Page 1


Table of Contents A1.1 Personal introduction

1 2

A1.2 Discussion of architectural discourse

3 3 3 4

Past work

Precedent works ‘Plug in city’ L’Institut du Mond Arabe

A2.1 Discussion on Contemporary Computational Design Techniques

Precedent Works ‘Tent’ ‘Curtain’ ‘Blind’

6 6 7 7 8

A3.1 Describing Scripting Cultures

Project Critique The Reef Articulated Cloud

9 10 10 10

A4 Conclusion and Learning Outcomes Conclusion Learning Outcomes

11 11 11

A4 References


B4.03 Exploration of Tessellation


B4.04 Exploration of Grasshopper Definition


Discussion of Grasshopper Definition Circular paramaters Unified geometry Unified geometry 2

22 22 23 24

B5.04 Reverse Engineering Technorama Faรงade

25 25 27 28 28

B6.04 Further Development of Technique Discussion of Technique Development Mesh from image Triangulated surface Polylines

29 32 32 33 34

B7.04 Geometrical Makeup


B7.06 Documentation of Models


B7.07 How the Design Satisfies the Brief


B8 References


Introduction Breakdown of process Explanation of process Simple diagrammatic representation


A1.1 Personal Introduction My name is Christopher Krambias I am a third year Environments student majoring in Architecture. Before university I had taken no design subjects and had no knowledge of design theory or tools. Having taken subjects like Designing Environments, Earth Studio and Water Studio my design ability has improved to a mediocre level; I am capable of coming up with relatively creative designs however I am yet to produce a standout assignment. Nonetheless my drive to develop my design ability is enormous. My knowledge of design tools is equally in need of improvement. I am capable of rendering with Photoshop, creating basic forms with the loft and array tools in Rhino3d and drawing accurate technical drawings with AutoCAD but I have no knowledge of these programs other features or how to use any other design tools. Parametrics is certainly an interest of mine. I closely follow the works of designers such as Michael Hansmeyer with his incredible ability to stretch design beyond a level of human conceptualisation and Ned Kahn who puts a large emphasis on creating relationships between his designs and their environment. I will thoroughly research precedents for the Whyndham project as my goal for this semester is to elevate my level of work and produce a top level assignment in Studio Air by developing my understanding of design theory and tools.

Figure I: Image of myself


Past Work

Figure II: Christopher Krambias, Visual Communications Project, 2013


A1.2 Discussion on Architectural Discourse Architectural discourse is the ongoing debate of what architecture is and what it should become. It is what drives innovation in the field. Responsive architecture is an especially influential architectural style which attributes to the discourse of architecture. Creating a responsive design requires an advanced level of thinking and technology meaning that a responsive design is innovative by nature and pushes the boundaries of architecture.

Precedent Works ‘Plug In City’

Consider the 1960s movement which challenged conventional thinking about urban environments: Archigram. Archigram introduced city plans which were based on organic growth and adaptability. This was an enormously different from the conventional attitude toward urban design which was based around grids and zones. Peter Cooks ‘Plug in City’ (Figure III) better described by architectural historian Dennis Crompton as a ‘constantly evolving mega structure…’1 is the example of responsive architecture which we will analyse. Put simply the ‘Plug in City’ was a plan for a large piece of infrastructure which allowed for residences, transportation and other services to be plugged in and removed when needed. The city grows and adapts organically in response to the needs of the people which is why the design is so appreciated. While the ‘Plug in City’ was never actually built the thinking it introduced was enormously influential in the urban design field, after all Archigram was ‘a time of great cultural change’2. Figure III: Peter Cook, Plug in City Project, 1964


L’Institut du Mond Arabe Architectural discourse of the present is driven by the fact that building design is fundamentally flawed because it does not make environmental sense. So we need challenge the current system. Consider the innovation introduced in Jean Nouvels L’Institut du Mond Arabe (Figure IV). This building

deals with environmental pressures by introducing shading elements which are opened and closed by radiant energy to allow for appropriate sunlight. These adaptive shading elements show how Nouvel used responsive architecture to deal with the environmental issues which drive the architectural discourse of

today. Architectural discourses focus is constantly shifting; from the sixties focus on the people to the current focus in the environment. It is this ongoing debate which drives change and has developed architecture into the advanced field it is today.

