â€œI hang around architects mostly.â€?
- Kanye West
INTRODUCTION 4 PART A: CONCEPTUALISATION A1 DESIGN FUTURING 8 A2 DESIGN COMPUTATION 14 A3 COMPOSITION/GENERATION 20 A4 CONCLUSION 28 A5 LEARNING OUTCOMES 29 A6 APPENDIX 30 PART B: CRITERIA DESIGN B1 PATTERNING 42 B2 CASE STUDY 1 50 B3 CASE STUDY 2 66 B4 DEVELOPMENT 80 B5 PROTOTYPING 96 B6 PROPOSAL 112 B7 REFLECTION 138 B8 APPENDIX 142 PART C: DETAILED DESIGN C1 REVISED DESIGN CONCEPT C2 FINAL PROTOTYPING C3 FINAL PROPOSAL C4 LEARNING OUTCOMES
146 188 222 274
REFERENCE LIST 306 IMAGE SOURCES 308
CONTENTS CONTENTS C O N TCEO NN TS TENTS CONT E NT S C O N T E N T S
fig.1 ‘the sleeping bag’ by lachlan welsh, hou yuhan and zehua he (digital design and fabrication 2016)
fig.2 ‘the sleeping bag’ by lachlan welsh, hou yuhan and zehua he (digital design and fabrication 2016)
INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION
I am in my final year of the Bachelor of Environments (Architecture) and currently working at Design Inc. Melbourne. Over the course of the degree I have had the opportunity to study architectural history, construction methods, urban design and environmental ethics as well as participate in themed design studios. Throughout these studios I have benefited from the computerization of analogue methods – namely drawing in CAD, rendering software, 3D printing models. I have, however, had some exposure to more digitallyfocused design methods in the subject Digital Design and Fabrication. In this subject, students were required to investigate natural forms for logics and then appropriate these to create a piece of wearable architecture. The learning curve in was steep – we had to learn Rhino and fabrication techniques very rapidly – but the outcome was extremely satisfying. I learnt about the relationships between concept design, digital development and fabrication. Sometimes the crossovers between analogue/digital or virtual/physical were not as smooth as we would’ve like, but we worked through these problems and learnt a lot as a result. I am still very proud of the working 1:1 scale prototype as not only does it function, its aesthetic also well-resolved. This subject opened my eyes to the world of computational design (although I did not fully understand it at the time). It was interesting to learn that the structure of the practice of architecture has changed since the days of my heroes Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – fading are the times of individual talent and genius it seems. I am intrigued to learn what constitutes the avant-garde of the 21st century – to reorient my own personal goals in architecture. Up until this point I have regarded digital architecture as simply a means to create difficult or ‘organic’ forms. I now sense that there are deeper theoretical issues at play, and I look forward to engaging with this discourse over the semester.
fig.3 plug-in city, archigram (1964)
PART A: PART PART A CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALIS CONCEPT PART A: PART A: PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALISA CONCEPTU PART A: PART A PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALIS CONCEPT PART A: PART A: PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALISATI CONCEPTUAL PART A: PART A PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALIS CONCEPT PART A: PART A CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALI PART CONCEPT PART A: PART A: PART A CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALISATIO CONCEPTUAL PART A: PART A PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALIS CONCEPT PART A: PART A: PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALISA
PART A: PART A PART CONCEPTUALISATION CONCEPTUALIS CONCEPTU CONCEPT PART A: PART A PART
DESIGN FUTURING DESIGN FUTURING SIGN FUTURING >>>Design will save the world<<< This sentiment lies at the heart of Tony Fry’s optimistic and slightly ‘utopic’ theory and book - Design Futuring. He argues that humans have mistreated the earth; our systems and behaviours only serve to exploit and destroy the environment1. We must shift our perception of design in order to establish a viable future for ourselves and the planet. Fry proposes a shift away from the “artefactual” design approaches of the past – those that are complicit in unsustainable practices – towards a focus on process and a broader “design intelligence.” 2 He sees design as being trivialised by the ‘design democracy’, where it has been reduced to mere style, and seeks to elevate it to a more complex level, one where it can become a “world-shaping force” 3.
fig.4 h20s eco-village, senegal (2017) 8
Whether all of Fry’s points, especially those criticising the ‘design democracy’, are justified is arguable. Broader access to tools has opened the world of design up to many more people, making the profession/art less exclusive. It appears Fry is clinging to the antiquated idea of the authority of the designer. Open source architecture for example has led to ‘futuring’ projects all over the world such as the H20S EcoVillage in Senegal. This project, directed by TAMassociati, is creating models of housing in areas of desertification that are self-supporting in energy and water. 4 Nevertheless Fry’s desire to expand the field of design, beyond the traditional limits of client/designer/product, into a more systems-based realm is clearly positive, but not necessarily novel.
fig.5 h20s eco-village
Archigramâ€™s proposals of the 1960s explored this same idea - the abandonment of an artefactual architecture. The group identified the design approaches of the modernists as being outdated and producing results unsuitable for the rapidly changing modern life. A â€˜modernâ€™ building built in the 1920s, even with all the newest building and appliance technology, was obsolete the next decade. Archigram rebelled against the Modern Movement, and its antiquated conception of buildings, and sought to establish a system that embraced the dynamism of modern life.
fig.6 plug-in city, archigram (1964)
The Plug-in City operates as a designed framework, a set of rules, within which human life exists. It does not prescribe a style but instead a new way of living. The project was never realised and was likely never intended to be; its power lies in its novelty and ability to inspire. The Plug-in City shifted perception of the city and suggested its potential identity as an infrastructural framework. Today we see urban planning focusing on networks and connectivity rather than the strict zoning approach of CIAM.
fig.7 plug-in city, archigram (1964)
fig.8 archigram zoom magazine cover 11
fig.9 tv helmet, walter pichler (1967)
Projects such as these ‘imaginary’ proposals by Archigram can often effect change more drastically than built projects. This concept is explored in Dunne and Raby’s Speculative Everything. In agreement with Fry, they believe that the designing of objects is not enough to ‘save the world’; a higher order of response must be employed. There are clear benefits of generating future scenarios, positive and negative, to generate debate and stimulate change. As done in cinema, art and literature, speculative design critiques the world we live in by presenting familiar but slightly absurd scenarios. Films such as Andrew Nichols’ Gattaca (1997) or the popular Netflix series Black Mirror are examples of this. Whilst often using this method to promote positive futures, Dunne and Raby also discuss the benefits of “dark design” – negative futures that can act as cautionary tales warning of the effects of certain behaviours. 5 Walter Pichler’s TV Helmet from 1967 is a perfect example of this darker type of speculation. Created at a time when television media was growing, the artwork explores ideas of technological isolation and content-addiction.6 It is clearly a provocation rather than a prediction, perhaps seeking to warn against over-reliance on the machine. The ideas behind the project are particularly poignant today with the development of virtual reality – the project highlights a shift from the physical world to the virtual.
fig.10 kim kardashian ‘break the internet’ paper mag
This semester we address the diminishing relevance of the architect as well as the current lack of public interest in architecture. In our studio titled #BreakArchitecture (after the immensely popular Kim Kardashian magazine cover, Break the Internet), we will examine popular consumer goods and their qualities of desire and then apply the learnings in an attempt to re-popularise architecture. In the spirit of Dunne and Raby’s critical designs, the results may also act as a satire or cautionary tale to warn against the repercussions of the consumerism that is seen on social media. Convincing people of sustainability or ‘futuring’ has failed thus far – it’s just not sexy enough. We now turn to the ‘dark’ side to find out what people really ‘like’...
DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN DESIGN COMPUTATION COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION COMPUTATION DESIGN DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION DESIGN COMPUTATION
Computation has opened many new possibilities for architecture. Rather than edge the human out of the design process, it has become a tool that can be utilised by the designer to achieve outcomes previously unimaginable. The rationality and analytical prowess of the computer paired with the creative direction of the human produces a “very powerful symbiotic design system”.7 In this way, design practice is redefined as it moves away from the representational, towards a focus on process, material properties and building performance. 8 Of course this is not to say that traditional methods of design have been ineffective, it is only suggesting that by using a different method of conception, we open design up to countless new directions. In an era where public interest in architecture is dwindling, perhaps these new directions can help to generate a renewed excitement in the profession.
fig.11 khaleesi skyscraper, new york city mark foster gage (2016)
Computation has led to novel means of building conception. The form of the architecture is based less on a preconceived idea; it is instead derived from generative procedures “formation precedes form.” 9 Mark Foster Gage’s Khaleesi Skyscraper is a perfect example of this. By using the generative technique known as ‘kitbashing’10 - a process where pre-made 3D components are fed into an algorithm that combines and reorganises them – a result is created that could not be conceived by humans alone. Gage’s skyscraper differs as much in process as it does in form from its neighbouring towers that follow in the International Style lineage of Johnson and Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building. By using a novel method of conception, novel formal results are achieved.
fig.12 seagram building, new york city mies van der rohe & johnson (1958)
fig.13 detail rendering of khaleesi skyscraper
fig.14 centre georges pompidou, paris renzo piano & richard rogers (1977)
The Khaleesi Skyscraper also raises some interesting questions about the role of style in the 21st century. Fry sees a focus on style as negative and a trivialization of design, however it is proven time and time again that the public interpret architecture from a primarily aesthetic point of view. The George Pompidou Centre in Paris upon completion in 1977 was referred to in Le Figaro as “the monster of Paris”11, an aesthetically motivated comment that completely ignored the incredible functional and technological achievements of the building. So perhaps, against Fry’s suggestion, some attention should be paid to ‘style’ in architecture.
