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Design Journal

C o n t e n t : 1.0

C a s e

F o r

i n n o v a t i o n

1.1 Introduction 1.2 Architecture as a discourse 1.3 Computational Architecture 1.4 Parametric modelling 1.5 Algorithmic Exploration 1.6 Conclusion 1.7 Learning Outcome


D e s i g n

a p p r o a c h

2.1 Design Focus 2.2 Case study 1.0 2.3 Case study 2.0 2.4 Technique Development 2.5 Technique Prototype 2.6 Technique Proposel 2.7 Objectives and learning outcomes

1.1 Introduction

My name is Vienna and I am c ur rent ly in my t hird ye ar of t he B achelor of Env ironment, maj or ing in archite c ture. B efore gett ing into t his cours e, I was study ing Inter ior Archite c ture and D esig n in Singap ore. Hence f ur t her ing my studies into archite c ture is a ver y excit ing exp er ience for me. I have a lways b e en a st rong b elie ver in dig it a l desig ning , b e c aus e it a l lows us to do complex desig ns quick ly and more ef f icient ly as comp are d to hand draw ings or physic a l mo dels. I am fami li ar w it h 3Ds Max and V-ray as I have us e d t hem in t he p ast. Howe ver, I do not have any pr ior exp er ience w it h p aramet r ic mo del ling . Thus I b elie ve t hat t his mo du le w i l l b e a g re at opp or tunit y for me to explore 3D desig ning and f ur t her my k now le dge of it.


The Shore residence Singapore

B efore p er using my deg re e, I sp ent ab out a ye ar in Singap ore work ing as an Inter ior D esig ner. The proj e c ts t hat we sp e ci a lis e d in were main ly resident i a l, but o cc asiona l ly we desig ne d show units for lo c a l prop er t y de velop ers. The Shore residence was one of t hos e rare proj e c ts. The p ersp e c t ive ab ove was an image of a master b e dro om t hat I cre ate d dur ing t he pres ent at ion pro cess. The fo c a l p oint of t his desig n was t he t r i angu l ate d p anels on t he b e d he ad and cei ling . The pur p os e was of t his was to cre ate an inter pl ay of lig ht and shadow, t hereby g iv ing t he i l lusion of r ippling shadows simi l ar to t hat of water.


1.2 Architecture as a Discourse “To make architecture is to map the world in some way, to intervene, to signify: it is a political act.” Dutton

Archite c ture c annot b e de duce d as a col le c t ion of shap es, draw ings or t he or ies. It is far more complex and has t he abi lit y to inf luence c u lture and histor y. [1 ]

We are div ing into t he he ar t of t he dig it a l age in t he 21st centur y, w here archite c ture is b e coming incre asing ly inf luence d by dig it a l desig ning .

Therefore, in order to dis cover t he b est archite c tura l s olut ion for t his proj e c t, we w i l l ne e d to f irst underst and t he role of archite cture in our s o ciet y. Archite c ture has of ten b e en des cr ib e d as an indust r y t hat involves desig ning and const r uc t ing bui ldings. Thes e bui ldings s er ve on ly a f unc t iona l and aest het ic pur p os e. Howe ver D utton and Man argues t hat “ To ma ke archite c ture is to map t he world in s ome way, to inter vene, to sig nif y : it is a p olit ic a l ac t.” [ 2]

The ne w for ms, mater i a ls and ways of conceptu a lizing archite c ture have g iven r is e to a ne w for m of dis cours e - one t hat is for ward t hin k ing and draw ing innovat ion f rom a l l s ources, t hereby cre at ing c u ltura l ly sig nif ic ant st r uc tures.

In ot her words, archite c ture cou ld b e anyt hing t hat generates dis c ussion and dis cours e. It do es not have any pre-re quisites, and it c an b e in t he for m of t he or ies or sketches. Archite c ture do es not have to b e a physic a l, bui lt st r uc ture to ma ke an imp ac t.

This def init ion of dis cours e is in line w it h t he proj e c t br ief of t he Gate way Proj e c t, t hat “ The inst a l l at ion shou ld cre ate a fo c a l p oint of iconic s c a le and pres ence and encourage a s ens e of pr ide w it hin t he lo c a l communit y. The Wester n Gate way shou ld prop os e ne w, inspir ing and brave ide as, to generate a ne w dis cours e.” In ot her words, to cre ate a st r uc ture of c u ltura l and physic a l imp ac t.

This t rend c an b e s e en t hroug hout histor y, such as t he mo der nist movement in t he 1920s and t he S ov iet Union’s const r uc t iv ist archite c ture. A l l of w hich had many desig ns t hat were ne ver bui lt, but nonet heless ext remely imp ac t f u l, e ven t i l l to d ay.

1. Alberto Pérez-Gómez. (n.d.). Hermeneutics as architectural discourse. Retrieved from architecture-theory/hermeneutics.pdf


2. (2008). Pour nous n°2 : Le hiéroglyphe métropolitain. (2008). [Print Photo]. Retrieved from tagged/digital architecture

Nuragic and Contemporary Art Museum, Cagliari, Italy

Z a ha Hadid is one of t he most celebrate d archite c ts of t he 21st centur y. Her st y le is s e en as b old, organic and innovat ive. She pushes const r uc t ion te chnolog y to its limits and ne ver desig ns s omet hing ‘ordinar y’. Therefore, I w i l l examine her award-w inning bui lding , t he Nurag ic and C ontemp orar y Ar t Mus eum, as p ar t of my dis cours e. This proj e c t aims to cre ate a c u ltura l no de t hat s er ves as a sig na l to announce one’s ar r iva l in C ag li ar i f rom t he s e a. This was achie ve d t hroug h t he interconne c t ion of inner circ u l at ion sp aces, g re en sp aces and public ro ads. [1]

Much li ke ot her bui ldings desig ne d by Z a ha Hadid, t his bui lding fol lows an organic for m t hat res embles a concrete re ef. On top of t hat, t he prof i le of t he bui lding app e ars to lie clos e to t he g round, a lmost as if it has g row n out of t he l and. This low and hor izont a l prof i le cre ates har mony b et we en nature and t he bui lt env ironment. The Nurag ic and C ontemp orar y Ar t Mus eum is one of t he many bui ldings in t he 21st centur y t a k ing on an organic for m, cha l leng ing t he b ound ar ies of te chnolog y and t he interac t ion b et we en p e ople, nature and t he bui lt env ironment.

