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kit nam wong

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\\ the university of melbourne ---- architecture design studio air 2012

architectural discourse ------

Any serious “rethinking” of architecture at the start of this century cannot be undertaken without upsetting the structure and emphases of the traditional profession, of traditional typologies, and of traditional modes of envisaging the architectural subject … Vidler, Anthony (2000). ‘Review of Rethinking Architecture and The Anaesthetics of Architecture by Neal Leach’, Harvard Design Magazine, 11, pp. 1-4, p. 3

Expression of Interest

X.1. Case for Innovation X.1.1 Architecture as a Discourse X.1.2. Computing in Architecture X.1.3. Case for Innovation Conclusion X.2. Research Project X.2.1. Scope of Possibilities X.2.1.1. Matrix Combinations X.2.1.2. Reverse-Engineered Case-Study X.2.1.3. Material Effects X.2.1.4. Assembly Methods X.2.2. Research Project Conclusion X.3. Competitive Advantage

Project Proposal

Y.1. Y.2. Y.3. Y.4.

Project Interpretation Project Delivery Project Presentation Project Proposal Conslusion

Learning Objectives n Outcomes

Z.1. Z.2. Z.3. Z.4.

Personal Background and Learning Objectives Learning Progress Learning Outcomes Future Work

express of interest


case for innovation

architecture as a discourse

precedent |1|

Pratt Institute, Higgin Hall Insertion, Brooklyn, NY, US. Steven Holl yr 2005


as a new intervention of a new begining as a system of symbiotic process

"An ingenious piece of urban infill. It is one of those rare interventions that has ended up creating the institution as a new beginning". -Kenneth Framptom (2006). Domus 896.

Architecture can always be the new begining no matter in any context. The new extension of Pratt Institue by Steven Holl has created an emerging experience between the old and new context. It is merely a symbiotic process on how architecture should achieve in any context in order the persuade a new identity of a new exploration. With the exploration of new presentable methods and ideas where it is how architecture should contribute. Steven Holl has manipulated the new insertion hall from a 100 years old context into a newly breath, eyes catching, but humble way of facade. He created a transition kind of experience which i see it as a kind of discourse in between the two different language. As the transition is not just the facade, but also the interior, the transition of the dissonance between the floor plates, where its spaces transition happened as well as the light transition happened. The using of translucent material as the major skin create a energetic interior space while at the day time, as well as energetic surrounding while at the night. I would say the building itself has create a sense of energetic form from inside out all the time. As the Wyndham City Council wanted a new indentity that represent the context itself in more innovative way. Here i see how architecture should persuade more into what Richard William(2005, p103) writes about ‘architecture as a form of art; architecture as a symbolic realm; architecture as spatial experience‘. These should see as part of how architecture could communicate with the audiences. Through different range of ideas exploration.

architecture as a discourse precedent |2|

NYU Department of Philosophy, New York, US. Steven Holl yr 2007

"Architecture is as much a philosophical, social or professional real as it is a material one". -Richard William 2005, p.103

This infill pieces of breathtaking new staircase in the NYU Department Philoshophy building has created such sense of enlighten. A totally new language that applying into a classical building space. It is the new spatial experience that Steven Holl try to achieve through new exploration of how material could present to provide such environment. The perforated patterns on the staircase skin where the new computing technologies design techniques can achieve in variable way. Architecture in a sense that should achieve the spatial experience where will suit the context. In this case, it seem not a traditional kind of context, but yet it represents how the social could change through the manipulation of the architecture ideas. It ends up providing a new experience to the people, and from there, the social evolve by the new inspiration, and from there, the new inspiration then elvove into another new inspiration. As writes by Patrick Schumacher(2011, p.1):

"The phenomenon of architecture can be most adequately grasped if it is analyzed as an autonomous network(autopoietic system) of communications".

It is where the architecture is a self generated phenomenon that should achieve in the social context. But yet, in facts, it might not seem this kind of achievement here, but the approach or idea here seemingly give us a sign on how architecture should inspired people as well as inspired by the people or others. As the Wyndham City Council wanted an inspires and enriches municipality proposal. Where i think the autopoietic system of architecture should apply. The project gateway should keep itself in generates discourse. Where the greatest interaction is a must to start!

