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Studio 2013 Semester 2 Wang He 381506

Content PartA CASE FOR INNOVATION A.1 A.2 A.3 A.4 A.5 A.6

Architecture as a Discourse Computational Architecture Parametric Modelling Algorithmic Exploration Conclusion Learning Outcomes

4 10 14 20 23 24

PartB EOI II: DESIGN APROACH B.1 Design focus B.2.1 Material exploration B.2.2 Case study 1.0 B.3 Case study 2.0 B.4 Technique: development B.5 Technique: prototypes B.6 Technique Proposal B.7 Learning Objectives and Outcomes B.8 Algorithmic Sketches

27 29 32 43 54 65 77 79 80


My name is He Wang, third year student major in architecture. Growing up in China and moving to Melbourne in 2010. After one year Foundation Studies, I enrolled in Melbourne University in 2011. I am passionate about drawings as I think art is a creative thing. I think this might be the primary reason for me to choose architecture as my major, possibly I will spend my life time with it. Initially, I thought architecture is about drawing different interesting stuffs. However, my mind has been changed after two years study. Architecture is much more complicated than simple drawings. It requires lots of skills such as, critical thinking, analytical ability, team work, digital fabrication and so on. I have developed strong interests in this area within this two year. With the basis of Virtual Environments, Earth Studio, Water Studio and other architectural course, I have learned how to use some technical software. Such as, Rhino, Sketch Up, Revit, CAD, Photoshop, AI and Lumion. And I am still in explorative stage of using some of them. 1

Model built in Visual Environments

I love travelling for the reason that I can see the whole world. I have been to almost 30 cities all around the world, in Africa, Europe and South Asian. It is extremely interesting to see different buildings in front of you. Differently from looking at lecture slide, you can actually experience and touch the spirit behind the building around the environment. I see Air Studio as a great chance to develop my integrated skills in architecture. Further develop my research skills and critical thinking in Part one for case study, parametric design skill and team work in part two, time management and problem solving in part three. I got my first shoot about architecture in Virtual Environments. It provided up an introduction to computerization and design process. Through the process of concept developing, initial design proposal, converting to digital model, final justification and fabrication, I had been brought into the world of architecture in the lantern design process. Images above presevent my work for Virtual Environments. 2



A1. Architecture as a Discourse

"Architecture is as much a philosophical , socail or professional

realm as it is a material one, and it is through the consideration of architecure as discourse that one can engage with it as visual culture. ... Architecture ought to be seen as discourse. Building as material facts a small part of the overall field of architecture, a field which is better regarded as network of practices and detabes about the buildt enviroment." -Williams, Richard 2005

Intially, architecture as a definition of protecting place for human beings from the outside unpredictable environemt. In order to fullfill the various needs of people, new designs and construction technicals continuing being developed throught innovation of buildings. In my opinion, today's architecture goes far more beyond these as it is an intersection in multidimensional deisplinary based on culture, design techinical, construction methods as well as the build environment surrounding the site. Firstly, some architecture as a landmark should not only act as a innovation project for people to memory but also needs to incooprate into people's everyday life. Buildings sits within large urban content and it will potentially

influence everyday life of people. For example, religious building enable people to fulfill the needs of belief, commercial buidling will influence the economic aspect of people's life and residential buidling impact people both physically and emotionally. Thus, architecture is not simply a shelter, it is a intergreated things which changes every part of the society. Secondly, architecture should learn from natural environment as they will always inspire us in terms of the aesthetics, design forms and construction method which we can use. Innovation could happen based on thoughtful consideration of the relationship between human and the surrounding natural world if people could explore the colourful natural world thoughtfully. 4