Figure IV: Jean Nouvel, L’Institut du Mond Arabe, Paris, 1987


A2.1 Discussion on Contemporary Computational Design Techniques Computational techniques are becoming essential in design. Designers are innovating bigger and more efficient structures out of geometries which could not have been fathomed prior to the introduction of computation to architecture. The following will explore how they influenced architecture so heavily and what their limitations are. Construction of 3d models is the most obvious computational technique which has influenced design in the recent past. The reason for this is simple. The programs explore new geometries and patterns which are otherwise too difficult to conceptualise or present. However the abilities of computational techniques go deeper than simply an analysis of a buildings appearance. Peter Brady reflects

that ‘Architects are increasingly experimenting with computation to simulate building performance’3 in his writings on computational work. This is because when given the right instruction a computer can instantly and accurately calculate many aspects of design including stability or acoustic performance. In larger projects calculations involving stability would be so timeconsuming without computation that the entire project would become unviable. Consider how Frank Ghery could have been confident in the stability or acoustic performance of the alternative shapes used in his Guggenheim museum (Figure V). This would not have been possible without computation. Computational techniques have allowed advances in architecture by saving time and money which in turn makes theentire project more viable.

There are however limitations to computational techniques. Firstly, for computational techniques to continue to be valued by architects they need to be flexible enough to keep up with the architects innovations. This means that designers should be capable of scripting their own design tools design tools. This way the computational techniques will advance as they are required. Secondly computational techniques are not capable of creativity; it is up to the designer to innovate the design. Computational techniques have allowed for a new level of design. The efficiency and accuracy they create have allowed designers to build taller forms and stranger geometries. As these techniques advance further we will certainly see greater progression in architecture.

Figure V: Frank Gehry, Guggenhiem Museum, Bilbao 1997


Precedent Works Introduction ‘Morphing Skin’ is a research by Chin Koi Khoo, Flora Salim and Jane Burry to develop light weight elastic formchanging materials for structural and protective purposes. The program provides an opportunity for creating

responsive architectural skins and skeletons with few mechanical operations. The research is intended to develop an elastic modular system to be applied as a second skin onto existing buildings

which will allow the buildings to perform better in various climatic conditions. We will explore all three of the ‘Morphing Skin’ projects as they are of equal importance: ‘Tent’, ‘Curtain’ and ‘Blind’.

Marilena Skavara, Adaptive fa[CA]de, London,2009


‘Tent’ ‘Tent’ explores options for a supportive, expandable building skin. It is assembled in three parts. Firstly a series of hollow elastic tetrahedral modules are composed. These contract and expand without mechanical components such as motors or pistons. This allows them to change shape to respond to various environmental conditions. These tetrahedral modules are then assembled into the skeleton of the ‘Tent’ giving the whole form the ability to move organically as we see in the diagram on the right (Figure VI). The ‘Tents’ modular configuration allows it to expand and turn into a supportive element in areas placed under actuation. In order to test this

transformation researchers trigger a morphological transformation of the ‘Tent’. Areas of the ‘Tent’ are put under actuation forcing them to expand and become supportive. A microcontroller controls when this morphological transformation is triggered ensuring it only occurs when sufficient force is applied to the ‘Tent’. This set up minimises the energy that is needed for supporting a building. The ‘Tent’ creates an adaptive supportive system which minimises the energy needed for support while giving a low tech, light weight approach to support for structures. It is an extremely advanced material which takes contributes substantially to the current discourse.

Figure VI: Image showing various ‘Morphing Skin’ module configurations

‘Curtain’ The second experiment, ‘Curtain’ is intended to be used as a shading material which is opened and closed by radiant heat. This responsive material uses a simplified version of the elastic modules of the first prototype to minimise the number of components and reduce the weight of the material. It also aims to minimise the complex and heavy elements such as joints to produce a highly flexible building element. (Figure VII)

elastic elements into a continuous morphing skin. Creating a morphing skin allows for expansion and contraction which means the ‘Curtain’ can be used to respond to various physical drivers including sunlight. This makes it relevant to the current discourse of architecture as it aims at environmental protection. Through computational techniques designers can calculate what the composition of this material should be to ensure it reacts appropriately to sunlight.

In an attempt to form this material as a potential second skin for buildings, foam is used on the surface of the ‘Curtain’ to mimic the behaviour of human skins elasticity. This modifies the ‘Curtain’ skeleton from a series of

‘Curtain’ is an extremely advanced shading material. It has the ability to manipulate sunlight without any mechanical devices. The organic nature of ‘Curtain’ puts it at the forefront of responsive design.

