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The University of Melbourne Ying Karen Chow 531688


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A.1. Architecture as a Discourse A.2. Computational Architecture A.3. Parametric Modelling A.4. Algorithmic Explorations A.5. Conclusion A.6. Learning Outcomes Reference

5 8 13 18 19 20 21

PART B. EO1 II: DESIGN APPROACH B.1. Design Focus B.2. Case study 1.0 B.3. Case study 2.0 B.4. Technique: Development B.5. Technique: Prototypes B.6. Technique Proposal B.7. Algorithmic Sketches B.8. Learning objectives and outcomes Reference

24 29 35 43 49 51 53 55 57

C.1. C.2. C.3. C.4. C.5.

Gateway Project: Design Concept Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements Gateway Project: Final Model Algorithmic Sketches Learning Objectives and Outcomes

59 64 67 73 75 77



Through out my study I was enrolled in the subjects Virtual Environments and design studio Earth in the University of Melbourne. The photos on the left show the previous work I have done in Virtual Environments using Rhino. That was the first experience I have with simple digital fabrication. In this subject I have adopted the idea of Erosion to create this piece of model that could be wear around the body.

My name is Ying Karen Chow and I am from Hong Kong. I started studying in Australia at the age of 15 and right now I am a third year architecture student at the University of Melbourne. This is my third design studio so far throughout my degree of Bachelor of Environments. I have learnt Rhino in my first year of University through the subject Virtual Environments but I have not really used it since mainly because I am used to working with AutoCAD. I am excited to get a chance to learn about this software again and this time with Grasshopper and parametric design. Hopefully by the end of this course I will be more comfortable working with Rhino and become better in utilizing computation and digital modelling in the future. Project for Virtual Environments

For the Unearthing project in the design studio Earth, the main project involved was to design a discovery centre for cultural exchange located on Herring Island. Though this project I have not used any digital software to help with my design as the studio recommend hand drawn sections and plans.

Sketch design of discovery centre for Herring Island






The Blur Building (2002), Lake Neuchatel, Yverdon-les-bains, Switzerland, architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro (

Responsive facade Another interesting architecture that encounters the interaction between natural environment into the design is the Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is known for its extreme weather conditions. In order to cope with the intense heat and glare, Aedas Architects have designed a responsive facade as a shading device, which has taken cultural cues from the ‘mashrabiya’.3 The design has utilize parametric modelling for the geometry of the actuated facade panels. These panels acting as a screen, operates as a curtain walls to simulate their operation in response to sun exposure and changing incidence angles during the different days of the year. The triangle panels are coated


with fiberglass and are programmed to respond to the movement of the sun to mediate daylight and reduces glare. It has largely reduced the building’s need for air-conditioning by more than 50%!4 And by this 50% it shows that it is highly promoting the idea of being environmentally sustainable. The tinted glass that are used has also allow more natural light and less artificial light. The screen will close in evening and people would be able to see the facade a little bit more. From this precedent it shows that architecture nowadays has made use of the natural phenomena: instead of making something to keep the environment out, it embraces this by incorporating it into the design idea.

Photo on Left: Close up of the facade responsive panels. Photo below: Al Bahar Towers (2012), Abu Dhabi, architect Aedas Architects (

We live in a world surrounded by architecture and for most people, architecture is a public work of art. However, when just viewing architecture as art, we have neglected a lot of different areas that architecture is actually involved in. This is where architecture as a discourse comes into place as it is more effective and clear if we were to examine architecture in a more specific way. What I am interested in architecture as a discourse is to view architecture as something that is able to allow viewers to observe and interact with the natural environment; architecture that is responsive and allows interactions and changes to happen according to the natural phenomena. 1

An example of natural process-responsive architecture is the temporary structure, the Blur Building, built for the Swiss Expo 2002 on Lake Neuchatel, in Switzerland. This blur pavillion is an architecture of atmosphere. It is a lightweight tensegrity structure using filtered lake water shot as a fine mist through 13,000 fog nozzles to create an artificial cloud. The center of the structure is the weather station where they created this weather system that controls the fog output in response to shifting the climactic conditions of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and process the data in a central computer that regulates the water pressure in order to produce this mist of fog.2 This design was something new and innovative, incorporating technology into architecture, setting out a new experience for users to experience a complete ‘white-out’ when entering this fog, erasing other senses such as visual and acoustic references. 1 Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), p. 102 2 Open Buildings , <>


3 4

Arch Daily, <> Arch Science, <>



Panels for Turbulent Line(2011), Brisbane Australia, architect Ned Kahn <>



Computing has largely affect the architecture industry. Computation, different to computerisation, allows designers to go beyond their abilities to deal with highly complex conditions when it comes to designing a building. It does not simply allow architects to use the computer as a virtual drafting board for just simply copy and paste. Instead, it provides a platform for architect where they chose to put the conventional style and aesthetic of what architecture should be aside, to negotiate and influence the interrelation of datasets of information, as well as the capacity to experiment and generate much more complex order, and both static and dynamic transformation of form and structure that go beyond the intellect of the designer.5 Computational tools has largely increase the efficiency of design process. It has provide the ability to construct complex models of buildings and give performance feedback on these models.6

An example of this new kind of computational digital technology would be the watershed project by Gehryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office; the large fish-shaped pavillion at the entrance of a retail complex on Barcelonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterfront designed in 1992. This project was largely rely on computer-aided design and manufacturing. A physical design model was first generated then translated into corresponding digital surface model to be further refined. Then a wire frame model was extracted and used by structural engineers in order to develop the supporting structural frame. They did not produce construction drawings to erect this building, as what they did was to print out a physical digital scale model, then it was used directly to control the production and the assembly of the components in the full-scale construction on site. So overall this pavillion was modelled entirely in 3D and delivered to the fabricators as a 3D model. This 3D fish, or we could say a public art piece in Barcelona, has become one of the most-loved iconic landmark in the Olympic village. The Peix (1992), Barcelona, architect Frank Gehry <>


5 6

Computation Works- The Building of Alogorithmic Thought: Volume 83, Issue 2, P. 11 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp.


