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Digital Design - Module 01 Semester 1, 2018 Karina Price

912448 Junhan Foong, 13

Week One

Reading: Zeara Polo, A. 2010. Between Ideas and Matters.

According to Zeara-Polo, the diagram does not play a representational role in the design process but provides an organisational and can have a performative quality depending on how it is deployed. Explain how Diagram is different from Signs and Symbols?

Zeara-Polo argues that the diagram, as opposed to symbols and various other concepts, can be defined by its ability to define relationships in a space, and allow viewers to “conceptualise...what we have never seen before”. These elements, such as “light, time, temperature, weight etc” are only possible through diagrams, as symbols and icons “have no binding relationship between ...form and context”, thus disallowing them the possibility of representing that which cannot be seen. Diagrams operate to organise physical constructs and concepts, while symbols, signs and icons operate only to provide a form of representation. Additionally, a diagram is specific to a space; it has a spatial correlation that cannot be replicated, while a sign and symbol may be used repeatedly, no matter the space or context.


Week One

Precedent Analysis

Images: (In a clockwise direction) Above: Design Precedent: The 2015 MPavilion by A_LA architects1. Top Left: Modeling process of the six sided petal. Top Right: Modeling process of the three sided petal. Right: Assembly of the combined parts, using the scaled floor plan provided as a guide.

The precedent images provided were certainly helpful in the modeling of the pavilion, however, it appeared that several key aspects were missing. While the elevation did give an indication that the petals were at different height, it was difficult to ascertain which petals were at which heights. Additionally, the varying scales of the plan drawings and the elevation made modelling to scale difficult, however this was circumvented through adjusting the scale of all drawings to 1:1. Modeling one section of the petals and then rotating it incrementally around an axis was the easiest way to get a accurate model of the petals as can be seen in the two images above. 1.

(Credit: AL_A. (2015). MPavilion 2015 opens in Melbourne - AL_A. [online] Image: John Gollings. Available at: [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].


Week Two

Reading: Hertzberger H. 2005. The in-between and The Habitable Space Between Things, from Lessons for Students in Architecture. Herzberger discusses how design should not be extreme in its functionality. Use your precedent study to explain how the pavilion allows for an appropriation of use.

Herzberger argues that thresholds are ‘in-between’ spaces; spaces whose function is not explicitly stated within design and thus can be used for a number of purposes both as part of the interior and the exterior. He argues that elements of the house that have a prescribed use, such as the staircase, should be rethought of in terms of possible functions; such as a playground for children. Essentially, we must expand upon designs “so that they will be more useful, more applicable, and ...suited to more purposes”. This allows people to take control of their surroundings and create a space that suits their needs. This is clear in the precedent study, AL_A’s MPavilion, as the design can be appropriated for any number of uses, a function that Amanda Levete Architects specifically catered for, although some possibilities may be unprecedented until the pavilion is constructed and in use.


Week Two


AL_A MPAVILION My model of AL_A’s MPavillion, built in the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne in 2015, aimed to reflect the key concept of the precedent study, which was to create a multi-functional meeting space within an urban setting that was sheltered by 3mm thick ‘petals’. The petals, placed at varying heights, imitates the shade produced under treetops and consequently creates the same dappled light effect. It is clear from analysis of the precedent study that the petals were the key aspect of the design, providing a main aspect of permeability given that the design is not enclosed by walls. Likewise, the circulation of the space is determined by the poles, or ‘stems’ of the petal panels, as visitors must navigate between them to circulate the space. Thus, this was deemed to be a crucial part of the design and this is reflected in the shading choice, detail and line weight. While the base of the structure is important, it was not deemed as important as the above components, which is reflected in the reduced line weights of the flooring. Much of the structure was constructed mathematically, using rotations around a 360 degree angle to create symmetrical petals, and extrusions to ensure all elements were of the same thickness and length.


Week Two Diagrams


Threshold (Permability)

Through analysis of the site using Nearmaps, the main entrances to the structure could be determined. These are illustrated through circulation paths, shown as line work weaving between the poles, which in turn has been brought upwards as a singular circulation plane, demonstrating the way in which visitors navigate the pavilion.

The above diagram has broken the model into three sections; foundation, structure and glazing. The glazing is the primary permeable element, illustrated by shading. This has been repeated with the flooring, as the grass has been shaded light grey, to show the in between space, and the interior flooring a darker grey to represent the interior.




In my first model, I attempted to create my model at 1:400 scale, the same scale as the provided precedent orthographic drawings. However, this scale was slightly out, and the consequence was petals that were slightly too large or too small. In addition, the length of the poles, as determined from the 1:250 elevation, was also incorrectly measured, and not adjusted to 1:400 scale, leaving them out of proportion to the rest of the model.

A consequence of the incorrect initial scaling of the model was the petals being slightly out of place, resulting in the poles not matching up. The result was messy and required multiple adjustments, which was time consuming and could easily be avoided had the model been to scale, and the petals created in a mathematical manner, rather than just tracing the scape and extruding the curve.


Appendix Process

While the rule behind the overlap of the six pointed petals looked difficult to discern at first, through study of the precedent drawings it became clear. One of the petals (near top left) was the highest, and the rest were lowered in increments, rippling out from the first petal, to ensure that no panel was touching another of the same height. The same process was followed with the three point petals; the highest point was found, and each panel adjusted in relation to that point.

A challenge was presented when it came to matching the height of the poles to the different heights of the petals. While the varying heights was displayed in the provided elevation at 1:250 scale, how tall each pole went was difficult to discern as many of the poles overlapped. However, through analysis of the floor plan, roof plan and elevation together, it could be determined which of the petals overlapped others, and the poles were extended to match these heights

Many of the precedent images provided and found online were taken on an angle or from a different side to that which was presented in elevation. This posed a problem when it came to the placement of each pole, when it became clear that some petals shared poles with other petals, and some did not. However, looking at the positioning of the poles from the plan view presented a clear pattern for each line, and this could be mapped out to ensure each pole was positioned evenly and was consistent with the elevation.




The Make2D of my full model was initially done without maintaining the source layers, as Rhino had trouble processing some of the uncapped surfaces and curves of my model. This made it very difficult to edit the model’s line work in illustrator, as it would be very time consuming to change each of the floorboard weights to a thinner line. Consequently, I had to edit my model to adjust surfaces to polysurfaces and remove unnecessary curves from the model to make it possible for Rhino to process the Make2d command while maintaining source layers.

My first trial diagram was to display the thresholds within the MPavillion. My idea was to show the permeability of the transparent glass petals by removing it from the structure, and the structure from the floor. However, the structure sections, the middle third looks too busy, making it hard to differentiate between elements.


The second trial diagram was to illustrate the circulation of the model. the first plane was a simple four pointed shape, which insinuated that there were only four main points of entry to the structure. In reality, the MPavilions circulation is quite versatile, and a more complex shape was required. The three sections needed to be placed further apart to show a clear differentiation between elements.

Karina Price

Digital Design - 2018

DD Journal M01  
DD Journal M01