CONTENTS PART I ‐ EXPRESSION OF INTEREST ‐ CASE FOR INNOVATION 1.1 ‐ PRECEDENTS: ARCHITECTURE AS DISCOURSE 1.2 ‐ PRECEDENTS: COMPUTING IN ARCHITECTURE 1.3 ‐ PRECEDENTS: PARAMETRIC MODELLING 1.4 – CASE FOR INNOVATION CONCLUSION ‐ RESEARCH PROJECTS 2.1 ‐ INPUT ASSOCIATION/OUTPUT MATRIX 2.2 ‐ REVERSE ENGINEERED CASE STUDIES 2.3 ‐ RESEARCH/IDEAS FOR DEVELOPMENT 3.0 ‐ EXPRESSION OF INTEREST CONCLUSION
PART II ‐ PROJECT PROPOSAL 4.0 ‐ 4.1 ‐ 4.2 ‐ 4.3 ‐
DESIGN REFINEMENT AFTER INTERIM PROJECT DELIVERY PROJECT PRESENTATION REAL LIFE CONSTRUCTION
PART III ‐ LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES 5.1 ‐ 5.2 ‐ 5.3 ‐ 5.4 ‐
DIFFICULTIES/CHALLENGES OVERCOME THINGS I HAVE LEARNT LEARNING PROGRESS FUTURE WORK
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST The Wyndham Gateway Project encourages innovation and creativity with the open‐ended brief, providing us with a blank canvas to experiment with new technologies, materials and techniques that haven’t been used in such a way before, to create something dynamic, new and innovative to put Wyndham on the map. We have played with scales, the effect of light and shade, the creation of shadows and patterns to give us a wide variety of knowledge and experimentation to build from, as we refine our design further. The differing experience and opinions of all four members of our project team will ensure a high‐quality and well thought out design that maximises our combined capabilities. The scale and experience of the design needs to be taken into account, as some effects or encounters will not be as effective at the 100km/hr speed that the freeway states. We will continue to explore our major themes of weaving, materiality and connections, as well as paying particular attention to the changing over time aspect of the design, in order to create the iconic and monumental structure that the brief desires. Through our experimentation so far with different parametric techniques and fabrication methods, we as a project team believe that we can create a construction that fulfils the iconic, monumental and innovative requirements of the brief.
For the short amount of time that our group wa s able to collabo rate and combine idea s and tec hn i q u e s , our critic ism wa s fa irl y posit i ve in respon s e. We had no clear idea of our form for the proposed gateway, and so that wa s note d a s a n importa nt thing to work on. A stro n ger desig n narrat i ve wa s also highl i g hte d a s something that we n e e d e d to dete rm ine and define clearly in our final desig n.
Ta kin g this into conside rat io n, we decide d to reg rou p in terms of our themes and idea s that we wa nte d to portray in our fina l desig n, and then u t i l i s e and impleme nt all the digita l and techno log i ca l knowledge that we had learnt in terms of para met r ic desig n and fa bricat i o n to then make our new, more defined, desig n narrat ive possibl e to constr uct (both digita l l y and phys ically). Foc using on the main themes of weavi n g of the urban fa bric , s i m p l i c i t y / re p e t i t i o n , change over time, materia l i t y and relat i n g the desig n to its contex t , we contin u e d to expa n d and deve lo p our idea s.
SITE ANALYSIS Here we have shown the site of the proposed gateway design , highlighting the direction of Melbourne and Geelong as a basis for where Wyndham sits in relation. We hope to incorporate these directional axes in the foundations of our design ideas. By gaining inspiration from the context we hope to make a more meaningful and relevant design, leading to a more successful and comprehendible final construction.
In terms of the three site options, we decided that by utilising two of the sites (both Site A and Site B) we would be able to gain maximum exposure and awareness from passing vehicles. To have our structure stretching over a highway also gives a third dimension and experience to our design, as you no longer just drive past but have to go through the design as you pass it.