Barcelona Fish, <>


Detail of the roof over the courtyard of the Smithsonian Institution Patent Office Building (2007), Washing DC, architect Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners < http://www.bradypeters. com/smithsonian.html>

Computing in Architecture Computational tools can now apply realistic constraints to computer generated models. Computers are logical and rational. They are correctly programmed and follow a set of rules and guidelines and come up with the most logical conclusion. And this is where the designers come into place, where the architect have to use of their imagination and utilize these computer softwares to realise their design and ideas. Moreover, it has also allowed better communication in conceptual sketching of algorithmic concepts.8 Online platform such as the grasshopper community provided a forum for designers to share and gain knowledge of digital tools and other algorithm which can then be adapted into their own design. Computation does not just simply provide the making of digital tools for designers, it also generate and explore architectural spaces and concepts through the writing and modifying of algorithms that relate to element placement, element configuration and the relationships between elements.9 Now the designs that were once being considered as unrealistic could possibly be conceived and developed into functional realities. According to Kolarevic’s article Architecture in the Digital Age, Advances in representational technology have largely affected de-

sign methods and output. There is this sudden interest and fascination with ‘blooby’ forms created by a three-dimensional digital modelling software based on NURBS (NonUniform Rational B-Splines). These are parametric curves and surfaces that could allows even more complex forms to exist using only a minimum amount of data and relatively few steps for shape computation. So nowadays most digital modelling programs rely on NURBS to construct complex surface models. And this new form of undulating, sinuous skins has become buildable within a reasonable budgets.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC is another example of using computer program for generation. It was designed by Foster + Partners in 2007. The geometry of the roof was generated by a single computer program written by Brady Peters, who was one of the architects in the Foster and Partner’s Group. As explained by Gregg Lynn, the design of this fully glazed roof canopy has utilized digital computering and specifically parametric design in optimizing the structural ability to hold the roof plus providing natural lighting to the courtyard at the same tie. The computer code was being used efficiently to explore design options, modify and assist the progress.11 With the help of the computer program, it does not only generate the final geometry as we can see

One of the important things about computing architecture is that both the architects and the use of computational design have to be flexible in order to adapt and accommodate the constantly changing industry and the parameters of architectural design.10 Combing with the new approach in the use of materials like steel and glass, this invention of computer-aided design has given architects the opportunity to design out of the scoop, out of the traditional ways, to make their endless imagination become possible and appreciate by the public.

8 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), P.5 9 Computation Works- The Building of Alogorithmic Thought: Volume 83, Issue 2 P. 11 10 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), p. 15



in the image, it also provided additional information to analyse the structural and acoustic performance of the building, as well as creating fabrication data for physical models for them to visu-

alise the space and here, this fluid structure and the roof canopy has allowed the public to engage with the natural environments, bathing the area with warmth through daylight.

Computation Works- The Building of Alogorithmic Thought: Volume 83, Issue 2 P. 11-12



Parametric modelling is essentially a generative tool that allows designers and architects to approach design with a more efficient way. What makes parametric design unique is that it is the parameters of a particular design that are declared, not its shape. So instead of the traditional way of designing the shape of the building, now architects are designing a set of principles encoded as parametric equations with specific instances how the design could be generated.12 The set of parametric equations describe the relationships between objects and thus defining an associative geometry and by simply assigning and changing different values to the parameters equations can create different objects, geometry or configurations. This way interdependency between objects are established and the object behaviour can be transformed easily.13

12 13

Woodbury, Robert (2010). Elements of Parametric Design (London: Routledge) pp. 7-48 Computation Works- The Building of Alogorithmic Thought: Volume 83, Issue 2 P. 11

International Terminal, Waterloo Station (1993), London, UK, architect Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. Both image: < project/international-terminalwaterloo/>

Parametric definition of the scaling factor for truss geometry of the truss span for the waterloo station.


The International Terminal at Waterloo Station in London designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners is a clear example of conceptual and developmental benefits through using a parametric approach to design. The architects has made use of parametric model which allowed easy adjustment and interactive refinement to the size of the roof span and the curvature of each individual arches that are related. Hence by assigning different values to the span parameter, 36 dimensionally different yet topologically identical arches were generated and were inserted into the final geometric model, which successfully fit well with the asymmetrical geometry of the platforms.14 As shown through this project, it is clear that parametric modelling allows for rapid design development and modifications. It allows information and instruction that was set early in the design development to be automatically updated over design changes.