1. NMA Modern New Architecture. Nuragic and Contemporary Art Museum in Cagliari, Italy. Zaha Hadid. Retrieved from


1.2 Architecture as a Discourse

Gardens By The Bay Singapore

Gardens by t he B ay is one of t he l argest climate cont rol le d pl ant cons er vator ies in t he world, and it is desig n by Wi l k ins on Ey re Archite c ts. It has a ls o re cent ly won t he overa l l world bui lding of t he ye ar award at t he world Archite c ture Fest iva l (WAF) 2012. This v isu a l sp e c t acle cost ing an astounding SGD$1 bi l lion was t he cent re of much deb ate among Singap ore ans in 2012. Whi le s ome felt t hat it was a waste of mone y and l and, ot hers s aw it as a go o d addit ion to t he cit y’s sky line. Howe ver, ver y litt le was ment ione d ab out t he gover nment’s intent ions of emb ark ing on t his l arge proj e c t


L e e Hsien L ong s aid, “ This is just one example of how we are t ransfor ming Singap ore’s liv ing env ironment. It may b e a dens ely p op u l ate d cit y, may b e one of t he dens est in t he world, but we are deter mine d t hat our p e ople shou ld b e able to live comfor t ably, ple as antly, g raciously.” [ 3] Thus, it c an b e infer re d t hat t he Singap ore gover nment w ishes to cre ate garden sp aces t hat are e asi ly access e d by t he p e ople in order to cre ate a more comfor t able liv ing env ironment.

1. (2012). Gardens by the bay. (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from tories-at-gardens-by-the-bay-wilkinson-eyre-architects/ 2. ArchDaily. (2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from 3. SPEECH BY MR LEE HSIEN LOONG, PRIME MINISTER OF SINGAPORE. (2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from

The Gardens by t he B ay was desig ne d w it h sust ainabi lit y as its ke y fo c us. For inst ance, t he 16-store y hig h ‘sup er t re es’ are emb e dde d w it h te chnolog ies li ke s ol ar p anels and rainwater col le c t ion systems to a l low t he t re es to f unc t ion simi l ar to t hat of a re a l t re e. Thes e t re es a ls o s er ve as an exhaust system to help co ol t he cons er v ator ies. [6 ] The archite c ts and desig ners of t he Gardens by t he B ay embraces te chnolog y and nature, ma k ing us e of te chnolog y to cre ate a more ‘natura l’ st r uc ture.

Gardens By The B ay is a considerably l arges c a le proj e c t t hat has now b e come an archi te c tura l icon in Singap ore, cre at ing a ne w dire c t ion for ward w hereby st r uc tures are no longer just energ y consuming b ehemot hs, but inste ad ‘s elf-sust aining’ ent it ies t hat ut ilizes sust ainable energ y. Thes e ide as c an b e applie d to t he Gate way proj e c t, w here its desig n c an s er ve b ot h f unc t iona l and v isu a l pur p os es.

6. (2012). Gardens by the bay. (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from tories-at-gardens-by-the-bay-wilkinson-eyre-architects/ 5. (2012). Contemporary Gardens by the Bay, Singapore (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from contemporary-gardens-by-the-bay-singapore/


1.3 Computational Architecture

As comp are d to a de c ade or s o ago, computers now pl ay a huge role in archite c ture’s desig n ing pro cess. C omputers are now able to help desig ners pro duce not on ly pres ent at ion and const r uc t ion draw ings, but a ls o a l low t he desig ner to ana lyze t he const r uc t ion fe asibi lit y and ot her concepts of a bui lding . For t he p ast fe w centur ies, archite c ts have slow ly b e en remove d f rom many asp e c ts of archite c ture. Archite c ture has b e come a profession w hereby t he main j ob of t he archite c t is to desig n, and have a l l ot her asp e c ts of a bui lding b e hand le d by ot hers. It has re ache d a p oint w hereby t he cre at iv it y and imag inat ion of a desig ner is limite d by rest r ic t ions made by t he st r uc tura l eng ine er, t he fac tor ies t hat mass pro duce const r uc t ion mater i a ls, and ot her p e ople. [ 2]


The t houg ht of c ustomizat ion cou ld prove to b e d aunt ing , as it me ans bre a k ing a l l t he ‘r u les’ and of ten comes w it h a hef t y pr ice t ag . Howe ver in re cent ye ars, computers have a l lowe d us to retur n to t he role of t he ‘master bui lder’, enabling archite c ts to ana lyze t he bui lding and its const r uc t ion, t hereby remov ing t he b ound ar ies s et by ot hers. On top of t hat, dig it a l fabr ic at ion te chnolog y a ls o a l lows desig ners to c us tomize for ms and st r uc tures w it hout inc urr ing to o much cost.

1. Parametricism. (2008). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from Istanbul_block-type_2_sm.jpg 2. Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 - 71.

“ t h e an t i d o t e t o s ta nd a rd isa t i on forced by a n a mbi t i on t o l ower p rod u c t io n c o s t s, ra t h er t ha n a ny more sophi st i ca t e d mot i va t i o n : t h e p rev io u s ly e l usi ve oppor t uni t i es for mul t i pl e ve r s i on i n g a nd b e s p o ke p roduct i on ca n now be consi dered mo re s e r io u s ly thro ugh t he use of scri pt i ng� Bur r y Ma r k ( 2 0 1 1 )

1. Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 - 71.