Water Cube


Water Cube is one of my favourite architectural project due to its interesting initial design concept, innovativeness and practical applicability. The Water Cube initially designed to accommodate the official 2008 Olympics swimming facility. Its primary design concept is driven by' the soap bubble'theory comes out with Chinese and Australian. In addition to this, the most importantly, this project incorporated Chinese culture in the design’s central theme. In Chinese history, the Earth and Heaven is conceptualized as square and round respectively(Travel China Guide ) . Therefore, the square shape of the Water Cube has been designed consists lots of ‘round’ soap bubble. That express one of the traditional Chinese believes of Earth and Heaven bond together will give people infinite power. Incorporate 5

the cultural aspects with the design concept is one of the most important needs for a landmark building. That is because each building should have its own ‘sprite’, expressed as its specific local or regional cultural aspect rather than simply considering the aesthetic aspects of the building. That sprite is owned by the specific building and will be remembered by people by its own characteristics and people tend to interact with the building due to the cultural involvement. . This would create a similarity in terms of sharing same culture believes on the regional people and at the same time, revealing a traditional Chinese culture to other parts of the world. Secondly, the building is innovative in terms of its structure and material selection. The ETFE is used for its membrane structure and this formed

Soource: CNN travel news

3,065 bubble like pneumatic cushions various in sizes(Water Cube membrane structure completed, 2006). It sets up a new record for its massive deployment and large-scale steel framed structure coated with membrane(Travel China Guide ) . This capitalizes the tensile properties of the materials on a lightweight structural gives a great chance of getting light into the space in day time. However, this might also raise the problem for maintenance of the building due to the membrane is not strong enough to resist the sharp objects from outside environment. Thirdly, after the events, half of the Water Cube has been converted into a water park. This indicates that this architecture has blend in the everyday life of the local people and still functioned very well. This made me think of what actually should a landmark building to be. It should not just as a gorgeous building in front of people. It should always make people remember the past when people using it currently. Local people will be proud of that this building has contributed to sportive function in past and still doing something to engage in the daily life of people. That is the building has its own sprite and cultural aspect from the past that is memorable to a nation, which is what I think one of the most important part of the architecture. 6


Source: Detail Inspiration 7

Source: Archi vitamins

Another interesting project would be a temporary pavilion designed by a group of people leading by kazuhiro kojima. It contributed to the architecture field as it experiment an extremely lightweight load-bearing structure. This project only consist two elements: adelicate elastic polyester skin and metal load bearing elements. These membrane over the metal tubes bears the tensile force and the 131 individual tubes are connected to membrane by sliding the ends into sheaths sewn on(Detail Inspiration 2012). This created a minimal surface structure in conjunction with limited amount of load-bearing structures. Therefore, the pavilion could maximize the sunlight getting through the membrane to light up the inner space . In addition to this, the pavilion covers an area of 146 ㎥ with 26 meter long ,7.5 meter wide and 4.25 meter high. At the same time, there do not have any columns inside to support the structure. This provides an advantage of maximizing the usable space inside the volume within such a large structure. The specific property of the material reduced the erection time into only one day. All of these in this project suggests the benefits of using minimal surfaces, such as, lighter materials, large usable space and less construction time. Therefore, it provides flexibility to users comparing to other monolithic structural materials. 8

References : Detail Inspiration, 2012, Temporayr Pavillion in Noda, from ' inspiration/temporary-pavilion-in-noda-106251.html' on 4th AUG. Lara, Farrar, 2010, Beijing's Water Cube now has slides, rides, a wave pool and spa, Cnn Travel News, from '' . Moon tensegritic membrne structure, 2013, Archi vitamins, from ' http://www.archivitamins. com/moom-tensegritic-membrane-structure-ca/#.UhBcEfkwfQm' on 4th AUG. Williams, Richard, 2005, citied in Studio air Lecture 1 , University of Melbourne, Travel China Guide, 2011, National Aquatics Cube, from ' attraction/beijing/water-cube.htm', on 3rd AUG. Water Cube Membrane structure completed, 2006, from ' article214004596.shtml ', on 4th AUG.


A2. Computational Architecture

"Definitively not one single environment doing everything -

please keep the platform multiple but as light as possible - speed is key when a large population or massive variations are involved." - Marc Fornes

There always is a wide discussion about the pros and cons of the computerization in architecture. Terzidis states that computer aided design has limited the potential outcomes and the creativity of the architecture( lecture 2 ). However, I think it is actually beneficial to use computer programs in the design process. Firstly, the computer will save people lots of times by just go through the programs in seconds and repeating the program without tired. According to Kalay ( 2004), computers would never feel tired and would not make arithmetical mistakes. At the same time, they help people with most suitable form for human to interpret ( Kalay 2004). For example, Revit Architecture will produce table and diagramss for us, such as area of the rooms , windows and door schedule and so on. In addition to this, it will provide plan, elevations and section of the design as well. That is to say, computers not only assist people as giving people a three dimensional senses, but also break down the structure into construction document. This will minimize the mistakes if we shift between 3-D model and the construction drawings during the stage of refinement. Therefore, it is benificial to use computer as it will assist people in finding problems and refine the design outcomes more easily and efficiently. 10

