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Hello! I’m Leo, born in Taipei, Taiwan but raised predominantly in Melbourne, Australia. Through my school years, I had developed a sense of confidence and comfort towards mathematics and science related subjects, taking to heart the idea that the solutions to problems of these fields were mostly black and white; that if the solutions did not work, the source of the error can be targeted and corrected, often starting from myself. This mentality extended to my tertiary studies, where I commenced my first tertiary year at Monash University undertaking a Bachelor of Science and Computer Science double degree. However, the pace and content of my course was far different from my expectations and I switched to their Bachelor of Engineering soon afterwards, again falling back onto science and maths. With the intention of going into civil engineering, I found myself far less interested in the numbers and physical concepts, and found my mind wandering in the direction of design and architecture instead. I took upon this chance to step out of my comfort zone, pursue something that was completely new to me, and grow in a personal sense. Hence, here I am, three years later, and in my last year of completing the Bachelor of Environments majoring in Architecture, at the University of Melbourne.


My proficiency in design related software is relatively limited, as I did not gain exposure to anything remotely related before commencing the Bachelor of Environments. Even then, I’ve found that it was difficult trying to grasp the software, despite tutorials, guidance of teachers and training videos, but have not given up so. I dealt with Rhino3D in my first semester in Virtual Environments; Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign was very briefly covered in Visual Communications, whilst Grasshopper remains to be completely foreign. I’m hoping that through the journey of Design Studio: Air, I am able to improve my competence in the staple software in leaps and bounds, for a booming conclusion to my undergraduate degree.



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In leading up to the argument for an architectural solution of our Wyndham project, we will need to first understand the concept of architecture as a discourse in order to realise and expand on the boundaries of architecture. On the surface, architecture can be defined most commonly as the artistic and scientific values of the buildings and physical structure around us. However, this definition constrains the span of architecture into a narrow focus on the physical appearance or structure and disregards the underlying connection and communication to the public, including its audience, environment and contributors. As Richard Williams suggests, “buildings as material facts are a small part of the overall field of architecture.”[1]

Hence, architecture is suggested as the most public of arts [3], although the emphasis shouldn’t be placed on “arts”. The essence is, from my understanding, the underlying meanings it conveys, the thoughts and debate it provokes, and the experience it generates. What is architecture without connotation? Is it simply a sculpture? The discourse on architecture pushes its own and our personal boundaries through a continuous engagement with the users, looking past its physical considerations.

The underlying relationship between architecture and the public stems to the need for public acceptance, the end goal, which can arguably be more important than the process and development because of its inevitable prominence in everyday life - it’s a perpetual concept that frames our lives and defines our movement through cities [2], simply summed up by Winston Churchill as

“We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.”



Ningbo Museum of Zhejiang, China, exemplifies the potential of architecture to develop a relationship with the audience and assimilation into the environment by tradition, making a name for itself through authentic design, innovative construction techniques and social influence. Through its varied construction methods, one part (the Wa Pian Qiang), a masonry themed wall of stone, clay tile and brick creating a natural façade that’s congruent with the surrounding environment; the other, (the Zhu Tiao Mo Ban Hun Ni Tu) a concrete mould of bamboo strip, Wang Shu is able to appease the public by echoing tradition whilst still introducing his own language into the architectural equation.

Project: Ningbo Museum AKA Yinzhou Museum By: Wang Shu, Amateur Architect Studio Location: Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

The result of this was to address the public’s reception to architecture and their perception of modernity. Contemporary China, as suggested in Wang Shu’s interview [4], contains a societal conformity of the people that is the inability to accept “materials that look old or even dirty,” [5] and yet, are not sure with how modernity clashes with tradition. With the public’s best interest, Wang Shu tackles the issue of identity and cultural preservation by the reuse of existing rubble, creating an emotional element that overcomes the public doubt of the new design. This act of recycling in-situ materials instils meaning beyond the material’s physical properties, of history, place and memory. During Augustus Julius Caesar’s early reign, he was able to garner the trust and comfort of the populace through architecture that reminisces a thriving era before his reign. On the same token, the people of Ningbo are offered a place that reminds them of China’s beauty, craftsmanship and landscapes.

Fig 1.1 - Facade showing recycled fisherman boats and materials





Fig 1.2 - South-western facade



The Kuwait International Airport, although simple in form, is similar to the Ningbo Museum such that it’s backed with innovative design and construction process, resulting in a harmonious balancer between tradition and contemporary. This project exercises the capabilities of new technology in the role of producing environmentally responsive buildings but also displays the ability to incorporate cultural aspects and exercise creativity into a space.

Project: Kuwait International Airport By: Foster + Partners Location: Al Farwaniyah, Kuwait

CAD software was heavily involved by Forster & Partners in their design process, using computational methods, and even man-power, as mathematician and expert geometer Kristoffer Josefsson was employed to explore the geometry and symmetry that formed the foundation of the design form [6]. Powerful computational architecture carries the ability to crunch topological issues, conduct studies and produce solutions.

Although technology is ever progressing, architects are restricted to design methods available to them at that point in time. However, what can always emerge above these constraints are the concepts; it is important that this is understood and appreciated by all generations, sparking thought and questions that contribute to ongoing architectural discourse. Design should not strive to be modern, as modern inevitably becomes out dated.

