STUDIO AIR 2014, SEMESTER 2, Zhiwei You
Table of Contents 6
A.1 DESIGN FUTURING
16 A.2 DESIGN COMPUTATION 22
A.5 LEARNING OUTCOMES
B.1 RESEARCH FIELD
B.2 CASE STUDY 1.0
B.3 CASE STUDY 2.0
B.4 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT
B.5 TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES
106 B.6 TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL 122 B.7 LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES 126 B.8 APPENDIX 138 C.1 DESIGN CONCEPT 176 C.2 TECTONIC ELEMENTS & PROTOTYPES 190 C.3 FINAL DETAIL MODEL 210 C.4 LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
ABOUT ME Hi, I’m Zhiwei You currently at my third year of architecture degree. I’ve always been interested in how exciting architecture can be. When I am travelling or even just walking on the street, my eyes are always on the interesting buildings. This has been my biggest motivation to study architecture so that I can understand this language more and maybe somehow one day I could design a fascinating building that will draw people’s attention to.
In this semester, I have the chance to explore more on digital tools for architecture as I’m now learning studio air. In my first year study, I learnt virtual environment. That was my first experience using computational tools. I was amazed on how freely ideas can flow through the digital tools, it helped me create something that I couldn’t even imagine of doing. At the same time, it was also challenging to learn new steps to get the most out of the software-Rhino. I understand how important digital architecture is nowadays. On the street, there are many exciting architectures that are generated by the computational tools. Digital architecture has really brought in some new ideas and exciting thoughts to the industry.
A.1. DESIGN FUTURING
LAGI COMPETITION ENTRIES
OFFSPRING: POWER Baby Animal1
The Land Art Generator Initiative project is aimed to invite artists from all disciplines such as architecture, landscape architecture, sculpture, engineer and etc. to design art installations that can generate clean energy at the same time as well. The first project I choose is called ‘OFFSPRING: POWER Baby Animal’. It catches my eyes in the first sight among all the other projects. First impression for this project is really just like what the designed team descried it: cute and eye catching. The team has designed all these giant animal shaped hot air balloon. These ‘animals’ are suspended and flowing in the mid air creating a very interesting atmosphere. All the flying balloons have a reflective finish and metallic shine, which it makes people think of Anish Kapoor’s sculpture work. Having all these flying sculpture in the sky can really attract people to come to the site. It’s like a fun art show floating in the sky. Therefore, from the art perspective, it’s a well-done project as it has a certain aesthetic that is family orientated and kids would love it so much. In order to enter the competition, the project itself has to distribute clean energy to the electrical grid. All these reflective gigantic balloons are made up of a large proportion of surface facing the sun with photovoltaic. The technology that this projects uses is not so innovated. However, the way they use it is
definitely one of its kind – putting it right in the sky. There are reasons behind this decision. Firstly, it meets the landfill non-penetrating requirement; they figured a scheme to move the mass up to the sky. Secondly, it’s also an animal-friendly decision regarding to giving way and space to the local fauna. By having this design, it alters the landscape as little as possible so that it won’t have as much interruption to the resident animals. This is a very nice gesture to respecting the nature. It raises the design to another perspective by doing something that’s not on the requirement, but something that’s extremely important to the ecology of the place. Although the design is really well developed, the design team should also consider more on the safety hazard regarding to these flying ‘balloons’. As PV panels are installed in these balloons, they all have a certain mass. If accidents happen and they fall down from the sky, it may cause danger and damage to people or animals on the site. That’s one main thing the team should develop more on. Also from the rendered images we can see that, although these animals are suspended in the mid air, they can’t move around as they are all tied up by the cords. I propose that if these balloons can float freely at a controlled level and area, this project will be more dynamic and interesting.
FIG.1: RENDERED IMAGE OF THE PROJECT
FIG.2: PLAN VIEW
FIG.3: COMPONENT PART OF THE BALLOONS
After all, I think this is still a very smart design as the inspiration behind is the local fauna and it also takes consideration of them when the team is designing it. It also attracts younger crowd for sure and itâ€™s also a perfect chance to teach kids and even adults to respect the environment and knowledge about a greener environment. This could be a more profound step for the design if the team knows how to develop it further.
A Greenfield and a Constellation2
FIG.4: RENDERED IMAGE
When I looked through all the competition entries, especially looking closely to the offspring entry, I’m really attracted by the idea of floating objects in the sky. Therefore, I found this second entry, which caught my eye, is ‘A Greenfield and a Constellation’.
The focal point for this entry is more on the blending of aesthetic design and industrial design. The project consists of a large numbers of mini flying outdoor devices. All these devices have groups of 100, which is made up of 1 attractor involving with 100 replicants. They are light and they fly in the sky freely in a group with the leading by the attractor. All these devices are capable of
keeping distance from each other and also human. They can form interesting shapes in the sky and can constantly changing. In my opinion, that’s the biggest selling point of this project. Almost none of the other competition entries have such flexible and dynamic designs to the site. What’s better than the last entry that I looked through is that each device doesn’t have any string attach to them and there is no base structure on the ground. That means it doesn’t alter the original landscape a bit at all. It’s beneficial for the local ecology and it pay tribute to the environment fully. To me this is one of the key elements that the design teams have to think of on this project particularly as the site is still very natural and not much development has been done to it. At night, the built in LED will be turned on so there will be like groups of
FIG.5: FLYING DEVICES AT NIGHT WITH LED LIGHTING
fireflies flying around the sky. Thatâ€™s also going to attract people to the site at night to see such amazing design.
A specialized type of solar cell called multijunction cell is built in into all these flying devices to maximize and generate green energy to support the devices itself. The technology the team chooses to use is not so innovative. However, thinking of a way of putting all these elements together into small devices is quite creative. By having a closer look to the project, I understand that this project is not like many of the other competition entries, which their aim is to generate a huge amount of energy to distribute to the electric filed,
this project is about generate emotion such as empathy, joy, excitement and etc. to distribute to the people who are visiting the site. This takes a different approach to the design brief and I think it works quite well.
See this project from the art perspective; itâ€™s attractive and interesting enough. It would be much nicer to see the project to be more developed from the perspective of energy generation. I think this project can go further if the devices can generate much more energy than it needs to run itself. Then there are some small base stations (as the flying devices are very small) on the ground so that once the devices have more than enough energy, they
FIG.6: DETAILS OF THE DEVICES
can distribute the extra energy though the base station to the electrical field. By doing so, the project can answer the design brief more closely and it would mean much more than just generating green energy for self-support.
In my opinion, if the previous design (offspring) and this design blend together, it would be a more better competition entry as well. This project can learn from the previous design by having a more artistic design to the devices to make this design more interesting visually during daytime.
A.2. DESIGN COMPUTATION
Within the last decades, computational architecture has emerged from a new idea to the field to a much popular approach to the architectural designing process. An expanding understands and exploring of the relationship between computation and architecture has never been stopped developing. Computational approach to architecture is so different to the architecture practice in the past in terms of the technologies and techniques that being used. As Oxman3 stated this menmachine relationship has begun to evolve as a medium that supports a continuous logic of design thinking and making. It enables a set of symbiotic relationships between the formulation of design processes and developing technologies. Digital architecture changes the way of how architects generate form for their ideas and projects. It helps the form generation moves more toward topological material practice. In computational architecture, parametric design has become one of the important and current approaches as it involves ‘a logic of associative and dependency relationships between objects and their parts and whole relationships’. It enables architects to create variations based on certain rules. Digital architecture has really driven the industry to develop new knowledge and new technology. New theories such as new software are being made. New researches such as new disciplinary knowledge are being developed. People in this computational century are able to share this new information fast. What comes out from the digital architecture is also its digital materiality and material fabrication. This enriches the way on how architecture can be constructed. In the
design process, architects have more ability to explore the idea further even beyond what they can imagine and what they can expect. Digital in architecture is more about the process, how the idea is being transformed. The process of the design seems more important than any other steps. With Computational architecture, architects have the possibilities to try out more ideas and test them within seconds. Computational tools are getting more and more powerful. They can collect information and process information precisely with speed that human can’t compete with. Virtual stimulation is also a very useful feature of computational design. Programs such as Ecotect can stimulate surrounding environment for the building to test out the thermal performance etc. the stimulation can help architects to make alterations prior to the construction stage. However, not all the problems can be solved by computational tools. Human behavior is still one of the major areas that computational tools can’t predict on. Human behavior is rather complex and diverse. It’s constantly changing and it needs human understanding.