Image 2.1 facades Source : Mcbride charles ryan: the yardmasters building

Image 2.2 Construction documments of Yardmasters building Source: Construction Design Lecture 7

Image 2.3 East Elevation Source : Mcbride charles ryan: the yardmasters building


source : Simona Strachinare

The Yardmasters Building designed by Australian Architecture Studio is one of the most impressive project for me in terms of the computer aided design project. Firstly, the computer program provides more accuracy for the project. As indicated by image 2.1 , each panel is designed in computer with different pattern on them. All its precast concrete panels are made based on the drawings produced by computer and therefore, every panel match up with adjacent panel very well. That is to say, the computer could enhance the accuracy in design process to improve the design outcomes. At the same time, the computer is beneficial for the reason that it can generate adjustable various facades patterns and prevent an overall changes from different views. Thus, it helps people to design within three dimensional visually. Designers could easily found the problems within the project based on different analysis skills of different softwares to enhance the overall design of the project. Such as sustainability test, structural test, sound test and so on. This proved that conputer as a helper would benifit people by analysis the design outcomes more comprehensively. 12

References : Construction Design Lecture 7 , 2013, semester 1, University of Melbourne, Yehuda E, Kalay, Architecture's New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of ComputerAided Design. Cambridge, Mass:Mt Press,2004, pp5-25 Mcbride charles ryan: the Yardmasters building, 2011, from ' architecture/mcbride-charles-ryan-the-yardmasters-building/ ' on 9th AUG. Simona, S, 2011, Beautiful Yardmasters Building by McBride Charles Ryan, Architecture, Terzids, 2005, citied in Studio air Lecture 2 , University of Melbourne,


A3. Parametric Modelling

Initially, designing is all about drawing on papers by using pencil and pens to express the ideas and outcomes. With the development of the design technic, parametric modeling come into our sight and gradually playing an important role in some innovative project. It basically benefits designing by providing more control and efficiency . Parametric modeling enhance s the design as it enable us to do things which are unachievable previously. For example, complex geometries challenges both design and construction process. However, based on the computer programs, lots of complex geometries could be created. By inputting the defining elements of each component, we could get different computational model for outcome by exploring various input elements. Further, computer modeling also provide the flexibility of refining the project. This is because adjustment could be done by just change a little part of the input. However, this might also be constrain of the parametric modeling. Usually, there is only one person in charge for the whole project for the reason that it is relatively hard for another person

to get step in the project ( Lecture 3 ). Both the input elements in programs might be enormous and the complexity of the input could not be understood by others. Another obvious advantage is that, parametric design could precisely control the measure of the outcome. Unlike using the same construction material, we tend to produce unique facades by using paramatric modelling. This could be time and money consuming if we simply do it by hand. That is to say, parametric modeling could give unbelievable control over the project to improve the creativity of the outcomes and to makes it unique. Mark Collins argued that parametric design is detrimental as too many project share the same ‘wiring’ and this limited the outcome possibility and creativity. However, I think that is du to designers lack of skills in scripting. Designers cannot be creative if they are not familiar with the tools they are using. If they are not educated of how to using parametric modeling, they will simply be the followers to copy from other’s rather than leaders of innovative project ( Vito Acconci ). 14

Stain Sheet project

Image 3.1 sample model

Image 3.2 detail section

Image 3.3 detail section

Image 3.2 surface pattern


The Stain Sheet project in an interesting example adopted parametric modeling. The set of the panel differs from each other subtly both in textural and surface shading. With the assist of parametric modeling, all these panels were created precisely in measurement. Therefore, all of them transit with each other seamlessly which creating a tessellated filed. From image 3.3, each panel are unique either from pattern or section. Furthermore, the parametric design improved the efficiency of the process as these are absolutely a great amount of work if it draw manually. It will be a disaster for the project if designers make any mistakes prior to construction process. Therefore, it is obviously that paramatic modelding help people a lot in terms of ensure the accuracy as well as reduce the amont of work.

