this shape to polyline attractors which makes the facade has a flow feeling as if organic cells multiplying. Also, as the night rendering photo shows the lighting effects created by the hexagonal geometry. Due to polyline attractors, it gives a feeling of gradual change. In this way, the patterns create an ever-changing image of the building from each different perspective. This polyline attractors strategy could also be used in our gateway design to illustrate the idea of “kinetic patterns� by giving people the feeling that each side of facade has different perspectives.

The reason why I choose this precedent is


Precedent for voronoi

Night rendering photo of the Airspace Tokyo

The Airspace Tokyo By Thom Faulders What is this project about? AirSpace is a zone where the artificial blends with nature: sunlight is refracted along its metallic surfaces; rainwater is channeled away from exterior walkways via capillary action; and interior views are shielded behind its variegated and foliage-like cover. (Faulder Studio 2013). This project takes a concept of dense vegetation and applies it to the facade of the residence. By abstracting the geometries of


natural vegetation, it successfully implements a scaled up version of the natural. The facade of this building is made up of two-layered voronio skin, by changing the density of the exterior skin, it provides private space for the users.

How to relate this project to our gateway project? For this project, what I found interesting is the voronio skin layer. The curve attractor controlled the density and variation of patterns to achieve extraordinary shading effects. In addition, as the image illustrates setting several layers of patterns, different lightness shading was created. Due to this two skin layers’ design, the different lightness shadow gives a feeling of kinetic. In our gateway project, we are not only focus on kinetic structure, we also want to achieve the idea of kinetic shadow which can provide special experience for the interior users. Therefore, we think we can involve different

layers of patterns in our gateway project as a way to achieve the idea of kinetic shadow., Also, the gateway project should show the idea of transformation from a high density city to a low density town; we believe we can use the curve or polyline attractor to control the density of pattern in a way to achieve the idea of transferring from high density to low density.


Matrix for patterns Based on precedents project above and algorithmic experiments we did before, using the knowledge we have built we create these matrix to test patterns we can use for our gateway project. As our design focus is motion and relaxed surface, we use kangaroo as a technical tool to generate patterns. A: using square grid as a base geometry and scale the base plan based on the center of each rectangle, extrude the geometry, the direction of extrusion we give “jitter� to create the idea of random. B: This matrix is from the inspiration of the Sinostell int plaza. Instead of using rectangle grid, we use hexagonal grid. In order to create the offset feeling we scale the hexagonal grid based on the center of hexagonal geometry. The interesting thing about this matrix is we used curve attractor to influence the geometry of patterns. C: For this matrix, we involve voronio, using timer to simulate the process of growing geometry in order to find the most suitable panels.


D-G: From D to G, we choose circle as the base geometry, by applying one point attractor, two points attractors and curve attractor, we get these different matrix. From matrix A to G, we applied kangaroo to test the growing process of patterns as a way to find out the most suitable patterns geometry for our gateway project. Based on this matrix test, from rectangle to circle, we find the circle shape is the most suitable geometry for our pattern design because our material is tensile, the tensile material seems easily to break at some right angle. Also by playing with point attractor and curve attractor, we find the curve attractor is more suitable for us to show the idea of transferring from high density city to low density town.









B.2 Case Study 1.0


The Green Void

By LAVA – Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck

In case study 1.0 we choose green void as a start point because green void is a typical example of using tensile material to create minimal surface. The project- Green void demonstrates how parametric design can be easily managed by computational technology. The digital workflow of this project provides opportunity to achieve some kind of geometry. In gateway project, our team’s aim is using computational tool to create a kinetic parametric design which can let people think the discourse of architecture.

membrane and maximum stretching. We believe we can involve this method in gateway project as a way to achieve structural stability. The following algorithms include different methods to build green void. Using the kangaroo plug in to relax mesh box or the exo-skeleton components give us some idea of how the kangaroo works. The process of doing this enable us to gain more depth in our understanding of scripting technique which we will use for the gateway project.

Another reason to choose green void is it demonstrate the relationship between structure frame and tensile material. It uses a hidden structure frame to achieve aesthetic, minimal


EXO SKELETON Method The following matrix are used “exo- skelton”and “topologizer” to create green void. These two plug in gives us the opportunity to create skeleton structure easily. By analyzing the matrix we have done, I will demonstrate both the advantage and disadvantage of this method.

A Matrix A: change the exo-skeleton sides: from 3 to 8, compared with pipe, exo-skeleton offers us chance to change the sides of tube easily. For our gateway project, we can adjust the sides to a bigger number to avoid right angle which makes the tensile material break easily.


Matrix B: change the exo- skeleton radius of the tubes (thickness), we get these matrix. From this experiment, we found the limitation of this method. Specificly, the structure of green void has five different size circles at the end but if we change the thickness of tubes, all parts of the tube will increase by the same amount, we cannot achieve five different size circle.


Matrix C: change the exo-skeleton node side of tubes, we get these matrix. This method offer us chance to manage the node size easily. Also if we use pipe parameter to make the skeleton structure, there is no node option, the pipes connect to each other directly. The node option in exo skeleton makes fabrication easily.


