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CONTENTS PART I: EXPRESSION OF INTERES 01. WEEK ONE Metropol Parasol - 5 BMW Kinetic Sculpture - 7 Personal Project - 9 02. WEEK TWO Water Cube - 13 03. WEEK THREE Boolean Series 001&002 - 17 04. WEEK FOUR Matrix of ‘Cut’ - 21

05. WEEK FIVE Case Study - 27 06. WEEK SIX Research develop - 31 07. WEEK SEVEN Conclusion and further development - 37 08. WEEK EIGHT Fabrication - 43




WK 01


‘ Architecture is a art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere and when this environment produces well being., Luis Barragan


01 Metropol Parasol The new built Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain is designed by the German architect Jßrgen Mayer H. The gaint sculputre looking architecture gives people the instant attraction while visiting Seville and has becoming an icon of the city. Metropal Parasol is a practice of parametric design in large scale architecture. The architect used a series of digital modeling tools like Maya and Rhino in help of the design process. In construction, none of the other buildings in the world so far has used this large amount of timber structures holding together by majorly glue (Interiordesign, 2011). As located in an old city with over 3000 year’s history, Metropal Parasol has nothing like the buildings surrounding it. Besides from its primary function of providing shade for its large empty site, Metropol Parasol is also a representation of the architect’s wild imagination and superior design thinking. It is probably one of the most convincing examples in saying that architecture is art. The free floating shapes with the waffle-like grid gave Metropal Parasol an artistic look and a spiritual feeling, very much like an eye catching modern art project that could be seen in art museums but rather in a big scale and in an unexpected location. Some people may claim that this project destroyed the harmony of Seville; however, I believe that the organic form of Metropal Parasol gives the old Spanish city a new force of passion and a new expression of life.


BMW BMW KINETIC SCULPTURE The BMW kinetic sculpture designed by ART+COM studio is unlike any of the sculptures in traditional meanings. It is a computer programmed performance machine that can arrange metal balls into various shapes including some of the classical BMW car forms. It provided a very different concept of art which involved high accurate technology. The engines hided above the ceiling control the 714 metal balls moving up and downs based on a central computer’s commands. Every metal balls move independently in this sculpture but perform as a group (Ducan 2009).


By focusing on the word ‘kinetic’, BMW kinetic sculpture as an art project is very different from Metropol Parasol, even though both of the designs are based on computer programming. BMW kinetic sculpture has a changeable shape and gives viewer a visual shock with its accurate movement. It provides pleasure with movement. By using metal as a basic material, the sculpture showed a sense of future which responded to the high technology used in it as well as the product it is promoting.





01 PERSONAL PROJECT This is the headpiece design I did in Virtual Environment. The design is inspired by helix form which has been largely used in architecture designs. The basic design is a helix form banded by lines in order to make it self-support. However, after digitizing the sketch model into Sketchup, the model has become like a totally different style of design. It is enclosed rather than a simple open helix form, more like a hat that can perform actual hat functions. As I searched what happened in digitizing the sketch model, I found that the problem is detail loosing. It was my first time doing computer modeling and although the final result didn’t turn out to be the same as my original design, I was satisfied with the outcome because loosing details made the design more art-like. It certainly can’t compare with the designs I have discussed above, nevertheless, the rigid form along with the remaining curves of the helix made the headpiece one step closer to a good art work. The shortage of the design besides the immature computer skills is that the design is lack of thoughts. An art work needs thoughts, needs to be able to tell people the thinking of the designer without words. Both Metropol Parasol and BMW Kinetic sculpture show the unique thinking of their designers, which is what I need to learn to do in future designs. Computer softwares are good tools in helping achieve the goal, but the more important thing about making a good art work, or Architecture () which is a type of art) is having unique thoughts and show them in the designs.

RELATING TO GATEWAY PROJECT The Wyndham council’s Gateway Project brief asks the design to be inspiring. The idea of Architecture as art happens to be able to help satisfy this requirement. Art is something that contains not just aesthetic values, but also social, religious or philosophical meanings. In comparison, architecture contains the basic function of accommodating people. Considering architecture as art gives architecture a meaning more than simply satisfying people’s physical needs. Architecture should be given social, religious or philosophical meanings that makes it able to communicate with people spiritually in this sense. When the design is able to communicate, it will be able to satisfy the requirement of ‘inspiring’.


WK 02


‘ Architecture in general is frozen music. , Friedrich von Schelling



WATER CUBE The National Swimming Center located in Beijing is designed by PTW Architects. It is a cubic form building filled with bubble shape patterns. The bubble shape patterns are designed by using parametric skills and constructed by steel skeleton and ETFE (ethyl tetra fluoro ethylene), a light, strong and recyclable new material (Gonchar, 2008). It is an example of how computation made design easier and how parametric design made buildings like Water Cube become practicable. First of all, as drawings are important for architects to present their ideas to clients and also essential for actual construction of a building , a big project like Water Cubic


requires a very large amount of architectural drawings. With such a massive steel skeleton forming irregular bubble shapes, a massive amount of calculation will be needed in the drawing process. Therefore, using completely hand drawings without making any mistake will be an almost impossible job. However, unlike humans who are easily bored and tend to make mistakes when dealing with large and complex problems, computers that do not have creative mind simply follows programmed commands and would seldom make mistakes in dealing problems. By using computer-aided drawing and parametric technics, the impossible job

become possible and much easier in practice (Kalay, 2004). It can be seen that parametric design is an important innovation. It combined the creative mind of human and zero mistake problem solving skill of the computer and made the complex large scale projects become easy. Moreover, with the use of digital technology, architects can easily change the drawings and models which avoided time wasting in redoing drawings or models over and over again. Like in Water Cubic, with changes done only in some equations that used for computer processing, the shape of bubbles, number of bubbles can all be very easier modified.