14 Grimshaw Architects, <>


Beijing National Museum (2008), Beijing, China architect Herzog & de Meuron. Both image: < inside-herzog-de-meuron-beijing-birds-nest/>

This architecture has become an iconic structure in the city of Beijing and what I am interested to develop further in this project for designing a Gateway Entrance for the city of Wyndham is to create something that is would become iconic and something that would essentially representing Wyndham itself. One of the biggest benefits of using parametric modeling is that it has introduce a whole new set of opportunities which allows the designers to further explore and develop. However, a limited in creativity is shown as the 3D modelling programs are not capable for developing architectural thinking and design creativity as they are just working in precise dimensions and pure forms.16

I would also like to talk about the recently built Beijing National Stadium, The Bird’s Nest, in China. It was built to host the 2008 Olympic Games. The huge stadium has a gross volume of three million cubic meters. It is consisted of 26km of unwrapped steel and was considered to be the world’s largest steel structure and largest enclosed space. The stadium was designed by architect Herzog & De ture Design and Research Group.15 In order to achieve the optimum design to appeal all the users for this stadium, the team has relied heavily on parametric design software to work out the sightlines of the audience, the complex bowl geometry of the structure, as well as airflow to keep the grass in good condition seismic studies and the design of the external envelope. 15 16 17 18

In the article written by Burry, he proposed architects to get familiar with scripting, a medium that ‘allows the user to adapt, customize or completely re-configure software around their own predilections and models of working.’17 He believes that it is through scripting that architects or designers will be able to take full control in his design process through designing its own rules and constrains to generate his own design.18 This brings architecture design to a whole new level where instead of creating forms that are provided by the software, you generate your own design process and forms through a bottom-up approach.

Imagine the complexity of the calculations! Parametric design has allowed the web of the twisting steel sections to fit perfectly together and to bend to follow the surface accurately. The design was also considered to be sustainable as all the facilities such as restaurants and suites are self- contained units, which makes it possible to do largely without a solid and enclosed facade which allows natural ventilation of the space.16 What I love about this structure is the enormous saddle-shaped elliptic steel structure that form the roof of the building. It appears not only as an architecture but as well as a work of art. This modern architecture has movement, brings in fluidity and is definitely avant-garde in my opinion.

Inside Herzog & de Meuron Bird’s Nest, <> Inside Herzog & de Meuron Bird’s Nest, <> Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), P. 8 Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), P. 13.




trials on creating arcs

Throughout the start of the semester I have followed the tutorials and done some algorithmic exploration with grasshopper plugin in Rhino. Firstly I have done a trial for using simple curve. I believe that the curve function is very important in designing a geometry as curves provides a sense of fluidity and flow. The geometry can be smooth and give people a sense of harmonious. I have used the input Arcs to create some arcs between the two curves. Using grasshopper for this purpose is convenient as if we were to update

instead it separates the whole into various of layers but still can be combine as a whole. I found this very interesting and useful as the resulting outcome could create a strong visual impact. I have also try to create a gridshell by using some tree explode components to create a definition to loft some of the curves I have drawn and using the shift list component to create a pattern of points to fit the geodesic curves through.

all the curves, all the arch created will updates automatically as well. Dividing curve is useful as if we were to work with real dimensions with real materials.

trial on sectioning


I believe that these explorations would be able to apply to the design for the gateway project as I am interested in designing something that is eye catching which stands out and symbolise an welcome entrance for the visitors.

I have also explore a bit of sectioning after watching the tutorial on AA Driftwood surfaces, as many designers and architects out there has also used this similar kind of way to design and build. I went on and try out to create a simple surface using curves and circles and used it as a input to test out some of the inputs in grasshopper. Sectioning is different to lofting or extruding with only one solution,

Trials on pattern manipulation




A.5 CONCLUSION A gateway is a symbolic door opening to the visitors and welcoming them into the city or area. A design with a strong visual impact is no doubt important, but I also believe that a good designed structure should also be performative and functionable. I am interested in designing something that is able to adapt to the surrounding environmental and weather changes and respond to the effect caused by them to make the design more interesting and innovative and through using computational tools and the studying of the previous precedents has inspired me to generate something that is new and innovation as well as being environmentally responsive.

Through various readings and online tutorials provided, they have raised my interest and widen my view of computing in the architectural industry. I am fascinated by how quickly a simple shape could be changed by simply adjusting the experimental data through my explorations with Grasshopper in Rhino. My understanding of architectural computing has developed greatly by studying some of the precedents on how the architects have made use of the benefits through parametric modelling such as the efficiency of designing and to make changes and adjustment to the design by manipulating the equations that are written and set in the software. It allows architects and designers to quickly try out different materials and provide easier interaction with industrial machines such as laser cutters, thus models that have organic shapes could be produced in a more accurate way. After learning more about parametric design, I believe that I could definitely improve the design that I did for the body lantern project in Virtual Environments, where at that time I had no experience on how to utilize the computer software to generate the design into something more complicated and beautiful. I am now more confident to refine the simple triangle-pattern model and to produce a much more innovative and delicate structure in manipulating the shapes, geometry and patterning through parametric modelling.

mental sustainability by promoting the use of natural resources instead of power. Parametric modeling allows us to manipulate and explore the outcomes in a more convenient and accurate way thus widening the possible outcomes that could be generate with different shapes and geometry. I believe that the generated outcome will benefit both the users and the city by providing more functions such as allowing connection between places more efficiently. Overall the design should fit in within the landscape so as to minimize the damage to the natural environments as well as creating a nice and harmonious scenery for the public.