In order to get the exact green void, we are seeking for method to solve the limitation of radius tubes in exo skeleton. As the image shows we create point cluster to change the distance of the anchor points as a way to achieve green void. From this matrix exercise, it did not give us much inspiration for the kinetic gateway project. But we have learnt every parameter has its limitation, the process of solving the limitation is quiet important. It teaches us how to think differently. This skill will be useful for the gateway project.


MESH BOX RELAX METHOD The flowing matrix are using another method- mesh box relax to create matrix similar as green void. For these matrix, we are looking the spring force simulation in kangaroo.




Matrix A-C In column A, these matrix are anchored with points in each side’s ending rectangle and in column B we only anchor four points of the rectangle, by adding spring force, these matrix give some idea of using kangaroo to relax the box in order to get the final relaxing structure. Setting timer to see the process of relax, we baked these matrix to exam the most suitable matrix for our kinetic concept. For column C, it has the some simulation process. The only different is the mesh box.


By doing the simulation process, we find some conflicting relationship between tensile and kinetic concept. If the structure is fully in tension and applied wind force, there is no movement. Therefore, the simulation selection process seems an important step in gateway

project. In gateway project, we should build our model and relax it in kangaroo, by looking the simulation process like what we have done with these matrix as a way to find the most suitable structure that can have motion with the help of wind force. Compared this method with the exo-skeleton, we think mesh boc relax is more appropriate for gateway project as we can control the relaxed structure easily by changing anchor points.


B.3 Case Study 2.0


The hybrid biostructure

By ARCHITECTURAL ASSOCIATION SCHOOL For case study 1.0 we focus on the method for relaxing structure, for case study 2.0 we will focus on changing anchor points in a structure to create different effect. We believe what we have learnt through these two case studies will be useful for the gateway project.

what is architecture. The way for doing that is using mesh relaxing script to find the form and controlling the angle points for managing the interior space.

How the project was produced using parametric tools? What is this project about? Tensile structure(supports)+concrete shells(formwork) = hybrid system What is the special feature about this project is the special experience created by the membrane. When people walk in this space, their attention will be attracted by the special light effect and the interior structure. This is also the feature we want to involve in the gateway project design.

What it set out to achieve? The hybrid bio structure is made up of two important parts in terms of base plane and roof. For the base plane, it used a cellular grid to generate a frame for pathways to have a more even floor to walk on. For the interior design, the hybrid bio structure used the grid cells to create bob- like form for achieving special interior experience. For the roof structure, the roof membrane was stretched towards the center of the cells and the idea is to create a circulation path within the space, where depressions within the grid cells could be used for seating.

The hybrid bio structure use kangaroo to simulate the process of relax. In this project mesh relaxation is used to find the form. It is no doubt that the parametric tools make the design process efficiently. However, there were a lot of restrictions with using the algorithm. As material behavior and mesh qualities could not be embedded with the logic of the algorithm. In gateway project, we will face this problem too. In some situation, the digital model is easy to build but for the real fabrication it has more challenges. Therefore, we should find balance between the algorithm sketching and fabrication.

The following session of case study 2.0 will explore some matrix based on kangaroo plug in to exam the relaxing process and by changing anchor points to get some spatial connection. Secondly, when we get the basic form of the case study, we have further exploration which are about twisting the form and adding wind force to exam kinetic idea for the gateway project.

In gateway project, we plan to create some special interior experience like the hybrid bio structure for interior users to think about


Matrix A: mesh box relax Using the box relax method we have learnt in case study 1.0, we get the following matrix.





Column A: anchor four points to exam the kangaroo relax simulation process Column B: anchor five points to exam kangaroo relax simulation process Column C: anchor nine points to exam kangaroo relax simulation process Column D: anchor the upper side and the down side points of the mesh box to exam kangaroo relax simulation process


From column A to column D, using the box relax method we did not get the exact form like the case study. The reason why for this is the hybrid bio structure is done by two spread mesh plane, if using mesh box, relaxing the box it will give an enclose structure like the final matrix under column D. In the following session, we will use mesh plane to create the case study.


Matrix B: mesh plane After having experiments with mesh box, this time we choose mesh plane to relax in order to get the exact hybrid bio structure form.

Column A: these matrix demonstrate the basic knowledge of using the mesh plane and controlling anchor points.



Column B: Based on the knowledge of column A, we create these matrix by dragging the anchor points for unexpected result. Through this process, from step one to step six we get the similar form like the hybrid bio structure.



Further development Matrix C: mesh plane twisting A




For further exploration we explode the idea of twisting the mesh plane, the reason for doing this is to test the unique feature of tensile material. Specifically, twisted geometry gives rise to lateral pressure that contributes to the frictional shear stress. Due to the property of tensile material, compared with other material it can stand more shear stress. Therefore, we want to use the advantage of the tensile material to build a structure which other material system cannot achieve as a way to create a unique gateway project. Column A: twisting the mesh plane based on the curve Column B: changing the rest length of the spring force in order to get more tight form Column C: applied wind force to exam the twisting form Through these matrix study, we have the knowledge about how to twist a form in grasshopper and how to apply wind force. These skill will be so useful for the technical development


B.4 Technique: Development


Technology has emerged as an essential element in the architectural context not only in the design and performance of the built form, but as a method of creating innovative and unique spatial experiences. In order to achieve an optimum mental, physical and sensory perception of a space, the architecture must directly respond to the user. As Michelle Addington said in ‘The Phenomena of the Non-Visual Refer to our team’s design focus, we try to create a kinetic architecture setting on site to make both the interior and exterior users to think about what is architecture. Therefore, for the technical development session, we aim to use the technical knowledge we have learnt through the case study 1.0 and 2.0 to generate a form which express our design argument.