WK 03




Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves. Julia Morgan



03 MARC FORNES This is a series of digital sculptures done by Marc Fornes in his design research. Boolean series 001& 002 are basically done by boolean spheres of random picked points in different closed surfaces or polysurfaces with its neighbours (Fornes, 2008). It is done by rhinoscripting. As descripted by Burry (2011), since scripting technology is ‘effectively a computing program overlay’, it helps the designer to become the new tool developer rather than simply a tool user. This theory can be proven by Fornes’ Boolean series showed here. By using computer scripting in design, it is easy to simply change the design into a totally different looking proposal. As in the Boolean series, all different digital scupltures follows the same rule of ‘Boolean’. Fornes wrote the script for one design, tells the computer how to generate the form and then for making the other designs in these series, he only need to change the some settings like the shape of the original surfaces or the amount of choosen points or where to choose these points. Thinking about this in the Gateway project that we will design, using scripting will save large amount of time for improving the design. If we can come up with an initial concept and program it into script, multiple designs of the same concept will be able to be generated very easily by following the script.


WK 04



I loved logic, math, computer programming. I loved systems and logic approaches. And so I just figured architecture is this perfect combination.


Maya Lin


04 Matrix of ‘Cut’ By connecting different inputs, associations and outputs provided, I created this matrix of different patterns in grasshopper. In this process, I found some of the definitions particularly interests me. For instance, ‘math function’ that is able to use different math equations to create various rational effects on patterns, or the output named ‘data driven rotation’, which generates very complex and different patterns by following the rotate angle. The thing they interests me is that they create patterns seemly irrelevant, but actually following a certain logic. The most interesting definition I found is the input called ‘curve intersections’. There are many ways to create intersected curves. In this Matrix, I used contours of a surface to provide intersected curves. Moreover, it can be seen that almost in all the patterns in the matrix, there are curves intersected. ‘Curve intersections’ gives a broad opportunity for these patterns to develop further and create something more interesting.



1. Place the pattern created by the combination of ‘Explicit Grid’, ‘At-



In a further development, I decided to use some of the definitions produced in the matrix as inputs to do some more complex definitions: tractor Point’ and ‘Data Driven Rotation’ in a 3D curved surface and applying ‘Using Surface Normals’

2. Add ‘3D Rotation’ at the end of a combination of ‘Using Surface Normals’, ‘‘Math Functions’ and ‘Data Driven Rotation’, use ‘Image Sampler’ to control the rotation angle as well as the Radius of the rotated circles.

3.The original definition combination is the same with 2, but instead of ‘Image Sampler’, I used ‘Attractor Point’ to control ‘3D Rotation’ and Radius of circles. The most interesting one I did is number 4 patterns.

4: The original definition is a combination of ‘Overlapping patterns’,

‘Math Function’ and ‘Data Driven Rotation’. I deleted the output part of the definition (‘Data Driven Rotation’) and used ‘Curve Intersections’ to find the intersected points generated by two overlapping patterns,. Then, I used a very simple way to make these points lines.


The interesting part of 4 is that there are so many number sliders effect on the final outcome, it can literally generate thousands of different patterns. Straight lines, which are probably the most simple element in drawings, produced various of complex geometries include circles in this definition.

INNOVATION FOR GATEWAY PROJECT The interesting outcomes from development process give an innovation that simple element can become complex with a process of reproduction. The design approach for the Gateway project will be much broader if a completed production can be used as base material to develop again and again.





WK 05



Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.


Ernest Dimnet




LOCATION: Tokyo Airspace Tokyo designed by Studio M. Tokyo is a four-story residential and commercial mix-use building. In the development of the building, one of the most attractive parts is the double-screen facade designed by Faulders Studio. The facade uses two layers of voronoi pattern with different level of complexity. It is a protective airspace that reflects the unique, pre-existing landscape of the site (Pell, 2010). The facade makes the atmosphere transfer naturally from the exterior to the interior and provides essential privacy protect to the residential part of the building. The overlapping of patterns created a special effect as


the designers mentioned in an interview that people from inside can enjoy the view of the street, while people from outside would not able to see the interior of the building. When people walk closer to the building, the patterns become denser and therefore protect the privacy of the residents. The site was previously occupied by a family house surrounded by multiple layers of vegetation. The cellar design of the pattern is in reference to biomorphic density of the original vegetation. The design is generated by computation technology by the help of design technologist Proces2 (Pell, 2010).


05 LEARNING FROM NATURE Architecture has been learning from nature from the very beginning of history. The structure of a tree, the pattern of a flower and even micro organisms have all been studied and made reference in buildings. But the learning are usually limited in physical imitation. In Airspace Tokyo, the design reference the biomorphic density of vegetation gives another definition of learning from nature, which is to learn from an abstract aspect of nature. Nature is an inspiring mysterious exist that contains not just visible but also invisible elements. To learn from an abstract aspect of nature can give a design much meaningful background which may lead to some unimaginable outcomes and which may able to satisfy the aesthetic and spiritual needs of human. This idea can be applied to the Gateway Project to satisfy the requirement of ‘inspiring’.

2D to 3D Airspace Tokyo is an example of how to create 3D effect with 2D patterns. The design itself contains two simple layers of 2D patterns, however, with overlapping the patterns, a more stereoscopic feeling has been generated through the interact of the patterns as well as the gap between them. It becomes more like several layers of vegetation mixed together that the designer wants to achieve. The layers created a space illusion that makes 2D into 3D. Moreover, with people’s movement which changes the angle of view, the overlap part of the patterns changes and thus produces an illusion of movement inside the patterns. This can be learned in the design for the Gateway Project. As the viewers of the Gateway design are usually people in moving vehicles, the illusion of movement will be very attractive. As 3D illusion technique becomes popular in the movies and many visual medias, it will be interesting to apply it architectural design. However, because of the large amount of budget needed in doing screen 3D illusion, it is not very possible to make one 3D design with digital screen. This is when the overlapping technique become useful. It can make 2D patterns have 3D effect without any actual screen and that provides an approach to the Gateway design.