'Holl has unveiled his newest, most poetic space to date (...). Holl's studio transformed the straightforward program (...) with a single spatial element that encourages interaction.' -Mimi Zeiger 2008 (Azure)

architecture as a discourse precedent |3|

Personal Automobile Showroom, conceptual project, Bukit Kiara, KL. yr 2009


as the injection of energetic form This project was a conceptual idea of a new extension residential, commercial and an automobile showroom from SDCC convention centre at Bukit Kiara, KL. A conventional , rigid and enclosing space is just as bore as it is, there is no new sensation to generate the new kind of excitement of the entire region. Architecture should generate more energetic space from the exisiting places that it had. To let us explore a different kind of sensation through out the whole architecture entities. Where it should be let people talk about it, aprreciate about it, and even anticipated in it in a longer times.

Computing in Architecture

Parametric Design

Novel Interiorities for Existing Structural Systems 0RN8

Parametric modelling seen as the powerful tools fo solving the complex issue in the comtemporary digital design period. It provides a variable solution to be tested for a better outcomes. In parametric design, where the particular shape is not the always, but it was by assigning different values and to the parameters, hence different objects or configurations can be created.

"Parametric design calls for rejection of fixed solutions and for an explorations of infinity variable of possibilities" - Branko Kolarevic 2003, p.17

As Wyndham City Council asks for an innovative proposal which is abstract, aspirational intent and feeling. Where parametric design surely can provide these kind of exploration through digital way, then it can fasten the tests by saving a lot of times. It also can be accurately framed in such a way that suit the requirement of the city council intentions.

"parametrics can provide for a powerful conceptual of architectural form by describing a range of posibilities, replacing in the process stable with variable, singularity with multiplicity" - Branko Kolarevic 2003, p.17

Computing in Architecture

Scripting Culture

Centre Pompidou, "Scripting affords signifiprobotics team - biothing cant engagement between comdirected by, puter and user by automating Alisa Andrasek routine aspects and repetitive activities, thus fasProbotics Team: cilating a far greater range Knut Brunier, of petential outcomes for Diego Rossel, same investment in time" Jose Sanchez, Anica Taneja

- Burry 2011, p.8

Parametric thinking approach is not enough, and without a good tool to generate parametric design, the idea will just faded away. Scripting tools is the potential method in parametric designs. As Burry(2011) writes, ‘scripting as a driving force for 21st century architectural thinking‘, where to encompass such complexity design issue that Western Gateway wanted, scripting can help us in generate more sophisticated form into a logical way of presenting or even to be fabricated in the later stage. Scripting allow the us to reduce time we use into investigate the process of design. Where it can reduce the costs of production for investigate for an appropriateness design idea. As respone to what Wyndham City Council wanted an ability of completing a project of this size, type and budget. As scripting allowed us to explore the size easier, the variable types easier, and for sure in the budget range.

"the antidode to standardisation forced by ambition to lower production costs, rather than any more sophisticated motivation" - Burry 2011, p.9

case for innovation conclusion

Architecture seemingly elvoving through time, it is a never ending process, it represents the ‘zegeist‘ in certain social context or even globally. Just like ‘bauhaus‘ period where at that times mass production is the solution for the over demanding housing issue. During that time it was seen a new innovation in architecture. While for now, digital conputing is such a great techniques since the first tool like CAD which helping us in drafting easier and faster. By now perhaps to be indicated into resolving the complex design, where we found how digital techniques could help us explore more in the process, along the process, and the finished products of the proocess. As to encompass so many differents or challanged criteria where it is more complex in the sense, a lot of demand not just about the building structures itself, but also the mood that architecture want to achieve for the audience. For Western Gateway Projects, where seemingly discourse that have to achieve in innovative way. Which we need to produce a piece of work that symbolized the innovation of times now that can give the social to talk about it, to appreciate about it and to live within it notions. Through the precedents study of how architecure discourse and the computing techniques, where I found out it is a great tools to help in designing process.

research projects x.2

scope for possibilities

cut n develop by kit, linda, julian, ruxi

matrix combinations

Rhino & Grasshopper Defination Experiment of Input + Association + Output

nature theme

The Wyndham City council aims for a gateway design to achieve abstract forms that inspires positive arrival experience and emphasis the natural environment, histories and heritage of municipality. In relation to the topic of nature, the concept was inspired by the very basic form of nature: plants. From the invisible cells, formulating a physical stem which grows leafs and petals in repetition, generating a flower; it is the concept of parts to whole in designing: the interrelation between components which formulates the structure from the very foundation. From this origin, the design process experiments the extent in which seamless dots formulates a line, and lines formulates an image, shadow, light and motion from very simple adjustments in various combination of Input, Association and Outputs; embracing design aim.