1.4 Parametric Design

Yorkshire Diamond

Yorkshire, United Kingdom The Yorkshire Di amond was a comp et it ion ent r y for t he Yorkshire For ward mobi le p a v i lion comp et it ion in 2005. This st r uc ture is const r uc te d f rom a net work of inf l at able tub es t hat are ar range d in a p atter n der ive d f rom t he atomic st r uc ture of di amonds. [2 ]

The tub es were pre cision c ut by a computer cont rol le d CNC machine to cre ate a w r in k le f re e pro duc t. A lt houg h t his proj e c t was not conceive d t hroug h comput at iona l desig n, s cr ipt ing pl aye d a big role in t he const r uc t ion pro cess of t he Yorkshire Di amond. [ 2]

The st r uc ture has a l and are a of 400 meters s qu are w hich c an b e def l ate d and t ransp or te d e asi ly.

We cou ld lo ok at t his example to underst and t he role of p aramet r ic desig n in archite c ture, It a l lows archite c ts to b e involve d in t he const r uc t ion pro cess, br ing ing us b ack to t he role of t he ‘master bui lder’.

The desig n was init i a l ly conceptu a lize d by sketches. Howe ver, in order to ma ke an inf l at able st r uc ture of t his s c a le, t he archite c ts made us e of p aramet r ic desig n to fabr ic ate t he tub e s.


1. The Yorkshire Diamond Pavilion by Various Architects. (2009). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.dezeen. com/2009/02/28/the-yorkshire-diamond-pavilion-by-various-architects/ 2. The Yorkshire Diamond / Various Architects. (2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.archdaily. com/14312/the-yorkshire-diamond-various-architects/

Taichung Metropolitan Opera House Taichung, Taiwan

The Taichung Met rop olit an O p era hous e is de sig ne d by Toyo Ito. The f luid cont inuit y of t he bui lding wa l ls are for me d w it h 58 indiv idu a l c ur ve d wa l l units, cre at ing a maze of interlo cking reinforcement ste el b ars and ste el t r uss es. The f luid wa l ls t hat b eing us e d in t his st r ucture are t hre e dimensiona l and it was t houg ht to b e imp ossible to fabr ic ate. Howe ver, by ma k ing us e of p aramet r ic desig n, t he st r uc tura l eng ine ers were able to desig n t he ste el b ars and ste el t r uss es to s er ve as t he b as e for m of t he concrete w hat wou ld e ventua l ly b e t he for m of t he op era hous e. 1. N. 147 TOYO ITO 2005-2009 (2005). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from 2. Toyo Ito Wins the 2013 Pritzker Prize(2013). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from


1.5 Algorithmic Exploration

When I f irst st ar te d t his explorat ion, I wante d to lo ok into how a g r idshel l w i l l a llow me to cre ate a f re e for m chair t hat has a ratt an we av ing p atter n. Howe ver It did not g ive me t he desire d f inish. Therefore, inste ad of dwel ling to o much on t he g r idshel l, I cre ate d a lof te d obj e c t (w hich was t he for m of my chair) and div ide d t he sur faces into g r ids. Subs e quent ly, I cre ate d a subsur face comp onent w hich a l lowe d me to map my sur face onto t he div ide d g r id of t he lof te d obj e c t. Inste ad of draw ing my reference for m on R hino, I de cide d to attempt cre at ing t he p arameters of my reference obj e c t on Grasshopp er s o t hat I cou ld e dit t he sur face w it hout re-draw ing t he desig n on R hino. This le d me to res e arch on explo ding surfaces and how I was able to cre ate an e ditable sur face on Grasshopp er. Eventu a l ly I cre ate d a pip e sur face around a re c t ang le and mapp e d t hat into my subsurface, cre at ing a net li ke desig n for my chair. Throug h t his explorat ion, I am able to ana lys e in g re ater det ai l t he main st r uc tura l elements of my chair and how it may b e const r uc te d.


This E xplorat ion involve d using t he s e c t ioning p arameter to cre ate a f inish t hat app e ars to b e a roug h ly c ut s e c t ione d of wo o d. I f irst b egun by lof t ing my vas e for m, ke eping in mind t hat it has to b e able to store water. I t hen ext r ude d an of fs et of t he c ur ve I cre ate d, and f rom t here us e d it to s e c t ion my or ig ina l obj e c t, hence cre at ing a contour li ke p atter n on t he lof te d obj e c t. I re a lis e d t hat a lt houg h t his met ho d of cre at ing a s e c t ione d sur face was aest het ic a l ly ple asing , it did not s e em li ke a ver y prac t ic a l desig ning met ho d in archite c ture. This is b e c aus e to cre ate s omet hing li ke t his w i l l re quire t he s olid to b e l as er c ut as a w hole, and t hat is prob ably to o exp ensive to b e exe c ute d on a l arger s c a le in re a lit y.


1.6 Conclusion The Gate way is a proj e c t in Wy nd ham Cit y t hat aims to inspire and enr ich t he municip a lit y. It is an inst a l l at ion w hich shou ld en hance t he physic a l env ironment t hroug h t he int ro duc t ion of a v isu a l ar ts comp onent, and most imp or t ant ly must b e able to generate a “ne w dis cours e” As dis c uss e d in t he pre v ious s e c t ion of t he j our na l, archite c ture dis cours e lies in t he abi lit y to inf luence t he c u ltura l asp e c ts of t he site. It shou ld b e able to e voke for ward t hin k ing and must b e more t han just a v isu a l sp e c t acle. In ot her words, archite c ture is no longer just a st r uc ture, but a c u ltura l ly sig nif ic ant icon t hat is aest het ic a l ly complex. C omput at iona l desig n is one of t he ways to re a lize t hat v ision. It is not on ly a to ol to aid archite c ts in t he desig n pro cess, but it has a ls o b e come a me ans to re conci le t he archite c t w it h t he const r uct ion pro cess. For t he p ast fe w de c ades, t he cre at iv it y of t he archite c t has b e en limite d to t he rest r ic t ions prov ide d by t he fac tor ies t hat mass pro duce mater i a ls and wa l l p anels. Howe ver, compu t at iona l desig n a l lows t he archite c t to ana lyze how a ‘c ustomis e d’ c an b e bui lt w it hout inc ur r ing to o much cost. Therefore it is cr uci a l t hat we ma ke us e of p aramet r ic desig n to work out t he desig n p ossibi lit ies of t he Gate way proj e c t, s o t hat we c an cre ate a desig n t hat has an inter pl ay of a l l t he imp or t ant asp e c ts of archite c tura l dis cours e.

