â€œpersonal expression is a reflection of our culture and, eventually, a visual discrimination commenting on a broader, collective cultural spectrum. it is culture, not algorithms and applications of technologies, from which architectural poetics evolve. The aesthetic capacity of architecture is charged by poetic visual qualities that might evoke emotions in the observer.â€? - Alexander baumgarten
Architecture as a Discourse
Unique Innovations presented by Contemporary Computational Design Techniques
Contemporary scripting/ programming Cultures
case study project
expression of interest
THE ESPLANADE -THEATRES ON THE BAY, SINGAPORE
A new paradigm Influence from the esplanade has flourished more “organic” and “parametric” architecture along the bay.
ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE - We see in reality today, a shift in paradigm with the introduction of new design generators with the use of modern programming/scripting decives. Architecture in general is changing drastically, causing a discourse to many societies with valued motives. On a personal note coming from Singapore, I would say that the “The Esplanade -- Theaters on the Bay”, has caused quite a cultural shift for Singapore as a society towards the arts scene.
We have had a reputation for being “too strict”zoning restrictions, censorship etc. These restrictions have caused an effect on the cultural scene. I find that people play it too safe in Singapore, until the construction of the Esplanade in 2002. We start to see a change in Singapore’s cityscape in progression with time since then, allowing more interesting and complex structures to surface with greater flexibility
Located along the bay of Singapore’s prominent cityscape, the Esplanade (one of the first built projects to boast complexity in its form as parametric architecture) serves to showcase the government’s commitment in promoting the arts. What I can say is that this has definitely “ease the disciplinary strictness” of Singapore as a society to allow flexibility and freedom not only in the built-environment, but culturally in the lives of Singaporeans as well. Figure 2: Arts Science Museum – completion 2011 (Source: WilliamCho)
Figure 3: Gardens by the bay completion 2012 (Source: Kenny Teo)
EOI - The biomimetic shading techniques of the Esplanade Theatre can be applied for the gateway project of Wyndham. The external shading device is a responsive mechanism where the triangular louvres adjust according to sunlight exposure. The result is a dynamic and ever-changing mesh of sunlight and shadows that could be one of the design generators for the Wyndham project.
Figure 1: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay – completion 2002 (Source: Eugin Goh)
CAPITAL GATE, ABU DHABI Another state of the art building that have caused quite a discourse in architecture (on a global scale) would be the Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi (RMJM). The Sheikh of Abu Dhabi has demanded the architects RMJM to build a structure so spectacular; it will instantly become an international symbol for Abu Dhabi. The 160-meter high tower leans at an angle of 18 degrees, more than 4 times the angle of the Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. The idea was to not go bigger or taller but rather ‘challenge the rules of architecture’. I believe this has greatly influenced Abu Dhabi or rather the world in terms of building a gravity-defying megastructure that goes against the rules of physics and engineering bringing about a discourse on the possibilities of such complex structures to exist at such a big scale. This idea that parametric/digital architecture can now be made possible for skyscrapers (with the advancement of science and technology) nudges current architects what can they do with future megastructures. In Williams (2005) Architecture and Visual Culture, he mentions how ‘architecture as art’ exists because a client allows it to exist. For this case the client, the Sheikh, was the one who determined the function of the project, its specification, its location and above all, its cost. What we can learn from here is that for such structures to exist, the architect needs to work within all its parameters within a budget in order to have it built. EOI - What we can associate this case study in relation with the Wyndham Project is simply to create something that is of monumental value. Like the Capital Gate, the gateway project in Wyndham should be structurally challenged to perhaps cause a discourse on its own; becoming an icon for the city of Melbourne.
Figure 4: Capital Gate Tower, RMJM architects (Source: Sean Fallon)
PARAMETRIC DESIGN AS AN ICON
THE EDEN PROJECT, UNITED KINGDOM UNIQUE INNOVATIONS PRESENTED BY CONTEMPORARY COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN TECHNIQUES - Biology has been perfecting its systems for billions of years. Designers today would do well with the aid of parametric generators to mimic nature and its components. That is one of many interesting aspects of such complex software like grasshopper that will benefit architecture in this generation. Times are changing, a lot of design professions are a notch higher than a lot of architects today distorting the ways of the past and bringing about more complex and exciting innovations to the table. We as architects need to do the same to keep in par in this age of technology.