‘ ,

You’ve got to bumble forward into the unknown. Frank Gehry


RESEARCH DEVELOP The first thing my group did in the further study of the research project is to recreate the patterns of Airspace Tokyo. This pattern we did is produced by using the Voronoi function in grasshopper. We managed to make the rigid voronoi pattern curvy and more like the round cells in the case study. Then the final definition used a ‘Attractor Curve’ function to control the density of cells in the pattern. After we cut this pattern by using laser cuter with different materials, we found the shadows generated by overlapping two patterns are particularly interesting. Two materials we used are HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) and transparent poly sheet. HIPS will change form when it meets heat while transparent poly sheet has a level of transparency that will allow the shadow generated to have different level of darkness. The pattern cut with transparent poly creates better effects than the other one since the overlay can be shown by different level of darkness in its shadow. The 3D effect it creates is therefore more obvious. While under the influnce of air flow, the patterns will move and make the shadow move along. The space between two patterns then changes and made different shadows.






06 RESEARCH DEVELOP The other model we made used the definition from the previous practice of the ‘CUT’ matrix. We used definition 4 generated a series of different patterns and printed them in transparent sheets. By overlapping these transparent sheet with the printed patterns, many interesting and complex patterns has been generated. As displayed in the Matrix, one single pattern generated by this definition looks very symmetrical and a bit too regular. Nevertheless, with overlapping these patterns in different ways, the result becomes more unpredictable. It looks random but not too random, seems still have a certain logic in side. This can be related to nature, which is unpredictable but actually works under some kind of invisible rule. Under the air flow condition, this model works similar to the first one. But because it contains more layers, the result it generated is more unpredictable. One limit of this definition is that the patterns created by it cannot be cut like the voronoi one, because there are too many intersections in the pattern. However, a shallow etch that doesn’t go through the material may able to solve the problem.





Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain.


Frank Lloyd Wright


CONCLUSION AND FURTHER DEVELOP COMPUTATION As all the precedents above proves, computation is a very useful approach to architectural design. It provides more opportunities for the design outcomes and made the design and construction process more convience.Using computation in the Gateway Project has obvious advantages.

IN RELATION TO NATURE As innovated by the case study, our group find that our project can be related to nature as well. One of the most interesting theory about nature I can think of is the theory of evolution. . As one of the most interesting and important theory relates to nature, evolution


tells thatcomplex life forms as human ourselves are originally developed from very simple Single-celled microorganisms. In the second research model we did, the generation process of the final outcome is very similar to the evolution process. The simple element we used in the design is straight line since it is probably the simplest component in any designs. By mathematically adding more end points (controlled by intersection points of a series of circles made with math functions) which define straight lines, we generate more lines. And with all these lines intersected together, more complex geometries like triangles, squares and even circles are produced. And with all the new geometries accumulated, the pattern that used for our design is then created.We use math functions because they give the generating process logic to follow,

rather than just randomly accumulate. it is like the invisible order behind nature that gives complex life forms certain appearances to define them. This technology generates complexity from simple elements, and is like a stimulation of the evloution process that brings wisdom, emotion and all sorts of high abilities to life forms. In this way, an architecture project is no longer something that simply satisfies human’s physical needs (e.g. accommodates people or indicates a region change like the gateway project), but also something that brings higher meanings for satisfying human’s psychological needs. It is a design that ‘talks’, has opinions of itself and also communicates with people in its own way. The architecture evolves from a functional tool to a life form.


FURTHER DEVELOPMENT ln a further development, our group decided to use the definition to make the final pattern relate to nature in a more direct way. Firstly, we used Galapagos generated all possible outcomes of the definition under a certain limitation. Then like people categorize living species on earth we categorized the outcomes into four categories: 1. A species that tend towards round shapes. 2. A species that has mostly rigid shapes. 3. A species that has numbers of internal spaces. 4. A species that has many intersections. With this category system, we found the four patterns listed on the right. They are (from top to bottom): 1. the pattern contains most round shapes; 2. the pattern contains most rigid shapes; 3. the pattern contains most internal spaces; 4. the pattern that has the most intersection points.

The problem with this category system is that there are many patterns exist in two or more categories. However, this doesn’t affect we generate the four possible choices on the right for further development. But there is still one problem that these patterns are too dense, if we apply overlapping to these patterns, it is very likely that viewers see nothing but black. Therefore we limited the complexity of the patterns and made a new pattern fro further development. The pattern is categorized as the pattern contains most types of basic geometries (Shown in the next page). We managed to use this pattern to create a series of patterns that relates to this pattern but different in order to make the overlapping able to create a 3D effect. We added a ‘Data Driven Rotation’ process (driven by an image sampler that provides random points) in the definition to play with the regular patterns it produces. As the rotation process begins, the original pattern slightly goes into chaos and produced an effect of unpredictable as we hopped.


FURTHER DEVELOPMENT The transformation process of the pattern is a process of decomposition. It is a dying process of the fictional organism we created. It is also like a movement of population, form ordered to massive. With more single element moves, the original pattern structure crashes more. By overlapping all the patterns generated in this process, we generated a pattern shown on the right side. It accomplished the mission we give it before we started the process: The layers includes some very chaotic patterns, therefore, when overlapping these patterns, a seemly random chaotic pattern created by straight lines appears. However, because these chaotic patterns are all generated from the original regular pattern, when overlapping them, some of the similarities overlaps and created some kind of visible regulation inside the pattern (e.g. in the final pattern, there are some shadows left by the original pattern). It successfully become a metaphor of nature which has an unpredictable appearance but works under regulation and rules. Moreover, the 3D effect becomes visible with the different density in the pattern. We hope that the effect will be more obvious in a physical model.