fig.15 research pavilion, stuttgart icd/itke (2016)
Computation from a more technological perspective has reestablished interaction and collaboration between architect and engineer. Le Corbusier famously attested in Toward an Architecture: “Architects have been asleep.”12The message here being that the greatest architectural results come from engagement with engineers and the newest technologies. ICD/ITKE’s 2016 Research Pavilion demonstrates how novel architecture can be enabled by working near the forefront of engineering. This project embodies what Oxman and Oxman refer to as a “new linkage between conception and production”13 – the method of fabrication affects the generative method and therefore dictates the resulting form. By using drones and fibres, the resulting architecture of ICD/ITKE’s pavilion is of a form near impossible to be conceived of by the human mind. Computational procedures have also led to a refocusing on intrinsic, performative material properties. In this way, perhaps the design process is becoming more objective. The process of investigating the properties of materials and then designing to make best use of these qualities is reminiscent of Louis Kahn’s sentiments of material honesty: “even a Brick wants to be something.”14 In the case of ICD/ITKE’s pavilion, the form is restricted/directed by the material properties of the fibre. Does design then become a completely practical and objective exercise in which we form is derived exclusively from function and material properties? Or does venustas still have a role to play, as it does in the Khaleesi Skyscraper, to evoke a more emotional or cultural response?
fig.16 khaleesi skyscraper sculptural detail fabrication
fig.17 reserach pavilion drone fabrication process 19
COMPOSITION/GENERATION COMPOSITION/GENERATION COMPOSITION/GENERATION COMPOSITION/GENERATION
Since the Renaissance, when architectural practice as we know it today was formed, composition has been the favoured method of architectural conception of form. From Alberti to Ledoux, Mies van der Rohe to Koolhaas, architects have employed a range of design processes, all which arrive at a somewhat preconceived idea. After the expectations and constraints of the brief are set, the architect uses a personal and subjective “intuition”15 to solve the problem. Over history, this has led to a perception of the architect as individual genius. Whilst countless benefits have been garnered from the minds of these incredible individuals, the recent development of algorithmic, computational design has raised the question: is there another way?
fig.18 i’ve heard about... new-territories (2005)
COMPOSITION/GENERATION COMPOSITION/GENERATION COMPOSITION/GENERATION 20
Composition, a human-oriented and subjective process, is susceptible to all the flaws that come with being human. Errors of judgement, lack of information and ego have all historically diminished the effectiveness of architectural composition. Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, whilst being recognised in-discipline as one of the great aesthetic and technological works, was reviewed quite poorly by its inhabitants on a functional basis16. Venturi notes in Complexity and Contradiction: “Mies, for instance, makes wonderful buildings only because he ignores many aspects of a building.”17 Peter Eisenman’s Wexner Centre for the Arts, a critically acclaimed theoretical exploration of the meaning of form, failed as it allowed the sun to damage the artworks. These examples show simultaneously the possibility for excellence as well as imperfections that result from the traditional method of architectural composition.
fig.19 wexner center for the arts, ohio eisenman (1989) 22
fig.20 farnsworth house, illinois mies van der rohe (1951)
The new paradigm of computational architecture opens the possibility for a new method of building conception – generation. This new method, enabled by new developments in parametric modelling, algorithmic thinking and scripting culture, does away with the preconceived final product or goal and shifts focus to the procedure, material or system18. A vastly less humanistic approach, it explores the possibilities of architecture without the interference of human ‘intuition’ – the human becomes the director of process as opposed to form. In this way, design becomes a more objective task – this can be regarded as at least partly positive. The generative process does away with the somewhat troubling historical scenarios such as Le Corbusier, a Swiss-born Frenchman, designing a new political centre in Chandigarh, India. There are certainly cultural issues in this case surrounding the disconnection between architect and place. The buildings, although vaguely based on local climate and enduringly adored by their inhabitants, failed due to many subjective foresights of Le Corbusier19 – the main one being a prediction of car usage. So perhaps a new process where a design is not subjected to the whims of an individual is beneficial.
fig.21 secretariat, chandigarh le corbusier (1953) 23
fig.22 la sagrada familia, barcelona gaudi (under construction since 1882)
As early as the 19th century, proto-generative architects were emerging. In designing La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi checked his own personal preferences of form and used a hanging-bag model of gravity as a generative tool. What results is “architectural volume following the shape that gravity imposes on materials in use.” 20 The process removes subjective taste and imbues the architecture with a deeper quality of ‘truth’ within the natural order. Perhaps if Gaudi had not engaged in this technological method, he may have fallen into the trap like many before him of revivalism. Generation, instead of composition, allowed the creation of completely novel form.
fig.23 hanging-bag model of la sagrada familia
François Roche’s I’ve heard about… project aims to do away with top-down design decisions and create a system that decides its own form based on internal data. The role of the architect becomes simply to set up the original algorithm or system before ‘letting it go on alone’ to create its form. It is impossible to know what will result and, according to Roche, this human-less process is desirable. “I’ve heard about something that … rejects even the idea of a possible prediction about its form of growth or future typology … the urban form no longer depends on the arbitrary decisions or control over its emergence exercised by a few…” 21 This type of conception, as Eisenman might describe it, displaces the human from the ‘centre’ (his key tenet of modernity). By generating design from non-human decision factors, we vastly extend the range of possibilities.
fig.24 i’ve heard about... algorithmic diagrams new-territories (2005)
Roland Snooks’ Kokkugia projects also explore the possibilities of generative procedures – taking form to a point inconceivable by the human imagination. For now, these forms remain predominantly in the realm of functionless sculpture – much in the same way the Eiffel Tower was a functionless sculpture of the then-new iron building system. Over time however, like the use of steel frame construction, these generative techniques will develop and their true potential will be uncovered.
fig.25 i’ve heard about... new-territories (2005)
Within this seemingly positive new generative direction for architecture, a new question arises. Can an architecture based purely on technology, material, function and data truly excite the human imagination? Might there still be some relevance for the human ‘intuition’ of the architect from a compositional point of view? How can we intertwine generative procedures with human creativity such that they become more than just a ‘form of facts’?
fig.26 babiy yar memorial, kiev roland snooks, kokkugia (2010)
CONCLUSION CONCLUSION CONCLUSION CONCLUSION CONCLUSION Part A has introduced several theories and opinions that can be developed upon in this design studio. Firstly, the idea that the future must be designed. We cannot wait for people to change their behaviours; we, as designers, must incite the change. This can come through a broader approach to design in which we start to focus on larger scale systems or can come through speculation of possible futures. These proposed futures can be effective from both positive and negative angles. The notion of speculative architecture is closely tied to our brief as we aim to critique the materialistic, celebrity-focused society we live in. How might the public react upon seeing this unsustainable, materialistic situation taken to its exaggerated conclusion? Might it spark a change in the collective psyche? Within this internet-based, social network society that we now live in, data is becoming increasingly valuable. By utilising the right tools and organising this data, trends can be extracted and we might be able to learn what lies at the heart of human desire. Computational design is concerned with leaving human-compositional techniques aside and letting the data guide the creation of something previously unimaginable. Computation in architecture has also led to incredible new performative and functional achievements in architecture – creating new possibilities for sustainability in design. Marketing these factors alone has, unfortunately, proved unsuccessful thus far. Perhaps we can use the ‘data of desire’ to inject our designs with qualities that will make them ‘sell’. Using a similar method to Gage, for instance, we could feed ‘popular’ forms into an algorithm that then rearranges and combines them into a ‘super-popular’ formal product.
LEARNING OUTCOMES LEARNING OUTCOMES LEARNING OUTCOMES LEARNING OUTCOMES My mind has been expanded over the last couple of weeks through engaging with the content of this subject. At the beginning of semester, I had little to no knowledge of the discourse surrounding digital architecture. When I thought of computation in architecture, I would think only to buildings like those by Zaha Hadid with their irregular forms. What I know realise is that the digital is the locus for 21st-century avant-garde architectural discourse. Digital procedures throw into question the idea of architectural authorship, explore conception from an angle alternative to the ‘human’, and generate possibilities previously unfathomable. It has made me reconsider past projects of mine and how I projected my own personal biases or subjective opinions onto them. I reflect on what role my preconceived ideas of how a building ‘should’ look restricted my design process. Perhaps had I left my own ‘taste’ behind and subjected the design to some other ‘force’ (that of data, or the needs of a non-human client, for example) I may have achieved more interesting results. This therefore will be my aim this semester – to free my design process of my own personal aesthetic preference, and replace it with a more processdriven, unpredictable method.
APPENDIX: ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES These attempts at ‘pimping’ Le Corbusier’s Cabanon in the flavour of Kanye West’s Yeezy Air Boost are examples of how computational algorithms can be used to reappropriate architectural precedents. By feeding a source, the Cabanon, through an algorithm that alters its formal qualities in a desired way, in this case to smooth out geometry and add intricacy, we are presented with ‘mutated’ iterations of the original precedent. Perhaps by finding popular precedents, and popular formal qualities, I could combine the two to generate upgraded ‘superpopular’ results.
These attempts at making ‘bling’ aim to tap into people’s sense of desire. It seems that intricacy of form is often considered beautiful to most (think the universal adoration given to highly intricate Gothic cathedrals for example). Computation allows for complex forms to be created that could not easily be conceived of by the human mind (perhaps this gives a mystique to the forms as well). Computation also allows for rapid iterations and experimentation.
