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Studio Air Journal

jintao wang(kelly) 565322 semester 1 2014


CONTENT Conceptualization Part A

Introduction Design Futuring (Beijing National Aquatics Center & Beijing national stadium) Design Computation (Walt Disney concert hall construction &The Barcelona fish) Composition/Generation (Burnham Pavilion&Serpentine gallery pavilion) Conclusion Learning outcomes Algorithmic sketches




I, Im jintao wang (kelly), a third year architecture major student at the university of Melbourne. My interests apart from architecture are widely ranged to things like photography, travelling, and dancing. For me architecture formulates space with different concepts, shadows, shapes etc. Also, architecture turns to have more possibilities with the assistance of computation technologies. In this case, while more designing outcomes emerged, the concern of sustainability raised, as when we are creating or designing buildings, not only we made impact on nature, meanwhile, nature provides us with inspiration or rethinking of designing Throughout my studies for architecture, I found that architecture requires multiple fields of knowledge such as the basic historical knowledge (from renaissance to modern around Asia pacific area), drawing skills, digital design theory, software acknowledge, model making and studio work. Studio air enables me to experience with digital model making, enlarging my algorithmic thinking with the skills of using Rhino 3D and grasshopper. This semester I hope to discover more about designing throughout the study with the parametric designing approaches and algorithmic thinking.




Part A Conceptualization


A1 Design Futuring In the contemporary society, architecture is not only considered as an object that provides human being with living environments, but also regarded as a designing approach to achieve the future sustainability. Architecture is as an additional source, or an artificial world to reach our needs while nature itself no longer has ability to obtain us. As the innumerous amount of us human being’s activities toward the ecosystem and nature is increasing, defuturing conditions of unsustainability is accelerating. We are suffering from the consequences created by ourselves, as mentioned by Tony Fry, “ the guiding forces of status quo continue to sacrifice the future to sustain the excesses of the present” (Fry Tony 2008) Therefore, architecture will be demonstrated as a designing practice to enable new ideas such as rethinking designing methods, using of renewable materials, creation of technologies, climate change concerns etc to achieve sustainability. The following precedents will demonstrate how architecture plays a role as a design practice to achieve the balance between the environment and architecture itself, as well as the contributes with new disciplines practice.

“ Design, in the first instance, has to be understood anthropologically.

it names our ability to prefigure what we create before the act of creation, and as such, it defines one of the fundamental characteristics that make us human” (Fry Tony 2008)


Beijing National Aquatics Center

1 interior design of the cubic water.

As the concern of the design futuring is rising, designing is not only focusing on the form, but also it’s environmentally friendly and innovation. The designing discourse provides comparative relation of thinking and delivering changes, as well as to explore nature itself with the raw materials and characters. The Beijing national aquatics center also known as water cube is an architectural symbolization of Beijing Olympic game 2008, which is designed by architects PTW Architects, CSCEC, CCDI, and Arup. The water cube reshaped people’s way of thinking designing, As mentioned by tony Fry that design should also be focused on natural material of objects. The national aquatics center used character of water itself, which is water molecules, as a designing clue. Water as an element from nature and enable us human beings or whoever visits the national aquatics center to get inspired and gain entertainment from it. As a new concept of designing, the water cube is designed as cell pattern, steel frame cladding with foam, hydrone geometry to provide visitor with the unique spatial virtual experience and the touching with nature itself. The new technology is also one of the essential factors to achieve future sustainability from designing, which can be observed from the use of The ETFE, a light new material that has the capacity of letting lights go through and thermal mass function.



9 2 water cube lights effection ://

3 3D effect

The relationship between creation and destruction is a concern while designing in architecture, however, when the materials is renewable, which means the whole designing process is sustainment, it affects less damage on the environments. Therefore, the water cube decreases producing of carbon dioxide by reducing the usages of electricity. To achieve this, designers used solar panel plus renewable materials. Moreover, the most water usages are collected from the roof and will be recycled to reduce the amount of sewage produced from the building. The whole designing of the water cube reflects its initial concept of green, environmental friendly and high technology concepts. It puts into use of new materials with new technologies, and unique innovation deisgns. Also ,it reshapes world’s design with the focusing on nature element, even from the nature pattern like the bubbles in soap lather. The design considered future impact including the climate change, energy resource that incorporates the concept of the balancing the relationship between destructive and sustain.




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Beijing National stadium Beijing national stadium also known as bird’s nest is another precedent to be discussed in relation to the topic of designing futuring. It is also an architecture building for Beijing 2008 Olympic games by several architects and architecture firms. It is also designed according to environmental friendly concept and innovation concept. The Beijing national stadium compromised with complex steel framing structure similar to nature form bird’s nest. It consists of two independent structure, a concrete bowl and steel frame at the outer part. The Beijing national stadium also used natural resource such as the recollection of rainwater, reusing of renewable energy, using of solar panel, nature ventilation and lights. It used new technologies to save electricity energy rather than costing too much unreneable energy. The main concept of the design is to reflect the sustainable development, which reaches the design theory from the reading that the technologies and materiality will achieve sustainable to the future environments. As the initial purpose of this designing is for the usage of Olympic games, it also considers the future usages such as events, entertainment spac etc. Therefore, this projects reflects the designing futuring concept of considering not only the contemporary affect , but also the future function.

