ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO A I R 2013 JOURNAL Jeff Sew 531723
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
Case of Innovation
Project Proposal 74
Architecture as a Discourse
Design Concept Workflow
Contemporary Computational Design
Final Model Workflow
Algorithmic Exploration 3
Expression of Interest 34
Case Study 1.0
Case Study 2.0
Algorithmic Exploration 2
Jeff Sew I have always been in love with architecture ever since I stumbled upon my first Lego piece when I was a child. In time, I became fascinated with why and how architecture can easily elevate and manipulate our senses and behavior as they can be designed to represent symbols from love and safety or power and progress just by changing the space, shape and form. I believed that architecture was never tactile and mono-dimensional, but an universally, ever-growing and changing field of expression capable of assimilating and represent our culture as civilization infinitely. As such, I have always been looking for ways to express those ideas in my designs. In my long journey of experiencing and learning new ways to create architecture and the completion of this design project, I have come to believe that parametric design processes along with its advancing theory of autopoesis architecture will formulate the key in achieving that goal, as they can compel us designers to break free from preestablished conceptions of design and present us with a new scope filled with potential and innovation, hence ushering us into a new age where architecture is not static but an ever changing and adapting system of communication.
PART 1 CASE OF INNOVATION
ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE Although architecture has always been closely associated to built forms, it is important to note that the nature of modern architecture is not a static and distilled field of study. Instead, it can be seen as an eternally adapting and reinventing system of communication; otherwise known as ‘autopoetic’.1
different fields to utilize and adopt their ‘fruits’ also meant that architecture has evolved into an immortal and fluid state, capable of continuously revitalizing its abilities to respond to the society’s desire for beauty and function. It is this universal and approaches that
Architecture today is able remain fluid, ever-evolving and adaptable because it is now able to convey and construct themselves across various mediums. As such, built forms can actually be viewed as a preference rather than a requirement as designs can now make contributions and remained a discourse to the society through a virtual realm. This is why parametric design software programs such as Rhinoceros and Autodesk Rivet are one of the vital apparatus in this architectural revolution in fully translating and bridging the design as a study bound by tradition and principles to the new, infinitely untapped possibilities and results from a data and algorithm driven system of thought and domain. The computing medium in architecture also encourages a new unified and over arching attitude towards architecture. With built forms becoming increasingly negligible, architectures are compelled to adopt a ‘functional’ explanatory framework as to ‘causal’ framework. This means that we as future architects should question why it should be made, rather than how, and we should strive to seek methods to realize and convey those new ideas instead. This framework is indeed more productive in many ways as ‘causal’ explanations only allows us to reproduce events and designs, whereas ‘functional’ explanations drill designers to tackle new and radical perspectives by looking beyond the scope of architecture forms and into wisdom brought forth by a fields like art, philosophy and science. The ability and freedom to traverse across
1 Patrik Schumacher, “Introduction: Architecture as Autopoietic System”, in The Autopoiesis of Architecture (Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011), pp. 1 - 28.
Image 1 (Top)
Biothing, 2007 By analysing the nature of Electro-Magnetic Fields and algorithmic states, architect Ezio Blasetti was able to create a custom plug-in for the Rhinoceros software to create natural looking skeleton forms. This beautiful and seemingly natural design is in fact a product of data intepretations and inspirations sought from empirical experiments rather than the standard design process.
Image 2 & 3(Bottom)
La Citta Nouva, 1914 The revolutionary futurism drawings created by Antonio Santâ€™Elia depicting monumental buildings were enough to pave a new modernistic discourse that inspired the skyscrapers and multifunctional structures that we see today.
will lead architects to innovative or even new results; thus ultimately benefitting society in the long run. CAD and parametric modelling programs represent the perfect stage and opportunity to effectively bridge and intertwine the wisdom and experiences across all the professionals into a single united rhizome of creative thought. In fact, it is the radical and innovative designs that are seemingly impossible to be built that contribute the most in changing the discourse and how we address and view the architecture, as it is the new that brings us forward. In other words, it is the idea and passion, not the result that advances architecture. I argue that parametric design is the perfect stream and focus for the Wyndhamâ€™s Western Gateway Project as the field strives to create ever exciting and new methods of design which mirrors the cityâ€™s continuous efforts for improvement and exposure.
Dynamic Tower Concept BY David Fisher The result of a ‘functional’ explanatory framework is evident in David Fisher’s residential skyscraper design as he attempts to break the ultimate tradition of buildings being stationary with his revolutionary design. By delving extensively to works of engineering and science, Fisher was able to propose an audacious concept where each floor of his designed skyscrapers can revolve around a central axis, and with a system of rotation implemented, the building will be able to conjure beautiful patterns through motion1. As such, the design seeks to not only serve as a functional space but also respond and question the lifestyle and societal conceptions of a building as it attempts to present a whole new way of living, thus revitalizing the role and capabilities of architecture. Moreover, the entire project and discourse are also predominantly contained and conveyed through the digital realm, thus showing the essence of the theory of autopoeisis architecture in motion. Images, virtual renderings and animations became the company’s primary source of communication for the project and that itself had listed the concept as one of the Best New Inventions of 2008 by TIME magazines and the CONFAPI Prize for Innovation of 2008 to the architect2. Evidence of Fisher’s impact on the architectural society can also be seen in other projects around the world. Y Design Office’s proposal for Hong Kong’s growing demands for homes offers a modular-like residential skyscraper concept where unit houses can
1 “Dynamic Revolutions”, Dynamic Architecture, last modified 2009, http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/index.php?option=com_conten t&view=article&id=37&Itemid=10&lang=eng. 2 “Awards”, Dynamic Architecture, last modified 2009, http://www. dynamicarchitecture.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=cat egory&id=45&Itemid=79&lang=eng. 3 “Unit Fusion”, Y Design Office, last modified 2013, http://ynotwhy. com/?p=587.
be attached and detached in cubes from the main internal tower3. As such, the form of the skyscraper changes over time due to the continuous change and arrangement of house units. This proves that projects such as the Wyndham’s Western Gateway Project have the opportunity to convey beyond representation of the city’s ideals but also an iconic form of new architecture.
Image 4 & 5 (Opposite Top)
Dynamic Tower Concept, 2008 Designed by David Fisher and the design is conveyed through movement and patterns. The entire project is centred around computer renderings and virtual models, rather than built forms.
Image 6 & 7 (Opposite Bottom)
Unity Fusion Concept, 2011 Designed by Y Design Office team, the houses are in forms of cubes that can be attached and detached from the skyscraper, thus the building will always evolve in shape.
Image 8 & 9 & 10 (Opposite)
HygroScope: Meteorosensitive Morphology, 2012 A revolutionary concept by Menges and Reichert and was inspired by scientific research on hygroscopicity to create surfaces are that both functional and aesthetically attractive.
Climate responsiveness has always been a special interest in architecture as it is the climate that affects the comfort of the users. However, instead of investing on mechanical systems to generate a forced and artificial atmosphere, the designers Menges and Reichert from Achimmenges has developed a radical and energy saving alternative in tackling the shifts in humidity in indoor spaces. The solution lies in the material itself and the science behind it. It does not require any motor or external assistance as it responds specifically to the humidity of the space. The responsive capacity is ingrained in the material’s hygroscopic behavior and anisotropic characteristics. Anisotropy denotes the directional dependence of a material’s characteristics, in this case the different physical properties of wood in relation to grain directions. Hygroscopicity refers to a substance’s ability to take in moisture from the atmosphere when dry and yield moisture to the atmosphere when wet, thereby maintaining a moisture content in equilibrium with the surrounding relative humidity. With the assistance of computation and data processing, the designers were able to align the anistropy of the material in order to take full advantage of its
HygroScope: Meteorosensitive Morphology Concept BY Menges & Reichert change in form when responding to humidity of the space. The surface and material can be organized in flowery petal patterns and that the natural hygroscopic reaction can cause the petals to open up thus creating a different and ever changing atmosphere (see image 5 & 6). The result is a autonomous, passive surface that not only provides a unique control over the interior space but also but also a unique spatial experience.1 This innovation successfully encompasses the infinite possibilities and results that can be produced from the union between architecture and other fields of study, thus establishing architecture as an ever-evolving and adaptable state. New designs for the Wyndham’s Western Gateway can also respond to the environment and space if we utilize the benefits provided and encouraged by computation and parametric software programs.
1 Menges & Reichert, “Hygroscope – Meteorosensitive Morphology”, Achimmenges, last modified November 2012, http://www. achimmenges.net/?p=5083.
CONTEMPORARY COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN We can analyze the theory of architecture as an all encompassing field of study by understanding the benefits and the nature of computation in the architectural design process. ‘Computation’ in architecture should not be confused with ‘Computerization’ as they are fundamentally distinct. ‘Computation’ allow designers to extend their abilities to deal with highly complex situations and designs by maximizing the software program’s capabilities and involvement in the form conceiving and design process.1 The benefits of computation can first be conceived when we acknowledge the limitations of human creativity and perception itself, as we, by nature, are easily bored, prone to mistakes and contain specific and limited cognitive structures that constrain our behavior and ability to generate acute complex representations.2 While our memories are vast enough to store the experiences of a lifetime, our ability to recall these memories at will is limited. This is precisely where computers excel. As such, computation in design offers the crucial means to work around these human limits as it sought to idealize the design process by creating a virtual medium and allowing different variations of design to be explored swiftly and have it refinement conducted through the same medium. Operations such as forming abstract, primitive parametric solids, boundary tweaking, and utilizing Boolean operators will enable designers to make virtually any form they could conceive, thus allowing the creation of an array of alternatives in any given project quickly.5
1 Brady Peters, “The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 10. 2 Robert Woodbury & Andrew Burrow, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64. 4 Woodbury and Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, 66. 5 Woodbury and Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, 69. 6 Woodbury and Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, 67. 7 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004): 15. 8 Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, 13.
Computation does not represent an alien and radical approach to the architectural design paradigm; rather, it is the improved and evolved version of it.
Furthermore, designers are free to interact with the form and data and effectively refine them in the same plane. Other features such as layers, group, history allows designers access to multiple points in explicit space, allowing us to, interact, organize and modify every minute feature of our design respectively and repeatedly with ease. The rendering features allow designers to play with visual effect far beyond simple realistic veridically with the world, thus allowing designers now to not only construct their designs virtually but able to intelligently predict and perform modifications and improvements immediately. However, the ultimate feature that positioned these CAD software programs as the key revolutionizing architecture is its ability to record, replicate and replay the designer’s progress.6 It essentially allows and encourages different variations and alternatives of any design to be conjured and explored rapidly and accurately, thus unlocking inconceivable number of
possibilities and potential as designers can now ideally pursue an abundant variation of alternatives while able to refine and increase depth of exploration through the same virtual realm. Speed and time is the designer’s ally when we design through computation. Figure 1 (Bottom)
Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) and Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL), Dermoid, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, 2011 Illustrated diagram showcasing the hierarchy of the computation process where the design concept can be developed and have its variations explored rapidly and accurately, thus leading to the final design.
Furthermore, by recording and replaying our progress, CAD software programs essentially function as the extension of our ideas and experience as we can revisit and modify these same components for future projects. As such, architecture through computation promotes the paradigm of ‘puzzle making’, where architects are able to intelligently reconstruct and satisfy the brief by emerging solutions — thus a paradigm of fitting given parts into a coherent whole.7 As a result, architects will not only able to produce innovative solutions to a variety of problems, but also formulate a traceable creativity through a virtual reality consisting of algorithms and numbers.
Communication is also the “glue” that connects the different parts of the design process to one another and serves as its record and as its stimulus.8 This meant that the steps, mistakes and alterations used in design projects can effectively be reused for future assignments and serving as detailed precedents and examples for the younger and future generation to learn and improve on. Ultimately, computation serves as the next step in the grand plan to usher architecture into the new age of holistic designs and iconic results As such, I believe that the Wyndham’s Western Gateway Project is presented with a great opportunity to utilize and benefit from computation as it will not only improve the communication and efficiency of the project but the results as well. Designers will be able to explore multiple forms easily and will be able to juxtapose and integrate information and data from the city’s other related projects such as the “Seeds of Change” Gateway in order to produce designs that can easily compliment its theme or expression.
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING
Since architecture can be seen as a system of communications, CAD software programs can become the communication language that can introduce a holistic perspective to the design process. This is because such software in essence are comprised of data and numbers, flexible values that can be understood and processed by professionals outside the field of architecture. Design in forms of virtual data can be transferred and viewed through multiple platforms and consecutively different professional perspectives. This meant that civil engineers and scientists are able to actively instruct and participate in the design process, thus negating the need for any post-inspection from different parties and able to embark complex and daring designs together.
MATERIALS & PRODUCTS
Figure 2 (Top) Illustrated diagram showing the communication network involved in an architecture design process. CAD and parametric software programs can be serve as the ‘COMMUNICATION’ component that links all the professionals together.