These examples use form generation methods to create a habitable space. By using algorithmic methods I was able to set up a condition through which the canopy became more perforated above the â€˜fire-pitâ€™. I did not, however, have a preconceived idea of what this would look like. By playing around with the parameters I was able to vary the conditions of open/closed across the structure. Using point variable spatial data could be useful to control conditions of form in my designs later on down the track. The formal pair of open/closed, instantly suggests a relation to the conceptual pair of public/private. This could be an interesting dichotomy to play with, especially given the public lives now shared through social media.
These designs for a canopy further the exploration of bling as a concept. What is it about jewellery that fascinates humans? Are we like magpies in our obsession with shiny trinkets and other special artefacts? What is it about these items that we are attracted to? Is it how they are marketed? Or is there a deeper formal attraction that could be investigated and harnessed? These parametrically iterated designs explore the idea of giving the austere, rustic Cabanon a piece of bling. The additions are clearly of a completely diffferent species to the â€˜folkâ€™ architecture of the Cabanon. They act as a foreign appendage much in the same way gold, silver and diamonds are foreign when compared with human skin.
This process involves breaking down an architectural precedent and smoothing it out as a mesh to try and achieve similar qualities to an luxury, designer handbag. How might we be able to imbue architecture with the qualities that make these goods so desirable?
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Patterning is an architectural technique that deals predominantly with the surface of a building. It has risen to prominence in recent times due to development of digital design and fabrication tools. Pattern can be decorative, representational, performative or a combination of these. Whatever aim the patterning hopes to achieve, our buildings are becoming more and more defined by their façade. This revives the long-standing design question: from where should ornament be derived? From an Arts and Crafts perspective, pattern should be derived from nature. John Ruskin proclaims in The Stones of Venice that there is “material enough in a single flower for the ornament of a score of cathedrals.” 22 Post-Modern ornament focuses on the representational in ornament. After over half a century of the architectural abstraction of Modernism, architects such as Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown sought to give architecture readable meaning. Today, with new technologies revolving around building optimisation, we see ornament take a more functional role. The surface treatment in buildings such as Herzog and De Meuron’s De Young Museum is firstly performative and secondly aesthetic.
fig.27 de young museum herzog & de meuron
fig.28 hall of mirrors palace of versailles
Patterning has been used throughout history to communicate a sense of allure through opulence. Baroque ornament is primarily focused with decadence, theatre and luxury. These qualities appeal to an innate human desire. An intricate, display of detailed craftsmanship instantly speaks of affluence. The Palace of Versailles is the epitome of this gaudy approach to surface. Its popularity as a tourist destination clearly shows the human fascination with this type of ornament. Le Corbusierâ€™s Cabanon, an austere, rugged piece of architecture, does not engage with patterning whatsoever. At best, it uses the natural grain of the timber as its ornament. Perhaps patterning could be used to make it more alluring. fig.29 ornamental detail palace of versailles
Ornament can also take a more directly representational role. Image sampling has allowed architects to transfer readable images onto the surfaces of buildings to achieve literal depiction. This kind of ornamentation has its roots in Post-Modern architecture of the 1960s. Led by Venturi and Scott-Brown, architects began to borrow from pop culture and include motifs that held direct meaning for the average person. The Guild House, for example, features a golden television antenna to resonate with the elderly residents who spend their days at home watching TV. Fast-forward to today, we see architecture firms such as ARM continuing this legacy. In the Portrait Building, ARM use patterning to depict the face of William Barak; a comment of the continual colonization of Australia. The power of this architecture is in its readability. Lessons learned by Venturi and Scott-Brown in relation to this type of ornament are still relevant today. Public interest in architecture is waning. Architectural readability has been lost in the abstracted forms of Modernism. Is representational architecture a way to revive this interest? Perhaps this technique could be used to give the plain Cabanon greater cultural association.
fig.31 patterning detail portrait building
fig.30 portrait building arm architecture
Finally, Patterning has recently been used as a device for controlling performative qualities of a building. Practices, such as Atelier Hitoshi Abe in their Aobe-Tei project, use perforation as a means of controlling light. Although given a functional basis, this approach can often generate interesting aesthetic results. Gantenbein Vineyard, by Gramazio and Kohler, uses robotic brick placement to perforate the façade and ventilate the space. This method also uses image sampling to depict and image of grapes onto the façade. This type of variable façade condition, achieved by satisfying function, gives buildings a great level of intricacy. Perhaps this type of intricacy could be used to appeal to human desires. In conclusion, Patterning is a versatile technique that can be used to achieve various goals. It can be used to make buildings more alluring, meaningful and performative. This can be achieve through fabrication methods such as perforation, profiling, parts placement and more. The increasing use of patterning in architecture suggests that the architect’s role is becoming a mere façade designer. As Moussavi and Kubo suggest: “The ‘screen’ might be the most contemporary category through which building expressions emerge.” 24
fig.32 aobe-tei restautant hitoshi abe
fig.33 aobe-tei restaurant hitoshi abe
CASE STUDY 1.0 de young museum
herzog & de meuron
In the De Young Museum project, Herzog and De Meuron focused on integrating the building with the surrounding natural environment. To do this they employed many strategies in relation to the façade. Firstly they chose to use copper, so that over time, oxidation would cause the building to become green and blend in with the trees. Herzog and De Meuron also used patterning in the façade to generate affects. The copper façade panels were perforated to control light access to the interior. Their aim was to create a lighting effect like the dappled shade of foliage. The perforations also control the amount of light allowed into gallery areas to protect artwork. The façade has a performative as well as experiential effect. The façade has another overlayed pattern created by indentation. Both patterning techniques roughen the façade to place it in harmony with the natural surroundings. Is it not clear exactly what initial data was used to create the patterning. Image sampling may have been used to control the size of the perforations. If this was the case, the image has been abstracted to a point where it becomes unrecognisable. This gives the façade a more decorative, intricate pattern based on function. What might the building have looked like if they aimed to retain the recognisability of the original image? The external skin of this building is an architectural element of its own. It has no connection to interior surfaces. It acts simply as a wrap for the building. This idea of wrapping, or cloaking a structure in a surface could be developed upon. How could one explore ‘style’ when it need only be paper-thin?
fig.34 facade detail de young museum
fig.35 de young museum herzog & de meuron
This first species investigates how naturally occurring patterns, such as animal fur, might be abstracted and incorporated into architecture. Fur is an unethical material to use but is often associated with luxury. These iterations attempt to extract the qualities of the fur for application to a surface. Patterns are created with varying degrees of resemblance to the original image.
LEOPARD (+) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
LEOPARD (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/LOW V
LEOPARD (-) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
LEOPARD (-) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/LOW V
LEOPARD (+) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/LOW V
LEOPARD (-) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/LOW V
LEOPARD (+) CIRCLE RADIUS LOW U/HIGH V
LEOPARD (-) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/LOW V
LEOPARD (-) TRIANGLE RADIUS GEO ROTATION LOW U/LOW V
ZEBRA (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT HIGH U/LOW V
GIRAFFE (+) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
LEOPARD (+) TRIANGLE RADIUS GEO ROTATION HIGH U/HIGH V
ZEBRA (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/HIGH V
GIRAFFE (-) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
ZEBRA (+) TRIANGLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
ZEBRA (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT LOW U/LOW V
GIRAFFE (-) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT HIGH U/HIGH V CULL PATTERN
ZEBRA (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT HIGH U/HIGH V
ZEBRA (+) CIRCLE RADIUS HIGH U/HIGH V
GIRAFFE (+) RECTANGLE WIDTH/HEIGHT HIGH U/HIGH V CULL PATTERN
U: 10 V: 10 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 10 V: 10 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 10 V: 10 M: 5 INT. CRV.
U: 20 V: 20 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 55 V: 70 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 10 V: 10 M: 5 INT. CRV.
U: 20 V: 20 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 55 V: 70 M: 2 INT. CRV.
U: 60 V: 60 M: 1 POLYLINE
U: 90 V: 90 M: 2 POLYLINE
U: 100 V: 10 M: 2 POLYLINE
U: 60 V: 60 M: 1 POLYLINE
U: 90 V: 90 M: 2 POLYLINE
U: 100 V: 10 M: 2 POLYLINE
This second species investigates how a surface might be shaped by image sampling as opposed to simply patterned. When viewed in perspective the surfaces lose all resemblance to the original image. However it can be seen from above in some cases.
U: 10 V: 100 M: 2 POLYLINE
U: 10 V: 100 M: 2 POLYLINE
This third species investigates how the input image might be used to generate form. Using extrusion, we see clusters of solid and void arise, influenced by the animal fur pattern.
LEOPARD U: 15 V: 17 R: 0.25 M: 2
LEOPARD U: 7 V: 6 R: 1 M: 4
GIRAFFE U: 50 V: 36 R: 0.15 M: 1
GIRAFFE U: 50 V: 36 VARIABLE RADIUS M: 3
LEOPARD U: 43 V: 6 R: 1 M: 5
LEOPARD U: 37 V: 23 R: 0.25 M: 5
LEOPARD U: 50 V: 36 R: 0.15 M: 1
ZEBRA U: 40 V: 20 R: 0.15 M: 3
ZEBRA U: 29 V: 8 R: 0.25 M: 3
ZEBRA U: 8 V: 100 R: 0.25 M: 3
This fourth species was more experimental in aim. In these iterations, I tried to fully abstract the initial image and simply use it for its raw data purposes. The brightness data from the image informs the shape of the cluster.