1.7 Learning Outcome Throug hout t his s e c t ion, archite c ture as a dis cours e and t he role of archite c ture in our mo der n s o ciet y was dis c uss e d. I have a ls o examine d t he way t hat comput at iona l archite c ture is able to reconne c t t he archite c t to t he role of t he ‘master bui lder’ v i a t he me ans of p aramet r ic desig n. D oing s o has bro adene d my p ersp e c t ive of archite c ture, and made me re a lize how archite c ts are more in cont rol of t he f ina l pro duc t, and are no longer weig he d dow n by t he rest r ic t ions s et by ot hers now. If I were to lo ok b ack at my p ast proj e c ts, I wou ld prob ably re desig n t hem w it h a ver y dif ferent appro ach. I wou ld lo ok at t he site as a bl an k c anvas and cre ate radic a l for ms w it hout wor r y ing to o much ab out mater i a l rest r ic t ions.





Design Focus

Strips and Foldings The desig n fo c us of t his proj e c t is st r ips and foldings, w hich is main ly dr iven by t he requirements of t he Wy nd ham Gate. There were t wo main p oints ment ione d in t he br ief t hat ste ere d t his proj e c t de sig n towards t he appro ach of t he i l lusion of sp e e d. The f irst was to “prov ide an ent r y st atement and ar r iva l exp er ience”. To f u lf i l t his ide a of cre at ing an ent r y st atement, an exp er ient i a l archite c ture v i a t he me an of rep et it ion and rhyt hm was cre ate d. In t his way, st r ips and folding was us e d to manipu l ate are as of pres sure and op enness hence cre at ing eit her a g rand or int imate ent r y into Melb our ne cit y. The s e cond was t hat t his inst a l l at ion wou ld b e “v ie we d by motor ists t ravel ling at hig h sp e e d”. Fol low ing t his, an i l lusion of velo cit y was develop e d by est ablishing a st at ic but s e eming ly k inet ic archite c ture. St r ips and folding was chos en as t he b est f rame work for t his desig n b e c aus e of t he opp or tunit y to explore into lin e ar rhyt hm and for m. St r ips and folding are a ls o ass o ci ate d w it h sp e e d and lines. St re a ks of lines are of ten us e d by ar t ist and desig ners to conve y t he impression of sp e e d. Therefore, t he incor p orat ion of line-st r iping help e d cre ate an exp er ient i a l archite c ture t hat has an i l lusion of movement and sp e e d.


Throug h st r ips and folding , lig ht and shadow wou ld natura l ly b e for me d. L ig ht and shadow were us e d to en hance t he i l lusion of movement. Mitchel B en hof f des cr ib es lig ht as, “L ig ht c an cre ate i l lusion, and i l lusion c an depic t t he re a l, int ang ible, yet s e eming ly corp ore a l. A s e quence of indiv idu a l st rob e f l ashes enters t he e ye and p ercept ion s e es a s olid b a l l of lig ht racing p ast us. Pure lig ht b e comes subst ance”. Using t his ide a, t he consistent and rhyt hmic shadow and lig ht p atter n c aste d by t he st r ips and folding were applie d to help enhance t he sp at i a l exp er ience w it hin t he inst a ll at ion. Howe ver, it was cr uci a l to re cog nize human p ercept ion’s of movement in order to cre ate an i l lusion. In t he words of Einstein - “t wo dif ferent exp er ience of t he s ame e vent, f rom t wo dif ferent p ersp e c t ives, f rom t wo dif ferent or ient at ions. our e ar t h b ound p ersp e c t ive is susp ende d. It is we w ho move, not just t he he avens. The mov ing lig ht is f ixe d. t he f ixe d v ie wer is mov ing .” In ot her words, humans p erceive movement and sp e e d b as e d on t he p ersp e c t ive and sp e e d t he y are mov ing at, and lig ht is merely a medium t hat faci lit ate p ercept ion. The audience of t his inst a l l at ion wou ld b e mov ing at hig h sp e e d and we felt comp el le d to lo ok at t he desig n at s e vera l ang les and p ersp e c t ive in order to achie ve t he i l lusion of sp e e d and movement t hroug hout t he desig n.

“Nothing happens until something moves� Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


Case Study 1.0

Biothing seroussi pavilion Paris 2007

The go a l of t his desig n was to cre ate a st r uc ture t hat ac ts as a conne c t ive t issue emanat ing towards s er ies of obj e c ts on t he site, towards an ass embl age of a divers e yet coherent w hole. This is done by cre at ing a s er ies of s elf-mo dif ie d ve c tors f ield b as e d on ele c t ro-mag net ic f ields. The desig n incor p orate d t he log ics of att rac t ion and repu lsion t raj e c tor ies, w hich was compute d in pl an and t hen lif te d v i a a s er ies of st r uc tura l micro-arching s e c t ions t hroug h dif ferent f re quencies of sine f unc t ion. The pl an of t he p av i lion is hig h ly unconvent iona l, it encomp ass es six dif ferent ge omet r ic a l systems w hich are extende d out f rom pr imar y t raj e c tor ies.


The resu lt ing for m - a dy namic and organic desig n. The rel at ively simple a lgor it hm a l lows p aramet r ic t hin k ing to b e mater i a lis e d, plus it a l lows g re ater f lexibi lit y of site ad apt at ions. This desig n made us e of att rac t ion p oints to cre ate t raj e c tor ies w hich e ventu a l ly ma ke up t he st r ips of t he for m. The c ur ves were e asi ly mo dif ie d t hroug h t he us e of a sine wave f unc t ion w hich a lters t he ang le of t he c ur ves of e ach t raj e c tor y. In t his explorat ion I lo oke d at how chang ing t he sine c ur ve cou ld re ap dif ferent resu lts.