GENERATING A FORM
Realistic construction of this form is shown broken down in the sketches below. I beams would be used in the construction of the form to increase strength and stability, with a greater surface area joining the intertwining components where they intersect. Bolts and welding would also be used to join the interlocking pieces, and different metals could be used to differentiate between the heights and meanings of individual threads in the design.
EVALUATING THE FORM While our form was successful in terms of depicting direction with the use of X and Y contours overlapping and intertwining, and it utilises our overriding themes of connecting and weaving , it fails to cement itself as an iconic landmark, and is very simplistic in its nature The form is largely successful at displaying our experimentation with technology and fabrication processes. By lofting a series of curves to create a surface, dividing that surface into contours and then waffling those contours, we were able to increase and improve our skills and capabilities both digitally and in physical modelling. In further development, we need to consider the constraints of the site including available land area and shape, and clearance heights of the freeway that is likely to pass underneath our over‐arching structure. By utilising these digital processes and definitions, we hope to further develop this design, keeping the directional ideas behind the construction in mind, but adding complexities in terms of the design and overall aesthetics, to create a more iconic and eye‐catching construction. Shown below is the grasshopper definition we used to create the waffling exploration of our form. This is important in terms of fabrication as well, both real life and for models, making the construction process more simple, saving time and money.
LASER CUT SHEET FOR FABRICATION
CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES ‘Venus Rising’ Sculpture, Brisbane, Australia. Designed by Wolfgang Buttress and fabricated by R&D Stainless
Measuring at just over 23metres tall and using over 7km of stainless steel tubing, the sculpture called ‘Venus Rising, designed by Wolfgang Buttress is an example of the increasing use of stainless steel in parametric design. The Fibonacci spiral and the intersecting spines of a nautilus shell have inspired this design, featuring over 10,790 individual welds. Fabricated partially in the UK before being shipped over to Brisbane for the final assembly, D&R Stainless (an ASSDA member and Accredited Fabricator) used renders and 3D models to guide the assembly of the sculpture. Various fabrication techniques including both TIG and MIG welding processes were used, with both solid wire and flux cord used in the MIG welding technique. Di‐penetration testing was conducted offsite on the welding of the body of the sculpture to ensure structural integrity. Stainless steel rings were laser cut from LDX 2101 plate in various thicknesses from 20mm down to 3mm, and welded to the body of the sculpture to create an intricate lace‐like effect. The use of stainless steel is justified in the flexibility of the material in terms of finishes both practically and aesthetically as well as requiring minimal maintenance over its lifespan, and is employed in parametric designs that exist today.
Southern cross station uses stainless steel combined with concrete to create a large‐spanned weaving roof design. The roof's form has been generated by the requirements of the station and plays a crucial role as part of the environmental envelope. It was developed using parametric design, in response to the hot external climate and the internal need for diesel extraction and ambient cooling via natural ventilation. Using the program KeyCreator for their advanced Solid & Surface Modelling and 3D wireframe extraction capabilities to manufacture the complex free‐form roof lining and surface. These designs were able to be transferred to AutoCAD for drafting purposes and so that engineers and builders could read and interpret the specifications of the steel materials and dimensions needed to fulfil the aesthetic and structural properties of the design.
‘Southern Cross Station’, Melbourne, Australia. Designed by Grimshaw Architects and built by Windward Structures
‘ W e b b B r i d g e ’ , D o c klands, M e l b our ne , A u s t ral ia. D e s i g n e d b y D e n t o n C o r k e r M a r shal l F a b r i cat e d b y A r u p E n g i n e e r s
The Webb Bridge in docklands is another example where concrete and steel have been connected and intertwined in the fabrication of this parametric design. The eel‐trap shape lattice that envelopes the bridge was built by engineers Arup and then shipped and assembled already erect on the site. The 3D CAD design model was developed by DCM and passed to the fabricator and his shop‐drawing specialist, Precision Design. With the close involvement of Peter Bowtell, principal in Arup’s Melbourne office, the structural components were developed in three dimensions. These consisted of the large steel box girders and primary substructure, and later the hoops, straps, and cladding supports. At all times, the components were reviewed against the architect ’s CAD model to ensure the design envelope was not compromised and the design integrity was maintained. Individual shop drawings were created in 3D CAD and used to drive CAD‐based plasma cutters.