To assess the success of these iterations, the following criteria were used. Firstly came the representational ability of the outcome. Did the iteration bear resemblance to the original image? This was important to me as I moved towards a representational architecture that could literally depict images. Second was the iterationâ€™s ability to be fabricated. Did the iteration lend itself to possible fabrication techniques on model or building scale? Third, taking lessons from the Baroque, I focused on the intricacy of the iteration. Did it have a high level of detail? Finally, as a general assessment, I looked at each iterations architectural potential. 62
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 60
This iteration was successful due to its ressemblance to the original image. It might be used to perforate a facade, creating a recognisable image from afar, but more experiential lighting effect on the interior. Intricacy is achieved through the wide range of perforation sizes. It could easily be fabricated on a range of surfaces using laser-cutting or CNC milling. This iteration focuses more on the surface rather than creating form or architectural space.
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 60
This iteration abstracts the image further to create a less recognisable pattern. The pattern is lacking in intricacy but could easily be fabricated. What I find interesting in this iteration is that it suggests an architectural plan. The shapes becoming the poche of walls and columns. Perhaps the animal fur could be used not for its aesthetic but for its spatial rules.
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 70
This iteration also loses resemblance to the original image. What it does have however is potential for fabrication. The image is abstracted into strips, much in the same way the portrait is in ARMâ€™s building. Perhaps these strips could be used to wrap a form.
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 70
This iteration was highlight more for its intricacy. The form created resembles draped fabric. The animal pattern is identifiable and it creates pockets of architectural space. The form may be able to be created using vacuum-forming. From there casts could be made to create concrete forms. The merit of this method lies in its ability to disturb a flat surface plane.
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 60
The success of this method is in its architectural potential. It uses the values of the source image to creates pockets of solid and void. These forms might be able to be 3D printed. Greater intricacy could be achieved through increasing the surface division. The iteration bears some resemblance to the image from above, but uses the image more for its rules of space.
ARCHITECTURAL POTENTIAL: 60
Although this iteration does not resemble the original image at all, and would likely be quite difficult to fabricate, it does have some good qualities. It has a high level of intricacy in its shape. It also generates form, unlike the other iterations. Perhaps this shape could be used negatively to create an interestingly shaped space.
CASE STUDY 2.0 one main street deCoi architects
Sectioning allows for complex, curvilinear forms to be fabricated using layered, cut-out components. dECOi Architects employed this method in their One Main Street Office Renovation. Tasked with creating an interior made from sustainably-forested spruce plywood, the firm looked to CNC routing.
fig.36 the shadow of ledoux decoi architects
dECOi Architects had previously been experimenting with curvilinear surfaces in sculptural works such as the Shadow of Ledoux (1993) and the Galerie Miran (2003). One Main Street reuses this method of sectioning to create an undulating roof and floor surface that is formed by function. Sectioning is also used to create shelves, desks and other in-built furniture. The project utilises the â€œpotential for plastic control of the spatial and detail definitionâ€? 23 that is allowed by parametric design. The architect can sculpt the space to a high level of detail.
fig.37 one main street decoi architects
By using a computational approach, this complex form becomes far easier to fabricate. Automated algorithms were devised for generating milling files that allowed for high tolerances and extremely low percentages of error.
fig.38 plan of surface input one main street
This project aimed to push the sculptural limits of timber. Timber has historically been associated with straight members and orthogonal frame structures. By focusing on the profile of the material, dECOi have proved the vast formal potential of timber. It shows that metals, plastics or concretes are not the only materials that can generate expressive forms. It is hard to believe that all the curves in this design serve a functional purpose as stated by the architect. Regardless of this however, the resulting form is exciting and breaks down the rectilinear, regularity of the typical office interior.
fig.41 erection of pre-fab components one main street fig.39 undulation detail one main street
fig.40 form in elevation one main street
Draw the curves that will form the surface pattern
Loft these curves to create a surface.
Intersect the surface frames perpendicular curve.
brep/plane intersection section curve
number of incisions
unit z vector
with numerous to a separate
Extrude the intersection curves in the z-axis.
Crop the extrusions using a surface that simulates the ceiling above the sectioning.
5. split brep
The outcome of my reverse engineering process resembles the original. The undulating roof form has been captured, as well drooping mass that lowers to touch the floor. Sectioning has been used to divide this curvilinear form into flat, fabricatable strips. The source curves in my replication were arbitrarily drawn. It would be interesting to know what dECOi based their original surface on. Was there some kind of functional or performative data that they used to decide the undulations? Perhaps these undulations could change due to an image input as explored in my previous case study. The loft command is limiting is terms of the complexity of surfaces it can create. I was unable to create a surface that continued from roof to floor to inbuilt furniture. Perhaps a plug-in like Kangaroo could be used to create these more complex surfaces. My replication also lacks a connection to fabrication. The spacing of the section cuts is arbitrary. If I want to take this method further, this spacing will need to be based on the constraints of materials, fabrication and assembly. This method of sectioning could be extended into the realm of waffling. By intersecting the surface in two directions, a waffle grid could be created. This method could allow for the fabrication of highly complex forms. With this waffle grid as the base, components or a skin could be attached to generate effects.
Our studio this semester revolves around the idea of desire. Products have long been marketed to the consumers by appealing to this irrational side of human psychology. How can we learn from this technique and imbue our architecture with similar qualities? To begin with, we must analyse a product or brand to find the criteria of success – what makes people want to buy it. As well as exploring these desirable qualities, we must also imagine a potential ‘dark side’ scenario. The task is then to design an accessory for Le Courvoisier’s signature model – the Cabanon.
fig.42 promotional image louis vuitton x jeff koons masters collection 80
LOUIS VUITTON x JEFF KOONS MASTERS COLLECTION As a starting point for investigating qualities of desire, we chose the Masters Collection, a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and artist Jeff Koons.
The first quality of desire identified in this product is that of luxury. The use of luxurious materials such as leather, velvet and gold appeals to the consumer’s sense of indulgence. It provides a decadent tactile experience. These material qualities are highly alluring. This gaudy nature of materials is reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles. An ethical question arises from the use of these materials however: is it right for some members of society to be indulging in this way when there are so many people living in poverty? The luxury of the bag points out the massive division in wealth between then most affluent in society and those struggling to get by.
The second observable quality of the product revolves around its use of style. The artist blatantly appropriates existing imagery to associate the bags with the historical lineage of style. It appeals to the consumer’s desire to be cultured. It also allows the user to ‘own’ these famous artworks – more lavish goods in their possession. This brazen use of direct imagery suggests a world where style is treated as commodity. Art is disrespected and appropriated in order to sell products. Consumers move through trends, discarding this art as it has gone out of fashion.
The final quality observed is that of utility. The bags allow the user to carry their life around. In this way, the product enables humans to live a small scale nomadic existence – they can last the whole day out of the house. There comes a point when a convenient accessory such as this becomes a necessity. The user grows attached to the bag and cannot be without it. The bag fosters the user’s attachment to their posessions. These qualities of desire, found in the Masters Collection bags, will be incorporated into a piece of architecture – an accessory – that will aim to improve the Cabanon and give it greater allure. All the while we bear in mind the darker implications of going further down these paths.
fig.43 masters collection louis vuitton x jeff koons 83
These iterations began to investigate how image sampling might be used to embed imagery into form. Although achieved some interesting results, this method ultimately failed as the image became too distorted and unrecognisable. Lessons were learned in relation to the direction of the sectioning as well as how it can be executed in two directions to create a waffle structure. Overall however, these iterations showed that sectioning is not the most viable method for representing imagery.
This iteration, due to its higher resolution of point distribution, held the greatest resemblance to the input image. The image is still distorted and difficult to read. The sectioning would allow for very easy fabrication as the detail is cut in profile. The intricacy of the surface creates a kind of luxurious sculpted look, like the Baroque stucco detailing. This method would be useful in breaking up a flat wall surface, but it has very little potential in creating a space.
This iteration explores the line of sectioning. By using a curved line, the resulting geometry has a high level of intricacy. It is unlikely that this will be easy to fabricate however. These iterations lose all resemblance to the original image, and would therefore not function as representational tools. Again this iteration holds little potential for creating architectural space.
The two-way sectioning, or waffling, suggested a successful means of fabrication. Image sampling in form proved unsuccessful in representation and the creation of space. The focus now centred on how an input geometry could be distorted to generate form. This gave us greater control over the resulting form, however due to the unpredictability of the mesh smoothing, this technique ultimately proved too unreliable. This example uses the original Cabanon as the input geometry. Whilst this does satisfy the need for creating form, the result has very little connection to luxury. There is also no means by which to interpret imagery.
These later examples start to borrow from Le Courbusierâ€™s Modulor measurements in order to create the input geometry. This geometry and its proportions are then distorted by the smoothing algorithm. The main success of these iterations is their ability to create novel, nonorthogonal form. The intricacy of the waffling gives the forms added complexity. However these forms do little to achieve luxury or representation.
Additional plug-ins were used to gain greater control over the form. Cocoon allowed us to sculpt the positive and negative forms with more accuracy. This led to results that had greater architectural use. These forms also achieved greater complexity. The curvilinear surface of the resulting forms gave them greater sensuality â€“ a more luxurious aesthetic than the spartan Cabanon.
This iteration exemplifies the ability of this new algorithm to create more sensual forms. It makes the previous smoothed meshes seem clunky. It is unclear how these shapes might be fabricated, aside from being put through the waffling algorithm. It is also unclear how this form might start to represent imagery. Nevertheless, it starts to achieve greater potential for architectural space.