By utilizing the natural environment as the driving force of the movement of the structure, this could raise awareness to environ-

making progress of the project of body lantern in Virtual Environments



Reference: Al Bahar Towers, Arch Daily, <>, [accessed 10 March 2013] Arch Science, <>, [accessed 10 March 2013] Barcelona Fish, A View of Cities (2013), <>, [accessed 17 March 2013] Brady Peters, <>, [accessed 18 March 2013] Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 71. Computation Works- The Building of Alogorithmic Thought: Volume 83, Issue 2 < http://app.lms.unimelb.> Woodbury, Robert (2010). Elements of Parametric Design (London: Routledge) pp. 7-48 Grimshaw Architects, <>, [accessed 25 March 2013] Inside Herzog & de Meuron Bird’s Nest, Arch Daily, <>, [accessed 25 March 2013] Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 3 - 28. Open Buildings , <>, [accessed 21 March 2013] 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. UAP, <>, [accessed 21 March 2013] Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5 - 25







Through discussing with group members about computational architecture and to find a line of discourse to fit all three of our original discourse, we noticed that there is always a lack of engagement with the site in computational architecture. Those architecture are preoccupied in achieving different requirements, and they seem to have successfully done that, but yet they are not always necessary specific to the site. So we are interested in creating something that would have a real engagement with the site by following the field of interest in Strips and Folding.

Strips and folding is a generative process in architectural design. Similar to Japanese origami, this technique allows the creation of different forms and shapes.19 It is more about the development of method to arrive at a new architecture, which fits in with computational architecture as I have mentioned previously parametric modelling where the form of a structure comes through exploring rather than immediately we have a set form and shape of a building that we have to followed. I am interested to see this method of strips and folding could be developed as a way to respond to particular parameters of the site.

STRIPS / FOLDING 19 Folding architecture, <>


Design Intent & Argument As we have seen in the examples demonstrated in Part A of the journal, it is shown that parametric modelling have a great ability to achieve performance driven design criteria by having an improved control and efficiency over the design. However, what we believe these designs are lack is the ability to effectively engage with the site. What we are interested in developing in this semester is to explore the possible relationship between the structure and the site, which was debated as the architectural concept of Critical Regionalism. According to Kenneth Frampton's To-

wards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance, he believes

that values of architecture should not only be placed on the universal progressive qualities but also the geographical context of the architecture. He emphasised on topography, climate, light; on tectonic form rather than

Reading through the Landscape Context Guideline of Wyndham City that was published by the Wyndham Council in March 2013, one of the most important thing that the local city and people value is the ‘local distinctiveness’ of Wyndham, where it mentioned:

on scenography and should be on the sense of touch rather than visual sense.20 He described this dilemma of Critical Regionalism as 'mediating the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities or a particular place.' Computational architecture and parametric design have an inherent placeless homogeneity which Frampton believed that by moving towards a critical regionalism this sense of lost of 'place' could be recaptured.21 The focus of the design approach for us would therefore be addressing this shortcoming of computational architecture as well as creating a design that has an inherent relationship between the site and the structure itself.

20 Kenneth Frampton, ‘Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance”, in Hal Foster (ed), The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, Seattle: Bay Press, pp 16-30 21 Ibid., 30

‘...the ordinary and everyday places that communities value,

such as particular viewing points, favourite fishing spots, or places that offer that rare experience of ‘quiet still awareness’.22 Wyndham council acknowledges this possibility of ‘losing its identity’ reflected in these ‘places’ and ‘becoming a cluster of continuous suburbs with no special character or possibility for reflection on its placed history’. They recognized a need to celebrate special places of the ‘local distinctiveness’, for example the themes of natural topography, the wetlands, and other natural elements that makes Wyndham unique. This has inspired us to put the focus of our design towards expressing these ideals of local distinctiveness that Wyndham values. We are looking to do this through engagement of the design with the landscape and topography of the site, in particular we aim to create an experience of ‘quiet still awareness’ for the users, through site specificity.

22 Wyndham City Council, <>





URBAN ADAPTER The Urban Adapter is a piece of site specific street furniture that is created through a computer model using parametric design. This bench can be used to adjusted to different forms as at its core the model utilizes explicit site information and programmatic data to react and interact with its environment.23 This allows the generation of an endless family of new urban unique bench furniture. Additional programmatic values are also added such as recycling containers, flower buckets, as well as billboards to allow different purposes on the specific site, so it is not just an ordinary seating element.24 So instead of one single static design, this proposal and design has created multiple varying solutions that meet specific fitness criteria. The photos below show examples of how the form is adapted to the different site. 23 24

Types of existing bus stops (2012), Honolulu, Hawaii, US, < >

Dezeen, <> Designboom, <>

As ‘The Bus’ is a main public transportation system in Hawaii, the designers have used a parametric design strategy to mass customize the creation of 4000 bus stop at different places to create similar but unique bus stop to be a ‘landmark & gateway’ with highlighting the identity of each given site. Using parametric design does not only provide a high level of geometric flexibility but can also maximise the quality of the design at an affordable cost. This has provide efficiency to the design as designer is not capable of designing each bus stop indiviually due to a large amount of information that would be required to process.

