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Studio:Air Leo Huang 2015 S2 1

Leo Huang Architecture Design Studio: Air Semester 2, 2015 Finn Warnock





A1: A2: A3: A4: A5: A6:

Design Futuring Design Computation Composition/Generation Conclusion Learning Outcomes Algorithmic Sketches

7 11 16 19 20 20

B1: B2: B3: B4: B5: B6: B7: B8:

Reasearch Field Case Study 1.0 Case Study 2.0 Technique - Development Technique - Prototyp Technique - Proposal Learning Outcomes Algorithmic Sketches

22 23 28 36 42 56 60 64 65

C1: C2: C3: C4:

Design Concept Tectonic Elements and Prototypes Final Detailed Model Learning Objectives and Outcomes

67 79 86 102


Virtual Environments Semester 2, 2015


Introduction Leo Huang University of Melbourne Bachelor of Environments 2015

I was born and raised in Taiwan up until I finished primary school, moved to Sydney for high school, and chose Unimelb over Usyd as my tertiary study. Growing up, my parents had always taught me how things work behind the surface, how to tackle problems head on, and never take anything at face value. I would also always tinker with things, from toys such as lego or RC cars, to complex electronics such as PCs and programs. When it was time for me to pick a university, it was really head to head between architecture and engineering, but ultimately I settled on architecture, to explore how my engineering skills may be improved when approaching from a different aspect These traits of engineering is perhaps why when it comes to design, I always prefer to analyse the function before settling on a form. An architecture with significant structure will still have significant structure in 100 years, but an architecture that is focused on form will have its style phased out sooner or later. It is also more admirable when a form is backed by a strong function; which is often seen in the automobile industry which I truly appreciate. A Ferrari 458 has front wings that deform at high speed under high air pressure, allowing more intake for the engine; this resulted in an elegant curve that complimented the empty front of the car. Despite my experiences with using Rhinoceros 5 for all my previous University and personal projects, I have not approached parametric before. Most of my previous designs are all rectilinear in form, even my Virtual Environments project did not use Rhino 5 to its true potential to produce NURBS. My understanding of the basic logic behind designing using parametric form, is the idea that you provide a set of rules, instead of a set design. This would help with my projects as I would like to analyse specific details without personally going through each individual part. I am hoping that with the use of grasshopper, I can further my emphasis of form following function to produce a high performance design. 5

Part A: Conceptualisation


SunnyHills Cake Shop, Kengo Kuma

A1: Design Futuring Architecture as a designing discipline is much slower in advancing when compared to other designing fields, but the designed products also experience a longer life span. It is therefore critical to anticipate and prepare for the future, for designers to consider what is possible and speculate about what is likely to happen or change, constantly think outside of the box with our imagination, or in extreme cases, redirect people’s thinking with specific designs1. With each possible scenario, using the designer’s instinct in solving problems, adapt appropriate designs for the future, to be at the cutting edge. To advance in design or architecture, disciplinary discourse is necessary to communicate the different ideas and events. Through the innovative and outside of the box thinking, architecture are able to advance as a discipline and fuel future thinking. We must strive to contribute to the Wdiscourse or risk being forgotten. We absorb as much as possible from the discourse, adapting and modifying to push the discussion forward. All ideas big and small contribute to the climbing ladder of innovating designs. The ultimate goal for all designers is to be at the top of the ladder, at the cutting edge. However, one day someone will surpass all current projects, and the role of the current avant-garde becomes the foundation for future projects. The challenge of sustainability will be a major issue until we are presented or come up with a definitive solution. Accounting for the finite resources we currently have, designers must use them efficiently to achieve optimal designs where possible2. Even from an economical standpoint, which is the main driving factor for rest of the human society, efficient and optimal designs are still more preferable. These efficient designs will need to bridge between the present problem of sustainable resources and the possible solution in the possible future. A truly great design must therefore reflect the past, fit the present brief, yet anticipate the future.

1. Anthony Dunne, Speculative Everything, (MIT Press, 2014), pp.1-9 2. Tony Fry, Design Futuring,(Berg, 2009), pp.1-16


Self-Assembly Lab Skylar Tibbit MIT

The Self-Assembly Lab is a research lab at MIT led by Skylar Tibbit that experiments with materials and structures that can be programmable. While still in the research phase and without present applied functions, these systems and materials has potentials in industries such as architecture, construction, or manufacturing. The main areas of research include 4D printing (incorporating the effect of time into 3d printed objects), programmable material, and self-assembly systems. Programmable material is perhaps the field that is closest to being applied in the industry and also most relevant to architecture. These are primarily done through multi-material 3-d prinitng, utilising the strength of weaknesses of different materials to manipulate what is produced, which is the program of the material6. When an ‘activator’ such as water or heat is applied, the material deform following the program. This change in state of the material without the need of complex electromechanical equipment held several benefit such as reduced cost, time, or man power. 4-D printing follows the same basic rules, but have the ‘activator’ as time instead7. Self-assembly systems use parts with specific geometry and connectors as the program such that when an external force is applied, the parts would eventually fall into the pre-programmed position8. The current designs are based on different molecular structures, but there are simple designs trying to mimic the logic behind these molecules. When combining the three fields of research and applying to the industry, it is easy to imagine the different possibilities. Using parametric to analyse the necessary programming behind built material and assembly system, a product could have parts that are added automatically when they are done manufacturing individually. Programmable material could be replacement for expensive equipment operated systems such as adjustable shading devices or HVAC systems. An example of which is perhaps the use of a cover system that is usually contracted, but expand and provide sun or rain shelter when it detects water or excessive amount of UV light.


Programmable 3d printed Fabric and 3d printed wood elephant

6. “Programmable Materials,” Self-Assembly Lab, 7. “The Emergence of ‘4D printing”, Ted, February 2013, 8. “BioMolecular Self-Assembly,” Self-Assembly Lab,


design elements, the cabana, beach chair, umbrella, boogie board, and surf, are placed along a continuous wood structure, comprised of over 6,000 individual 2”x2” cedar strips with a vinyl surface that bends and folds to accommodate various spatial configurations. When the surface is high in the air, it provides shade, when it is lower it provides inclined seating areas. When it is on its side, it becomes a thickened translucent wall, creating individual “cabanas” where visitors may change their clothing. As it twists onto the ground “lifeguard” stands SHOP architects New York also serve as “dancing” platforms. Water runs along the entire 2000 surface collecting in pools throughout the courtyard where the surface SHOP touches the ground. entry A mist garden water architects’ to thedisperses MoMA young throughout the air. architects program in 2000 was a structure


Photograph by David Joseph

based on the idea of ‘urban beach’. It was SHoP architect’s attempt in both performance based design and translating the digital to physical6. Through dealing with limited budget, resources and time, the architects relied on programming to speed up the process and achieve efficient construction. The project was digitally modeled and simply split into A and B components, shown in diagram with two distinctive colours7. These interlocking mechanism of timber were designed as part of the construction system in the early models. Through applying the simple components and mechanism into a specific programing logic, a smooth transition between the distinct areas was produced, with a very limited waste of space.