The Eden Project designed by Grimshaw architects is one of the world’s largest greenhouses and is greatly inspired by the form and nature of soap bubbles dealing with the project’s main obstacle; to construct a huge structure spanning across uneven land. To resolve the challenges of the irregularity on site, the team proposed an idea to create a string of bubbles, the diameter of which could be varied to provide the right growing heights in the different parts of the building. The team explored a variety of different iterations of this bubble string and set them into 3D terrain models of the site. By overlaying the desired parametric modelling of the string of bubbles onto the 3D site terrain, adjustments to its design can be easily done through grasshopper perhaps to achieve the appropriate outlook in regards to terrain. The next challenge was to strive for the lightest possible structure. Studying a whole series of natural examples like carbon molecules and pollen grain, an analytical data is revealed that the most efficient way of structuring a spherical form is through geodesic arrangements of pentagons, hexagons or triangles. EOI - This method of superimposing geometry into a surface intrigues me to think more about the panelling system in curved surfaces using triangles/ hexagons – Geodesic.
Figure 5: – Eden Project, Grimshaw Architects
For the gateway project in Wyndham, I would like to explore further the “geodesic” formulation of the panelling system, and perhaps incorporate biomimetic ideologies to further enchance the materiality and aesthetic outcome of the gateway. Biomimicry would be my main focus in the later parts of this journal (in regards with our group’s design approach and client’s intent). Source: Pawlyn, Michael. 2011. Biomimicry in Architecture, London.
“BETWEEN NOW AND 2050 I THINK BIOMIMCRY IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE MAIN TOOLS THAT WILL FACILITATE THE TRANSITION FROM THE INDUSTRIAL AGE TO THE ECOLOGICAL AGE OF MANKIND.” -PETER HEAD, CHAIR OF GLOBAL CONSULTING PLANNING, ARUP
Figure 6: – Bubble latice structre, a biodynamic structural concept for the Eden Project
SHI LING BRIDGE, LONDON Biomimicry has definitely changed the definition of beauty; a parametric computation of data from the natural world. It is the yin and yang of beauty where organism meets technology. Architect Tonkin Liu together with structural engineer Ed Clark, designed the Shi Ling bridge which was inspired by the forms of various seashells and techniques from tailoring to develop a new form of construction derived from planar surfaces, which they refer to as a ‘shell-lace structure’. Just like the shells, the structure derives its strength from a combination of curves, folds and ribs so that large forms can be created using extremely thin sheet material. Software programmes like grasshopper allows a high degree of refinement, and identifies low-stress locations where perforations can be made to further reduce the amount of material. The end product is an extremely elegant structure, constructed with a minimum of materials that derives its strength from its form rather than mass. Figure 7: – Shi Ling Bridge, Tonkin Liu Architects (Sourche: www.tonkinliu.co.uk)
EOI - Similar to Liu’s Shi Ling Bridge, I believe the gateway structure at Wyndham should include (if possible) perforations in its form, playing with light and patterning to create a more suttle and romantic approach. It would also resemble the idea of an abooginal painting which will be one of our groups design generator.
Source: Pawlyn, Michael. 2011. Biomimicry in Architecture, London. Liu, Tonkin. 2012. www.tonkinliu.co.uk, viewed on Feb 25th 2012
Figure 7: – Shi Ling Bridge, Tonkin Liu Architects (Sourche: www.tonkinliu.co.uk)
Figure 8: – Shi Ling Bridge, Tonkin Liu Architects (Sourche: www.tonkinliu.co.uk)
SPANISH PAVILION, SHANGHAI EXPO, SHANGHAI Figure 9: – School of fish - (Source: mindpopsicles.blogspot.com.au)
Figure 10: – Spanish Pavilion, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - (Source: www.architecturenewsplus.com)
INSPIRED BY THE KINETICS OF NATURE; THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF MOVEMENT, SPEED AND SERENITY.