Reverse-Engineered Case Study



hitoshi abe


soft surface boundary To recreate the characteristic natural environment of Sendai into the restaurant The curvature form of perforated steel imitates the road side Zelkovas tree, and through innovative digital designs of perforation in the material, the backlit lighting projects the image of trees and produces a seamless ‘soft boundary surface’ which show the continuity from roadside landscape into interior space of Aoba Tei.


SCALE : 0.09

SCALE : 0.11

SCALE : 0.13

SCALE : 0.15

SCALE : 0.18

SCALE : 0.20

SCALE : 0.23

SCALE : 0.25

SCALE : 0.28


SCALE : 0.04

SCALE : 0.06

SCALE : 0.08

SCALE : 0.10

SCALE : 0.15

SCALE : 0.20

The test 1 & test 2 patterns were generated by explicit grid input + images smapler association + circle output. It is a test on how parameter changes affect the scale, density and the contrast of it. Images sampler is a powerful tools to reflect the images into an abstarct way. Wherelse the explicit grid used to organised the grid in certain sizes. To try to achieve how AOBA TEI patterns look like, the testing with same image but inversely to find the appropriate feeling seemingly same as AOBA TEI patterns.

SCALE : 0.25


Through altering the parameter and scripting it in rationally, we then can rationalised the dots in several standard size. The standard size peforated holes will allow easy frabication in future. After the process of rationalisation, we then explore the peforated holes into several shape as well.

4mm,6mm,9mm spacing 15mm

12mm,16mm,18mm spacing 20mm

2mm,4mm,5mm spacing 15mm

4.5mm,6mm,10mm spacing 20mm

2.5mm,1.5mm,3mm spacing 15mm

3.5mm,7mm,8mm spacing 20mm

Material Effects Restaurant Aoba Tei by Hitoshi Abe ‘establishes a visual dialogue’ between the characteristic landscapes of Sendai into the internal environment of the restaurant. This case study provides further architectural philosophy, exploring the boundary of relationship between nature and the materiality. What is materiality? What is nature? All material is a formed of nature in one way or another, then where does the line lie to separate the two? Thus leads to the exper-

imentation of physical abilities of cardboard. It is stiff and rigid similar to perforated steel

(materiality) used in Aoba Tei, and under submergence

it softens, bends like wood (nature) over long pe-

riod of environmental exposure. Our aim to produce an imitation of Aoba Tei restaurant but also to further explore the transition of space, which cardboard is used as a physical transition medium (distortion of materiality and nature) between the external and internal space. The perforation of material imitates and projects nature and the sensation of natural environment.

“Experiment through the light and metalized effects of the model. It show how the reflective effect vary with curvature of the form.�

“Experiment of bending and light casting into enclosed space.�

“Experiment of overlapping when met the light source. It show how the light and shadow changes with distance.�

start This showing how the patterns of light changing while camera pan through the overlapping patterns in an extreme dark light conditions.


“Experiment through the extreme dark environment with overlaying of few panels.�

Assembly Methods

The steel plates patterns were welded onsite with specialised professional craftmanship. Craftman were able to deform the steel panels at key points by heating and chilling. The assembly methods of the model is similar to Aoba Tei restaurant. A thin framing element is used to permenantly prop the steel/ cardboard into the desired curvature form; setting the wall in place. The steel walls were assembled from smaller segments; the model presented is at the scale of 1:5 to the steel panels. Perforated steel was precasted and assembled on site. Our model was laser cutted and assembled accordingly to the framming.

research projects conclusion

Through the searching process by exploring the Matrix Combinations, we see how potential these tools can be express our choosen theme ideas. The changing of parameter of swapping the differents INPUT + ASSOCIATION + OUTPUT, different effects can be generated. With the exploration of these, we then have a test on a reverse engineer process of a AOBA TEI. The AOBA TEI project give us to explore not only the images patterns that are abstract, but also the idea behind how the lighting effects may gave us inspiration on the next project proposal. The differential of lighting intensity and effects were so attractive to create different moods. The installation of AOBA TEI is quite complex, where a well skill craftman is needed to join up the panel into perfect. There is an disadvatages where the process of installation by welding is quite troublesome and slow. But with the digital design techniques, it could lead us in explore further on next proposal. Where the assembly or installation methods could have been resolve esily and time saving. Meanwhile, the material choosing in AOBA TEI is easy to manipulate but left only the structural issue that needed to be solved in later stage.