As a hub of international populace interchange, the pioneers of the architecture naturally try to project its heritage and story, old and new, to their visitors. Hence, there is a task of finding the right compromise of ‘modern’ and ‘high-tech’ language. Despite its contrasting approach to the vernacular architecture, it manages to build on a similar language using a computational approach. The design respects traditional Kuwait, but welcomes the new future through its culturally identifiable form, a grounded, sleek shape. This balance of tradition and technology puts modern architecture into positive light, a display of new design possibilities without sacrificing cultural roots.

Fig 1.3 - opposing symmetry




The ever progressive nature of the information age has inevitably contributed for a rise in popularity of computers in our lifestyle, becoming a necessity, and that is to say it has been adopted by the architectural world. Commonly today, computerisation is a method where designs can be entered into a computer then developed. This process of digitisation of ideas is for the benefit of precision while reducing time and effort. [7] Specifically in the architectural sense, CAD (computer aided design) software has contributed to the efficiency and productivity of the design process. However, this digitisation only involved entities that are preconceived, predetermined and well defined. [8] Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum showcases this by the development of his hand sketched models to scanning it onto the computer, to a digitised 3D model that could be further manipulated by software. These tools process information digitally, as defined in the mind of the designer, but it does not further enhance the design process. [9]

Computational design has created a paradigm in architecture, underpinning the ability to construct complex forms and obtain detailed performance feedback through further digital programming or computer aided prototyping, [11] and eventually carried on to become construction information in the physical realm. This rapid transit of information between interface and user presents the opportunity of digital architecture to synthesise and communicate all stages of the design process. A computational approach to architecture allows for the Wyndham Gateway Project to embrace a highly explorative design and to push the boundaries of innovation, generating architectural discourse to those who engage with it.

Cross over the fine line that divides computerisation and computation, where the latter works by calculating and determining something through mathematical or logical approach. Computation, in essence, is the exploration of the indeterminate, vague and unclear processes in which it aims to emulate or extend the human intellect through this exploratory nature. [10] In other words, it involves a more integrated approach where the journey of design commences in the digital world.

Fig 1.4 - Hansmeyer’s columns, product of computational architecture




Due to the issue of pollution and scarcity of natural resources, there is a new trend in contemporary society that tries to move everything towards being green and environmental friendly. Consequently, the recent architectural design has also been and we have witness attempts on movement towards a more environmentally responsive designs in contemporary architecture.

Project: Zayed National Museum By: Foster + Partners Location: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The matters regarding to sustainability in a green building normally cover the efficiency of energy and water usage as well as the reduction of waste and environmental degradation. Thus, different components such as solar panels, integrated sunshades or proper planning of storm water collection are demanded. Immediate examples come locally, like the RMIT Swanston Academic Building designed by Lyons Architects, these integrated mechanisms would appear in delegated form in which architects can hardly work out the application without the aid of computational design programs. Taking the Zayed National Museum designed by Norman Foster as an example, it is a sustainable contemporary building designed in the form of traditional Arabic design. [12] With a man-made, landscaped knoll as the foundation, there are five solar thermal towers on top that are designed in lightweight steel structures and sculpted aerodynamically like feathers of bird’s wing. [13] The air vents on top of the wing-shaped towers act as thermal chimneys that direct cooling air currents naturally through the museum in which enable the building to consume less energy in regulating the inner thermal condition and comfort of inhabitants.

We turn our attention to the complexity of assembly for these individual panels, as it also demonstrates to what extent computation contributes to balance the shortfalls of humans. Therefore, it is logical to say that computational design is the core to succeed in pioneering sustainable designs and hence leading architecture ahead into another milestone.

Fig 1.5- Front entrance by night




It is a clear observation that the architectural practice in society today is quite dependant on computational programs. However, designing is not an issue that only requires computation skills. Taking into discussion a precedent of Zaha Hadid, the Guangzhou Opera House built in 2010, this is the largest and most complex computer-generated designs amongst her projects.

Project: Guangzhou Opera House By: Zaha Hadid Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

The overall shape of the building is seen to be so complicated and organic; an example of a case where architects will need to utilize computational programs. Without the precise calculations and analysis it offers, I would think that this design is unachievable as architects can hardly figure out the meticulous angle between joints, especially for the steel-framed inner structure, and curvature of individual constructing geometries which partake in providing the building with a smooth-flowing organic design.

Computational programs can never take over the role of an architect because such programs are unable to fulfil both the rational and creative abilities in designing. [16] Therefore, the importance of communication between humans and computers is magnified. In this project, Zaha Hadid has contributed her concepts of the fascinating interaction between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography. [17]

In the design progress, this building was not created planimetrically, without the typical ideas of front, back, and side facades. Instead it was modelled in 3D. [15] This is the new technology based design that allows implementation documents, detailed and criteria design to be carried out once the concept of design is formed. A major advantage in this situation is the possible discrepancies and errors can be notified in an earlier stage rather than after the construction has commenced. This might affect the completion date of a project significantly.

This result is a design that suggests being two enormous pebbles that might have been washed up on the shores of the Pearl River, on which Guangzhou sits. [18] If architects can make use of the aptitudes of computers to the fullest concurrently with their efforts of their own creativity, it is not doubtful that an effective reciprocal design outcome is achievable.

