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Architecture Design Studio A I R Weekly Design Journal

ABPL30048 Architecture Design Studio: Air Semester 1, 2014 The University of Melbourne Catherine Mei Min Woo 562729 Studio 12 Brad Elias and Phillip Belesky





A01. Design Futuring ## A02. Design Computation ## A03. Composition/Generation ## A04. Conclusion ## A05. Learning outcomes ## A06. Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches ## Part B. Criteria Design

Table of Contents

Part A. Conceptualisation


B01. Research Field ## B02. Case Study 1.0 ## B03. Case Study 2.0 ## B04. Technique: Development ## B05. Technique: Prototypes ## B06. Technique: Proposal ## B07. Learning Objectives and Outcomes ## B08. Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches ## Part C. Detailed Design ## C01. Design Concept ## C02. Tectonic Elements ## C03. Final Model ## C04. Additional LAGI Brief Requirements ## C05. Learning Objectives and Outcomes ## References ##





Name: Catherine Mei Min Woo Level: Undergraduate, Year 3 What is good architecture? Functional and accessible, not just design for the sake of aesthetics, or exclusively for people who can afford it. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this 20 something wide eyed girl chose to put down her scalpels and lab-coats, only to pick up a pencil and scale rule, with the hopes of rekindling a long forgotten desire to create better futures through design and the built world. it is only through retrospect that the pursuit of architecture was really the only natural decision, and as life, the universe, and cosmic forces would have it, here she is, sometimes not recognizing herself in her reflections as she drags boxes and bags of modeling materials from the ground floor Eckersleys to her small room overlooking the city. The sleepless nights, she is told, are only the beginning to a tremulous -albeit masochistic- and unique relationship with the wonder that is architecture. A lover of art and science,

and she knows not a lot. What she are old favorites when it comes to does know is this: admiring the tremendous beauty and detail found in it’s design and She is deeply fascinated by the pro- architecture. Following the process cesses of life, particularly the life of video game design as they trancycle from growth to death. Each liv- scend from the mind, to paper, to ing creature that graces the earth computer, to player: is the most lives and dies in the most unique of intricate and wondrous journey to ways, as contradicting as the order embark on. Her words alone do no that humanity forces itself to abide justice to the intricacies of creating by, and in turn by it’s own creations, an entire universe, from it’s lore to built and otherwise. The built world, the color and texture of the mossy constructed around the whims and columns on the far right of the fancy of the riches, and needs and room. Go pick up a controller. longings of the poor, has been alarmingly clear throughout his- She loves her dogs, and misses them tory; A fascinating phenomena, as dearly. The comfort of thought, the the only true constant for humanity, wonder in learning, and the glow is it’s need to separate itself from of pure intent; It is clear, that her itself time and time again. As do passion, ultimately, is creating and architects, in their own, somewhat fascilitating environments for it’s inless egotistical way, of expressing habitants to feel safe and comfortthe unification of form and function able, in sharing ideas and learning in a building- let us say, a house. with likeminded people. An environUltimately, as humans inevitably die, ment that every human deserves. as the function of a house is inevita- She says this because she knows. bly made to serve it’s humans for as That is what she knows. long as they live. A fascinating, and very human conflict; Often extrapolated into architecture and always a pleasure for her to dissect at will.

(The Sims, She is new to this world, hence a tod- an obvious favorite), the Bioshock series and Alice: Madness Returns, dler knows what a toddler knows, She loves video games

introduction: Person and drives

This is she.





Part a conceptualisation

A01 DEsign Futuring 8



the day. This reaction and mechanism appears to be influenced by nature, whereby plants adapt throughout the day in response to the intensity of sunlight which is seen to be changing throughout the day and into the night. This phenomena is known as photoperiodism.2 The influence of nature in the design appears to be extremely deliberate and conscious decision throughout the design, almost a mimicry of the nature itself. This deliberate choice can be inferred as a homage to nature, as well as the evoluton of the perspectives towards architecture beyond the confines of form and function3, or that the function overrides the importance of recognising and considering the impact of architecture onto its environment and the future.4