What is kinetic architecture? How to relate to gateway prohect? Kinetic architecture is a concept through which buildings are designed to allow parts of the structure to move, without reducing overall structural integrity. ( The gateway project’s capability for motion can be used just to: enhance its aesthetic qualities; respond to environmental conditions; and leave some imagination for user to think about the discourse of architecture.


Things need to archieve • the kinetic shadow effect • Kinetic membrane • Spatial experience for people to interact



At the beginning of this stage, we begin to use the technical knowledge we have learnt from case study to construct our design. The shape of this structure reflect the site, by using mesh relax script in grasshopper we get the first matrix. Imitating the hybrid bio structure, we drug anchor points of this structure as a way to get unexpected result. We found the red rectangle one is the most satisfied one as the depressions within the grid cells could be used for some particular function. However, these matrix we have done have some limitations to support our argument. Specially, the membrane structure as a whole is hard to control. Within the wind force, it creates a lot of uncertainty. In the following part, our team will rethink of the design.



As the image shows, our gateway design is made up of three important parts- base structure, interior membrane, and exterior membrane. The following session will demonstrate how to use technical tool to generate this form as well as the relationship between the design and precedents project.


Base structure

The base structure is a media to connect the interior membrane and the exterior membrane, it acts as a supporting system for the design and it also provide opportunity for people walking in the membrane as the image shows. The major function of this base structure is to bring the wind into the structure in order to create kinetic feeling.

Firstly, we choose site B for the gateway project, the reason behind this is there is a service station nearby, it provide us opportunity to interact with users. Another reason is the site B surrounded by two highway, we can use this geographic location to bring the wind in our design to get kinetic feeling bring the wind into the structure in order to create kinetic feeling.








These matric suggests digital form finding process. We choose the shape of site B as a start point of form finding process. Then we generate the form from matrix A to matrix K in order to find the form which can bring maximum wind into the structure.






ture as the diagram suggest the form is a wing like shape and open up at a big angle as a way to bring the wind inside.

Our team choose the matrix K as our base struc-


Patterns fpr Base structure



After getting the form of the base structure, we focus on pattern design of the base structure, which is used to create the shading effect for the interior walker. The technique tool method we have used for this session is the map surface in grasshopper. We used the matrix pattern from case study 1.0 and map it onto the base structure to exam the outcome. From the matrix A to D, we thought the matrix D (gradual change circle shape) is the best option




for the pattern design based on the property of tensile material. Specifically, we have done material test before and we found tensile material is always easy to break at the right angle. For circle shape, there is no right angle which makes the design stronger than other geometry.



The Sheer Pressure Project By USC School of Architecture

For the interior membrane we get inspiration from sheer pressure project which completed during USC School of architecture’s annual “top Fuel “ workshop. What is this project about? This project s a large air-inflated structure, tall enough to fit several standing people. The skin of the structure itself is composed of over five hundred sewn panels of different sizes and materials (plastic, mesh, and nylon), which were designed to allow a gradient of light and transparency, specific to the sun path for our installation location. Each panel encloses an inflated balloon – creating a light bulb affect from within. (us school of architecture: 2012)

How to relate to the tensile material system and gateway project? Each bulb on the whole structure act as magnify glass which can amplify the shading effect. In the gateway project, for the interior membrane we also try to build the air-inflated structure as a way to amplify the shading effect to create spatial experience for interior users. Also based on the property of tensile material, it can resist high tension force and pressure force, the air-inflated structure makes the design become unique as other material system cannot achieve this effect.


Interior mesh inflation


This matrix is done by kangaroo plug in. Our team used the pressure force in kangaroo to simulate the inflation process.


Exterior membrane Membrane Arrays

Brisbane airport kinetic parking garage facade By Urban Art Projects (UAP)




Both of these two precedents use series of small panels to achieve motion effect. As the wind pass by, each small panel will move slightly, the movement of the whole structure will be magnify. Our team want to bring this idea into our design in order to achieve kinetic feeling. Based on the precedent study, our team began to generate the shape of the panel for the exterior membrane. Column A matrix: these matrix shows using square as a basic geometry and apply wind force in kangaroo. Column B matrix is done by using triangle as the basic geometry and also apply wind force in kangaroo to exam the kinetic effect. Compared outcome of these two kind of

matrixs, we find the square one has larger movement than the triangle one. In order not to distract drivers’ attention, we choose the triangle shape. Above all, there are two function of the kinetic exterior membrane. Firstly, it is used to solve the problem of high speed mover on the high way. To be specific, as the drivers drive car passing by the design, the kinetic gateway will leave some imagination for them to think about. Secondly, as the top membrane moves, it creates kinetic shadow for the interior users to experience.




B.5 Technique: Prototype Before building the prototype, our team did series of material test try to find the most suitable tensile material for the gateway project.

Nylon Test

The first material we have tested is nylon. At the start point of the material test, we just stretch the material by hands and we found the nylon material is hard to break due to the property of tensile material.

