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INTRODUCTION My name is Christopher Marinopoulos, and i am undertaking my third year iin the bachelor of Environments, majoring in architecture. This journal wll how progress of my work throughout the subject, starting from existing knowledge and developing it into a more developed skill set of moedlling, computatational deign and many ways of completing design tasks. I have completed three studios, getting insight into design decisions, problems and briefs, although more design tasks will be helpful in developing design skills which can be hard to understand in theory, and only leaarnt through practice. I have always had an interest in geography and places, and i am learning to combine new skills in design with existing knowledge.

Previous Design Skills Throughout the Bachelor of Environment’s first 2 years, i have developed some new skills, especailly in computer modelling, fabrication and some rendering. Through Virtual Environemnts, there was majority of design through Rhino, including lofting, panelling tools, fabrication and construction of a model (see top picture), in the form of a wearable head sculpture. Through other design subjects introductions to AutoCAD (bottom picture) and rendering of models (3DS Max), (2nd bottom pictire) have given widespread exposure to digital processes that can help in designing and visually presenting ideas. I have had exposure and some shallow knowledge of digital architecture, through seeing precedent such as the Guggenheim museusm in Bilbao’s process of computerisation of sketch into model, as well as concept models of high rise buildings, such as the Eureka Tower in Melbourne. I however have not been shown the in depth processes of computational design before attending university. Top: Final Model, Virtual Environments 2nd Top: Rhino Panelling Tools, Virtual Environments 2nd Bottom: 3DS Max Rendering, Site Tectonics Bottom: AutoCAD Drawings, ADS Water.


A.1 ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE Archigram, A Walking City (1964).

Architecture is a vital part of society, important in its cultural ans social value, the most public form of artwork, that can achieve discussion that nothing else in a place can do as well. By addressing architecture as a discourse rather than just a building.

Source: archigram-60s70s-architectural-avant-garde/

“Architecture is the most public of the arts. It is inescapable of anyone living in urban society. Works of architecture frame our lives” Richard Williams. Architectural and Visual Culture

The ideas generated can also be considered a form of architecture, addressing issues and establishing new forms and ideas. This can be shown by Archigram, Plug in city (1964). the group Archigram, whose ideas of how cities Source: http://va312ozgunkilic.wordpress. could work through visual diagrams and drawings com/2010/12/07/archigram-plug-in-city/ allowed for discourse for society and allowed for discussion, such as the Walking City (1964) and Plug-in City (1964). These ideas were never actually built or put into real cities, but gave ideas that challenged the exisiting thoughts of what a city has to be. Projects that use forms and concepts in a creative and imposing way can create greater connection between the structure and the users, creating a conversation that is positive to a place’s image and intrigue. Ordos Art and City Museum of Inner Mongolia (2011). Source: news/museum-design-news/the-ordos-art-andcity-museum-of-inner-mongolia/


UNStudio, Burnham Pavillion, Chicago, 2009

The Burnham pavillion by UNStudio is small temporary pavillion that is an indicator a key example of how programs such as Grasshopper can be beneficial to the city’s aesthetics. It contributes to an augmented experience of the users, relating to Daniel Burnham’s 1909 plan of Chicago, and expresses it using a new form of construction and experience. The fact that it was temporary does not change the grand effect on the site and the interaction between person and building, incorporating new technologies and simple geometry to create a streamline but complex structure. Its legacy is the memory of how a pavillion can add to a persons experience, and make people understand how new software can create new ideas and aesthetically pleasing sturctures for the public to use.


soma Architecture, White Noise, Salzburg, Austria, 2010 The White Noise project, used as the Salzburg Biennale Music Pavillion, expresses a different form of pavillion to the public, using new programs to create a structurally stable and intriguing structure. The use of geometry and exposing the structural rods leaves a strong impression on the surronding are, when compared to the rectalinear buldings in the square. The pavillion draws people to it, and creates a feeling of exploration and wonder, and leaves a legacy of how structures builit similarly can be built on a larger scale. The achievement of Bollinger and Grohmann Engineers, by using new programs to understand the loads and stuructual elements of the type of geometry, causes a positive approach to new ways of designing and constructing, allowing for a change in global perception of computational design and show that remarkable results can be achieved.

A.2 COMPUTATIONAL ARCHITECTURE Architecture and the design process is an evolutionary process, with many changes occuring or the time of mankind, and a rapid shift in recent history, such as the new found prominence of computational design. From the creation of the “architect” seen in ancient greek period, to Renaissance masters of design such as Bruneleschi and Alberti, and to current expectations of architects seen by modernist and post modernist such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. The process used by current architects has greatly changed. The current rapid shift to computerisation as well as computational design, which involved the process of problem solving as well as a discussion with the problem (see Kalay’s design process diagram). New techniques to maximise design potential and time reduction can be motviated by the great analytical of computers, and seen currently, the design aspects that computer programs can achieve with the cooperation of the designer.

“Such a symbiosis is predicated on communication, the ability to share information between computers and humans” Yehuda E. Kalay, Architectures New Media.

The focus on a symbiotic design process, that allows a positive interaction and can produce better designs and a more organised process of designing and finalising ideas. This communication of architects using programs can utilise the benefits of both humans and the software used.

Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media: Principles, THeories and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Top and bottom are two different design processes that show the relationship between goals and solutions.


