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RESPONSIVE SKINS MASHRABIYA REPARAMETERIZED


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INTRODUCTION PROGRAM AND OVERVIEW METHODOLOGY PARAMETRIC THINKING AND DESIGN TOOLS 15 DESIGN EXERCISE __ GROUP __ GROUP __ GROUP

MSG SYND RWH

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INTRODUCTION Over the last two decades, the digital revolution instigated a new design process through which new typologies of architectural skins and patterns have emerged. Patterns started to acquire a new role in the architectural form, moving beyond their historical, symbolic or decorative role, into spatial devices; correlating with form’s structural and environmental properties. Responsive Skins workshop aims to explore possibilities of the new design process in developing new formations of building skins based on selected data-sets. Throughout the engagement of parametric digital tools, the workshop will introduce a design exercise to

re-visit the traditional Middle Eastern device of Mashrabiya and to liberate it from its static and repetitive pattern and shape. By introducing different levels of behaviour based on certain design intent, the parametric skin becomes responsive to different interactions; creating gradient variations within its surface. New planes of transparency will thus arise as a response to a communicative act between the observer and the observed, between light and dark, between movement and stillness, between openness and enclosure. The dialectical relation within the skin, between enshrouding and transparency, will be re-examined in the new data driven responsive skin.


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PROGRAM & OVERVIEW The four-day workshop program was designed for participants with no previous experience in Grasshopper or parametric design techniques. The program introduced them to both theoretical and technical knowledge required to explore possibilities of the new design medium. The program was structured to teach participants not only the use of grasshopper as a generative tool, but also how to integrate it within a real design exercise. On the technical level, participants learned how to compose, edit, and generate algorithmic definitions using Grasshopper. On the design implementation level, they have been supervised and assisted to prepare the logic and structure of their own definitions, with grasshopper and with other plug-ins, and to develop them to reflect their particular design intent. The first three days of the workshop were spent learning the fundamentals of working with grasshopper and establishing logic of definitions, building and managing parametric data structures, and developing data driven responsive geometries and envelops. On the fourth day, participants were given a design exercise, and were asked to propose a responsive skin for the buildings. Different skin pattern variations were iteratively

generated as a response to specific design criteria for each group. The final outcomes reflect the continuous negotiations between form and pattern’s performance and the participant’s aesthetic sensibility. Software Platform Rhinoceros 5 was used as the main platform, with Grasshopper as the Generative design medium, along with a few other plug-ins mainly Weaverbird (mesh editing, subdivision, mesh transformations), and Lunchbox (exploring mathematical shapes, surface subdivision, and paneling system). The workshop technical tutorials include: __ Software interface __ Components __ Lists & Data Tree: management, manipulation, visualization __ Geometry generation from data stream __ Basic exercises (Attractor field, Surface subdivision, Morphing) __ Advanced exercise: Data reactive component – data reactive tessellation on NURBS surface. Data coming from attractors or certain design agenda. __ Advanced exercise: Analysis of specific site conditions to develop a data-set and to use it to generate an architectural envelop with responsive features.


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METHODOLOGY The workshop introduced the participants to parametric design techniques as a new medium for architectural design. After covering few exercises on the logic and the principles of this design medium, participants applied the learned techniques in a design exercise of a courtyard configuration in a selected site in Dubai. Participants analyzed selected forces affecting that site, developed data-sets for the force field, and mapped these data on the building form to generate variation in the pattern behaviour.

Through the use of visual scripting with Grasshopper (Generative modeling plug-in for Rhinoceros), participants learned how to build and manage parametric data structures (from basic simple lists to complex data trees) and to develop data-driven intelligent envelops. Different Mashrabiyabased building skins evolved in response to certain design agenda that were derived from a manifold of information such as orientation, views, and others. In addition to the technical part, the workshop also included two lectures on the subject of “inFORMation” by Andrea Graziano, “Responsive Skins” by Zayad Motlib.