Case Study 2.0

ICD/ITKE Pavilion University of Stuttgart

A ke y asp e c t of t he proj e c t was to t ransfomr t he st r ip and folding mo del to an el ast ic b ending st r uc ture, using t he lig ht weig ht mater i a l— ply wo o d. The st r ips are manufac ture d rob ot ic a l ly as pl anar elements, and conne c te d subs e quent ly s o t hat tensione d reg ions a lter nate a long t heir lengt h. Simi l ar to t he S eroussi Pav i lion, t his desig n was concie ve d w it h t raj e c tor ies extending out f rom t he cent re, and t hes e c ur ves are t hen mo dif ie d to cre ate t he s emi tor us for m and t he we av ing p atter ns of t he ply wo o d. The ICD/ITKE Pav i lion as a pre ce dent study b e c aus e of it’s inter ior sp at i a l qu a lit ies. The inter ior of t his p av i lion cre ates a s ens e of f luidit y w hich was an imp or t ant asp e c t t hat ne e de d to b e considere d in t he te chnique de velopment in order to cre ate an i l lusion of sp e e d


The re veres e eng ine er ing pro ccess involve d cre at ing t he overa l l for m of t he p av i lion (a) fol lowe d by c u l ling a lter nate lines to cre ate t he a lter nate we av ing p atter ns(b). Howe ver, f ur t her explorat ion to t he mo del was made (c) t he sine-wave c ur ve comp onent was adde d into t he a lgor it hm in an attempt to cre ate a more dramat ic we av ing p atter n. The explorat ion was l argely unsuccessf u l as t he resu lts were messy and it lost t he f luidit y w hich cou ld b e found in mo del (b) A simi l ar a lgor it hm was t hen employe d onto a dif ferent for m cre at ing (d). This explorat ion t hen b e c ame t he b asis for proj e c t desig n ide a of cre at ing an exp er ient i a l archite c ture.






Case Study 2.0

Zaragoza Bridge Zaragoza,Spain

The Z aragoza Br idge Pav i lion was desig ne d by Z a ha Hadid. It is a hy br id of a p e dest r i an fo ot p at h and an exhibit ion p av i lion - t he for m of t he br idge consist of four st r uc tura l elements, enclos e d w it hin it are indiv idu a l exhibit ion sp aces. This proj e c t was v ie we d as a pre ce dent b e c aus e conceptu a l ly and st r uc tura l ly, t he proj e c t exp ande d opp or tunit ies to st rengt hen t he concept of i l lusion of sp e e d. It is interest ing to note how Z a ha Hadid made us e of interlo ck ing p o ds to cre ate excit ing and complex inter ior sp aces


Visitors w ho wa l k t hroug h t he br idge wou ld t ravel f rom one p o d to t he next v i a sma l l ‘gaps’, hence cre at ing buf fer zones. Thes e zones dif f us es t he s ound and v isu a l exp er ience f rom one exhibit ion to t he next w hich a l lows a cle ar underst anding of t he content of e ach indiv idu a l exhibit ion sp aces. As t he indiv idu a l p o ds dic t ate t he buf fer zones, it ac ts as a t hre e-dimensiona l guide t hat le ads t he us ers t hroug h t he dy namic inter ior of t he br idge. This pre ce dent hig h lig hte d t he p ossibi lit ies of interg rat ing mu lt iple st r uc tures to cre ate a more dy namic inter ior, hence enabling t he desig n to heig hten t he s ens e of sp e e d in a p ossibly indire c t manner.

This mo del was our f irst attempt to cre ate t he ent ire mo del f rom p oints cre ate d on g rasshopp er. This a l lowe d g re ater f lexibi liy of for m e dit ing in t he l ater st ages of t he re vers e eng ine er ing pro cess.

We cre ate d ‘wav y’ lines t hroug h t he g raph mapp er comp onent and l ater us e d it in a rai l 2 swe ep comp onent to cre ate a lof te d sur face. This sur face b e c ame t he shel l of our zaragoza br idge replic a.

In t he next step we us e d a ISO t r im comp onent to divde up t he sur face, and pipp e d t he op en c ur ves.

t hroug h t his excercis e we explore d dif ferent comp onents w hich help e d us exp and our g rasshopp er vo c abu l ar y


Te c h n i q u e D e v e l o p m e n t




A. Taking the Zaragoza Bridge as a reference point, some of the main spatial characteristic were translated into the design exploration. One of the idea adopted into this model was the creation of openings on the street level. A permeable object was created, hence conceiving visual connectivity in the linear direction as well as in the lateral direction.

B. Triangulation was used to mimic the ‘shark skinned’ like pattern on the zaragoza bridge. This is to explore how different individual elements could form up to a single strip, hence creating a rhythm of the strip surfaces. However, the illusion of speed and acceleration was not achieved in this iteteration.


Te c h n i q u e D e v e l o p m e n t




C. Based on the previous exploration, a different approach was created by creating light weight thin rib structures of strips and foldings.

D. Iteration D utalizes various attraction points to creates varying line densities that are orientated to the driver’s perspective. This is an attempt to create instances of visual excitement within the structure. This resulted in the creation of lines that is organic in structure, creating a dynamic and extremely unexpected form. However, the language of the form became complicated and somewhat messy which will affect the design intent of creating an illusion of speed.


Te c h n i q u e D e v e l o p m e n t




E As a follow up to the previous iteration, order in the midst of the chaotic lines in the previous exploration was created, by reducing the number of attraction points. However anything apart from a linear direction was noted to affect the sense of speed from the driver’s point of view.

F. Upon identifying the issues of the multiple attractions points, the idea was discarded and linear movement and rhythm was looked into for answers. Following the concept of E=MC2 a relationship between lines and speed was demonstrated. As speed increases, the perception of mass increases hence resulting in visual aberration. Therefor in this exploration the gradual increase in the strip thickness was shown to help heighten the sense of speed.


Te c h n i q u e D e v e l o p m e n t




G. In this exploration, the idea of twisting the form to create concaving and convexing surfaces was tested. This allowed the creation of points of pressure and openess. However this form lacks the complexity and sophistication that we were trying to achieve, in order to create a design of an iconic scale.

H. Expanding on the previous exploration, there were limitations to the complexity of form in a single entity. Hence further exploration into intergrating multiple structures was made. This allowed greater opportunity for the illusion of speed due to the increased number of surfaces.