Figure VII: Image showing tetrahedral ‘Curtain’ modules


‘Blind’ In the third and final experiment ‘Blind’ the skin surface of ‘Curtain’ is developed further to include a communicative element. The ‘Blind’ uses the same reduced tetrahedron skeleton of ‘Curtain’ giving it a lightweight yet strong makeup. SMA or shape memory alloy was selected as the most appropriate material for this elastic modular system. The reasons for this selection are: the material is readily available in the current market as it is commonly used in the aerospace and automobile sector4, it can expand by as much as 8% when heated or cooled and it reacts to electrical stimulation5. The surface of the skeleton is fabricated by silicon rubber to ensure it remains elastic while also becoming heat resistant. This system reacts to radiation to allow for appropriate sunlight in a building. When stimulated by radiation contraction of the SMAs occurs causing a morphological change of the silicon rubber and forcing the ‘Blind’ to close. When there is a lack of radiation the SMAs expand allowing the ‘Blind’ to open. Electrical stimulation can be used cause a more deliberate morphological transformation of the ‘Blind’. An electrical current can be passed to specific areas in the Blind causing morphological transformation in only those areas. This gives the material a communicative ability as it can be manipulated to display binary images and motion graphics. (FigureIX) ‘Blind’ is the most advanced and powerful responsive material which has been developed in this research. It not only has the capacity to respond to its environment it also has a communicative ability.

Figure VIII: Diagram showing SMA springs contracting causing silicon rubber elements to open

Figure IX: Image showing electrical currents being used to create binary images on the ‘Blind’

Advancements in projects like ‘Morphing Skin’ project have the pontial to reinvent architecture. They are relevant in the current discourse of architecture which focuses on environmental protection. Computerisation has allowed for the realisation of projects like this. Without it the testing and calculations involved in these projects would have been too time consuming for the project to be


A3.1 Describing Scripting Cultures Scripting has exploded architecture into a new era of design. It is the process of creating algorithms on a computer to generate designs with an extreme level of complexity. The technique is still in its infancy and developing so it is riddled with shortcomings however the potential for design it creates is enormous. We will explore why it is used in the design process, its advantages, disadvantages and some designs examples. Scripting has allowed architects a new level of creative thinking. Michael Hansmeyer is a designer at the forefront of parametric architecture. He has programmed

forms with a level of detail you could only create through an algorithm. Hansmeyer reflects that ‘These formations are almost at the threshold of human visibility’6. Describing how a properly programmed parametric model can create a form which is so detailed that without a computer would be impossible to draw. This new level of thinking stretches further than the architects drawing limitations. Hansmeyer explains that in parametric design ‘there’s too many surfaces, there’s too much detail one can’t see the end state’7. The process of creating parametric forms is so advanced that the human

brain is not capable conceptualising it. Bringing these forms out of the computer world and into the real world is where we find parametrics biggest shortcoming. ‘There’s still too much of an unfavourable tradeoff between scale on the one hand and resolution and speed on the other’8 explains Hansmeyer. Three dimensional printing; the technology bringing these designs into life is still not as advanced enough to include parametrics extreme level of detail. Nonetheless there are promising technological advancements just on the horizon which will help bridge the gap between the two worlds.

Figure X Michael Hansmeyer, Subdivided Columns , 2010


Project Critique The Reef The Reef project by Robert Ley and Joshua Stein is an example of responsive architecture which stems from scripting. The installation is made up of SMA’s or shape memory alloys which change shape according to temperature. This allows for non-mechanical movement of its elements. These elements are cut into fin like shapes. The elements are coordinated to reflect the fluidity of a reef under water. The coordination of the small fin like elements into a unified whole which behaves in this way would have been impossible to calculate without an algorithm.

Figure XI: Rob Ley, ‘The Reef’, Taubman Museum, 2010

Articulated Cloud Ned Kahns Articulated Cloud is similar construction. It is composed of thousands of translucent squares which move in the wind. ‘The artwork is intended to suggest that the building is being enveloped in a digitised cloud’8. Similar to The Reef, the organic movements of these translucent elements in a way which reflected a digitised cloud would have been impossible to calculate without an algorithmic equation. The scripting culture has given the architect a new role. Usually an architect can somehow envision the end state of what he is designing but in this case the process is not entirely predictable; there’s too much detail one can’t see the end state. The architect moves into the position of being an orchestrator of these processes without knowing what exactly the outcome will be. Figure XI: Ned Kahn, Articulated Cloud, Pittsburgh, 2004


A4 Conclusion and Learning Outcomes Conclusion

Learning Outcomes

My design approach will be of the highest level. Scripting will be used to stretch the designs level of detail to the boundaries of human conceptualisation. The design will be inspired from themes and patterns found in an Australian environment so that it is relevant to location while at the same time being unlike any other design. By designing with these inspirations I will be able to research and develop a design which pushes the limits of architecture. The design will motivate future designers.