Source ďźš Lisa Iwamoto


Another project named Green Void is a great example of using paramatric modelling with minimal surface. The project is solely based on minimal surface tension stretching between wall, ceiling and floor. This is achieved with 3D computer modeling. With the computer program, designers could easily experiment the form of the project and test out where to anchor the structure elements from design aspect. Moreover, the material selected based on minimal surface could cover a broad area due to its light self-weight. The 3,000 cubic meters of space are filled up with this project with a minimal surface of 300 square meters which only wright for 40 kilograms. This gives the opportunities that this project could be easily transported, quickly constructed and great visual impact. Therefore, the computer increase the possibility of getting some kind of geometries which we could not easily achieved previously due to constrains of experiment. For example, Kangaroo could be pluginto Grasshopper to find the anchor point of the minimal surface and finding most efficient forms (Daniel) .





Reference : Terzids, 2005, citied in Studio air Lecture 3 , University of Melbourne, Burry, Mark, 2011, Scripting cultures, pp.8-71 Daniel, P. Kangaroo, Generative Modeling for Rhino, from 'http://www.' on 14th AUG. Mark Collins & Toru Hasegawa, cited in , Scripting cultures, pp.8-71 Vito Acconci , cited in , Scripting cultures, pp.8-71 Lisa Iwamoto, 2009, Digital Fabrication, Archititectural and Material Techniques, Princeton Architectural Press, New York. Fifi, 2008, Green Void, Design Sigh, from ''. On 15th AUG. 19

A4. Algorithmic Explorations

Weeek 1

Weeek 2


week 3


By doing these weeks’ grasshopper exercises, I realize that parametric modeling is such a powerful tool to use in many aspect of our everyday life. We could simply generate various kinds of geometries and adjust the form to refine our outcomes by change some of the inputs or even adjust the ‘ slider ‘ component. This allowed us doing various of experiment of our deisng more easily. This corresponding to the efficiency of the parametric design I have discussed in the section previously. However, it takes times for me to get familiar with these tools in order to use it confidently. Therefore, I think it is important to get some knowledge prior to the design process. According to Vito Acconci, scripting should be taught in high-schools as general culture: scripting for architects &designers, scripting for mathematicians& biologists, scripting for dancers &musicians, scripting for moviemakers& d r a m a t i s t s . T h a t i s t o s a y,

parametric design influences every aspect of our life. Then, I realize that these three weeks are crucial to our later design process as it allowed us to do research about the materials and let us know the tools better before we are actually going to use it. Particularly, I am interested in tensile strength of the materials. Therefore, by staring from search for minimal surfaces, I found some really good examples such as Water Cube, Temporary Pavilion in Noda and Green Void. Based on these precedents, I learned that membrane might be the most suitable material for a tensile force for the reason that it is light in self-weight. In addition to this, minimal surfaces could maximize the sunlight within the built space for the reason that it requires limited structure to support. Last but not least, this could also reduce potential cost of the project as minimal surface structure generally require less construction time on site. All of these advantages of these could potentially assist my design in next stage.


A5. Conclusion

Architecture requires multi-disciplinary skills as it influence every aspect of people’s

daily life. Therefore, each project should be fully considered for its social, political and environmental impact of the society. Rather than simply put an aesthetical building on the spot. Moreover, computer-aided design and parametric modeling benefits the designing, such as, providing more control on the project, more efficiency on the refinement, more accuracy on the outcomes and enable the construction process become less time involving as it enable prefabricated component. Therefore, people with good acknowledge of parametric modeling could potential coming out more creative project as they could use computers to do things which might not be achieve manually.


A6. Learning Outcomes

Air Studio gives me a new sight of what architecture is. After

these three weeks, I found that computer aided design could be far more than just computing something which we already determined into computers. It could actually help the design stage of exploration of the undermined design. Using computer as an experimental and analytical tools to assist us in doing the project in order to get a comprehensive design project. I will devote more time on getting familiar with the grasshopper in order to focus on the coming design stages. Hopefully, I could learn more from the next few weeks.