EXPERIENCE WITH COMPUTER AIDED SOFTWARE PROGRAMS
University of Melbourne Virtual Environment Engender Assignment Illustrated diagram showcasing the hierarchy of the computation process using Rhinoceros where the design concept can be developed and have its variations explored rapidly and accurately, thus leading to the final design.
During my starting years in university, I got the chance to utilize the Rhinoceros software program and adopt the computation process in one of my major assignments. I was tasked to create a lamp design that can be attached to the human body. I chose to study the segmentation of leeches and slugs and successfully integrated my findings into Rhinoceros by trying to simulate its form through the use of vectors and data. Then I was able to rapidly alter and produce many variations of my design concept. Once the refinement was complete, I was able to turn the design form into segments through â€˜Panelling Toolsâ€™ which ultimately allowed me to construct a life-sized model of the design with paper.
Transbay Transit Center Design Competition BY SKIDMORE, OWINGS & MERRILL Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has a strong culture and history of collaboration between architects and engineers, and their relationship can be effectively demonstrated and illustrated through the use of custom developed software algorithms serving as their own personal language towards developing and realizing architecture. SOM uses commercially developed finite element analysis (FEA) software programs to assess structural performances in their design along with their own in-house developed Genetic Algorithms (GAs) to identify optimal solutions while helping designers understanding why the se solutions perform well.1 Moreover, in collaborations between students from the University of Illinois, SOM engineers have discovered that irregular hexagonal and polygonal elements in 2D meshes generated by Voronoi algorithms are able to improve mathematical stability and eliminate the ‘chequeboarding’ effect in meshes , thus able to produce both structural and natural looking designs. The Transbay Transit Center Design represents the result of the union between the algorithm discoveries of both architects and engineers in SOM as the ‘tear drop’ Michell frame exterior structural bracing and its pattern was conceived and developed entirely through their GA programming prior to the designer’s knowledge and expectations. It was also a good example showcasing the ‘puzzle making’ process where knowledge and experience
1 Keith Besserud, Neil Katz & Alessandro Beghini, “Architectural and Structural Design Collaboration at SOM”, Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 50-51.
gained from multiple resources can be pieced and organized together to tackle the assignments. It is after the software programs results that the engineers recognize its resemblance with the work of Australian mathematician A.G.M. Michell and his theoretical solution for optimal truss member layouts with minimum structural material. As a result, Michell’s frame was later adopted in many of SOM’s other designs. Furthermore, the design also operated with a domain that can pinpoint and allocate specific amount of structural material across the entire frame. As such, designers are able to distribute the amount effectively in order to realize the most efficient use of material.
Image 11 (Opposite Top)
Transbay Transit Center Design, 2007 The Michell frame contributes as a major structural element to the skyscraper. Michell frames are a family of minimum material solutions for a variety of load and support conditions composed of orthogonal fields of lines. They represent an optimal structural frame solution for skyscrapers.
Image 12 & 13 (Opposite Bottom) Drawings superimposing the Michell frame over the building structure. The dimensions and form of the frame was created and optimized entirely through FEA and GA algorithms.
PRECEDENT 2 Image 14 & 15 & 16 (Opposite)
Smithsonian Institution, 2007 On the bottom left is the digital rendering of the roof canopy where its undulating features can be modified to compliment the existing structures beneath it. The frames and window glazing were developed and produced entirely through CAD software programs.
On the other hand, designer’s from Norman Foster & Partners tackled a different approached when tasked to improve and design a roofing structure as part of the renovation for the ‘noblest building’ in America, the Smithsonian Institution’s Patent Building. Since the structure is part of a long standing tradition and a historical icon for the nation, the designers faced heavy restrictions with the project as they have to conjure contemporary roof design devoid of any visual disruption with the existing historical structures underneath. In other words, the designer would have adopt the ‘problem solving’ paradigm for the project. The result was extraordinary as the designers created a fully glazed roof canopy that is composed of irregular square shaped frames in forms of softly curved valleys. It is supported by eight concrete columns that are independent from the existing structures below. Visually, the roof is raised above the walls of the existing building, clearly articulating new and old as it appears to float above the Patent Building, thus symbolizing the cultural importance of the Smithsonian Institution and giving new life to a popular Washington landmark.1 The structural form or ‘topography’ of the Patent Building was captured digitally through virtual rendering software programs which enable the designers
Smithsonian Institution BY foster & partners to replicate and simulate the designs through software programs. Consequently, the entire form of the curved valleyed roof structure was modelled parametrically in 3D and its undulations were designed to respond fluidly to the historic architecture.1Although the roof’s fluid geometry meant that the flat glazing glass panels will never fit through all four corners of the square correctly, designers solved that issue by utilized software programs similar to the custom GA software used by SOM to accurately fit the windows to the frames by pinpointing and connecting the mid-point of the glass panels with the mid-point of the square frames. Additionally, matrixes of 3 mm dots were digitally mapped and printed onto the glass to create a visually unnoticeable lightfiltering glazing.2 In other words, computation in architecture is universally applicable regardless the restrictions and constraints because it is not a different mode of designing, rather, it is an improved method made exactly to help designers in tackle large or complicated projects, projects like the Wyndham’s Western Gateway.
1 Foster & Partners, “Projects/ Smithsonian Institution”, Foster & Partners, last modified March 2013, http://www.fosterandpartners.com/ projects/smithsonian-institution/. 2 Will Hunter, “Foster & Partners solves a roofing condundrum at Washington DC’s Smithsonian”, bdonline, last modified March 2013, http://www.bdonline.co.uk/buildings/technical/foster-and-partnerssolves-a-roofing-condundrum-at-washington-dc%E2%80%99s-smithsonian/3110742.article.
PARAMETRIC MODELLING Parametric modelling represents one of the many capable and leading methods of design in the vast field of CAD software programs and should be the prime designing medium for the Gateway project. Its nature and etymology stems from mathematical concepts and was originally defined as “a set of equations that express a set of quantities as explicit functions of a number of independent variables, and these are known as parameters”. “A set” is the key phrase and nature that was translated into parametric architecture modelling, which is the ability to easily, accurately and collectively change and modify components of the design through a virtual realm. The ability to tackle and conjure complex forms and develop them collectively have presented an entirely new perspective and potential, and if paired alongside other digital software programs such as Genetic Algorithm (GA)and finite element analysis (FEA), designers will be able to carry the inception of the design straight to production entirely through numerical expressions and equations. Furthermore, as discussed earlier, because ‘numerical’ language is universal, engineers, scientist and contractors will be able to actively engage and involve in the development and production of any project involved with parametric modelling. Parametric modelling can also contribute in shifting the designing process to the architect’s favour. In the of changes generally increases exponentially overtime, meaning that any effort used to change and redesign the concept along the later stages of the project will be costly and undesired. As such, parametric modelling allow architects to efficiently focus and maximize their efforts when the ability to impact cost and design is diagram 4, Patrick Macleamy illustrates that software programs such as parametric modelling can position the designer’s scope of effort at the early phases of the design.1 This is significantly helpful because the cost 1 AIA National/California Council, “Project Execution/Redefining Project Phases”, in Integrated Project Delivery, Version 1 (2007) http:// aia.org/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab083423.pdf.
favorable during the early stages of the project by swiftly exploring various alternatives, issues and possibilities in the concepts while able to tweak and finalize the correct algorithms, scripts and data, along with the help of other professionals, in order to produce stable results that require little to no backtracking. However, like any other methods of design, parametric modelling also contains a unique set of issues and limitations that, given the correct variables, can contradict its ability to function as an efficient design method. The performance of parametric modelling can be subjected
Image 17 (Opposite) Data and parameters used to construct a inverted ‘v’ structural form through the Grasshopper parametric software plug-in in Rhinoceros. The vast and disordered complexity of the parameters can only be understood by the author and is prone of human error.
Figure 3 (Opposite) Superimposing the MacLeamy’s curve , 2001 (blue) with Paulson’s Curve, 1976 (red) in a graph of measurable effort against time.
to questioning as granting the architect full authority can still present detrimental human flaws. Although numbers and algorithms can be perceived as a universal language, its composition and function among a sea of unorganized data meant that only the party responsible can effectively modify and identify the parameters, thus making external help and support difficult. Moreover, because of the programs ability to alter and revert vast amount of data collectively and repeatedly (known as explicit history), miniscule errors and
changes are hard to detect and identify, making it prone to be overlooked and designers will have to swim through every node and data to locate the problem. Consequently, if such errors were ignored, structures will essentially fail in construction as precision (or lack of precision) is the bane of complex forms. Designers will in fact have to return to the program and in cases restart the design process thus ultimately costing both the developer and the architect not only time but also money if the design were to be constructed. In other words, adopting such methods can still result to Boyd Paulson’s curve in terms of the effort performance in a project. Aside from the issues generated from human error, parametric designs are a flawless application in architecture and especially to the project. Its only issue, however, stem from outside the design process and lies with the realistic parameters of our world. For starters, it is not a fully universal and applicable to every project. The conception of ‘parametricism’ being the future is unreasonable as the demands for overly complex, unconventional and resource consuming forms are still subjected to the a small number of wealthy or daring developers, thus making the application of parametric design distilled from the general public.1
1 Adam Nathaniel Mayer, “Style and the Pretense of ‘Parametric’ Architecture”, AdamNathanielMayer (blog), June 1, 2010, http://adamnathanielmayer.blogspot.com/2010/06/styleandpretenseof parametric.html.
CASE STUDY 1
Aviva Stadium architects Brushing human errors aside, parametric modelling can indeed improve the performance and outcome of architecture designs. Similar to the Transbay Transit Center Design from SOM, the Aviva Stadium by Populus Architects is a the result of a hand to hand venture between architects and engineers, and was made possible by creating a shared virtual model environment where parametric modelling information can seemlessly transition into Building Information Modeling (BIM) to be fabricated and built.1 Using a combination of Rhinoceros and GenerativeComponents software program, Populus effectively demonstrated the utility and efficiency parametric modelling can offer as it can establish the shared model along with other engineering programs and generate a single script file or virtual platform and design surface of numeric data for both the engineers and architects to simultaneously and independently develop. Examples such as the positioning of the steel frames (for engineers) and cladding and roofing elements (for architects) can be conveniently developed, modified and refined by juxtaposing the parameters from both parties. Other considerations such as sunlight intake, shadows affecting the adjacent buildings and climate control were all able to be considered as parameters in creating this soft curvature structure. Furthermore, parametric design also enabled the ability to accurately determine the dimensions and organize parts of the structures which meant that it can be easily translated as construction information to the engineers and contractors.
The result of this joint venture is a 36,000 Square meters bowl-shaped stadium structure that is comprised of over 3,500 tons of primary steel, 62,000 roof-panel anchor points, and 4,114 differently positioned facade panels each with its own support casting brackets aligned to four rotation and alignment set-out points on the curved aluminium mullions; all parametrically defined and manufactured off site. Such processes and benefits can easily be applied to the Gateway project.2
Image 18 & 19 (Opposite Top & Bottom Right)
Aviva Stadium, 2010 All the structural elements particularly the roofing structure was accurately developed and constructed with the use of parametric modelling software programs. The fact that the building was completed signifies the effectiveness of parametric design in the field of architecture.
Image 20 (Opposite)
The same information model was used between the architects and engineers while developing the stadium. 1 David Hines, “Interoperability in Sports Design”, Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 70-71. 2 David Hines, “Interoperability in Sports Design”, 71.
CASE STUDY 2 Image 21 & 22 & 23 (Opposite)
Hertfordshire House, 2011 The entire house is conceived and developed through digital parameters along with custom software that dictates the position and assembly of the building components. These parts can be fitted and attached to plug sockets and joints assigned by the program.
The architects from Facit Homes disagree with the conventional prejudice that parametric design is exclusive to the complex and avant garde projects. They have taken the innovative approach by focusing on the specific benefits parametric modelling can provide, which is the ability to control the assembly and relationship between structural components. This meant that designers can formulate entire building components themselves by studying and developing joint systems for small and domestic houses.1 This process should not be confused with prefabricated housing as parametric software programs enable both the client and architect to develop their unique design while maintains the component’s ability to be produced and sourced easily. This was made possible through a working methodology that Facit calls the ‘D-Process’ along with their own custom BIM software where parameters such as the typography, materials, climate and budget are computed as virtual constraints constituting to the number of components, their dimensions, their positions throughout the house.2 These processes will result in a 3D depiction of the building where all the building parts, such as the walls and ceilings, will have their positions assigned and organized accurately in plug sockets and joints throughout the house for easy assembly.
Hertfordshire House BY
Facit Homes ARCHITECTS The 3D digital elements can then be translated directly into physical components, therefore an efficient system that cuts waste and promotes lean manufacturing. Facit Homes are able to prepare on-site mobile manufacturing stations because the details and instructions regarding the building components are already provided in these 3-D models, ultimately allowing a direct and efficient relationship between the design information and construction components. In other words, Facit Homes and their designs have proven parametric modelling can indeed be a universally adopted and considered system of designs as these programs do not actually deal with the design form but instead with the relationship between structural components, a relationship that all buildings and forms will have. This can also apply to large scaled projects where parts can be made on-site to reduce transportation costs and liability to damage. Instead of conceiving large structures, designs can be built and designed through small parts that can be assembled together.1
1 Bruce Bell, & Sarah Simpkin,“Domesticating Parametric Design”, Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 89-90. 2 Bell & Simpkin,“Domesticating Parametric Design”: 90.