Then we cut a hole in center to test the tension force of this material. We did the stretching step again, the result is the same, it is hard to break. This result gives us some idea about the tensile material.


As I mentioned before, the property of tensile material offer us chance to do some twisting form which other material systems are hard to achieve. In this stage, we go beyond with just sketching the nylon, we begin to twist the material in order to test tolerance of tensile material as a way to find a form which satisfy both aesthetic and the structural quality.

As the image suggests, by twisting the material, we get the unique twisting form which satisfy the aesthetic quality but the limitation of this form is it is stretched by hands, we have not thought about the structural member and the anchor points at this stage.


Bubble Material The second tensile material we have tested is the bubble. We test two different situations like what we did for the nylon, with hole and without hole.


Without hole situation As images show the elasticity of bubble is not so good as nylon material, we found compared with stretching nylon, we have to make more effort to stretch the bubble material. With hole situation When we cut the hole in the bubble material and stretch it, we found it is easy to break. Compared the performance of the nylon material and the bubble material, we decide to use nylon material for the gateway project as the high elasticity and light weight of the nylon material offers us chance to achieve the idea of kinetic.


Wind test


As our design focus is using the wind created by the passing vehicles to create a kinetic architecture, wind test is an essential part of the design process. Therefore, before building the prototype our team went to a similar highway like the site’s situation. The speed of the passing vehicles is 100km/h. As images show as the vehicle pass by, with 100km/h speed, the nylon material will move accordingly. With the help of the wind and the property of tensile material, freedom form is created. Also we have done this test with two layers’ plastic membrane and we find in this situation, when the vehicle passes by, the wind will inflate the structure.


Fabrication of the base structure


The first step of constructing the base structure is divide mesh into triangle surface for fabrication. Then we used unroll script in grasshopper to unroll the base structure into several strips. In order to connect each strip efficiently, we created tabs on each side of the strip.

I really enjoyed the shadow created by the gradient circle on the base structure; this illumination effect can make the gateway project more interesting.


Fabrication of the interior membrane


As these image suggest we use screw to connect the interior membrane with the base structure in order to create soap bulb structure. As above image shows each interior bulb under the base structure act as a magnify glass to amplify the shading effect.


Fabrication of the exterior membrane

The fabrication of the exterior membrane see interior membrane.

There are several drawbacks of this fabricatio •The timber stick as the support column did a •Relate to the design focus-kinetic, the exterio •Using pin to connect the timber stick with me


ems not successful as the base structure and the

on: achieve aesthetic quality or membrane did not create the feeling we excepted embrane is not an efficient joint method






B.6 Technique: Proposal



Kinetic membrance

Our team’s achievement

Kinetic shadow

The brief has asked for an exciting, eye installation that inspires and enriches the municipality and it shall be something that enhances the physical environment and have longevity and appeal. While the kinetic idea of our design offers us chance to achieve the eye installation objective. Specifically, as the project is kinetic, every moment, it creates different shapes for people meditating. Secondly, the brief suggests the design should consider the “high movement of traffic along freeway” the kinetic idea is set to deal with fast movers on the site. When drivers drive the car passing by, the kinetic architecture will leave some imagination for them to think about. Moreover, the idea of kinetic makes our design become innovative and unique compared with the static and fixed physical form as every moment the kinetic gateway project creates different shapes. Furthermore, the idea of movement gives an architecture vitality and liveliness and when element actually moves, it can be seen as an extension of the original idea. People always feel interested about motion as a result the kinetic gateway project will attract people’s attention and it will remind them thinking of Wynham city.


Deal with fast mover

Innovation idea

Eye catching installation

Wynham city’s wants

New Identifier

Eye catching installation

Enhance physical enviornment

The biggest drawback of this gateway design is it involves too many ideas and we were trying to resolve too many things too quickly without deep research. In the further development, our team will just focus on the idea of inflation to create kinetic gateway project. We have done the wind test before, it approves that the wind created by the passing vehicles will inflate thin membrane. The second thing we should focus on is to define tensile. The base structure we have created to connect the interior membrane and exterior membrane makes our argument weak as it is not made up of tensile material. Also, it was not hidden successfully which makes the whole structure look separately. In further development, our team will figure out an efficient way to connect interior and exterior membrane into one whole structure, using it to express the aesthetic quality of tensile material.


Solution to solve the drawback

One Design Focus

Wind Test


Magnifying Glass

Spatial Experience

Relax and Minimal Surface



B.7 Learning Objectives and Outcomes


After the mid semester presentation, we get the feedback from our tutors and guests and it is really valuable. For the next stage, we will take the feedback into consideration as a way to make an innovative gateway project.