Reference : Vito Acconci , cited in , Scripting cultures, pp.8-71




B1. Design Focus

Building with membranes is emerging from the shadow of the early pioneering achievements. Several decades of practical experience have led to a technology that is future oriented and that deserves to be more widely established. Klaus-Michael Koch, Membrane Structures, 2004

In part A, I discussed that architecture as discourse that one can engage with it as visual cultural and always have impact on everyday life of people. Therefore, landmark architecture, in this case, Wyndham City Gateway Project, should act as both a separation and connection b e t w e e n Wy n d h a m C i t y a n d t h e surrounding Melbourne area. It will act as a cultural identity sculpture for people to recognize Wyndham City in a sense of separation. At the same time, it will also promote a transition functional gathering area to connect people in inner Wyndham City with the outer Melbourne suburb. 27

Design focus: Based on the previous case study, our team decided to draw our focus on minimal surface and relaxation parametric design. In this part, we want to create an architecture which is innovative by its form and structure. It is important for the reason that both design and construction for minimal surface are relatively new in compared to the long history of the monolithic and timber project. In addition to this, minimal surface and relaxation project could benefit a lot from computation as the program allows especially the relaxation

evaluation. For example, Kangaroo plug-in to Grasshopper could be used to analysis the behavior of the membrane under gravity. This is crucial because it simplifies the design process and place the design into real world content. However, due to the special properties of the materials, special consideration need to be taken about how to convert digital model to physical real project. Our team will further explore constrains and benefits of the material particular related to this Gateway project.



B 2.1 material exploration


B 2.1 material exploration

Firstly, we chose rubber gloves and rubber band to explore the properties of tensile material. We did five groups of material experiment.

Basically, hands will act as anchor points on the tensile material. In a way of dragging material in different direction and apply increasing number of anchor points, we observe how the load transfers by looking at the wrinkle on the material surface.

3. Punching hole By using a small piece of material, we experimented that how the material deform with a hole on its surface. We discovered that without removing the force applied on the material, the small hole will expanding on the surface. That is to say, a small weak point on the surface might lead to structural failure later on.

Result : we found the wrinkle line of the material will under tension when we increase the force to pull the material in opposite direction. This suggest that these part need to be more strength resistance otherwise it will deform at one critical point.

4. Punching holes We further explored how the surface behaves with more holes. From this, we observe that if two holes located relatively close to each other, they will emerge with each other and then deform the whole material.

2. Twisting

5. Rubber band. We learned that strips could be added together to become a surface, then it will be more rigid to take tensile strength as well.

1 . Dragging

We further explored the material properties by twisting it to see how it act with anchor points been applied three dimensionally. In addition to the previous observation, we also found 31

some part of the material will relaxed and even do not take any loads if less anchor points are applied.

B 2.2 case study 1.0

Voussoir Cloud Iwamoto Scott Los Angeles, CA, USA

image source: Pleaterfer, 2009



The installation of ‘ Vossoir Cloud ‘ is a landscape of Vaults and columns consisting of clusters of three dimensional petals , which are formed by light weight folding thin wood laminate along curved seams. The curvature produces a form which relied on the internal surface tension to hold its form. The reason why we interested in this precedent is that this form was tested by Kangaroo in Grasshopper which is extremely useful in our topic minimal relaxation.

image source: Pleaterfer, 2009


design process:


We primary focused on the design process of parametric computation and how to get a relaxed form. It starts from points and by creating voronoi pattern which forms the base structure of the design. Then, offset was used to create the differences between the volumes. After turning loft to mesh, Kangaroo plug-in could be used to relax the surface. Kangaroo is a live physics engine for interactive simulation, optimization and form finding directly within Grasshopper . In this case, we used this plug in to imitate natural loads to find out how does the load affect the shape of the 35

form. Experimenting further about this definition to find the optimized form solution under nature forces applied. We explored this parametric process by manipulating the parameter values, setting different anchor points to see how the form various after the relaxation.