ALGORITHMIC EXPLORATIONS Here are some algorithmic sketches that I argue showcases the potential and efficiency parametric software programs such as the Grasshopper sketch-up can contribute to contemporary architecture.
Convenient & Adaptable One of predominant benefits of using parametric or computation software programs is its ability to recall and store data. The images above illustrate seemingly complex and discrete digital sketch which in fact were sourced from the same script. This shows that designers can retained their creativity and knowledge through these stored files and as ‘pieces of the puzzle’ for ‘puzzle making’ design process in the future. Since these scripts are digital, engineers and other professionals can easily build on and assess the architect’s ideas.
Grasshopper Info:The parameter components and containers shaded in green represent the same script used to create the two sketch models. The components not shaded represent the curves and points used to as the source of these sketches.
Flexible & Efficient
Grasshopper Info:The key method is defining the containers, if the geometry is well constructed, it can be applied to any surface and have its dimensions and form easily modified through parameters. Examples can be seen between Form C1 and C2 where by changing the width and number of cylinders resulted to an entire different form.
The exercise above illustrates how flexible and efficient parametric software programs can be in assisting on the formation of patterned or repetitive surfaces. By just dialling the parameters, I was able to accurately and swiftly alter the number and arrangement of forms on any given surface. This is also efficient as designers can always alter and modify these surfaces collectively in the future to meet the other professionals such as the engineerâ€™s needs. Moreover, I can replace the cylinders with custom created forms easily because all I need to do is to define the containers and let the software handle the rest.
Accurate and Informative Aside from complex forms and patterns, parametric design programs can also assist in the fabrication and construction process. Designs can be rendered in flat surfaces from Form D1 to D3 and contain enough information to allow automated cutters to precisely cut parts out for an easy assembly. Alternatively, it can hint the structural foundations of such complex forms through the Geodesic parameter (Form D2) which links curves together through the shortest path. This way, designers can get a real structural grasp of their designs and it will certainly be helpful for engineers when they access the designs.
Grasshopper Info:In order to create flat and buildable parts, the usage of PolyLines are required as they can accurately link and segment the surfaces apart from point to point, rather than just a estimated projection. If used conjunction with Rhinoceros Panelling Tools, these flat surfaces can be formed into a flat chain of connected surfaces and can be easily printed and fabricated.
CONCLUSION With the ideas and precedents highlighted and explained, I believed that I have successfully proved the validity and ability of CAD and parametric software programs and its computation design paradigms to contribute in the Wyndhamâ€™s Western Gateway Project and the modern discourse of architecture. For the Wyndhamâ€™s Western Gateway Project to truly achieve its desire and challenge of presenting a new design that is universally exciting, eye catching, inspiring and enriching, a multi-disciplinary and holistic response is needed. As such, computation and parametric modelling serves as the ultimate solution in achieving those goals. The use of data, algorithms and numbers serves as the perfect bridge of communication in between professionals which can improve excellent efficiency and performance from both the design team, engineers and contractors. Designers will be open to unlimited design possibilities and innovation as information from outside the field of architecture can be directly imported and experimented on through the unlimited virtual space provided. Furthermore, it will promise precision and convenience as working through these programs can offer detailed representations and organized data that can easily be translated directly to fabrication and production. Ultimately, the use of computation and parametric design is universally beneficial to all the parties involved, and now the City Council of Wyndham is presented with the excellent opportunity to adopt and integrate these advantages into their Gateway Project and be part of the impending architectural revolution.
DESIGN OUTCOMES Although my experiences in regards to architectural computing is still little and in development, the impacts and benefits that it can offer towards the architectural practice which I have learned over the course of the project has earned my undivided attention and effort in improving my skills and hopefully becoming a pioneer of this new design paradigm myself. It had never dawned on me that design can be such an multidisciplinary field and software programs such as Rhinoceros and Grasshopper can indeed serve as the universal language professionals or a translator of information gathered from outside the scope of architecture. It is also astonishing to witness and study case studies of structures being built efficiently and easily as a result of computation and parametric design. This meant that architecture is no longer restrained to built forms and time as designers can engage and literally explore any field in order to acquire wisdom and inspiration. I believe that my personal quest to create designs that speaks of both function and beauty lies in the infinite potential and exciting results from such design paradigms and programs that truly demonstrates the power and capabilities of algorithmic thought and traceable creativity.
REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY Prints Kalay, Yehuda E.. Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. Peters, Brady. & Kestelier, Xavier. “Computation Works - The Building of Algorithmic Thought”. Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 1-147. Schumacher, Patrik. “Introduction: Architecture as Autopoietic System.” in The Autopoiesis of Architecture. Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011. Woodbury, Robert. & Burrow Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64.
Websites AIA National/California Council. “Project Execution/Redefining Project Phases”. In Integrated Project Delivery, Version 1 (2007) http://aia.org/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab083423.pdf. Fisher, David. “Dynamic Revolutions”. Dynamic Architecture. Last modified February 2013. http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/ index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=10&lang=eng. Fisher, David. “Awards”. Dynamic Architecture. Last modified March 2013. http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/index. php?option=com_content&view=category&id=45&Itemid=79&lang=eng. Foster & Partners. “Projects/Smithsonian Institution”. Foster & Partners. Last modified March 2013. http://www.fosterandpartners. com/projects/smithsonian-institution/. Hunter, Will. “Foster & Partners solves a roofing condundrum at Washington DC’s Smithsonian”. bdonline. Last modified March 2013. http://www.bdonline.co.uk/buildings/technical/foster-and-partners-solves-a-roofing-condundrum-at-washingtondc%E2%80%99s-smithsonian/3110742.article. Mayer, Adam Nathaniel. “Style and the Pretense of ‘Parametric’ Architecture”. AdamNathanielMayer (blog). June 1, 2010. http:// adamnathanielmayer.blogspot.com/2010/06/styleandpretenseofparametric.html. Menges & Reichert. “Hygroscope – Meteorosensitive Morphology”. Achimmenges. Last modified November 2012. http://www. achimmenges.net/?p=5083. Y Design Office. “Unit Fusion”. Y Design Office. Last modified 2013. http://ynotwhy.com/?p=587.
IMAGES & FIGURES Image 1 -
Blasetti, Ezio. Biothing Project. http://www.biothing.org/?p=51.
Image 2 & 3 -
Curtis, William. “Antonia Sant’Alia.” In Modern Architecture since 1900, 110-111. New York: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996.
Image 4 & 5 -
Fisher, David. Dynamic Tower Concept. In Dynamic Architecture. Last modified February 2013. http://www. dynamicarchitecture.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=10&lang=eng.
Image 6 & 7-
Unit Fusion. In Y Design Office. http://ynotwhy.com/?p=587.
Image 8 & 9 & 10 -
Hygroscope – Meteorosensitive Morphology. In Achimmenges. Last modified November 2012, http://www. achimmenges.net/?p=5083.
Image 11 & 12 & 13- Transbay Transit Center Design Competition. In SOM. Last modified January 2013. https://www.som.com/ project/transbay-transit-center-design-competition. Image 14 & 16 -
Foster & Partners. Projects/ Smithsonian Institution. Last modified March 2013, http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/smithsonian-institution/gallery/.
Image 15 -
Peters, Brady. Smithsonian Institution. Last modified March 2013. http://www.bradypeters.com/smithsonian.html.
Image 16 -
Davis, Daniel. MacLeamy Curve. Nzarchitecture (blog). Last modified March 2013. http://www.nzarchitecture.com/blog/index.php/2011/10/15/macleamy/.
Image 17 -
Davis, Daniel. University of Melbourne Studio Air Week 3 Lecture Slides, Melbourne, 21 March 2013.
Image 18 & 19-
Aviva Stadium External View & Aviva Stadium External Facade. Populus. Last modified March 2013. http:// populous.com/project/aviva-stadium/.
Image 20 -
Hines, David. Aviva Stadium. Architectural Design. Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 70.
Image 21 & 22 -
Bell, Bruce. & Simpkin, Sarah. Hertfordshire House. Architectural Design. Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 89.
Image 23 -
Celia & Diana Hertfordshire. Facit Homes. Last modified March 2013.http://www.facit-homes.com/clients/ celia-diana.
Figure 1 -
Davis, Daniel & Peter, Brady. “Design Ecosystems”. Architectural Design. Volume 83, Issue 2, (2013): 128-129.
Figure 2 -
Own Diagram made from Kalay, Yehuda E. Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. & Kieran, Stephen, & Timberlake, James. Timberlake. Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies are Poised to Transform Building Construction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Figure 3 -
Davis, Daniel. University of Melbourne Studio Air Week 3 Lecture Slides, Melbourne, 21 March 2013.
PART 2 EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
DESIGN FOCUS: STRUCTURE As concluded in the previous chapter, the nature and benefits of computation through CAD and parametric software programs enable the Wyndham project the opportunity to explore a variety of design fields and focuses. However, I believe, with passion, that the best forms of architecture are comprised of a fusion between purpose, structure and design form; a remarkable aspiration that programs such as Rhinoceros and Grasshopper can effectively realize. In other words, in order to successfully demonstrate and represent the contemporary culture, active growth and stability of the city of Wyndham, the design must be universally celebrated in terms of function, structural integrity and aesthetics; to this I argue that it can only be achievable by focusing on ‘structure’ as the primary design focus for the project. Moreover, the emphasis on structure enables the development of expressive and natural forms which will then be used to articulate the design’s purpose and primary function, which in this case is to represent the city of Wyndham. The can be seen conveyed in the Beijing National Stadium or ‘Bird’s Nest’ by Herzog and de Meuron. Its overall structural formation of lattices are governed and evaluated via software programs, thus achieving both an expressive and natural pattern and structural integrity while maintaining required1strength and function. Furthermore, the randomized pattern which contributes to the overall ‘bird’s nest’ form ultimately graduates the building as a cultural icon representing China’s ‘invitation’ to the phoenixes (athletes) around the world for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, thus achieving the universal acclaim in terms of structure, beauty and function.1
1 Bird’s Nest: Herzog & De Meuron in China, directed by Christoph Schaub & Michael Schindhelm (Germany: Icarus Films, 2012) DVD. 2 “Alvaro Siza’s Solar-Powered Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Illuminated by Polycarbonate Panels,” Lori Zimmer, Inhabitat, last modified 8 November 2011, http://inhabitat.com/timber-and-polycarbonate-pavilion-at-londons-serpentine-gallery-illuminated-by-solar-paneling/ alvaro-sizavieira-serpentine-pavilion1/.
Another similar example is the temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Alvaro Siza Vieira in 2005, where it is used as an ambience cafe. The building is primarily comprised of a spacious and irregular timber grid structure with an undulating roof grid that assimilates the structure with the natural attributes of trees and hills of the surrounding park. The legs holding the structure are also unique in size and lengths which contributes to the overall natural and fluid form.2 As such, this demonstrates how by understanding the structural elements of design, one will essentially master the aesthetics, purpose and message of the design structure as well.
Image 24 (Opposite Top)
Beijing National Stadium, 2008 The seemingly complex and random sequence of structural lattices essentially forms the iconic ‘Bird Nest’ shape of the building.
Image 25 & 26 (Opposite Bottom)
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2005 Using CAD software programs, each building component is accurately dimensioned and mapped in order to create the undulating and irregular grid structure that blends with the natural park surroundings.
CASE STUDY 1.0 By using the Rhinoceros along with its Grasshopper extension as the main design software program, the team and I are provided with many options and methods in exploring and developing â€˜structureâ€™ as the design focus for the project. For this we nominated the Grasshopper Lunchbox and Kangaroo plug-in as the primary design apparatuses and compiled my explorations into three relevant categories that I believe will advance the design process of the project.
2D GRID PANELS Breath
Quad panels allow different panel types to be fused within its cells.
Inputting high value parameters causes panels to overlap, creating a new pattern.
Point Attractors can be used to define and manipulate panels. Strong design potential as aesthetic cladding.
Point Repellents can also be used to manipulate the panels.
Quad Grids enable different patterns to occur independently in their cells when Point Attractors/Repellents are applied.
3D SPACE TRUSS SYSTEMS Breath
Using Straight Lines
Using Control Point Curves
Using Lofted Geometry
Control Point Curves allow flexibility in creating expressive and natural curves. Strong design potential as form finding method.
Using 2 Surfaces
A combination of control Point Curves can be used to create the form, 2D grid panels can be applied on the surface.
Altering the vectors allows grids to be inverted, where the wide base surface that is facing up can be utilized for other purposes.
Inputting high values in parameters forces the grids to expand out of the lofted surfaces and creates an unexpectedly expressive form.
Grids can be altered to serve as columnlike towers for high altitude structures.