My knowledge about the theory and practice of architectural computing has advanced greatly in only the first four weeks of this semester. I now have a beginner’s level understanding of Grasshopper, I am aware and interested in the new architectural movement and debate surrounding the term parametric and I have become interested in the works of architects like Jean Nouvel with his ability to create responsive architecture by applying parametrics

in his design for L’Institut du Monde Arabe or Ned Kahn with his ability to find inspiration in nature and researchers like Chin Koi Khoo, Flora Salim and Jane Burry with their ‘Morphing Skin’ project. This knowledge could certainly have allowed me to create stronger designs in my past work. I could have better explored the patterns and themes which inspired my projects and created more detailed designs through Grasshopper.

Figure XII: Christopher Hermann, Parametric Architecture 200



Figure XII: Ned Kahn, Wind Veil, North Carolina, 2000

References 1. Dennis Crompton, Archigram: At Work (München: Exit Utopia, 2005), p. 90. 2. Dennis Crompton, Archigram: At Work (München: Exit Utopia, 2005), p. 90. 3. Peter Brady, Computation Works: The building of algorithmic thought (Architectural Design (AD), 2013), p. 13. 4. Harti, D. and Lagoudas, Aerospace Applications of Shape Memory Alloys, (Architectural Design (AD), 2007) Part G 5. Chin Koi Khoo, Flora Salim, Jane Burry. International Journal of Architectural Computing  (Discovery, 2011) p.405 6. Michael Hansmeyer, Building unimaginable shapes, < building_unimaginable_shapes.html?quote=1795> [Accessed 10 August 2013] 7. Michael Hansmeyer, Building unimaginable shapes, < building_unimaginable_shapes.html?quote=1795> [Accessed 10 August 2013] 8. Michael Hansmeyer, Building unimaginable shapes, < building_unimaginable_shapes.html?quote=1795> [Accessed 10 August 2013] 9. Ned Kahn, Articulated Cloud <> [Accessed 11 August 2013]






B4.03 Exploration of Tessellation Tessellation aims at organising elements in a repetitive pattern. Elements fill a surface without any gaps or overlaps. Brick walls and tiled floors are simple examples of tessellations however designers often use more interesting forms to create the makeup of their tessellation. Consider the Gherkin in London (Figure I) for a built example. Over time architecture has become larger and more complex. Architects can create standerdised set of materials with a tessellated pattern which can be used to materialise their work allowing for ease of

construction. Consider the standardized triangulated glass elements in the Gherkin building. The large complex form made up of a series of simple components. Tessellation is also an aesthetic opportunity which has been reintroduced to architecture with digital design technologies. In the past tessellation was a repetitive process of linking elements together one by one to create a pattern. This mundane process has been reintroduced with design technologies which allow for instant formulation and modification of

patterns. The ease which design technologies create allows for deeper exploration of tessellated forms on a larger scale. This art form can however lead to uninventive design. Architects must be careful of not allowing the repetitive nature of tessellation oversimplify their design. The outcome may become as plain as a brick wall. To deal with this, designers should not be afraid to break the rules of tessellation. They should change the elements they work with or even leave gaps inside the pattern as seen in Figure II.

Figure I: Swiss Re HQ, 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), London, 2004


Figure II: Bobby Bogl, Unbound Tesselation, 2004


B4.04 Exploration of Grasshopper Definition The intention of this exploration is to simulate wind on a geometry in Rhino 3d using Grasshopper. The algorithm for the Voiussor cloud introduces us to the Kangaroo plugin for Grasshopper. This plugin has a Unary Force component which is used to apply gravities effect on the geometry.

We will introduce horizontal unary forces to a geometry. These forces can represent wind giving the research an environmental relevence. We do this by adapting the unary force in the Voiussor cloud definition and applying it in the x and y direction instead of the z direction.

In the following sequence of matricies the first family on each page is a simple deformation of the geometry and the second family shows the effect of different levels of unary force on the geometry.

