Booklet: Dermoid

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Velux Guest Professorship, CITA & Mark Burry, SIAL CITA: Centre for IT and Architecture Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

SIAL: Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory RMIT University, Victoria, Australia

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Left: Mark Burry speaking during the first workshop. Far left: The installation Dermoid displayed at the “1:1 - Research by Design” exhibition.

Introduction In spring 2009 Prof. Mark Burry won the prestigious Velux Visiting Professorship Award to work with CITA, Centre for IT and Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture over a two year period. The aim for the Visiting Professorship has been to explore how computation may lead to new material practices in architecture. The project was developed across four research led workshops with students and researchers across the School of Architecture. The installation Dermoid marks the culmination of this process. It simultaneously demonstrates the wealth of accumulated knowledge, design techniques and research methodology generated as a product of this international

collaborative effort. Dermoid was unveiled in March 2011 as part of the “1:1 - Research by Design” exhibition at the School of Architecture.

The 4 workshops that led to Dermoid were: - The Reading Room with Department 11 (4th year) in March 2010

Thank you to The Velux Foundation, SIAL - Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

- Research Workshop with Researchers and PhD students qfrom SIAL and CITA in June 2010

We would also like to thank the students for their engagement, enthusiasm and contribution to the project.

- Material Behaviour with Department 2 - EK2 (4th year) in November 2010 - Paths to Production with Department 2 (3rd year) in January 2011.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Research Question Whereas there is great awareness of the potentials of working with material behaviour tools there is currently little applied research into the testing of this. Today, much of the knowledge base in building practice aims to repress and control these forces. The industrial standardisation of building materials uses much resource to harness the behaviours of materials. Similarly, engineering practice seeks to compute and control However, materials hold internal forces that can be incorporated material performance. This project asked how these knowledge bases can be used to investigate new structural systems that into structural systems. This material performance, such as incorporate material performance. the tensile flexing of wood and steel, can be used strategically to increase structural performance thereby reducing material The project took point of departure in visiting professor use and leading to a more intelligent and sustainable building Mark Burry and CITAs joint expertise into advanced digital practice. design technologies and digital fabrication. Working with and The visiting professorship has focused on a research investigation into the structural exploitation of material performance. Materials are commonly used for their compressive strength. Traditional building structures facilitate load bearing through a correlation of compressive and tensile forces passing loads linearly through the building envelope.

participating in the maturing of the interfaces between design and fabrication has led to a common understanding that digital design leads to a new material practice. This practice is characterised by a new nearness between design intent and material understanding. If architectural design traditionally operates within the space of the representational, digital design practice leads to a new practice that incorporates direct knowledge of craft and material behaviour. With a focus on traditional and ubiquitous building materials used in everyday construction, the project aims to investigate a new material practice where designers

Opposite page: Mark Burry currently serves as the Executive Architect and Researcher on the Sagrada Familia cathedral project in Barcelona, Spain. Mark is also an active author and architectural theorist partnering with his wife Jane Burry. Their latest book is called the New Mathematics of Architecture. This page: Preceding CITA projects introducing and exploring similar research questions (Thaw, Persistent Model #1 and Lamella Flock).

focus on working with materials intelligently rather than necessarily with intelligent materials. Guiding research questions were: - What are the structural potentials for working with a greater understanding of material behaviour? - How do we design for material performance? - How can this new material practice lead to new requirements in our design tools?

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Developing relevant design tools One of the key problems in designing for material performance lies with the traditional understanding of architectural design space. The orthogonal logics of the architectural design space support a traditional understanding of structural systems as the correlation between compressive and tensile loads. Working with and designing for the material performance embodied in for example the bending of timber or the flexing of steel necessitates other kinds of design spaces that include material simulation and analysis. It is this challenge that is addressed with the arrival of a new digital platform integrating the knowledge fields of architectural design, structural engineering and material science. New computational tools allow for the creation of complex

descriptions that incorporate material simulation, structural simulation and spatial design. These descriptions calculate the performance of materials incorporating the simulation of the internal structures of material and thereby allowing for digital prototyping and testing. A second aspect of developing tools for a shared digital platform lies with the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the research. Testing for and controlling material behaviour is traditionally part of engineering practice. If designers are to work intelligently with material behaviour it is necessary to facilitate knowledge sharing between engineering and design as well as crafts and fabrication.

