Page 1





Introduction 4

Part A: Conceptualisation 6

A1: Design Futuring


A2: Design Computation


A3: Composition / Generation


A4: Conclusion 18 A5: Learning Outcomes


A6: Algorithmic Sketches


Appendix 21

Part C: Detailed Design


C1: Design Concept 68

Part B: Critical Design 22

Algorithmic Sketchbook Week 5


B1: Research Field 28 B2: Case Study 1.0


Algorithmic Sketchbook Week 6


B3: Case Study 2.0


Algorithmic Sketchbook Week 7


B4: Technique Development


B5: Technique Prototype


Algorithmic Sketchbook Week 8


B6: Technique Proposal


B7: Learning Outcomes


B8: Appendix 65

Week 9 70 Week 10 72 C2: Techtonic Elements & Prototypes Week 11 74 Week 12 80 C3: Final Detail Model


C4: Learning Outcomes


Credits 94 3


My name is De Lester Wong, studying second semester of year 2 undergraduate Architecture major in the University of Melbourne. I was born and raised in tropical Malaysia and still trying to cope with the weather even after 1.5 years studying in Melbourne. I studied a semester of architecture course back in Malaysia before coming here. It prepared me for the stress and workload of architecture. It is quite my passion and I enjoyed the process and knowledge and skills I gained. To create and arrange building structures so that it gives comfort and convenience to the users as well as improving the surrounding conditions, that is the thing that keeps me going down this architecture path. In previous semesters, I had Studio Earth and Digital Design and Fabrication, which taught me the design process, fabrication process and techniques to relate my design to my site. Through Studio Air I hope to train my skill in 3D computer softwares and parametric design to be able to cope with the fast-changing times, where the way we design is very likely to change by the time I get into the working field.


Studio Earth: Place to Keep Secrets

Digital Design and Fabrication Defining Personal Space Panel & Fold + Section & Profiling



A CONCEPTUALISATION Study on computational approach towards architectural design process in the real world




A1 DESIGN FUTURING Today, more buildings are built using materials that are easier to handle and work with, like concrete and timber. As a result, stone masonry and stereotomy, the ancient art of cutting stones into particular shapes are at a decline. Such technique in stone construction in buildings help define and preserve cultures because stone buildings are durable and can last for centuries. It gives future generations an idea of the advancement of technology and the way of thinking in architectural field at that period when it was built. As computer technology advances, it enables us to create forms that were once unbuildable. It opens up doors to dramatic design forms as well as all new different field of fabrication. This experimental project uses digital modeling and fabrication techniques to create an unconventional feel towards the material through its form. The project uses stone that we often think as heavy and rigid, to create a feel of lightweightness and flexiblilty. It showcases the ability of robotic arm to cut stones into precise individual shapes that when assembled, forms a hypar shell structure that is designed in 3D computer modeling software. The computer modeling aided us humans to visualise such complex geometry that combined different diciplines: mathematics, design and computation. As Fry mentioned in his book “Design Futuring Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice”,

“...engage the complexity of design as a worldshaping force and help explain it as such” -Fry Architecture should not just be locked into designing aesthetically pleasing structures. It is also the ability to create a structure according to its material properties as well as exploring new frontiers in fabrication techniques.



“This computational approach underlines the potentialities of robotic fabrication in architectural fields, making possible an optimized voussoirs modelling, using parametric softwares, and fabrication using robotic arms in combination with CNC manufacturing techniques like circular saw cutting, milling and diamond wire cutting.” -Domus These techniques fabricate with efficiency and precision. Computers are able to calculate the most efficient use of a slab of stone just by keying in input codes. Chances of error has been significantly reduced. This reduces the amount of materials used and wasted during fabrication process, ensuring we have enough resources to last us longer. Defining our culture today. The digital culture, where a majority of our activities involves a digital device or method. Applying what is a norm to us today into our design of the stone structure enables future generations to get a glimse or research on our current technological advancements and our way of thinking, as stone structures are long lasting and durable. Individualism can be expressed in structures as they are currently able to build thanks to the help of computers. However, design should not just be through computers to create the optimum form and use of materials. If this becomes a norm, all buildings would look similar. This would replace past cultures in architecture with parametric or hypar forms calculated by computers. Design should use computers as an aid, something that we input data to realise what we envision in our head, not as a main source to turn to.