Key: Movement of points in x and y axis

Space Adaptation

Space Subdivision

Space Adaptation 2 Unary Force x y

Space Subdivision

Unary Force x y

Space Subdivision

Unary Force x y

Space Subdivision

Unary Force x y

Space Subdivision

Unary Force x y


Circular Paramaters

Circular Paramaters 2

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y


Unified Geometry

Unified Geometry 2

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y

Unary Force x y


Discussion of Grasshopper Definition Circular Paramaters In order to explore to fully explore the effect of a unary force it was applied to several different forms. Here the original geometry has had its paramater changed to a circular shape. Once a unary force was applied to it the results were interesting. We moved from a rigid geometry to an organicly morphing form whose shape changed according to the force applied to it. It seems however that this form is somewhat restricted as it is segmented into seperate parts by attractor points. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Unified Geometryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; families deal with this.


Unified Geometry The aim here was to unify the geometry into a single whole rather than segmented parts. The exploding tree tool was used to unify all lists into a single list then the geometry was lofted to create a single form. The form was explored further by increasing the amount of 2d voronoi in the geometry to create a clearer pattern. The result was a rigid geometry of layers and intersections. The irregular pattern of this geometry suggests that the form is not constrained like Circular Paramaters. This should allow for more interesting results in Unified Geometry 2.


Unified Geometry 2 This diagram researched the effect of a unary force on the previous single lofted surface. As discussed earlier the unary force represents the inverse effect of gravity.The result was interesting. The form created was a 3d surface which would alter significantly with changes to the unary force. This is because the form was not restricted by paramaters like attractor points. The pattern produced is equally interesting. Here we see repetition of rigitity resulting in sharp corners which produce a complex arrangement. These could inspire a tesselated form.


B5.04 Reverse Engineering Technorama Facade Introduction Technomara Façade is a dramatic representation of how wind passes through a building. Built by Ned Kahn in Switzerland 2002 it uses hinged panels along its façade to imitate the patterns of wind. Responsive works such as this ones ability to react to their environment organically (purely through natural elements) makes them enormously influential to the current discourse of architecture. While this example is somewhat simplistic in that its responsive ability only serves an aesthetic purpose it is certainly a step in the right direction. Consider Kahns development of this approach in one of his more recent works Firefly. Firefly uses the back and forth swinging of the panels to trigger a flickering of tiny red lights at night.

‘The illumination of this entire sculpture requires less energy than a 75-watt light bulb’1 . Kahn was able to develop a self-illuminating façade and contribute to the current discourse of architecture because of his precedent development of projects such as the Technomara Façade or Articulated Cloud. Kahns responsive works were undevelopable without scripting. During development Kahn would have needed to guarantee that his facades would react appropriately to an uncontrollable and unpredictable element: the wind. This would be an extremely difficult task which is next to impossible to complete without the advantages of scripting. Through an algorithm Kahn could have quickly and accurately calculated the

makeup for his façade considering weight, number and size of panels as well as the overall shape. Kahns early breakthroughs allowed for the development of more advanced projects like ‘Morphing Skin’ which was discussed in Part A of this study. This project created light weight elastic form-changing materials for structural and protective purposes. In other words the precedents which Kahn set led to the development of naturally responsive materials which served a functional purpose. By reverse engineering this project we will understand the depth and complexity of Kahns works. Information gathered from this task can develop and inspire in our own works as designers.

Figure III: Ned Kahn, Technorama Facade, Switzerland 2002


Technorama Fascade

Figure IV: Christopher Krambias, Technorama Facade Reverse Engineering,


Breakdown of Process

Grid of Panels

Point of Rotation

Refinement of Grid

No Webcam Movement

Panel Sizes

Limited Webcam Movement

Plane Rotation

Substantial Webcam Movement


Explanation of Process The process of reverse engineering Kahns work was time consuming yet enormously valuable. We will begin with a thorough explanation of how the task was completed and then describe our learning outcomes. Initially a simple 2d grid was set with a set of geometries attached to every intersection along the grid. This allowed for easy manipulation of the number of panels in the façade. These geometries were then made to rotate in a way which mimicked the Technomara Façade by revolving them around the y z plane. The rotation was dictated by the distance between each panel and a point set in Rhino. This approach created a pattern which resembled the Technomara Façade however the algorithm required manual movement of a point in Rhino to create changes in the pattern. In other words the

façade did not inhibit the organic movement of the Technomara Façade. So a new approach was taken. A webcam was introduced and a pattern of swirl vectors were created from the webcam. The distance of these vectors from each panel was used to dictate the panel rotation however this lead to many issues. The swirl vectors created a random pattern which did not resemble the organic movement. Furthermore the algorithm had become extremely complex slowing our computers and making it difficult to work with. This was because there were too many vectors affecting the pattern of the façade. In an attempt to render this problem the size of the swirl vectors was reduced to one hundredth of their original size and while this improved the speed of our computers it still resulted in an undesired, random looking façade.