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PARAMETRIC THINKING & DESIGN TOOLS The recent development of sophisticated computational design tools has fomented new ways of integrating computation in the design process; both within architecture and engineering disciplines. The new set of digital tools has infiltrated a bottom up system to expose the design space to a high level of intricacy. The incorporation of these tools allowed the architect to generate and control complex information derived from a manifold of sources. Consequently, a more complex architectural order emerged as a reflection of sophisticated adaptive structures. Contrary to traditional architectural design where digital tools have been used for presentation and documentation, the emerging parametric design methods allow

architects to assimilate computing in the design process to establish connections and dependencies between the elements. The designer’s attitude has thus been transformed from developing a pre-conceived idea of a form and directed towards the form-generating rules and the dependencies between the parts. These rules are selected initially by the designer to reflect certain design intent. They might reflect environmental analysis (Sun exposure and shade, wind, views, etc), structural behaviour, material behaviour, energy consumption and so on. This feed-back loop process between the data and the behaviour of the system allows architects to manage substantial complexity related to the relationship between geometry and the desired performance.


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DESIGN EXERCISE On the fourth day of the workshop, participants were given a design exercise for a selected site in Dubai and were asked to propose a dynamic responsive skin for their courtyard elevations. The design process was divided into two stages: the first stage focused on the development of algorithmic principles and techniques, while contextual forces were generated, analyzed, and mapped onto the forms in the second stage. The participants were divided into three groups. Initially, the buildings were constructed in Rhino. Different contextual forces were analyzed to generate different design behavior. This behavior was translated into a system of differentiation and correlation within the selected parametric skin model. Each group started with basic standardized repetitive units of the Mashrabiya pattern. After that, they assigned specific behaviour to the components within this pattern to reflect their design intent. Different iterations were explored to create diverse possible outcomes of the skin. This explorative feedback process allowed them to break away from the traditional linear design methodology and arrive at a more bottom-up oriented approach to generate possible forms and spatial patterns.

The Parametric Patterns Spatial parametric patterns depart from the traditional notion of a pattern for being uniform ornamental elements applied to a certain surface. The new patterns were driven by an underlying mathematical logic described by a set of rules and a selected data-set. This logic allows information to create a coherent system of behavior that generates differentiated components in response to certain parameters and rules. The parametric design exercise aimed to explore context-specific patterns based on a feedback loop and negotiations between the relevant forces and the participant’s aesthetic sensibility. Participants explored natural systems as a reference for their skin patterns behaviour, and investigated their potential in relation to architectural design. Their design was directed towards the mechanism that generates these patterns rather than the emerging patterns themselves. Instead of mimicking patterns found in nature, the developed system generates new types of geometric organization capable of expressing the design intent set by each group. Overall, the exercise examined possibilities of the new tools in generating various design outcomes, and advocated for a close collaboration between architects, engineers, as well as fabricators as a vital condition for the design of highperformance built environment.


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GROUP MSG GROUP MEMBERS 1 Sally Dabbour 2 Ghanem Mohamed 3 Mohamed Kh.


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CONCEPT NARRATIVE This model was designed to resonate the maximised responsiveness found in nature. It does not aim to merely mimic the shape, but rather, the biological strategies of elements found in nature. The hexagonal component shape allows for an opportunity of different extrusions which can monitor the channelling of air in a specific way. It’s shape enables it to invigilate the building’s surface in the most efficient way using minimal amount of material and minimal structural support due to absence of gaps and distribution of forces along the sides. The chameleon itself is a splendid icon of adaptability. The component’s reaction to stimuli mimics that of a chameleon’s eye. Much like pores and patterns on it’s skin, the facade exhibits limited reaction in certain regions which may require more privacy.

Preliminary sketches


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PROCESS 1 Shape selection and application on flat surface.

2 Creating pattern image to map to the surface to control privacy. Reaction to stimuli is controlled in different parts.

3 Creating stimulus which mimics the movement of the sun. Component is extruded towards outwards the direction of the stimulus.

4 Manipulate the surface shape for functional and aesthetic purposes.

5 Filtering out undesirable component shapes.


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OUTCOME


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GROUP SYND GROUP MEMBERS 1 Deepali Dang 2 Noura Al Khouja 3 Suha Al Salamain 4 Yasmeen Khalil


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CONCEPT NARRATIVE Re-defining the traditional screen “Mashrabiya” using parametric design tools as a new design medium, the kinetic façades respond and adapt to solar radiation, proximity to the street and privacy.