Different approaches and design tools employed throughout the project to incorporate material behaviour: Left: Describing bending behaviour by plotting data to mathematical functions. Above: Simulating material and aggregate behaviour using light weight physics simulation. Right: Simulating the deformation of a composite beam using finite element analysis.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Left: An installation piece for the ParaWood project demonstrating complex parametric modelling combined with CNC fabrication strategies. Far left: Results from a preceding “Woven Wood� CITA student workshop demonstrating the idea of active bending as a design principle. Opposite page: One of the reciprocal wood joints developed during the Dermoid workshops.

Timber as case The aim for the project is to investigate the making of digital tools by which architects and engineers can work intelligently with material performance. The project took point of departure in a series of investigations across the partnership on timber construction. These projects explore wood construction as an integrated part of parametrically defined design space interfaced with CNC fabrication (ParaWood), self-bracing structures using tensile performance of wooden slats (Woven Wood) and reciprocal truss systems (tested at SIAL).

- Timber is a traditional building material that crosses many cultures and has a developed tradition of detailing and construction. - Timber is presently used primarily in the building industry. - Timber is a sustainable building material. - Timber is a fibrous material and holds inherent tensile performance . - Timber is traditionally restricted to smaller scale constructions because of the limits of its span. Recent research into glue-lam and composite pre-stressed wood constructions explore the extension of spans in wood construction that would allow for As a chosen focus timber has many relevant properties that further applications of wood construction. will be explored as part of the research project:

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Methodology The research project employed a practice based research method focusing on the development of speculative models and working prototypes. This material evidence provided a basis by which the project thesis can be experimented with and tested. The project took point of departure in a series of empirical studies undertaken through workshops with the core project team as well as students from the School of Architecture. This first phase focused on hands on experimentation, exploring the material potential of concepts such as self-bracing, prestressing and reciprocal load bearing systems. The workshops were materially led, building material prototypes and full scale demonstrators.

The objective for the experimental work was to build up an experiential understanding of material behaviour that can support and develop experiments with digital modelling and simulation. Experiences from parallel research has led us to an understanding of the difference in the knowledge spaces of crafts and computation, in material practice and the descriptive practices of representation and modelling. Engaging directly with material behaviour, with detailing and crafts allowed us to better assess these differences.

third and final phase physical prototypes were build that qualified this approach and tested these against material behaviour. Through the workshops and the collaboration of the core design team ideas and concepts were refined and concrete structural systems emerged. In the spring of 2011 these was evaluated and finally evolved into a 1:1 demonstrator: The installation Dermoid.

The experimental workshops were followed by a second phase focussing on complex modelling of material behaviour. The objective was to develop tools for digital proto-typing so as to test the limits of working with material behaviour. In the

This page: Development of material 1:1 prototypes and speculative models. Opposite page: Development of speculative digital tools and techniques for geometric description, spatial organisation and material simulation.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

The Workshop Model Working through a workshop model the research project created an environment of exchange between researchers and students. The workshops were focused development periods in which students were asked to engage with the given research topics guiding the overall project. The workshops create flat environments where researcher and student seek to question the technologies, materials and techniques together.

simulation. The 3 week Research Workshop with researchers and PhD students from SIAL and CITA proved essential to the digital probing of different programming strategies for material simulation. The Material Behaviour workshop with Department 2, EK2, solved key tectonic and digital fabrication questions. And finally the Paths to Production workshop with Department 2, was instrumental in solving the final design development and detailing.

Opposite page and above: Impressions from the four workshops.

In the making of Dermoid these workshops have proven fundamental for the project development. The material testing in The Reading Room with Department 11 allowed and understanding of the predictability of laminated and tempered ply and therefore its inappropriateness for digital

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Workshop 1: The Reading Room Workshop conducted with fourth year students from department 11 at KA in March 2010.

Specifically the workshop asked the students to consider the following themes:

The first workshop called for the design and modelling of a small work-space, a “Reading Room” in a physical location that is neither rural nor urban. Based around the work and writings of the French author Georges Perec the workshop reduced programmatic issues to a minimum while elevating more tectonic and theoretical considerations in the context of a parametrically and materially conceived proposition.

- The relationship of the architectural object to landscape and topography. - Detailed design for construction going beyond building the building itself to include attitudes to the site (geology and landscape topography) and the historical and geographical context of “location”. - The fully functional and habitable artefact as “beautiful object”. - Relationships between the tectonic qualities of materials and their appropriateness for building. - The formal qualities of the architectural object.

Projects were related to the works of Georges Perec, with specific reference made to the essay “Reading: A Sociophysiological Outline”.

- The relationship of the exterior and interior surface to one another, and their engagement with tectonic and material issues (surface and substance) - Questions about the physical and metaphysical attributes of surface and material substance (veneers, materials in their natural and manufactured states and the relationship of surface to assembly). - Relationships between automated, semi-automated and handcrafted building processes. - Scale and complexity.