27 27

So in order to allow the bus stop to be site specific, the designer has done research and analysis of the site including its configuration, size, sun direction, its context, as well as the usage of each bus stop.25 It is under this integrated parametric design strategy including method of creating a definition of a prototype, different parametric variation, manual deformation to create the design and simulation based deformation to test the sun direction; 4000 bus stop with individual design quality were produced. 25 Park Hyoung-June, A Parametric Design Strategy for 4000 Bus Stops, University of Hawaii, Manoa Honolulu, US



Seroussi Pavilion Alisa Andrasek is an American architect that is interested in the analysis of self organising and adaptive systems through the generative potential of computational systems for design.26 One of the work that she has done with Biothing is the 'Seroussi Pavilion'.' For this pavilion, Andrasek has looked into self-modifying patterns of vectors fields that are based on electro-magnetic fields (EMF). The logics of attraction and repulsion were computed in the plan and than lifted via series of structural microarching sections through different frequencies of sine function.27 The pavilion was ipmlanted into a steep hill and so using the additional feature built into script allows adaptation and flexibility to the site. It took a lot of imbedded algorithmic and parametric relationships to create this dynamic shape of the pavilion and to allow materialization procedures and adaption to the site conditions.28 It is interesting to see the lighting and shading effect that could be achieved through the shape of the pavilion created from sine-wave functions driving parametric differentiation of angle, orientation and the size of the aperture, as well as the relationship between the materials of metal and glass within each cell. Seroussi Pavilion (2007), Paris, Principle designer: Alisa Andrasek < >


26 27 28

Daily Tonic, <> Biothing-Repository of Computation Design, < > Biothing-Repository of Computation Design, < >


This form is achieved by altering the radius and the degree of the component of FORCE FIELD.

Exploration From the definition of Seroussi Pavilion, the main component used in this project was the field lines based on electromagnetic fields. We have further explored and created something different by playing around in grasshopper. Below are four chosen ones that I thought are the most interesting shapes that could be create. The other modified section of the definition of the Pavilion are shown in the matrix on the next page. Firstly I would like to talk about the different technique we used in the matrix. In technique 1, we have adjusted the amount of lines and tried to simplified the structure. In technique 2 and 4, the component of the graph mapper has been explored and in 2, the graph mapper was changed to

sine summation and the result we got was similar to the original one but the lines are in zig zag form which was quite interesting. In technique 3 we have offset the lines and loft them in order to start to explore the idea of strips.

Experimenting with the GRAPHMAPPER component by altering the X- Y relationships of the lines to create an inverse form of the original model.

Below are four outcome which I personally found most interesting, it is obvious that the structure makes a great visual impact when it is offset and loft and formed into lines of strips. This is the type of form that our group is interested in taking onto the next level. Through constantly baking and experimenting different geometries that could be created, my knowledge and skills in grasshopper has no doubt increased and improved.

Exploring with the CHARGE component by altering the decay of the charge that influence the field lines.

This is achieved by LOFTing the field lines. It has a more aesthetic appeal and fits in with our interest in the technique of strips and folding. The strips could further be explored in order to respond to a particular aspect of the site which would be developed later on through creating our own algorithmic definition.


























BKK PAVILION This project designed by Rory Hyde and BKK Architects is a pavilion that is in the form of a cube with its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;wallsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; composed of planes forming irregular-sized hexagonal cells. The form of the pavilion was generated by a network of a geodesic sphere projected to a centre point which is then trimmed against an inner and outer cube. Different variables such as the position of the center point or the size of the cubes could be modified efficiently due to the use of parametric software.29 The design changes according to the amount of gaps the viewer could see through. While the viewer stands in the middle, the cells would face parallel to the viewer, which we could call the attractor point. This pavilion is a great example of what we are interested in, which is to create a visual aesthetic through strips and folding for the users of the highway. Pavilion for New Architecture (2005), Monash University Museum of Art, BKK Architects &Rory Hyde, <>

29 Architecture AU, <>


Pavilion for New Architecture 35


Development of Technique Instead of replicating the same design from Case Study 2.0, we were more interested in incorporating this idea of creating a changing visual perspective through a set attractor point as well as being site specific to the site. In order to develop our technique, we have decided to use the sun as an element of the site that we wanted to address. The lofted planes show on the in technique 6 to 10 in the matrix on page 37-38 are different variations of the model through changing them from parallel to perpendicular to the direction of the sun. Technique 6 shows the strips following the light source in a perpendicular way while 7 shows the parallel strips. We then explore the changes that could be created through changing the width of the strips and the direction of the strips. In technique 9 and 10 perpendicular strips and parallel strips and combined to generate more outcomes.

direction of the sunlight was done by two steps: creating a geometry and an attractor point, in this case, the light source. We created an arc geometry and the light source was represent by a point that marks the start of the vector direction. Using the plane component in grasshopper we were able to generate a lofted surface orientated by the direction of the light source. After setting the plane perpendicular to the model, we re-oriented it and produced it on the plane. A line is then produced perpendicular to the plane by using two points: the origin and a slider defined Z value to allow length alteration. The geometries can also be subtracted using the scale component. We changed the geometries from lofted surfaces to square as we found it a better geometry to test and experiment its different possibility of relationships to the light source. The size of the panels are also scaled by distance in order to demonstrate this relationship in a more obvious way.

The way to test the relationship between the surface and the

Exploration of geometries generated OFFSET and LOFTing to create strips and folding



Technique Exploration

The first two images on the left are examples of what I mentioned previously. These are the square panels geometries created from the lofted curves. The panel sizes and its distance alter according to the direction of the source of light and therefore by adjusting the position of the light source, the form of the structure changes to adapt. We are then interested in exploring the idea of a gradient change of the geometries not only shown by chang-

ing the panel sizes but as well as representing it by a color change. We did this through applying the grasshopper component â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;gradientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; so the color of the panel changes according to the distance from the light source.