The two designs both provide visitor with unique virtual experience and reshaped people’s ideas of designing. Design can be derived from raw materials, nature, or a simple element. Both buildings address the concern of future possibilities, sustainability, climate, and environmental friendly concept.



A2 Design computation Computational architecture is an outcome through the designing process to digital designing. It enables designers to work with more complex pattern or algorithm outcomes. Computer allows designers to bring their complicated creative ideas to reality. Thus computation has become essential for architectural designs, such as the grasshopper and rhino. Without them, it would take much longer time to accomplish a simple task. However, According to this week’s reading, though computer helps designers with digital information, the communication between computation and designers still has potential difficulties, which address the differences between computational and computerization. Design computation is still seen as a tool while computerization is more likely to be as the concept is already emerged by the designer then stored on a computer system. However, the work with computation is still limited as the certain data, form and algorithm is limited, unless it is entered with certain code or orders. In architecture parametric design, computation still plays an important role to assist designer with more accurate assumption. The mathematical background of the computation enables designers to be much clearer with geometric design. The complexes design is able to be visual clearly with data. In this way, “computational thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent� (Jan Cuny Larry Snyder 2010) The following two precedents will demonstrate more with this concept.


Walt Disney concert hall construction Frank Gehry

8 initial sketch of walt disney concert hall

The Walt Disney concert hall is located in Los Angeles designed by architect Frank Gehry. The structure of the concert hall seems to be bending, unregularly forms compromise as one building with curved lines. From the stainless steel curves of the striking exterior to the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, it seems hardly done without the assistance of computational techniques. According to the hand sketch by frank gehry, as observed, the sketch only demonstrates the briefly outline of the form with several lines, the complexity of the geometry skeleton and its unregularly pattern is hardly communicated among designers from only 2D drawing or hand drafts. Therefore, the computation achieved to allow the architects to test out different forms of outcome, evaluating the performances of the design. The sketch, the shape, angle, grid and geometric form are not decided, with the work of computation, structure will be clear and will increase the flexibility of the design. “computers, by their nature, are superb analytical engines. if correctly programmed, they can follow a line of reasonging to its logical conclusion� (Kayla Yehuda 2004)


9 walt disney concert hall front view /



The Barcelona fish frank gehry Frank Gehry


From the initial design with a simple sketch and model making, Gehry’s design usually expand to more possibilities with parametric thinking. to a complex computational work for the purpose of visual impact and the innovation of the building. This is another project from frank Gehry that address the idea of design computation and how it can work with unique forms and shapes. The giant goldfish has become the symbol at the local area and brings visitors with virtual experience. The sculpture was made from intertwining gilded stainless steel strips supported by metal structure; the central part can reflect the sunlights throughout scales. This scale is unable to be done without the assistance of computation. The golden fish sculpture has now became a canopy for the commercial environment. therefore the computational design has achieved goal to make unique object, and transfer the simplicity dragt to a complex form work. “evaluation is a rational process, however, not all performance criteria can be evaluated rationally: aesthetics, human behaviours, and the overall “feel” of a building are qualitative aspects that have defied attempts at rational measurement and assessment” (Kayla Yehuda 2004)


13 The Barcelona fish frank gehry side view, /

21 inital sketch www.arcspace.


A3 Composition/generation computation is now considered as the practice of architecture, more architectures are now using computations as a tool to extend their visual drafting, with its experience of materials, tectonics and ornamentation etc. however, algorithmic in computation system is finite. therefore, designers still need to explore more on computation stimulations to generate complex form to order to achieve the transformation from simple draft to complex form outcome, which is know as algorithm. the following two precedents will be discussed with the contemporary computational design techniques.


Burnham Pavilion zaha hadid


The burnham pavilion by zaha hadid is a result using parametric modeling to design its twisting form that provides a shelter function with large space inside the pavilion. Each element shaped and welded for the intetntion of creating the nique fluid and twisting form. And the fabric is cladding on the metal frame in order to create the curvilinear shape. The spatial structure with hidden traces are described in the pavilion. As the form is unique and innovated, designers can hardly create this form without the assistance from computational design, it elaborates the relationship between rigid geometry with the space and scale. Also it shows the idea of algorithmic thinking with composition concept. Initially the designing is inspired from the burnhan’s bold and historical urban planning to the purpose of rememberance the 100th anniversary of plan of chicago. The pavilion is a fabric shell fitted over a curving aluminium framework (around 7000) pieces. the design challenged architectures with massive amount of punds. the project was failed on delivering once to an architecture company due to the exceed amount of expected time, was later handed to tenfab design, therefore, the fabric was then being formed around the aluminum shell . the reason of how it can be managed done is due to the assistance from computation. the computational work enables to taste out materials with algorithm, how the materials can work with each other. “ the term computation means the use of computer to process information through an understood model which can be expressed as an algorithm”( Peter Brady 2013) with the assistance of computation, Zaha’s design catched visitors attetion and trigger their curiosity of public life experience within the pavilion, which achieved the idea of the designer’s public discourse. The unique, innovation form of overlaying and complexity expand beyond the traditional boundaris. at this point, like what Tony Fry demonstrated in the reading, “forget design as a territory”(Tony Fry 2008). tehrefore, the generative approach applied on computation managed to make designer’s designing language, discourse to be spoken up. As zaha’s Pavilion expand from formal discipline to an extended design , overlapping of a spatial structure with hidden trace, it shows how computation, as a separate component, generate and explore on spatial design with the abstract and complex design concept from architecs. 20