Hypar Vault

Fig. 3

by Italian New Fundamentals Research Group Fig.1: Underside of the cantilever. Seen here are made out of individual blocks of stones.

Fig. 2

Fig. 4

Fig. 5 Fig. 1-5: “Hypar Gate - News - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 <http://www. gate_new_fundamentals_ research_group.html> [accessed 30 July 2017].

Fig.3-5: The use of robotic arm to precisely cut stones into individual shapes calculated by computer. CONCEPTUALISATION 9

A1 As the world population increases, more houses are built and replaces green earth surfaces with pavements and buildings. Urbanisation expands city boundaries and replaces farmlands. At the same time cities are increasingly dense in population, ruling out places for proper greenery to thrive. If this is the way to go and our buildings do not adapt accordingly, we might run out of areas suitable for farming, hence causing food shortages. Quality of life would decrease too as open parks are replaced with condominiums.

In this prototypical housing project, it is only bringing traditional farming vertically upwards and bringing nature closer to our living spaces. This design enables green spaces in a property despite having a small footprint. A single lot area in a suburban context today has about half of the area being the yard, could be ten individual lots in the future urban context. This means an increase in density, hence slowing down the invasion of urban cities into rural farmlands and ensuring the rural way of living, being part of a culture does not disappear. It also changes the way we live. This project starts to blur the line and bringing currently isolated activities together in a single building to become more self-sustaining. Today we think of urban living being seperated with farming and food sourcing, and urban dwellers have to rely on a third party like supermarkets to source food. With that, supermarkets tend to overstock food produce, and unsold ones would be discarded as food waste1. With this project, we can directly source food from our own building, eradicating problems such as lack of food (from lack of farmlands), food waste and subsequently improving our quality of life as more greenery are introduced into a dense urban context.

Fig. 6 : What if every accessible surface of our earth look like this? Retrieved from

The impact of our design towards other disciplines is more significant than we think.

Positive use of negativity These negative visions of a possible future serves as a cautionary tale1, instead of brainwashing us about the inevitable future. The least we can do is to bring natural farming into our buildings, that is a positive use of a negative possible future where no open farmlands or parks are available on earth.

“Problems cannot be solved unless they are confronted, and if they are to be solved it will not be by chance but, as said, by design.” -Tony Fry in his book “Design Futuring Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice”

1Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) pp. 1-9, 33-45 10


1 Harrison Jacobs, “Why Grocery Stores Like Trader Joe’s Throw Out So Much Perfectly Good Food”, Business Insider Australia, 2017 <https://www.> [accessed 30 July 2017].

Binh House by Vo Trong Nghia

Fig. 7: Farming activity can be carried out in the same building where we live in.

Fig. 10

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 7-10: ”Binh House - Architecture - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 <http://> [accessed 30 July 2017]. CONCEPTUALISATION 11


Benefits of Using Computers in Architectural Design Process

Fig. 11

According to Kalay in the book “Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design”, there are two paradigms of design process: problem solving and puzzle making.1 In the paradigm of problem solving, we know our goals and we discover and search for solution to achieve our set goals. In puzzle making, we are given constraints and solutions to a vague goal, where we use them to formulate a set of goals that fits best to the solution. (Fig. 13)