FIG.7: OVERVIEW OF THE PAVILION
In 2014, AR-MA were successful in securing the commission of winning the competition of Fugitive Structures. This competition entry caught my eye in the first place. I was drawn by the beautiful contrast between the exterior and interior. Trifolium uses advanced computational designing tool to fulfill the competition brief – a built structure that uses the most progressive technology currently available. The structure is highly flexible of being a meeting place, an auditorium or a stage for the event. It’s composed of self-supporting Corian. The interior is made up of curved, black, reflective stainless steel panels. The whole
structure is fabricated with over 3000 components. The pavilion is a product of entirely computational design process. It required custom coded computer program in order to design and fabricate. I’m amazed by how the parametric design was heavily involved throughout the whole design process from the design concept to fabrication. Each step is closely monitored in the computer to unsure a very continuous and steamless design so that it’s also sure that the pavilion is less than 1mm tolerance. Only with the help of powerful computational tool, such precise control can be predicted and changes can be made prior to
FIG.8: INTERIOR - STUNNING REFLECTIVE EFFECT
the building of the structure to avoid alteration or even failure. This obviously requires another high level of technical skills other than designing with a pen on paper. The architect also need wrote the script from scratch to inform Robert to make up the component parts for the pavilion. With computational tool, it also expanded the architectâ€™s knowledge and practice from architectural discipline to engineering and even IT discipline. Itâ€™s a result of emerging all the knowledge into a multi-disciplinary industry.
is not like traditional architectural design where form is settled at the very early stage. The design form is settled until a lot of testing and alteration. The materials never change. The software also understands the property of the material and be aware of the bending point of it. All the information is collected and calculated in order to form the design.
During the design process, the form of the pavilion is always malleable and it always changes. And this
smithsonian institution5 -Foester + Partners
FIG.9: OVERVIEW OF THE COURTYARD WITH THE ROOF 20\
The project of Foester + Partners in Washington is an example of how computational tool is helping with the design process. The project is to design a new courtyard enclosure for the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to designing, the SMG was brought in to the project to help the team with computational tool. With the help from SMG, a new digital design tools is developed to help solve the complex geometric issues of the design. Computational tools in this project become one of the major tools to explore design options and provide better results. We know how important computational tools have become to the architecture industry. Whatâ€™s powerful and useful about this custom made parametric tool is it considers and combines many other aspects into one it such as design (how it looks), structure, acoustic and etc. it involves the use of various media and technique, making a connection between the design team and consultants from other industries. The computational program is a synthesis of design techniques and ideas. Thanks to the computer script, design modifications are constantly made to archive a better result. Consultants from all different industries can be brought in the early stage of the design process and work together at the same time to provide ideas to
write the computer script. This is one of the major benefits of parametric design. It saves time for the project as all these information can be collected and calculated at the same time to generate good results. Comparing to the traditional methods (structure engineer, acoustic consultants and etc are brought in to the projects separately after the design is being made), this multi-disciplinary method enables the project team works in a very efficient way. Accuracy is again one of the keys to the project as they use parametric design tool as the design option. The geometry of the roof is rather complex for this design. The computer program automatically breaks it down into components that can be manufactured and assembled on site. Each piece is different and with the help of the program, accurate information is provided to the manufacturer to produce all these parts. This precedent shows the ideal process of computational design as it corporate all the disciplines together at the same time and utilize the parametric design tool to generate various outcomes until the best one is selected. It enhances the efficiency of the project and also the connection of all other aspects of the structure.
FIG.10: STRUCTURAL DETAIL
A.3. COMPOSITION / GENERATION
An algorithm is a finite sequence of explicit, elementary instructions. It highly requires clear logic and exact complete manner to solve a problem in a particular order. This concept has became more and more common in the filed of architecture. It’s an idea that allows architects to explore the processes and theories of computational design. It’s a big technical achievement for computation and has become a very fundamental property. The increasing popularity of algorithms in architecture design is changing the role of architects.6 It requires the change of conventional method of thinking and conceptualization. Parametric design uses algorithm to explore relationships between elements. Therefore today parametric tool is more than just drafting. Parametric modeling requires the architects to set the rules and parameters, with the computer doing the iterations. This new language is still being developed in the architectural industry and it’s getting more and more popular. We can often see this language being applied as the generative design of architecture. It allows architects to have the abilities to generate more ideas than what human minds can think of. Without the method of generative architecture, there are lots of great architecture pieces that couldn’t have been designed and built. “Generative design is not about designing a building,” says Lars Hesselgren, a Director of Research at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and also a cofounder of the Smart Geometry Group, “it’s about designing the system that designs a building.” 7
The generative form of designing makes the architects to engage with the components, systems and processes of the building closely. Efficiency is one the major benefits from generative method of designing. It shows on the article, which uses the example of Beijing National Stadium (the Bird Nest) to demonstrate. If they used CAD to resolve the iteration of the structure, it would take so much time, with also very poor outcomes of one or two versions. But with the help of generative design and computational tools, it was said by J Parrish that “By using parametric, I was able to investigate far more alternatives. We built version 34, because it was better... but version one would have worked fine. Generative design allowed us to get better results in a fraction of the time.”8 Yet as this is still the new way of architecture design, there are still limitations regarding to the not fully established language of the field. And also algorithmic tool is a highly logic tool. Therefore, architects need to have the clarity of ideas and overall direction to drive these powerful tools. Using these parametric modeling tools can often generate unexpected results, and sometimes these unexpected results are unrealistic for the current techniques or sometimes these results are not suitable for human pattern. The selection of iterations is also very critical to architects. Architects need to have enough knowledge to be able to use parametric modeling tools and have fully control of it, otherwise, it will be these tools driving the direction of the design rather than architects themselves.
This is an interesting competition entry by Biothing called Climath. This project is special to me because it focuses on the integration of local architecture and physics of Croatia through a comprehensive architectural design including outdoor furniture settings, synthetic weather and dispersed energy production. This project is developed through the hybrid programming schema. The design team has taken the inspiration from Croatia’s historic stone pavements and network of courtyards and gardens. They took this inspiration and decided to replicate this pattern using algorithmic designing tool. A tilling pattern was generated by the 5 coloured Cellular Automata algorithm. The rule distributed the public infrastructural evenly such as the benches, planters and lighting. The different seating elements are programmed in the surfaced as well as the light. The architectural sequence is yet again looking at the elements of local physics and the culture of meditation living as well. The luxurious residential complex is programmed towards verticality, in order to reach for maximum sunshine and city views. The project then has a very generous gesture to the city as well by proving maximum free space for both general public and residential use. A double space plaza is integrated in the residential projects with Free-flowing topology of pedestrian-accessible zones. Inclinations of the plaza are also generated by the algorithm. They are mathematically analyzed in order to provide diversified yet consistent viewing platforms for the city views. The two plazas is bind to one another though a highly porous skin. This skin allows sunlight and complex shading entering to the lower plaza. This pattern of porosity is driven by the use of 5 coloured cellular automata algorithm. It is achieved by ruptures in the upper roof in the form of articulated canyons for lights and visual connections. Program is dispersed with regards to different lighting conditions. It distributes a green market, offices and restaurants around light wells and shopping and entertainment centre around darker areas. This project although is a algorithm driven project, it doesn’t look like many other algorithmic designs which are still highly conceptionilized and experimental. This project is generative yet it’s something that can be built. What makes this project special is also its highly hybrid planning through the algorithmic designing tool. It’s rare to see the rule’s not only designing one thing but the whole development.
FIG.11: ROOF VIEW WITH PLANTS
FIG.12: UPPER PLAZA
FIG.13: CLIMATH AT NIGHT
NAMoC10 (competition) -Robert Stuart-Smith, Roland Snooks and Pei Zhu
This is a competition entry of the National Art Museum of China. Robert Stuart-Smith and Roland Snooks (from Kokkugia) were both invited to collaborate with Studio Pei Zhu to enter the competition to design the National Art Museum of China. This project caught my eye is because of its irregular shape of form. The overall form seems to be a seamless continuous object without a single angle. In a way it’s also formless. With the help of computer programmes that associate with precise computational design, the design team is able to diffuse the nature of chosen geometry through the analogy of the cloud. This results in an amorphous form opposite the monumental nature of the surrounding Beijing Olympic site. The intricate geometries were generated though parametric modeling can also be seen as discrete ways of representing sophisticated designs. This design again is an algorithmic design and the form was generated through computational software. The form was driven by the swarm- based algorithm. The rules of the program are written based on the turbulent and chaotic systems of cloud formation. Interesting differences between the interior gallery, exterior form and façade articulation are generated by the non-linear algorithm methodology. These differences are created by the unexpected swarm organisation, it also produces the interesting fractal affects of the façades. The swarm organization, which is the façade of the building, also provides glazing structure and facade penalisation. Through the rules of algorithmic design, the system generates form, pattern and affect that connect the podium and cloud together with a single process. This project again uses the method of generative design. Such complex form is generated through a set of well-designed parametric rules. The method allows the architects to focus more on the ideas behind rather than the actual form and design itself. That makes the project more meaningful. It also helps the architects to formalise the chaotic and turbulent system of swarm origination. I’m inspired by the designing process of the project. It takes a shift from conventional designing method of making form to creating an algorithm to find the perfect forms. This is a true move of generative design. Although the design itself looks stunning, the construction would be very difficult or maybe after the building process, it won’t look as stunning as the rendered image, as there may be engineering difficulties to achieve this formless design.