CULTURE + KINETICS + TECHNOLOGY The Spanish Pavilion for the 2010 World Expo of Shanghai is a reflection of Spanish culture and tradition, specifically enhancing wickerwork art (weaving baskets) into its design through the use of paramatric modelling and scripting. What I love about this building is that it incorporates traditional craftwork into its complex geometrical form, that is said to be only achievable through “Algorithmic Thinking” (where computers do most of the design inputs). I believe this inclusion of craftwork from the locals gives the building sentimental values and evicts emotion to its architecture. Furthermore, this concept of using basketry as a facade is rather sustainable in nature and provides excellent sunshading device to the interiors. The play of texture and colors in its material also creates a sense of “dynamism” and “movement” in the buildings potrayal of weaving art. EOI - This concept of portraying local craftwork into design generators can also be used in the Wyndham Gateway Project by infusing local aborginal art and inspiration into the sculpture.
Figure 11: – Spanish Pavilion interior, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - (Source: http://www.aittam.com/wp/expo2010/)
Figure 12 & 13: â€“ Spanish Pavilion Elevation and Details, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - (Source: http://www.aittam.com/wp/expo2010/)
SCRIPTING THROUGH TOPOGRAPHY/ BODY CONTOURS CONTEMPORARY SCRIPTING/PROGRAMMING CULTURES - Scripting in fashion through the use of Grasshopper has allowed the individual to take control in creating their own contourrs, through articulation and expression of their desired body movements. The movement of our bodies are articulated through both space and time, the body becomes a landscape in which each contour defines our physicality. With the use of scripting, the designer is able to utilise multiple disciplines; architectural design, 3D digital design and laser cutting to incorporate with the human form; allowing the individual to form his/ her ideal garment that responds to its skin. EOI - This method of scripting topography can be utilised in the Wyndham Project by sculpting the current site to create a dynamic landscape-inspired installation through the use of grasshopper and rhino.
Source: Johnson, Karl-Kjelstrup. 2012. http://krkj. wordpress.com/, viwed on 27 March 2012.
“THROUGH THE USE OF PARAMETRIC MODELLING AND SCRIPTING, THE TOPOGRAPHY DISPLACEMENT MAP IS READ, THE BODY CONTOUR LINES CREATED AND THE SKIN RELIEF EXEMPLIFIED THEN LASER CUT TO FORM THE SECOND SKIN.”- KARL KJELSTRUPJOHNSON, AA, LONDON.
HONEYCOMB MORPHOLOGIES, AA, LONDON
“THE HONEYCOMB MORPHOLOGIES PROJECT IS BASED ON THE DESIRE TO FORM AN ITEGRATED AND GENERATIVE DESIGN STRATEGY USING BIOMETIC APPROACH TO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND FABRICATION.” ANDREW KUDLESS, AA, LONDON.
Figure 16: – Manifold installation (Source: http://matsysdesign.com/category/projects/honeycomb-morphologies/)
10 CONTEMPORARY SCRIPTING/ PROGRAMMING CULTURES - This research was produced in AA by Andrew Kudless to develope a material system that integrates design with performance to generate a responsive facade material. I believe this integration has an influence from the concept of natural material systems such as plant structures or scale patterning, for they have been developed through evolution for billions of years, fusing form with growth and behavioural patterns of the organism for use in its applications. The product is a honeycomb system; one that is able to adapt to diverse performance requirements through the basis of geometric and material parameter scripting derived from biodynamic structures from nature. I believe this system would be highly relevant for the Wyndham project since my team has decided to go for the concept of a “snake-like” element that meanders through the site. EOI - The honeycomb morphology can be used for this case to inherit the genetic properties of snake scales, which will be developed further through scripting in grasshopper to generate this pattern. Like the Eden Project, the use of hexagons in curved surfaces to form a panelling system can be seen in this project as well. Both projects have different scripting and design methods in its process (one uses repetitive grid-like hexagons whereas the other a more organic and responsive patterning). But ultimately both share a similar conceptual approach of using the honeycomb method to solve various design issues. We can then conclude that this methodology of design is widely used in biometic architecture, to associate architectural patterns/ structures with genetics in nature to mimic the honeycomb geometry that nature has invented.