exploring the method of constructing green void, I have learnt how to build kind of skeleton structure and relax mesh in kangaroo. Also in case study 1.0, due to the limitation of the exo skeleton, our team has explored another method which can solve the limitation problem. Through this Based on feedback, the biggest process, I have learnt “grasshopper drawback of this design is the design thinking� which is about problem involves too many ideas we should solving. Every parameter has its just focus on one main idea. From limitation, the important skill is to the feedback, I have realized a use the knowledge we have built to good designer should not be afraid solve the limitation. In case study 2.0, to throw away a good idea. In the I have realized it is no doubt that the further design process, we should be parametric tools make the design to create an integrated whole, not process efficiently. However, there to incorporate all the features in the were a lot of restrictions with using design whether or not they work the algorithm. As material behavior together. Secondly, some part of the could not be embedded with the logic design did not express tensile material of the algorithm. In some situation, system such as the base structure the digital model is easy to build but is not made up of tensile material. for the real fabrication it has more In further development, our team challenges. Therefore, the ability should make effort to define tensile to find the balance between the through our design. Thirdly, the whole algorithm sketching and fabrication structure does not look as a whole. is significant. Through the technical Specially, two main layers are not development and the prototype connected and coherent. process, I learned how to transfer an idea into the algorithm sketching In the design approach module, our and then building the physical model. group begun with design focus and Above all, what I have learnt in this developed it over digital and physic module will be useful for project method. I have gained a lot through proposal stage. this process. The first objective I have learnt is how to use the matrix as a media to build our own design. Through the case study 1.0, by


B.8 Algorithmic sketches







B.9 Reference





C.1. Gateway Project: Design Concept C.2. Gateway Project: Design Process C.3. Gateway Project: Re-evaluation C.4. Gateway Project: Amended design C.5. Learning outcome C.6. Algorism Sketch C.7. Reference List


C.1. Gateway Project: Design Concept


Feedback from the crit jury In the mid semester presentation, guests and tutors have mentioned that we try to involve too many things, which makes our design lack of concentration and each part of the design looks like separated part. In response to the mid semester presentation feedback, our group redirected our design to a different approach. This time, we only focus on the idea of small membrane. What we want to achieve is to use several small membrane to express the kinetic feeling and the beauty of tensile material. Argument As mentioned previously, our design argument is to create a kinetic architecture set on site B to confuse inner and outer people to provoke their questioning about the authenticity for architecture. However, in phase B, our group did not define kinetic architecture clearly. Therefore, at the start of phase C, we will define kinetic architecture by analyzing the related precedents.


Kinetic Architecture


Stone Cave

Animal Fur


Basic House

Concrete Block

Kinetic architecture

These images on the left are taken from a video about Philips Design’s latest Design Probe “Metamorphosis” and it illustrates the visualizations for future designs include many interesting and different ideas. With the development of the society, people’s needs and desires on architecture have changed a lot. In the ancient times, people use animal’s fur for warm and there is no shelter place. In later age, they find stone cave can be a shelter place for they inhabited. Then, they learnt to build tents. Moreover, basic shape house was built. In the near recent years, city is filled with high density

concrete blocks. Nowadays, kinetic architecture emerges and it brings human standard of living to a much better level. The diagram suggests people’s needs on architecture have been changed over the time, and in this day and age, people are no longer satisfied with stone cave or normal concrete blocks. Therefore, I think kinetic idea offers us the opportunity to build a kinetic gateway which can attract people’s attention as a way to become a new identifier of Wydham city.



Kinetic Architecture What is kinetic architecture? As talking previously, Architecture evolved in the belief that the static, permanent forms of traditional architecture were no longer suitable for use in times of major change. Therefore, kinetic architecture emerges. Kinetic architecture was supposed to be dynamic, adaptable, capable of being added to or reduced, and even disposable. The introduction of motion in architecture may suggest agility, unpredictability, or uncertainty and may also suggest change, anticipation, and liveliness. The integration of motion into the built environment, and the impact upon the aesthetics, design and performance of building, may be of great importance to the field of architecture. Most of today’s kinetic architecture involves monitor to achieve better control and kinetic architecture is defined as transformative, mechanized structures that change with climate, needs or purpose.

However, for our kinetic gateway design, the central idea of the design is not that of a monitor, but of membranes with changeable expression based on natural resource- wind. Why do we choose kinetic design? Refer to our design argument, we want to design a gateway which can create enigmatic feeling as a way to attract people’s attention and make people question what is architecture. As the liveliness, unpredictability and uncertainty created by kinetic design offers us chance to achieve enigmatic feeling. Also for wyham city, as the brief suggests the place needs a new identifier and eye catching installation, we believe the innovative kinetic gateway can attract people’s attention and remind them thinking of Wyndham city.



Flying birds Towards a meaningful direction The most significant feature of a successful design is there should have some meaning behind the design. As such, our group starts to search for an interesting character of the Wydham city that we could tap into. Our aim is to find an element that could represent the Wydham City. Souring the Wydham City, we know Wyndham and its surrounding district has an exciting list of about 200 bird species in a variety of habitats. Therefore, our group think we can use the idea of the bird to generate our design.

immemorial, mankind has considered birds to be signs of proposal for the future. Also, based on the kinetic feature of our design, our team believes that we could generate a “bird” shape membrane, as the wind pass by, each piece of the membrane mimics flying birds, which symbolizes Wyndam City will be prosperous in the future. The gateway project willing to represents the entire appearance of Wyndam City that is “flying” towards to a large development in different aspects in the near future.