Fig 1.6 - Interior space Fig 1.7 - Ramp and overhanging structure




Fig 1.8 - Night lit view



Parametric Modelling is a powerful and revolutionary approach to design in the architecture discipline. It transforms the way we approach a design. Parametric modelling is characterized by creating a model based on certain parametric inputs in a defined system. It strongly relies on the relationships and data flows within interdependent components. Hence the task in parametric design is to conceive, arrange and edit these relationships. Such approach requires the designer to take a step back to focus on the logic behind the design. However, it can also be a double edged sword.

Advantages: As the nature of parametric design is founded on the definition of a system, it is in some ways flexible, designers have better control in the design process and are able to make changes to create a variety of results easily. This is achieved by computer automating routine repetitive actions or command, processing and documenting large amounts of information. Changing an input to the system and the result will automatically update accordingly, thus greatly reducing time investment compare to a traditional design method. This process is also known as digital sketching.

Disadvantage: As computer merely follows instructions and program, designing with parametric modelling requires highly specific instruction. Designers are required to know exactly what they aim to achieve and carefully planned to achieve that. Otherwise it will result in another potential disadvantage, sacrificing designers’ creativity. Furthermore, designers might be limited by their technical skill or knowledge of the program, unable to generate desired outcomes. Another problem with parametric modelling is the difficulties in maintaining a clear, holistic view of the process. Due to its dynamic properties, it is difficult to keep track with the ongoing changes.

Fig 1.9 - Zaha Hadid’s civil court close up



A 3.1 EXOtique

The EXOtique project was produced by PROJECTiONE and students from the Institute for Digital Fabrication. As an exercise for generating creativity, there were specific constraints in place for means of challenging designers, such as time, budget and the site (the ceiling at the school architecture building). [19] The intention of the designers was to “create a simple, hexagonally based, component system that would act as a lit “drop ceiling” for the space, as the ceiling height would allow for quite a bit of variation in the surface.” [20]

Project: EXOtique By: PROJECTiONE Location: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA

The brief was responded to with parametric modelling program Rhino in concurrence with the Grasshopper extension. These computer tools were also used for preparing the fabricated surface, printing and structural connections. [21]

This is an example of a beautiful design using parametric modelling. As the design and build was based primarily on repetitive patterns and had a set size (re limits in the equation), parametric modelling was ideally suited to this project. This is a design where parametrics have not limited the design but rather the design is an exploration of what parametrics can achieve. Parametrics largely benefitted fabrication of this project by calculating the edges for the hexagonal components which were a critical part of the design as without these elements coming together the fluid motion would not have been achieved.

The solution was an artificially lit, loose hanging structure which is curved throughout the structure rather than just at its edges. The connections of this project were therefore critical to the design as it is the connections which are also responsible for the way in which the fits together and reacts with each hexagonal member. This process was an exploration of digital modelling for fabrication where the design was somewhat preconceived so that in Rhino they created a surface and divided the space into hexagonal forms with the aim of creating a non-planar folding and bending surface.

Fig 1.10 - Exterior overall form Fig 1.11 - Interior detail




The Mercedes Benz Museum was a very large project not in the sense of scale, but contribution, comprising of over two hundred and forty six companies and engineering firms. [22] As such, parametric design already proved to be a strong choice in the beginning, allowing for ease of contribution from all the disciplines involved.

Project: Mercedes Benz Museum By: UN Studio Location: Stuttgart, Germany

The museum is a complex double helix form based on the shape of the Mercedes Benz logo. [23] Parametric design was used throughout the design, more specifically in reducing the labyrinth to a column-less space, a single diagram, and controlling the overall geometry. [24] Traditional 2D methods of design and analysis were arguably useless and an impossible approach in their goal of producing the underlying supporting structure of a chaotically twisting concrete space. [25]

Fig 1.12 - interior walls




Fig 1.13 - from the courtyard



Advancement in technology is aiding architecture to reach new potentials, creating more innovation and capable designs. Methods such as parametric modelling allows for more creative geometries, greater understanding of design performance, increased integration of different disciplines during the design process and higher precision and speed in fabrication and construction. Computation techniques has maximised architectural innovation, from form generation and fabrication to material and performance optimisation. Building systems are becoming more intelligent and dynamic. We are realising the efficient beauty of nature, and hence have taken a step towards this in design. Buildings and space are increasingly adaptive and responsive to its environment and people, making it unique to its site. Maybe this new method of design is the key to sustainable cities a very important element in contemporary design due to the condition of our environment and resources. It marks an exciting step, for the Wyndham Gateway Project, as well as architecture, as it represents an optimistic future and its possibilities of a community, a society and an era. Not only does it bring many benefits, it also contributes to the architectural discourse, challenging the fundamental questions of design.


All in all, in tackling the design process for the Wyndham Project, I hope to use parametric modelling as a generative design tool based on innovative ideas which fit with the brief. I hope to generate these ideas using Grasshopper and continue to alter and develop the design until a refined, aesthetic masterpiece.