While considered an earlier, smaller project for SHoP architects, Urban beach captured the essence of CAD and digital manufacturing that would be incorporated into bigger projects 8. It investigated the potential of by SHoPPC SHoP Architects 11 Park Place Penthouse New York NY 10007 p 212.889.9005 material and streamlined the CAD process to meet the performance requirement. The introduction of digital graphic representation lead to the architect’s ability to analyse exactly the resource and time required, which translate to efficiency, sustainability, and savings.


Digital Graphics including built instruction

f 212.889.3686

6. “Dunescape,” Gregg Pasquarelli, Young Architects Program International, 7. “Dunescape at P.S.1 MoMA”, SHoP Architects, 8. Dean’s Lecture Series 2013: Gregg Pasquarelli, University of Melbourne, 15th May 2013,

A2: Design Computation Since the dawn of planned buildings, master builders has used tools such as pen and paper to assist them in representing ideas. The original development of computer was intended to be used as another one of these tools, but faster and more accurate. However, the distinct difference between traditional medium and the current developed digital medium is the association and continuum between the design and the production. Designers now have more control all the way up to the end product, and the final product have a similar effect on how a designer approach a problem. Design has become a continual process, rather than a staggered process of representation and fabrication9. Computational design has followed the development in programming and as designers realised the benefits and shortcomings of computing. Computers are excellent in following specific instructions, yet what human taken for granted as intuition or creativity are impossible without complex instructions. Designers and Computers must therefore work together through communicating, but firstly we must understand the logic behind the script or programming, as programs cannot understand human as easily. This development in scripting and programming in designing formed the basis of parametric design10. Through setting up the parameters, computers are generating the most efficient formal representation, rather than what is exactly in the designer’s head. This is further extended by adding specific parameters for analysing performance to achieve a performance based design rather than a formal based design. As a very simplified version of development in computational design, we can describe it as originally a digital drawing board to assist in the process of design. This evolved into form generation and exploration to exploit the possibilities through the virtual 3d space. As we try to understand and manipulate the language and logic behind computational design, parametric forms were created. Further logics such as digital materiality or tectonic models are added to the design process in order to achieve the current performance based designs.

9. Rivka and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture, (Routledge, 2014), pp. 1-8 10. Yehuda Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, (MIT press, 2004), pp.1-25


Hotel Hotel March Studio Canberra 2013

Hotel Hotel’s entrance and grand staircase by March studio is produced by sourcing reclaimed wood from different sources; a house, a basketball court, and the left over material from the construction of the façade11. The unique pieces of timber are mounted on steel rods that must be individually designed, each with their unique mounting holes at different sizes. The outcome is something that creates a semitransparent space that guide visitors to the main entry of the hotel. The recycled material helped achieve the original inspiration of a sustainable practice. To achieve the complex order in creating individual pieces of steel rods with mountings of different sizes and length, a parametric code was designed to assist the process. Each piece of timber is catalogued with a  specific code and type, which corresponded to the parametric code to produce the outcome. The use of code demonstrates the biggest advantage of computational design and speed up the process of drafting the 1200 steel rods as well as how they are fixed12. It was also pointed out by the architect that the process engaged the builders by challenging them to a different approach in building; despite the complexity of the construction, it did not require additional labour or time to finish13. Parametric Information of timber and related steel rods


11. “Chaotic But Precise,” Hotel Hotel Blog, 12. “Nishi Makes an Entrance,” Australian Design Review, November 2014, 13. March Studio, AND Lecture Series, The University of Melbourne, 2014


Serpentine Gallery Pavillion Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond London 2012

The Serpentine Pavillion by Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond for the Serpentine Galley uses simple algorithmic concept and some slight modification to reinvent the idea of a square. The algorithm behind the design is as simple as joining a line from half way across the square to one-third across from an adjacent side14. This forms a scaled down, rotated square, and when the process is repeated several times, a distinctive pattern is formed. A network is further created by extending the lines of the squares. The alternating use between glazing and cladding produce a floating effect that highlight the crisscrossing network that seems to keep on repeating. The structure also followed the pattern created to simplify the process. Borders of the original squares were used as the primary structure for large spans, while the projected lines act as secondary structure for short span, as well as adding stability to the structure. Modification are made to the pattern to solve some issues, such as creating openings or adding support in some area. It was noted by Cecil Balmond that pavillion had no hidden structural frame, and all the structural element was visible15. The little changes made to the pattern produced indicated that, regardless of how well the logic or script may be behind a parametric design, it is occasionally a preferred option to add a human touch16.

14. “Serpentine Pavillion Case Study,” Collective Architects, April 2014, 15. Jonathan Glancey, “They said it couldn’t be done,” The Guardian, July 2007, 16. Serpentine Gallery Pavillion 2002, Archdaily, 2015, 14

Basic Algorithm of Serpentine Pavillion 2002 15

A3: Composition/Generation The use of algorithm in architecture allow architects to solve complex problem, increase efficiency in design, and provide inspiration. An algorithm is considered as a method of thinking, which a person or computer can follow to produce the result17. Computers are obviously significantly more efficient at using algorithm when compared to humans, but they also require definitive and effective instructions. Designers must therefore aid computers in simplifying ambiguous problems into straight forward instructions, while computers aid designers in modelling and calculating the large quantity of results from these instruction. For example, a client cannot simply tell a program to ‘build me a new shopping centre’, but the same brief can be used to architects, who in terms inform the program on the different properties of the a shopping centre. Instead of individually modelling and drawing every aspects of the shopping centre by an architect, the computer analyse the rules input and efficiently produce possible designs for the architect. The input and output of algorithm is also not limited, and therefore allow the architects to explore and generate element configuration, relationship between elements, and placement of these elements18. There are many ways to incorporate algorithms; these can either be used as needed, be fully integrated into the design, or be the design. Algorithms can also be used for simulating performance, applied to material, structural, or environmental properties of a building, allowing these performance to be incorporated from the initial design process. This integration from the start to finish allow for more responsive designs, saving time and resource in a world where we race to build bigger and better architecture. Construction can also be integrated into the algorithm in ways such as prefabrication, material calculation, construction method and documentation. It was mentioned by Gregg Pasqurelli of SHoP architects that, the builders don’t even want the traditional methods of documentation, but much prefer to use alternative methods such as the 3d models and labelling specific parts.


17. Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, Definition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press), pp. 11, 12 18. Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architecture Design, 83-2, pp.08-15

Waterloo International Station Grimshaw Architects London 1994

The Waterloo International Station is a railway station dedicated for the use of Eurostar. The difficult site dictated the difficult shape of the railway tracks, which dictated the shape of the roof system19. The glass clad roof had to cover roughly 400 metres of trains, curved to follow the train tracks. The bowstring arcs span tapering from 50 to 35 metres depending on the number of tracks. The west side of the roof also needed to raise up at a greater angle to provide clearance for the single track, while the main arc has a gentler curve at a smaller angle to provide the longer span. Parametric was use to find the optimal structure to satisfy the conditions at all locations. Rather than modelling each individual arc, script was use to analyse the effect of different spans and curvatures on the scaled arcs20. The result produced one optimal truss which was applied to all 36 arcs but with different dimensions to fit the track width. Parametric was also used to calculate the cladding applied, as the form demanded unique shapes and sizes of the stainless steel and glass cover. The Waterloo International Station fully incorporated algorithm into the design process, as the main focus of the building was the structural arcs. The structural performance and the difficult site was the biggest challenge yet it was easily solved by the use of algorithm, through inputting the specific data necessary. It acts as an example of architects mediating the computation process by simplifying the problem and allocating specific parameters.

Unique Arc shapes of the trusses for maximum efficiency 19. Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age, (Taylor & Francis, 2005), pp. 19 20. Peter Szalapaj, “Parametric Propagation of Form,” Architecture Week, September 2011, 21. “Redefining Process: An Exploration of digital design, Fabrication, and Assembly,” ProQuest, 2008, pp. 8


Beijing International Airport Foster + Partners Beijing 2008

The Beijing International Airport by Foster+Partners is one of the largest buildings in the world when orderd by grounds covered. The airport has a elongated, curved roof that covers more than one million square metre, which also need to be aerodynamically and structurally stable22. The roof is steel framed trusses with numerous skylights for a dramatic and efficiently lit space. The large area of the roof as well as the curves require a large amount of documentation for the steel trusses to maximise the structural component and minimise the use of material. Millions of pieces of steel is required and many drawings along with the steel. Algorithm is introduced in to speed up the drawing, manufacturing, and assembly process. CAD analysed the desired form and the various required parameter, such as load and support, instantaneously producing the necessary trusses, each in their location and the required sizes23. These analysis did not generate or dictate the form of the roof, yet they assist in the fabrication process such that the building was completed in four years. The technology reflected the need to build bigger projects in shorter times, which often means saving in cost and resources.

Parametric Modelling of roof structure


22. Beijing Airport, ArchDaily, May 2008, 23. Beijing Airport, Foster + Partners, 2015,

A4: Conclusion The use of computation in design, either incorporated or assisted, allow us to solve more complex problems faster. This also allow us to investigate further into the design, such as specific properties of a material and how it reflects on the structure and the fabrication process. Personally, I would approach parametric through analysing performance and fabrication, as these aspects of design are where algorithms work significantly better and faster when compared to analogue designs. If possible, I would like to come up with a design that can be adapted universally for different situations, such that the design is not limited to the current brief or study, but can be as part of the architecture discourse for future designs.

The Porter House by SHoP Architects. Using Parametric to design and cut zinc panels to achieve low cost.


A5: Learning Outcomes Through using grasshopper and reading the prescribed text throughout part A, I have realised the pros and cons of computational, algorithmic design. It was through the frustration of trying individual components to understand that a program require very strict rules to produce the outcome desired. This adjusted my understanding of the role of designers in this process, as overseeing the process (supervising the computer to draw lines) rather than be immersed in the process(drawing lines personally). The communication between designers and program must therefore be effective and unambiguous, which can only be achieved through learning the language and logic behind the program.

A6: Algorithmic Sketches The Following are basic examples of manipulating algorithm to produce different results, as well as adding multiple components such as attractor point and recursive elements. The results occasionally provide surprising forms, but also provide some form that was not part of the design intent. This exercise shows the difficulty in communicating with programs and the importance of unambiguous instructions.



Part B: Criteria Design


Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, Toyo Ito

B1: Research Field Geometry has a variety of properties that can be manipulated to form different functions of an architectural design. It has always been used by architects to find a form that is applied to either to the façade, the structure, or space exploration. We can use simple geometries and rules repeatedly to generate a complex form, or to generate one complex geometry that contains all the design outcomes. Even simple geometry such as lines and polygons can be branched out and explored individually; therefore it may be rational to employ computational parametric design to explore the possibilities of complex geometry when dealing with 3D meshes, NURBS or a combination of geometries. Parametric design process of geometry requires an in depth understanding of how geometries are formed and the potential of these geometry to further evolve. This allow us to craft the geometry through the input and output of parametric process to form what meets the design brief; whether it is form generation or performance based. Geometry is also very critical on fabrication and materiality; it is important to analyse the possibility of fabrication during the design process. Vice versa, it is also important to analyse the impact of material on design; the chosen material often dictates the possible geometry that can be formed. This research area is to focus on how ‘significant geometry’ can be realised through the minimum use of material and fabrication effort by means of parametric design. Parametric can also aid in understanding the effect of different geometry on different material, as well as the effects of combining different geometries and materials. This will allow us to design accordingly to maximise benefits of specific geometries and their corresponding material.



ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion Institute for Computational Design Stuttgart 2014

The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion demonstrates the importance of computational analysis of geometry and the integration of materials when designing. The pavilion drew inspiration from the construction of water spider nests, constructing through the use of a simple elements in creative ways. By using computational design, the research team was able to come up with a complex geometry network that act as an uniform structure. The research pavilion uses several simple material and geometry repeatedly to achieve the performance required. It is essentially an inflated structure supported by stiffened layers of thin carbon fibre strips. The placement orientation and density of the carbon fibre is determined by the required structural reinforcement, while real time simulations making adjustments from the original design as necessary1. This is especially important as we further integrate fabrication with the design process, and allow programs greater control over the production; similar to how human ‘make do’ when problems occur in manual fabrication processes. The structure also take into consideration the challenges that may occur during the fabrication process. The shape of the pavilion is determined by the maximum reach of the robotic arm in all directions to ensure the buildability of the structure. The inflated ETFE was originally used as formwork but was later integrated into the building envelope; this integrated function minimises the waste of material. Computational design generate the most efficient geometry with the provided material, while the fabrication process also dictates the input and output of the computational design.