In this article Manufacturing Material effects, it was mentioned that performative dimensions of materiality in architecture are primarily physical and perceptual. It is noticeable that nowadays, how the material looks actually matters just as much as how the material could perform structurally and thermally etc.30 We thought that by applying COLOR GRADIENT into the geometry could be a useful method to define material

properties in fabrication thus creating a more dramatic visual impact. However, we believe that this idea of architecture responding to the direction of the sunlight does not quite seem to be specific to the site enough so the next step we thought is crucial for our design development is to get a further understanding of the topography of the site.

30 Kolarevic, Branko and Kevin R. Klinger, eds (2008). Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture (New York; London: Routledge), P. 11


This is a matrix showing the exploration of different strips responding to the point of light source in either parallel or perpendicular way where the width of the strips are also altered throughout the experiment to see if we could get a form with the most aesthetics appeal.







B.4 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe- the Holocaust Memorial, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The site consists of 19,000 sqm covered with 2711 concrete slabs, or ‘stelae’, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The stelae has a width of 0.95m and a length of 2.38m but vary in height from 0.2 to 4.8m. This was designed through the utilization of a satellite image of the site itself resulting in the blocks having the ability to respond to the site information through the input of an algorithm.31 What we are interested in is to use this mapping technique to generate geometries that specific to our site. 31 Holocaust Memorial, <,-Berlin-2005-2.66>

Holocaust Memorial, (2005,), Berlin, Germany, architect Peter Eisenman, <,-Berlin-2005-2.66>

Topography of the highway, <>

To continue with our design intent, we started analysing the atual topography of the site. Matrix 2 shows our attempt to explore the possibility of the relationship between the structure and the topography of the site by creating strips that are in respond to the tonal gradient of the site. It was created through plugging the above cropped map of the site into the component of ‘image sampler’ in grasshopper. The height of the points of these strips below are created in respond to the tonal gradient directly below the geometry. We started using rectangles to recreate the general site boundary then lofting it to create a surface. To further explore the surface and to follow our design interest of strips and folding, the surface was broken down to strips then being plugged into the original algorithm which respond to the point of the sun we had previously to come up with the geometry at the bottom which that we are all satisfied with. So essentially, the direction of these lofted surface points are perpendicular to the point of the sun at one spot during a particular time of the day and the contour of these strips are responding to the tonal variation of the site from the plane view directly below the geometry.



A POINT GRID was used to generate to allow the algorithm to take place. COLOR GRADIENT is also applied

Color has been altered to gray scale as it has more visual impact in the Rhino interface.

LINE EXTRUSION is used as an alternative to the rectangular extrusion.

Interpolated curves are LOFTED together to form strips.

Points were extruted using RECTANGLE EXTRUSION, similar to the forms of the Holocaust Memorial.

SURFACE GRID is then created for preparation of developing strips.

Adapting the previous method into these strips, they are lofted by responding to a vector defined by a point, in this case, the direction of the sun.

Satisfied with this form, the algorithm is then fabricated using ORIENT and grid tools.


ZOETROPE Another element that we want to incorporate into our design in order to further express the specificity and to create an experience for the users that would could only be received on site is through zoetrope. A zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of a motion or animation from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term ‘zoe’ means active and alive; where as ‘trope’ means turn.32 We thought this idea would further enhance our design of site specific by using the strips that we created as slids to generate this effect of zoetrope on the highway. We are interested in incorporating an element that represents Wyndham and to create this changing time lapse sequence that could attract locals or visitors to come at a specific time of the day to experience this effect. We thought this idea could is site specific as the users could only experience it when they go through a high speed which in this case, the highway where drivers are driving at a 100km/ hr, could strengthen the interrelation between the site and the designed form. Below is a photo showing what we are interested in achieving.

This model is chosen to used to fabricate using the ORIENT and GRID components.


Examples of zoetropes <>

32 Zoetrope, < htm>

Masstransiscope in the subway < >


B.5 TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPE For our prototype we made a simple curved structure testing the use of plywood and another model of that is generated through the mapping of the topography of a section of the site. The form still need further refinement but for the moment we have it being cantilevered over the site just for the testing of the outcome of this process of analysis of the geography. The technique has addressed the tonal variance of the site which has achieved our idea of site specificity, where this form could only be generated on this site and no other site. The next step would be find a better fitting form to fit for the highway situation of the site and we thought through incorporating the idea of a zoetrope could further enhance and create an experience that would only be made available for the users on the highway. The photos show the prototype outcome after being fabricated through a laser cutter in the fab lab in University. However, it is not a perfect model as while we were alternating the exploded strips to fit onto the page to send to fab lab, some of the strips has been changed unintentionally. So instead of having a neatly lined up edge on the left side of the model, the right side did not end up aligning with each strips. However, we are still quite happy with the result. Through this experiment we are now more experienced and learnt to be more careful in the placing of the design on the file.