VOUISSOIR CLOUD Breath
Form Before Kangaroo
Altering Anchor Point Scale
Altering Unary Force Vector
Unary force works as vectors which can be manipulated easily. The form will always sway according to the resultant vector, creating expressive looking structures.
Unary force from the Kangaroo plug-in can be used as a form finding tool. The inverted â€˜gravityâ€™ vector causes the form to rise up from its edges.
Anchor points can be altered which creates a different form when unary force is applied.
A combination of the change in unary force vectors and anchor point placements can create naturally looking patterns and forms.
MATRIX ANALYSIS The Lunchbox and Kangaroo plug-in has proven to be highly resourceful and capable in constructing complex and expressive structural forms. The matrix results that contains a strong potential for the project are:-
a) 2D Grid Panels as Aesthetics and Function Point Attractors or Repellents which can be used to indicate and direct cladding locations for any grid structure, thus creating an opportunity to apply functions like natural lighting through its patterns. They can be considered during the refining or finishing phases of the project.
b) 3D Space Grid for Structural Integrity and Form The usage of Control Point Curves in creating grid structures can contribute to designing expressive and natural looking structures while maintaining structural strength and integrity. Figure 4 (Below)
Illustrated concept of how the matrix results can contribute to the proposal.
c) Kangaroo Application for Structural Strength Unary force vectors from the Kangaroo plug-in can be used as a form finding tool in creating â€˜naturallyâ€™ formed structures. The same concept can also be used to evaluate structural properties by simulating the forces of gravity.
All three discoveries can be considered and used in unison when creating the design concept, representing the three goals I intend to achieve for the Wyndham City Gateway Project.
CASE STUDY 2.0 canton tower BY Information based architecture (iba) We can test our knowledge and application of the Lunchbox and Kangaroo plug-ins by reverse engineering recent buildings designed using parametric and computation methods. We chose to do the Canton Tower as their design objective and technique of execution mirrors our own. The predominant building form is a open latticestructure that is twisted over it’s axis which creates a natural and slender swirl towards the sky. The lattice structure is made of intersecting diagonal columns and is held together by diagonally placed bracing rings inside the structure. As such, the habitable building is essentially confined within the lattice structure.1 Again, instead of just playing a structural role, the build form is also meant to represent the city the city of Guangzhuo. The architects of IBA were tasked to create a ‘female’ tower that conveys liveliness, elegance and grace which reflects the mindset of the city. It also has to respond aesthetically to the city skyline due to the fact that the structure will be 600 meters tall. In response, they resorted to lattice structures as the convey frankness and harmony between structural form and aesthetics.2 This shows that grids and lattices can indeed be used inventively to achieve and represent abstract and natural concepts.
1 “Engineering” Canton Tower, last modified 18 October 2012, http://gztvtower.info/03b%20Engineering.htm. 2 “Home” Canton Tower, last modified 18 October 2012, http:// gztvtower.info/.
Image 27 & 28 (Opposite)
Canton Tower, 2010 The natural form illustrated by the lattice structure is reinforced by diagonal columns swirling elegantly outwards along with the ‘twist’ in the middle of the building which creates the overall hourglass or ‘slender waist’ form.
PHASE 1: ANALYSIS In reverse engineering the building, we can adopt Yehuda Kalays interpretation of the architecture design process where we proceed through the paradigm of analysis, synthesis and evaluation while governed by a language or system of communication, which in this case the parametric program Rhinoceros and its Grasshopper extension. The figure on the right provided in courtesy of IBA showcases the fundamental instructions that developed the Canton Tower form. Although Rhinoceros was not used in creation of the building; its instructions can easily be replicated especially with the Lunchbox plug-in providing the needed lattice template. Furthermore, detailed inspection indicates that the diagonal intersecting columns are consist of two different thicknesses and trajectory, where the thicker and solid columns are almost straight as they rise up while the thinner columns swirl through the thicker ones and a lower angle. This meant that two bracing structures have to be included in the model, representing the two different column types.
We believe that the elegant â€˜twistâ€™ imposed onto in structure is next to be applied which results to the final form of the building; A modifier only parametric software programs can accurately accomplish.
PHASE 2: SYNTHESIS
Similar to the instructions, we began by creating a cylinder geometry by ‘lofting’ two identical circles.
We rotate only the end points at the top of the curves which create the twisting form.
We then explored different grid and lattice options provided by the plug-in. We have decided that the ‘One Dimension Grid Brace’ as it creates the curves that are closest to the building design.
By juxtaposing with the building design, we manipulated parameters to create similar curve angles for the columns.
Final refinements such as altering the scale and position of the circles.
Following the original building, columns bending to the left have a larger pipe radius than the ones to the right.
PHASE 3: EVALUATION The team and I learn that the Kangaroo plug-in can also serve as an evaluation technique in testing and identifying the stress of any given structure. We can utilize the concept of unary force imposing on a point as the force of gravity, hence able to measure the deflection and stress of each curve connected to these points. As such, we plan to explore and experiment with this new feature with our reverse engineered model. Our initial attempt was to tests the structural strength of our model by assigning anchor points its base, which resulted in a disastrous simulation. However we realized that the fact that the external structure is held by a series of diagonally placed bracing rings that connect the lattice to the inner building meant that those rings can also serve as anchor points for the simulation. We can reuse the points provided by the curves used to create the external form to replicate the bracing on the model.
However, we have encountered a limitation where the points patterns or nodes is strictly subjected to the form; meaning that it we cannot produce the diagonal bracing rings that the original Canton Tower is using into the model. Even so, we believe that they will generate similar outcomes.
Image 31 Grasshopper Definition
Kangaroo Stress Simulation Before
Without the bracing circles acting as anchor points, the structure will fall apart regardless of its structural system. Here I only apply anchor points to the base, causing immense compression on the structure as it falls down. Anchor Points
The outer lattice columns contains less points compared to the inner columns due to its lack of curvature. As such, we tried to regulate the amount of anchor points in the inner lattice by only selecting points directly underneath the outer lattice point. Hopefully this simulates the real buildingâ€™s concept where the bracing occurs on intersection points between columns. The result is only satisfactory as many members are still extremely stressed (e.g. blue colored member experiencing intense tension).
We tried doubling the amount of anchor point circles around the original bracing rings. This greatly affected the overall strength of the structure as many of the extremely stressed members have turned into neutral green.
Anchor Points High Compression
PHASE 3: CONCLUSION The results obtained from this case study is highly informative and beneficial as we have not only managed to successfully create a digital model based on a real building using Grasshopper plug-ins but have also gained vital first-hand experience in operating Kangaroo as a form evaluating and refining tool.
Desired bracing formation
Rhinoceros model bracing
Our biggest achievement would be our design process would be that we are able to replicate the apparent architectural design process and procedures in creating the building. Highlighting the experience and fact that CAD design along with parametric procedures can serve as digital blueprints and a form of language to be communicated to the world. We have also developed the liking of the use of pipes as it can best simulate circular steel columns or beams, that we believe contributes to the aesthetics of being clean and natural as compared to angular universal beams. However, throughout the process we did encounter limitations that hindered our ability to fully illustrate the building. One of the biggest issue faced is inability to create diagonal circular bracing. This is due to the fact that when we manipulate the curve columns, we also inadvertently add or subtract the number of points on the curves thus creating uneven number and distribution of points.
The buildingâ€™s bracing layout compared to our modelâ€™s bracing layout.
Another issue was that we lack control over the piping trajectory of the curves. Although both forms were originated from the same lofted surface, the change in curve forms also changes the piping behavior, causing some components to stick out of their desired areas. Even, we believe that the use of Lunchbox and Kangaroo plug-ins is the correct design direction as it is able to achieve our argumentâ€™s philosophy; to produce expressive forms of architecture by adopting a structural perspective.
Segment of the model where pipes extrude out of the desired location.
TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT With the results obtained from the Case Studies, the team and I proceed to experiment and apply them to create our own designs. Given that the overall assignment is to create a Gateway representing the ideals of the city of Wyndham, we started focusing on developing a firm technique on the structural form and integrity while leaving paneling as part as part of the refinement. With that, several typical structural elements can be expected and considered to have our algorithms applied to, which are mainly the horizontal and vertical structures along with arches and cantilever structures; thus creating our development categories. Again, since we believe that the Kangaroo plug-in can be used as an evaluating tool in studying the stress of the frames, we chose to split our technique into two phases similar to our Grasshopper algorithm and mirrorâ€™s Kalayâ€™s interpretation of the architecture design process:-
RHINOCERUS & GRASSHOPPER (COMMUNICATION)
LUNCHBOX: FORM FINDING Phase 1
KANGAROO: STRESS TEST Phase 2 Figure 5
PHASE 1 HORIZONTAL STRUCTURES
In exploring horizontal structure, we adopted the mind-set of assuming that these structures are roof like components. As such, we explored and experimented on how the Lunchbox plug-in adapts and produce the complex forms from the point curves we assigned. In this category we discovered that by pointing the curves upwards (highlighted by the box above) it can create an aesthetically pleasing form when it can signify rise and progress. This curve can also test and showcases the strength and composition of the structural frame, hence making it a good candidate for further development. We also explored on the grid variations and patterns created frames when long spans encounter narrow curves and bumps.
For vertical structures, we assume that they will be wall-like boundaries hence proceeded in exploring the possible expressive and natural looking curves it can conjure individually. This meant that the end design can consist of multiple grid structures of similar form and can be installed in rows alongside the roads; serving as shelter from the natural environment while improving the experience of entering or exiting the city. One interesting candidate (highlighted by the box above) is the diagonally rising curve wall structure as a result of same two interconnected end curves where one of them is scaled smaller than the latter. This elegantly highlights the natural shapes grid frames can produce.
The concept of vertical curves and their compositions producing expressive curves is heavily favoured and was integrated in this category since cantilevers are similar in terms of vertically projecting structures. As such, we focused in exploring the relationship between multiple grid structures and curves in hope to create a remarkable outcome. One great example (highlighted by the box above) is formed similar to the championed form from the vertical category as it involves two identical curves. Her the direction of the curves are facing the opposite direction thus creating an expressive fabric-like form which can easily be installed in between roads.
We believe arches are the most structurally sound forms compared to the rest, thus allowing us plentiful data and resources in exploring and developing a structurally strong and balanced technique. We learn that its stability comes from its wide center of gravity and base, so we began testing the limits of this condition by altering the base form. The inverted â€˜tickâ€™ arch (highlighted by the box above) may be simple in form but actually encompasses all the needed categories of a naturally curving form while remaining structurally sound and honest.
PHASE 2 KANGAROO EVALUATION Using the algorithm created in Case Study 2, we began evaluating the nominated designs with Kangaroo plug-in simulation for stress and gravity. With this, we can essentially work out the adjustments needed to create a structurally sound form. This will also pinpoint the type and location stress on each individual member. Before
Remains stable, but mainly because most of its form is on the ground.
Unstable as the cantilever proved to be too heavy for the frames.
Unstable as the base is not wide and the spans are too long.
Unstable because the spans are too long and there are too few truss members.
Although we can investigate the chosen forms individually and improve their performances, we have decided to study basic understanding of stress and forces by focusing on one iteration in order to garner the needed knowledge and data efficiently. For that, we chose the inverted â€˜tickâ€™ arch as our case study as it best encapsulates the essence of a vertical, horizontal, cantilevering and an arched structure. By analyzing the stress imposed onto the structure using a color indicator, we can easily make alterations and improve the form. Kangaroo Stress Simulation Before
Unstable form causes high tension and compression.
Truss too weak for long span. Increase truss web.
Span still too long. Decrease span.
Truss height too high creating unwanted weight. Reduce truss height.
High stress still exist but structure is stable.
With the results obtained from the definition, we learned that aspects such as span length and truss heights can strongly influence the structural stability and strength of a structure and with its guidance able to generate a strong and stable structure. This also meant that we have also successfully developed a working technique that can produce architecture forms that are expressive and aesthetically pleasing through structural honesty and strength.
TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPE JOINT ANALYSIS With the results and knowledge obtained from the concept arch, we have decided to create a physical prototype version of it in order to study how it can be assembled and fabricated. In order to understand the joints and the members efficiently, we have decided to produce a scaled down version of the form with identical structural properties. In other words, we have reduced the number of trusses systems in order to create a form that will not be complicated to build and to study. Although we acknowledge that it will affect the structural performance of the form, our priority was to investigate and formulate a suitable fabrication method and material type for our future designs. Given that we are using space truss systems as our design form, we agreed that the best means to join the members together while providing room for flexible span is through the use of spherical joints with individual holes specifically assigned for each member. The meant that we are not restricted to standardized forms and are able to pursue any structure form we desire like the example in Image 31. However, we also recognize the fact these ball joints cannot be mass produced and attention must be paid to them individually. As such, the use of balls joints for our prototype model will help us explore and better understand its flaws and benefits.