I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture. Tadao Ando





FABRICATION- HISTORY OF A FICTIONAL ORGANISM The model is established by using layers of transparent sheet, bolts and nuts. The transparent sheets with the print of the patterns are holded by nuts and supported by bolts. Because of the gaps between layers, the 3D illusion is more visibly created. There are tweleve layers in the model. And by each layer, a process of how a pattern exploded and reunited as a new patter (chosen as the second pattern that has the most types of basic geometries) is displayed clearly. This seems like a record of time, the time of how the fictional organism we created ‘die’ and ‘reborn’.


PRECEDENT The most related precedent of our project is probably Daniel Crooks’ art work. He did a series of videos that uses a different concept of time to record the movements of people or objects. In this way , one’s positions during a period of time can be seen at the same time in one frame, like in ‘Everywhere instantly’ (Picture 1) or ‘Static No.12’ (Picture 2).




08 ADVANTAGES TO GATEWAY PROJECT It is a good fit for the gateway project because it can not only indicate a change of region, but also refer to society and history, as well as raise respects to life. The metaphor of evolution can also apply to the development of human society: as more and more cooperation going on between people, a better society is created. Rules (math function) and cooperation (intersection) makes Werribe city (pattern)a proper functioning society. The city has a significant immigration history. The place was originally occupied by aboriginal people. They formed a nice social network themselves (first pattern). Nevertheless, the arrival of immigrates broke the harmony of their society and a conflict happened between aboriginal people and immigrates that destroyed the original social network (explosion). But with time goes on, the conflict reduced. With efforts from both aboriginals and immigrates, the social network grows and finally become the current Werribe city (reposition the lines to become the new pattern). What’s more, this design can help raising respects to life. People should always respect for life especially in highways. With mistakes from careless drivers, numbers of life have lost under car wheels. With the metaphor relates to the evolution process, as well as the life circle in nature, the design shows that life is admirable and should be respected. Overall, the project communicates to people. It shows a relation to ornamentation of architecture history in whichpatterns and decorations of a building are created to have historical, religious or philosophical meanings. By using digital technology, e.g. grasshopper, the generation process of the design becomes much easier. Repeating jobs such as adding points by math functions, accumulating lines and basic geometries can be accurately done by the computer calculation and processing. We can easily produce various patterns according to our intension and choose the better ones from them to develop further. Furthermore, it is much easier to change the design in computer as we can simply change input data or processing rules for the computer to generate new designs.


PART I: EXPRESSION OF INTERES PART II: PROJECT PROPOSAL 01. DEVELOPMENT Conceptual to physical - 48 02. IDEAL TO REALITY General - 51 Ideal 1 - 52 Ideal 2 - 55 In comparison -56 Final outcome - 58






CONCEPT TO PHYSICAL The mid-term design is very conceptual all the patterns are printed in transparent sheets to display. It can probably be a nice art project, but can hardly be considered as architecture since it has nothing to do with structure or material. The patterns are simply a graphic design result and how to transfer it to an actual architecture project becomes the problem we need to solve. Several solutions has been discussed in our group and experiments has been done in order to chose the rightful path for the future. SOLUTION1: The first solution is to use sticks to represent the lines in the pattern and use multiple joints to join them. In


this way, the design keeps the most features of the original design (2D patterns layering together making 3D illusion). Many types of joints have been taken into consideration, two most possible joints are chosen to develop further: 1. 3D joint generated by Gwyll’s definition (fig.1). 2. 2D joint generated by the help of grasshopper plug-in Geometry Gym (fig.2). In contrast, both joints have advantages and limits. The fist type of joint is very easy for works to install the design on site and is very stable (fixed joint), however, because of the special feature of the pattern, thousands of joint with different angles will be needed. The production of this type of joint usually involve with two techniques: 1. 3D print (usually for small scale like models), 2. Molding (thousands of different angled joints will need thousands of moulds, it is not very realistic

fig.2 for construction especially with limited budget). The second type of joint is in comparison more realistic for construction, but not very satisfying in aesthetic way and is a bit hard to control. This type of joint can be made by laser cutting metal sheets. In installation, it needs at least two screws in each end to fix the sticks in the right angle. The original design has about 1200 lines in each layer (the number will be much bigger if counting the lines broke by joints), Therefore installing the design will be a big challenge. We chose a part of the designed pattern and did an experiment of how to install it. In order to keep all the sticks in the right angel, we cut two identical panels (fig.3) as mould to keep the sticks in the right track and placed the cut joints in fig.2 in the intersections. This experiment tells us that to build such


a thing is too much work for builders. The pattern has to be simplified if it is going to be build.

The next thing we did is to simplify the pattern. Fig.4 is one of the first result we thought about in simplifying the pattern. It is a result of taking part of the pattern that is repeating in the original pattern and use it to do the rotation and layering. The problem with this is that the integrity of the pattern design has lost and the most important thing, our argument, which is making complexity through simple element becomes weak because the result is too simple. With all these considerations, we abandoned solution 1 and moved to another solution.



SOLUTION2: extrude the lines to make them 3D (fig.5). In this way, the original pattern can be seen in the plan view and the lines become planes insert in each other. The producing of large numbers of joints are avoided, just need to cut openings at the right place of each surface and this thing can be build. There are several questions about this solution: 1. What material to make these surfaces? If using paper or thin plastic, the pattern structure will be very unstable. However, using thick plastic or timber will increase the price, raise difficulty in making openings and also destroy the floating feeling of the original design (since the overall design became heavy). 2. How to make these surfaces? It can use laser cut,, nevertheless, making openings at the rightful place in grasshopper is a challenge. 3. How to install this? Install it in a scale model is probably not that hard. But it will be very hard in real contraction, with so many pieces of surfaces, the workers need to make sure all openings are connected right with other openings, it is hard to control it in an overall view in large scale.