RESPONSIVE WEAVING “Mashrabiya” is an architectural element that fuses form and function foregrounding the historical and cultural reference of the region. In this context, “Mashrabiya” can be considered not only as a decorative element, but also as a functional component that mixes the building block with the local taste providing shade and privacy to the inhabited space. That is where the magic of “Mashrabiya” lies. The design started with a story captured by set of rules to drive the design process. The main objective of this exercise is to exert the tools learnt during the course of the workshop in order to render the cultural identity of the “Mashrabiya” and fuse it on a building compound in Dubai. Throughout a regress series of analytical explorations, simple geometries were derived from the origin of the “Mashrabiya” creating a component. After that, certain actions were performed on this component to drive the end result.

In an attempt to re-define the traditional screen “Mashrabiya” using parametric design tools as a new design medium, the kinetic components respond and adapt to solar radiation, proximity to the street and privacy. An exploration of paratonic surfaces was intended throughout the employment of parametric digital tools. In which we used these tools to optimize two double curvature surfaces to receive the lowest amount of heat energy radiated from the sun on the East North elevations, and to

ensure the highest level of privacy with regards to the proximity of the street. Initially, components were generated based on Islamic patterns to be applied on two surfaces covering the two buildings throughout series of definitions subjected to three curves, which were reduced to one curve to simplify the system. The two surfaces were designed to weave between the two buildings creating a shaded entry point to the site. As a result a new typology of “Mashrabiya” was created using the principles of parametric design.


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PROCESS Overall pattern is created from simple shapes (Sqaure, Circle). Certain actions are performed on

these simple shapes to create the pattern [Repeat, Scale, Move and Rotate].


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OUTCOME


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GROUP RWH GROUP MEMBERS 1 Hayder Al Ansari 2 Russel Octavo 3 Wisam Allami


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CONCEPT The unit form was inspired by the blinking eye. A simple gesture that reduces light coming in and limits visual contact.

NARRATIVE The mashrabiya was designed to be responsive to real time data; the angles between the sun and the dynamic apertures of the skin.


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The main surface was divided into diamond subdivision using the diamond panel tool of Lunchbox plug-in. Each of the subdivisions was fed into a rather complicated element definition to achieve the desired geometry of the panels. Using Ladybug plug-in and local weather data, the angles between the sun and the panels were generated and used to control the aperture openings of the panels. As the two buildings are perpendicular to one another, the sun angles varied greatly across the ‘mashrabiya’ surface resulting in creating an interesting array of different openings. A further privacy controller was added. In general, the openings near the lower floors

RESPONSIVE SKINS MASHRABIYA REPARAMETERIZED

PROCESS

are relatively smaller than those at higher levels. This was done to limit the visual connectivity between passers-by and the interior spaces of the apartments. It is more of a contextual concern that we felt should feed into the algorithm. Although we ended up with over 20 parameters, the skin was directly responsive to the local weather data. We also explored how the panels can respond to the end users and be overridden to be manually controlled. The feedback process was rather complicated as the overridden panel(s) had to be excluded from the weather control definition. Weather controller

Privacy controller

Final definition


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OUTCOME


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THANK YOU! CREDITS Tutors Zayad Motlib - d-NAT Andrea Graziano - Co-de-iT member & co-founder Report prepared in collaboration with Zayad Motlib, Marta Krivosheek & Andrea Graziano Edited by Zayad Motlib Graphics by Marta Krivosheek

Participants Hayder Al Ansari Wisam Allami Noura Al Khouja Suha Al Salamain Sally Dabbour Deepali Dang Yasmeen Khalil

Muhamed Khalid Ghanem Mohamed Ibraheem Nawaf Russel Octavo Amir Omar Jamil Shabarek


LINKS Co-de-iT www.co-de-it.com https://facebook.com/pages/Co-de-iT/260447195929 https://twitter.com/co_de_it https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Co-de-it/posts https://flickr.com/photos/co-de-it

d-NAT www.d-nat.net https://facebook.com/dubai.nat https://twitter.com/dubainat http://instagram.com/dubainat http://pinterest.com/dubainat http://dubai-nat.tumblr.com https://www.flickr.com/photos/123519628@N08/

Mashrabiya Reparameterized Responsive Skin Workshop Report  

The four-day workshop program (2nd-5th April 2014) has been designed for participants with no previous experience in Grasshopper or parametr...

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