This project made use of a fascinating mechanism that makes use of solar energy that influences its panels to move according to the intensity of light throughout Bishop, 2012. The Canopy. Land Art Generator Initiative Competition 2012. Thomas & Vince-Prue. 1996. Photoperiodism in Plants. 2nd Edition. Academic Press. 3 Schumacher. 2011. The Autopoiesis of Architecture. A New Framework for Architecture. John Wiley. 4 Fry. 2009. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics, and New Practice. Oxford: Berg Publishers. 1 2

precedent: Past Entry: The Canopy

‘The Canopy’ is made from sheets of thin film photovoltaics attached to geometrically patterned electroactive polymers (EAPs). Thin film photovoltaics are lightweight and flexible, providing the opportunity to pair them with another material and benefit from the coupled performance. EAPs are used primarily in robotics as synthetic muscles, contracting and expanding when an electric current passes through them. Consequently, canopy coverage will fluctuate in response to light levels and the amount of energy captured. During the brightest times, the pattern will be essentially flat to maximize surface area; on cloudy days and at night the canopy will open up and become illuminated. The cells are oriented south-southwest in order to maximize solar exposure.1


A01 DEsign Futuring



University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning 2010 Research Through Making Grant, University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research 2010 Small Projects Grant and a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada 2011 Research Creation Grant

the potential for kinetic, sensing and environment-responsive interior envelope systems. The research emerges from a consideration of our attunement to the soft systems of architecture – light, thermal gradients, air quality and noise – to develop and prototype envelopes that not only perform to affect these atmospheres, but also to promote continual information and material exchange, and eventually dialogue, between occupant and atmosphere. It deploys a distributed approach to structural, mechanical and communications systems design and delivery, where localized response to demand is prioritized. The project works to reclaim the environmentally performative elements of architecture – in this case, specifically, interior mechanical delivery and interface systems – to within the purview of the discipline, as territories of material, formal, technological and experiential innovation and exploration The potential of this project introduces a fascintaing myriad of possibilites and design opportunities towards designing an architectural structure that can not only sustain itself structurally, but also produce energy to sustain itself, and possibly its surroundings as well. The Stratus project is an example of an onging study of different types of energy and the potential of combining them with engineering and architectural structures to create adaptive facades that are not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

generation. Conventional renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and water all have the ability to generate kinetic energy with the use of machinery. I am interested in exploring the capability of integrating human psychology as a main driver for users of the site to interact with adaptive structures, and in turn generate kinetic energy through interracting with their environment.

ANSYS fluid dynamic modelling software Fluent was used to test the effects of various configurations of Stratus on air velocity, thermal stratification, and energy draw.

Kinetic energy is a form of energy explored by The Stratus Project in the operation of adaptive facades, and I believe, can be taken another step further into generating more kinetic energy to firstly, recharge or replenish the energy taken to operate the mechanism, and secondly, to be able to become a supplier of stable energy. The advantage of kinetic energy is the flexibility of the means of its

Research: Energy Technology

The Stratus Project is an ongoing body of design research investigating


Image source: RTVR. 2011. The Stratus Project. at

A01 DEsign Futuring

Render of adaptive interior facade.

Stratus prototype responding to occupant presence.


Sensors detect temperature rise from baseline settings, they then communicate with actuator motors to rotate breathing cells to open, the cooling fans are then deployed

Plan and axonometric drawings showing the layers and components The axonometric view of a 3-cell structure demonstrates reaction to temperature change; the plan view reveals the thick array of tensegrity structure, breathing cells, fabric membranes, sensors and actuators

The Stratus Project v1.0 prototype installed, lights responding to occupancy The first prototype mobilizes smart surfaces and responsive technologies in the development of a thick suspended ceiling that produces a light and air-based architectural environment using distributed technologies and systems to sense energy and movement flows, tempered by occupantresponsive feedback in producing envelopes of intimate and collective space.


A02 DEsign Computation



NOX: Lars Spuybroek with Chris, Seung-woo Yoo, Josef Glas, Ludovica Tramontin, Kris Mun, Geri Stavreva, & Nicola Lammers Public artwork for Industrieschap Ekkersrijt in collaboration with composer Edwin van der Heide Son en Breugel, The Netherlands

House is a public pavilion where visitors can sit around, eat their lunch and have meetings, surrounded by IT related companies. The structure is both an architectural and a sound installation that allows people to not just hear sound in a musical structure, but also to participate in the composition of the sound. It is an instrument, score and studio at the same time.A sound work, made by composer Edwin van der Heide, is continuously generating new sound patterns activated by sensors picking up actual movements of visitors. 6 This design is realized only through the integration of computer assisted modeling and generation, as the inspiration behind the complex geometry that makes up the structure can only be generated through the representation of sound waves geenrated by algorithms programed into the computer, producing a tangible shape or illustration that translates the idea of the physical embodiment of sound into a pavilion.7 However, the computational aspect is only limited to assisting in the synthesis and physical generation process, as this design not only involves architects, but also the help of musicians, sound engineers, and programers to realize the design. The design considers environmental factors and was experimented upon in terms of form, however, its layout and intention is very much similar to that of a house, consisting of spaces that are larger in walkways or rooms, and smaller for less dynamic spaces, such as utilitiy areas and services. This shows that the pragmatism and logic within the design process of architectural design is not lost when