The iterations generated by Cocoon were formally successful but lacked in representational ability. In these iterations, panels were extracted from the meshes to provide a surface for patterning. The triangulated panels could be perforated or simply printed on, in a similar way to the Masters Collection bags. These iterations also explore the possibility of fabrication of these new forms using waffling.
This iteration uses cull patterns so that the panels do not wrap all the way around the mesh. This is important as we wanted views to be maintained through the waffle to the outer environment. These panels add a greater level of complexity to the structure â€“ a second system. These panels could be oriented and perforated; however, the image would be too abstracted. Therefore, we decided to directly sample the image across these surfaces using printing.
These iterations investigate how the mesh might be fabricated. The waffling algorithm is useful in this process. Some detail of form is rationalised, however, the waffle does add structural and textural complexity.
This final species combines the mesh generation, waffling and panelling to create a hybrid system. This hybrid allows for ease of fabrication, control over form, ability for image representation as well as useable architectural space.
These final four iterations were chosen to pursue as they achieved an accuracy and sensuality of form. From here, we can experiment with how the image is applied to the surface, what source data creates the geometry, how the panels attach to the structure and what condition the interior space has. There is an already obvious flaw in that the panels and waffle grid intersect. This will need to addressed in the prototyping phase.
In the development phase we predicted that the mesh forms that we were generating would be quite difficult to fabricate. Therefore we looked to our research of sectioning and devised a way to waffle these meshes for fabrication. Using the Bowerbird plug-in we were able to fabricate structure with ease. The mesh is divided into sections which are then oriented and labelled before being sent to the laser cutter. We chose mountboard as a prototyping material and painted it gold to achieve a luxurious aesthetic, however more suitable materials could be used down the track. The model came together very easily, aside from a few sections around the tunnels in the mesh. It was necessary to cut some of the pieces up to rectify this. In the future, closer attention will be paid to the model before laser cutting to prevent this issue from reoccurring.
Another issue that arose, one that we pre-empted, was that the panels did not fit onto the waffle. The panels had been generated through a simplification of the mesh and therefore the structure and surface intersected. We had also neglected to design a system for join the panels to the structure. This required some rethinking. Due to the failure of the panels to generate external surface and interior walls, we tried a different method. With the aim of creating a luxurious tactile experience on the inside, we pinned velvet across the waffle. Whilst this method is not ideal from a computational design perspective, it did give us idea of how the textures worked together.
Due to the failures of the first prototype, we revisited the script. Having realised that the waffle and panels must be derived from the same mesh, we added a simplification algorithm. This allowed us to achieve large panels, whilst retaining a good level of formal complexity in the waffle. We also rectified the issues created by the mesh tunnels through greater pre-lasercut analysis. Instead of randomly selecting the panels using a cull pattern, we used point attractors to keep them in clusters. The hope was that these panels could be connected and wrap around the waffle as a means of connection. We realised very soon however, that mountboard was the wrong material to make these panels out of. Its thickness prevented folding, and the bulkiness of the tabs prevented it from wrapping the structure tightly. Due to time constraints we were not able to print our images straight onto the mountboard. Instead we were forced to apply this decal manually â€“ a difficult task. However we did consult the technicians and discovered that it is possible to print on a material before laser cutting. We will look to doing this in future prototypes. The jumbled reference image is successful in that it retains resemblance to the original. It provides an interesting aesthetic to the waffle structure. 102
This final prototype arose out of a last minute experiment. We decided to test what would happen if we vacuum formed the waffle grid. Our hope was that it might generate the interior surface, but we were doubtful that the plastic would stretch that far. The result was surprisingly successful. The wrapping of this surface completely transformed the structural aesthetic of the waffle grid. This prototype made us reconsider our direction. The resulting shape is clearly more luxurious in aesthetic than the structurally focused waffle grid. What does this mean for utility and representation however? How does the surface create usable space? We discovered that it is possible to print onto the plastic before forming, however, we questioned whether direct image representation is still a path we wish to follow. Could this new method be used as a means for capturing qualities of style? Further prototyping is necessary. 111
Due to the rise of social media pages such as Cabin Porn, the romantic idea of off-the-grid, natural living has become appealing to young people. The Cabanon is already one of Le Courvoisierâ€™s most popular products, however it has some qualities that are deterring potential guests. The Cabanon is made of rough, stripped back materials. The interior is stark and plain - lacking in material luxury. The aesthetic of the Cabanon is austere. It is completely lacking in style. Its aesthetic is also static, meaning that it cannot adapt to ever-changing tastes. 115
Learning lessons from the Masters Collection to combat these problems with the Cabanon â€“ we propose the Relief Chamber. The Relief Chamber is an optional accessory available for the Cabanon, aimed at those guests who cannot handle the rawness of the cabin alone. Guests spend time in this space to gain relief from the material harshness of the Cabanon and its natural surroundings. The external appearance of the chamber also serves to transform the external aesthetic of the Cabanon - giving it â€˜styleâ€™.
The chamber appeals to the user’s sense of luxury by creating a rich, tactile interior space. The chamber is available in different sizes in order to accommodate one person, a couple – we even have an extra large chamber, big enough to fit the whole family. For a more intimate experience, we provide a ‘fetal’ model. The space, lined with velvet, embraces the users and provides relief and contrast from the stripped back timber of the Cabanon. By having the option of this space, guests will be able to endure the rawness of the Cabanon for longer durations, thus making the Cabanon accessible to a larger audience. The chamber takes lessons from Le Corbusier’s use of the Golden Ratio and Modulor to create the space. In this way, the chamber is in proportional harmony with both the existing structure and the human body. Computational techniques allowed us to mould the space to these proportions and shapes. Use of sectioning and waffling as a fabrication technique has allowed us to then rationalise this geometry to create a fabricatable structure. In this way, the sectioning method becomes recognisable as a style itself, characterised by use of complex forms rationalised using profiling.
In this world, the term sustainability is redefined. Environmental sustainability is subordinate to whether a product will sell, and continue to sell through changing trends. Stylistic resilience is paramount. Patterning as an architectural device deals predominantly with the surface - with the superficial, faรงade-level appearance of the object. This can be seen in many architectural projects where image sampling is used to generate surface patterning. However the image is often abstracted and unrecognisable. We have taken a lesson from the Koons bag and decided to directly represent images on the faรงade of the chamber to attain instant recognition. Images of famous pieces of architecture are literally printed on the faรงade panels to give the chamber a desired style. These panels are replaceable and therefore the Cabanon can move with whichever architectural or aesthetic style is popular at the time. This gives it resilience to changing fashions. Style is used as a tool to make the architecture relevant. Past styles are appropriated and applied superficially.
In this world, the role of the architect is diminished on two fronts. Architects are no longer responsible for the creation of styles, as buildings simply appropriate previous styles and apply them to the faรงade. The choice of aesthetic is dictated by celebrities who drive trends in different directions. The role of the architect as a generator of form and space is also diminished. Computers can now design optimal spaces based on such rules as the Golden Ratio and Human proportions. Perhaps the architect is reduced to simply an interior designer, responsible for choosing the type of velvet for the interior.
There were two factors involved in choosing the site for the Cabanon and Relief Chamber. Firstly we looked for a view that the waffle grid could frame. The user can look out of the chamber onto a picturesque scene. The waterfall is the most photographed scene of the site, based on Instagram hashtags. We have therefore sited the Cabanon and Relief chamber to gain maximum view of this natural landmark. The second factor focused more on the marketing of the Koons Vuitton Bag. When displayed, these products are usually placed on a pedestal. We found a pedestal on the site â€“ the platform overlooking the waterfall, and have therefore sited our design there â€“ to achieve maximum attention and pride of place. An act of exhibition.
OLD MILL RU
R IV E R A R R YA MERRI CREEK JUNCTION INS
Finally, we return to the Louis Vuitton bag and its quality of convenient utility. The Relief Chamber acts much in the same way â€“ it allows the user to endure for longer. But in the same way that a handbag shifts from a convenient accessory to a necessity â€“ perhaps the relief chamber will do the same. Will it get to a point where users will spend their whole holiday inside the relief chamber? 133
CRITIQUE The mid-semester critique highlighted some areas where our design could be improved. The criticism revolved mainly around the idea of form. It was suggested that we need a stronger basis for choosing the form of the structure. The connection to the Modulor proportions was not obvious, or potentially even relevant. It was also highlighted that the form was unrelated to the qualities of desire found in the Louis Vuitton bags. We were simply relying on the materiality and printed surface to achieve this association. Moving forward we should find a stronger basis on which to develop the form of the accessory. How could the form speak to desires of luxury? How could styles be interpreted as part of the form instead of just the surface? Another point of feedback highlighted the lack of connection between the Cabanon and the accessory. The panel member pointed out that there is no relevance to where the accessory is placed in relation to the floor plan of the existing structure. This feedback highlights a missed opportunity for us. We should try and address this moving forward.
Finally, a point was made about the relationship between interior and exterior. This comment focused on the triangulated panels, questioning whether, due to their aggressive aesthetic, were appropriate for both the interior and exterior surfaces. Perhaps a different system could be used to generate the interior space â€“ one that is more sensual. Upon reflection, we probably could have predicted this feedback. We did struggle with a method of form generation, in the end electing to use the Modulor diagram as a loose input. Unfortunately, the product we chose to investigate offers little inspiration in the way of form and how this might be used to convey luxury or style. Perhaps we must look a little deeper, or look to other products for this type of inspiration. Our design was successful in dealing with superficial use of style as well as creating structure and space. We must look to how style and luxury could influence this form and space.