JOINT CREATION The creation of ball joints is surprisingly simple as the points of intersections are already provided as part of the information needed to create the frames. The meant that all we have to do is to turn these intersection points into spheres and have the pipes of the beams dictating where the holes should be. Not only that, the â€˜Boolean Differenceâ€™ option provided in Rhinoceros allow us to specify the depth of beam insertions, thus creating a standardized technique. Moreover, since each ball joint is unique, a numbering system will be required to organize them. Instead of using consecutive numbers, we assign each row a number in order in hope to simplify both the numbering and model building process. Ball Joints
We are also open to a two options as to how to implement the numbers into the balls. One method is to create lines on the surface of each ball so that machines can etch them for us. Another option is to have the numbers extruded out of the spheres. The solution to which option to utilize will be determined by the method of fabrication we choose for our prototype.
After consulting with the people from the fabrication labs, we have decided to use 3D printers to create the ball joints. This is because these printers can produce accurate cuts and forms which will be important to us as it is the location of the holes that determines the beams and the overall form. The ball joints will be created using dust polymer as it can be printed quickly while still remain a generally strong material. We have also decided to use skewers and toothpicks to easily simulate the beams as these mass produced materials will always be the same thickness and length. As such, the radius of the holes in the ball joints are calculated in Rhinoceros prior to being sent for fabrication in order to accommodate for the skewers.
Without a numbering system, the construction process was slow and difficult.
We started by sending miniature models to be fabricated as a test run and when we received our ball joints we discovered that none of them contain any number indications on them, leading to the discovery that the 3D machine available is not able to create etches on surfaces. As a result, we reverted to our alternative which is the use of extruded numbers on our ball joints. Furthermore, while constructing our models, we realized that the moisture from the glue or any liquid permanently alters the color of the ball joints, creating unsightly blobs on the surfaces. In response, we have decided to spray paint the overall surface of the model in order to conceal the defects. Due to the materialâ€™s reaction to moisture, the ball joints ended up with different tones and blobs.
PROTOTYPE MODEL MAKING
Because the balls are labeled with extruded numbers, we were able to categorize each joint efficiently and was able to begin construction systematically.
By referring to the virtual model from Rhinoceros, we were able to measure the lengths and determine the positions of the beams accurately. With enough beams and joints, the model was able to stand firmly on its own even when it is unfinished.
FABRICATION EVALUATION The overall process was impressive as we are able to construct a relatively large prototype accurately with the help of Rhinoceros along with its extensions and plug-ins while not encountering any problems that required us to modify our algorithms and definitions. The prototype in its completion became a strong and stiff structure (we conducted minor load tests) which proves that our design process of using Lunchbox as a form-finding means and Kangaroo as an evaluation tool a major design success. However, we did encounter issues in regards to the material and method used for fabrication that might encourage us to reconsider our fabrication methods. The first issue lies in the very nature of dust polymers. Although the exterior is strong and hard, its interior remains brittle and is susceptible to breakage especially when we tried inserting skewers into them. The second is the performance of the 3D printer available for us to use. Although most of the ball joints were accurately cut and forms, we found defects where the holes and the overall shape of the sphere is deformed, thus rendering them useless for application. By referring to the virtual model, we have concluded that it is the printer that deforms the balls. However, when consulting the workers in the fabrication lab, we were told that the machine is only able to accurately cut shapes that are large in scale, thus creating a new option for us to fabricate our models in whole sections rather than just joints in order to ensure accuracy.
Some ball joints shatter from the inside even though the skewers fit the holes perfectly, thus leading to the conclusion that the material is brittle inside.
Some ball joints are in egg-like forms which alters the locations of the holes. This creates unnecessary stress as the skewers will not be installed comfortably.
TECHNIQUE PROPOSAL With the successful application on our design techniques to the digital and physical realm, the team and I are proud to conclude that our techniques has allowed us to harness the benefits and art of computation and parametric software programs and thus are capable of producing results that resonates our design focus; to use â€˜structureâ€™ as medium to create expressive architectural forms that are not only aesthetically pleasing but excel in structural integrity, strength and function. It is this union that we believe and propose best addresses the proposal in creating a everlasting experience while representing the pride of the growing community in Wyndham City. Although it is true that our designs will used to serve a purpose in improving the conditions of the road exchange, for us the term function extends beyond the physical domain as we are particularly interested in designing a structure that functions as the physical embodiment that celebrates the city of Wyndham. Ultimately, we seek to design an architectural landmark rather than a mere construct of function, and the city of Wyndham is thus presented with the opportunity to have its gateway design stand among the international icons such as the Beijing National Stadium and the Canton Tower, which in return will not only commend the city of Wyndham as a thriving community but also as a modern pioneer and proud owner of a world class architecture that demands international attention and recognition. Although achieving the architectural balance between structure and aesthetics is never simple as they are often acting natural opposites, it is this rarity and difficultly that contributes to its awed response, and I believe our team stands the closest in the process of overcoming this predicament.
ALGORITHM EXPLORATION 2 While working on our design concepts, we did stumble onto a few interesting Grasshopper definitions that should be noted as it can be helpful in the future.
EVALUATING FIELDS by Studying the Biothing
The ‘Biothing’ was the first case study that I explored on when I started using Grasshopper and is also my best algorithmic sketch. It form is essentially created through the simulation of magnetic charges in grasshopper but I was fascinated by how such complex curves and forms can be created just by moving a few parameters and thus began exploring the different results it can produce. The graph mapper component is very interesting and shows strong potential of being implemented into our design focus as it can accurately dictate the form of the curves; in which we can use to create our space grid frames.
Grasshopper Info:The ‘Point Charge’ component is the key component in creating the field lines, it essentially projects lines out from the points designated. The ‘Merge Field’ component is then included in order to prevent the field lines from intersecting one another. A ‘Graph Mapper’ is later included to create the legs for the structure, thus completing the form.
Here are some of the sketches I made when I was playing with the parameters of the definition. The graph mapper is crucial in creating the legs for the model, as its curvature is what dictates the form of the legs.
Creating Fractal Patterns using Data Structures
The 8th curve.
Sharp curvature area which will result in offset spikes in the next curve.
This is a very interesting exercise that uses grasshopper to create complex fractal patterns by manipulating the curves on each ‘generation’. This meant that the same process will be repeated in order to help generate a entirely different form. The definition will essentially creates a small offset when the curves are sharp and huge offsets when there are no curves. This as a result creates a never ending chain of pattern as the curve will never meet while creating a new for every generation. This showcases one of the strengths of parametric software programs as they are able to conjure complex and infinite-like forms easily and accurately.
Grasshopper Info:The definition above represents a cluster or ‘function’ of component which can be applied repeatedly and infinitely. The fractal pattern is essentially governed by the length distance between two points on a curve, the longer the distance, the higher the offset will be as that data will be fed as ‘move’ instructions for the new curve.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES Our presentation towards the competition jury was a major success as we managed to convince and sparked their interest in regards to our goals, design focus and capabilities in handling the Wyndham design project. Their constructive criticisms and feedback is also surprisingly cohesive with our further developments with our design focus.
DEVELOPMENT 1: GRID PANELLING Part of the concern raised by the jury is that the structure can be too bare which could convey an ‘unfinished’ look. This is because we have yet to implement the 2D grid panels that we have explored in Case Study 1 to our structure. We can reuse the nodes and surfaces used by Lunchbox plug-in to create the frames and to create a canvas surface for the desired panels as seen on the diagrams to the right. Moreover, because we are able to freely select the areas to be cladded (through the use of point attractors or just deleting the points) we will be able to create any desired pattern within the grid surface. This ability also allows us to adopt a functional mindset as we can speculate that these panels can be intelligently organized to block out the sun in specific areas or provide natural lighting through the frames and onto the roads. The concept we adopt is similar to Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light where specific areas of the wall are left out for the sunlight to enter naturally and illuminate the chapel. As such, this shows that even 2D panels can be used to contribute functionally while retaining its purpose as an aesthetic feature, thus agreeing with our design objective.
DEVELOPMENT 2: STRESS INDICATOR Our continuous exploration and experimentation on the Kangaroo plug-in have also led us to discovering another method to indicate stress on the beams. Unlike the previous algorithm, this definition records and measures the magnitude of compression or tension forces and illustrates the results through pipe thickness and color rather through an animated simulation. This provides an even more detailed description of each member and their conditions and can also be used in conjunction with the original Kangaroo algorithm; thus allowing us to better understand and refine our design structures.
Beams in Compression
Beams in Tension
Simulation showcasing the stress on every beam.
DEVELOPMENT 3: MEMBER REMOVAL With new method of using the Kangaroo plug-in to investigate the stress of each member of the structure, we can began to identify members that have no stress and remove them from the structural form. As such, we aim to create a design that accentuates the structural integrity and strength of the structure form while the removed members will help contribute in creating an unexpected and expressive structure. The exercise on the right showcases a good example of the development where we applied the kangaroo pipe simulation into one of our Case Study 1 space truss structure and discovered that the vertical span of the model have little to no degree of stress when compared to its horizontal span. In response, we can began subtracting the members of the frame that carries little to no stress and the result will was dynamic and irregular structural form that only loosely resemble its original form.
Thin pipes meant little stress is occurring on these areas
We are also currently exploring and working on a function which automatically terminates or cull members that do not meet the designated stress thresholds, thus allowing computation to create the final form for us. Although we are still in the process of experimentation and improving this technique, we believe that it contains a strong potential in advancing our design focus and objective.
REFLECTIONS Even though I became well aware of the benefits and nature of computation and parametric design process through theoretical studies and research at the early stages of this design journey, I did not grasp the full extent of its significance and its system of communication until I experienced it first hand while working on the Wyndham Design Proposal. Throughout the design process I realized that a large majority of our data and results are in fact pieces of old data and algorithms obtained though a digital realm like the internet. One of the most memorable experiences while working on the project was when I was able to exchange knowledge through Grasshopper definitions with my friends and was able to help each other out even though we were committed to different assignments and project. This ultimately shows how architectural data and knowledge can now be recorded, shared and archived digitally, thus not only serving as our intellectual extensions but also enabling the design paradigm of ‘puzzle making’ to be utilized as we can now efficiently piece together information from different individuals around the world which will result in a multidisciplinary and holistic design.1 As such, the process of sharing architecture in forms of virtual data while able to gain access to multiple resources from the web proves the validity of Patrick Schumacher’s proclamations of architecture being an ‘autopoetic’ system of communication that never seize to remain constant and predictable.21 Furthermore, the successful fabrication and construction
1 Patrik Schumacher, “Introduction: Architecture as Autopoietic System”, in The Autopoiesis of Architecture (Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011), pp. 1 - 28. 2 Robert Woodbury & Andrew Burrow, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64. 3 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004): 15.
of our frame structure efficiently also highlight’s the benefits of computation as all the members and ball joints can be rapidly and accurately modified to suit our needs. The fact that we can safely refer to our digital model while constructing our physical model showcases our software program’s ability to represent and simulate building components accurately.3 In conclusion, I welcome the ever increasing application of parametric designs and computation as I too personally enjoyed its ability to assist us and open new possibilities in architecture. I also believe that as I am heading towards the world of parametric design, I too will soon be able to achieve my goal in designing icons that will be the union of function, structure and aesthetics.
REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY Prints Kalay, Yehuda E.. Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. Schumacher, Patrik. “Introduction: Architecture as Autopoietic System.” in The Autopoiesis of Architecture. Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011. Woodbury, Robert. & Burrow Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64.
Websites “Alvaro Siza’s Solar-Powered Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Illuminated by Polycarbonate Panels.” Lori Zimmer, Inhabitat. Last modified 8 November 2011. http://inhabitat.com/timber-and-polycarbonate-pavilion-at-londons-serpentine-gallery-illuminated-bysolar-paneling/alvaro-sizavieira-serpentine-pavilion1/. “Engineering” Canton Tower, last modified 18 October 2012, http://gztvtower.info/03b%20Engineering.htm. “Home” Canton Tower, last modified 18 October 2012, http://gztvtower.info/.
IMAGES & FIGURES Image 24 -
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Beijing National Stadium. In Hesthetics. Last modified 20 May 2013. http://www.homesthetics.net/the-chinese-national-stadium-in-beijing-the-birds-nest-stadium/.
Image 25 & 26 -
Alvaro Siza. Serpentine Pavilion. In Inhabitat, last modified 8 November 2011, http://inhabitat.com/timberand-polycarbonate-pavilion-at-londons-serpentine-gallery-illuminated-by-solar-paneling/alvaro-sizavieira-serpentine-pavilion4/.
Image 27 -
Information Based Architects (IBA). Canton Tower. Last modifed 20 April 2012. http://gztvtower. info/06b%20Downloads.htm.
Image 28 & 31 -
Information Based Architects (IBA). Canton Tower. Last modifed 20 April 2011. http://www.designboom. com/architecture/information-based-architecture-canton-tower/.
Image 29 -
Information Based Architects (IBA). Canton Tower. Last modifed 2 January 2013. http://jonsonox.devi��������������������� antart.com/art/Canton-tower-328493288.
Image 30 -
Information Based Architects (IBA). Canton Tower. Last modifed 20 April 2012. http://gztvtower. info/03b%20Engineering.htm.