Two groups of matrix explorations matrix I. We further explored this case study through manipulation of parameter values. ① Push up the form and adjusting the size of the vacancy ② P u s h d o w n t h e f o r m a n d adjusting the size of the vacancy ③ Extrude the form From experiment ① ② ③ , we found that outcomes are different to a large degree although only a little bit input adjustment has been made. For ① ② ③ , different spatial effect could be achieved. Such as some space narrow downs, some of them become skeleton, some of them ( ③ ) have a sense of enclosed three dimensional space. we chose six shapes from ④ ① ② ③ to see how it looks after relaxation. They are : 1-2 ( ie. second form in row 1 ), 1-4 , 2-2 , 2-4 , 3-2 , 3-4 ⑤⑥ A d j u s t t h e a n c h o r p o i n t s on 2-2 & 2-4 by manipulate these points horizontally, vertically or even randomly. This time, we fund that forms are more fluid and generate more interesting space.

matrix II. A,B ) Voroni radius changing group: Change the optional radius of cell C ) Scale each voroni part for 1:1 by setting base points in different positions D )Set the base points at end position and middle position of each curve before relax E )The martix of special position of points which are set on one line F )Put force of different direction on the struture to relax by kangroo


⑥ 37

matrix I.









matrix II.




b 3 case study 2.0

In this part, our group took Entry Paradise Pavilion as our precedent to continuously study how design intent control the parametric design process. At the same time, we extending the zone of design by exploring the different outcomes based on one of our reverse engineer process parametric definition.

image sourceďźš Entry Paradise Pavilion ďźŒ 2012 43

image sourceďźš Entry Paradise Pavilion ďźŒ 2012

Microscopic cell structure were the inspiration for the design of this pavilion that recalls the irregular natural forms of foam, sponge, or coral reefs These biomorphic shapes are created using parametric design(Lisa 2009). Specifically, the phenomenology and structure of the microorganisms like coral polyps or radiolarians are the basis of this computer simulation of naturally evolving systems. Physically, the 127 square meter structure spans 500 cubic meters when installed and it could be packaged weighing just 17 kg transporting in a small carry-on bags(Lisa 2009 ).


image sourceďźš Entry Paradise Pavilion ďźŒ 2012

This project is innovative for the reason that it shows a new way of digital workflow as it enabling the creation of a space out of a lightweight material within extremely short time. In addition to this, the project avoid the traditional space making process which is post and beams with strictly space boundary. Furthermore, the unusual soft and flexiable structure created unusual spaces, which come to life under different lighting conditions. It generated a three-dimensional lightweight-sculpture by using minimal surface tension and the stretched material is stretched and attached onto walls and ceiling. This project is related to our project for the reason that our design interest is to generate a fluid free form to explore the capacity of the tensile membrane material. It will make the project eye-catching as it has different visual impact due to its innovative form and material usage.


Our group tried to re-create Entry Paradise Pavilion in Grasshopper in four different ways. We aim to exam constrains and advantages of various types of parametric design options.

reverse engineering approach 1

step I

step 2

step 3

1. Draw main structure lines 2. Input structure lines into component ‘ Exoskeleton’ in order to get a thicken wireframe 3. Adjust the radius of the tube ( R value ) 4. Adjust the node size ( N Value ) 5. Adjust knuckle bumpiness to smooth the connections ( B value ) 6. Relaxation the mesh

step 4

step 5

step 6


reverse engineering approach 2

step I

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

step 3

Set mesh box boundary Weld together the mesh boxes Explode mesh and get rid of the spare mesh surfaces Relax the form Adjust the form by manipulating crucial anchor point on surface Relaxation the mesh

step 4


step 2

step 5

step 6

reverse engineering approach 3

step I

step 2

step 3

1. Drawing then boundary curve and several random points 2. Generating 2D Voroni within boundary 3. Scale the geometry inwards 4. Pull these geometries vertically ( up & down ) 5. Loft the geometry and join the mesh 6. Relaxation

step 4

step 5

step 6


step I

step 2

step 3


step 4

reverse engineering approach 4

1. Creating a brep 2. Generating points by using ‘POP3D’ component, using 3D Voroni to divide the geometry into smaller sections 3. Scale the smaller geometries 4. Join the mesh 5. Smooth the mesh by using “ Weaver Bird’s Catmull-Clark Subdivision” 6. Relaxation 7. Manipulating anchor points to optimize the shape

step 5

step 6

step 7




We chose reverse engineering approach 4 to further explore this particular parametric design. These are the matrix of the exploration of the definition. Different shapes were created by adjusting anchor points , pulling up the surfaces, with the consideration of creating different spatial effect. Some of them are more stretched , some of them have potential of good sunlight accessibility.