1. ICD/ITKE Research Pavillion 2014-15, Institute for Computational Design - Universitat Stuttgart,


Museo Soumaya Fernando Romero Mexico City 2011

The Museo Soumaya is a museum located in Mexico City, Mexico; designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero with Gehry Technology. The building achieve its shape through 28 uniquely curved columns held together by 7 uniquely circular beams surrounding the floor area of each level2. The cladding utilises hexagon panels to cover the entire shape of the building. It is an example of how a simple geometry can be applied to a complex situation. It also demonstrates the correlation between different triangles and hexagons. The building utilised Gehry Technology’s design optimization program to reduce the complication of cladding due to the parabolic shape3. The building is cladded with hexagonal steel panels as a reference to traditional colonial ceramic tile facades. The reflective panels provide different perspective depending on the viewer’s position and the weather condition. Gehry Technology assisted in developing the cladding such that the 16,000 panels are broken down into only 7 main types4. This use of computational process assisted the fabrication process to reduce cost and increase quality and construction speed. The designers required basic knowledge of how the geometry behaves in three dimensions and how the properties can be inputted into programming. Through the use of computational architecture, the best geometry optimization was achieved for the cladding of the building.


2. Museo Soumaya, Architect Magazine, June 2012, 3. Design Optimization, Ghery Technologies, 4. Museo Soumaya, Archdaily, November 2013,


B2: Case Study 1.0 Two case studies were explored for case study 1.0. SG2012 Gridshell by Matsys and Green Void by LAVA. Each case study experimented with different form and different methods. The Green Void by LAVA formed its shape by setting particular anchor points and calculating the minimal surface between the points. The result is an installation that covers roughly 300 cubic metres of volumne with only 300 square metres of material5. The algorithm for Green Void required Kangaroo Physics, yielded more variations and was more relatable, developable, and can explore more components. The SG2012 Gridshell is an installation which uses straight timber members to form a geodesic curve. This allows for minimal wastage in material, while providing interesting geometry, structure, and material performance6. The algorithm for Gridshell had less components and thus less variables. However it yielded more interesting results.


5. Green Void, LAVA, 6. SG2012 Gridshell, MATSYS,

Species 1 - Minimum Surface 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Base shape Rest length is a set number Moving the ‘Branches’ Scaling the ‘Branches’ Changing the shapes Changing the shape to a box Moving control points Adding more geometry










Species 2 - Exoskeleton 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.


Base shape Adjust number of sides Adjust thickness Adjust node size Adjust spacing distance <Spacing, >Thickness, >Node size Shapes with 5+ intersection Lines not joined at end points









Species 3 - Exo + Springs 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Base shape 100% Plasticity Rest length is a set number Decreased thickness Decreased node size <Thickness, <Node, <Rest length Decreased spacing Decreased rest length










Species 4 - Exo + Forces 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.


Dodecahedron + Anchors Cull list of curves Increased node size Unary Force Cull anchor and cull force Cull cures + force >Plasticity, <Radius Rocket force















Species 6 - Geodesic 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Base Shape Changing order of arc Biarc Change biarc direction Shift start and end of arc Modify arc


Selection Criteria The best results are chosen by how interesting the geometry is, potential buidability, and how much the idea can be applied towards future projects. The following selections either involve basic but critical components that are applied to the design proposal, or have form that stands out from the rest.

Species 1 While this iteration is not unique to the others, it has a unique characteristic of using multiple extra geometry to form the loft shape. The original idea is to create a box with very small opening, but the same technique of using more geometry was later applied as a solution to case study 2.0.

Species 2 This definition produced the cleanest geometry. It can be easily built and demonstrated clearly the different aspects of the Exoskeleton plugin.


Species 3 This definition demonstrates the interaction between different plugins; Exoskeleton and Kangaroo Physics. It is an example of pushing the Springs component to its limit, and shows how anchor points also play an important role in how the springs react. The slight band at the top is the result of the location of other anchor points pulling on the spring.

Species 4 The iteration is borderline between a success and a failure; an extremely unique shape but not exaggerated. This definition produced an interesting geometry through culling. It is also an attempt at interacting with the Unary Force component.

Species 5 This geoemtry is significantly more interesting when compared to the original SG2012 Gridshell. It demonstrates the potential effect of changing a small component. However the geometry lost itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original formâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buildability; this shape can only be achieved through a material that can stay in the moulded shape. 35

B3: Case Study 2.0 SOFTlab New York 2010

The project by SOFTlab was a colourful installation for the Bridge Gallery in New York that explored construction using simple materials. It is a geometry inverted spatially, with several â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;openingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for visitors to look into the installation, starting from the display window of the gallery. The exterior of the structure shows the plain construction technique which contrasts with the interior, which shows the glossy coloured paper panels of the structure. The construction method of the project was straightforward, maximising the efficiency of materials available through the use of tools such as grasshopper and laser cutter7. After defining the shape, Grasshopper was used to determine each of the unique panels needed. The team had to consider limitations such as the size of the paper available, assigning colours to panels, the planarity of each individual panel, and generating tabs used for connection. The result was forwarded


onto the printer and the corresponding laser cutter. After all the unique pieces of panels are cut, they are simply connected using binder clips along the tabs, according to the order generated by Grasshopper. The use of the right tools has allowed SOFTlab to produce the installation efficiently. The design demonstrated how the use of programming can assist in designing when the resources available are limited. It was important that the installation was produced with only three types of materials (paper, binder clips, and acrylic reinforcement rings)8, as it allowed the designers more depth into how the materials perform and interact with the geometry. The simple materials are manipulated by the colour printer and the laser cutter, producing a visual effect as intriguing as a complex structure. The end result is an installation which successfully draws the community into the gallery to explore its unique, colourful geometry.