Instead of using many different vectors the average movement vector was taken from the webcam. This created a much more desirable effect. The distance was taken between the average movement vector and the panels to create pattern which moved according to the amount of movement in the webcam. The greater the movement in the webcam the more intense the movement in the façade became while slowing movement in the webcam reduced movement in the façade. (See ‘Substantial Webcam Movement’) This process was enormously valuable in developing our knowledge.First of all we have been introduced to the Distance component which could be used to create an attractor point in our final design. Seconldy we have found a way to make our form respond to the webcam which can also be refined with further explorations.

Simple Diagrammatic Explination









B6.04 Further Development of Technique Given that this is a responsive design, the long run intention of this work is to spark an deformation of our installation. To create the greatest effect it was recognized that timing of its change in form is paramount. The reverse engineering of Technorama faรงade allowed us the opportunity to explore using a webcam to cause changes in our design. Refinement of this technique illustrated in the diagrams which

follow will allow us to ensure the deformation of our installation occurs at the right time. Each family of diagrams came from meshes or geometries displayed in Rhino3d and formed by a Grasshopper algorithm which recognized movement in the webcam. With each family an attempt was made to limit the results to only a geometry which represented what was moving in the webcam while also creating an

algorithm which ran efficiently on a computer. The long run intention is that a moving object in the webcam, for example a car will be portrayed as a geometry in Rhino 3d which moves through a field of view. Once the car was in the right position the geometry representing the moving object would move over surface in Rhino 3d and we could use this connection to spark a deformation of our installation.

Key: Direction of movement in webcam

Curves Lofted


Mesh from mage

Mesh from Image 2

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y



mesh span x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

mesh dimensions x y

Triangulated Surface


Discussion of Technique Development Mesh from Image Mesh From Image portrays the outcome of a ‘Mesh from image’ component being plugged into the webcam. This tool proved valuable in achieving the goal of limiting the result in Rhino 3d to only a moving geometry. Unlike Curves Lofted this example clearly portrays the image on the webcam as geometry in Rhino. The geometry is so detailed that we can easily make out the shape of a person’s face. With a simple Boolean function the geometry can be limited to only what is moving. The issue with this algorithm is that it is too unresponsive to work with. The level of detail causes the algorithm to slow and renders it useless. The algorithm needs to respond quickly if it is to achieve its goal of activating a change in the installation at the correct time. Given that the goal of this research does not require a level of detail as high as what we have in Mesh From Image in further diagrams it will be appropriate to reduce the level of detail in order to create a faster algorithm.


Triangulated Surface Triangulated Surface is an alternative approach of achieving the goal described. Here instead of using a ‘Mesh from image’ output the output is a triangulated surface. The original mesh was run through an algorithm which forms surfaces from meshes. This achieved good results when compared to ‘Mesh From Image’ as level of detailed is limited yet the algorithm still portrays where movement appears in the webcam. Nonetheless this output is difficult to work with. The algorithm which forms the surface again causes the result to slow significantly. Even with the low level of detail which this output produces it is still to slow to work with.


Polylines In Mesh From Image 2 the dimensions of Mesh From Image were reduced to 10 in the x direction and 10 in the y direction. This was successful in increasing the speed of the output to a useful point however the result portrayed an extreme level of detail in a small space. So much detail in fact that it is difficult to understand where the movement is occurring in the geometry. As such Polylines was produced. This ran the mesh through a simple â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;MeshDualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; component in order to produce a series of polylines. The series span was reduced to 20 in the x direction and 20 in the y direction so as to deal with the surplus of detail which we experienced in figure 4. This output successfully achieves the desired goals of producing a fast responding algorithm which generates geometry in Rhino 3d that represents movement in the webcam.


B7.04 Geometrical Makeup Introduction This form will wilt as polluting cars drive past and rise as non-polluting cars drive past. The intention is to raise awareness about car pollution by mocking polluting drivers and praising non-polluting drivers.