We choose “bird” as a concept idea not just for showing the Wyndham city is an important inhabit place for birds but also the sysmbolic meaning of the bird is quite significant. Most of us see birds as a symbol of freedom, or even as symbols of the future. Their ability to soar high into the sky and their proximity with the sky makes them desirable for humans who cannot fly without substitute wings. From time


C.2. Gateway Project: Design Process

Precedent for membrane

Generate membrane shap

Material test of membrane


Generate membrane structu

Precedent for membrane structure



Wind test of membrane



Digitial prototype

Fabrication of prototype

Conclusion of prototype 129

Precedent for membrane

The Reef

By Rob Ley and Joshua Stein What is this project about? Reef is a responsive, kinetic installation by Rob Ley and Joshua Stein. It imitates the behavior of human’s muscle system as a way to show the idea “nature of motion”. The project uses special material, shape memory alloys (SMAs) represent a category of metals that change shape according to temperature, offering the possibility of silent, fluid movement. Operating at a molecular level, this motion parallels that of plants and


lower level organisms that are considered responsive but not conscious, such as a sunflower tracking the sun across the sky. Both White Noise and Reef's exploration of the technology shifts from the biomimetic to the biokinetic, while liberating and extending architecture's capacity to produce a sense of willfulness.

How to relate this project to our gateway project? This precedent inspires us how to use small membrane to achieve kinetic gateway. In the gateway project, unlike the reef project, our design focus is not on the monitor or sensor. What we focus is the changeable membrane. The reef project inspires us how to use the individual piece of panel to achieve design’s consistency. Also, the shadow creates by this project reminds us the kinetic architecture is not only about moveable structure or moveable membrane, as the design moves, the shadow also shows the idea of motion which can produce a sense of willfulness and liveliness. This quality of kinetic architecture creates an interactive space for users. Moreover, as people

walk in the reef project, each piece of the panel move towards the same direction, which makes the whole design has sense of fluidity. As the surrounding panels are moving slightly, inside walker will feel curious, these feelings what we want to achieve in the gateway design. Above all, our group think we can design a gateway which is made up of hundreds of tensile membrane (like pieces panels in the reef project), as the wind pass by, each membrane can slightly move.


Generate membrane shape

Birds--------triangle We find the triangle shape is the most suitable geometry to represent the bird. Also, we have done some matrix to convice people that we choose triangle is not just because it looks like a bird, there has some technique reason behind this.




Related to the brief, it suggests the design should solve the problem of high speed movement of traffic along the Prices Freeway. Also, the design should not distract drivers’ attention. Based on these requirement, our team created these matrix below. Column A matrix: these matrix shows using square as a basic geometry and apply wind force in kangaroo. Column B matrix is done by using triangle as

the basic geometry and also apply wind force in kangaroo to exam the kinetic effect. Compared outcome of these two kind of matrixs, we find the square one has larger movement than the triangle one. In order not to distract drivers’ attention, we choose the triangle as the basic shape of membrane.


Material test of membrane

Refer the material test we have done before, we found the tensile material can stretch a lot even it has a hole inside of the membrane. The hole inside of the membrane will not influence the performance of the tensile material and in this way, it will save the use of material.


Wind test of membrane



After deciding using the triangle shape as the basic geometry and based on the material test, we decide to use digital tool test the triangle membrane with hole situation and without hole situation as a way to work out which one can indicate the perception of birds taking off.

membrane (without hole inside)

Related to our kinetic idea, wind is an important element to influence the design. Therefore, our group apply wind force in kangaroo to test how the wind will change the shape of the membrane.

Compared outcome of these two kind of matrixs, we find the membrane with hole is more suitable for our concept as wind pass by, this kind of membrane looks like birds swing its wings.

Column B matrix: these matrix are done by applying the wind force in kangaroo to test how the wind force changes the shape of membrane (with hole inside)

Column A matrix: these matrix are done by applying the wind force in kangaroo to test how the wind force changes the shape of


Precedent for membrane frame

The Olympiapark München By Frei Otto with Günther Behnisch

What is this project about? The structure of Olympiapark München is based on a cable net pulled into hollow steel column, covered with 4mm plexi-glass sheets. As shown in the photos above, these are attached directly to the cable net grid by flexible neoprene connectors about 100mm long. The sheets are clamped along their edges to neoprene strips which create 100mm wide flexible movement joints connecting them to each other.. What interesting about this project is the


whole structure can move with wind and snow loading. The whole design shows a demonstration of the flexible tensile nature of the roof came when we were told to jump up and down on the walkway running over it – the whole roof behaved like a trampoline, deflecting about 200-300mm vertically as we jumped (Dodds 2011).

How to relate this project to our gateway project? In the gateway project, as hundreds of tensile membrane move with the wind, the tensile and compressive force of the membrane frame is hard to predict, this uncertainty may lead the whole structure collapse.

In order to solve the uncertainty of these forces, our group think like the Olympiapark MĂźnchenďźŒwe can design a cable net connects to hollow column and as the membrane move the whole structure can adjust by itself based on the force it can withstand.


Generate membrane frame First prototype


After generating the membrane shape, at this stage, our group focus on designing the membrane frame. As the image shows it is the first membrane frame we have built. The previous Olympiapark M端nchenprecedent gives us inspiration to build this frame. Like the precedent, the whole structure is made up of a cable net pulled into hollow steel column to allow some movement.

However, the problem is when we tie the membrane on (shown in above image), due to the disordered cable net, membrane cannot be tied in a same direction, the sense of motion our team want to achieve is fluidity. Therefore, we gave up this idea.