CNC MILLING In both design and fabrication mediums technology continues to change and evolve to assist in the representation of ideas in physical models or form. The implementation of BIM has led to integration across disciplines, allowing actual project design and construction to take much less time and, most importantly, to identify potential problems much earlier in the design process. CNC milling machines and computer‐controlled robotics have pushed design and implementation farther and allowed for formal creations to be implemented much more seamlessly. In Switzerland an architectural firm called Gramazio & Kohler has taken this to an interesting level, experimenting with the timeless material of brick. This can be seen from the images below, using a six‐axis robotically controlled arm to develop an arrangement system of construction. The benefit of prefabrication and precision with the advantages of rapid production could allow for distinct forms and highly specific articulation which would be cost‐ prohibitive and perhaps even impossible to be made by hand.
Examples of CNC milling used in architecture can be seen with Nader Tehrani’s BANQ Restaurant, which uses a layering of contours to shape the interior of the space. Here the individual contours were designed using parametric modelling programs, prefabricated off site with the correct dimensions and scale taken into account, and the assembled on the site later, saving time and money in terms of fabrication and construction, as less construction workers are needed to be hired with the majority of the work is done off‐ site and by machines.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT Building from the simplistic waffle form that we derived in our experimentation, we took the ideas of weaving, connectivity, materiality and directionality to further develop a more complex and meaningful design. Our design narrative needed to be more visible and comprehendible from the aesthetics of the structure, so we broke down simple and obvious influences in the surroundings of the context and then manipulated and developed these curves in order to achieve a more fluent and aesthetically pleasing structure. Taking inspiration from the Wyndham motto; ‘Coast. City. Country’ and the surrounding landscape of the site, we decided to use the overarching idea of weaving to combine these three influences in a design that portrays the connection and interplay of these threads, incorporating the landscape and context with the structure and motto. The threads derive from the general shape of the You Yang mountain ranges, which can be seen from the site in the distance, combined with the directional nature of each thread that concludes by pointing in the different directions of city, coast and country. This development can be seen in the progressive line drawing images included.
CURVE DERIVED FROM OUTLINE OF YOU TANG MOUNTAINS
CURVE DERIVED FROM MELBOURNE CITY SKYLINE
CURVE DERIVED FROM COASTLINE EAST OF WYNDHAM
The three threads slowly intertwine and overlap each other creating plait‐like fluidity and movement in the structure, and generating interesting points of intersection to further complicate the design and intrigue the viewer. The three threads sprout from the ground and combine in a plait‐like manner, and their splaying at the other end of the model, is significant to our overarching slogan of “coast city country”. This weaving of threads connecting the physical form of the structure to its environment and context, creates a new and noticeable landform in the environment from which it takes its influences.
AXIALÂ INFLUENCE The axial nature of the three threads is an important theme in terms of the overall design, as it one of the linkages or connections between Wyndham and the structure itself.
We as a design team, believe that this strong connection of Wyndham and its slogan to the directional axes of the design forms a strong connection between the structure and its representation. Having this link gives the design more meaning and depth and makes the design more relevant in terms of its context.
MATERIALITY These images included show the 1:50 section of one of the threads that we constructed to show greater detail in terms in how the individual components fit together, and most importantly their materiality and contrast between each axis.