“The interdependency between the goals, the solutions, and the design context creates a cyclical relationship between the two paradigms: design goals are developed that provide the process with a direction, then solutions are proposed that purport to accomplish them.” -Kalay Often, our initial goals are limited by the solutions to achieve them, giving the technology advancement at the time. Therefore, we have to make sacrifice and modify our goals. Computers provides us very analytical solutions to a given set of inputs. The process of searching for solution could be monotonous, through multiple trial-and-error after analysing if it best suit the brief. With computers, multiple optimum solutions that are within the given constraints 1 Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 5-25 12


are provided to us, and we, as humans having creative abilities, would choose the result that meets the goals better. This means we only need to make minimal modifications to our initial goals, allowing us to get more of what we actually want. Fabric Forms by Ron Culver and Joseph Sarafian created a different and unconventional feel towards concrete. It looks soft and flexible like fabric but it is solid and fixed. Using six-axis robot arms to stretch sewn Lycra sleeves, it is used as a mould for concrete casting. Different concrete forms modelled in 3D computer software can be casted precisely by having the robot arms reposition themselves after each cast, stretching the fabric into different shape.1 With advancement of computers, we are able to unlock a ‘hidden’ property of concrete and apply it into physical form. Concrete can be casted into almost any given shape as long as its mould holds, hence the most organic building form that we can imagine became possible to build with computer modelling and fabrication techniques. Prior to modern computer modelling software, concrete forms are limited to the constructibility of the mould that shapes it. Most often the mould is first built with plywood, then wet concrete is poured into it, creating a rather rectangular shape. With computerised fabrication 1 “Fabric Concrete - News - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 <http://www.domusweb. it/en/news/2016/06/24/joseph_sarafian_ron_culver_fabric_forms.html> [accessed 5 August 2017].

Fig. 12 Fig. 11, 12: Ron Culver, Joseph Sarafian, Fabric Forms, 2016

techniques, a free-flowing mould shape can be precisely created like the case of Fabric Forms, allowing us to control the specific fluid shape that we want, which is our initial goals. Structural constructibily most often limits us from realising our initial goals in physical form due to available construction technology. This means the initial design might need to be changed to ensure the builders can build it, bring it closer to available solutions. With computers, they give us more available solutions, bringing us closer towards our initial goals by doing the puzzle making paradigm. Furthermore, the multiple product that computers gives us means we can modify our initial goals in order to fit the project better.

Fig. 13: The paradigms of design. Retrieved from Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 16.


Fig. 14


“‘Computation’, on the other hand, allows designers to extend their abilities to deal with highly complex situations.” -Peters, (2013)1 The panels for the ceilings, walls and balustrades of the central auditorium of Elbphilharmonie is the product of parametric design. An optimum sound map for the auditorium is first created by famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota based on the geometry of the auditorium. From the architects Herzog and de Meuron’s perspective, the panels has to seem consistent throughout the whole interior, and panels within arms’ reach of the audience has to be smoother to be more user friendly. Benjamin Koren, founder of One to One used these requirements as parameters to develop an algorithm that produced 10000 patterned panels. Each panels are uniquely textured so that when assembled, it satisfies the acoustic and aesthetic requirements.2

1 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 10 2 Elizabeth Stinson, “What Happens When Algorithms Design A Concert Hall? The Stunning Elbphilharmonie”, WIRED, 2017 < happens-algorithms-design-concert-hall-stunning-elbphilharmonie/> [accessed 9 August 2017].

Generation in architectural design process is first breaking down and analysing the rules and structure of, in this case, the way sound waves behave in an enclosed space. The rules retrieved is then used as an input to parametric algorithm to generate a complex form, in this case is the uniquely textured panels. Without parametric algorithms, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the optimum acoustic performance and pleasing aesthetic effect at the same time. Generating an optimum form that serves the intended purpose while being able to be aesthetically pleasing is now possible no matter how complex the design needed to be. However, in the future this could be a norm in auditoriums across the world as this design is the best way to enhance the audience’s experience towards live music without sacrificing beauty. This means parametric design could convert what is considered as unique today into common practice in the future. Individuality of each particular architecture would be lost as architecture focus drifts towards practicality. Using this case example, auditoriums would have similar design for its interior panels and users would feel indifferent no matter which auditorium they are in. This disconnect users’ emotions towards that particular architecture and thereby beauty and complexity of the architecture would no longer be valued as much.