FIG.14: PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF THE PROJECT
FIG.15: MODEL FACADE DETAILS
FIG.17: FORMING PROCESS
FIG.18: INTERIOR PLAN
FIG.19: TOP VIEW /29
Part A is for us to gain familiarity with computational architecture. Itâ€™s known that computational tools including parametric modelling and algorithmic design have a vital influence on the architecture industry. More and more architects has basic skills and knowledge to run these tools. Especially practiced students like us are almost required to gain knowledge about computational tools from Cad to Grasshopper. It has provided new methods of thinking and designing. That leads the architects to have more interesting ideas for the built environment. Due to this advanced techniques, architects are able to generate forms and patterns that they could have never been done easily with the help of computation. As the popularity is growing, a lot of theory is being written and the language is becoming more formalised. However, architects also need to keep in mind that computational tool is just a way to help expressing ideas and expand the ideas further. The fundamental concept for a project is the core of a design; we canâ€™t use computational tools to generate meaningless projects. Designers also need to gain fully control of the programme ranter than being led by the programme itself. Through part a, few precedents were being looked at closely to gain more understanding of this method of design.
A.5. LEARNING OUTCOMES
Part A makes me gain a lot of knowledge on computational design. As I’m still relatively new to the filed, it’s good to understand the basics such as theories and go through a lot of precedents to see how other architects deal with parametric modelling. And now that I’ve got my hands on Grasshopper, I have more understanding about algorithmic design. It’s fun to make something out from different inputs that we put in. Now that I’m learning this computational tool, hopefully later in my other design studios I will use some of the features to help improve my architecture design.
This is the first iteration that Iâ€™ve done and Iâ€™m just fascinated by how an interesting geometry can be made just simply out of 8 controlled points. Although this is still a very simple geometry, I find thereâ€™s a lot of potential from here.
This is a intersting tunnel with patterns and colours on it. The shape of the tunnel is again an outcome of an algorithmic rule.
1. NENAD SIMIC, NIKOLA ZAMUROVIC, ALEKSANDAR JOKSIMOVIC, JELENA NIKOLIC, EDIN OMANOVIC, MARKO MATEJIC, DARKO KADVANJ, BORIS IGNJATOVIC, RASTKO SKNEPNEK, OFFSPRING: POWER BABY ANIMAL, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP:// LANDARTGENERATOR.ORG/LAGI-2012/86553298/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] 2. CARLOS CAMPOS + YAMILA ZYNDA AIUB, A GREENFIELD AND A CONSTELLATION, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP://LANDARTGENERATOR. ORG/LAGI-2012/EQL7FJ66/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] 3. OXMAN, RIVKA AND ROBERT OXMAN, EDS (2014). THEORIES OF THE DIGITAL IN ARCHITECTURE (LON- DON; NEW YORK: ROUT- LEDGE), PP. 1–10 4. AR-MA. “TRIFOLIUM / AR-MA.” ARCHDAILY. <HTTP://WWW.ARCHDAILY. COM/533942/TRIFOLIUM-AR-MA/.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] 5. HUNTER, WILL. “FOSTER & PARTNERS SOLVES A ROOFING CONDUNDRUM AT WASHINGTON DC’S SMITHSONIAN | TECHNICAL.” BUILDING DESIGN. <HTTP://WWW. BDONLINE.CO.UK/FOSTER-AND-PARTNERS-SOLVES-A-ROOFING-CONDUNDRUM-ATWASHINGTON-DC’S-SMITHSONIAN/3110742.ARTICLE.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] 6. ARIEFF, ALISON. “ADVANCED ARCHITECTURE SOFTWARE COULD MAKE BUILDINGS MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT AND INTERESTING | MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW.” TECHNOLOGYREVIEW.COM, JULY 31, 2013. HTTP://WWW.TECHNOLOGYREVIEW.COM/ REVIEW/517596/NEW-FORMS-THAT-FUNCTION-BETTER/. [ACCESSED 15/08/2014] 7. CHANGING THE FACE OF ARCHITECTURE, BENTLEY SYSTEMS, 6,3,2009, 1-9 8.CHANGING THE FACE OF ARCHITECTURE, BENTLEY SYSTEMS, 6,3,2009, 1-9 9. ESCOBEDO, JESSICA. “CLIMATH LOCATES HYBRID PROGRAM IN CANYON GROOVES / BIOTHING - EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.” EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE. <HTTP://WWW.EVOLO.US/ARCHITECTURE/CLIMATH-LOCATES-HYBRIDPROGRAM-IN-CANYON-GROOVES-BIOTHING/.> [ACCESSED 15/08/2014] 10. ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014]
IMAGE REFERENCE: FIGURE1
NENAD SIMIC, NIKOLA ZAMUROVIC, ALEKSANDAR JOKSIMOVIC, JELENA NIKOLIC, EDIN OMANOVIC, MARKO MATEJIC, DARKO KADVANJ, BORIS IGNJATOVIC, RASTKO SKNEPNEK, OFFSPRING: POWER BABY ANIMAL, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP:// LANDARTGENERATOR.ORG/LAGI-2012/86553298/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE2
NENAD SIMIC, NIKOLA ZAMUROVIC, ALEKSANDAR JOKSIMOVIC, JELENA NIKOLIC, EDIN OMANOVIC, MARKO MATEJIC, DARKO KADVANJ, BORIS IGNJATOVIC, RASTKO SKNEPNEK, OFFSPRING: POWER BABY ANIMAL, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP:// LANDARTGENERATOR.ORG/LAGI-2012/86553298/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE3
NENAD SIMIC, NIKOLA ZAMUROVIC, ALEKSANDAR JOKSIMOVIC, JELENA NIKOLIC, EDIN OMANOVIC, MARKO MATEJIC, DARKO KADVANJ, BORIS IGNJATOVIC, RASTKO SKNEPNEK, OFFSPRING: POWER BABY ANIMAL, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP:// LANDARTGENERATOR.ORG/LAGI-2012/86553298/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE4
CARLOS CAMPOS + YAMILA ZYNDA AIUB, A GREENFIELD AND A CONSTELLATION, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP://LANDARTGENERATOR. ORG/LAGI-2012/EQL7FJ66/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE5
CARLOS CAMPOS + YAMILA ZYNDA AIUB, A GREENFIELD AND A CONSTELLATION, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP://LANDARTGENERATOR. ORG/LAGI-2012/EQL7FJ66/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE6
CARLOS CAMPOS + YAMILA ZYNDA AIUB, A GREENFIELD AND A CONSTELLATION, LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVES, 2012, <HTTP://LANDARTGENERATOR. ORG/LAGI-2012/EQL7FJ66/#>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE7
AR-MA. “TRIFOLIUM / AR-MA.” ARCHDAILY. <HTTP://WWW.ARCHDAILY. COM/533942/TRIFOLIUM-AR-MA/.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE8
AR-MA. “TRIFOLIUM / AR-MA.” ARCHDAILY. <HTTP://WWW.ARCHDAILY. COM/533942/TRIFOLIUM-AR-MA/.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE9
HUNTER, WILL. “FOSTER & PARTNERS SOLVES A ROOFING CONDUNDRUM AT WASHINGTON DC’S SMITHSONIAN | TECHNICAL.” BUILDING DESIGN. <HTTP://WWW. BDONLINE.CO.UK/FOSTER-AND-PARTNERS-SOLVES-A-ROOFING-CONDUNDRUM-ATWASHINGTON-DC’S-SMITHSONIAN/3110742.ARTICLE.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE10
HUNTER, WILL. “FOSTER & PARTNERS SOLVES A ROOFING CONDUNDRUM AT /37
WASHINGTON DC’S SMITHSONIAN | TECHNICAL.” BUILDING DESIGN. <HTTP://WWW. BDONLINE.CO.UK/FOSTER-AND-PARTNERS-SOLVES-A-ROOFING-CONDUNDRUM-ATWASHINGTON-DC’S-SMITHSONIAN/3110742.ARTICLE.>,[ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE11
ESCOBEDO, JESSICA. “CLIMATH LOCATES HYBRID PROGRAM IN CANYON GROOVES / BIOTHING - EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.” EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE. <HTTP://WWW.EVOLO.US/ARCHITECTURE/CLIMATH-LOCATES-HYBRIDPROGRAM-IN-CANYON-GROOVES-BIOTHING/.> [ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE12
ESCOBEDO, JESSICA. “CLIMATH LOCATES HYBRID PROGRAM IN CANYON GROOVES / BIOTHING - EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.” EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE. <HTTP://WWW.EVOLO.US/ARCHITECTURE/CLIMATH-LOCATES-HYBRIDPROGRAM-IN-CANYON-GROOVES-BIOTHING/.> [ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE13
ESCOBEDO, JESSICA. “CLIMATH LOCATES HYBRID PROGRAM IN CANYON GROOVES / BIOTHING - EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.” EVOLO | ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE. <HTTP://WWW.EVOLO.US/ARCHITECTURE/CLIMATH-LOCATES-HYBRIDPROGRAM-IN-CANYON-GROOVES-BIOTHING/.> [ACCESSED 15/08/2014] FIGURE14
ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE15
ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE16
ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE17
ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE18
ROBERT STUART-SMITH, NATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF CHINA | BEIJING, ROBERT STUART-SMITH DESIGN, < HTTP://WWW.ROBERT- STUART-SMITH.COM/RS-SDESIGNNAMOC-NATIONAL-ART-MUSEUM-OF-CHI- NA>, [ACCESSED 01/08/2014] FIGURE19 38\
B.1. RESEARCH FIELD