Through learning about the theory and practice of architectural computing I have developed a greater understanding of how digital software can interact within the design process. Prior to studying architectural computing I was very unsure about how software can restrict design and take the creativity out of design. Learning about scripting and the cultures which surround algorithmic and parametric modelling, I have much hope that architects are not planning on letting software limit their designs. Creating a form based on spatial qualities, material properties and relationships is completely new to me. Before Studio: Air, I had no concept of how these intangible values can be represented or explored. Knowing this now, I am keen to explore and experiment further with parametric modelling in the Wyndham Gateway Project. However I am aware of the limits and weaknesses in such methods. For example, the issue of sharing parametric models between designers (group members), or the need to have a design direction in order to write the algorithmic script. The most important point I’ve learnt from Part A is the difference between Computerization and Computation - architecture that is enabled versus architecture that is driven by computer technology. It is no question that modern technology has influenced architecture, in terms of style and method, but it only serves as a tool that aids design, an instrument that amplifies our abilities and enhances the designer’s creativity.



[1] Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), p 115 [2],[3] Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), p 102 [4],[5] The Reluctant Architect: An Interview with Wang Shu of Amateur Architects Studio, ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, Volume 82, Issue 6, November/December 2012, p 123

[15] Joseph Giovannini (2011), ‘Guangzhou Opera House’, Architect - the magazine of the Amercian instutute of architects, <http://www.> accessed 17/08/2013 [16] Yehuda E. Kalay (2004), ‘Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of ComputerAided Design’, p. 2 [17] Zaha Hadid’s Architects (2010), ‘Guangzhou Opera House’, p. 1

[6] Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought, Architectural Design, Volume 83, Issue 2, p 28

[18] Jonathan Glancey (2011), ‘Move over, Sydney: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House’, The Gurdian, < feb/28/guangzhou-opera-house-zaha-hadid> accessed 17/08/2013

[7],[8],[10] Kostas Terzidis, ‘Algorithmic Architecture’, Oxford: Architectural Press, 2006, p xi

[19], ‘Exotique’2009) <http://www.> accessed 17/08/2013

[9] Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), p. 4

[20],[21] ArchDaily, ‘Exotique/Projectione’2011) <>. accessed 17/08/2013

[11] Branko Kolarevic and Ali Malkawi (eds), ‘Performative Architecture: Beyond Instrumentality’, (New York: Routledge, 2004)

[22],[23],[24] Robbie Moore, ‘The Benz’, Specifier, (2013) < au/pastissues/9592/The-Benz.html> accessed 18/08/2013

[12], [14] Kelly Minner (2010), ‘Zayed National Museum / Foster + Partners’, Archdaily, <http://www.> accessed 17/08/2013 [13] ArcH2o (2013), ‘Zayed National Museum |


[24] Mercedes Benz Museum / UN Studio, <http://>accessed 18/08/2013


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Fig 1.10 < wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1302146010exotique-034.jpg>

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Fig 1.5 < uploads/2010/11/1291044768-front-view-of-zayednational-museum-by-night.jpg> Fig 1.6 < uploads/2011/10/guggenheim-main-image.jpg> Fig 1.7 < kreep/5054931336/> Fig. 1.8 < uploads/2012/10/Arch2o-Guangzhou-Opera-HouseZaha-Hadid-Architects-13.jpg> Fig 1.9 < Images/Parametric%20Patterns/Zaha%20Hadid%20 Architects_Civil%20Courts%20of%20Justice_close_ up.jpg>




The client (Wyndham City) and their brief are of upmost importance to our team. In dissecting the brief, the following stand out as heavy considerations when planning our design approach: • • • • • • •

compelling installation advantage of a high exposure location a solution that inspires and enriches the municipality focal point of iconic scale and presence encourage a sense of pride within local community encourage further reflection of installation new, inspiring, brave ideas

WIth responses that integrate the vision of our group, we are able to produce a unique and suitable solution to the client’s needs. Our group firmly believe that architecture is meant for the people. We, as designers, are problem solvers to one of the three basic needs of life: shelter. However, in a contemporary sense, it may not always be so literal as to designing buildings in order to live, but rather, architecture as a discourse has evolved to evoke, convey issues and develop a relationship with its people. Shigeru Ban, as an award winning architect and activist, outlines perfectly the problems we face as architects, in which we try to revoke: “We are not designing for society! The goverment hires architects to visualize money and power...” [25]

In its societal context, Wyndham City is a rapidly growing multi-cultural community with a “higher proportion of pre-schoolers and a lower proportion of people at post retirement age than Greater Melbourne.” [26] What this indicates is the flocking of families to Wyndham in order to raise their young - in other words, “nesting”. This results in urban sprawl, a concept that is arguably unsustainable due to the effects of auto-oriented, low-density development [27] with repurcussions of pollution, real estate, urban planning and state budgeting. As a result of the urban sprawl effect, current living conditions have not lived up to the expectations of families who have sought Wyndham as a nesting community. There are few hospitals and elementary schools [28], housing problems leaving hundreds homeless [29] and budgeting issues causing traffic and pollution, exacerbating inconveniences for the working class. [30] On a final note, Wyndham is known for its natural implication, as it possesses an array of natural features such as wetlands as well as public parks, and overall being located near the coastal region of Port Phillip Bay. Placing all of the above in consideration, we are able to draw a very clear and logical design approach in responding and bringing attention to societal issues in the Wyndham municipality.

The Wyndham City installation, and the community it represents, provides an ideal opportunity to exercise our ideology.