7. Update 9 -, Kickstarter, August 2010, 8. Update 7 -, Kickstarter, August 2010,


-Wire skeleton of the geometry

-Adjust points, lines, and shapes

-Create shapes for lofting

-Loft individually -Selectively delete sides


-Exoskeleton command -Extract end points

-Kangaroo spring

-Mesh surfaces -Weaverbird weld mesh -Extract end points


-Attractor point -Gradient colour -Bake with colour

-Generate points from mesh -Surface 4 points



B4: Technique: Developement A different approach was used to develop the use of parametric design on materials of certain properties and limitations. This is due the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complexity and lack of possible further iterations, as well as the possible application to the final design. Galapagos, the built in evolutionary solver of Grasshopper is used in the creation of new iterations. Galapagos is an evolutionary solver which deals with numerical values. It can perform any script as long as the input and output are numerical values, such as volume, area, length, or a combination of these values. The component manipulate the input sliders such that the output number reaches a desired target, either a minimal or maximal value. With each new generation, each containing 50 individual iterations, the solver retains some information from the previous generation, thus narrowing down the ideal input values. The original mesh generated using Kangaroo Physics was kept as the base mesh to produce the new iterations. However, surfaces and sheet materials were replaced with lines and rod materials. This is due to the simplicity of lines, as they require very few basic inputs(length and direction) when compared to surfaces (width, height, angles, x/y/z orientations). As Galapagos require an individual number slider for each individual component, it is necessary for the design to use components that have as little input as possible. The main goal of these experiments is to find a form that uses the least amount of material possible. However, form must loosely resembles to original mesh, and buildability is also taken into consideration. These are necessary as selection criteria to accomadate Galapagos as it often â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Glitches Outâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, producing unwanted results(e.g. No lines at all, since having no lines will result in the least length.). Manual override and changes to the script is sometimes necessary to fix the glitches. The results of each generations usually do not look significantly diffferent visually, as the results are most obvious in numerical value. Some iterations may look visually similar, but numerical value differ by up to hundreds of units. When applied to construction, this translate to savings in material costs.


Species 1 Method: With points generated through Populate Geometry. Therefore there was an even distribution of points and the results was simple. Cull was used to determine which points join together. Goal: Shortest total length Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 4 3. Gen 6 4. Gen 8 5. Gen 12

7920 7652 6211 4576 3899







Species 2 Method: Points generated through Populate Geometry. Closeness to mesh is determined by the distance between the midpoint of each line to the mesh. Goal: Shortest average distance to mesh Results: 1. Gen 1 0.238 0.142 2. Gen 6 3. Gen 12 0.038 0.015 4. Gen 14 0.012 5. Gen 16







Species 3 Method: Using a component to measure the radian at each point and jitter accordingly. The shuffling strength is managed by Galapagos

Goal: Shortest total length Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 5 3. Gen 13 4. Gen 16 5. Gen 39

2397 2316 2290 2286 2285







Species 4 Method: Shuffling points by randomly changing the X and Y value of points. This is then jittered using the component which measures curvature.

Goal: Shortest total length Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 7 3. Gen 13 4. Gen 50 5. Gen 73


2968 2749 2635 2615 2610






Species 5 Method: Shuffling points by randomly changing the X and Y value of point and jittered using the component which measures curvature. The average length between the midpoint of lines and the mesh is measured. Goal: Shortest average distance to mesh Results: 1. Gen 1 0.017 0.012 2. Gen 3 3. Gen 9 0.009 0.006 4. Gen 13 0.005 5. Gen 42







Species 6 Method: Using the 14th to 20th closest points instead of the immediately closest points.

Goal: Shortest total length Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 6 3. Gen 11 4. Gen 17 5. Gen 20


7314 7238 7192 7148 7123






Species 7 Method: Culling the immediately closest points and using further points. Finding the best fit to ensure resemblence to the original shape.

Goal: Shortest average distance to mesh Results: 1. Gen 1 0.130 0.052 2. Gen 6 3. Gen 12 0.039 0.038 4. Gen 14 0.036 5. Gen 17







Species 8 Method: Generating points on both Maximum and Minimum Radian. The definition only used the 14th to 20th closest points. Galapagos also controls the number of points available. Goal: Shortest total length Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 18 3. Gen 44 4. Gen 58 5. Gen 83


13008 12636 12234 12060 11848






Species 9 Method: Points on both Maximum and Minimum Radian but uses the 14th to 20th closest points to draw lines. Number of points available is also controlled by Galapagos, but the range is limited. Goal: Shortest average distance to mesh Results: 1. Gen 1 0.434 0.415 2. Gen 8 3. Gen 11 0.409 0.405 4. Gen 30 0.401 5. Gen 41







Species 10 Method: Multiply the total distance by the average distance to mesh to generate a shape that is the best fit to the mesh but also uses the least material. Goal: Smallest result Results: 1. Gen 1 2. Gen 6 3. Gen 19 4. Gen 31 5. Gen 45


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Selection Criteria The selection criteria remained the same, however with a heavier emphasis on buildability. There was also an expectation of what outcome is most visually stimulating. Certain components are used towards the design proposal but they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as important here. It is important to note that the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; results produced by Galapagos are not necessarily the best results available for a design. Some of the results produce lines which closes the openings of the shape in order to achieve the best result (Species 6), while others can almost be considered as glitches (Species 8) since they are no longer one integrated form. The real potential of Galapagos is only shown in Gen 10, as it uses analyse the relationship (multiplication) between the two results to get the ideall shape. By multiplying the total length by the average distance to the mesh, Galapagos can try out different configuration that consider both the resemblence to the original mesh and the minimum use of material.


This iteration from Species 2 shows a combination of good form and high efficiency. However, the joint system did not behave as expected, creating triangular openings which seems more suitable as facade than tectonics.

This iteration from Species 7 has one of the closest resemblence to the original mesh. The intersecting lines produce a thick layer that outlines the mesh, creating the effect that is the closest to my original inspiration.


This iteration came as a surprise, and can almost be considered as a glitch as the geometry has no practical use in real life. However it is the most interesting geometry, and closest to following any rules. The form is the result of replacing Populate Geometry with points at minimum radian, resulting in points only allocated to extream locations on the mesh.

This iteration from Species 10 is the most ideal form possible. It has a low total length and low distance to the original mesh. It forms a structure that can be built, without compromising the original form or any major flaws such as large opening.


B5: Technique: Prototype Several prototypes were produced to test out the possibility of matching specific length to certain points. Through both physical model, digital representation, and mental arithmatics, it was concluded that the best solution is to have multiple planar surfaces that forms a shape. This reduces computing power necessary, as well as complexity at the joints. The Selection Criteria of the prototype is the ability to be mass produced at ease through algorithm, be functional, and have an interesting geometry. Factors taken into consideration include the possibility to be built at 1:1 scale. At 1:1 scale, the construciton should be easy to perform such that even non professionals can build it with minimal help. The prototype is also limited by the dimensions and properties of the 1:1 materials (recycled timber pieces). This mainly assumes that the timber pieces cannot bend to form curves, and they come in specific sizes(timber at 90mm x 90mm). The construction of the prototype is similar to many bush carpentry structure already in place in CERES; thus suggesting they have the knowledge and resources to attempt this project.

These models explores how it might be possible to join timber strips in 3 dimensions without complex joints. To achieve the results similar to iterations in earlier modules, it is neccesary that the pieces all join at one point. Through using precut holes in plates, it is possible to hold timber pieces at a specific point. However, these models lack the ability to be developed further, adding further layers to the existing timber pieces.


Two pieces of Staggered MDF are glued to represent a piece of timber sawned at specified angle to allow for simple lap joint between pieces. The prototype did not explore beyond lap joints in two dimentions, as it is assumed that a person with entry level carpentry skills cannot perform such complex task.



