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VIENNA CHEN

ARCH ITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO

AIR

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

3 5 9 11


1.1 Introduction

My name is Vienna and I am c ur rent ly in my t hird ye ar of t he B achelors 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. S o f urt 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 of 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. The s of t wares t hat I have us e d in t he p ast was 3Ds Max and V-ray and since I have no pr ior exp er ience w it h p aramet r ic mo del ling I b elie ve t his mo du le w i l l b e a g re at opp or tunit y to f ur t her my k now le dge into 3D desig ning .


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, Howe ver o cc asiona l ly we w i l l desig n show units for t he lo c a l prop er t y de velop er. The Shore residence was one of t hos e rare proj e c ts. The ab ove p ersp e c t ive was a pres ent at ion 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 t he cei ling , It was an attempt to cre ate and inter pl ay of lig ht and shadow, hence cre at ing a r ippling of shadows. Much li ke t he r ippling 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, it has t he abi lit y to inf luence c u lture and histor y.

In t he 21st centur y, we are now div ing into he ar t of t he dig it a l age, w here archite c ture is b e coming more and more inf luence d by dig it a l desig ning .

Therefore to underst and 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 c ture in our s ociet 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 con st 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 archi te 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.”

The ne w for ms, mater i a l and ne w 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 t a k ing inovat ion f rom a l l s ources, cre at ing c u ltura l ly sig nif ic ant st r uc ture.

In order words, archite c ture is s omet hing t hat c an b e anyt hing t hat generates dis c ussion and dis cours e. It do es not have any pre-re quisites, it c an b e in t he for m of t he or ies, sketches and do es not a lways le ad to a 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 of “ 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 t hat is c u ltura l ly and physic a l ly imp ac t f u l.

This t rend c an b e s e en t hroug hout histor y. E xamples of such are 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 pres ent t imes.

1. Alberto Pérez-Gómez. (n.d.). Hermeneutics as architectural discourse. Retrieved from http://www.mcgill.ca/files/ architecture-theory/hermeneutics.pdf 2. (2008). Pour nous n°2 : Le hiéroglyphe métropolitain. (2008). [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.tumblr.com/ 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 it’s f ur t hest limits and she ne ver desig ns s omet hing ‘ordinar y’ Therefore I am referencing dis cours e to one of her award w inning bui lding , t he Nurag ic and C ontemp orar y Ar t Mus eum. This proj e c t aims to cre ate a c u ltura l no de and s er ves as a sig na l w hich announces t he ar iva l to 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 a t ion sp aces, g re en sp aces and public ro ads.

Much li ke any ot her bui ldings desig ne d by Z a ha Hadid, t his bui lding fol lows an organic for m a lmost lo ok ing li ke concrete re ef. On top of t hat, t he s c a le of t he bui lding app e ars ver y low 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 http://www.newarchitecture.biz/2010/12/blog-post.html


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 t hat cost a w hopping sum of one bi l lion dol l ars was t he center of a huge deb ate among Singap ore ans in 2012 . S ome b elie ve d t hat it was a waste of mone y and l and, w hi le ot hers s aid t hat it is a go o d addit ion to t he sky line. Howe ver ver y litt le was ment ione d ab out w hat was t he gover nment t r ue intent ions of emb ark ing on such a huge proj e c t.

Pr ime Minister 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 opu 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 ant ly, g raciously.” In ot her words, 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 http://www.archdaily.com/324309/cooled-conserva tories-at-gardens-by-the-bay-wilkinson-eyre-architects/ 2. ArchDaily. (2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.archdaily.com/254471/gardens-by-the-bay-grantassociates/


Hav ing s aid t hat, t he Garden by t he b ay was desig ne d w it h sust ainabi lit y as its ke y fo c us. For example, 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 t he s ol ar p anels and rain water col le c t ion systems to a l low t he t re es to f unc t ion exac t ly li ke how a re a l t re e wou ld work. Thes e t re es a ls o s er ve as an exhaust system to help co ol t he cons er vator ies. The archite c ts and desig ner 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 arge s c a le d proj e c t t hat has now b e come an archite 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 monsters, but inste ad a ‘s elf-sust aining’ ent it y t hat ut i lizes sust ainable energ y. Thes e ide as c an b e applie d to t he Gate way proj e c t. Whereby t he desig n c an s er ve b ot h as a f unc t iona l and v isu a l pur p os e.