T h e m ate r i a l i t y o f o u r st r u c t u re i s o n e o f t h e m a i n fe at u re s a n d t h e m e s b e h i n d t h e d e s i g n . A b ove we ex p e r i m e nte d w i t h co p p e r p a i nt a n d a c i d to re c re ate w h at wo u l d re a l i st i ca l l y h a p p e n to t h e co p p e r co m p o n e nt s i n o u r d e s i g n ove r t i m e . T h i s re l ate s d i re c t l y b a c k to t h e c h a n ge ove r t i m e co m p o n e nt o f t h e b r i ef, b u t a l s o re l ate s to Wy n d h a m i n t h e c h a n g i n g n at u re o f t h e g row i n g c i t y t h at i t i s . A s t h e s e co p p e r co m p o n e nt s l i e o n t h e X ax i s o f e a c h t h re a d , t h e i r fa c e s a re p o s i t i o n e d to ref l e c t Wy n d h a m a s t h e v i s i to r p a s s e s t h ro u g h a n d u n d e r t h e co n st r u c t i o n a n d ge t s a f l a s h o f t h e co l o u r, d e p e n d i n g o n h ow l o n g a f t e r co n st r u c t i o n yo u d r i ve p a st , t h i s v i e w a n d co l o u r w i l l c h a n ge , w h i c h w i l l a l s o c h a n ge t h e ex p e r i e n c e o n e w i l l ga i n f ro m t h e d e s i g n . C o nt ra st i n g t h e c i t y to Wy n d h a m , a n d ref l e c t i n g t h e c h a n g i n g n at u re o f t h e tow n t h at i t re p re s e nt s , we b e l i e ve t h at co p p e r i s a n a p p ro p r i ate m ate r i a l to u t i l i s e fo r t h e co n st r u c t i o n , a n d b y p o s i t i o n i n g t h e m a ga i n st b r u s h e d ste e l c l a d d e d co m p o n e nt s , t h e co nt ra st i s m ax i m i s e d , re s u l t i n g i n a g re ate r ex p e r i e n c e fo r o u r a u d i e n c e .
FABRICATION & CONSTRUCTION Starting with a simple curve we then created a tube of varying diameters for that curve in tube form
Using waffling definitions this curve is then divided into x and y axis components that still follow the general curve or tube shape in their geometry
We then grouped the X and Y axis components into different groups for each thread for ease of digital manipulation
Each group of X and Y axis components for each thread was then notched using a grasshopper definition, so that they looked like the image included
While the digital model looked like it does in the image above, the actual model was unfolded component by component, and laid out on 900mm by 600mm boards for laser cutting. Unfortunately due to the inexplicable errors that Boolean operations are prone to, not every component was fully notched (as can be seen in the bare components on the sheets below) so some notches had to be aligned with previous faces, and hand cut to ensure the model was stable and strong.
FABRICATION & CONSTRUCTION While the fabrication method should have made construction relatively simple, due to the similarity of pieces in terms of shapes, sizes and numbers of notches, the construction process of the model took just over two whole days to complete. The construction process commenced by popping all components out of the laser cut sheets and then cleaning all the dirt and burnt dust off the edges of each component. After that we lined each component up in lines of X axis components and Y axis components, as they read chronologically down each thread. By constantly referring to our digital model for confirmation of correct construction, we glued together each component, piece by piece until we had a long waffle d cur ved that somewhat resembled a snake.
After we had three waffled snakes completed as identical to the digital replica on the computer screen, we then had to weave and plait each thread around the other two to make sure that the structure would fit together well. Once we found out this was the case, we spray‐painted each individua l component silver and let them dry over night before re‐plaiting and weaving them together. From this construction process, we learnt that in reality the design would not support its own weight by standing stationary on the site, and instead we would need to anchor the ends each thread to a deep footing system in order to make the design able to be properly constructed. In reality, this design would be constructed in a manner similar to that of a bridge, with the footings and base of either side installed first, building your way up to the peak of the construction in the middle. Each thread would be pre‐fabricated in sections off‐site to minimise construction time and money. They would also be weaved around each other in those sections off site as doing this with a crane , on site, with such a complex geometrical design would be very time consuming and difficult.