Figure 17: – Honeycomb prototypes (Source: http://matsysdesign.com/category/projects/honeycomb-morphologies/)
Figure 18: – Biodynamic structure of the veins of leaf (Source:http://www.exploration-architecture.com/section.php?xSec=3)
ARTICULATED CLOUD, PENNSYLVANIA
TURBULENCE ARCHITECT: NED KAHN. 2004. The facade design for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania is derived from the generative notions of patterning and layering to achieve a dynamic, somewhat kinetic surface treatment which can be further manipulated and adapted through the use of parametric tools to deliver a responsive outcome in terms of sustainable strategies, adaptiveness and interactivity. Characterized as ‘Turbulent Architecture’, Kahn, particularly in this example, attempts to simulate and replicate the forms and associations of complex natural systems through the extensive study of scale manipulation, kinetics, fluid motion, disturbance and materiality, primarily patterning in an artistic, aesthetic manner. Such notions emphasise the key concepts of the E.O.I, particularly, Air (Wind), Light and Interactivity in Motion; understanding the experimentation requires extensive critique of the discourse where the utilisation of digital technology will enable environmental interaction through informative systems and sequences controlled by functions and parameters to suggest the conceptual design ideas of vibrations, visibility, and perforations in geometric modifications.
Source: Killory, C. and Davids, R. (2008) ‘Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’, in Detail in Process. 1st edn (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) pp. 112 - 117
“COMPOSED OF THOUSANDS OF TRANSLUCENT, WHITE PLASTIC SQUARES THAT MOVE IN THE WIND, THE ARTWORK IS INTENDED TO SUGGEST THAT THE BUILDING HAS BEEN ENVELOPED BY A DIGITIZED CLOUD.” - NED KAHN
REVERSE ENGINEERING, ARTICULATED CLOUD
The snake skin is comprised of geometric shapes which through the utilisation of complex genetic algorithms, can be transposed into architecture, ultimately, to inform new and more complex and innovative design outcomes through the simulations of natural phenomena at the cellular, molecular or scalar level. Using the referenced the thumbnail image into the Image Sampler component on Grasshopper, the desired, reverse engineering outcome can be feasible.
INPUT: SURFACE GRID FRAMES_ASSOCIATION: ATTRATOR POINT_OUTPUT: ROTATION
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (PROJECT BRIEF)
w y n d h a m
g a t e w a y
p r o j e c t
Figure 19-20: Site Context (Wyndham, Victoria) Source: Googlemap
CLIENT ASPIRATION • An experiential gateway into Wyndham for city bound traffic • Eye-catching and exciting • Enhancing physical environment through the introduction of visual arts component • A sense of pride within the local community • Dialogue between sculpture, landscape and users • Daytime and night time experience
PROPOSAL / CONCEPT THE IDEA: To generate an iconic, visual and experiential sculpture using computational techniques, fusing local indigenous traditions with contemporary materiality creating a “breathing and living sculpture” that is responsive to its landscape and the users; A primitive cultural belief of the aboroginal community where land and the biosphere is spiritually linked with the people. The form will draw inspiration from the concept of a snake, an iconic key figure of Australia and the indigenous community which can also be referenced from the meandering Werribee river nearby. The area of speciality in regards to my EOI is biomimcry, therfore I will gather strong and relevant conceptual approaches through previous documentative arguments on biomimicry. These ideas will be further developed to generate new computational design inputs to be incorprated to the “snake” so as to meet the design concept and client’s aspirations for the Wyndham Project.
Figure 21: Aboroginal Art
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (BIOMIMICRY)
BIOMIMETIC SKIN ANALOGY
The IDEA: To morph the light biological structures of the butterfly wing, with the meandering serpentine form of the snake into a new biological masterpiece that is lighter and more interesting in its structure.
Figure 22: Aboroginal Art
REPTILE + INSECT ?