Fig 2.1 - Avian movement




We are “designing for the people” as architecture needs mechanisms that allow it to become connected to culture [31], specifically referring to the user experience generated by form and ornamentation. The product of human experience can be used as an agent to convey ambiguous idea [32], and it depends on complex juxtaposition of many moments and conditions according to Jonathan Hill. [33] After exploration, we have selected the patterning of monumental materials, and grids/lattices to respond to the installation’s facade and structure, respectively. Through a naturally-occuring dynamic and responsive facade, we have created architecture that does not strive for permanence. Specifically, a facade that deteriorates over time as a result of its surroundings: the wildlife, pollution and climate as it captures the unsustainable conditions and behaviour of the city and its people. The idea of impermanence lies at the implication of “forever new”. The idea of temporary architecture is that it can grow and respond with society - a ‘civilization in flux’. What we will achieve fulfills the sense of pride and belonging needed in the community – by an installation that responds to the people’s good-doings and government action in minimising the detrimental effects of urban sprawl. Form-wise we have drawn inspiration from Wyndham’s natural implication. What strikes us is how perfectly birds capture the behaviour of the Wyndham community: the nesting, flocking and even domicile seeking. We feel that utilsing the behaviour of birds (and hence, the need to attrach them) will help us fulfill our goal.


Why patterning is suited for our design intention are its properties of: • a simple and directed method of transferring an emotion or idea to the audience • a single pattern can be repeated in the general design which will reinforce the impression of this pattern • pattern can be applied to any shape of the design and fits within the natural flow of the architectural design However, in computational architecture, patterning can be the driving factor in the design. In an organic sense of scale, one single pattern can be a zygote, the process of design is the growing and reproduction of the pattern, whilst the final design will be the mature body of a life. In essence, a facade of repeating geometry can reflect the concept of juxtaposition, as a we adopt a parametric design approach that allows the exploration in the paradox of materialising (giving form and effect) to an immaterial concept (“designing for the people”). This results in a long lasting effect with such an ambiguous idea, on top of the heavy connotations to societal issues in the design itself. These effects spark discussion and reflection as it is “everchanging” and “open to intepretation” due to what Hill refers to as “user giving meaning to an object” [34], achieving a longevity of interest as required.



As a precedent, this installation invites us into considering its affects of ambiguity, dynamic form in a static object and structural orders. VoltaDom is a modern take on the groin vaults of historical cathedrals. The installation is created by the repetition of cones of various sizes, with each having its own oculus, also variable in size. An intepretation for the oculus is left up to the users, whether it be considered a performative criteria for framing or directing views, or merely attributes to its historical links.

Project: VoltaDom By: Skylar Tibbits + SJET Location: Massachusettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States

It is created to transform the circulation experience in one of the connector pathways at MIT. Moreover, due to its dynamic form, the viewer will have a different experience depending on their approach. Literally different from all angles, including interior/exterior approach (the installation is enclosed in glass), there is a sense of ambiguity. The tectonics of this installation should be noted for its self supportive abilities. The smaller vaults are connected to each other and transfer the load from the top to the ground where it is standing on.

Fig 2.2 - Night display, from one side Fig 2.3 - Close up, from other side




The Berlin Holocaust Memorial is a striking piece auch that, on first impression, struck an uneasy feeling of confusion and curiosity. Coupled with its obvious use of monumental materials and repetitive elements, and a seemingly ordered grid system, this evocative installation ticked the requirements for our design intentions.

Project: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe By: Peter Eisenman Location: Berlin, Germany

This installation exemplifies how rigid, heavyweight shapes can create an undulating dynamic form when combined. Architect Peter Eisenmann, to commemorate the victims of the holocaust, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial shows how an arrangement of concrete stelae creates a forest of columns that form a wave-like pattern when it is viewed from a certain perspective. It can be seen from this architectural project that combining similar objects of different heights could result in a dynamic form, even though as a singular object, it is actually rigid and seemingly lifeless. Therefore, the main emphasis of repetition is in the object as a holistic form (a whole community), not the single elements. This precedent brings to our attention the methods employed by Eisenman of having visitors view the structure in its holistic form, then inviting the user for a more intimate interaction that sparks effects of confusion and uneasiness with its details. This technique of drawing users as to convey a message captures our Wyndham proposal. In regards to the Wyndham City project, the art installation is to be placed on a freeway, which will be mainly viewed by motorists. Our group believes that this approach tackles this issue, as motorists will not be able to look on the details of the installation, rather to translate it as a holistic form.

Fig 2.4 - Elevated shot of snow capped monuments




Fig 2.5 - Overall system


B 2.0 CASE STUDY 1.1;1.2;1.3;1.4

The following â&#x20AC;&#x153;matricesâ&#x20AC;? are iterations (mutations) of parametric definitions (species) to explore and experiment with the initial stages of realising form (on both a conceptual and physical level) nd joints, and to understand the available parametric tools at hand. Species 1 produces the most contrast between mutations, an almost organic formation that resembles something along the lines of mitosis. Variations of form come from the joints and relationship between the sequence of lines. Altering the joints cause polar effects of having the form aggregate in the middle, in clusters, or repulse each other.