1. (2012). Gardens by the bay. (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.archdaily.com/324309/cooled-conserva tories-at-gardens-by-the-bay-wilkinson-eyre-architects/ 2. (2012). Contemporary Gardens by the Bay, Singapore (2012). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.adelto.co.uk/ contemporary-gardens-by-the-bay-singapore/


1.3 Computational Architecture

In t his c ur rent d ay and age, computers are now pl ay ing a huge role in t he desig ning pro cess in archite c ture as comp are d to just a de c ade ago. It is now able to help desig ners pro duce not on ly pres ent at ion and const r uc t ion draw ings, it a l lows 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 ld ing . 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 e ver yt hing els e is 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 now 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. The t houg ht of c ustomizat ion is a s c ar y one, b e c aus e it me ant bre a k ing a l l t he ‘r u les’ and it of ten comes w it h a hef t y pr ice t ag . Howe ver in re cent ye ars, computers has a l lowe d us to retur n to t he role of t he ‘master bui lder’ it a l lows archite c ts to ana lyze t he bui lding and how it may b e const r uc te d, hence remov ing t he b ound ar ies s et by ot hers. On top of t hat w it h dig it a l fabr ic at ion te chnolog y, it a l lows de sig ners to c ustomize for ms and st r uc tures w it hout inc ur r ing to o much cost.

1. Zaha Hadid Architects-Pendik Masterplan, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006. (2006). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www. patrikschumacher.com/Images/Digital%20Cities/Istanbul_block-type_2_sm.jpg


“ 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�

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 av 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. This st r uc ture w hich has a l and are a of 400 meters s qu are c an b e def l ate d and t ransp or te d e asi ly. The desig n was init i a l ly conceptu a lize d by sketch, howe ver to ma ke an inf l at able st r uc ture of t his s c a le, The archite c ts made us e of p aramet r ic desig n to fabr ic ate t he tub es.

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. 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’

1. Zaha Hadid Architects-Pendik Masterplan, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006. (2006). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www. patrikschumacher.com/Images/Digital%20Cities/Istanbul_block-type_2_sm.jpg


Taichung Metropolitan Opera House Taichung, Taiwan

Taichun Met rop olit an O p era hous e is desig 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, t his cre ate d a maze of interlo ck ing reinforcement ste el b ars and ste el t r uss es. The f luid wa l ls t hat were us e d in t his st r uc ture were t hre e dimensiona l and it w as t houg ht to b e imp ossible to fabr ic ate. Howe ver ma k ing us e of p aramet r ic desig n , t he st r uc ture 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 ventu a l ly b e t he for m of t he op era hous e. 1. Zaha Hadid Architects-Pendik Masterplan, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006. (2006). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www. patrikschumacher.com/Images/Digital%20Cities/Istanbul_block-type_2_sm.jpg


1.5 Algorithmic Exploration

When I f irst st ar te d t his explorat ion, I wante d to lo ok into how g r id shel l w i l l a l low 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 into t he g r id shel 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. f rom t here 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 rhino, 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 may e dit t he sur face w it hout re-draw ing t he desig n on R hino. This le ad me to do s ome res e arch on explo ding sur faces and how I am able to cre ate an e dit able 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 subsur face, cre at ing a net li ke desig n for my chair. Throug h t his explorat ion, I am able to f ur t her ana lyze 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 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 ione d 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. Howe ver I found t hat a lt houg h t his met ho d of cre at ing a s e c t ione d sur face aest het ic a l ly ple asing , It is not a ver y prac t ic a l desig ning met ho d in archite c ture. 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 in re a lit y it is prob ably to o exp ensive to b e exe c ute d on a l arger s c a le.


1.6 Conclusion The Gate way is a proj e c t in Wy nd ham Cit y 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 it 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, it has to b e aest het ic a l ly complex and c u ltura l ly me aning f u l. 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, it has b e come a me ans to re conne c t t he archite c t w it h t he const r uc t ion process. For t he p ast fe w de c ades, t he cre at iv it y of t he archite c t have 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 comput 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, we dis c uss e d ab out archite c ture as a dis cours e and t he role of archite c ture in our mo der n d ay s o ciet y. We a ls o t a l ke d ab out how comput at iona l archite c ture is able to re conne 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. Thes e has bro adene d my p ersp e c t ive of archite c ture, and made me re a lize t hat now 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. 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.


Week 4  

Journal week 4

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