The serpentine gallery is designed by architect toyo ito in 2002, located in Kensington gardon, London Uk. it is appeared to be an extremely complex unregular pattern that derived from algorithm. As the lines intersect in a point, creating different triangles and trapezoids making the transparency an infinity repeated motion, where the colomns are standing at different angles thus working parametrically.


Serpentine gallery pavilion toyo ito

The exterior of solid and void combination can be seen in a geometric algorithm ways. The shapes formed within module, or the making box fold, down sides. the foundamental of the algorithm is a rectangular plan. as shown from the figure at the right side, the pattern is determined by drawing of lines toward different angles. by repeating this process, the complex network of crossing lines will be formed. As the inital idea of the designing is based on a square, it seems impossible to be accomplished without the algorithm thinking. the straight line can be extended infinitely and the pavilion itself as an aluminium strucutre can also be regard as a spreading ifinitely. the parametric tool is limited as it is based on certain designing, data, order, geometric form, which needed to be input in order to generate the parametric form. at this point, the creation of model, certainly needs related order to generate the form, as the computational design is assisting designers with algorithm geometric thinking. Toyo Ito’s pavilion provides visitors with uniqe virtual experience. the whole structure seems to be infinite, and it allows people to gain different site experience from both the outside and inside of the pavillion. this is an outcome from algroithmic geometric form work. it demonstrates the advantages of computation which is transferring complexity to simplicity.



AA4 conclusion Part A has told me to design architecture, considering future impact is essential. Though there is argument such as the relationship between damage and creation, however, the use of materials, using more environmentally friendly methods while creating architecture can achieve the future sustainability. Also, With the concept of computational design and computerization, I learnt to design with computation, to enalbe my initial draft to haave more outcomes, to shift from a simple sketch to a complex digital model, providing us with new ways of thinking and creating. Combining those designing practices, I will explore more on computational thinking to generate forms as well as computerization with the consideration of sustainability. i found out that algorthmic thinking is quite influential and it transfer complexity to simplicity , examples such as the works from frank Gehry inspired me more with this kind of deisgn.

A5 Learning outcome During these 4 weeks of studio air study and based on the weekly readings, I have learnt that the designing approach should not only be focused on the current environment, but also the future impact. New technologies and consideration of climate, materiality is all-positive toward the future sustainability. Moreover, the computational design and parametric thinking are now the main architecture design trend. I have never equipped with these kind of knowledge with grasshopper. Now with knowing more about it, more designing possibilities seem to be occurring and I think that’s the interesting part about this software. Also, based on the readings, I understand that computational design is a tool to help designers with more complex designing possibilities such as form, shape, geometric, mathematics and etc. while computerization is based on an idea from a designer, then mapping, drawing on computers. Both of the approaches are interesting to work with. what makes me more interewting about it is that in which way can more data be transferred to the computation to assist designers, as nowadays it is still finite for computational design. I am looking forward to learning more about parametric modeling design with grasshopper to expand my knowledge on designing.


A6 Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches

experiencing rhino 3D with grasshopper provides me with lots of possibilities on designing. it gives me algorithmic thinking on parametric designing, such as the surface pattern, space, panels and etc.


reference Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg), Ferry, Robert & Elizabeth Monoian, ‘Design Guidelines’, Land Art Generator Initiative, Copenhagen, 2014. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), Issa, Rajaa ‘Essential Mathematics for Computational Design’, Second Edition, Robert McNeel and associates, Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, Definition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999). The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press), Jan Cuny Larry Snyder and Jeanette M.Wing “demystifying computational thinking for non-computer scientists” work in progress 2010


pictures figure 1 BEIJING CUBE WATER figure 2 figure 3 figure 4 figure 5 figure 6 figure 7 stadium%20BIG%20SITE.JPG figure 8 figure 9 figure10 s1600/Walt_Disney_Concert_Hall_Section2.jpg figure 11 Disney_Concert_Hall_-_Under_Const_01_-_2001-05.jpg figure 12 figure 13 figure 14 figure 15 figure 16 figure 17 figure 18 figure 19 figure 20 s1600-h/toyoito1.JPG 21


Air journal part A jintao wang(kelly) 565322 11