VIEWS OF FINAL MODEL
CONSTRUCTION IN REAL LIFE
For our Wyndham Gateway Proposal to be constructed in reality, there are a few details that need to be taken note of, and factors that need to be taken into consideration before and during construction. One of the features of the design is the contrasting copper and brushed steel cladded components, with the copper components lying on the x axis of the design and the brushed steel on the y axis, as you divide the waffle of the design into the respective axes. Another important thing to note in construction is the implementation of strong footings and foundations in order to ensure the structural integrity of the design, and success in the real‐world construction. We have researched and suggested footing and foundations systems that could be used for the successful in terms of weight distributing and load‐carrying of our structure, but would of course seek expertise in the form of a geotechnical engineer and a structural engineer before any official construction drawings commenced. Details of the materials and assembly of each component are noted for construction purposes, as are the important footing and foundation systems that we expect to put in place to make this design successful in both its aesthetics and its sound structure
INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS In our design, the materiality of each component plays its own role in the success and meaning of the structure. The design is broken up into x and y axis components, which contrast with each other in terms of their materials, x components being cladded in copper and y components being cladded in brushed steel. By breaking down this construction process and showing the details of the assembly of one component, this can then be duplicated and repeated for all three threads in the design. The structure itself is quite light‐weight, with aluminium used for the framing of each component. This aluminium framing in each component is in the form of U‐Beams, measuring 160mm in width and 90mm in height of the U shape, and measuring at 6mm in thickness of the overall beam. The lengths of these beams are determined by the circumference of each differing component, with a medium‐sized (about 6.5metres in length) component’s circumference measuring at about 37 metres long. This length is to be shaped and welded into the required geometry depending on its position within the thread, off‐site in a factory.
The pre‐made components are also cladded offsite, reducing the construction time and costs, which is beneficial for the highway assembly of the design, considering the use of the road daily for commuters.
In terms of cladding, with the use of CNC milling, we are restricted to the maximum sheet size measuring to 2400mm by 1200mm. This means that a medium sized component, (such as the one used in the axonometric drawing, and used as an example for the u beam circumference) would need 12 panels to clad each side of the component, totalling 24 panels for the component. Both the copper and brushed steel panels or sheets that are used to clad each of the aluminium‐framed components are made so that they interlock with each other, similar to that of roof tiles, so that the components appear to have one neat and symmetrical plane for each face. This system of interlocking metal sheets has been used in other architectural construction where the structure has been cladded with aluminium, copper or steel. It has been proven to improve the strength of the materials, and with additional welding of each panel to the neighbouring ones, this ensures the strength and waterproofing of each component. An example of this interlocking steel cladding can be seen used by the company Australian Stainless with the Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre Facade, shown in the images included.
These panels of copper or brushed steel cladding are then to be connected to the aluminium framing with the use of screws and welding to maximise strength and stability, but also to ensure that each component is water‐tight to reduce the weakening or failing of any materials with any seeping and leaking of rain and weather into the structure. Overall, we believe that this method of off‐site assembly and construction is the most beneficial for the successful real‐life construction of our design, and together with the implementation of a strong footing and foundation system, will lead to a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing composition.
Detail of interlocking steel panels. Source: http://designcladding.com.au/Pr oducts/Interlocking‐Panel‐ Colorbond Sources for information: http://www.assda.asn.au/compone nt/rsblog/category/11‐residential‐ and‐commercial
FOUNDATIONS/FOOTING SYSTEMS With the sheer size of our proposed design spanning over 70 metres in length, with sections of just over 35 metres in length in each individual thread, being suspended above the road, we expect that an extensive and strong footing system is to be implemented on either side of the highway. Thinking of the design as like a bridge in terms of construction, it is likely that pre‐stressed concrete piles with steel reinforcing will be used to ground the structure at each end of the individual threads, taking the structural and static loads of the design, including the weight of the steel framework, copper and brushed steel cladding and the weight of any welding and bolts needed to make the design structurally sound. An image of construction workers implementing this footing and foundation system can be seen below.