B4. technique : development


Precedents : Entry Paradise Pavilion


image source: Entry Paradise Pavilion , 2012

We chose this project as our precedent as it used tensile

material and generated a form which enabling the creation of a space within extremely short time. Furthermore, the soft and flexible structure created unusual spaces, which come to life under different lighting conditions. This project is related to our project for the reason that our design interest is to generate a fluid free form to explore the capacity of the tensile membrane material. It will make the project eye-catching as it has different visual impact due to its innovative form and material usage.


Firstly, we generate a free form by using reverse engineering definition which we developed in case study 2.0 previously .


Secondly, the idea of fluid of people We changed the anchor point on the form by stretching the premeters outwards to create an open center gathering area. This part will have an active atmosphere promoting a sense of interactive between people. At the same time, this stretched out part have the potential of channeling a good view of the surround features. That is to say, people could climb in in order to get different views. This created the contrast of active and static zones.

Thirdly, we bring in the idea of fluid of wind to enrich our design. It is inevitable that the site will be exposed highly to external environment. Wind pressure will created uplift forces when it flow above or below the surface. we made the shape response to site by pulling up middle part make it is more distinguishable.


precedent : Heydar Aliyev Cluture Centre New precedents were explored at this stage. The Heydar Aliyev Cluture Centre was brought into for its innovative minimal freeform surfaces are supported on steel skeleton structure. The minimal surfaces were panelized into smaller decorative pieces for pre-fabrication.

59 image sourceďźš KristimďźŒ 2011

image source: Annick, 2011

image source: Annick, 2011


Full-scale prototype of a performative membrane organisation constructed for the ‘AA Projects Review Exhibition’, 2006.

From further research, we found prototype of a performative membrane organization constructed for the ‘AA projects Review Exhibition’. It combines two forms of tension systems in an integral manner. This project used arraying smaller membrane patches reduces horizontal wind loads. This informed us that tensile membrane could be broke into smaller panels to demonstrate the overall scheme.


We decided to use tensile membrane only act as a mean of express fluidity of the form rather than serving a partly structural purpose of the project. The structural rib will take most loads. In order to do this, we start finding load bearing and panelizing the tensile surfaces.

Skelton structure inspired by the precedent


different pannelling options


Then, we come to a problem as there are 1900 individual geometry pieces. Technically, we found these surfaces will be hard to fabric manually. However, after discussed with our tutor, we found that this process is irrational in term of decision making. Specifically, the pannelling process does not align with our design argument. At the same time, we should really think a way to design out project in a way of showing the advantage of this kind membrane material.


B5. technique : prototypes

We push forward our design in terms of the fluidity of the form in terms of constructability. This will make sure our project will take advantage of the tensile translucent material properties to a large extend.

precedent : marsyas


image sourceďźš The TATE, 2003

Image strip connection detail

petal pattern created by strips


We start to rationalize the constructability as the structure determines whether the form will be success or not. That is because the crucial position of the anchor point will change the shape of membrane. We start to exam some precedents about how to deal with the structure issue specifically in relation to tensile membrane.


We continued our research by examining a project ,Marsyas, which was installed in 2002 in Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern gallery in London. The project was mainly constructed with tensile membrane fabric and steel support structure. In this project, the fabric structure was cut from panels of fabric and all these panels are welded to each other prior to delivery on site. At the same time, prestress was added by cutting each panel too small, essentially shrinking the membrane so that when it stretched to its correct shape it had the correct prestress and remained stable and taut( Hirst,2000) . The steel work also needs to resist very large tension forces from membrane structure. In this case, circular hollow section had been chose due to its effective span between points, transferring all the tension applied by the membrane structure to these crucial points via bending( The TATE 2003). In addition to this, an ever-changing angle of incidence with the steel rings was developed with membrane contractor. All of these works in a way to ensure the performace of the membrane material.


three dimensional to two dimensional - unroll surface in to strips


Research shows that the seams are usually weaker than the base fabric, and are also subject to more variability in strength( Mpanel manual ). If the seams run parallel to the greatest stress, then the stress across the seams is lowest. In our case, a cone tent skin stress usually be higher in the radial directions, so it make sense to run the seams radially. This is the unroll process .


constructability of the project Basically, we decided to use steel rings to pull up the membrane structure. Then the load pass through cables connecting to center gathering umbrella like structure.