LEARNING OUTCOMES Part B has taught me the simultaneous benefits and hindrances that come with using computational design methods. From a quantitative output perspective, these tools have allowed me to create far more design ideas than I usually would. The ability to change parameters to achieve new outcomes has led to a more rigorous process of sketch design. The provision of pre-created algorithms as well as the impetus from the reverse engineering task drove me to work with more advanced techniques. It was this process that allowed me to move away from the most basic, ‘tutorial-style’ techniques. This capability of the program was successful in generating form that I would not be able to draw, but it also caused some grief. Due to the highly conceptual nature of our studio, it was often difficult to align our design capabilities with a concept that fitted the brief. The process was challenging, to constantly be moving between a strong conceptual idea, and ideas that were purely technical. In the end I believe we failed to adequately link the two together. On reflection, we took out ideas from the product research and the speculative ‘dark-side’, and then tried to fit the tools to that. Perhaps we would have been more liberated by first exploring more technical capabilities and then applying a concept to the outcome retrospectively. Nevertheless, having a strong idea of ‘what’ we wanted to create before we knew how to do it with computational tools, pushed us to explore new algorithms. A desire for a perforated structure led us to the Bowerbird plug-in for waffling. The need for greater control over form led to the discovery of the charge-based Cocoon plug-in. Even our goal of literal image depiction led to exploration of rendering programs. Due to our
conceptual ambition, I believe I now have technical skills that I would otherwise never have learned. Many of the lessons learned came from the process of transferring digital designs to physical models. The fabrication process has pointed out the need to consider tolerances, connections and constructability. The sheer amount of time spent in the fabrication workshop, with the ability to discuss our ideas with the technicians, led us to consider methods we might not otherwise have considered. The vacuum-forming is an example of this. At a point in our project where our fabrication logic was failing, this quick experiment opened our minds to new possibilities. We don’t know yet where we might take this method, but it did provide us with a fresh perspective on how we can treat form in our design. Overall, it was a difficult task trying to fit the requirements of the subject with the specific themes of our studio. At times, it felt like we were neglecting the technical to satisfy the conceptual requirements of the task. The product investigation formed a good starting point, however the requirement to incorporate sophisticated discussions around style and sustainability often proved challenging whilst still learning the tools. Despite the shortcomings of our project, I am proud of the level to which we managed to synthesise these disparate elements into a coherent whole. We have learnt a great deal, and look forward to developing our idea further in Part C. Now that we have created a successful concept, we can really get into the tools and fabrication in order to give meaning to our form.
This exercise explores how a surface can be patterned using distribution of a pre-created stud. This type of encrustation has links to luxury. It reminds me of the mask designed for Kanye West by Margiela. Surfaces covered in diamonds is what features heavily in bling pendants. Perhaps this type of surface decorated with form could be utilised.
fig.44 crystal maison mask martin margiela
REVISED DESIGN CONCEPT Following the feedback that we received on our Part B presentation, we sought to extend our project in several areas. It was suggested that we find a stronger basis from which to generate our form, so that it was not just a random blob. We also strove for greater integration between the Cabanon and our chamber, as it had previously just been tacked onto one of the walls. It was pointed out that our project was simply acting as a billboard and that we should look to explore some qualities of the chosen style in more formal and architectural ways. Greater thought was required in relation to the difference between the external and internal conditions â€“ was it appropriate for both surfaces to be coated in triangulated panels? As the Masters Collection bags offered very little inspiration in the realm of form, we decided to look elsewhere. An area of style like that of the bags that could offer greater formal and architectural material. On top of these concerns, we agreed to continue exploring vacuum forming â€“ a fabrication process that we had only discovered late in Part B. We saw this technique as a means of elevating the basic sectioning to a more complex form. In the following sequence of digital design and exploration of fabrication techniques, we attempted to address this feedback and shift our project to one of formal and architectural as well as literal stylistic value.
The qualities of desire we identified in the Masters Collection bags were lavish materiality, surface level ornamentation, and use of borrowed imagery. These qualities were useful in directing our initial idea, however they created rather superficial results. Having been challenged to explore the formal and architectural potential of our idea, we decided to look to Baroque architecture. We saw the bags as being Baroque in style because of what they represent â€“ affluence, decadence, gaudiness. Baroque architecture offered us more substance to explore the form of the chamber. Baroque architects aimed to play with set rules of geometry and proportion. The wall surface became looser and more elastic, bulging and bunching in certain areas. Baroque architecture also utilised surface imagery not just for decoration, but to create theatrical effects. We added these qualities to our previously set criteria for judging ideas in order to give the project greater formal and architectural depth. Our new criteria were as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Use of lavish materiality Surface level ornament Use of borrowed imagery Breaking a set of geometrical/proportional rules Disruption of the orthogonal into more plastic form Use of imagery theatrically
fig.45 palace of versailles fig.46 san carlo alle quattro fontane borromini fig.47 santâ€™ignazio church fresco
In these prototypes, we disrupted the orthogonality of the waffle grid to create more complex patterns. Some feature rhythmic spacing, others angle the sections to create more dynamic compositions. The final two iterations were the most successful in distorting the rigid, structural grid.
Vacuum forming was used to embed these patterns into a surface. These results are successful in that they provide distance from the structural aesthetic of the waffle grid. The structure is transformed into something more plastic and expressive.
Upon removing the waffle grid, we took note of the reverse surface as a potential design direction. It was reminiscent of a cushioned wall â€“ a quality that we thought might be useful in creating a new internal condition.
Removing the structure from an earlier prototype, we were even more encouraged in this direction. Where previously we had planned to simply coat some triangulated panels in fabric and call it â€˜luxuryâ€™, this form inspired us to create a much softer, cushioned interior. This new angle reminded us of the Baroque lounge, which only further convinced us of its merits.
fig.48 baroque chair cushioned surface
To gain some control over what was initially a fortunate, accidental result of the fabrication process, we turned to the Kangaroo plug-in. This allowed us to successfully experiment with a cushioned interior. By creating one cushion and orienting it around the interior space we created an appealing, padded womb-like space. Considering the interior condition, we opted to open the top of the interior so that the user could view the structure and the cladding.
By reversing the air flow in the vacuum former and creating apertures, we created controlled cushion forms. This process gave us a means of fabricating the softer form of the interior, where before we felt restricted to the easily fabricable triangle panels. These forms were also more in line with our criteria of breaking up orthogonality, planarity and formal rigidity.
For the interior of the chamber, we sought to create an experience that differed from that of the Cabanon. We described it as a womb â€“ a place where guests could go to escape the rawness of the cabin and be embraced by luxury. This variable pipe algorithm allowed us to sculpt this space; the plasticity of the resulting forms being in line with our criteria. While some of the iterations are more visually interesting due to their intricacy, we were mainly concerned with the potential for architectural space. Some results suggested areas of compressed space before opening into a rounded chamber â€“ these interested us.
To fabricate these recently discovered forms, we looked again to waffling; this time using a radial method. These prototypes were ultimately unsuccessful due to the level of detail that was lost in the rationalisation of the form. If anything, this was a positive lesson to learn as it alerted us to the drawbacks of waffling our form for fabrication. Considering our plans to rationalise our irregular forms in this way, we had to find a way to then derationalise them. We felt as though vacuum forming could be the answer.
This algorithmic procedure of noise mesh distortion was pivotal in our design direction. We had previously been using Cocoon, a charge based mesh-generator, over which we had very little control. The new process allowed us to input any geometry and distort it to our desired extent. This was particularly relevant to our goals of disrupting orthogonality and playing with geometry. It was the moderate levels of distortion that we preferred as the warping was visible enough without being too small in scale.
After having tested this algorithm on a simple sphere, we tested it on an architectural space. Taking an input of a dome, columns and walls, the form was distorted to various extents. It was interesting to see the way this affected the interior spatial condition and how it retained resemblance to the original. The form bulges and puckers much like Baroque architecture. One drawback of this technique was the lack of control over the distortion â€“ this would ultimately disallow us from sculpting furniture into the wall surface for example.
At this point, to lose resemblance to the structural rationality of the waffle grid, we decided to move back to simple sectioning. After testing some prototypes, we realised the resemblance this technique held to the Baroque obsession of sculpting fabric. On top of that, we saw the linear compositions as being more plastic than ones that used a grid base.
fig.49 bust of louis xiv bernini
Now that our control over the vacuum forming procedure had developed, we decided to abandon the idea of a triangulated panel exterior. This raised the issue of how to retain a method for literal image representation. After a long process of experimentation, we discovered a way to print onto the plastic before vacuum forming. This opened up the potential of the project. The image becomes theatrically distorted as it wraps the sectioned pieces. It stretches and cracks much like a painting on a canvas. Above all, it permitted us to clad the chamber in borrowed imagery.
VACUUM - FORMED IMAGE
After this period of experimentation of both digital and fabrication techniques, we arrived at a basic process of what we sought to create. An exterior form, derived from the dimensions of the Cabanon, warped and plastic in form. An interior space, derived from distorted Modulor proportions, creating a womb-like space with a compressive entry. A structure of sections that would allow fabrication of such a complex form. An image coated plastic sheet, vacuumformed around the sectioning to give rhythmic scalloping and greater expressive plasticity to the chamber. Finally, a cushioned interior, soft and embracing â€“ a luxurious surface.
These iterations explored the creation of the interior space. The aim was to create a space that embraced the user, accessed through a small opening that would provide disconnection from the Cabanon. Developing from a geometrical abstraction of one of the Cabanonâ€™s modules, the final iteration was slightly tweaked to achieve functional sizes.