Tessellation is a methodology that can be applied to many disciplines such as mathematics, arts, architecture and etc. It is generally defined as an arrangement of closed shapes that completely cover the plane without overlapping or leaving gaps1. Tessellation in architecture has a really long history. It can be dated back in about 4000BC, when the Sumerian people use this method to create wall decoration by making patterned clay tiles2. Speaking of tessellation in architecture, itâ€™s widely more often understood by the general public as a tilling style for the structure whether is floor tiling or brick laying etc. However such tilings are usually twodimensional and often made with simple platonic or archimedian tiling patterns. And this application to tessellation in architecture is purely decorative,
and itâ€™s a very surface apply to a building. Another use of tessellation in architecture could be in the faĂ§ade treatment of a building. Instead of using simple shaped building blocks such as rectangular glass or granite to clad the exterior surfaces of buildings, the basic shape of those blocks could be more complicated. This would create more interesting architectural expression to the building and more complex texture and feeling of the building. An example of such a building would be the Federation Square in Melbourne, designed by Lab Architecture Studio of London in association with Bates Smart of Melbourne. Taking this idea of two-dimensional tessellation, it can be also applied into a three-dimensional
scale. The most familiar example could be the famous LEGO blocks. Complex building blocks could be designed in a more complex form and such building blocks could lock and tile more interesting architectural concept on the arrangement of three dimensional space that interlocks with each other. Apart from these two ideas of tessellation in architecture, thereâ€™s also a different application of the idea in the field of computational architecture design. There are more and more design practices in exploring complex freefrom shapes in contemporary architecture such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadidâ€™s designs. They are one of the most famous architects that engage a lot of freeform shapes in their designs. This style is widely engaged with the method of tessellation. A core geometry is the key to the whole process of developing free form designs. It is used from the early stage of finding form to the final step of detail building assembly 3. Panelization is an important aspect of tessellation. Panelization is the process of analyzing and understanding a freefrom surface by a range of constructible components, specifically, by face-based panels and supporting structures. This process indicated how panels are connected and utilized to construct designated freeform shapes in architectural applications.
Tessellation can transform a simple structure into a more refined and detailed structure with adding interesting applications of patterns and depth to the structure.
B.2. CASE STUDY 1.0
San Francisco based firm IwamotoScott in collarboration with Buro Happold was invited to create a site-specific installation. These two teams together presented the design called Voussoir Cloud. The design explores the idea of conflicting constructional paradigm of pure compression of a vault coupled with ultra-light sheet material. The structure is designed in a series of vaults that can be experienced under or above by the visitors. Five columns are created within 14 segments of the system to support the interior and the back edge. Structurally, the vaults also rely on each other and the walls of the gallery to keep the compression of the form. This design is inspired by the efficient form finding method of hanging chain models. And the team uses the method to adjust the profile lines as catenaries. They also pair that computational model with form finding programs to determine the structural shape. The design has an intestinal confused strategy on structure and material. The structure is made up of a Delaunay tessellation. The patterns are smaller and denser at the bottom of the structure and at the edges of the vault. At the top, the vault shell loosens and has more porosity. The wedge shaped masonry blocks are redefined in this design using three-dimensional modules formed by folding paper-thin wood laminate along curved seams. Internal surface tension is essential to the form to hold up the shape and the structure. Therefore, the curvature creates such a form and it also
creates the interesting patterns with porosity within the constraints of the sheet material. The geometric performance of the individual units and their relation to the gallery walls determines the form-finding exploration of the whole structure. The curvature of each petal is dependent upon its adjacent voids. The plan curvature at each petal edge is determined by the end points and a set of tangents with the connecting petal based on the centroid of the adjacent voids. The sectional deformation is proportionally related to this plan curvature. The flange angle of the petal is calculated by the normal of the vaults. A computational script was written specifically for this project to use in Rhino to mange the petal edge plan curvature. This script calibrates the size of each petal to fit into the overall form. In the design, the petals at the bottom of the structure are purely triangulated cells because they are defined with less offset. Where moving up the structure, the petals have greater offsets as they move up to the top, therefore they are more deformed away from a triangle. All the petals are unfold for laser cutting. The structure is then assembled by folding along the curved scored lines and zip tied together. Overall, the design is achieved based on a fundamental material system â€“ tessellation. The overall structure is closely related to the small geometry detail, which is the petal of the vault. All these petals curved in a certain way to compose the over form and moreover, it adds details and depth to the project making it more interesting.
I started off experimenting the definition by having different numbers of points to generate different iterations. Therefore, for Specie 1, the differences between each iteration is the is the different numbers of columns in the structure. As shown in the images on the right, the first iteration only has two columns which makes it quite a simple structure. As I added more points for the definition, the relative number of columns are generated and the structure became more and more complex. Moreover, the structure has denser and more mesh surfaces as well.
What I found interesting about these iterations is that it seems the less columns the structure has, the flatter the roof it tends to be. Therefore, for the same volume, if there are more referenced points, the roof has greater compression.
For the second specie of the iterations, I kept the referenced points at 3 in the grasshopper definition. The reason behind is to keep the structure relatively simple and easy to see. For this specie, I focused on the scaling sizes of the bottom to the columns to see the relationship between the structure and the size of the columns.
The scale component starts at the value of 0.1, that it generates a relatively small opening at the bottom of the columns. Itâ€™s shown on the image that the angle of the arc thatâ€™s connecting to each columns is also relatively bigger. There are also more spaces underneath the structure. As the bottom of the columns is getting bigger, the space that the columns occupy also become bigger. The structure also tends to be more stable.
For specie 3, I explored the options of moving the distances of the openings of the columns. I started manipulating the iteration at the factor of -10 which drives the opening of the columns below the plane and at a long distance. The structure looked very slim. As the number gradually going up from negative to positive, the form of the structure is also changing. The structure becomes shorter and shorter and once the factor goes over the negative point, the columns are no longer at the bottom. They raises up form the plane of the structure. And when the factor is small at the positive value, the columns are not slim at all, they are all fat, which makes the structure looks like volcanoes. I thought at the beginning that when the values flip from negative to positive, the structure would just look the same but upside down. However, itâ€™s interesting to see that when the value went from negative to positive, the form of structure actually transforms into something new. Therefore, for this specie of iterations, there could be classified into two sub-species.
For the forth specie, I focus on changing the direction of the U-force thatâ€™s applied to the structure to simulate the resulted form. I start to simulate the structure with 0 at the x value, 5 at the y value and -20 at the z value.