considering or integrating the use of computational design tools, but instead, facilitates a framework or medium that further assists and provides alternatives to preconcieved notions of design based solutions that were not avaliable prior to the conception of programs or engines that process algorithms.8 Computation was a key factor in realizing and modifying the design and highly influenced the design outcome in terms of physical appearance and materiality. The structure was such that the requirement of flexbile and durable, when compred wiht the brief and options generated by the programs used. This reduced cost and time allocation for experimentation with materials and structure. The geometries in particualr benefited greatly from computer assisted design, as the programs allow for flexibility in shape and composition, which was integral in the design of this complex pavilion that not only required to fulfil the shape, but also it’s function as a pavilion that is not only a place of rest and leisure,

but a responsive and adaptive structure to human interaction, the music generated within the structure is influenced by the humans occupying the different spaces within the structure. As previously mentioned, the time and cost saved through the input of data and the availability of computer simulated experimentation not only reduces cost and saves time, but also evolutionizes evidence and performance based designing, that expands the potential of design independent of physical human capabilities. This is extremely unique, as it is only recently that humans moved to valuing the aesthetics of architectural expression.9 To be able to communicate the imagination of the human mind through the assistance of mathematics and technology brings humanity closer to the truest expression of ideas through architecture.

Arcspace. 2002. Son-O-House by NOX. Pavilions in the Netherlands. Kalay, Yehuda E. 2004. Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design .Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 5-25. 8 Kalay. p. 8. 9 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003) Suggested start with pp. 3-62 6 7

Precedents: Son-o-House by nox

Son-O-House by NOX is located in a a large industrial park the Son-O-



A02 DEsign Computation

Precedents: Son-o-house by nox


A02 DEsign Computation 18

Research Pavilion 2010: Stuttgart University

Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design – Prof. Jan Knippers Institute for Computational Design – Prof. Achim Menges

stitute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) designed and constructed a temporary research pavilion. The innovative structure demonstrates the latest developments in material-oriented computational design, simulation, and production processes in architecture. The result is a bending-active structure made entirely of extremely thin, elastically-bent plywood strips. 10 This structure experimented with material specific, computational design, structural simulation, and production processes in architecture. The result is a bending-active structure made entirely of extremely thin, elasticallybent plywood strips. Material computes. Any material construct can be considered as resulting from a system of internal and external pressures and constraints. Its physical form is determined by these pressures. However, in architecture, digital design processes are rarely able to reflect these intricate relations. Whereas in the physical world material form is always inseparably connected to external forces, in the virtual processes of computational design form and force are usually treated as separate entities, as they are divided into processes of geometric form generation and subsequent simulation based on specific material properties.

The structure is entirely based on the elastic bending behavior of birch plywood strips. The strips are robotically manufactured as planar elements, and subsequently connected so that elastically bent and tensioned regions alternate along their length. The force that is locally stored in each bent region of the strip, and maintained by the corresponding tensioned region of the neighboring strip, greatly increases the structural capacity of the system. In order to prevent local points of concentrated bending moments, the locations of the connection points between strips needs to change along the structure, resulting in 80 different strip patterns constructed from more than 500 geometrically unique parts. The combination of both the stored energy resulting from the elastic bending during the construction process and the morphological differentiation of the joint locations enables a very lightweight system. The entire structure, with a diameter of more than twelve meters, can be constructed using only 6.5 millimeter thin birch plywood sheets.

based on embedding the relevant material behavioral features in parametric principles. These parametric dependencies were defined through a large number of physical experiments focusing on the measurement of deflections of elastically bent thin plywood strips. Based on 6400 lines of code one integral computational process derives all relevant geometric information and directly outputs the data required for both the structural analysis model and the manufacturing with a 6-axis industrial robot. Comparing the generative computational design process with the FEM simulation and the exact measurement of the geometry that the material computed on site demonstrates that the suggested integration of design computation and materialization is a feasible proposition.

The research pavilion demonstrates an alternative approach to computational design: here, the computational generation of form is directly driven and informed by physical behavior and material characteristics. The computational design model is 10

Archimmenges. 2010. ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010. PProf. Achim Menges: ICD Universitat Stuttgart. []

Precedents: ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 Stuttgart University

Research Pavilion 2010 - Stuttgart UniversityIn 2010, the In-



A02 DEsign Computation

Precedents: ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 Stuttgart University


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