The concept of SCALES: Similar to reptile skin, the wing of the butterfly is suddivided into geometric components that scultps the skeletal frame of the organism. But unlike reptiles, where protection in its armoury is vital in its structure, the scale of the butterflysâ€™ wing is further divided to hollow geometrical patterning which gives it its lightness in structure. For the Wyndham project, we will strive for lightness in structure rather than heavy armoury.
lEpiDOpTErA, the scaly-winged insects
WiNgS fOr mOrE pOWErful SOlAr CEllS
S O l A r COllECTOrS
The discovery that butterfly wings have scales act as tiny solar collectors has led scientists to design a more efficient solar cell that could be used for powering homes and other applications in the future. lab tests showed that the butterfly wing solar collector absorbed light more effectively than conventional dye-sensitised cells. Source: http://www.robaid.com/bionics/biomimicry-of-butterfly-wingsfor-more-powerful-solar-cells.htm
WiNgS fOr mOrE pOWErful STruCTurE
The micro-structure of a scale from a butterfly wing uses pigments to make some colours but physical structures, that affect the behaviour of light itself, to make others. understanding how they do this lets us mimic nature and create similar features in manmade products. it is very light and can span at wide lengths. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uqnews/6423251413/
SCRIPTING TO DENOTE BUTTERFLY CUT/DEVELOP EXPLORATORY WING STRUCTURE
ribs waffle system
HONEYCOMB 2 SURFACE
hONEyCOmb mOrphOlOgy Of rEpTilE SKiN
SNAKE SKiN fOr pOWErful ArmOury The skin of a snake is covered in scales that can either be geometrically repetitive (like the honeycomb structure), or in the form of voronoi patterning. Their skin is dry in texture and their body scales may either be smooth, keeled or granular. Snake scales are extensions of the epidermis and they shed their skin completely in a single layer during each molt. The ability of the shedded skin to remain as one single layer (in most cases) is partly because of the strong hexagonal bonds in its geometry and bilogical material.
figure 23: point set reconstruction Source: http://blog.alexwebb.com/category/scripts/grasshopper-scripts/
ExplOrATOry SCripTiNg TO DENOTE rEpTilE SKiN STruCTurE
hONEyCOmb 2 SurfACE
Continuing with the experimentation of honeycomb morphologies (refer to previous case study), i used a piece of definition of Zubin mohamad Khabazi to test out the responsiveness of its data structure in an assigned surface on rhino. in this definition, we can make an angle comparison between an environmental vector (in this case a curve) and the surface normal from the center of each hexagon. This makes the difference between angles small but in reverse allowing greater light penetration.
WyNDhAm SiTE CONTExT
SiTE pETrOl KiOSK bArrEN fArmlAND
SuburbAN ZONE SpA/rESOrT
ThE iDEA: • form to meander through site like a snake amongst the barren landscape. • inspiration is drawn from ribbonesque form of snake + river topology. • form to be sculpted and emerge from the landscape, to blend in with the surrounding context. • Optimum solar collectors for east and west sunlight. • possibility to stretch across the highway to opposite side, simulating an arch/gateway.
rivEr + rEpTilE ?
figure 24: Close up of meandering river near site
figure 25: Aboriginal Art (Snake)
furThEr DEvElOpmENT “ThE WAy TO gET WONDErfully lifEliKE bEhAviOur iS NOT TO TryO mAKE A rEAlly COmplEx CrEATurE, buT TO mAKE A WONDErfully riCh ENvirONmENT fOr A SiNglE CrEATurE ”- DAviD ACKlEy.
LEARNING OUTCOME Throughtout my architectural background studying in Singapore Polytechnic, I always had an interest in parametric architecture, specifically the idea of creating natural biomimical forms with the use of computational design techniques. However, I never had the opportunity to learn and apply these methods of computational design strategies throughtout my architectural course of study and working experience. Therefore it is only logical that ADS Air sparks interest to me; being able to learn new dynamic 3D modelling with the use of grasshopper, Rhino and the opportunity to fabricate desired models generated from them. The Wyndham Project is certainly a good starting point to experiment scripting cultures in Grasshopper without being overly complex. With the EOIs and case studies initiatd to us, we can further develop design concepts and implement them with the aid of grasshopper; linking associated themes within each group member for the benefit of the project. And with my interest in natural and biomimical forms, it is obvious that I chose biomimicry as my EOI. Also in this course, it gave us the opportunity to further develop argumentative writting skills in regards to the discourse architecture initiated in society. This would definitely allow us to argue and rationalise design concepts more effectively in future and to perhaps start its own discourse one day.