Then I gradually add a value of 5 for x,y and a value of 10 for z for every iteration. As the value become bigger and bigger, the force thatâ€™s being applied to the x, and y (which is the horizontal force) is being stronger and stronger, it deforms the original shape by pulling the curve of the arc out from the centre of the structure. As the U-force is getting greater at the z value, the degree of sag of the roof became smaller and smaller, and when the value went over to the positive side, the roof became a inflated like structure that the curve is pointing upward.
For the fifth specie, I explore the possibilities of applying different patterns to the definition as the base component to see the flexibilities of the definition. I used triangle, rectangle, square, hexagonal and radical shape as the base pattern. All of them except the radical pattern work quite well with the definition. All these patterns are displaced in a regular and logical way that all of them have the same size and same shape (expect the radical one), therefore, the results that’s generated is also in a predictable way and it’s almost like it’s really in controlled, no unexpected results are seen. What I like the most of this specie is the regular pattern gave the structure a special aesthetic that’s different from all the iterations done before. Especially when the structure is reviewed from the top. The way of how these structures are generated is also different from the specie 1,2,3 and 4. They share a more controlled environment. And it the connections are very unified.
Prior to selecting 4 of the iterations that I think it’s successful, I thought about what selection criteria I should decide on. The design itself should be structurally relatively simple yet it should also be interesting. The design should be easily understood and logical. It’s should not be fuzzy.
The first one that I selected is the forth iteration from the first specie. It’s the one that has four columns. For this design, the four columns provide stable support for the structure. It has enough varieties (columns) to make the design more interesting than the others yet it’s not as complicated as the other iterations from the same specie. It’s a decent structure with enough space for the public. Therefore, the design is in a good proportion without the structure taking too much space and making it easily understood.
The second one that I selected is the fifth iteration from the third specie. For this design, I think it’s successful because it is a interesting iteration form the original definition provided. The columns raises from the ground instead of supporting the roof. The whole form of the structure alters. Among all three of the designs that the columns raises up, I choose the second one because it’s more approachable than the other two. It’s not like the first one, which the form deforms the most and almost became another untraceable design.
The third one that I selected is the first iteration from the fourth specie. For this design, I like how it just alters a little from the original form to generate different enough feeling to the original design. By adding a small amount of forces can push the design into another direction yet it can be easily read and it’s not like other iterations from the same specie, that they’ve driven too far by the bigger forces in a result of becoming a fuzzy design. To me this iteration is the most controlled and logical one.
The fourth one that I selected is the iteration with hexagonal pattern as base geometry from the fifth specie. For this design, I think it’s the most successful one from all the iterations. The reason is that firstly it’s the most elegant iteration from the original design. The hexagonal shape gave a much more interesting depth to the design. The regular patterns give the design a more controlled environment as it can be more easily read and understood. From the top you can also see the unified connection between each columns. It’s simple yet it’s interesting.
After having spent enough time learning and understanding this definition, I’ve came to realise that this definition can be applied to generate supporting structural parts such as columns for architectural application. It can generate columns in a more interesting way rather than just a cylinder shape.
This definition is also easy to understand and easy apply to generate any designs. You can simply reference the place that you want to put the columns so you can have control of the design. And the numbers and position of the columns also determine the spatial qualities of the space.
Connection between each component part can also be speculated and calculated especially the calculating the compressive or tensile forces between each other.
With this definition you can have control on others aspects of the design such as the direction and the strength of the forces you want to apply to the design. The size of the columns and the height can also be modified to suit the environment.
B.3. CASE STUDY 2.0
Metropol Parasol 5f
Architects J. Mayer. H have designed a giant latticed timber canopy as part of their redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacíon in Seville, Spain. The waffle structure was completed in April 2011. The dynamic design is regarded as the world largest wooden structure. Metropol Parasol’s interweaving waffle wooden panels connects to a concrete base. The base acted as a platform to support the wooden structure above and also formed canopies and walkways below the huge structure. The structure is designed in such a sequence of undulating form to hold the purpose of making Plaza de la Encarnacion a new landmark, a modern day urban centre. This new organic public space within the dense fabric of the medieval city centre offers itself for different activities to be performed. This social and cultural hub for the locals and visitors offers great attraction to people and a wide rage of amenities to be used by people. it serves the purpose of being an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, and multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a terrace on top of the parasol that can offer people a panorama view that looks over the whole city. This structure is raised upon an archaeological excavation site and transformed the site into a very contemporary city space. The contemporary design and the historical context make it a very distinctive project. It’s so different from the surrounding environment and yet such difference brings in new beat into the city.
The design scheme was to offer shade and valuable services in a sunny and hot city just like Seville. The design makes the city square, which used to be a parking lot, more liveable and usable by the general public. The architectural planning for this square also takes consideration of respecting the presence of the Roman ruins, by leaving the ruins undisturbed. Therefore, the sites of placing the columns to support the crowns are very limited and are carefully selected. The structure is designed with the help of engineers from Arup to calculate and determine and gaps between each column. The innovative bonded timber construction is coated with polyurethane. The mushroom stemlike torsos are designed after all those constraints and requirements. They are also designed large enough to install lifts and stairs. The highperformance polyurethane resin coating is to unsure it would endure when there’s high temperature. Overall, this piece of architecture benefits both the locals and visitors in various ways. It offers shades to the walk by, it offers great view for people who are on top of the structure, and it also offers different services to people who come to the site. This is a architectural piece that brings people joy and pumps more energy and passion to the city.
For Metropol Parasol, the main focus is to create a waffle structure. Therefore, to tackle this task. I firstly came up with the idea of contouring technique. -In step1, I made a made a brep and then referenced it in grasshopper. -Step2, I then draw a line on one side of the structure, and then use sequence parameter to make a consistent distant group of line. -In step3, I then extrude the lines to plane surfaces. -In step4, I used the intersect component to find the intersection between the surface and the structure. 5
In step5, I then make the intersection into plan surface. In step6, I use the same definition to create the surface for the other side of the structure.
This is my first attempt to create the waffle structure. I think I have the correct direction of how I wanted to create the waffle as the logic is right. However, there are still many constraints of this definition. The reason is that itâ€™s just a bunch of plan surfaces, there are no depth to it so itâ€™s not practical to using the script to actually build things in real life. Secondly, each surface on the opposite direction interacts though each other, thereâ€™s not a sense of connecting joints here.
I decided to try another attempt to create the waffle structure. -In step1, I put a bounding box to the geometry. -step2, define the 4 bottom corner points and connect them together using line component. -step3, divide the curve thatâ€™s on the opposite with the same numbers of points, and again connect them together using lines.
With this advanced definition, material thickness is embodied and can be controlled with the sliders. And also the components that it create has the connection joint that later the components can be assembled easily together. With this definition, there is more control of the geometry and result. Itâ€™s a much more complete definition.
-step4, extrude all the lines up to the height of the original bounding box. -step5, again find the intersection of the plan surface and the geometry and make it into a surface. -step6, move the surfaces in one direction a bit and then extrude that surface into another direction so that the depth of the structure is created. -step7, with all these new component parts, again put bounding boxes around them. Move the bounding box up to half the height of the new components in one direction, and move the bounding boxes of the other half down half the height. -step8, using solid difference to trim out the unwanted part, there it is a waffle structure.
B.4. TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT
Specie 1 Although I mainly focused on how to create a waffle structure in case study 2. However, I explored some of the kangaroo plug ins to find forms in case study 2, and I found Kangaroo a really fascinating tool to use. Therefore, I decided to explore more using Kangaroo as the tool for technique development.
For specie 1, I explored the options of the spring input. I created this tunnel like mash with 6 openings. Then I start to manipulate and select different point as the anchor points for the design. And I also manipulate the strength of the force to see how it affects the structure. I found that the higher the force is applied to the structure, the more minimizing effect it has on the structure surface. It almost became a iso surface structure when the force is high enough.
Specie 2 For specie 2, I explored the component of hinge force. Itâ€™s different from the spring component. It simulates how the material folds itself with the certain points that are referenced. This hinge component seems to be quite predictable as if you move the point the structure follows through without much dramatic changes. The good things for this is that you can full control of what happening. I wanted to explore more with the unexpected result as a way of form finding. Therefore, I made a mesh with random mesh edges to be referenced in the definition. And turns out, the result became much more dynamic and unpredictable.