This footing system will also take well as the live and dynamic loads of wind, rain, birds and other animals landing and climbing on the structure and the loads of people in terms of construction workers and maintenance for any repairs that need to be done in the future. The structure will be made to resist forces equivalent to that of a small earthquake in impact as to prepare the structure for any ‘worst‐case scenarios’ in which a car or truck may crash into the structure, to ensure that the design doesn’t fail and/or cause damage to the highway, surrounding environment or passing vehicles. To increase the strength of these footings, a deep, reinforced concrete slab will surround each footing, which is to be hidden from sight with grass growing over it.
A detailed diagram of pre‐cast reinforced concrete foundations that were implemented for Providence River Bridge in Rhode Island, U.S.A, which we expect will be similar if not identical to the footings we implement for each thread of our design. Benefits of this footing system being predominantly pre‐cast include that they reduce construction time on the site, meaning less delays in terms of the highway traffic that utilise this roadway daily, and less cost/time to construct the entire design on site.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES Throughout this subject I faced struggles and have constantly challenged myself, having previously been out of my depth when it came to any sort of computational design or drawing. I found the subject overwhelming and difficult in the first couple of weeks, as I was continuously worried about what was expected of me in the weeks to come, and couldn’t get my head around how the hell I was going to design and construct something from a computer and laser cutting machine. I found the first few rhino exercises a bit repetitive and pointless in the grand scheme of things, and think I would’ve benefitted more from extensive grasshopper sessions, or more time dedicated towards the second half of the semester, as the first weeks seemed to drag on, and then the final submission all of a sudden snuck up on me and I was back into stress mode. Our final presentation and design that my group came up with shows the hard work and late‐night dedication that went into this subject, and I’m happy with our final outcome. I think we have a strong design narrative that strongly relates to the site and its surroundings, and we have a large, interesting and thought‐provoking iconic construction at the end of the day. However stressful and sometimes frustrating this subject has been, I have enjoyed working with the group of people I was with, and I think we worked well together to push each other along through the challenges of the subject, and motivate me to keep going. I feel like I have learnt a lot, especially in the short weeks that flew by, and I hope these skills are useful in later life.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNT? ‐I have learnt various rhino and grasshopper commands and definitions, and how to utilise these to create a design in the respective program and plug‐in ‐I have gained further knowledge about the design process as a whole, and have refined my abilities to argue more persuasively and use precedents in my designs ‐I’ve learnt a lot about working in groups, and I think I would have fallen apart without the strength and support of our group members. The group process was also interesting and useful in terms of gaining different perspectives and opinions on design ideas, and compiling these ideas into various different solutions. I think that it was useful both in terms of final costs of the final project (thank god we got to divide our fabrication costs by 4 people) and in terms of realistic scenarios to be put into groups, as this will be the case in an architectural firm.
BECOMING MORE CONFIDENT WITH TECHNOLOGY / FUTURE WORK Before this subject, I restricted myself to hand drawing and hand‐cutting models, elevations and perspectives out of the fear of the unknown. While terrified at facing a subject with such a big focus on technology, I am glad and proud at the outcome of skills that I have learnt in terms of digital modelling and fabrication. Using the fab‐lab for the first time in my course for this subject, I am annoyed that I didn’t push myself to use it sooner, as it wasn’t nearly as scary or difficult to understand and use as I had built up in my head. I wouldn’t call myself an expert in rhino, and certainly not in grasshopper, but I have gained skills that will allow me to utilise these programs for future use, whether that be assignments or real life situations. Now that I understand the programs a bit more, I have grown in confidence at facing and learning new computer modelling or drawing programs to assist me in my architectural course/career.
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