Joints are developed to connect the planar surfaces. Rather than using H clips or 3d printed joints, the joint is lasercut and glued to reflects the possible size and dimensions of recycles timber pieces. Wires, nails or screws are used to enforce the connection. Many of these techniques in joining parts are already in use in CERES.

It is not necessary for the material or fabrication to be perfect or exact measurements. These are inspired by bush carpenty where only resources available are used, and most materials are less than perfect.


B6: Technique: Proposal There are many potential sites and possible designs. It was concluded through prototyping that the best solution to effectively use exisiting timber pieces as material is to have planar surfaces. Therefore, the technique can be applied to any geometry that can be simplified into a combination of large planar surfaces. This allows a wide range of designs.

One of the site considered was near the tracks near the Rushall Train Station. The lack of a bridge along the track meant pedetrians need to take a 10 minute detour on to the main road if they wish to continue along the Merri Creek. Therefore it is a potential site for a pedestrian bridge which can connect the scattered and discontinued tracks.


Another potential site for a footbridge is immediately near the CERES community centre. Across the Merri Creek from CERES is a series of schools and commercial buildings. Joining the two sides will allow the workers and students easier access to CERES, which is a relaxing site suitable for lunches and breaks. This will help CERES generate additional revenue while providing an escape for the workers from the industrial site.



The CERES site is perhaps more suitable as this project will rely heavily on the involvement of CERES to provide the skills and material. It will also gain more attention with the target audience of CERES. The attention gained by the bridge may aid in spreading the idea of applying parametric design to recycled materials. A bridge may seem like a simple idea, however the emphasis is on using existing material for construction. It is the most suitable use of the technique, as tectonic should idealy be incorporated into the design. This is because this technique is best used in unfortunate situations such as rebuilding natural disasters or warzones, where imperfect materials are plenty and the need for structure is critical.

The design will utilise the resources available from CERES. This includes materials such as recycled timber and metal wires, as well as their limited amount of tools. These limitations are put in place in order for the design to achieve a form that can be built easily by anyone. The design is a stand against the use of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;perfectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; material commonly found in parametric design projects. There are disadvantages to using this technique. No structural analysis has been done yet, thus the project may not support large loads.


B7: Learning Outcomes Module B and its emphasis on developing specific techniques for digital designing has allowed me to become comfortable in utilising Grasshopper as a tool for designing. Through manipulating different iterations as well as many trial and error, I have developed skills on specific components of the Grasshopper, allowing me to generate designs that respond to my ideas. Components such as Kangaroo Physics, Galapagos, and Anemone all contributed towards the final outcome. The most important part of the learning process was the communication between me and Grasshopper. The design process gained a huge leap forward when I understood how Grasshopper operates. This includes very basic ideas such as data structure, the name and function of different components, and the difference of data. Understanding the difference between mesh, surface, and geometry is critical as each require a different approach to manipulate. Through the research on various different specific components of Grasshopper, I became aware of what is possible and what is not probable with parametric design, which was reflected in my design proposal. The available computing power is one of the biggest limitation to the design. It was also a problem when integrating different specific components as they had completely different behaviour. Galapagos, Kangaroo Physics, and Anemone had to be used separately as they cannot respond to each other. Following the interium critique, I have realised I need to experiment more with the joint system such that it is applicable to all intersections. The joints between the planar surfaces needs to be refined and reinforced as it is currently a structural weakness. The distribution of Galapagos could be more refined, and perhaps a definition that translate to how to join the timber should be included.

Design Process of prototype 1 64

B8: Algorithmic Sketches The followings are examples of weekly tasks, how they integrate into the design process, and other sketches that showed the design process.

B6 Process

Weekly Tasks


Part C: Detailed Design


C1: Design Concept Through Reflecting the final products of Part B, there are several area that requires attention and some area that can be improved upon. The immediate problem is the structural weakness between panels as well as the lack of form or purpose. Part B was too heavily reliant on digital modelling such that many problems werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t properly considered. Other area that could be improved is in understanding the realistic construction process and the real life properties of the materials, as the project is dictated by the materials. To address these imperfections, the concept of Galapagos and imperfect materials is used as part of a joint project, where these problems are either solved or no longer relevant. Two design proposals were combined to form a bridge that utilises two distinct techniques. Galapagos and recycled materials are used to generate supporting rib structure between sine curve arcs to form a parametric truss. The joints between planar surfaces is no longer relevant as they are separated from each other. The arcs provide the necessary structural support to the recycled material, which was lacking in previous prototypes. The technique is given a purpose and form in trying to achieve the goal of joining the structural arcs with whatever material is available. Prototyping with 1:1 recycled materials have generated more options in fabrication. Lap joints remain the most suitable option, with reinforcement using nails and steel plates where the timber overlaps. Grouping the material base on thickness allow the design to utilise two of the three unique dimensions (Height/Length) of the recycled timber pieces, compared to only one dimension(Length) in the previous prototypes. Each thickness group has a smaller number of pieces compared to the original prototypes, therefore is easier for Galapagos to calculate a suitable result. To achieve the similar level of complexity, this process is done several times until it meets the target goal. (e.g. Galapagos controls five lengths at a time for three times for three different thickness, as supposed to control fifteen lengths at a time, and therefore the thickness of the material is not considered as a factor.)


Combined concept: The beginning of the end This combined idea between Nina and I took the strength of our previous designs to address the weaknesses in each other’s design. The mathematically generated curves created an interesting form, which was previously lacking in my design proposal. However, it had less tectonics and thus making it more difficult to be built in real life. My idea of using recyled material and evolutionary solver compensated this lack in structure. The underlying principles demonstrated from earlier design proposals didn’t change when combining the designs. The form generated is in line with Nina’s idea of ‘unexpected’ form, while the use of recycled or ‘imperfect’ material in parametric design remains from my earlier proposal. The combined concept generates form using curves derieved from referencing the site and manipulating these references using mathematical functions. These curves are then braced through using recycled material with computational design. The steps leading up to the final design was a mix of parametric design, manual computational design, and prototyping. This allowed us to combine our ideas and work efficiently. While some aspect of the manual computational design may be possible with using parametric design, it was more efficient for us to do parts of the work manually.