SOLUTION3: pull one end of the lines to a certain level, making it a triangular form. By using this method, all the joints between lines are avoided, the intersection became an illusion from overlay as well. This can be easily done in grasshopper and is a large step through. In the plan view, the pattern is still the pattern but in perspective view, it looks like massive lines. We chose another simpler pattern from the definition by using Galapagos with set limitations. We got this pattern on the left which also contains many different types of geometries. With solution 3, we only need to product those triangular forms and stick them on a plane, the pattern will be created. We did a sketch model to experiment this solution. We laser cut the plywood sticks and used a transparent plate as the supporting surface for the sticks. Using transparent plate is because we want to achieve a floating feeling and maybe develop layering in the original design in further experiment. We laser cut holes in the plate for the sticks to insert in and made foot for all sticks to make sure the sticks can be insert in the plate directly. In installing this sketch model, we found that because of the thickness of the sticks, some overlap on the foot occurs (it wasn’t a problem for lines). Therefore, we decided to insert half of the sticks on one side of the plate and the other half on the other side according to a certain algorithm. The result seems satisfying, From a certain angle, the regular pattern can be clearly viewed and from other angles, it seems massive just as we were expected. Even if we want to do layering as we did in the mid-term, this method is practicable. Therefore, we chose this solution as the method we want to develop further for the real construction.

















02 GENERAL Generally speaking, making physical models is very different from architecture under real construction. Conditions of the site, scale of the project, overall cost and many other things will be needed to taken into consideration. In my group, there has been an opinion divergence in deciding the real construction method. This divergence is derived from how these sticks with panels can be set on site. First we were thinking about whether to vertically layering the panels or horizontally layering them. The next we suddenly realize that in real construction, such a big panel will need frame work to support it and the frame work will distract people from viewing the patterns. Then, considering the feedbacks from tutors, we started to thinking whether we need this panel or not. One thought that plastic panels produce nice reflection of the design and is important for achieving the effect of the previous design concept. The other thought that using plastic panels are expensive and not necessary, so we should do something totally different from the mid-term submission like putting the sticks on ground. Both sides provided some useful arguments and from the intensive debates I will analyze both proposals.


IDEA 1 The first idea is to set panels as we did in the sketch model. This idea is actually not just about panels, it is the idea of setting frame work for the sticks to achieve the effect we wanted to make in mid-semester. Several possible settings have been considered and we found that the effect of the one with transparent panels are probably closest to what we want to create. The other frame works we thought about are: 1. Strings. This idea is very similar the BMW kinetic sculpture talked about in week 2. Using strings to hold elements of the design to achieve the feeling of floating. The other project we can learn from is Bleigiessen designed by Heatherwich studio in London (pic.1). It has strings holding multi-layers of balls which is closer to our idea of layering the patterns. It can be seen that with much large numbers of elements in the design, the strings in Bleigiessen is more visible than those in the BMW kinetic sculpture. If applying strings to our project, I’m afraid that the strings will be too distracting. Furthermore, noticing that both BMW kinetic sculpture and Bleigiessen are interior projects, we found more problems about this structural proposal. One is the problem with wind. For interior projects, wind does not need to be considered, nonetheless, our gateway project is an exterior design in which wind effect plays very important role. In order to keep the stick elements stable, not swing with wind, strings need to be attached on both top and bottom of the sticks to make an fixed statement. Therefore, there will be more strings used and they will be more distracting. Moreover, since strings will be needed to be anchored on the ground, so the cars or people would not be able to travel under and thus the patterns and the most important layering effect we want to achieve in this idea will be lost. The other problem is with the structures for hanging the strings. In interior projects, ceiling usually does this function. In the gateway project, structures such as steel truss will be needed for the strings to hang on. However, we would like to use thin sticks because we want to make the design seem light and float, with a massive steel structure above, all the attention will be taken away from the design and from a far away viewing point, all that people can seen will be the hanging structures. This will be even more distracting than the strings.




02 2. Horizontally layering panels This idea is basically the same with what we did in mid-term submission. For engaging the viewers, we thought about using panel layers on both side of the road and making drivers feeling like they are driving through the gateway design (pic.2). Problems with this proposal are: Firstly, the problem with the supporting structure. Such large panels should either be supported by columns or hanging structures. As described in the proposal of strings, these structures will be too distracting for the design, making people focus on these structures rather than the design itself. PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

Secondly, these panels should be very large, at least very long for viewers to notice.

Counting on the average driving speed in Highways, the design should be at least 100 meters along the road for drivers to have approximately 5 seconds viewing experiences. Such long plastic panels is not possible to produce at the moment, thus, they will be separated into small panels. And between the panels, there will need frame works to support them, which will totally destroy the integrity of the design. The best proposal we came out in this idea is to use panels vertically along the road. One way of constructing this is shown the sketch plan and section drawings I did on the bottom. These drawings give a rough idea of the panel size (according to research) and how panels can be connected. It can be seen that only the panels on the back uses frame work in between panels, and the frames can be painted the same colour as the panels (e.g. white) and thus ‘disappear’ in the design. Transparent panels on the front are supported by the panels behind. PVC sticks can be planted on the transparent panels (using PVC sticks because timber sticks in this scale is too easy to broke). Transparent panels provided the ability of seeing the

sticks on both side of the panel and also a possibility of making layering in between the transparent panels and the structures behind. There can be overall 30+ transparent panels along the road, therefore the viewers can experience this design for at least 5 seconds. There’s no need for each panel has its own pattern, one big pattern can be spread on these 30+ panels and thus making the pattern more visible and integrate (since there are no obvious separation between those transparent panels and the same colour makes the supporting panels behind looking like a whole with their frames). Emma, who strongly supports this idea made another structural proposal about vertically using panels. She thought about using transparent panels directly with frames and different (or same) patterns in each panels, by which the frames won’t distract the patterns and the natural site will be the background of the design and thus achieving better floating feeling. Moreover, she also thought about vertical structure supporting transparent panels overhead along the road, using sky as background of the design.