Image 32 -
Space Frame Ball Joint Example. In Ademunal. Last modified 4 October 2009. http://ademunal88.wordpress.com/mesleki-tasarim-uygulamalari-1/6-hafta/model/urbannomadics-ballsocket5/.
Image 33 -
Tadao Ando. Church of Light. In Wikicommons. Last modified 9 October 2006. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ibaraki_Kasugaoka_Church_light_cross.jpg.
Figure 4 Figure 5 -
Information Based Architects (IBA). Canton Tower. Last modifed 20 April 2011. http://www.designboom. com/architecture/information-based-architecture-canton-tower/. Kalay, Yehuda E.. Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004.
PART 3 PROJECT PROPOSAL
DESIGN CONCEPT: IMMERSION In reviewing the Wyndham Gateway Proposal and the constructive criticisms and opinions given by the jury, we can organize and lay a set of aims and considerations to achieve with our design concept. The proposal tasks us to design an exciting, eye catching installation that inspires and enriches the municipality of the community and the users of the Princes Freeway as well as a representation or homage to the Wyndham City’s contemporary culture and growth. Moreover, in presenting the initial concept proposals, the main criticism to consider was that grid and truss structures, though able to adopt fluid forms, may be visually distracting and unappealing due to its complicated and mundane web series. As such, we begin attempting to answer the proposal with a concept that not only illustrates our original goal of unity form and structure but satisfying all the considerations above as well. We then realized that we capitalize our criticized element where trusses can be distracting and transform it with the idea of immersion. This meant that by manipulating the configuration and number of web or truss systems in our space frame, we can effectively manipulate the mood and perception of the users and onlookers while amplifying the existence of the structural aspects of installation. With this development we have decided to use the sub-concept of floating and suspension into our design form, where if we can make a structure that is seemingly unstable and appears to be suspended in the air through or around the freeway, we can inspire and surprise the onlookers and drivers of its structural form and properties. Moreover, the sense of discovery and curiosity encouraged by our design can actively mirror the city’s status as a modern, unique and extraordinary place. Ultimately, not only will our design be a testament to the city’s ability to engage with the latest global architectural developments
through the unity of structure and form thus demanding international recognition; it is also a ‘personal’ physical representation of the city’s goals and culture, that it is place that is unique and certainly more that ordinary. Image 34 ( Top Right)
Webb Bridge, 2005 The Webb Bridge by Denton Corker and shows the ability affect and manipulate the audience’s perceptions, in which we can use to instill a sense of curiosity, discovery and wonder with our design through immersion.
Image 35 & 36 (Bottom Right)
Kinetic Balls, 2005 An interesting installation where steel balls are suspended with thin cables on different heights to create a for while creating the illusion of them floating in the air.
IMMERSE DISCOVER INSPIRE CITY
DESIGN CONCEPT 1 With the concept of immersion also contributes to our form finding as it encourages the use of over arching or tunneling structures, though we nominate to refrain from using typical tunnels as we felt that it will not illustrate our space truss’s ability to adopt fluid and expressive forms. The concept also frees us from site restrictions as we are able to essentially apply our design anywhere along the designated sites around the Princes Freeway. As such, we began experimenting in different cantilever or pseudo-tunnel designs in order to convey strongest immersion effect on floating and suspension. The first design sketch is a daring concept that we envisioned where is it a ring structure spanning across the freeway in cantilevered angled. The idea is to express the sense of instability and suspension as perceptions will encourage the viewers to assume that the structure will topple at any moment. The design is also situated facing the along direction of the freeway so that viewers line of sight will travel upwards towards the suspended cantilever and be started by how structurally stable it is. Although the concept is genuinely powerful, the materialization and evaluation of the concept proves to be problematic. Regardless of our best efforts to reinforce and manipulate the number of web series of the form, it fails to sustain itself structurally when we applied the Kangaroo evaluation software. We then realized that the issue is fundamentally at its form as it is basically too unrealistic unless being supported with more footings and beams along the cantilevered section that will destroy the concept of suspension. Furthermore, we realized that the design concept will have to be longer throughout the road in order for the immersion and ‘discovery’ effect to sink into the viewers.
The rendering to the right illustrates the drivers point of view and how they would visually trace the structure from the group upwards to the cantilever thus discovering how structurally remarkable the design is.
Form Creation:• Sweep curves to create lofted surface. • Apply Lunchbox Space Truss component onto surface in Grasshopper. • Manipulate parameters to desired form. • Evaluate with Kangaroo Plug-in.
We realized that the structure will fundamentally fail due to the unrealistic form that we have created (especially at the bridge extruding diagonally upwards) when we evaluate the design through Kangaroo.
DESIGN CONCEPT 2 We retreated to a safer approach by create a shell like arch form similar to Part 2 design concept. We also began to study to the site a found that there is a slight curve on the freeway in between Site A and B, in which we can capitalize to create a structural ‘screen’ that forces the viewers to notice the design even while driving forward. We also intend to use pin and concentrated supports in order to promote the effects of floating and weightlessness in the design. The shell concept is more effective in creating the floating immersion as it extends longer that the previous sketch and covers the entire freeway like a tunnel, thus creating a space similar to the Webb Bridge. It is also contributed by the new discovery we made where strong curves creates concentrated spherical joints compared to simple straight curves, thus we see a gradation of spherical joint positions throughout the form. This presents a lot of potential as we can actually manipulate the number and concentration of joints to highlight how few or how many structural members are require to support the structure in desired locations. In other words, we can have less joints at the top of the form which can create a sense of weightlessness and suspension, while more joints near the base to create a sense of stability and strength. However, this potential is limited as the gradation effect is limited to the form thus limiting the location of joint concentration. In order to create a better immersion we believe we should make to top section of the form complex and ‘heavy’ while the sides simple in order to fully amplify the sense of flotation and suspension, not vice versa. Unfortunately, the form is also unstable due to the base supports being too weak to hold the structure, while reverting to standard strip supports will make the design too simple and essentially a typical tunnel, in which we are against.
Due to the form being extruded longer along the road and that it is formed around a curve, viewers will be able to notice and ‘absorb’ the form and its immersing effects more easily. The gradation of spheres can also be seen promoting the sense of weightlessness at the top section of the form.
Form Creation:• Sweep curves to create lofted surface. • Apply Lunchbox Space Truss Component onto surface in Grasshopper. • Manipulate parameters to desired form. • Evaluate with Kangaroo Plug-in.
This concept is also unstable due to the fact that the concentrated pin beam supports are unable to account for the weight of the entire structure.
DESIGN CONCEPT 3: SITE ANALYSIS Although the first two design concepts failed to satisfy the needed criterias, they provide good feedback and information that we find helpful and worth developing. The need to create a form that enables the viewerâ€™s line of sight to be able to trace the structure upwards proved to be a an interesting feature to include while the gradation of ball joints can be used to amplify the sense of suspension and instability, hence effectively conveying the structural properties of the overall form. As such, in the third attempt we tried to incorporate all the data collected. The gradation effect demonstrated by design concept 2 also encouraged us to begin analyzing and understanding the site and the roads. The curving path of the Princes Freeway which leads to Wyndham City is the most interesting aspect of the site as it will encourage the use of expressive forms that are not static and straight if designed and built along it. This can also be used as a major component in assisting in creating a stronger immersion effect as we realized that due to the turn, our stereoscopic vision will naturally notice and focus on the front and left side of the freeway more compared to the right because for the drivers they are straight ahead. This meant that when we create our design, we should place supports at the right side of the road in order to maximize the effects of floating and immersion as the structure will be more easily to be perceived as so. The images and diagrams on the right showcases our analysis of the site and how we found the specific sweet spot that best assist with our design concept.
The image on the right shows the site and the area of interest which is the curving road in between site A and site B. The image below illustrates the driverâ€™s point of view while driving on the specific area towards Wyndham City.
This diagram shows the field of visual focus of drivers while driving along the curving road of the freeway. It shows that most of the focus will be directed towards the left and frontal side of the road especially when the driver is driving along the left lane, while the focus will be roughly the same if the driver drives at the right lane.
Here we conducted a simple experiment using Rhinoceros in testing the focus of vision compared to the road curvature. It confirms our idea that by positioning the supporting parts of the structure on the right side of the road, it better emphasizes our concept. We find that without a vertical column in front of the visual focus, the roofing structure will interact better to the surrounding environment and the sky, hence making the suspended effect possible. On the other hand, by of positioning structure on the left, it will act as a distracting visual barrier to the surrounding landscape hence eliminating the visual floating and immersion effect.
Field of Visual Focus
Path to Wyndham
DESIGN CONCEPT 3: FORM FINDING 1. FORM FROM CURVES Driver’s Perspective View
In analysis the previous design concepts, we figured that one of the easiest way to generate immersion is to create a form the follows the freeway. Thus making the structure a constant focus for the drivers. To do that we started measuring and copied the freeway curvature to create accurate curves that are elevated from the road.
Learning from Design Concept 2, we added more curves at the sides of the original geometry so that we can loft the curves and form flat support ‘legs’ rather than concentrated pin legs. We also added an extra curving form near the middle of the stretch to provide a fourth structural ‘leg’ support for the design. This process is repeated so that the desired natural looking form is achieved.
Top Perspective View
Method:• Use Picture Frame to place a scaled image of the site to Rhinoceros. • Trace the road using Curves. • Create pin legs with Curves for support.
Method:• Use Curves again to create additional support for the legs. • Toggle ‘Orthogonal Mode’ to ensure all curves are even on the XY plane.
2. LUNCHBOX APPLICATION Driver’s Perspective View
When the curves are good, we used the loft and sweep function to create individual surfaces so that it can be assigned to the Grasshopper interface to be transformed into space truss systems.
Not only that, this direction also provides us with three surfaces to work on. Since the surfaces are connected but still remain independent, we can apply the Lunchbox components and change its parameters individually, thus allowing us more control in creating optimized forms and gradation effects.
Top Perspective View
Method:• Use Loft to loft surfaces together. • For the complex roof geometry, use Sweep Rail 2 to create surface. • Rebuild all surfaces so the are identical.
Method:• Set surfaces to Grasshopper Interface. • Apply Space Truss Structure 1 Component to surfaces.
DESIGN CONCEPT 3: REFINEMENT 3. FRAME OPTIMIZATION
Initially, we plan to create an optimized method of removing the beams that are never under stress using the Culling component. However, while studying our designs in detail, we realized that almost all the beams and columns contribute structurally and are in stress. This is because the Lunchbox component itself is already designed to create the best and optimal version of the truss. We even attempted to remove the least stressed components and discovered that without them, other beams and columns will suffer even more stress and will fail collectively.
Knowing that the component will always create the best space truss form, we shift our focus to not taking away beams but using as few beams as possible by experimenting with the parameters of the component. We also made an awesome discovery where if we assign on the same value on the V input, the truss system will converge in the same node despite being different space truss system from different surfaces. This meant we can manually join different truss systems into a single structure, thus allowing use to really reduce the number of beams needed in our design form.
Method:• Use Kangaroo Physics to simulate gravity upon the structure. • The color indicator will notify which component is not under stress, it which we can remove by creating a list and ‘Cull’ the least change in length.
Method:• Alter the number and complexity of truss systems using Sliders. • Assign the V input in the Space Truss Component as a constant value across all the Space Truss Components.
4. FRAME GRADATION
Given that the space frame structures are independent from each other, we can also create gradation of truss complexities that can be used to achieve the sense instability and suspension in the form. The first image illustrates our initial idea of having truss systems being complex and heavy at the right side of the road (since it will not be in the drivers’ field of focus) and gradually have its complexity decrease as the structure rises to a cantilever. We figured that it will create a sense of weightlessness but to our surprise the effect is not noticeable from the driver’s point of view. Instead, we found out that making the centre section (the floating curvature) complex while the rest are simple, the effects are in fact strong and noticeable easily. We reckon that it is because by placing a complex truss system at the centre, the surrounding simple system will help amplify its existence towards the driver.
Method:• Alter the number and complexity of truss systems using Sliders. • After conducting a lengthy exploration, we concluded that the U parameter for truss complexity should be 1 - 3 - 1 (left - center right) in order to create a best impact while maintaining an optimized and simple truss system. (Refer to page 90 to view grasshopper components.)
5. MANUAL LINKAGE
Once our form is finalized we can began connecting the space truss systems together manually in order to create a hybrid truss system that we reckon will be structurally stable as it will transform these simple structures into a complex version collectively. By Baking the nodes into points in Rhinoceros, we can easily link and add individual lines by snapping them to those points. In order to fully incorporate the lines and the other truss systems as one, we used Merge and Flatten in Grasshopper to unite all the curves and lines of the system into a single data structure.
Method:â€˘ From the Space Truss System Component, Bake the nodes into points in Rhinoceros so that individual lines can be snapped and joined accurately. â€˘ Use the Line command in Rhinoceros to create individual beams, then setting them as curves in Grasshopper to be merged along with the rest of the truss frame beams.