Competitive Advantage WESTERN GATEWAY aspiration intent natural environment arrival experience abstract feeling new identity Idea “Abstract Moment” - the moment that not just the abeyance one, it should ever changing(just like how the activities along the highway which is ever changing and unpredictable) The ‘hangging’ and ‘go’ is the way to keep the memories of the ‘abstract moment’. Where the ‘abstract moment’ should be like talking to the audience along the highway as well as around the site. Art is the uprising features of the Wyndham City, where they try to attract tourist by promoting art, and culture activities. They have several public art supporting event which including the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award(2000-2008) and Sculpture Walk at Werribee Park. Next, the digital design techniques could help in explore the idea that we want to achieve to the council.



project interpretation

The brief of Western Gateway Project is asking for a eye catching installation. In our proposal, we are not only try to produce an eye catching structure but also the exprience around and inside the structures. As looking from the example to the successful project: ‘Seed of Changes‘, we try to adapt similiar idea of ‘natural feature’, but into more abstract way of presenting it. The site has three separate zone, we are choosing the zone A where it is the centre of all the surrounding roads or freeway. We are trying to incorparate the ‘natural feature‘ into the surrounding in an expression of materialistic and structural way instead of using softscape to manipulate to surrounding. Wyndham City has a strong relationship between natural environment and human activities, where they are keen to promote a place of engaging with the nature. Hence, for our proposal, we are try to incoraprate it as well.

eeway inces fr

pr it




to Melb ong



lo ee

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zone A dilemma Empty and Boring Surface

Try to have some trees!



project delivery



Texture of the Skin

We try to propose a tunnel structure in a form of curvature that blend into the natural slanding soil. The centre part of the tunnel is slightly higher and narrow than the entrance and exit of the tunnel. The reason on it is to let the motorists to have a several experience passing the tunnel where they can feel the changing in spaces as well as the lighting effects. The ribs structure is such a way that represents the heavy-ness of the trees, where the ribs criss-cross with each other to form a ‘canopy‘ kind of environment. While, the skins itself come from the patterns of tree to give the ‘forestry‘ kind of environment.

New added soils from excavated existing soils

north elevation

New added soils from excavated existing soils

site plan

The reason the tunnel is being set into the existing soil and creating an alternative drive way is to let the motorists have the chance of not only experience the external ‘forestry‘ kind of new nature environment, but also to be able to enjoy inside the internal ‘forestry‘ kind of environemt.

I Beam Structure I Beam Structure Peforated Steel Plate L cap Joint

construction section

y . 3

project presentation


project proposal conclusion

The tunnel of ‘silhouette nature‘ could be part of how the representative of natural environment being express through the structural and pattern ornamentation. It is how the environment can be represent in an innovative way through digital design with ease and also fabricated in more accurately. Our proposal is trying to achieve the effect of ‘natural environment‘ into a more visually feel. However, due to certain limitation of the time lacking in fabrication of the prototype models, the effect somehow could not be achieve similiarly on what we want. But, based on what we have learned from the ‘Cut n Develop‘ process, it is showed that the possible of the similiar effect could achieve.


personal background n learning objectives learning progress


Personally, I think that digital computing design is an express tools for me to refine the initial design in designing process. I like to use digital tools in enchacing my design. Through out my previous study and working experience, i have leaarn several software in designing and drafting. Hence, in this Studio, I expect how the new software could help me in develop my design. However, learning a new software is not easy, where times is consuming.

learning outcomes


Through out the whole semester, I have try to understand the new software to help in my design process. It did help me in exploring the new possibility in designing, but it is also a limitation to me to develop my design in more freely or comprehensively while lacking of understanding the tools in grasshopper.

The outcomes I have gained through the whole semester is on how to create a pattern or texture to suit the needs and be able to rationalise it for easy fabrication. I pretty like to play with texture, where i found out grasshopper can help me in further develop my idea in texturing in future. However, back to fabrication process, i found out it is not easy to resolve the complex joinery by using grasshopper alone. Hence, i think this is the weakness where parametric can resolved in generate various type of form and the patterns, but once touches with strcutural issue, it is not really helpful. Maybe there is a way, but without really master the whole software of grasshopper, it would be just becoming the weakness of resolving the design issue.


future works Exploring in texture effects...




references Aurthur C.Danto, 2008. House in Use, Art Forum, pp126. Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp.8-71. Kenneth Frampton, 2006. Kenneth on Holl, Domus October 2006, pp42-48. Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp.3-62. Patrik Schumacher, ‘Introduction : Architecture as Autopoietic System’, in The Autopoiesis of Architecture (Chichester: J. Wiley, 2011), pp.1-28. Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), pp.102-116. Vague Terrain, Journal Website, Viewed 22 March 2012. <http://vagueterrain. net/journal14/agentware/01 > Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp.5-25. Images sourced from : <> <> <> <>

Journal Final  
Journal Final  

Architecture Design Studio : Air Journal