B.6 TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL Our technique has demonstrate the way we are interested in designing a structure that is site specific. The current form of our design could only be generated on our site and no other places. We have learnt to develop a visual perspective technique in grasshopper where we have focused on the relationship between the structure and the attractor point and through addressing the topography of the site, we have further emphasized the achievement of our design is site specificity and at the same time truly defining Wyndham cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local distinctiveness. Our design is innovative and is not suitable for other places in the world. We are aiming to create an experience for the users that could only be experienced on site but this process is still in development. 52


Early Development & Exploration

After watching a tutorial on the technique ‘weaving’, I further explored the possibility of ‘weaving’ with our existed definition for the geometries which changes color and sizes of panel according to the light source. As our interest is on the process of strips and folding, I thought this weaving pattern could be easily applied to the geometry. Below are some of the screen captures and sketches we did. However, we decided not to further with this development as it just forms a pattern but not really a form. The second row shows the different variation during the method development. The left vector image shows the exploration of case study 1 while the other two was generated through exploring the method of a attractor point in case study 2. The third row shows the variation of technique development while inspired by the architecture of the Holocaust Memorial.


Points representing the textual quality of the high and low spots of the site.


B.8 LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOME Presentation Feedback We have received a lot of helpful feedback on the issues of our design at the moment and how we should approach and continue with the design. The panel was interested in our design argument and the way we are really trying to focus our design and the direction of creating something that is site specific. As the form of our model is still in the process of development, the panel suggested us to

refine it in a way that could be really specific to the site rather than just generating a texture that is unique to the site. They also believe that the idea of incorporating zoetrop seems a little unnecessary unless we could incorporate it in a more refine way to allow it to be embedded into the design as a whole. Other comments that we have receive is that our design is not intimate enough to be site- specific and


there seems to be a slight disconnection from our design to the brief as the brief mentioned a quiet still place that Wyndham values where as our design seems too active.

with the texture coming through the light generated to create this kind of quiet textural quality to have a better connection with the statement that we initially presented.

The other important thing to consider is how localise could we design this structure so as to allow it to perform better on our specific site than other places to make our argument more convincing. Other things to take note of is whether we could play

Overall, I believe that my knowledge in grasshopper in Rhino has improved through these few weeks by constantly exploring and developing different variations for a range of possibly design.


Reference: ‘Biothing’, Daily Tonic (2013), <>, [accessed 25 Apr 2013] Biothing, Repository of Computation Design (2013), < >, [accessed 30 Apr 2013] Department of transportation services, City and County of Honolulu (2013), <http://www1.honolulu. gov/dts/bsrp.htm>, [accessed 25 Apr 2013] Holocaust Memorial, <,-Berlin-2005-2.66>, [accessed 3 May 2013] Kenneth Frampton, ‘Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance”, in Hal Foster (ed), The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, Seattle: Bay Press, pp 16-30 Kolarevic, Branko and Kevin R. Klinger, eds (2008). Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture (New York; London: Routledge), pp. 6-24 Park Hyoung-June, A Parametric Design Strategy for 4000 Bus Stops, University of Hawaii, Manoa Honolulu (2012), US Pavilion for New Architecture, Architecture AU (2013), <>, [accessed 27 Apr 2013] Sophia Vyzoviti, Folding Architecture: Spatial, Structural and Organization Diagrams, BIS Publishers, the Netherlands, 2004 Urban Adapter, Designboom (2013), <>, [accessed 25 Apr 2013] Urban Adapter, Dezeen (2013), <>, [accessed 26 Apr 2013] Wyndham City Council, <>, [accessed 26 Apr 2013]





C.1 DESIGN CONCEPT The previous part of the journal has demonstrated our approach and focus in putting tangible parameters of elements including light and tonal variance of the ground to create a geometry. However, we did not come up with a satisfying form. We are ought to continue with the development of the algorithm that we have created and aim to design a structure that is engaging with the site and at the same time reflects the important elements of Wyndham.


We came up with the idea of thresholds and we thought that in order for users to experience the 'quiet still awareness', it is important that they first experience the 'noise', the busy area, then a bigger contrast would appear. To do that, we decided to place segments of 'noise' at both end of the gateway design, so both ends of the users could experience the same effect. The segments of noise would be represented by the input parameters that we have explored in the previous chapter of

the journal, which is the tonal variance of the site from plane view. They would then be connected to a series of strips overhang the road to represent the still and gently undulating topography of the road. By interpreting the tonal quality of the site and translate it into the design we believe that this would be represented as a site specific design that can create an experience for the users of the values that Wydham carries.


Exploration Design location on site These are some of the vector images that are generated through the exploration of the final design. Using POLYLINES, we were able to create the basic form of our sketch design on top of a site image. We

Image of the Wyndham City Western GatewayRed line indicating the location of the design.

After analysing the site, we believe that the main road which leads into Wyndham would be the best spot to place our design as this large design would give a striking visual effect for the users going to Wyndham as well as drivers from a distant. In order to fully experience the contradiction of the noise

pattern and the 'quiet still awareness' that we are trying to create, our design would be extended up to 350m in length across the site which gives the user for approximately 7s to experience this effect while driving in 100km/hr.

Vector images showing variation of the noise pattern and overall form


decided that having 10 strips would be perfect to fit in with the aesthetic of our design so by using OFFSET we generated 10 lines that could then be EXTRUDED to form strips that runs parallel to the road and over it with a height of 6.5m. Incorporating the technique of attractor point explored in the previous chapter of the journal, the segments of noise are generated through the tonal variance of the site. One of the major landscape that is standing out on this highway to Wyndham is the You Yangs, therefore we decided to set the point at the direction of these series of ridges. By doing so, the strips created from the tonal gradient are then parallel to that direction so that if the passengers in the car were paying enough attention they could grasp a glimpse of the undulating landscape of the You Yang. We have also explored the different variation of the intensification of the 'noise' and the height and width of the strips.