6. SPHERE SIZE AND PATTERN
Similar to the Frame Gradation exploration, we believe that the size of the sphere can contribute greatly in conjuring the sense of floating and instability as they can be made noticeable and distinct from the beams. We tried the gradation effect in terms of spherical sizes where it started out large near the ground and reduces in size as it proceeds upward onto the cantilever structure. Again the solution that we find most impacting is not with a standard gradation but through a ‘concentration’ at the centre of the form, where the large spheres are only noticeable when surrounded by smaller ones. Not only that, we have also concluded that there is no need for a variety of sizes as by using only two distinctively different spheres creates a stronger and simpler visual impact.
Method:• Without deleting the Points Baked for the manual beam linkage, they can be set back into grasshopper as individual points. • Apply Spherical Geometry to the points. • Group collection of points to create patterns and gradation. • We concluded the best spherical size for maximum while being feasible are:• Small: 300 mm Radius • Large: 550 mm Radius
7. KANGAROO EVALUATION
After the additional fixations and refinements, we are proud and glad that our form is deemed structurally stable by Kangaroo. This is largely due to the change in footing types from concentrated points to ‘strip’ like footings.
Method:• Use Kangaroo Physics to simulate gravity upon the structure. • The color indicator will notify which type of stress is being experienced by each beam. • If the structure collapses it means that it is fundamentally unstable.
8. FORM SWAPPING Before Mirror
While refining our form, we have also made another unexpected discovery, by mirroring the form and having the drivers pass the tunnel-like entrance, they will enjoy an uninterrupted view where the structure meets the sky and the surrounding environment, hence amplifying the concept of immersion and suspension. This is because most of the only structural element present at the left site of the freeway was quickly passed through upon entering the installation thus allowing the structure and design to really exert the its function.
yndha To W
This also reconfirms and satisfies our past concept’s merits where because gateway tunnel appears first, it visually establishes a visual base for the driver’s sight to easily view the structure upwards as they drive through the freeway.
With that, our final design form which we believed have successfully encapsulate our goals and considerations is completed.
Method:• Using Mirror Command to swap the entire structure. • Reuse end points of the old form to position the form to the road accurately. m Cit
yndha To W
1. FORM FROM CURVES Curve Cmd To Create Form.
1. FORM FROM CURVES Loft Cmd on Curves. Set Surfaces To GH.
6. SPHERE SIZE AND PATTERN Bake Nodes To Create Points For Spheres Later.
DESIGN CONCEPT WORKFLOW
3. FRAME OPTIMIZATION 2. LUNCHBOX APPLICATION
Apply Lunchbox Space Truss Component To Surface.
Use Small Number Inputs To Create Form. Make Top Area More Complex That The Sides.
4. FRAME GRADATION Assign V Parameter Input As Constant Across Space Truss Component.
6. SPHERE SIZE AND PATTERN Use Parameter To Determine Size & Pattern From Baked Points.
8. FORM SWAPPING Mirror Cmd On Baked Form.
5. MANUAL LINKAGE
FINISHED DESIGN FORM
Line Cmd On Baked Anchor Points.
5. MANUAL LINKAGE
Set Lines As Curves & Merge With Form Using Flatten Data Structure Cmd.
7. KANGAROO EVALUATION Apply Unary Force & Kangaroo Physics.
Tectonic Elements STRUCTURAL COMPONENT ANALYSIS With the design concept and form finalized, we started wondering and exploring methods of realizing our form in reality. Given that we are primarily dealing with space trusses, we are free from the need to find radical forms of construction. Our form also require less structural components and most of them can be manufactured in factories and transported in sets easily. However, we are also aware that the structure has to be as light and strong as possible to that it wonâ€™t weigh down apply additional stress to the form. Thus, we begin prioritizing construction methods that are related to hollow and light materials and components.
1. Ball Joints are manufactured in factories accurately as the angles and number of openings can be referred and provided by programs such as Rhinoceros.
2. Additional ring plates are welded near the openings of the joints to create a platform for the spheres to be attached to, which can also be done rapidly in factories. The spheres can also be created in factories with the similar process of referring to programs.
By analyzing our form we determined that our entire structure is basically consist of:1. Ball Joints that link beams together into a truss system. 2. Beams that span across ball joints and forms the structural and aesthetic backbone of the design form, which can be made hollow to reduce weight but retaining its core strength. 3. Spheres that encapsulates the ball joints. These can be hollow shells to optimize weight and allows us to create different sizes easily and cost effectively. Moreover, given that the spheres will be cladding the ball joints, we have devised a specific construction method in order to ensure efficiency and accuracy during construction.
3. Only specific pieces of the sphere are to be glued and screwed to the steel plates provided, leaving room for beams to be fitted and bolted into the pipe joint after being transported to the site.
4. Once the connections are done, the components are hoisted from the ground and assembled into place. When in place the remaining pieces of the spheres are screwed onto the components to conceal the pipe joints and completing the sphere.
MATERIAL ANALYSIS The search for the correct materials is also not difficult as there are only a few that can construct structural space trusses and frames. While designing our form, we already had the designated materials in mind. Steel Circular Hollow Section Pipes are the best candidate in serving as the form’s structural beams as they are light, able to withstand stress well and mass produced in large quantities. Not only that, being a product of steel, it is weldable and can withstand the outdoor environments well. We nominated the use of 165 mm diameter pipes as they seem to be ideal in terms of size and weight. We are also capitalizing the pipe’s natural bland and smooth texture in order to ensure that the focus of the drivers passing the freeway will be fixed on the spheres rather than the pipes. The ball joints are also manufactured with the same material so that it is cohesive and weldable with the pipes. Polyethylene Hollow Plastic Balls are the suitable option for our spheres as it is cost effective given that it is the most common plastic, lightweight and strong. It can be manufactured easily and is available in large sizes as it is commonly used for recreational giant balls as seen in the image to the right. It can also be changed to either be transparent or opaque with the color of our choice, making it a flexible option. Similar to the pipes, this plastic can handle up to 130 °C of heat and is resistant to wear. For our form, we nominate to use darker colors for the spheres so that it will present a better contrast compared to the steel pipes and the surrounding environment, thus making it very noticeable when installed in the freeway.
Figure 6 (Top Right) Dimensions and properties of local Steel Circular Hollow Section Pipes. We nominate the use of 165 mm diameter due to its low linear mass to diameter.
Image 37 & 38 (Right) Steel textures can be made shiny or bland which can contribute in flushing our the spheres. They can also be mass produced and shipped to site easily.
Image 38 & 39 (Bottom Right) Polyethylene Plastic is highly versatile in texture and size as they can be made transparent or opaque with color. They can also be manufactured to be in a variety of large sizes.
FOOTINGS ANALYSIS While determining the materials and joints for our design form, we have also considered how our entire structure is structurally supported on the ground. Our solution is to have a combination of strip and pile footings that are positioned directly below the joints touching the ground. Strip footings can be placed parallel to the truss legs to provide effective support while the pile footings underneath them contributes in channeling the immense weight of our entire structure deep into the ground to reach stronger foundations. The rendered image at the bottom showcases the location and set up of our footing systems. In order to connect the structure to the footing system, special pipe joints with a column attached to a steel plate will be needed these joints will be bolted to the concrete slab through the plates. The section drawing in the next page illustrates how the joints are connected to the concrete slab and footing system.
SPACE FRAME TO FOOTINGS SECTION
SECTION MODEL We also wanted to fabricate a 1:20 detailed section model of our upcoming presentation to the jury, in order to make the fabrication process easier, we have decided to Boolean Union our digital model of the section into a single solid geometry for 3D printing. Since it will be in a relatively large scale, we assumed that we can produce our model without the issue of breakage. Unfortunately, the overall form of the model proved to be too complex and impractical to fabricate as the shell and ball join pipe proved to be too fragile, causing the model to shatter during the fabrication process. Not only that, most of the details like the bolts were unnoticeable. The option to enlarge the model is also difficult economically as we will be charged heavily. In response, we created another simpler section that demonstrates the essence of our structural componentâ€™s function and performance. The pipe joints holes and the shell are thicker while the beams were replaced from hollow pipes to solid cylinders. We also changed our form so that it can be all the essential details can be viewed from a single viewpoint, minimizing the risk of rotating the form and thus making it susceptible to accidents and breakage especially during the presentation to the panel jury.
Although this section model accurately represents our components, its complex form and minute details made it difficult to produce. The image on the far right is whatâ€™s left of the model after fabrication.
The simpler variation of our component on the other had was fabricated without any issues. After comparing the two section models, we believe this version , though simpler in detail, excels in communicating how the structures are joint and assembled together quicker and easier since all the details and components can be seen from one viewpoint.
MODEL MATERIALS ANALYSIS Our overall project also requires a physical model to be made, which we decided to make a large 1:50 scaled model of our concept form in order to truly illustrate the structure and the space it encapsulates accurately. In order to showcase our design concept of immersion, we emphasized on color and material contrast where we use opaque and colors for the sphere joints while making the beams as transparent and colorless as possible. Although it may not represent how the material will look like in reality ( steel beams are used instead of transparent ones) we have decided prioritize the design effects that our concept provides for this model. Not only that, since the model will be larger than our Part 2 concept model, it will significantly easier to construct and fabricate as we will be dealing with larger components. As such, we began reevaluating the materials used to represent the components for our design form. Ball Joints (Spheres) Although we had issues and complications dealing with dust formed balls via 3D printing in our concept model in Part 2, we find this option very viable now as larger components meant minimizing the issue of balls deforming and breaking due to too many hole penetrations. Again, by using dust balls, they can be made quickly and accurately which is essential since all our truss beams will require specific angles to connect to each other. As for its surface treatment, we have decided to apply black watercolor paint onto the balls after assembly in order to truly contrast and distinguish themselves from the beams. Truss Beams Initially, we intend to reuse skewers to represent the beams like our concept model in Part 2 but its solid texture does not advance the sense of immersion and visual effects that we wanted. After additional research, we have decided to use transparent
Acrylic Rods to represent our beams because of their obvious properties. These rods have also proven to be just as strong easy to cut like the timber skewers as the same tools can still be used. Moreover, operating from previous experience of making truss models, we included air-dry clay into our inventory so that we can easily and instantly patch up any breakage or issue we have on the dust balls during assembly. Since the spheres will be painted after assembly, any clay application will be covered and concealed from view.
The images at the top right shows how larger balls will create less concentrated penetrations in which results to better and stronger balls joint dust balls.
The images at the bottom right illustrates our small experiment of joining the dust ball with transparent acrylic rods.
Penetrations will close up into distinguishable holes as the spherical circumference is larger, reducing breakage and improves strength.
FINAL MODEL DIGITAL FABRICATION 1. DETERMINE PIPE LENGTHS
To start fabricating and assembling our final model, we have to the determine and modify the length of our pipe beams. In its default baked form, all pipes actually span and converge from point to point inside the sphere; which meant that all pipes will clash with each other during assembly while the spheres will remain weak and brittle given that its core is hollow. To prevent this, we bake the closed surface pipe beams with smaller spheres first so they can be Boolean Differenced to create a void in all pipe convergent area, thus allowing the spheres to have a solid core while setting up the penetration depth of each pipe to sphere accurately.
Method:• Use parameters in Grasshopper to change radius of the spheres to create a smaller spheres first and Bake them along with pipe beams. • Initial spheres are set in a radius difference of 4 mm to original sphere size, thus creating a 4 mm penetration depth in each sphere. • Boolean Difference pipe beams with the spheres in Rhinoceros to create voids.
2. SPHERE JOINT HOLE CREATION
Method:â€˘ Bake groups of spheres (depending on sizes) and apply Boolean Difference with modified pipe beams in Rhinoceros to create holes. â€˘ Use Mirror to shift spheres.
With the pipe beams not clashing within the spheres, we can start Baking the original sphere forms and then Boolean Differencing them with the existing pipe beams. This will result to the creation of accurate holes across all the spheres. The spheres will still be suspended in position which makes numbering easier. Moreover, we were operating on a Grasshopper/Rhinoceros file where the entire concept form was not mirrored (refer to page 89). so this is the phase where we use Mirror to alter the spheres to the desired configuration.
3. NUMBERING SYSTEM
Next, we proceed to organize the spheres so that they can be identified and assembled easily. Given that the spheres are larger than or previous concept model in Part 2, we can actually Boolean Difference to create etched numbers onto the spheres instead of Boolean Union them with the numbers as objects. This will thus create highly visible numbers that are not vulnerable to wear.
Method:• Use text objects in Rhinoceros to create numbers as objects. • Position them to intersect the spheres individually. • Boolean Difference the spheres with th number objects to create etch.
4. PRINT SET UP
Method:â€˘ Apply Mesh on objects in Rhinoceros to turn them into mesh surfaces. â€˘ Use Mesh repair apply Rebuild Mesh and Unify Mesh Normals to create a good and completed mesh form. â€˘ Export the Rhinoceros file as .STL and send it to be printed.