Te c h n i q u e D e v e l o p m e n t



I. The design goal for this project is to manipulate perception to create an illusion of speed. Apart from form making, colour psychology was explored in order to contrive a sense of acceleration and decceleration. Reference was taken from two contrasting colours, Red and Blue. Red is very strong colour that is very emotive, it stimulates a sense excitement and motivation. In contrast Blue stimulates calmness. By making use of this contrast, a progression from blue to red was intergrated into the strips to create a sensation of calmness to excitement, creating a gradual heighten of the driver’s senses.


Te c h n i q u e P r o t o t y p e


The concept of the illusion of speed was easily reflected on the digital model, and with the aid of a fly through animation we were able to get a better grasp of the spatial characteristics of our design. However we had to translate the digital model into a physical model to see if the design was be able to achieve visual aberration. In attempt to reduce material wastage and time in constructing the model, we attempted to create the model from a single piece of cardboard and creating a ‘folding architecture’. Visually, the model created an exciting spatial experience, and it successfully managed to create a sense of movement. However as the model was created through folding, in a real life scale such a technique may not be conceivable. 39

Te c h n i q u e P r o t o t y p e



Te c h n i q u e P r o p o s a l The design concept for this project has two main derivatives which are found in the project brief. The first was “provide an entry statement and arrival experience” and the second was that this installation would be “viewed by motorists travelling at high speed”. Hence in order to create a discourse around this project, the approach of creating an experiential architecture was adopted. This was done by forming a space which the drivers would have to go through before entering the city. Some of the main concerns were how would a spatial characteristic contribute to architectural discourse of the site, and what sort of interior relationship would be considered innovative? Looking at the first question, the idea of designing a space that has a language that could be understood by the municipal was something that had to be taken into account. Furthermore we believed strongly that architecture has to something more than a structure, it has to be emotive and be able to evoke the human senses. Taking the above points into consideration, we decided that by exploring human perception of speed we will be able to achieve architecture discourse in an innovative way. The manipulation of space, time, speed and perception in architecture has undoubtedly been explored numerous times, in fact almost all architecture works has in one way or the other manipulated at least one of these aspect. However for this design we wish to manipulate the sense of space, time , speed and perception all in one go via the means of creating an illusion of speed. In that way we would be able to create an architecture with an emotive capacity. For example the feeling of thrill when a person is speeding. 42

In order to achieve the illusion of speed, we analysed some concepts from physics namely Einstein theory of speed of light, E=MC2 , as speed increases, visual perception of mass increases in relativity hence giving rise to a phenomena call visual aberration. Visual aberration is the result of increase compactness of light mass in the human eye. Therefore translating that into the physical, we decided to gradually increase the density of the strips as the installation progresses, hence artificially stimulating the human mind to perceive acceleration. To further enhance the emotive aspect of the design, research into colour psychology was made. “Colour, light, and spatial experience are dependent upon each other, and all of them are absolutely fundamental to our existence as human beings” In other words, the interplay of colour in architecture is essential in order to create an emotive structure. In conclusion, by making use of physics and human psychology we are able to design a product that has addressed the objectives of this project and created an architectural discourse in an innovative fashion.


Learning Outcomes Objective 1

developing “the ability to make a case for proposals”. Through rigorous discussion we were able to highlight issues of our design that requires more information and research before the presentation. One of the key things that we noted was why is illusion of speed an innovative design direction for the gateway project, and how are we going to achieve this effect. We found that by creating an experiential architecture, we are essentially designing a structure that is more than a monument- it serves a purpose, to artificially stimulate the eye to perceive speed differently hence creating a discourse around this project. It serves to act as an installation that would heighten the driver’s senses when entering the city hence creating an “entry statement and arrival experience”. The next question was how. How are we going to translate a perception into the physical? We found our answer in visual aberration, a phenomena that occurs when we are moving closer to the speed of light. We translated the concept of E=mc2 into our design by increasing the strip density and thickness as the drivers move through the installation, hence creating a sense of acceleration in the space. During the critique session, Daniel mentioned that we could push the concept of illusion of speed and the idea of time, space, and human perception further by playing with other human senses apart from just the sense of sight. He also talked about the play of colours and how that might affect the human psychology on speed. However due to time constraints, we were only able to further explore into the aspect of colour psychology(Matrix exploration I). 44

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; Prior to this subject, I did not have any experience with Rhino and Grasshopper. My only exposure to digital designing was strictly restricted to 3Ds Max. Throughout the past few weeks I have learnt, and explored the capabilities of Grasshopper and it had allowed me to look at digital designing at a new perspective. The thing I loved most about Grasshopper was its ability to create a model that has parameters that are easily modified. This allowed me to stretch the design concept further without losing grasp of the original design element. However in the later stages of the project I found myself stuck by the limitation of the software. There were many things that I would have liked to test out to push the concept of the illusion of speed further but due to my limited knowledge of Grasshopper and parametric design, I could not explore into some of those ideas, which would otherwise been very easy to achieve via 3Ds max and physical model making.

Objective 3.

Objective 7

I have always had a great interest in digital fabrication and the idea behind it is fascinating, I used to believe that I could plug in a digital model and the computer would do the rest of the work. However I was wrong. The process of digital fabrication is much more tedious than I had anticipated. There were many steps involved in creating a successful piece of document that is ready for printing. But working with digital fabrication has allowed me to understand and analyse possible construction methodology. It also allowed me to observe the differences between the digital model and physical model, whether the physical model is able to retain the same sense of illusion of speed as the digital model.