These iterations came from various geometrical arrangements based on the floor plan modules of the Cabanon. Using various Baroque processes such as array, intersection and rotation, before being subjected to computational distortion, these forms plasticised the planar surface and broke up the orthogonality of the Cabanon. They also took the Modulor as input, in the same way the Baroque took Classical language, and distorted it beyond recognition. These six iterations were most desirable due to the scale and amplitude of the warping. Some previous iterations featured more intense distortion and lost their resemblance to the original, rhythmic composition. Further, these extreme forms did not respond well to the Boolean operation that created the interior void.
SUMMARY OF PROCESS EXTERNAL BASE GEOMETRY >INPUT: Cabanon Plan Module 1. Array 2. Extrude to Modulor heights 3. Boolean Union 4. Mesh Brep >OUTPUT: Base Geometry Composition
WARPED EXTERNAL FORM >INPUT: Base Geomtery Composition 1. Weld Mesh 2. Triangulate Mesh 3. Reduce Mesh 4. WB Catmull Clark Subdivision 5. Triangulate Mesh 6. Noise Distortion >OUTPUT: Warped External Mesh
INTERNAL FORM >INPUT: Cabanon Plan Module 1. Diagonal curve between P1 and P3 2. Move P3 to human height 3. Divide curve into points 4. Variable pipe 5. Noise Distortion 6. Remap points using Sine graph 7. Remesh 8. WB Laplacian Smoothing 9. Cap Mesh >OUTPUT: Internal Womb Form
FINAL MESH >INPUT: Internal Womb Form & Warped External Mesh 1. Boolean subtraction of interior from exterior 2. Trim mesh at ground plane 3. Cap mesh >OUTPUT: Final Mesh
INTERNAL CUSHION FORM >INPUT: Rectanglar Mesh 1. Triangulate Mesh 2. Anchor edges 3. Create Kangaroo Springs form mesh curves 4. Positive Unary force for inflation 5. Combine in Kangaroo Physics >OUTPUT: Singular Cushion Form
INTERIOR SURFACE >INPUT: Cushion Form and Internal Womb Form 1. Mesh face vertices of Internal Form 2. Cull to remove points not included in External Mesh 3. Cushion oriented to these points 4. Manual deletion of top half of surface >OUTPUT: Internal Bowl of Cushions
SECTION GENERATION >INPUT: Final Mesh 1. Cut mesh at 16 planes 2. Rotate planes 3. Create boundary surfaces from curves >OUTPUT: Section Pieces
FABRICATION LAYOUT >INPUT: Section Pieces 1. Find planarity of each section 2. Orient to ground plane in a square grid 3. Label each piece 4. Remove holes for sturctural rods >OUTPUT: Fabrication Layout
FABRICATION USING REVERSE VACUUM FORMING
FABRICATION USING RODS, NUTS AND SPACERS
MANUAL CONSTRUCTION OF VELVET CUSHIONS
IMAGE TRANSFERRED PLASTIC FORMED OVER THE STRUCTURE TO FORM EXTERNAL ENVELOPE
In summary, our final proposal takes an irregularly shaped form with a womb-like space inside and sections it to create a structure. The interior features a bowl of velvet cushions to provide a luxurious tactile experience. The exterior is wrapped with a distorted collage of borrowed Baroque imagery that explores ideas of superficial ornament as well as theatricality.
With this preliminary prototype, we started to explore how the different systems might work together. Having moved away from the self-structuring waffle-grid, a new assembly method was required. We devised a system of rods and spacers to align and separate the sections.
This prototype responded extremely well to the vacuum forming process. The rigid, rational structure of the sectioning was completely transformed by the scalloping surface that wrapped it. This warped the planarity of the structure and gave it a different, more plastic aesthetic, much more aligned with the Baroque.
For our final presentation model, we shifted from quick, craft materials such as timber rods and plastic tube, to standard hardware supplies. Using threaded rods, brass pipe and nuts, we created a sturdy and robust structure. After having been challenged by our tutor to experiment with the spacing of the section pieces to create more dynamic rhythm, the pipe buffer pieces were cut at different lengths. This gave variance to the spacing between pieces and created moments of compression and release. The wider spacing above the interior chamber allows for views up through the structure to the roof above. The use of gold is a reference again to the decadent materiality of the Masters Collection. Although structural in its aesthetic, this assembly was always intended to be used a formwork for creating more complex, plastic form.
With the aim of creating theatrical visual effects, we designed a collage that would be viewed from the interior. This collage used borrowed Baroque imagery such as angels from the painting â€˜The Triumph of the Immaculate,â€™ ornamental details from the Palace of Versailles, and domes by notable Baroque architects, Borromini and Guarini. This composition generates a similar effect to Baroque ceiling frescoes in that it blurs the line between architectural form and 2D surface decoration.
Digital techniques were used to anticipate the distortion of the vacuum forming process, and the collage was warped to mitigate this. Clear Perspex was used so that the image would be visible both as the external surface of the chamber, and the interior ceiling effect.
Although the distortion eventuated slightly differently to what was anticipated, the vacuum forming of the image transferred plastic was highly successful. The dome was still located above the chamber and the ornamental Versailles detail wrapped around the skirt.
The plastic scallops the sectioning, transforming the aesthetic, elevating it beyond mere structure. The rhythm of the sectioning creates moments of bunching, simulating the pushing and pulling of the Baroque wall surface.
Looking up through the sectioning from the interior space, a theatrical effect occurs. Above is the dome of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane surrounded by angelic characters. In relation to the bag, this outcome mimics the use of borrowed imagery for external identity. It also interprets the idea of literal surface ornamentation and its representational ability.
With this model, we explored how the three systems â€“ structure, external envelope, interior surface â€“ might work together. It shows at 1:1 scale how the section pieces are buffered apart using spacing collars. They are aligned and held together by rods and fasteners. It shows how the interior cushions connect to the structure and how the external plastic wrap hangs on the edge of the sections.
Our last model shows how the chamber relates to the Cabanon. It shows how the Relief Chamber bites away at the box walls of the dwelling. The subtraction is irregular and completely contrasts with the orthogonality of the host. This model also shows the poche of the chamber â€“ the relationship between interior space and exterior form.
IGN PROPOSAL 223
This semester our brief involved investigation of a luxury consumer good for its qualities of desire. What is it about this product that is so alluring? How does the product appeal to irrational human desire? The product we chose to focus on is the Masters Collection, a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and artist Jeff Koons. This formed the starting point of our project.
fig.50 new range of master collection louis vuitton x jeff koons
fig.51.52.53 material details of masters collection louis vuitton x jeff koons
The first quality of desire we observed in the Masters Collection is that of lavish materiality. The bag features decadent materials such as leather and gold such that it provides a rich tactile experience for the user.
The second quality revolves around the superficial use of ornament. In terms of form and function, the Masters Collection bags are not different from their plainer predecessors. It is the surface ornament that sets it apart.
Finally, the bag uses borrowed imagery to create its aesthetic. In this way, it trades on the value of existing style and artwork for its own benefit. This appropriation of wellknown artworks is a defining quality of the product.
fig.54 standard travel bag louis vuitton fig.55 da vinci masters collection louis vuitton x jeff koons fig.56 use of van gogh masters collection louis vuitton x jeff koons
This semester we were tasked with designing an accessory for Le Corbusierâ€™s Cabanon. At first glance it is clear that the cabin holds starkly different qualities to that of the bag.
fig.58 cabanon exterior le corbusier
First of all, the Cabanon features only the bare essentials â€“ there are no creature comforts in this functionally focused work of architecture. Secondly, all the surfaces are hard and planar â€“ there is little softness or comfort. Lastly, Le Corbusier takes a restrained approach to materiality, electing a restricted palette of materials represented as found.
fig.57 cabanon interior le corbusier 231
The Cabanon is based on a strict set of proportional and geometrical rules â€“ Le Corbusierâ€™s Modulor system. All furniture dimensions are based on the human body and the floorplan is divided into modular sections. The dwelling is also ruled by a strong orthogonality. This can be observed in both plan and section.
These qualities of the Cabanon make it unappealing as a holiday destination to those people used to a life of luxury. Could it be possible to expand the demographic to include these potential guests? Our design task this semester was therefore to design an accessory, based on the qualities of the Masters Collection bags, that would make the Cabanon more accessible to this different demographic.
We call our resulting design â€“ the Relief Chamber. It is an additional space, attached to the Cabanon, where guests can go to gain relief from the harshness of the space. It is a space where guests can experience luxurious tactility, the hope being that this relief will allow them to endure the ascetic qualities of the Cabanon for longer. It is a comfortable space â€“ a retreat from the retreat.
The Cabanon is divided into functional modules: entrance, eating, sleeping and washing. However, there is an unassigned module. This is where we chose to locate our design and form a luxury module.
The Relief Chamber provides a luxurious tactile experience for the user with decadent use of materials. The womblike space is lined with velvet cushions and the structure is made of solid gold.
The Relief Chamber, much like the Masters Collection, borrows existing imagery and its associations to create its aesthetic. The external appearance of the chamber is a combination Baroque painting ‘Triumph of the Immaculate’, ornament from the Palace of Versailles, and domes from the Baroque churches of Borromini and Guarini. These images were combined and applied in a superficial way – printed on the exterior surface of the structure.
Much like how the Masters Collection bags are advertised on pedestals such that they gain maximum attention, we have placed the Cabanon and Relief Chamber on the natural pedestal of the site. In this way, it is an act of exhibition.