Herzog & De Meuron, Messe Basel-New Hall, Basel, Switzerland, Completion 2013

The design process of Messe Basel New Hall is a clear example of how the digital technology group Herzog & De Meuron can use many computational methods to determine the form and structure of the the building. By incorporating random generators to establish a change in the facade, and using technology to narrow the premises fo the design, therefore allowing a more focused and concise process to occur. The development of the software by the digital technology gorup allow specific form making for such parts as stairs and facades and deliver clearer results, such as the 3D facade using panels to give a more exciting sheel, also using computational ideas to facilite different openings and features. Top: Outside perspective of the hall Middle: Random generation helping in deisigning facade Bottom: 3D Panelling of the Facade


Foster + Partners and Buro Happold, Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough, Uk, 2007

Thomas Deacon Academy Interior hall space.

The structure realted to the movement of thousands of pupils and how it can be maximised in one building.

The use of the simulation program is a way of how computational data and ideas can be reflected in architecture, being able to see how it could work, and considering it in the process of design. This would have been too expensive or time consuming in a real life experiment. The partnership between Foster + Partners anf Buro Happold, specialising in digital simulation, can represent a symbiotic relationship between design and computer programming.

The use of simulation and experimenting with movement played a key role in decisions regarding movement areas’ placement and dimensions, such as walkways, stairs and corridors. This was done by using simulation software and allowing the potential movements of over 2000 students and staff, and critical to allow a successful learning area to be contrusted. It also was driving key decisions and detecting high traffic areas and “hotspots” that could be a problem later if considered in the design process.

Thomas Deacon Academy, Simulation of movement

This program above simulates movement and allows for seeing patterns in real world situations, and how it would happen in the proposed design. Yellow is light traffic, Red is heavy pockets of traffic.

A.3 PARAMETRIC MODELLING “Parametric modelling (also known as constraint modelling) introduces a fundamental change: marks,that is, parts of a design, relate and change in a coordinated way� Robert Woodbury, Elements of Parametric Design.

The idea of parametric modelling in design is to set parameters and therefore limits in the idea, using equations and formulas to determine a set of numbers that can help in the process of idea genearation and conviction. It is not a completely new process, used in designs by Gaudi and Moretti, using a mathematical process to help develop ideas. Is however has come to the forefront of design through the incorporation of computers in architecture, and the benefits which have been documented and spread to architects around the world. The efficiency that parametric modelling can have on the design process can reduce costs of changes thorugh the known parameters that need to be changed, as well as the ability to decrease costs of designing thorughout all stages. This is very helpful to all architects, who can now formulate goals and solutions in a more clear form.

Gaudi’s hanging chian model. Source:

AIA California Council, comparing project phases. .Source: Studio AIR Lecture, Slide 30


Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) and Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL), Dermoid, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, 2011 The design of the shelllike structure was established by the process of emulating ecosyatems, and changing parameters though Grasshopper to allow the form to be made. This method of design creates a hierachy of scripting modules, that helps create the Dermoid design environment, and allows this interesting form to be constructed. This computational design process allows the creation of the design environment by the designer’s domain, allowing parameters that can control the result, and allow change to be done efficiently. This example is among other new tools that have shifted the design process and can allow new forms to be shown in ane be easily connected to other architects and designers by easy networking. Top: Dermoid final structure Left: Experimenation using Grasshopper and some steps shown in the process Bottom: Grasshopper Output of the Dermoid design


MVRDV, Bastide Niel, Bordeaux, 2010 The design of this Bordeaux land has many constraints and difficulties that need an analysis of the site to show how a design can be incorporated. MVRDV has used Grasshopper to set up parameters and make it easier to set limits for design and create a more in depth analysis of the proposed design. This incorporates physical and environental constraints. Bastide Niel, Final Volumetric Analysis

This is the final result of experimentation and changing parameters to allow an in depth analysis of the site and its attributes to be shown,

Some of these parameters include sunlight constraints of the specific site (see diagram below), and using parametric design programs can be helpful in decision making and selecting the most correct option. It allows an endless stream of configurations that be easily changed and manouvred. Middle Right: Computational process of creating a volumetric analysis Left: One proposed scheme for the area Right: Setting paramters of 45 angle of sunlight shows the change to the design of the site.

A.5 CONCLUSION The architecture now constructed may no longer be just a building, but a important asset socially to a place, allowing for discourse as well as discussion. This is a newer concept in designing, and innovative design can be a great creator of discourse. The role of computers and its programs is an important one, a new innovation in architecture in recent history that can allow “impossible� ideas and designs to be constructed, something that older practices would not allow, epecially with the possibilities of 3D Modelling over orthogonal views. My design approach will be more open to ideas and forms that might have been unable to realise previously, incorporating new skills in programs such as Grasshopper to fulfil a concept’s potential. By using computational design and not just computerizing an idea, positive changes can be ahcieved,some which might not have been thought of before, completing a discussion between goals and solutions, that is a more innovative way of approaching design, and being able to communicate through out all stages to create the best possible forms.

A.6 LEARNING OUTCOMES From the start of the semester to the conclusion of discovering a case for innovation, the exposure have given greater appreciation and an in depth explanation to parametric modelling, the advantages of computational architecture and architecture as a discourse, a new way of expressing design. The readings have given an more thought process of design, especially when it discusses the evolutionary changes that has happening to the process of designing and the role of computers in the last 20 years, written by Yehuda E. Kalay, and how the prominence of problem solving and puzle making is important, a two way discussion between problem and solution. The idea of architecture being a discourse, being soically and culturally important as well as functional has changed previous ideas of what architecture is, and how the computational processes and programs have incluede more discussion of architecture in society.



Air Studio Journal  

Journal updated week 1-3

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