Existing Circulation

Crossings Through the River

Site+Brief The site and brief was changed to produce a conherent design. The site chosen was changed to the Merri Creek along Sumner Park and Northcote High school. The site was chosen due to the number of people crossing the creek through the water, despite there being a bridge nearby. This is likely due to the adventurous aspect of going into the river, as well as the awkward placement of the existing bridge. The Brief of the design is to immitate the adventurous aspect while providing a solution for better circulation. 70 Proposed Circulation

Existing Site Condition

Framing the view of the river


Technique: Form generation and graphing The generation of the strips and form was not through direct manipulation, but rather an interaction between site references and changes in mathematical algorithm to generate pathways. Through experimenting, it was determined the number of control points will be limited, to avoid forming a generic Sine curve, which limits the potential and uniqueness of the design. The Graphmapper function was used for manipulating this function, altering the moving vector. The result is unpredictable in behavious, and the amplitude function is used as a stabiliser in the shifting points to fine tune the shape. Thickness is added to provide materiality for the shapes, and certain strips were replaced with structural elements.



Technique: Galapagos Galapagos is an evolutionary solver, which is a system that allows computer to perform trial and error to constantly evolve possible outcomes and find the best solution. The process is broken down into three ‘layers’, each with a different thickness and width, to account for the inconsistent dimensions of recycled timber. They are grouped in such a way that the materials in each ‘layer’ has the same width and thickness, and length as the only changing factor. A separete component is used to analyse and cut the recycled material into the appropriate dimensions for each ‘layer’ so they have consistent thickness and width. While the algorithm is not used in this project, it is possible to apply this along with a 3D scanner, lasercutter or CNC mill to automate the process. The length generated can be inputted into Galapagos in a real world scenario for optimal use of recycled material.

Extract Section from the form generated and define regions for Galapagos. Generate random points within the defined region and lines from vertices to these random points. Length is based on randomly generated value or documented length of material.

Divide the curve and generate new lines based on the new points and randomly generated value for length. In a real world scenario, the length will not be randomly generted, but according to the measured length of available material Any new lines that does not reach its destination is excluded by replacing its value with a very large number (10,000). This allows Galapagos to easily identify what is not suitable. Original curves offsetted to show the width of material.


3D scanner scans a piece of rejected construction timber, identifying faults and damages.

Inputting the desired width of the timber and the algorithm outputs the possible lengths, which can be used to lasercut or CNC milled. These lengths can be used for the Galapagos process, instead of randomly generated lengths.

Repeat previous step with the newly generated lines to crete a teritiary set of lines.

Final Result by adding wdith to the third layer of lines. Repeat process for each section generated. This can be applied as many times as neccessary, and in any direction, as long as the sections are planar.

Analyse difference in length and distance points, using Galapagos Evolutionary Solver.

between 75

Compilation + Detailing Compilation between the Graphing and Galapagos components. Details such as the decking is added maunally by lofting certain curves. This was the original design, but more details would be altered through prototyping and considering constructability, materaility, overall aesthetics and tectonics.

Construciton process The construction process mainly focuses on how the recylced timber are assembled based on the results of Galapagos. Lap joints remains as the joinery of choice. However it was modified such that only the thicker material is cut, to the thickness of the thinner material. The thinner material rests in the lap joint and is screwed or nailed together. The process is repeated for each layer. Differnet method can be used for this process depending on the tools available.


Each of the Galapagos ribs are then attached to the main arc generated using, and the decking of the bridge ontop of all the ribs.



C2: Tectonic elements and prototypes Prototyping played an important part in this project, as it showed what worked and what didn’t. It was also an example of how resolved the design really is. Multiple prototypes were produced, each resolving a new problem. Several ‘core construction elements’ were tested and evaluated. Some were kept, some adapted, and some abandoned.

Prototype 1: Combined ideas Not to scale

This prototype was a platform for imagining how the two techniques can be used together. The prototype confirmed the possibilty of creating ‘rib’ bracings to connect all the individual strips. The individual plywood strips were also soaked and bent according to the design, to determine the possibility and limit of bending each individual strip to generate an interesting form. The prototype showed bending the material is possible, but the process would require extra time and care to be performed correctly.


Prototype 2: Early draft model 1:5

The second prototype investigated potential construction techniques as well as served as early draft model for visualising the design outside of the digital space. Pieces of MDF were lasercutted, etched and layered to represent the varying dimensions of recycled timber, scaled to 1:5. L plates were used as the connections between the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ribsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and the strips, as they are common construction joinery. However this proved to be problematic. It was difficult and time consuming to attach the L plates onto the components individually, and once attached the L plates constantly swing and distorts the overal form. The aesthetics was also a problem, as the L plates were simply not elegant, does not reflect the size of the joint at the correct scale, and screws extrude from the other side. While the prototype was not particularly successful, it gave us an idea on the aesthetic of the final design, as well as many information regarding the constructability of the design and the model.



Prototype 3: Resolving the joints 1:5

Several elements were changed in prototype three. The joint between the ribs and the strips were developed to replace the L plates previously used, and the material was changed from a mix of plywood and MDF to only MDF. The bent strips were abandoned; the shape of the ribs alone outlines the curved form of the design. The joint design slots over the strips in a simple sectioning method. Each joint has a small protrusion angled at the ribs. A cut out from the centre of the thickest piece of MDF shares the identical shape, and the ribs simply rest on the protrusion. The system may also be applicable to real life construction, although with more difficulty and better material compared to the rest of the design.

Joining plates between the strips and the ribs. Idealy they simply slide into each other. Realistically glue was needed for the model, or bolts and screws for real life application.


Weakness in the design is mainly at the notches where the joints slots in, especially along the strips at the side as they are thinner and longer. While this is a weakness in the model, it may also be a weakness when constructing.


Prototype 4: Construction 1:1

The purpose of this prototype is not to advance the design, but rather as a proof of concept that it is possible to build the design. The prototype shows that it is possible to use recycled timber to build the ribs in the way described in the design. The prototype also tested the possibility of it being built by someone with amateur levels of woodworking skills, reasonable amount of tools, and within a reasonable timeframe. The recycled timber were gathered, cleaned, categorized by thickness, and sawn such that they meet the width required. The length of the sawn pieces are measured and inputted into Galapagos, which produced a layout for lapjoints with maximum surface (thus minimal amount of overlapping). Minimal amount of overlapping is critical to the design as it often means a cutting angle closer to 90 degrees, which is easier to work with using a mitre saw. It also means less cuts needed and less material removed, improving both the construction speed and the strength of the material. While this process was done manually using a mitre saw, power drills, and nail plates, the same process can be done in many different ways depending on the tools and resources available. It is possible to construct this with a skill saw, nails and hammer, sacrificing efficiency and accuracy in exchange for using simpler tools. It is also possible to combine this technique with a 3D scanner, CNC mills and robotic arms to construct these ribs automatically, efficiently and with great accuracy, if resources and budget wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an issue.