Students: Michael Hauris Lysemose, Thomas Skov, Rune Krøjgaard, Marie Møller, Riikka Madleena Larivaara, Maria Mauléon Lundberg, Wenjuan Li, Stephanie Braconnier, Lisl Johanna Coady, Sophie Elizabeth Brauer, Claire Paillon, Caroline Svennerstedt, Maria-Ignacia Murtagh, Stefano de Santis, Daniel Tudman, Marie Lafontaine-Lacasse, Andrew Hruby, Odette Zwinkels

This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring the elastic deformation and bending of plywood strips and their potential as tectonic structures.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Workshop 2: Summer Research Period Research workshop conducted with researchers and PhD students from CITA and SIAL in June 2010. The summer research period focused on the exploration of reciprocal wood frame structures and on developing intelligent simulations of material behaviour in parametric software. The research period invited the key researcher team to collaborate using a diverse range of digital toolsets and simultaneously developing material prototypes. The results, sketches and knowledge produced over the two week workshop, would eventually lay down the foundation for the rest of the project. In particular the concepts of reciprocal wood frames based on active bending as well as the host of

digital tools and approaches which were developed. The individual researchers were given key areas of focus in which to unfold and connect the larger thematic concerns of the research project as a whole. These included: - Understanding the nature of actively bending wood as a structural concept using both hands-on and FEA methods. - Designing and testing prototype wood beams based on this understanding. - Developing a deep knowledge of reciprocal structures and how patterns may be generated which describe these. - Experimenting with different styles of wood joinery as a connection mechanism.

- Seeking to mathematically describe and simulate bending in a parametric model. - Geometrically and spatially describing the node-based reciprocal structures using parametric modellers. - Developing generative design techniques for patterning and formfinding - Using light weight digital simulation methods to simulate material behaviour in a decentralized approach.

Participants: Mark Burry, Jane Burry, Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Martin Tamke, Phil Ayres, Daniel Davis, Ph.D. student, Alex Pena, Ph.D. student, Jacob Riiber Nielsen, Ph.D. student, Tore Banke, Ph.D. student, Anders Holden Deleuran, Stig Anton Nielsen, Morten Winter

This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring the elastic deformation and bending of plywood strips and their potential as tectonic structures.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

PhD Symposium: Digital Relations in Architecture A research symposium conducted in June 2010. The PhD symposium brought together three international research units investigating digital practices in architecture. The aim for the symposium was to discuss the emerging impact of digital design tools and computation within an architectural practice and fabrication environment and the way it can be engaged for new design thinking. The symposium framed key research questions on generative and parametric design, material practice and responsive architectures as well as the methods through which these questions can be discussed. The event consisted of 20 min presentation by twenty PhD students organised in themed

panels over two days. The panels were chaired by international scientists from the fields of architectural research, robotics and material science. Panel Chairs: Mark Burry (SIAL, RMIT), Jane Burry (SIAL, RMIT), Sean Hanna (Space Group, The Bartlett), Ole Sigmund (DTU), Martin Tamke (CITA), Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (CITA), Alasdair Turner (Space Group, The Bartlett) PhD Students: Ruairi Glynn, Norbert Palz, Anders Hermund, Brady Peters, Christopher Leung, Sarat Babu, Daniel Davis, Tim Ireland, Michael Piasecki, Aurélie Mossé, Alexander Peña de Leon, Minaka Khosla, Abel Maciel, Gennaro Senatore, Tore Banke, Jacob Riiber, Kindal Al Sayed

Above: Group photo of a majority of the research symposium participants. Right: Collection of images from the presented PhD projects and papers.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Workshop 3: Material Behaviour Workshop conducted with fourth year students from EK2/ department 2 at KA in November 2010. In the third workshop the incorporation of material behaviour in architectural construction was the main focus of investigation. The workshop took point of departure in the basic surface description of an ellipsoid dome. We asked the students to consider how a dome construction can create shelter.

through different strategies allowing you to challenge form, intensity and structure? Working with small elements we asked the students to investigate reciprocal truss frame structures as a tectonic system. We worked with parametric design and digital fabrication using grasshopper to design variegated structures and the schools laser cutter to test these in 1:1. As such the workshop was organised around two phases:

Phase 1: In this phase we investigated the spatial intentions Designed for the schools exhibition hall we wanted the students of the project: we asked the students to consider how such a to consider and imagine how the dome could be situated within structure could house and be housed within the exhibition hall. the hall and how it would create a new interior within. What is What are the spatial enclosures that it suggests, how is inside a dome construction? How does the merging of wall and roof define apart from outside, how do we enter and how does it create a new membrane of continuity? How can it be variegated suggest an environmental relationship or programme. Here, we

worked in scale creating the overall spatial strategy of the proposal. Phase 2: In this phase we investigated the making of the structure in 1:1. We worked in defined groups each tackling particular problems that are part of the project development: 1) the design of the individual truss beam, 2) the design of the joint, 3) designing the edge condition and relationship to the ground, 4) analysing for material behaviour and 5) the potential of a second skin. Each of these part examinations were then examined together and reflected upon by the team as a whole through joint crits and presentations.