IDEA 2 Idea 2 is a big step from the design in Mid-term submission. The basic concept for this idea is using the ground directly as the plate holding the triangular forms. Overall, the distribution of the sticks is controlled by the rotation in the original definition, but the criteria of choosing the final result is based on the contour lines. The area with more contour lines contains more sticks. In this way, the sticks distribution seems fitting the contours and thus fitting the site. The best thing about this idea is that there are no structural frames needed for panels or strings, since there are no panels or strings. The relations of this idea to what we have done previously are:1. the basic pattern is generated from the rotation process in the definition; 2. the basic triangular form is the form generated in the experiment of the sketch model. Nevertheless, the whole concept in this design has been modified. Since we decided to go with this idea for final, this detail of this idea will be expressed later in the presentation for the final outcome.


02 IN COMPARISON IDEA 1 The advantages of idea 1 is that it stayed on the original design concept, has the ability to keep the patterns as well as the layering system. When the drivers drive pass, they can see the pattern and experience the floating feeling. The regulation of the first layer of pattern is cooperated with the complexity and irregulation of the overall design very naturally. The viewers can easily see the whole project and can understand our concept much easier. The limitation of this idea is clear too. Firstly, with the montages we did for the panels, the abstraction of the pattern does not fit the regulation of the panels very well. This lead to the result that the overall design does not fit on the site very well. Secondly, in order to achieve the final satisfactory effect, sticks should be installed in the panels very precisely and thus requires very delicate work and many construction details. To solve the first problem, we need to design the frame for the panel to be parametric and artistic as well, so the abstraction of the pattern would not be too stand out and the design can merge with the site better. This is a bit time consuming and may be a little off the topic, but I believe the outcome can be strong in theory support and can fit the site perfectly. To solve the second problem, we can use the labeling system in making the sketch model (as shown in the picture, 1R means the first stick the raised end) and also work out some construction details for the sticks to stay on the panel stably.


IDEA 2 One of the advantages of idea 2 is obvious, there are almost no construction problems since there are many precedents designed similar kind of things. The structure is pretty much the same with the normal house fences. It also fits on the site very well like shows in the montage below. However, there are many problems with this idea. Firstly, the random arrangement (although fitting the contours) can hardly relate to the grasshopper definitions, it seems like something that can exist without parametric design. Secondly, the regulation (pattern) in the irregulation (rotation) has lost, which means the idea of stimulate the process of nature has lost. Normal viewers won’t be able to see the whole design (unless in the sky, like in an airplane).


This maybe not that important since the regular pattern has lost anyway and all that left is massive sticks. This made the design much harder to understand. Thirdly, layering in the original concept has lost, which made the project seem less complex and thus obeyed our argument of making complexity from simple elements. Last but not least, the scale of the sticks need to be controlled very well in order to attract viewers and at the same time keeping the cost under budget. The third and last problems are not very big. For the third problem, the sticks on different layer of contours can actually created another kind of layering, and the massive arrangement of the sticks in some way compensates the lost of layering of pat-

terns. For the last problem, analysis has been done in the final development and it will be discussed there. For the other two problems, I could not think of a very good solution and that is why I prefer Idea 1 for further development. But due to the limit of time and also for the unity of our group, we went with Idea 2 in the next stage. Some may say that the PVC panels costs too much, but in my research the cost of those panels can be controlled under eighty thousand AUDs. The only thing that may be too expensive is the labors who are going to do that delicate job of planting the sticks, and with careful management, this problem is able to resolve as well.


We choose site A as the site to install our project because it is in between two major roads leading to the Wyndham city and it is the largest site among all give sites. The site provides large space for the stick elements to spread on and giving the best possibility for the effect that idea 2 wants to achieve (density following contours).



1. Choose simplified pattern generated by definition. (This decides how many sticks we will need to use in real construction. We want to keep the number of sticks between 400-500, so the cost construction won’t be too high and the overall design won’t be too simple. This became the most important criteria in choosing the pattern and leads us to choose the final pattern.) 2. Use definition to rotate the chosen pattern and choose the proper rotated pattern. (As talked before, the criteria for choosing the suitable rotated pattern is based on whether the density distribution fits the contour of the site.) 3. Calculate the length of all the sticks needed and limit the number of different lengths. (This step helps the manufactory process of the sticks easier, faster and cost less.) 4. Choose material for the sticks and design joints for two sticks to form the triangular shape, limit the number of joint types. (The number of joint types is decided by the calculation in step 3.) 5. Finding appropriate approach of locating the precise location of each sticks on the ground. (Involving the labeling technique used in sketch model and researches of large scale projection.)




STEP 1&2

STEP 3&4 Sheet1 h

cos15 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

0.9659 0.62 0.72 0.83 0.93 1.04 1.14 1.24 1.35 1.45 1.55 1.66 1.76 1.86 1.97 2.07 2.17 2.28 2.38 2.48 2.59



cos20 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6

0.9397 0.64 0.74 0.85 0.96 1.06 1.17 1.28 1.38 1.49 1.60 1.70 1.81 1.92 2.02 2.13 2.23 2.34 2.45 2.55 2.66 0.9397 0.64 0.74 0.85 0.96 1.06 1.17 1.28 1.38 1.49 1.60 1.70



0.9063 0.66 0.77 0.88 0.99 1.10 1.21 1.32 1.43 1.54 1.66 1.77 1.88 1.99 2.10 2.21 2.32 2.43 2.54 2.65 2.76 0.9063 0.66 0.77 0.88 0.99 1.10 1.21 1.32 1.43 1.54 1.66 1.77


0.866 0.69 0.81 0.92 1.04 1.15 1.27 1.39 1.50 1.62 1.73 1.85 1.96 2.08 2.19 2.31 2.42 2.54 2.66 2.77 2.89