The 3D dust printer has specific requirements to ensure good results. The spheres have to be aligned on a plate plane in horizontal layer and must be positioned within a 200 mm sized square box, marking the boundaries of the machine. We also learnt that the issue of ball deformation is also contributed by the unresolved surfaces and edges in the spheres. To fix this, we turned the spheres into mesh and apply Mesh Repair to rebuild the spheres into better and resolved mesh surfaces. Once all repairs were made, we sent our file to the machine to be processed.
BUILDING PROCESS 5. ORGANIZE COMPONENTS While the spheres are being printed, we started cutting on the transparent acrylic rods based on the information provided in Rhinoceros (refer to page 110) and labelling them so that the assembly process will be more efficient. Once the balls are printed, we organized the spheres in the same manner. We also began sourcing tools such as hack saws, pliers and glue to prepare for the assembly.
6. MODEL ASSEMBLY With all the preparation done, the model assembly was straight forwards and quick as all we had to do is identify the relating components using the digital file as reference and attaching them together with super glue. We started by making the base components of the model first separately and proceed towards the middle. This prevents additional strain and allowing us to place parts away to allow the glue and clay to dry. As expected, even though the spheres are larger, we experience minor breakage due to movement and stress applied by hour hands during the assembly, to which we use air-dry clay to cover and provide extra support to the balls.
7. COLOR APPLICATION
Once the clay and glue have dried, we began coating the balls and the clay with black watercolor paint with the use of thin brushes. Once its completed we leave the entire model to dry.
8. MODEL BASE MAKING
We then began working on the base of the model. Being in a 1:50 scale, contour lines will not be visible which spares us extra work. Instead, our focus was the material color and texture followed by how the road should be presented. We have decided to use greyish brown cardboards as the base material due to its hard but thin properties while being bland in color, thus will not distract the viewers while they are analyzing our model.
We also decided to use brown rope as the road because we really want to highlight its curvature and how the model response to it. It will also provide depth and dimension which distinguishes itself easily from the box board layer. Once the model is done drying we glued it to the base and successfully completed our final model.
FINAL MODEL WORKFLOW
2. SPHERE JOINT HOLE CREATION
Boolean Difference Spheres With existing Pipes To Create Ball Joint Holes.
4. PRINT SET UP
Move Sphere to Box & Perform Mesh Repair to Remove Errors. Export File As STL.
1. DETERMINE PIPE LENGTHS
Boolean Difference Smaller Spheres With Pipes To Create Core & Hole Depth.
3. NUMBERING SYSTEM
Boolean Difference Numbered Text Box To Create Etch On Sphere.
5. ORGANIZE COMPONENTS Source Materials & Tools.
Rhinoceros Data Using Distance Cmd. Organized Balls and Pipes Based On Length & Position.
6. MODEL ASSEMBLY Glue components Based On Digital Model. Apply Clay When Needed.
8. MODEL BASE MAKING Create Road Curvature Based on Scaled Road Image.
5. ORGANIZE COMPONENTS
7. COLOR APPLICATION Painted Dried Balls With Black Watercolor.
Algorithmic Exploration 3 While presenting our proposals, we got the opportunity to be expose to other projects a tackled their assignments differently, as such, we recorded some that we find interesting and holds good potential to be incorporated in the future.
Waffle Grids on Surfaces
The use of waffle grids is a good alternative to space truss systems as it provides a similar structural concept. This cluster definition allows us to apply waffle grids to any surface, in which we did to our concept form. Similar to our definition, we can assign the V input as a constant value to create a single spanning strip joining across the each individual grid. The definition includes options where we can control the thickness of the slots of assemble which means we can virtually use any material and thickness to assemble the grid.
Grasshopper Info:The ‘Divide Surface’ component is the key component in splitting the surface into individual lines and points, which is then fed to the ‘move’ and ‘flip’ components to create vertical and horizontal triangles. These triangles are then ‘Joined’ as poly-surfaces into strips thus creating the waffle grid. An addition definition is included where it takes the points where the intersection lines from ‘Divide Surface’ to create gaps for these strips to slot in using mathematical expressions.
Natural Structure Patterning With WeaverBird
Grasshopper Info:The ‘Divide Domain’ and ‘Isotrim’ component essentially splits the surface into rectangular segments. By setting the centre point of the segments as base (through ‘SurfaceCP’), any form can be set onto the surface by using it as the point of origin. Although I failed to create a cone extruding out of the form, I did produce a similar result where each point marks a hole in which I can alter its shape and form collectively thought the entire model using parameters. The WeaverBird plug-in essentially converts these forms into a mesh and through ‘Mesh Thicken’ component able create depth and form out of the mesh.
While observing other projects, I saw the pssibilities of using geometry and curvature as structural elements of designs. With that I came across a Rhinoceros plug-in called WeaverBird which deals with transforming and realizing complicated geometry through meshes. As a sketch, I intended to use the plug-in to create cones extruding out of the concept form, but due to my inexperience it backfired into a form that I find surprisingly fascinating. The holes that creates this coral-like form can be altered easily in size and position surprisingly similar to our definition, while its volume hints that further development can make the concept structurally stable. The holes created are interesting as they are the only source of light even during daytime within the structure, which can contribute in setting a theme and mood that can create a sense of immersion.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES FURTHER DEVELOPMENT 1. BEAM THICKNESS OPTIMIZATION We are glad that our presentation was a success and the panel judges approved and are very keen in our design concept and outcome. As such, they began enquiring and contributing through constructive criticism and questions to how we can refine our concept further. Although it was after the presentation, we have managed to successfully integrate one of our initial concepts from Part 2 of using Kangaroo as a form finding tool by creating letting the plug-in dictate the thickness of the beams. This essentially solves one our own criticisms in regards to our Kangaroo definition as it does not take thicknesses of materials into consideration well. As such this new refinement serves as the extension of our grasshopper definition as it uses the lines of our space frame.
However, with the beam thicknesses optimized, we find most of the beams to be thinner before, hence allowing larger spheres with lesser parts to assemble. This also allows us to really manipulate the contrast as well as the variety between larger and smaller spheres.
Similar to the concept definition in page 68. We manage to find a definition that determines and optimizes the load distribution of our structure through pipe thicknesses, thus complimenting and reinforcing our previous concept definition.
As the result of this definition, the beams that are under the most stress will be relieved as the software will automatically increase its thickness therefore increase its strength. Not only that, by assigning pipes to their suitable thicknesses, the definition also optimizes the weight of the entire structure, thus minimizing unnecessary stress and loads of the supports. The optimizing of loads also leads to another benefit, which is the ability to cater larger spheres. Although we have mapped out a construction method of assembling the components and spheres, we also acknowledge that some spheres can be difficult to assemble due to high numbers of penetration from all angles, hence chose to limit the sizes of our spheres as it will lead to many parts to assemble.
Instead of using the new definition as an idicator of removing beams, we can configure it to form the beams with ideal thicknesses themselves.
Beams Under Compression In Our Concept Design.
Beams Under Tension In Our Concept Design.
Pipe Thickness Grasshopper Definition:-
2. SPHERE ORNAMENTATION Another interesting point raised during our presentation to the panel judges is that whether the spheres can be ornaments in their own right without the need of affecting the entire structure. Although such preferences are irrelevant to our objective which is to convey architectural beauty through the unity of structure and form, it is certainly possible for the spheres to be independent from the structure as they are mere shells encapsulating the pipe joints. Developing on that suggesting, we found a way showcase how the spheres can be ornamented independent of the structure, which is through the use of lights. This is also cohesive with our design concept of immersion and suspension as lighting only the spheres during the night will create a powerful visual effect that is not only ornamentally attractive by also visually amplifying the absence of conventional structural support, hence again striking the minds of the drivers and instill the sense of floating. We noticed that if we install lights inside the spheres, the ball joints will be visible and will destroy the ambience, so we decided to have them installed around the beams joints in a ring with the lights directed to the spheres. This will especially illuminate and highlight the spheres and its joints without creating unnecessary shadows. Not only that, wiring can traverse through the hollow beams and joints thus rendering them invisible while in operation.
The Rhinoceros digital model illustrates how lighting rings can still illuminate the sphere without the need of creating unnecessary shadows as they are produced and from outside and facing towards the sphere.
The section drawing on the far right shows how the lights are installed, which is by screwing the ring to the shell. It also showcases how wiring can easily traverse within the pipe beams and pipe joints to other spheres.
The rendered image on the bottom depicts how the lighting effects during the night can enhance our concept of immersion as it visually conceals the beams while lighting up the spheres.
LED lights directed towards the where in a 360 degrees installation.
Ring piece screwed or bolted to the sphere surface.
Wiring can travel inside pipes, concealed from view.
PROJECT EVALUATION With the design concept explained and final model completed and presented, we as a team are proud of our personal and professional achievement as we have strongly believe have manage to not only satisfy but excelled in all our design objectives. We answer the proposal with structure because we believe such unity can effectively represent the city of Wyndham and the purpose of the installation; an attractive physical representation and hallmark of the city. For starters, we tasked ourselves to design an installation that will be both a physical representation of the city of Wyndham and an international statement to the contemporary world of architecture. We wanted the drivers and viewers passing through our installation to immersed in wonder and curiosity of our structure, and later to be rewarded by that discovery that it is the result of the rare but achievable unity between structure and form. This engagement of curiosity followed by discovery is also how we intend of the installation represent the city, where it is a complex but complete unity between local communities, its council; and it takes the curious minds to truly discover that the city of Whydham is more than it seems. Moreover, the successful completion of this project through the use of contemporary computation paradigms of design and parametric software programs has placed our design a worthy addition within the growing and advancing popularity of parametric architecture, thus echoing the cityâ€™s readiness and capabilities in engaging with the latest and international events and thus demanding an international response and recognition. In order to realize these ideals, our architectural design has performed well in creating a sense of instability and suspension; immersing and attracting
the viewers driving past the Princes Highway with its seemingly floating wave of spheres suspended in falling motion. With the entire structure consuming the road, it fully immerses the driverâ€™s point of view and attempts to attract viewers to seek to understand and discover how such structure remains standing, in which in time will discover and hopefully accept the beauty of the unity between structure and form. On that discovery, drivers and viewer alike will remember the installation along with its location; on the Princes Freeway towards the city of Wyndham. This clever association will thus develop into an instant recognition the installation will be one the city and its representation of its ideals; that Whyndham is a beautiful, unique and thriving city where its communities are united and ready to advance the city towards a better tomorrow. With the ability to achieve our design aims in the project proposal, we believe that this project is ultimately a major success.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS With the semester and project proposal coming to its end, I am proud and glad to have advocated ‘structure’ as our design focus as it has enlightened me in many ways in regards to the benefits and bright future of computation and parametric design in the contemporary world. In essence, computation and parametric software programs seek to streamline and assist our design thought and processes by quickly and accurately producing results through the virtual plane, it allows the opportunity and time to explore more in breath quickly in order to create a better well refined outcome.1 We were able to experience and adapt to the paradigm actively as we were able to create a broad range of complex concepts quickly and thoroughly like the Concept development in Part 2 (refer to page 48) which ultimately introduced us with the our Space Truss form and Kangaroo definition. Not only that, parametric software programs also excels when ‘puzzle making’ design processes are involved as we are able to emerge different solutions into a better and coherent whole to ultimately create our design concept definition.2
However, the best acknowledgement I have in computation and parametric design is its ability to simulate reality. Throughout our design focus in structure, the physics of gravity has always been the drive in developing our entire project. As such, to look back and realized that all our developments were made based on a single scripting and simulation plug-in is nothing but astonishing. One of my personal joys in this project was during the proposal presentation when a jury press our model down in anticipation of failure; only to be surprised of how strong our structure was; cementing the fact that parametric software programs such as Kangaroo are not only able to create designs through but produce a virtually infinite algorithmic design space architects, but able to simulate reality within it as well. Ultimately, I was satisfied with parametric design and again open my arms towards understanding and learning more of this highly flexible, adaptable and powerful mode of architecture so that I will eventually be able to adapt my knowledge through a real design project.
Even after our proposal presentation, we were able to quickly alter, refine and even add additional components like the our Pipe Thickness Grasshopper definition which rapidly alters and refines our concept model again, thus showing how programs, scripts and definitions can allow design to be transported, saved, repeated and refined regardless of time and space.
1 Robert Woodbury & Andrew Burrow, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64. 2 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004): 15. 3 Woodbury and Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, 67.
REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY Prints Kalay, Yehuda E.. Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004. Woodbury, Robert. & Burrow Andrew, ‘Whither design space?’, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Volume 20 , Issue 2, (2006): 63 - 64.
IMAGES & FIGURES Image 34 -
Denton Corker Marshall & Robert Owen. Webb Bridge. In Michael Evans Photographer. Last modified 3 April 2013. http://www.michaelevansphotographer.com/index.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=30&p=1&a =0&at=0.
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Figure 6 -
Orcon Steel. “Circular Hollow Sections”. In Orcon Steel. Last modified 28 May 2013. http://www.orrconsteel.com.au/australian-steel-products/tube-and-pipe/structural-steel/CHS.
2013 STUDIO AIR JOURNAL SM1