Identify construction issues: 1. 2. 3. 4.


How to connect each unrolled membrane strips How membrane ends at periphery How tension wire meets the membrane What kind of structure could be used to hold up the membrane

How tension wire meets the membrane To limit the potential wrinkling between adjacent fabric panes, high strength polyester belts could be introduced along the back of the structure to help share the load. The splayed belt could be introduced to minimize the use of metal parts and maximized the flexibility to allow for standardization across all connection.

From our previous material exploration, we found that if we anchor the membrane with few points, the form would keep fluid for the reason loads do not evenly distributed on the fabric. That is to say, fabric between two anchor points will experiencing more stress and wrinkling might happen. Thus, we decided to use continuous line to anchor the fabric.


fabrication process





B6. technique : Proposal

We further researched about why this happened. We found that: The seam allowance width required is determined by recommendations from the fabric manufacturer. It should be added to the original panel edge position and the panel system line should not move. What we had done is just roughly give allowance at the edges without consideration this specific material.

At the same time, compensation is needed so that when it is stretched out to its original design size, it has pre-stress. And we did not apply compensation during the fabrication. As we do not have that high degree of controls over the material, not as accurate as factory. The membrane prototype is not that successful. Then, we end up by doing part of the membrane using paper card to indicate the shape of it.

The advantage of this is we could have higher degree of control of the form, but this will lose some detail of our minimal surfaces.


Why should Wyndham City competition chose our project? Wyndham City is a relatively new and isolated suburb as services could not keep pace with the developing of the city. One important feature about Wyndham is ethical diversity. Thus, it is important to enhance the culture identity of the city by installing some innovative, eye-catching visual arts and make residents be proud of the city. This project is innovative as it used new material along parametric design technique so there is a great optional to generate more unique and attractive space. It will act as a gateway for Wyndham city and also accessible to a wide public.


B7. learning objectives and outcomes

Over these weeks, I have developed several skills through the design process. By doing these matrixes, I understood about how data flows during the design process and how to generate a variety of design possibilities with parametric design. In addition to this, I also learned how to make concrete argument and decision. Each decision should be rational and relevant to overall design scheme. I have to say that I am excited with this subject as it is so different compare to other design subject. It took me to a new designing world when I was doing research. I always surprised about how innovative a contemporary project it.


Presentation feedback: - Could pay more attention about one part of the model and do it well - Central frame could be more interesting and elegant - Think about whether the details will works or not ? - Avoid being too structure oriented, think about more how to show the fluidity of the form underneath the model - Design is not that much related to site and users

In the following weeks, we are going to exam more precedents to see how others solve the problem during the fabrication process. More research and fabrication test are needed specifically related to our project. Then, we will think more about how people will actually experience the space designed, both for drivers and other potential users. This will ensure our project is specifically designed for City of Wyndham and people could really engage with the project by interact within the space created.

B8. algorithmic sketches


Image samper exercise


Point attractor exercise


References : Annick, L, 2011, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Zaha Hadid Architect, retrieve from http:// Entry Paradise Pavilion, 2012, Open Buildings, retrieve from buildings/entry-paradise-pavilion-profile-42678 Hensel, M, Membrane Spaces, 2006, AA Project Review Exhibition HIRST, John, et al. Tate Modern. The Arup Journal, 35(3), pp3-11, 3/2000 (Millennium Issue 4). Kristin, D. 2011, Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center: Turning a Vision into Reality , retrieve from Lisa, Iwamoto, Digital Fabrications, Architectural and material techniques, 2009, Princeton Architectural Press, New York THE TATE. Anish Kapoor: Marsyas. Tate Gallery, 2003. Pleatfarmer, 2009, Platform , Voussoir Cloud, retrieve from http://www.pleatfarm. com/2009/10/14/voussoir-cloud-by-iwamotoscott-architecture/ Mpanel, technique manual, Notes on Tensile Strucutre Design, Mpanel Support Team


Air journal part b  
Air journal part b