Google Earth image showing the direction of the You Yangs from the Gateway



While taking the neighbouring road into consideration, It was quite difficult to achieve this effect as our size of the design is then limited and if we were to continue with this design our structure would need to extend to the other road which is not what we wanted to do. Through further refinement and adjustment of the length of the strips and the location of the segment of 'noise' we came up with a form that we were all satisfied with in the end.


Our design would be constructed in steel so it would be light weight and cheap. It would then be cladded with corten, which is a weathering steel as we thought its rustic appearance and its rich deep red brown color relates to the natural landscape that Wyndham emphasised. Using corten steel would be one of the design strategies that reflects important elements of Wyndham as well as being engaged with the site. It represents the color of the native River Red Gum and other natural elements such as sand and soil.

We decided not to extend the noise pattern to the ground and instead cut it with a sharp edge as we believe that this could further enhance the experience of the users from going straight into the 'noise' to the 'quiet' pattern of the road instantly.

(top) section of corten steel ( (middle) the You Yangs ( (bottom) example of building with corten steel cladding (



Supporting System Fabrication

A typical truss system was chosen to form the strips of our design. It would be easy to prefabricated in factory and construct on site. Corten cladding would then be applied to complete the design.

If we were to produce our model in a scale of 1:50 it would be 7m long which is way to large so we have chosen to fabricate our model in a scale of 1:200. In order for our strips to sit on the struts, we have left gaps on each strut for us to slot the strips into place. The algorithm is fabricated onto 3mm board box using ORIENT and GRID tools in the grasshopper definition. The strips are divided into two parts for fabrication and we have added black color onto the strips to enhance the visual effect of the final outcome.

Struts would be required to support the strips that are running parallel over the road. They would also be constructed in a truss system as shown in the render images.

Image below shows the fabricated components.

Corten steel cladding on struts.

Image on left shows the connection between the noise pattern and the strips.




Final design on site The link below is a short stop motion video that we made in order to show the experience that we are trying to convey.

Final design with corten steel cladding As mentioned in our brief, Wyndham council acknowledges the very real possibility of losing its identity and becoming a cluster of suburbs with no character of possibility for reflection and of its place history. In designing architecture which represents the cultural inheritance values of Wyndham, in particular that 'quiet still awareness', we believe it has strengthen Wyndham's identity by providing

an experience for the users going through the Gateway. Through exploring the possibility of parametric modelling and developing an algorithm, we came up with a final design for this project which utilizes simple shapes and geometries to engage with the site to reflect the important elements of Wyndham in particular its natural topography.

Final Presentation link:




Variations of form

Intensifying noise pattern



C.5 LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES Final Presentation feedback The presentation was quite successful and we gained lots of positive and negative comments and criticism from the panel on what we could have done to improve our design for this project. The main criticism was that our final design relied too heavily on representation to express the ideas that we are trying to bring across. We were really focused on creating an experience in which we believe Wyndham represents but we did

not consider much of what the people perceives Wyndham as. What we did was picked out a few points that Wyndham Council stresses and by doing so we have neglected other points. However, the panel appreciated that we have attempted to create an interesting site specific design with the noise and linear pattern. Another criticism was the positioning of the structure where the panel found

the location of the structure seems to be different from our original design sketch. As mentioned in the section of Exploration, we did found some difficulties to locate our design in the way we wanted it to be, and by solving the problem we have altered the direction of the attractor point so that it would fit in with the site, which perhaps was not the best method to solve the issue.

demonstrate enough use of parametric modelling in our design. However, we have utilized and explored parametric modelling throughout our design development and it was only in the final stage where we have decided only to include parametric modelling in a very subtle way in our design such as the noise pattern generated.

The panel also felt that we did not


Reflection Overall, we are happy with our design. If we were to have more time we would improve on the positioning (as mentioned in the panel) of the design to gain a more aesthetic appeal. We should also have integrate more control of parametric modelling into our final design to demonstrate clearly the benefit of using this tool. In conclusion, looking back at this semester I have no doubt gain a lot of skills in parametric design which I believe would be very useful for my future career in the architecture design industry. From knowing very little about computational architecture and parametric modelling, I found it difficult to define architecture as a discourse of some sort. I gained knowledge quickly by researching the scholarly journals and reading the provided articles from this subject to explore for ideas and to back up arguments. In particular reading Robert Woodbury's

Elements of Parametric Design has really given me a deeper insight of what parametric modelling was really about. Looking at precedents and choosing the ones that could support the argument or give us ideas and thoughts are also a great process for me to develop my own interest by understanding the principles and work behind these successful projects. I have enjoyed working with my group members and learnt to work in a team as well as supporting each other. Our tutor David and Michael has given us enormous amount of help in developing our algorithm and exploration in grasshopper definition and by learning to manipulate our design through parametric modelling I really get an idea of its efficiency and its ability to adapt and change within the design. I hope to improve this skill and utilize this knowledge that I have gained through this studio and continue pursue the dream of becoming a successful architect.


Finaljournal 531688 yingkarenchow  

final submission

Finaljournal 531688 yingkarenchow  

final submission