Specie 3 Specie 3 is really a surprising one for me because I didn’t know Kangaroo can even simulate the characteristic of inflation. I started with making a closed box like mesh with a hold in the middle. Then I put the mesh into grasshopper and run the simulation. I start with a small force to just inflate the mesh a little bit. As shown in the image, the form of the mesh starts to deform and the edges became smoother. As I added more force to it, the mesh edges starts to expand a little as well. And I’m surprising to find that there’s also a maximum point where the force is too strong that the structure exploded. However, once I inflate the mesh with the strongest force before it explodes, I immediately put the force back to a very small number, and the mesh didn’t went back to it’s original stage. Instead, it became this twisted mesh which truly looked like it’s been stretched to a maximum point and the form just deformed permanently.
Specie 4 Specie4 is yet another sets of exciting iterations. It’s driven by the ideas of metaball. Points are firstly drawn on grasshopper to be the base referenced geometry. When the simulation is started, a component that looks like the bounding box for all the points start to get close to the points. Eventually the square shape bounding box became this smooth balloon like structure. When the force that are pushing the box towards the points becomes bigger, the connecting bit between points became slimmer and slimmer. If the force is too strong, the most remote point will lose it’s attracting power, the boundary of the box will eventually repel that point. I then explored the simulation with only three points. When they are far apart, it’s important for them to have as low force as possible. It that case, they won’t collapse. Later i explored different distance for the points. When they are close to each other, i tried increase the force to a very high level and gradually, the boundary of the box start to repel the points one by one and at the end, it becomes his very thin line which it’s repelled to all of the three points.
Specie 5 Specie5 I explore some of the patterning options for meshes generated from kagaroo, and I also added thinkness to the mesh so that it can simulate real life material with certain level of thickness.
Before selecting the successful iterations, a selection criteria is decided in order for the process to be guided. For this task, a different criteria is used from the case study 1 because this is a totally different case and it has different environment. It’s for the best interests to start to focus on the brief so that the selecting material is driven by the brief as well.
One of the most important aspects is that it has some interesting components to it so that it stands out from the rest and it can attract people’s interest. Also a controlled outcome should be the priority as alterations can be easily made. The form of it can also accommodate some kinds of features or activities.
I find this tool tends to generate very interesting and surprising results. It’s a powerful tool for me to find forms. And the advantages of using this tool is that you can see the whole process of the simulation and you can stop at whenever you find the best performance is generated. However, in order to gain more control of the result, a small force to the simulation is often much preferred. And also a deeper understanding to all the plug in component is necessary to have control over the tool.
This one from the first specie is selected is because it in a way has a certain volume which can accommodate certain activities. And it’s form is also quite interesting as it looks like a tunnel. It can be used as a building for the public or even a playground for the kids. The possible usage is very flexible for this one.
This one inflated structure is selected because it the form looked interesting, it looks like a giant art sculptures. It also looks like Jeff Koonsâ€™s art work. I believe this kinds of smooth structure in a large scale will definitely attract peopleâ€™s attention
This cloud like metaball structure is by far my favourite as it has the most interesting form from all the iterations. Points are manually drawn and selected which gives full control to the design, this is great for alteration at the later stage. And it also propose kinds of large scale public artwork. The challenge is how to transform this volume into something that can used by people.
B.5. TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES
Firstly, I would like to explore the property of lighting and transparency of materials in order to select or manipulate the best options to create the kinds of effects I want.
Seven different materials are selected to be tested as the following images shown. Each material has its own unique property and I was hoping to get some interesting results out from this prototype.
This plastic is really thin and has a great transparency. It also has a glossy finish. Transparency level: 90%
This material has a more paper like feeling. It has a decent transparency level and light can also easily penetrate. Matt finish. Transparency level: 75%
This plastic originally has a linear patterns on it. It also has a decent transparency level and light can also easily penetrate. Glossy finish. Transparency level: 75% 96\
Now moving to materials that are with less transparency level. This plastic is thicker in depth and it provides that extra blockage to the light and view. Transparency level: 50%
This plastic is has the same thinness but in a different colour. The grey colour seems to give it a bit extra transparency. Transparency level: 55%
Yet this is the same material just with different finish. Itâ€™s more reflective and light can hardly shine though the material. Transparency level: 20%
This is a thick card board that completely blocks any light. Transparency level: 0%
Next, I’m going to pair all these materials up to explore the possibilities of creating different transparency level and finding the suitable combination. i started off with materials that have high transparency level and pair them together to test out how much transparency level would be lost after the combination. I’m surprised to see that most of these high transparency level materials still remain that property even after the combination together such as combination 1,2 ,3. Objects behind still can be easily seen.
Then I explored more with the materials that have lower transparency level. With the reflective grey plastic that only has 20% transparency level, i found that it would dramatically bring down the transparency level no matter what other materials it pairs with. And often when two think plastic board combines together, the transparency level drops quite a lot too. Then, I was pairing up materials with high transparency level and low transparency level together to see what effects they could make. Though the process, I found that although the transparency level drops, it creates this kinds of special effect, that although you can’t see through the materials, you can see the shadow of the objects that’s on the other sides. COMBINATION 2
A triangular patterned faĂ§ades is then crated to combines different materials together with some separation in the middle which is also where the structural components are. I put the blue thin plastic that has the most transparency level on one side. The purpose for this material is to act as a base layer. The reason i chose this is because it goes well with any other materials the best. If itâ€™s paired with high-tran material it remains high-tran. If it goes with low-tran material, it can create the interesting shadow feel to the structure. Full control is the best property for this material. Secondly, this material can also showcase the structural components, which is also important to add depth to the design project.
The second prototype that I made is this waffle structure. It’s taken from the design of the cloud that I created though grasshopper. I then transferred the ‘cloud’ into the waffle, and unrolled it and sent to Fablab for laser cutting. The reason I was exploring this option of prototype is because I want to explore the structural side of the grasshopper. I wanted to explore what methods are the best to create a model with relatively smooth surface. Then the first thought I came up with is the waffle and I can use some soft materials to warp around the structure to create the smooth surface.
B.6. TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL
My proposal for the LAGI competition is called ‘the cloud’. This proposal at this stage focuses on how to attract people on the site and what kinds of activities are provided as the functions of the design. Therefore, I was inspired by the mood-board that I created, I wanted to design a structure that has a viewing platform. This is going to be a main attraction to the public. Through my research, I found that there’s not a observation deck that can overlook to the city centre. I think this is a unique opportunity to offer people a whole new perspective on how they view the city. And I also found that there are no restaurants on the site, therefore, I proposed a restaurant on the site so people can have somewhere to dine when they come to the site. And it’s going to be a exciting place to dine as well as this site offers a fantastic harbour view and city view across the water. I also proposed a cafe/bar for those who just wants somewhere to have a drink and have a place to chat with their friends or even just relax there. Lastly, I proposed to have a garden/park on the site as well. Since Copenhagen is a green city, it’s important to pump in the ideas of green structure and sustainability. However, I don’t want to build a general garden that’s not exciting. I want to have elevated garden that’s not on the ground. This can hopefully add more fun to the design as well. /111
My proposal for the site is comprised of two main component parts - the upper cloud structure and the bottom supporting structure which is also the elevated garden. As the plan shown on the left, the bottom component expands throughout the site making the maximum usage of the site. The structure uses the technique of isosurfacing to create the smooth connection at each connecting joint. Greenery are planted on surface of the structure to create the elevated garden. There are three clouds created to accommodate different activity as well. In this project, lines are carefully drawn to specific places to create the isosurfacing and minimize surface. The places of line drawn serve the purpose of crating a dynamic feeling to the design proposal. Points are also carefully considered in the design in order to generate the cloud. Kangaroo is used for the cloud generation. Both of the structures are in a controlled environment where the best interest can be maintain and itâ€™s easy for later alteration as well.
-Viewing Tower -Restaurant -Cafe/Bar /113
Perspective rendering looking up to the clouds.
B.7. LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
After the presentation, I’ve learnt a few things that I need to put some more work on to produce a better design/presentation. I learnt that firstly it’s important for me to use rendering tool better to create better rendered images as they are also a very important factor for the audience to understand the design more. Therefore, visual communication is one of the things I need to pay attention to. Secondly, I need to focus more on one tool to rather than spending time using all different tools to produce different things. Because sometimes, it can be read as no focal point for the projects. Focus on one thing and make it humble and good. For the next stage of developing and finetuning the design, it’s essential for the project to incorporate the energy generating techniques and find a best way to construct the design.