Species 2 shows disturbance in a flowing, linear facade and the flow of lines, and also utilising an asymptote to control the start and end points. Species 3 was one with the Holocaust Memorial in mind, utilising attractor points but also how elements interact amongst one another by seeing how the depth of the surface, form and patterns vary in relation to the figure output of their radii and coordinates. Species 4 was focused with tessalation and patterning, experimenting with how software randomly generates and aggregates the selected shapes with itself.





B 3.0 CASE STUDY 2.1

The Absolute Towers by MAD architects have responded directly to the city of Mississauga in a way similar to the Wyndham installation brief, such that they want to break away from the monotonous designs and landscape into something that they and the city can be proud of (that is, referring to the lesser known city of Mississauga that is overshadowed by Toronto).

Project: Absolute Towers By: MAD Architects Location: Mississauga, Canada

The architectural firm also has a very connotative design approach (by considering value, desire, culture, and political strength in contemporary China) so it is only right that their design also serves as a statement to the surrounding area and the social context [35]. There is a manipulation of facade lines that, by using the illusion of having a continuous balcony that runs around and up the whole building, it eliminates any rigid, vertical lines and emphasises its height. The building also rotates due to a performative criteria, by corresponding with the sceneries at different heights and to evoke the city dwellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aspiration for the natural environment. The towers geometry seem carefully controlled, and so they are, by an underlying result of a parametric system with a strict set of computational rules. These two â&#x20AC;&#x153;bodiesâ&#x20AC;? (one perhaps female from a more voluptuous form, and the other, male) differentiate by a cumulative effect of small rotations that follow different patterns in the vertical axis in each tower - specifically by simple formulas: from floors x to y, rotate 0.5 degrees; from floors y to z, rotate 4 degrees; and so on. MAD successfully utilises a parametric approach to realise their ambition for the Absolute Towers: to create forms that develop a relationship with its people, and to bring people together. Fig 2.6 - Absolute Towers from streetscape



B 3.0 CASE STUDY 2.2

As inspiration for our design philosophy, we feel it was important to inspect the work of Shigeru Ban. “My architectural practice is about people’s emotional connection to the buildings they occupy, and I strive for a unified relationship between the structure and the landscape.” [36] His desire to provide emotional connections to architecture and unified relationships with landscape even includes the building materials he uses, which are wood pulp or paper.

Project: Paper Tower By: Shigeru Ban Location: London, England

The mystery surrounding paper made structures, something that is so fragile (especially so since our deteriorating materials may lose structural integrity over time) drew us to this precedent and calls for the analysis of methods Shigeru Ban uses to achieve structural and material strength. The Paper Tower is 22 metres tall, built from compressed cardboard tubes of recycled paper. The triangulargridshell tapers at the top to form a conical structure. The facade may not be completely innovative, but what is valuable is the integration of facade and structure into one, but most importantly being able to study the protective finish, joints and arrangement (eg. cardboard members leaning into the opposite member).

Fig 2.7 - Paper Tower at the London exhibition




B 3.0 CASE STUDY 2.3

It should be noted that at this stage of our design process, there was a change of circumstances from a team-member withdrawing from the project, but as a result, a new member was able to fill her place. We adapted to the new situation by re-evaluating our design intention, of which was very similar due to our philosophies and material systems selected in order to support this.

Project: AU Office and Exhibition Space By: Archi Union Architects Inc Location: Jungong Road, Shanghai, China

The wall of the AU Office Exhibition Space installation takes place on a site originally used as an abandoned warehouse of storing fabrics, which is the reference material of the building’s facade. Using the traditional hollow concrete block as the basic pattern, the architect oriented and managed them by a parametric system, specifically image sampling tools. This image sampling is able to capture and imitate the texture of silk with a rigid and heavyweight medium, which refers to the cultural history of the place. The hollow blocks create a transparent façade of the building which connects the interior space to the outer environment. In addition, the visual appearance is very dynamic because of the orientation and light from the interior - arguably, part of a performative criteria. This project is highly relevant to our goals as it too, is able to carry a backstory of greater and more meaningful context of its people, rather than for “aesthetic reasons” with its cultural history integration of its façade orientation, material, shape as well as the image sampling. Additionally, the light and shadow created by the façade serves as a reminder to refine this area further, given our site context of natural sunlight and limited shading.

Fig 2.8 - AU wall in detail





2.1 A conical subsurface was created using circular segments, then lofted.

2.2 -

Curves populated with points were created to form the segment of the wall, then lofted.


Surface was populated with points (with ‘surfacedivide’).

X and Y plane was contoured to control and create lines that divide layers of bricks.

The points created were used as joining points for the grid overlay (‘diagrid’).

Horizontal frames used to create surfaces that the bricks “rest” on, for demonstration sake.

U and V direction points were adjusted to represent the density of members.

‘Centrebox surface,

The structural members were given density by piping. The result was connected to ‘diagrid’.

x’ to create wall

The resultant lofted surface was connected to another ‘surfacedivide’.

‘Cull nth’ to arrange in list. This gives us details on how to parametrically adjust each individual block.

The connecting points of ‘surfacedivide’ were connected to ‘polyline vertices’.

The area was used to find the centre points.

The U and V direction points were adjusted for population, and the polyline was connected to the pipe result.

Attractor points were added, alongside a degree to rotate by input. The attractor point controls direction of and angles of the wall surface.

2.3 - At the base of the tower, an anchor point was created for its base geometry (ellipse).