0.8192 0.73 0.85 0.98 1.10 1.22 1.34 1.46 1.59 1.71 1.83 1.95 2.08 2.20 2.32 2.44 2.56 2.69 2.81 2.93 3.05 0.8192 0.73 0.85 0.98 1.10 1.22 1.34 1.46 1.59 1.71 1.83 1.95

Page 1



0.776 0.77 0.90 1.03 1.16 1.29 1.42 1.55 1.68 1.80 1.93 2.06 2.19 2.32 2.45 2.58 2.71 2.84 2.96 3.09 3.22



0.7071 0.85 0.99 1.13 1.27 1.41 1.56 1.70 1.84 1.98 2.12 2.26 2.40 2.55 2.69 2.83 2.97 3.11 3.25 3.39 3.54 0.7071 0.85 0.99 1.13 1.27 1.41 1.56 1.70 1.84 1.98 2.12 2.26


0.6428 0.93 1.09 1.24 1.40 1.56 1.71 1.87 2.02 2.18 2.33 2.49 2.64 2.80 2.96 3.11 3.27 3.42 3.58 3.73 3.89


0.5736 1.05 1.22 1.39 1.57 1.74 1.92 2.09 2.27 2.44 2.62 2.79 2.96 3.14 3.31 3.49 3.66 3.84 4.01 4.18 4.36



0.5 1.20 1.40 1.60 1.80 2.00 2.20 2.40 2.60 2.80 3.00 3.20 3.40 3.60 3.80 4.00 4.20 4.40 4.60 4.80 5.00 0.5 1.20 1.40 1.60 1.80 2.00 2.20 2.40 2.60 2.80 3.00 3.20

02 The 14 types of sticks and 5 types of joints are chosen based on the statistics analyzed in the chart on the left. Overall, these 14 types of sticks and 5 types of joints can form 19 different types of basic forms. We decided to use 50mm diameter round timber sticks and 3D steel joints made by molding (same colour with the sticks, red on the diagrams are just for emphasizing the joints), because timber sticks are comparatively cheap and has an interesting change through time (erosion). We created a labeling system for the sticks and joints to be connected rightly, for example, in fig.6, the series of numbers and characters means ‘0.7m length stick on the short end, A type of joint( 60 degree joint) and 1.4m length stick on the long end.’ We thought about painting the sticks with luminescent material so they will be visible at night as well.

0.7-A-1.4 fig. 6

fig. 7


STEP 5 Because the types of sticks and joints are reduced, the original design had to have a bit change. We reapplied the 19 types of the basic forms on the original rotated pattern and remapped them on the contour surface to create the final result.



Overall 396 sticks are spread on Site A for about 200 meters. For finding the precise locations to dig, we found that large scale projection is very useful, The projection will involve the use of Microsoft Kinect (3D scanning the natural surface), Firefly plug-in for grasshopper (translating data from Microsoft Kinect and produce model data for the projector) and XBOX 360 large scale projector (project pattern on site for the location reference). So the construction process is: 1) Steel Joints & Timber Poles are fabricated offsite 2) Surveyor locates the start of ‘grid’ 3) Rectangular grid is project over terrain in order to locate points. Using Microsoft Kinect or similar software. 4) Markers are placed at each point to mark hole 5) Holes are dug at each marker point, ensuring correct depth and angle 6) Each pole is placed into the hole, and filled crushed gravel backfill and a clay plug to prevent water damage.








PERSONAL BACKGROUND & LEARNING OBJECTIVES PERSONAL BACKGROUND Before studying in Studio Air, I had some basic digital modeling skills and has very little knowledge about parametric design. For drawing software, I had some basic learning of AutoCAD, Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign. For 3D modeling, I can use Rhino 3D to do establish some 3D models. I heard about Grasshopper plugin during that time, but never used Grasshopper or learned about it. For parametric designs, my knowledge was limited in knowing some architects who practices it (e.g. Zaha Hadid) and knowing some build projects finished with the aim of parametric design. I regarded Parametric design as something meaningless and conceptural (like how I understand some modern art works).I thought that designers or artists who practice parametric design were just making some abstract things that look confusing for normal people, and fooling customers with a lots of sophisicated theories (no offense, that was just how I felt before learning parametric design). I have to say, during the learning process, I had a much deeper understanding of parametric design and developed some interest in this design technique.


01 LEARNING OBJECTIVES In my understanding, there are five major learning objectives in this course: 1. Understanding how parametric design works and gain some ability of using grasshopper and other digital design tools. 2. Understanding the advantages and limits of degital design and some current theories relating to degital design. 3. Learning how to gain ideas from research projects which are similar to what we are interested in designing, how to learn from the successes and failures of those precedents. 4. Learning the philosophy of architecture, have some understandings of the deep thoughts contained in design projects. 5. Learning how to make critical arguments for design. 6. Learning how to make choices in design, how to do group work and how to cooperate with co-workers.


ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES& FUTURE STUDIES ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES 1&2. After the study of digital design in AIR studio, I have a much better understanding of it now. From the readings, I learnt that digital design is not just an approach for design, it is a break through from the traditional architectural design as well. Like industrialization in 18th century, in this information age, digital technologies provide many possibilities including new forms and new structures for architecture designing (Branko, 2003). As I discussed in the first three weeks of this journal, fluent curvy form in Metropol Parasol or dream-like bubble structure in the Water Cube would probably never be able to become part of architecture without digital design. Digital design is no longer meaningless to me, especially learnt from Branko’s reading, the digital design theories informed me that digital design has its unique values. Such as performative architecture designed by digital software, some of them (e.g. Zaha’s current SOHO design in Beijing, at least as they claimed) can help reducing CO2 emission of a building, using energy more efficiently and thus making contribution to the environment. Advantages of digital design is very clear and I have talked about some in the first three weeks of the journal. Moreover, in using grasshopper, I personally found that digital design is quite easy to get used to and very useful in making changes of a design. It can not only used to design what in my mind, but can also be used to explore something more, beyond my imagination. Especially with so many plug-ins provided for grasshopper, I tried many of them: kangaroo, firefly, gHowl, Geometry Gym, rabbit and so on. This advantage of digital design attracts me and keeps me feeling interested in exploring more. For example, I was surprised that by simply changes of several provided definitions, it could produce so many different outcomes in the ‘Cut Matrix’ in the fourth week of study.