Starting from the second part of the semester, we start to really get a chance to use grasshopper and slowly adapt the parametric thinking methodology. I think it’s really useful on how the courses are structured in this part. Firstly we were meant to research on a technique so that we know it conceptually first. Then we start to manipulate the definition that’s been given to get a sense of how parametric designing tool works. After we get our hands on grasshopper, I got more and more comfortable using this tool and I find the power of this tool. It’s always exciting to see the results through different alteration because sometimes it will surprise me as the results are something that I’ve never imagined of and never can be done drawn by hands. I’m particularly interested in the Kangaroo plugin because it’s a more dynamic tool to use and the results sometimes are more dramatic. Although sometimes it can be out of control, the results still is by far the most surprising to me.
B.8. APPENDIX - ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES
This definition explores the possible usage of attractor points. These is useful in many way such as this can be used as the different factors that affect the panels on the surface. Interesting patterns can be generated though this definition. And user also have control on where to put the points.
This definition is useful in terms of it gives calculation of how much energy can be generated in a place in a year. All we need is to put in the right information.
1. Principals of Tessellations, National University of Singapore, 2014, http://www.math. nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/gem-projects/maa/0203-2-03-Escher/main2.html#Principals 2. Pickover, Clifford A. (2009). The math book: from Pythagoras to the 57th dimension, 250 milestones in the history of mathematics. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 372. 3. Wanga, T., Krishnamurtib, R., & Shimadac, K. (2013). Restructuring surface tessellation with irregular boundary conditions. Frontiers of Architectural Research. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095263514000387 4. VOUSSOIR-CLOUD. IwamotoScott. San Francisco Retrieved from http://www.iwamotoscott.com/VOUSSOIR-CLOUD 5. Metropol Parasol // The Worldâ€™s Largest Wooden Structure | Yatzer. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.yatzer.com/Metropol-Parasol-TheWorld-s-Largest-Wooden-Structure-J-MAYER-H-Architects
IMAGE REFERENCE: 1. OP-ART, LONDON, ACCESSED HTTP://WWW.OP-ART.CO.UK/OP-ART-GALLERY/VAR/ RESIZES/YOUR-OP-ART/HOLLOW-TILES-TESSELLATION-FEB-12.JPG?M=1332173604 2.OPEN BUILDINGS, ACCESSED HTTP://C1038.R38.CF3.RACKCDN. COM/GROUP1/BUILDING1739/MEDIA/MEDIA_41293.JPG 3.VOLCANIA, ACCENSSED HTTP://VOLCANIA.FILES.WORDPRESS. COM/2010/11/39216920995F6B7F5A52O.JPG 4. VOUSSOIR-CLOUD. IWAMOTOSCOTT. SAN FRANCISCO RETRIEVED FROM HTTP://WWW.IWAMOTOSCOTT.COM/VOUSSOIR-CLOUD 5. METROPOL PARASOL // THE WORLD’S LARGEST WOODEN STRUCTURE | YATZER. (N.D.). RETRIEVED FROM HTTP://WWW.YATZER.COM/METROPOL-PARASOLTHE-WORLD-S-LARGEST-WOODEN-STRUCTURE-J-MAYER-H-ARCHITECTS 6. RENEW RESOURCES, ACCESSED HTTP://WWW.RENEWRESOURCES.COM/HOW-TOIMPROVE-YOUR-ECO-FRIENDLY-HOME-BUILDING/GREEN-HOME-VERTICAL-GARDEN/ 7. ECO FRIENDLY SKY PLANTER CERAMIC FOR HOME INDOOR GARDEN BY BOSKKE – CEILING, NEWYORKMARKET, ACCESSED HTTP://WWW.NEWYORKMARKT.COM/ECOFRIENDLY-CERAMIC-PLANTER-DESIGN-FOR-HOME-INDOOR-GARDEN-SKY-BY-BOSKKE/ ECO-FRIENDLY-SKY-PLANTER-CERAMIC-FOR-HOME-INDOOR-GARDEN-BY-BOSKKE-CEILING 8. LONDON RESTAURANTS WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS, LONDON EVENING STANDARDHTTP://WWW.STANDARD.CO.UK/GOINGOUT/RESTAURANTS/ LONDON-RESTAURANTS-WITH-SPECTACULAR-VIEWS-8539519.HTML 9.CHROFI, ACCESSED HTTP://WWW.CHROFI.COM/PROJECT/ACACIA 10. EUREKASKYDECK, ACCESSED HTTP://EUREKASKYDECK.COM.AU/THE-EDGE.HTML 11. SETTING THE BAR HIGH: VEGAS BARS WITH A VIEW, VEGAS. COM, ACCESSED HTTP://BLOG.VEGAS.COM/LAS-VEGAS-NIGHTLIFE/ SETTING-THE-BAR-HIGH-VEGAS-BARS-WITH-A-VIEW-15187/
C.1. DESIGN CONCEPT
From the interim presentation, I realised that the overall form of the project had been Designed. However, I still havenâ€™t develop and implement the energy sourcing technology into my proposal yet. Therefore I need to focus on the detail of the project and also the implementation of the technology. Interesting panels should also be designed and included in the project to add more depth and curiosity.
The number ‘1’ on shown in the image on the left is the location of The Tower, Christiansborg Palace. It’s 106 metres high, making the Christiansborg Palace tower the highest tower in Copenhagen. And there’s a viewing platform for visitors to visit. However, it’s still relatively far from the famous sight - the little mermaid. On the other hand, the Reshaleoen (number ‘2’) provides the perfect location and perfect view to view the other side of the city which is right opposite the little mermaid. And it’s also by the harbour. This couldn’t be better to construct another skydeck for visitors to view the beauty of Copenhagen.
The inspiration behind the project is driven from the relationship between the jungle (or in greater scene the green) and the cloud. The cloud is the most important element behind the project since a skydeck is to be created. Cloud represent the quality of high and light. This quality is needed to create the new tower for a viewing platform for the site. The green part which is the green columns, acts like a elevated jungle like garden. Itâ€™s also the supporting structure for the cloud to sit on.
The characteristic of how a cloud overlapping with each other to generate very interesting feel inspires me to design something that represent that nature of the cloud. And thatâ€™s where the idea of the outer layer of the two clouds coming from. They are decorative as well as very useful in terms of being the green energy collecting installation.
0. create a bounding box (boundary) 1. draw out the preferable frame work 2. divide length by 0.1 and then cull point duplicates by 0.15 3. geometry wrapper with x,y,z input (20, 15, 2) multiply by 2, then use iso surface using the bounding box and the same x,y,z value and a iso value of 0.0005 4. weld all the vertices together and then use minimal surface with 21 in iteration, 0.5 in mean step and 0.08 in relax step 5. Moving to the cloud â€“ draw out points 1
6. Bounding box all the points 7. Mesh the bounding box and scale it up by 1.5 8. Level set with 0.032 threshold and vertices from the previous large mesh box into the surface point input. Along with using the uforce, smooth, and spring parameter as input to the kangaroo physics. Surface: 10. moving to the surface (floor) of the mesh, deconstruct it 11. create a point above the centre of the mesh and then find all the distances of all the vertices of the mesh to the point. Use mesh contour fields with iso value 30.54. 7
12. join the curve and move it up by 10 and down by 30 to create a lofted surface 13. contour the surface again to find the surface of suitable line of the cloud to create the surface Outter structure and panels: 14. moving to the creation of the outer bit. the mesh, deconstruct it 15. create a point above the centre of the mesh and then find all the distances of all the vertices of the mesh to the point. Use mesh contour fields with iso value 19.54. 16. join the curve and dive it by 10. 17. using these points as centre point to create sphere with radius 8.2
18. union all the sphere. 19. move the curve up by 10 and down by 20 and create a extrusion. 20. make the mesh to brep and contour it. And then select 9th line which is one whole close line and again move it up 10 and down 20 to create a lofted surface. And cap it. This step is to make a closed geometry for later on to be trimmed with. 21. trim solid 22. deconstruct the brep and cull some of the faces off. 23. mesh the geometry and picture frame it with 0.032 distance to create the frame.
24. use inner polygon subdivision to create the solar panel/pattern. 25. using the same points that generate the cloud, to create a series of meatball lines. Series with step 35 and count 20 then range it by 10 in z direction, the result is plugged into the plane of the meatball parameter. And with threshold 0.0004. 26. evaluate all the length by 0.5229. 27. then using this group of points to find the attracting vales of the original group of points that generate the cloud. And then using the values to apply to offset the meatball curves to generate a more dynamic meatball. 28. then using boundary surfaces to create the lofted surfaces of these curves. 29. select the surface with smaller than 7750 area value and cull the unwanted one out. 154\
SUN ANALYSIS: Images show the result that’s generated by the ladybug plug-in. Different iterations are being tested and this is one of the best iterations that’s being selected for the projects as the angle and the location of the solar panels can collect large amount of energy and yet they act as a kind of installation to block out a certain amount of sunlight for the building so that people inside the building won’t be affected by the direct sunlight so much.