The ellipse dimenions are adjustable in 2 dimenions. Then, translated (repeating) along the z-axis. The vector that dictates the translation is given a series of values for control of spacing between floors and the number of floors. Rotation of the ellipse is governed, first by radians (rotation too drastic), then converted to degrees using expression. Finally, using the graphmapper, we could also control the twist in the tower (experimentally).











Species 1 explores the effects of a patterned facade of identical geometric shapes reacting to change of radii and distances between centre point, and a focal point. This is a peformative criteria for the possibilities of allowing sunlight through, or to direct the viewer’s line of of sight. The resultant matrix captures both the results from the facade and a top down view, one that’s mainly for the interest of fabrication (eg. 3D printing). These tight controls gives an orderly feel to the facade, rather than a random, hard-to-convince design intention. Species 2 uses the AU wall as a foundation to explore density (amount of blocks packed in a given space) as well as angles of the block. This exploration helped us to think about the extent to which a block (of some shape, eg. circular, square) is able to twist away from its neighbouring blocks without running into physical constraints like “intersecting” each other. You’d then have to consider the length of the block could be (thinner implies greater freedom in rotating without collisions). Species 3 again uses the AU wall as a basis for exploration. Here, we were interested in the spacing between blocks and the possibility of a self supported structure. This could determine our outcome of whether to incorporate the structure into the facade, or having an internal structure support the facade. Species 4 experiments with image sampling but in a low resolution as to not create a replica of the image. Using simple 2D clipart of colours, we were able to create effects of a dynamic surface. Species 5 explores the multiple repetition of one random shape onto a continuous surface. However the uniformity is rather monotonous and hence may not be as inspiring from an aesthetic point of view. Improvements could be using voronoi tool or tessalation of more than one shape. Species 6 allows the combinatio of many techniques into Absolute Towers precedent. The matrix highlights just a few examples of the mutations within the species itself. Parameters relating to grid systems, forms of each storey, rotation and thickness of material allows us to draw closer to our final technique and form.



To reiterate, we aim to create a facade that deteriorates over time as a result of its surroundings: the wildlife, pollution and climate as it captures the unsustainable conditions and behaviour of the Wyndham municipality. This driving force behind temporary architecture is that it can grow and respond with changing society.

Prestine samples are coated with diluted acid to simulate corrosion process from the environment and bird droppings, of 6 months to roughly 2 years, in a matter of hours and days. This is done to understand changes and affects such as stains from rust carried by rain run-off, and response to the environment.

Partly through material selection, we aim to create an installation that responds to positive input for the city and to convey a message. However, due to the intended dimensions of the tower, we have observed from precedents and parametric exploration the constraits of heavy monumental material that undergoes constant deterioration. As such, we have concluded at this stage that our design will feature a loadbearing substructure to support the deteriorating facade.

We explored the material properties of select monumental materials as well - limestone and cement. I chose to mix and bake these materials from scratch which allowed me more control over sand content and other factors such as heat it is exposed to. This was done to evaluate their mechanical properties such as elasticity, brittleness, relative weight, joint problems, potential to strain, and also reaction to the environment. This was, again, done via diluted acid to simulate an otherwise slow natural process.

Steel is a sensible option for our structural needs. CORTEN steel, steel that reacts (oxidises) from environmental factors like acid rain, salt, water, pollution and even bird droppings (which are acidic and serves as the driving force in signifcant corrosion) without compromising structural integrity, is one of our focuses. It is undeniably chosen for its aesthetic properties as well, providing an eye-catching contrast to the landscape but also maintaining a slight sense of connection to the natural context with its earthern colours.

We have chosen limestone to be our monumental material of focus, for its local connections (potential to be sourced from Australian coastal regions), and its willingness to erosion and corrosion. In summary, the materials work especially well to achieve our goal with given site conditions, such as air salinity and humidity (which further exacerbates corrosive action of bird droppings, and the air).

Top: Roughly equal to two years of natural corrosion Bottom left: corrosion process beings to happen after rain and diluted acid Bottom middle: original texture and finish of CORTEN steel.


Bottom right: Roughly equal to 3 months of natural corrosion



Left: the baking process Top left: cement, with low sand content reacting to acid Botom left: cement, with high sand content reacting to acid Top right: limestone, with low sand content reacting to acid Bottom right: limestone, with high sand content reacting to acid


In the above, square rigid â&#x20AC;&#x153;beamsâ&#x20AC;? were used to test truss arrangements in a grid-like manner for the support structure. Glue was used to join the members together. However, this did not affect the outcome of the experiment as we intended on observing the flex of the beams and also load transfer. Across the page, we have shown a possible arrangement for our form - that is, the stacking of nesting holes for birds. However, due to the height of the overall structure and the weight of the material, a structural system is used to support the facade (in this case, a steel mesh was usedt to represent such).


joints were also explored as we went through methods to support the nesting holes across the tower. Steel brackets could be used, as it is easy to drill into the material but also provides much needed vertical support (to minimise accumulative load from top to bottom) and lateral support (so it does not topple away from the steem sub structure).



To reiterate, we aim to create a facade that deteriorates over time as a result of its surroundings: the wildlife, pollution and climate as it captures the unsustainable conditions and behaviour of the Wyndham municipality. This power behind temporary architecture is that it can grow and respond with a changing community.