Since digital design is still in development, I can understand that why it is still not that popular. Many parametric designs are too expensive to build or cannot even be build due to the limitations of construction in the current world. This is the largest limitation of digital design which we also encountered in our design process in the last few weeks. What we can do is try to do the best to solve this problem with what can provide by the current techniques. 3&4. Learning from precedents is a very important process. In the case study in week five, I learnt to use layering to provide different viewing experience of a design and tried this system in our design experiment with my group.I have also studies some other works during this semester and engaged with many amazing designers and their theories I’ve never heard before. (e.g. From David Dimichele with his imaginary installations, I learnt about making connections between 2D and 3D and create illusions in design). Learning from them does not mean copying from them, I found the key of learning hear is to understand the works of a designer, learn from ones design philosophy. Design philosophy is an essential part of design, and is possibly the most important part. It decides what path the design is going and what goal the design wants to achieve. Design philosophy gives the argument for the design. As in our design, we gained the concept of making complexity from simplicity from stimulating layering of the Airspace Tokoyo. This philosophy of ‘complexity’ in design relates to the complexity in nature, culture and society and thus provided a seemingly purposeless pattern meanings and making viewers engaging in a wild thinking while judging this design.

02 This is probably why many people speaks highly of some designs they cannot understand. Usually when someone doesn’t understand something, they would take many guesses and make many thoughts. I believe that a design work that makes people think reached half of success, because it provided the an unique experience that is confusing but exciting for viewers (a spiritual experiences that satisfies many peoples’ needs of exploring new things). 5&6. Critical thinking is important in all studies. In our group design, critical thinking is especially needed since there are so many decisions needed to make and digital design provided so many different approaches. When there are decisions needed, I learnt to critically analyze the benefits and shortages of different solutions. Like when the divergence occurred in our group about how to go further for our design from the sketch model. I analyzed all of the solutions we encountered. Although we decided to go with the idea with more problems, the problems I found with critical thinking skill gives us the guide of what needed to solve in the later development for the final project.

no need destroy team work for this. The time we use to argue is for convincing each other, so when no one can be convinced, it’s better to save this time and just choose one proposal to work on as a team.

FUTURE STUDIES All the objectives I achieved in studying AIR are useful for my future studies. The digital design skills provide me more approaches in other studios and also in work. My interest of parametric design raised by studying it will keep me going for more researches and experiments as well. The more important thing that I had some changes and would be useful for future studies is the way of thinking in design, how to learn, how to think deep and how to think critically. Lastly, the experience of working in a term will make me more suitable for taking future working loads and blend in future group works.

I would say that through the incident of the opinion divergence in our group, I learnt not only how to critical thinking, but also how to work with others. Group work is what we will need to do a lot in future works. In Studio Air, I had my first real group work (the previous ones I had in other subjects never lasts this long and were usually just working on small assignments. However, this time the group work covered the whole learning process.) I would say that overall, working with my group members is pleasant, I learnt things from them and we usually value each other’s thoughts and cooperate very well. This makes us a good team and this helps use produce good designs. Therefore, when we encountered with the opinion divergences on the last week, I learnt to compromise, because we can make both ideas work and there is


REFERENCES PART I 01. WEEK ONE IMAGE SOURCE: BMW kinetic sculpture, 2008, ART+COM, Source: http://; Metropol Parasol, 2004-2011, Jürgen Mayer H. Source: TEXT: Ducan, 2009, BMW Kinetic Sculpture, The Inspiration Room, Viewed 8th March 2012. Interiordesign, 2011, ‘Made in the shade: J. Mayer H.’s Metropol Parasol brings futuristic flair to the medieval heart of Seville, Spain., ‘ Vol. 82, no. 8, pp. 137-139. 02. WEEK TWO IMAGE SOURCE: Water Cube, 2003, PTW Architects, source:; http://olympic-water-cube. TEXT: Gonchar, 2008, ‘Inside Beijing’s Big Box of Blue Bubbles’, in Architectural Record, Vol. 196, no. 7, p150-150. Yehuda E. Kalay, 2004, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 5 - 25. 03. WEEK THREE IMAGE SOURCE: Boolean series 001&002, 2008, Marc Fornes, source: http://, viewed: 22nd March, 2012


TEXT: Burry, M., 2011, Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 8 - 71. Fornes, M., 2008, ‘080114_Boolean_Series002’, MARC FORNES & THEVERYMANY, viewed: 22nd March 2012, <>. 05.WEEK FIVE IMAGE SOURCE: Airspace Tokyo, 2007, Faulders Studio, source: http:// airspace-tokyo_5397.html TEXT: Ben Pell, ‘Airspace Tokyo’, 2010,in The Articulate Surface : Ornament and Technology in Contemporary Architecture, Basel, London: Birkhäuser ; Springer distributor, pp. 86 89 07. WEEK SEVEN IMAGE SOURCE: Microorganisms, source: http://howtobecomeaparamedic. com/2011/04/microorganisms/ Uomo Vitruviano, source: wikipedia/commons/1/11/Uomo_Vitruviano.jpg 08. WEEK EIGHT IMAGE SOURCE: Everywhere instantly, Daniel Crook, source: daniel-crooks-everywhere-instantly/ Static No. 12, Daniel Crook, source: au/exhibition/marking-time/

PART II 02. IMAGE SOURCE: Bleigiessen, 2005, Heatherwich studio, source: http://, viewed 19th May, 2012.

PART III O2. TEXT: Branko, K,. 2003, Architecture in the Ditigal Age: Design and Manufacturing, New York; London: Spon Press, pp. 3 - 62.