Materials gathered include: leftover trimmings of MGP from a construction site, damaged floor decking ducking renovation, and worn out old decking. The image to the right shows the old decking being cut into appropriate sizes, and it can be seen that parts of it is still in good condition.


The bottom image shows the jointing system. Lapjoint is cut only on the thicker materials so the thinner material sits flush within the cut. This halves the number of cuts necessary, however the joints are prone to sliding before they are nailed together. Upon further prototyping, it was found that using a power drill and screws is more efficient and elegant than nail plates in joining the pieces.


Final Design The final design increased the number of ribs constructed with recycled timber. However, instead of it being bracing between the strips, the intention was for them to be used as anchor points for more tension elements. This will provide more rigidity compared to the original design, and reduce the load on the strips. The decking was metal mesh as it is both a common bridge building material and can be seen through. The transparency is necessary to showcase the interesting geometry below the decking, as well as provide the sense of closeness with nature described in the brief. If more time was given, it would be interesting to see how we may use parametric patterning to create a simple yet elegant decking that bettter suits the brief.


C3: Final Detailed Model The final design is the result of feedback and early prototypes on what worked and what did not. Elements were added to make the design more interesting and details such as decking and added tension elements. The changes made the design look drastically different but it was based on the similar approach. No drastic new ideas were explored as it has the potential to undermine the design in the time frame given. However, if there was more time, it would be possible to explore different approaches, such as twisting and altering the directions of the bridge, or more experimenting with the strips element of the design.



Materiality Materiality played an important role in the design as it dictates the aesthetic and construction of the design. Recycled timber were used in the ribs as the brief described. Prototyping showed that the best materials are damaged or trimmings of actual construction material, which provides more rigidity and better aesthetic. As shown in Prototype 4, the use of differnet recycled timber produce a rugged yet elegant aesthetic, due to the contrasting colour of differnt types of timber.

LVL was the chosen material for the strips, as they contribute to the overal timber look but provide the neccesary structure. However, if the strips were to be further explored in bending and twisting, it may be a better option to use steel. It is an area that may require further testing regarding material performance and constructability. The transparency of the decking allowed users to appreaciate the construction of the design. This serves to raise awareness in the use of recycled material. Instead of masking the imperfect material and construction, the decking embraces the main aesthetic of the design.


Final Model 1:50

The final model also served as a prototype. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main purpose is for use to see how the design works in scaled form. It was the only prototype with additional ribs so it was used to test the strength of the strips with so many notches cut into it, as well as the performance of the added tension element. The decking used a stretched net which represented a milder but more realistic version of the design, however due to the characteristics of the material, it was not resting on the support as intended. Extra tension were added by joining the additional ribs with wires. The wires performed well when anchored onto external elements, such as when two people pulled on them on each end or anchored on site. The wires provided extra rigidity to the bridge and reduced the load on the strips. However, these were not shown in the final presentation model, as the wires are useless when tied to the model itself. If the wires were too tight they bend the ribs, and if the wires were too loose it addes no value to the overall tectonics.










Site Model 1:50

The site model shows the relative size between the creek and the design. The entire design is very small at roughly 8 metres long and 1.5 metres tall. The intent was to span the narrowest part of the creek, as shown in this model.


Design Details Flow sine extrusion of geometry referenced from circulation pathways ensures that the bridge is a seamless continuation of existing flow.

Materiality the use of recycled and found materials, the achieved colour scheme and overall aesthetic is a constatnt reminder of environmental and sustainability factors.

Anchor anchroing occurs quite deep into the banks to prevent contributing to bank erosion.




expandable mesh creates no barrier between the user and the water the way traditional decking would. This transparency also leaves one to witness intricate geometry of the ribs below.

the bridge is aimed to be a challenge to the adveturous - the thrill of unprecedented form is combined with the thrill of physical expereince surpassing the uneven surface, the rise and fall, the lack of sturdy elevated railing.


Working Drawings and Perspectives

Overal Elevation

Plan View

Section along ribs


Perspective - Bottom

Perspective - Top

Perspective - Side


C4: Learning Objective and Outcome

Considering the limited timeframe for the project, many aspects of the design can be improved or further explored. It may be helpful to explore generating the ribs at a different interval, at different angles, or bend the overall form such that it is closer to the idea of form generation using sine curves. Experimenting with these aspects may reveal a more interesting form, as well as a structure that is more resistant to shear force.

It was also noted that better integration between the two techniques may be needed. It wsa immediately obvious by looking at the current design, which component were from which previous proposal. While the components are used to address each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weakness, they are not neccessarily unreplaceable; the strips could have simple ribs bracing them, while the recycled timber ribs can have the same technique applied to any other structure. A tighter bond between the two techniques can be forged to create a more interesting design, one which has the components dependent on each other. This may generate a for which is unique and and the parts irreplaceable. Also due to the constraint of time and limited technology, the Galapagos process did not take into consideration the load experienced by the ribs. The evolutionary solver simply aimed towards a form that is the easiest to construct. The technique would be best applied if differnet loads applied to the bridge is also tested, such that the ribs produced by Galapagos is the strongest possible solution. This was experimented, however the process was so slow that it was pointless to use an evolutionary solver. With better scripting and faster technology, it is possible to achieve this in the future.


Overall I believe the design has achieved my original intention. The design showed that it is possible to combine parametric design with traditional carpentry. It shows that advanced architecture doesn’t neccessarily have to be based on the ‘best posssible’, such as perfect sheets of plywood, or tools such as lasercutter or 3D printer. Ths is not to say that this design is completely against the use of high tech tools. The original concept was an example of an algorithm that can be used to achieve intelligent design by computers alone in the future. Many additional component can be attached to the script that produced the Galapagos, so that the script is more versatile.

The technique of using evolutionary solver is a small part of future intelligent computational design. Perhaps 20 years down the road, we can see this process producing practical architecture with the aid of cheaper, more advanced tools. The ideal use of this algorithm and recycled material is with a combination of 3D scanner, CNC mill, robotics, and advanced processing power, and the whole package will automate the process. Given a bunch of recycled or imperfect material, a 3D scanner will identify the possible available quality material, which is CNC milled into neccessary pieces. Advanced processing power equivalent to 1000x of what we have today(according to Moore’s Law), may identify the strength and weakness of the material and place them accordingly WITH structural load considered. All of these will have the necessary joints CNC milled and constructed with robotic arms. Essentially, with the whole package and a correct script, it is possible to tell the program to ‘build me something’, which was described earlier in this journal as intuition only achievable with a human mind. This process of using an evolutionary solver addressed this problem and gives a sense of inuition to programs, such that they are no longer computational designs, but rather intelligent designs. This particular method of design is only the beginning, and there are much more to be explored using the technique. 105

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