Generate membrane frame Second prototype




Consider the most important feature of the membrane frame is to bring the maximum wind into the design, our group gets inspiration from wind sock. Wind sock looks like a spiral shape, one side has a larger opening which is used to bring wind in and ending side has a smaller opening which is used to indicate the wind direction.

the membrane swing in the wind and the smaller ending circle is used to reduce the loss of the wind. Also, the spiral structure shows a sense of fluidity, as membrane tie on the structure, each piece of membrane is moving towards the same direction, which can indicate wind direction for users

In our gateway design, we design a spiral shape like the windsock, the bigger circle opening is used to bring the wind into the design to make


Generate membrane frame Work with the defination




Our team has created two type of spiral shape (A and B) as shown in the above images. The similarity of these two kinds of spiral shape is both of them are made up of two layers, as we want to achieve three dimensional effects for membrane. Specifically, we can choose two points at exterior layer and one point from interior layer, instead of just choosing three points from one layer which will result a flat triangle on the frame. The most important of these grasshopper algorism is to analysis the data in order to find the logical behind the spiral shape and then using parameter in sets to choose the relevant data.

The first type of the spiral involves too much manual work behind this, using list item to select the point one by one and then repeat doing this to get all the points. The final step is using the polyline to connect all the points together. Compared with the first spiral structure, the second one seems to have more sequence and logical behind. To digitalize the membrane, the first thing we have done is to divide the continuous spiral into few segments, we select 1, 3, 5 points for the first triangle and then using series to general the same rule for making other triangles.


After creating hundreds of triangle membrane on the spiral frame, we trimmed these membrane to achieve “hole in membrane� and then we use the spring force in kangaroo to relax the membrane. The rendering photo shows the final outcome of the prototype.

Fabrication of the prototype


Finish the digital model, at this stage, our team try to build the 1:50 model. At the start of doing the physical model, we found a big challenge, we cannot use the digital fabrication tool to make the frame, we have to make the spiral shape by hand. Above photos show the fabrication process of making the physical model, using the soldering tools to weld the wire together. Using scissor to cut several different size triangle membrane

and then connecting spiral frame with membrane by fish line. After making the physical model, we find the biggest limitation of this model is when doing the soldering, by hand, it is hard to find the exact point which is the same as the digital model. Also, the position of the membrane is not the exact same location as the digital model.


Photo of the model


The shade created by this design is quite beautiful and unique; it represents hundreds of birds flying, which indicates Wydham City’s prosperous future.



This photo shows the interior experience for the inside walker, walking in the kinetic membrane, they will feel curious as a way to make them question what is architecture and what the spatial experience can be created by architecture.


Conclusion of the prototype


For the final outcome of this prototype is quite successful, the membrane on the frame do mimic the flying bird. However, what limits this design is the imprecise fabrication process. Our group did the spiral shape by hands, we cannot find the exact location of the joint point which connects the wire and membrane.


C.3. Gateway Project: Re-evaluation

Until now, I have realized it is no doubt that the parametric tools make the design process efficiently. However, there were a lot of restrictions with using the algorithm. As the limitation of the fabrication process could not be embedded with the logic of the algorithm. In some situation, the digital model is easy to build but for the real fabrication it has more challenges. Therefore, the ability to find the balance between the algorithm sketching and fabrication is significant. Due to the limitation of the fabrication process of the previous prototype, at the re-evaluation stage, our team decides to design a structure that we can fabricate instead of just using the wire to soldering the spiral structure.

Re-design membrane frame A






In order to achieve the same effect as the wire spiral frame, the shape of voronoi inspires us. Refer to the matrix we have done before, we find the column A, the ellipse shape is the most suitable one for rolling the structure. As there is no right angle edge of this shape, structure is always broken at the right angle. The reason for choosing the voronoi is not just for achieving the same effect as the spiral frame, but also for the quality of beauty and apparent randomness that voronio diagram provides.


Work of defination-Final design Vonorio Frame strcuture

Trimmed and relaxed membrane

Digital model of the final design


Voronio surface- bounding box the voronio on the spiral structure-list item to select points for triangle – series general the same rule as the prototype in order to create other trangles- trim membrane – spring force to relax the membrane- bake out the design。

Voronio frame

Generate membrane

Relax membrane


Fabrication process- material selection

After getting the digital model, the first thing we have done is to unroll the voronio structure and make 2d of the structure. We use the card cutter to do the fabrication.


Above images show our team tried different material to test the structure. The first material we choose is the 1mm ivory board; the result is the material is too thin to stand up.

The final material we have chosen is the polypropylene, we find this material is more suitable compared with the previous material, it can be easily rolled and the material itself has rigidity which makes the whole structure stand.

Then, we tried the 2mm box board, due to the thickness of the box board, we have to use card cutter to do the same cut for several times. The result seems to be not good, even it has been cut for five times, some parts cannot cut off.


Tectonic element

Membrane connection The (1:5) detail model shows how to connect the membrane with the structure. We choose to use the bolt as a joint to connect the membrane and the structure. Using the screw to fix the bolt onto the membrane frame and then using the hood to hang the membrane on. We find in reality, many of tensile membrane use this method to connect the membrane onto the structure frame. Due to the scale of the 1:50 model, we use


the fish line to connect the membrane with the structure because in such a small scale, hundreds of membrane, we cannot apply the same method as the 1:5 detail model. However, in reality, this bolt method will work.