I felt that in this aspect, my lack of fluency in Grasshopper has hindered my development and understanding of computational design. Although I am able to adapt grasshopper algorithm from different sources and apply the concepts into my design, I found it extremely difficult to reverse engineer existing precedents. For example the ICD/ICKE Pavilion, I was only able to achieve the basic geometry of the form however when I tried creating the weaving pattern I found myself creating something really strange and completely different from the intended outlook. Maybe with more time I would be able to work out which components or grasshopper plug-ins will produce a more accurate product. However what I learnt about grasshopper through this exercise allowed me to establish enough algorithmic vocabulary to expand on the group’s design on illusion of speed. It has also pushed me into looking for more algorithmic solutions apart from those that has been provided on the LMS.

developing “skills in various threedimensional media� and specifically in computational geometry, parametric modelling, analytic diagramming and digital fabrication;

develop foundational understandings of computational geometry, data structures and types of programming


References /////seroussi pavillion /paris//2007. (2012, March 24). Retrieved from Andrasek, A. (n.d.). Biothing mesonic emission/seroussi pavilion paris, 2007 . Retrieved from http:// Icd/itke research pavilion 2010. (2010). Retrieved from Zaragoza bridge pavilion. (2008). Retrieved from Fairs, M. (2008, June 16). Zaragoza bridge pavilion by zaha hadid . Retrieved from http://www.dezeen. com/2008/06/16/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion-by-zaha-hadid/ Zaragoza bridge pavilion. (2008, September 1). Retrieved from Elliot, Andrew J.; Aarts, Henk. Perception of the color red enhances the force and velocity of motor output. Emotion, Vol 11(2), Apr 2011, 445-449 Color red increases the speed and strength of reactions. (2011, June 2). Retrieved from http://www. Benhoff, M. (1993). Speed of the earth. (Master’s thesis,). Mass–energy equivalence. (n.d.). Retrieved from–energy_equivalence Relativistic aberration. (n.d.). Retrieved from Walker, J. (n.d.). C-ship: The aberration of light. Retrieved from Hiroshi, O. (200). Time,speed and perception: Intervals in the representation of architectural space. (Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

PART C. Project proposal

Concept Development

Key design criteria extracted from the the Projecy Brief: “An exciting eye catching installation at Wyndham’ Western Gateway” “Viewed by Motorist travelling at high speed” “provide an entry statement and arrival experience” “Longevity in its appeal, encouraging ongoing interest” “Encourage further reflection about the installation beyond a first glance”

The Design Concept Looking at the main design criteria, taking an approach of creating a design that was easily relatable to the main audience was of key importance, hence the approach of developing an experiential architecture was paramount, this was to “encourage reflection about the installation beyond a first glance”. By creating an experiential architecture, the installation would be able to affect the human psychology hence encouraging “ongoing interest” of the design As the installation would be located on a freeway, and the main audience of the design would be the motorist, therefore taking the approach of creating an illusion of speed and movement was the most approriate approach to alter human perception an psychology.

We looked at the elements that helped the human eye percieve speed and movement, and how we could incorporate these elements into our design to help the users of the space percieve the heightened sense of illusion of speed

Linear Movement

Human Perception of Depth

Rotating form

Design Concept

Image 1.0 Existing site

The Site Based on the comments from the earlier crit, further development was made to the design. One of the main things that was not considered in the previous submission was how the design would work on the site itself. In order to look into this matter, the team had a series of site selection criteria to aid the process of picking out the optimal site location for this project.


Image 2.0 Street Direction

Determind the relationship of the site and destination of the roads In order to achieve an arrival experience into the city, the group choose to place the installation at the road that is directed into the city. This will make it impossible for anyone who is entering the city to miss the installation.


Design Concept

Image 3.0 Site Boundaries

Site Boundaries Because the concept of our design is the illusion of speed, we require a long stretch of road to convey that message, hence one of the site selection criteria involved us picking the longest freeway.


Site Selection Based on the earlier mentioned criteria, the team decided that the road between site A and B would be the most optimal area to have the installation. An added benefit of having the installation in this area was that coincidentally the road had the strongest crurve as opposed to all the other roads, this gave the team the opportunity to create a more dynamic spatial experience, one that is able to twist and turn.


Design Concept

Form Finding Upon choosing the site with the strongest undulation, we looked at creating a form with different areas of pressure and openness in attempt to allow the form to create a dynamic interior experience that would successfully reflect the illusion of speed. After several attempts to optimize the form, we found that by creating areas of pressure, we are able to heighten the sense of speed. This however only applies if there was a large contrast in the variation of scale throughout the structure, without this contrast the design would have turned out banal. In the final iteration, we explored creating variation in scale on both the elevation and plan view. Therefore in the form finding process, we focused on how a rotating form is able to compliment the idea of the variation of scale in order to create the illusion of speed.


Exploration 1

Exploration 2

1- First a series of points were created on grasshopper in order to set the path for the main curves of the form, these curves are then lofted into the main form of the entire structure. This allowed us to easily return to this step and change the parameters of the points, hence making it easy to change the form in the future. 57

Design Concept Exploration 1

Exploration 2

2 -In order to achieve a consistent spacing of the strips, a contour component was used on the surface of the form to create a total of 200 sections throughout the stretch of 400 meters. This is to ensure there is control in the rhythm of the strips created, hence allowing the rhythm of the design to create visual aberration. To create the thickness of the strips, the contours are scaled down by 90%, and by making use of the old and new line we created a surface which was later extruded along the x axis. Much like the previous step, the algorithm was created with flexibility in mind, meaning that any parameters could be easily changed if necessary.


Design Concept

Design Optimization

To Further create the optical illusion of the illusion of speed, we looked at light aberration for inspiration.One of the main ideology of visual aberration was the importance of light packets and how the human eye percieve lights as we move faster. Therefore to further enhance our concept of illusion of speed, we considered using artificial lights in the interior of the structure to artificially stimulate the eye to percieve visual aberration, hence forcing the users minds to percieve and illusion of speed.


Earlier attempts to create light patterns in our installation involved making use of multiple attraction points to create a skin for our design which allowed light to enter only through the peforations. The attractor point allowed us to create a visual effect of a gradual change in patterns, therefore allowing for an organice form of visual aberration. However the use of peforated sheet greatly decreased the amount of natural light in the design, and this could compromise the safety of the drivers .