1. Firstly the support structure which is also the green garden structure is constructed on site. 2. The platform is then brought to the site and being put on top of the green columns. 2
3. Steel frame work of the three clouds is then assembled on site. 4. The frame work for the outer part is then assembled as well 4
5. Glazing is installed after all the frameworks are done. 6. Solar panels are then installed on the outer layers.
7. Solar panels are installed on the viewing platform cloud as well.
Construction process for the green columns: 1. Reinforced concrete columnâ€™s erected on site 2. Concrete platforms are assembled on the columns. 3.put in smaller columns for more support and also later on metal meshes can be warped around the whole green columns to provide support for the green plants.
Image shown is the deconstruction of the green columns.
Construction process for the cloud: 1. Components needed for 1 grid 2,3,4. Assemble the steel structures together 5. Glazing installation
SOLAR PANELS FOR THE VIEWING PLATFORM
SOLAR PANELS FOR THE CAFE AND LOUNGE
C.2. TECTONIC ELEMENTS & PROTOTYPES
PROTOTYPE 1 - PATTERN
This prototype is testing the patterns of the solar panels and what kinds of shadows it will generate when they overlap with each other.
This is the layer of the solar panels that is closer to the cloud, the perforation level of the panels is 50%. It blocks half of the light yet the view though it is still very wide.
This is the outer layer of the solar panels, it also has the same characteristics as the inner layer - 50% perforation level. However, this pattern looks much more interesting and it seems to be denser than the inner ones.
This is when the two layers of solar panels overlap together. The pattern of the combination becomes more complex and itâ€™s more interesting.
PROTOTYPE 2 - JOINT 1
Transforming the real life construction joint of steel structure into the digital fabrication, there is few constraints on this convertion. Laser cutting can only produce a flat design and the material thatâ€™s being used is rather stiff and not flexible. Transforming the 3d shape of the joint into something 2d requires a new design of joining component parts together.
Therefore, I designed a hash shaped joint since each joint is connected with 4 steel members. Itâ€™s logical to make this joint minimal to easily fabricate.
In order for the rectangular members to be more securely connected to the hash shaped joint, I doubled the thickness of the joint by glueing the two joints together. By doing this, the rectangular connecting part can have more space to adjust the angle at both end to create the desire shape to accommodate the organic shape of the cloud.
Image on the left shows the process of connecting the components together. Rectangular members are designed to have the same width as the gap of the joints so that they can easily clipped into the joint and when it turns to the favourable angle, glue is used to secure the position
The finished prototype shows that this connecting method succeed in creating an angled structure. It also works from the perspective of transforming a more complicated real life joint into a very simple joint, thatâ€™s suitable for digital fabrication and yet still has the same function. This minimal joint shows the ability of saving time for fabrication and model construction.
However, this prototype still has one big problem when it comes to the upper part of the prototype, where it gets smaller and the bending angle is greater, the connecting components are difficult to fit in the gap. This shows that the joint is not yet flexible enough for curvy geometry.
PROTOTYPE 3 - JOINT 2
Prototype 2 has the same concept as the prototype, which is designing a easily fabricated and easily assembled joint. Itâ€™s a more developed joint than the first prototype. Since the first prototype is not as flexible and the angled has to be fixed when the joint and the other parts are secured together, I tried to thought about how the joint can be more adjustable without securing the angle of the two components.
I then designed this ring like joint that represent the real life steel structure joint. The joint is basically made up of 4 rings that are tightly connected to each other. The rectangular component from the first prototype has also been added 2 rings at both end so that the joint and this connecting components can have a greater security.
Each circle of the ring joint is designed to be cut out a section so that itâ€™s not a closed circle. This gap allows the long connecting components to go through and into the ring.
The gap has the exact same width as the width of the material thickness. The purpose of that is to lock the connection. In order to do so, two rectangular linking components are to put in the ring and then glued together. Therefore, the thickness of the linking component is doubled and itâ€™s thick enough that the joint is securely locked.
This joint has a greater flexibility than the first prototype and yet itâ€™s even easier to assemble. The circular ring from both the joint and the linking component enables the structure to have a smooth transition while having different angles.
C.3. FINAL DETAIL MODEL
DETAILED MODEL 1 - THE ‘TRUNK
The supporting structure for the cloud - the bottom part of the project is designed as a green columns. Therefore, there are three main construction parts thatâ€™s made up of the whole structure. The first part is the central columns which is the load bearing structure of the design. The second part is the circular element that sits on the columns. Itâ€™s the supporting structure for the planting medium to put in. Thirdly there are four lighter columns that sits on the outside of the ring. They also acts as load bearing element and also later on mesh surface can be wrap around them, then the plant can be planted inside.
DETAILED MODEL 2 - THE ‘CLOUD
There are hundreds of joints and connecting elements each in one cloud. Although prototype 2 has been resolved to be a relatively easy and effective joint for the model, it’s still needs a lot of time and possibly need more then one person to work on the model in order to secure each position the components. Therefore, a new way of assembling is needed to construct the cloud. I thought that the waffle structure method would be the best assembling method to use to construct the model. The previous prototype that I made is completely a solid waffle structure without a hollow space in the middle. This time, I designed this waffle structure with an empty space in the middle to accommodate functions and making the structure usable for the design.
It’s impossible to generate the cloud waffle structure without cutting it into two part. Therefore, I’ve tried many ways to try to divide it into two and apply it to the waffle definition. However, they were all not working as a new surface would be generated once the structure is divided. Finally the solution to this problem is just simply cut it in the unrolled file that’s sent to fablab.
I start to put up the model by only assemble the upper part of it first. The benefit of making the waffle structure is that once everything is in order, itâ€™s easy to assemble. And itâ€™s effective for working individually. Be careful not to mess up the order of the stripes, otherwise it would take a lot more time to figure out where to assemble them.
Once the upper part is finished, the bottom part is easier to assemble. Flip the upper part upside down and then match every bottom stripe with it to assemble the bottom part. I’ve also designed a way of joining and securing the two parts together. I’ve cut a little rectangular hole in both end of the stripe and then I designed a ‘]’ like joint to later put in those holes and connecting the upper structure and lower structure together. The joints are relatively small and it doesn’t take up space at all. It helps the structure remain unified without adding changes to its main structure and outlook.
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MODELS
C.4. LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
After the presentation there are few feedbacks are given from the crits. The clouds donâ€™t look like they are floating in the sky and when they sit on the supporting columns, they present some a feeling of some mass sitting on the column. To make the design look lighter, I try to reverse how the green columns operate. Instead of the holding up the clouds, now the columns are hanging the clouds, this hopefully will remove all the mass that sits under the clouds and give it more of a cleaner overall look.
Again, Iâ€™m trying to create a much lighter structure/ installation for the cloud, therefore I was looking a way to create a more penetrating design. I then found that truing the exploded sphere into the sets of thin lines. It created a sense of lightness around the cloud. They seem to lift up the whole design.
The second iteration that I made was breaking up the surface of the spheres again and exploded them into sets of points. And then I shifted the list of points and cull some of them out and connect each 6 points together as a line and then make surface boundary of it. This is the result for the new iteration. I think itâ€™s very interesting in terms of the unpredictable nature of the new surfaces. Itâ€™s more chaotic and it seems to represent the nature and characteristic of real cloud more. And the new panels are more abstract and it made the cloud look more alienist extraterrestrial.
Studio Air has been a fun subject to learn as we get to do some crazy design using parametric modelling tool. Learning and exploring new ways of thinking and designing has always been a joyful part for this subject. This subjects let me for the first time fully design a project using parametric tools. At the beginning there were still confusion and frustration of not knowing the program well and not knowing how to control it. With more and more practice on grasshopper, I’m starting to adapt more and more in thinking in parametric design. And my logic has become more and more clear as well.
Since I’m already exposed to this field of idea, I’ve become more aware of the important role of computation in the design process. This architecture industry is developing faster than before with the help of computation knowledge. Many creative design is created with the help of the machine and it truly is a powerful tool.
Throughout the semester, I’ve became very familiar with digital fabrication as I used card cut, laser cut and 3d printing to construct all my prototypes or even model.
While using the powerful tool, we need to always remember that we should be the one who’s driving the tool to achieve the idea we want to create, rather than having the idea being driven away from designer because of the computational tool. We need to always update our knowledge in order to keep up with the fast pace development of technology.
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Published on Aug 22, 2014