Students: Monica Bambini, Frederik Beckett-Nilsson, Sophie Brauer, Erna Dogg Porvaldsdottir Vestmann, Jedidiah Gordon-Moran, Clara Ha, David Jessen, Konstantin König, Tina Lyneborg Jensen, Nicola Louise Markhus, Giorgio Marzullo, Olympia Nouska, Ellen O’Gara¸ Sara Patriksson, Anne Katrine Roien, Antonio Salvador, Alina Scheutzow, Pernille Siggaard, Michael Stroh, Jens Voss

This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring reciprocal patterns as material structures, different strategies for the spatial arrangements of hexagonal patterns as underlying base geometry , design of s-curved beams and their connections, levels of digital representation and means of fabrication.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Workshop 4: Paths to Production Workshop conducted with fourth year students from department 2 at KA in January 2011. The workshop investigated relations between intention and production, and the consequences this has on design when they are treated as core concerns. We examined how digital tools can provide the designer with a space to explore design intent, and to instruct machines that can fabricate those intentions. The students gained practical skills in how to do this at 1:1, conceptual skills in how to manage and produce the production information of complex assemblies that make use of nonstandard components, and learn how a concern with fabrication places direct implications on the way in which you design.

The workshop is part of an on-going two year research project with the Velux Guest Professor Mark Burry (SIAL). This research examines methods of digitally modelling material behaviour at various scales of complexity – from components (discreet) to construction systems (aggregates). This research is also interested in determining what kind of design space results from the choices we make in representing dynamic material behaviours. Through the previous workshops we had been focusing on the bending behaviour of wood. Through this work we designed a ‘body-plan’ or ‘schema’ for a hybrid reciprocal frame construction system. A key concern with this was how

to represent this parametrically and establishing the key criteria to represent. In this final workshop we moved towards an exploration of the production phase after numerous iterative design cycles. The lessons learnt in this workshop were directly tied to and informed the finalizing fabrication stage of the overall research project.

Students: Arendse Emilie Agger, Saga Andersson, Niels Henrik Hedegaard Brix, Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen, Christina Kongsmark Flanding, Marie Hallandvik Hortemo, Anders Gade Jørgensen, Isabella Caterina Kleivan, Michael Walther Franz Laungaard, Viktor Harald Nilsson, Hedvig Elisabet Skjerdingstad, Karoline Jacobsen Sørum, Heidi Rasmussen Vilhelmsen, Emilie Harpøth Zilstorff, Emilie Ørting

Write text::::::This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring the elastic deformation and bending of plywood strips and their potential as tectonic structures.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Demonstrator: Design, Production & Dissemination In the final stages of the guest professorship the accumulated knowledge, skills, tools and design developments were distilled and refined in order to produce a project demonstrator in the form of a pavilion for the “1:1 - Research by Design” exhibition at the School of Architecture.

- How to spatially arrange the reciprocal beam members in more The final demonstrator piece Dermoid was designed, complex surface topologies than the already given dome by optimized, fabricated and assembled in less than two using a polygon mesh-based dynamics approach. weeks in the period from Monday 28/02-2011 to Friday 12/03-2011 by a team consisting of 3-6 people. - How to ensure stability in the parametric model using certain patterning rules and computational optimizations.

This process was carried out by the core research team building upon the combined efforts of the students and everyone - Developing the component as a distributed structural member involved in the project. The main challenges in this process were and testing the structural performance of larger aggregations of focused on the following: members. - Situating the work in the exhibition context and begin to pinpoint the overall form and component scale, the “design surface”, number of members etc.

- Testing and evaluating fabrication and construction strategies.

Write text .:::::This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring the elastic deformation and bending of plywood strips and their potential as tectonic structures.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Write text .:::::This and next spread: Impressions from the workshop, exploring the elastic deformation and bending of plywood strips and their potential as tectonic structures.

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Dermoid/Velux Guest Professorship Mark Burry & CITA 2009-2011

Thank you to : The Velux Foundation SIAL , Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture For further information and projects please see : Contact :