Design Concept

With the driver’s safety in mind, we took a different approach in the light application technique. Instead of using peforated sheets in our design, we created horizontal lights strips that ran through the whole structure in different frequencies and patterns, this created more negative spaces to allow natural light into the space in the day time. This allowed the installation to reveal different form of illusion of speed at different time of the day. In the day, the drivers will experience the rhythm and the dynamic form of the design, In the night, the main structural form would disappear into the background of the night sky, creating a focus on the horizontal light strips and patterns producing an effect of flying through the stars at the speed of light.


Based on the team’s research on colour psychology, warm colours are able to hieghtened the sense of speed, at that same time it tends to force the viewers to sense increased heart rate whereas cooler colours would have the opposite effect. Hence in order to have the feeling of change in scale and a change in the perception of speed within the interior space of our tunnel, we tested the effect of using lights in the interior light strips.


Te t o n i c E l e m e n t s

Joining Technique While considering the possible model fabrication methods, our team also considered the possible construction techniques that would allow our design to be manifested in the real world. The design brief mandates that the structure needs to have “longevity in its appeal� Based on that, we wanted to use a material that was long lasting, sturdy and is able to withstand the test of time. Therefore we concluded the the use of steel was probably the most practical and economical choice. With that in mind, we had to consider possible joinery technique that would hold the entire structure together at the same time ensuring that the structural elements of the design compliments our concept of illusion of speed. Option 1: Pin joins Option 3: Steel connection plates


Option 1

The original idea of making use of pin joints as a construction option was because we wanted to minimise the amount a customization required for this project. Pin joints are flexible, allowing the edges of the structure to be easily manipulated and fabricated, However the pin joint system would result in the large bolts being exposed, hence breaking the rhythm of the illusion of speed.


Te t o n i c E l e m e n t s

Option 2

Considering the problem of structural elements interfering with the design intent. The second option that the team looked into was making use of steel connection plates and simply welding the T beams into place. This method of construction produces a much cleaner finish, and the use of conventional steel beams makes it easier to brace the structure laterally. However as it is difficult to manipulate the angles of the strips, the strips would most proabaly have to be fabricated off site.


On Site Assembly

1- Dig Footings,Place Lateral Bracing with every 4th strip ( 10m Stretch ) 2- put tgether remainding strips 3- Lastly place the light strips in the interior.


Final Model -Physical Model -Spatial experience

The Model Due to time and budget constraint we decided to take a more analogue approach in the model making process. First we unrolled the surfaces and printed them out on a plotter to scale, making use of the out lines of each surface as our stencil to cut out each individual strips.


In order to stabalise the area in which the strips connect, the team cut out the conncection plates of the ‘steel’ members, and used it to brace the weakes point on each structure. We then went on to connect the strips onto the base of the model, however we were faced with a problem. The strips were not as strong as we had anticipated. Due to the height scale of the model vs the size of the connection at the base, the strips were perpendicular and any for exterted to the sides would make the strips sway. Therefore it was paramount that we support the structure laterally. 71

Spatial Experience


Mid Way Point



North Elevation

South Elevation

The main goal of this design was to create an experiential architecture that to a certain extent have a cognigtive effect to the human mind. In this aspect, the team tried to mimic the illusion of speed, hence artifically stimulating the mind to percieve speed as the users drive through the tunnel. By making use of a sectioning style of strips, we are able to create a pulsating visual pattern allowing the drivers to feel as though they are flying pass these objects, and acelerating. The variation in scale at different areas of the tunnel helped create areas of compression and expansion. This helps create a speeding up effect at areas of compression and the opposite at the areas of expansion. To further push the concept of illusion of speed, the team made use of light strips of different length and thickness variation to produce lighting aberration in the interior tunnel space. This helps create the visual effect of flying through the stars in space at the speed of light, hence attempting to achieve the ‘wow’ effect in order to allow the design to “Encourage further reflection about the installation beyond a first glance” . 73

Learning Outcomes C4 Learning Outcome


Crit Feedback Unfortunately for the group, the lighting optimization process of the design came in very late, hence leaving us very little time for fabrication, this was clearly reflected in our final presentation, and I feel that our physical model may have conveyed a message that was not what the group has intended. Despite that we feel that we have a very strong concept idea, that would help create a discourse on the site at Wyndham. On a different light, the group received constructive criticism with regards to how we should push the concept further. One of the main issues risen was the lack of development in the light exploration, it was suggested that the group look into developing the algorithm of the lighting effect, and figure out how to parametrically design the light strips on to the structure instead of “randomly� assigning the lights. While we do agree with the points raised, and that by further enhancing the lighting design, we may be able to push the design concept even further. We felt that due to time constraints, and that the concept of lighting came in pretty late in the design process, we were not able to fully expand on that idea 77


Learning Outcomes Prior to this subject, I was clueless about the possibilities parametric design could bring to the table. Being only exposed to digital softwares as a tool to develop visuals, the whole idea of utilizing grasshopper as my “drawing block” was fascinating . In this short period of time I somehow managed to learn two new softwares. As this was my first experience with parametric design, initially I found it extremely difficult to figure out the components in grasshopper and make use of them in my design, the most I could do was to mimic the tutorial videos. Application of the algorithm beyond that seemed impossible. However somewhere in week 4 I realised that I could simply plug in different sets of algorithm to form the whole design, and I eventually saw how these little bits and pieces of information could work together as a whole system. Although making use of Grasshopper as a tool for designing may be frustrating for beginners, I believe that parametric design is the way of the future for architecture. Not because of how ‘cool’ the end product might look, but of its possibilities of testing certain systems and analysing how a structure would work even before it is built. The use of new fabrication technology will also help pave the way for newer construction methods, allowing the architects to return to the role of the master builder. Studio air has made me think more deeply into the concepts of architecture design and the role it has in this world, by understanding architecture as a discourse I have formed my own perspectives on what architecture should be able to do. However I realised that this perspective is subjective from person to person, hence making the concept of architecture much more ambiguous than it already is. This module was extremely hectic and demanding, especially for someone who has no prior experience with parametric design. Learning a software while designing at the same time proved to be gargantuan task, one that I do not wish to repeat. However, despite the many sleepless nights I strongly believe that I have learnt a great deal, both in terms of practical skills as well conceptual thinking.


Vienna Chen Journal Final  
Vienna Chen Journal Final