System Diagram

Head The head of the flower rises and wilts to distinguish between polluting and non polluting cars.

Stem The plastic tube stem of the flower expand and contracts with air pressure. An increase in air pressure will cause the flower to rise.

Bend The weight of the head causes the Stem to bend when air pressure is reduced.


The timber base of the installation maintains the shape of the form.

Pump An air pump hidden in the base pumps different levels of air into the system.


B7.06 Documentation of Models The design is responsive meaning that it must respond to some kind of external factor. So this designs performance under external conditions is critical to its success.

We want to create a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Flowerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; form which wilts as polluting cars drive past and rises when non-polluting cars drive past. Therefore we need some kind of elastic material which

can exist in a similar shape to a flower and expands and contracts under some kind of external actuation. The following is an exploration of the potential makeups.

Plastic Bag This first analysis explores a plastic bag which is formed into a stem like shape by a spring and how it responds to air being pumped in and out of it. In full scale the makeup could simply be replicated. This is because there exists companies such as EVCO Plastics which produce plastic forms at an enormous scale2 and companies like ESSAR steel which produce steel reinforcing members used to support buildings2. The system works well in principal, as the air is pumped into the bag it begins to expand and causes the form to raise. It does not however work in practice. When compressed the plastic bag is full of irregularities and as the form expands it bubbles in areas rather than raising and as a hole form.

Rubber Hose

Figure V: Showing plastic bag expanding

Figure VI: Showing plastic bag only deforming in top area

The next research explores how a hose responds to water being pumped in and released from it. The synthetic rubber makeup of hoses could easily be replicated on a larger scale by companies like Rosler Tyre Innovations which make tyres for trucks in mining companies4. The issue here is that the rubber is too dense and does not rise enough.


Plastic Tube Here we explore how a tube formed out of plastic tape reacts. As discussed earlier plastic forms are a non-issue to construct because there exists companies such as EVCO Plastics. The form reacts appropriately. As we see in Figures VIII and IX it easily raises and wilts like a flower as air is pumped in an out of it. It does however need to be explored on a larger scale to understand its limits. These limits can be used as paramaters in grasshopper to help find the final form of this installation. Figure VIII: Showing contracted plastic tube

Figure IX: Showing raised plastic tube

Figure X: Site Model

Figure XI: Site Model

Site Model In order for the installation to work effectively motorists should be immersed in the ‘Flower’ form. By immersing drivers in a jungle of flowers the intended message will become more obvious. The Site Model allowed us to explore how best to do this. First of all the decision made to plant flowers on both ends of the highway. Secondly to enhance this aspect of immersion the size of the form was set to be higher than any vehicle, including trucks. By having the forms hover above even the tallest vehicle drivers will always be able to see the enormous ‘Flowers’ wilt and die as a polluting car passes by.


B7.07 How the Design Satisfies the Brief The primary goal of this project is to create an installation with a strong environmental message. This form will wilt as polluting cars drive past and rise as non-polluting cars drive past. It will target one of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most significant causes of air pollution: car pollution. Motor vehicles contribute 51% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 44% of hydrocarbon emissions5 In doing this Wyndham gateway will become more than just a welcome into a Victorian

city; it will become a controversial catalyst for environmental change. We are confident in this methods effectiveness because of our research into innovative social experiments which have created significant change. The most interesting example we came across was Antanas Mockas, the 1995 Mayor of Bogata social experiment. He hired 420 mimes to make fun of traffic offenders

because he believed Columbians were more afraid of being ridiculed than being fined. The project was enormously successful, under Mockas traffic fatalities dropped by over 50%6 By aiming at a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pride rather than a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pocket Mockus found a way to deal with a significant social issue. We will adapt this method and target polluting motorists in or Wyndham City gateway.

Figure XII: Perspective Image


References 1.

Ned Kahn, Firefly <> [Accessed 10 September 2013]


Evco plastics, Technologies <> [Accessed 15 September 2013]


Essar Steel, <> [Accessed 15 September 2013]


Roesler Tyers, <,1033,130937,-1.aspx.> [Accessed 15 September 2013]

5. RAC, Impact on Cars and the Environment, <> [Accessed 16 September 2013] 6.

MarĂ­a Cristina Academic turns city into a social experiment (Harvard University, Gazette, 2004.)








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Designapproach 538797 christopherkrambias