Footing selection For the footing system, in 1:50 physical model, we just use the screw to indicate the footing system. Consider in reality, instead of fixing the footing with concrete, considering the soil condition of the site, our team choose to use a deep ground screw to fix the structure into the soil ground below. Ground screw can be installed quickly with minimal noise and vibration and it is wound into the ground, much like a screw is

wound into wood. This is an efficient means of installation and coupled with their mechanism of dispersing load, provides effective in-ground performance in a range of soils. Whether the bolt, hook connection or the deep ground screw can be assembly easily and quickly, which makes the whole construction cost less money as a way to achieve economic benefit for the council.


Site Location As the photo shows, we locate the gateway at the side of the freeway. The reason for doing that is to make the most use of the wind generated by the passing vehicles in order to achieve the kinetic feeling. As the red dot line suggests the circulation of the users from the Caltex service station, people can access the gateway straightly from the service station.



Proof of the concept taking it to the highway We took our two physical models and the 1:1 scale membrane to the highway to proof the wind generate by the passing vehicles can create kinetic membrane. The 1:1 scale membrane suggests as the wind pass by, the membrane will move slightly and it looks like the bird swing its wings. As the wind pass by , the 1:50 scale model also move accordingly, we can image even the 1:50 scale model can be moved, if it is done by 1:1 scale the whole design will definitely express the kinetic idea, as each piece of the membrane move, it look like hundreds of “bird” “flying”, which indicates the Wydham City will have a prosperous future.



Photo of the final model

Photo of the final model



Photo of the final model



Digital rendering of the final mode by keyshot



Digital rendering of the final model by lumion Day




Inside experience



C.4. Gateway Project: Amended design


Feedback from the presentation In the presentation, we received positive feedback and some valid criticisms were also raised. Overall we were congratulation for achieving kinetic membrane and the concept of flying birds. There were however a few issues which weren’t entirely resolved. The largest issue is that the voronio structure distracts people’s attention to the tensile material, which makes the final design is not as successful as the prototype to show our argument. In order to solve the problem, our group thought the simplest way is to make some change on the material selection. Using transparent color material to hide the whole voronio structure may make people concentrate on the tensile membrane. (next page rendering photos)






C.5. Learning Objectives and Outcomes


During the whole semester’s study, I do enjoy and learn a lot from part A to Part C. Looking the leaning objectives outlined in the reader, I feel my group and myself have certainly addressed each point. The final gateway design shows we have interrogated the brief and created an innovative design by using kinetic membrane to indicate “flying birds”. At the start of the project proposal, we defined the kinetic architecture and talk about the reason why we choose kinetic. Doing this, I have realized the importance of research. Without doing this research, it is impossible to achieve a good kinetic design. During the design process, I have learnt how to use precedent to develop our own idea. Also, in this session, I realize both the advantages and disadvantages of the digital tool. To be specific, it is obvious that grasshopper offers us the chance to relax the surface and to test the wind force. By analysis the outcome of the test, we got our membrane shape. However, there are a lot of restrictions with using the algorithm, sometimes material behavior and fabrication process could not be embedded with the logic of the algorithm. Like our prototype, it is easy to do it in grasshopper but in the real fabrication, it is hard to make a precious model. Therefore, another object I have learnt in this subject is how to balance the relationship

between digital tool and fabrication. In the re-evaluation session, I found the most enjoyable part is the wind test on the highway. Admittedly, this is not a smart way doing the wind test but the idea of proving the concept is what I treasure. People always find it easy to get a good concept, but it is hard to convince others. Therefore, what I have learnt in this is the importance of proofing the concept. Another important object I have learnt in part C, how to amend your design based on the feedback from others. Design is the process of amending, there is no perfect design in the world. The skill of a good architect is learning from others. Through the whole semester’s study, the studio air taught me “how to think like an architect”, “how to reverse a definition in order to create another definition”, “how to use digital tool to generate and analysis the design”, “how to transfer the digital model into a real model” and the most important is to prepare a well presented document for competition. I believe the skills I have learnt in this studio will be beneficial for my future study and career.


C.6. Algorism Sketch

Our group did this algorism for analysis the spiral shape. As in our design, we need do the spiral frame structure. This algorism sketch is a test before building the spiral structure. The most important part of this definition is the “rotate” and “flip matrix”. “Rotate” is used to find out the rotate center of the circle “Flip matrix”: It is used to change the type of the data, choose the same data in each data branch and group these data. From this algorism sketch, we get the idea about how to use rotate and flip matrix to get the spiral shape for our membrane frame structure.



From this algorism sketch I got the idea of using list item to list the data and then using the logic behind the data to connect the diagonal line. In the gateway project, I believe we can apply the same idea, by using list item to list the points on the structure and finding the logic behind as a way to create the triangle membrane.



This algorism sketch is about how to apply voronio curve onto another surface. “Copy trim� is an important parameter in this sketch, it copy the uv trim data from one surface to another. In the gateway project, we have a spiral structure and we want to apply voronio onto the structure as a way to create the membrane frame. Therefore, I believe can use the copy trim to transfer the voronio to the structure.



C.7. Reference




Thanks to my partner QI and my tutors : Finnian Warnock & Adam Markovitz


Cfi 374431 cheng chen  
Cfi 374431 cheng chen  

air studio