Project: M. H. de Young Memorial Museum By: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron Location: San Franciso, California, USA

Partly through material selection, we aim to create an installation that responds to positive input for the city and to convey an (interpretive) message. However, due to the intended dimensions of the tower, we have observed from precedents, parametric exploration and prototypes, the constraits of heavy monumental material that undergoes constant deterioration. As such, we have concluded at this stage that our design will feature a loadbearing substructure to support the deteriorating facade.

There have been projects in the past that supported this idea of displaying the beauty and context corrosion provides. The de Young Museum is a very nature-focused design intention. It uses copper cladding for its green look to fade into its natural surroundings. Moreover, the copper cladding is perforated to simulate the texture of sunlight shining through a tree canopy - much like our species 4 matrix.

Steel is a sensible option for our structural needs. CORTEN steel, steel that reacts (oxidises) from environmental factors like acid rain, salt, water, pollution and even bird droppings (which are acidic and serves as the driving force in signifcant corrosion) without compromising structural integrity, is one of our focuses. It is undeniably chosen for its aesthetic properties as well, providing an eye-catching contrast to the landscape but also maintaining a slight sense of connection to the natural context with its earthern colours.

We will also explore a ‘cracking’ facade (a much quicker deterioration process), as opposed to one that erodes slowly over time, in our design refinement. This was brought to our attention with Frank Gehry’s display at the Venice Biennale where he used a clay facade, supported by egg crates, to represent the venue of the art display. Most importantly, it demands attention on the refining abilities of its material. A rigid substructure is used as a base for form, but the highly malleable clay is able to refine the curves. We will explore whether this is an important factor, especially with parametric design.

Fig 2.9 - Rainy day on the facade. Note indentations/ extrusions, and how they affect rain flow.



Fig 2.10 Project: Display for Venice Architecture Biennale By: Frank Gehry Location: Venice, Italy







Below show form of our current stage - both the facade and supporting internal structure. Parametric tools still need to be explored to solve our design probolems. Stacking of nesting holes, their facing angle and shape is subject to further change after our experiences with precedents and untapped parametreic tools.






The constructive criticism from our mid-term presentation was invaluable. It gave us some confidence such that we were able to produce our result in one week, and up to a perhaps satisfactory standard. A major critique that stemmed from our time constraint, was the exploration needed in terms of elements around the structure - if they could be more irregular, or even more controlled, in some way (adhering to a performative criteria). Methods such as fractal pattern subtraction or wormholing are all methods in which can be analysed in compatability with the context. On a positive note, I think our backstory was intriguing, but it will need to be placed in constant check with how it works with the project as a whole. I personally find that choosing a concept from a set of matrix is confusing in that that they are never an accurate representation of what you want to achieve. This in addition to the lack of parametric modelling skills and softwares and time, would limit ones scope to just a set of matrix from given definitions plus a handful of added components. Despite the case, the design would never be where it is without the algorithmic brainstorming section as it has helped in informing several elements of the design and also given me a better knowledge and understanding of what grasshopper can do as well as what it cannot do. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;While the forms created by this [...] parametric design might seem deceptively, deliberately simple, the complexity lies in the details and in making the process workâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; - Bruce Bell & Sarah Simpkin




[25] Ban, Shigeru - TED Talk < talks/shigeru_ban_emergency_shelters_made_from_ paper.html> accessed 16/09/2013

[35] Absolute Towers <http://www.chinese-architects. com/en/mad/projects-3/Absolute_Towers-7039> accessed 21/09/2013

[26] Wyndham Council public domain of service age groups <> accessed 16/09/2013

[36] Shigeru Ban Builds with paper <http:// ew=article&id=2370&Itemid=2&lang=en> accessed 21/09/2013

[27] DeGrove, John and Robyne Turner (1991), “Local Government in Florida: Coping with Massive and Sustained Growth” in Huckshorn, R. (ed.) Government and Politics in Florida. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. [28] Education and public community directory < pubmedia/community_directory_2013/education> accessed 21/09/2013 [29] Little, Laura, Wyndham Housing Shortfall Leaves Hundreds On Our Streets <http://www.> accessed 21/09/2013 [30] Wyndham City Council, State Budget Leaves Wyndham Motorists In A Jam <http://www.wyndham. may/state_budget_leaves_wyndham_motorists_in_a_ jam> accessed 21/09/2013 [31] Moussavi, Farshid and Michael Kubo, eds (2006). The Function of Ornament (Barcelona: Actar), pp. 5-14 [32], [33], [34] Hill, Jonathan (2006). ‘Drawing Forth Immaterial Architecture’, Architectural Research



Fig 2.1 - commons/e/e3/PSM_V84_D215_Flocking_habit_of_ migratory_birds_fig2.jpg Fig 2.2 - photos/109291238299562554717/albums/561069 4201876313137?banner=pwa Fig 2.3 - cdevers/5702453296/ Fig 2.4 - elsa11/8624317297/ Fig 2.5 - uploads/2011/02/Berlin-memorial-2.jpg Fig 2.6 - absolute-towers-by-mad-architects-completed/ Fig 2.7 - N03/5513029220/sizes/o/in/photostream/ Fig 2.8 - Fig 2.9 - Fig 2.10 - The University of Melbourne Studio Air lecture week 8 - Slide 17




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