By this point, we have interpreted the qualities of the Masters Collection bags and incorporated them into our product. Lavish materiality, use of borrowed imagery and superficially applied ornament. However, these superficial techniques are simply a starting point. These qualities will be what makes the product sell, but as architects we have greater aspirations that can be explored behind the superficial veil.
To extend the potential of the Masters Collection bags, we looked to their closest architectural companion â€“ the Baroque. Both the bags and Baroque architecture are concerned with decadence and surface level ornamentation. This architectural style became the seed for our deeper formal exploration.
fig.59 san sebastiano plan alberti
Baroque architecture is based on breaking rules. These plans demonstrate the difference in approach between Renaissance architects and those of the Baroque. In the Renaissance church plan above, one can observe orthogonal planning and adherence to regular rational geometry.
fig.60 san carlo alle quattro fontane plan borromini
The Baroque took these planning methods and played with them. The plan of San Carlo by Borromini shifts to use of 30 and 60 degree angles to stretch the geometry. This creates more complex and dynamic compositions.
Using Le Corbusierâ€™s Modulor as the input, we sought to play with the rules and distort the geometry. By using Baroque techniques, such as array, rotation and intersection, we transformed the modulor input into a less rational form.
The Cabanon is strict in its orthogonality as it is predominantly based on 90 degree angles. The Relief Chamber aims to disrupt this with its warped, curvaceous form. The hard, planar surfaces of the cabinâ€™s interior break down into a softer experience inside the chamber.
Baroque architecture takes a sculptural and plastic approach to form. The wall surfaces push and pull into moments of tension and release. This gives the form a dynamic quality. Through a series of devices, we took the static rectilinear form of the Cabanon and warped it to create more plastic form. The first of these devices was the digital manipulation of form using surface noise. The second device stemmed from the vacuum forming fabrication process where the planar structural sections are wrapped. What results is scalloped form, with moments of compression and release.
Whilst the bag uses imagery purely for ornamentation, we sought to take this one step further. Baroque architecture uses surface imagery to create theatrical effects. It blurs the line between architectural form and superficially applied image.
Anticipating the distortion of the image, this pre-warped composition was created using a collage of existing Baroque imagery. This image wraps around the structure to create both internal and external theatrical effects. From the interior, this translucent surface acts in a similar way to the elaborate ceiling frescoes of Baroque architecture.
In summary, our accessory, the Relief Chamber, borrows ideas from the Masters Collection bags as well as Baroque architecture to make the Cabanon appeal to a wider demographic. It does this through both superficial and more legitimate architectural means. It panders to the superficiality of the consumer through its use of luxurious materials and borrowed imagery. However, its true architectural substance lies in its abstraction of Baroque architectural qualities. It distorts a set of geometrical rules, it plasticises the wall surface and it uses imagery for theatrical effect.
LEARNING OU + POST- CRIT
FINAL PRESENTATION REVIEW I was really satisfied with how our final presentation went. The panel members understood our project and we were therefore able to have a conversation on how to take it further. One of the main areas of improvement suggested was related to the clichĂŠ of the sectioning. Although we had used the vacuum forming surface to transform the structure, some feedback indicated that the form was still too regular. The panel challenged us to break away from the easily read language of sectioning. It was suggested that we abandon the section pieces altogether and simply use their imprints on the plastic. Another piece of feedback was related to the scale of the sectioning used. The question was posed: is it necessary to vacuum form the whole structure, or could the vacuum forming form smaller pieces like tiles, that could be used in a recursive aggregation format? A conversation ensued relating to some earlier prototypes of ours, in which the vacuum forming process destroyed the waffled scaffolding. This seemed to interest the panel as a means to diverge from the basic sectioning. The work in the following pages aims to explore these ideas of breaking the section and using it at different scales. Perhaps this is a direction we could take the project if we were to continue with it.
It was pointed out that the interior condition of the cushions was too regular and under-developed. We had simply coated a mesh and cut the top off. A panel member pointed out that the patterning of these cushions could have been an area to further our design. Overall, I believe our ideas of the abstracted Baroque were well understood. However, one panel member suggested that the link may have been lost somewhere along the line between our original Baroque/Modulor research and the final outcome; that, despite all our efforts, we had in fact still ended up with just a blob. Perhaps we distorted the form too strongly, or perhaps some detail was lost in the sectioning process.
Using a draping algorithm we took imprints of our sectioned forms and used them to create tiles. These form highly intricate ornamental details. It is a way to capture the essence of the sectioning without using it for its normal structural purpose. Perhaps these patterns could combine to create an intricate surface condition. A preliminary attempt at using these components as tiles shows the completely different aesthetic that could be achieved. Something potentially more akin to the highly detailed Arabesque Wall.
In an earlier prototype, we discovered the potential of the vacuum forming process to be destructive to the structure. The unsupported, flimsy protrusions of the waffle grid were crushed, creating interesting formal moments. Webbing was also created between protrusions. This uncontrolled process interested us at the time, but we could not control it enough to our needs. Now the project was resolved, we looked to explore this method as means of breaking the style of sectioning.
These quick prototypes explored the same concept. Using flimsy scaffolding as the input, we let the force of the vacuum former distort the structure. This subjects the form to a force uncontrollable by the designer. It relinquishes creative direction to the machine process and produces unexpected outcomes. Arguably, this is the most generative procedure of our whole semester. Simply setting up a condition and then letting the form result.
Now that the disrupted form was imprinted into the surface, we decided to remove the sectioning and cast into the mould. This shifted the project from the vacuum forming as a building envelope, to the vacuum forming as a device for warping and capturing the form of the sectioning. This was then cast into a tile, that held the style of sectioning without the structure still being present.
These final plaster casts were an exciting development. We had now managed to capture in the plaster a kind of fossil. A solid imprint of the structural sectioning style, warped by the vacuum forming procedure. Neither the sectioning or the vacuum formed plastic remain present â€“ what is left is almost a ruin, a remnant of a past construction procedure. Perhaps this relates to some kind of Baroque sculpture. In any case, I believe this post-critique exploration was successful in directing our idea away from the clichĂŠ of the structural sectioning into a complex, multi-layered component that could be used for tiling.
RELIEF CHAMBER Sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores. 866-VUITTON louisvuitton.com
A CURATED SERIES OF ARTWORK IN COLLABORATION WITH LOUIS VUITTON
LE COURVOISIER 299
RELIEF CHAMBER Sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores. 866-VUITTON louisvuitton.com
A CURATED SERIES OF ARTWORK IN COLLABORATION WITH LOUIS VUITTON
LE COURVOISIER 301
Provides decadent tactility Connects with architectural style Creates theatrical effects Flows in sumptuous curves Breaks the rules Adds new luxury zone
LEARNING OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES On reflection, Studio Air has been an incredible learning experience. It has completely reframed my approach to design. Prior to commencing this semester, my design process was more traditional in that it was driven by my own personal ideas rather than process. This subject has shown me the power of letting the process guide the idea – letting the tools dictate the outcome. By exploring Grasshopper, I discovered novel form that I could not have conceived of alone. This inspired new design directions. The new discoveries were then related back to the brief, and judged on how well they supported the requirements. The fabrication process was also highly influential on our final design. Once we let the vacuum forming drive our idea, we were able to push it to its limits and let it be the generator of our architecture. This approach has taught me the power of engaging in a rigorous prototyping sequence. Exciting accidents and unexpected outcomes resulted from this process and allowed us to take our design further. Having experimented with many different functions of Grasshopper and its plugins, I now feel confident in my computational design ability. Although we used some downloaded plugins to begin with, every one of these required significant editing to suit our needs. Whether that was with data structuring, augmentation with other components, or simply using a plugin in an unintended way, we became masters of our total algorithm. This level of control was difficult to establish at some points, but in the end, we managed to set up a system that could move from geometrical and proportional inputs, to a fabricable set of parts ready to be sent to the laser cutter.
One challenging aspect of the studio was its conceptual requirements. The complex thought processes that were required to move between product analysis, sociology, architectural conditions, the Cabanon host, time constraints, fabrication potential, along with our own digital design abilities, was difficult to navigate. This was especially the case given the steep, technical learning curve required this semester. In the end however, I am extremely satisfied with the range of techniques we tried as well as the level of mastery we gained over our chosen fabrication technique. Our final presentation was convincing, with substantiated arguments for all our design decisions. I am proud of how well-resolved our final design proposal was. The final design was a result of a rigorous process of analysis, criteriasetting, iteration, prototyping and conceptual linkage. I believe this shows. There are further avenues I would like to have explored with this project given more time. It was only in the last week before final submission that we discovered the fossil-like version of a broken sectioning. This seems to be the answer to the requests of the panel members to move away from the cliché of sectioning as structure. Studio Air has been challenging. Jack’s brief, which was not typical of the subject’s more technical leanings, was difficult to wrap one’s head around in the beginning. By the end of semester however, I was so glad with my choice of studio. The conceptual framework was interesting to engage with and made what I thought was going to be dry performative algorithmic design subject, something altogether quite fun. I finish this semester with a whole new toolbox of digital design and fabrication skills, and a new framing for my design process. In the future, I will consider letting the tools, materials and data guide my design process instead of subjecting a design problem to my own taste.
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IMAGE IMAGE SOURCES SOURCES IMAGE SOURCES IMAGE SOURCES IMAGE SOURCES IMAGE SOURCES IMAGE SOURCES fig.1/2 personal collection fig.3
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