Fig. 15

Elphilharmonie, Hamburg by Herzog and de Meuron

Fig. 14 & 15: The central auditorium of Elbphilharmonie. Retrieved from https://www.wired. com/2017/01/happens-algorithms-design-concert-hall-stunning-elbphilharmonie/

A3 Generation in architectural design process in a way can also be describe as first deconstructing something into its basic rules, then using the same rules to create something else using the help of parametric algorithm, not knowing what the end product would look like. “...computation also has the potential to provide inspiration and go beyond the intellect of the designer, like other techniques of architectural design, through the generation of unexpected results.” -Peters1 In this case, 0RN8 studies the interiorities for existing structural systems. They managed to reevaluate and reinterpret the Gothic techtonic system using a variety of parametric design studies. They analysed the arch, rib and its varied thickness across its curvature profile from the Gothic vault bay tectonic system and apprehended the Gothic system of rigorous and consistent construction and articulation, as well as a system of force transmission and equilibrium. From this analysis or rule, they performed parametric experiments and that lead to the multi-systematic and adaptive interiorities as shown in Fig. 16-18.2 Fig. 16

1 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 10. 2 “Parametric Design Studies On Novel Interiorities For Existing Structural Systems / 0RN8 - Evolo | Architecture Magazine”, Evolo.Us, 2011 <http://www.evolo. us/architecture/parametric-design-studies-on-novel-interiorities-for-existingstructural-systems-0rn8/> [accessed 9 August 2017]. 16


“Algorithmic thinking means taking on an interpretive role to understand the results of the generating code, knowing how to modify the code to explore new options, and speculating on further design potentials.” -Peters1 With algorithmic thinking, new generation of forms can be explored using the same and existing ideas of architecture. Parametric algorithms gives us multiple solutions to a single set of rules. This encourages us to incorporate computers into our design process and form generation instead of merely computerising existing procedures of a perconceived design.1 It proves that an idea of the past does not have to be represented in what has already been built, and can be viewed and represented from a different perspective today. In a way, it makes ideas timeless as we are able to bring past ideas into the present and not replicate what has already been built in the past to convey that idea. For example in this case, the idea of Gothic architecture during its heyday is about lightweightness in the structure, having tall pointed windows and arches. With technology at the time, it was converted into physical products in the form of stone churches. With technology today, we are able to re-represent the same idea in a more dramatic form. Generation through parametric algorithms might decrease our creativity as humans as we need not come up with new ideas and concepts. We can simply apply our algorithmic thinking, which is a more technical skill set as compared to creativity, and generate new exciting forms according to a different perspective of interpreting the idea. If this method of generation becomes a norm in future architecture processes, humans could loose their role of a creator in the realms of architecture design process. We just need to input parameters and choose the most suitable design from a whole list of outputs from parametric algorithms. We give control to computers in form finding, resulting in architectural forms that feel less ‘lively’, as we are missing the human touch and intuition in the design form generation. Emotional connection between design team and the architecture, between the user and architecture would not be as strong, and this could steer architecture towards analytical and production instead of artisitic creation.

1 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 10.

Fig. 17 Fig. 16-18: Parametric Design Studies on Novel Interiorities for Existing Structural Systems by 0RN8. Retrieved from

Parametric Design Studies on Novel Interiorities for Existing Structural Systems by 0RN8

Fig. 18: Re-representation of the Gothic pointed arches.






As technology continues to advance, we find alternate and more convenient ways in designing and building with the help of computers and digital fabrication techniques. It allows us to physically construct complex geometries that once exists only on papers and in the minds. Computers unlocks new methods in form making and production, and allows us to visualise how our design would perform and look before it is actually being built physically. In a way, computers help us see the future and it changes the design, manufacturing process and subsequently, our lifestyles and interaction with the building.

Prior to this, I used to think that digital modelling and computers comes at the back stages of the design process, where we mainly try to replicate our determined design and perhaps make minor changes to our current design using digital means, thinking more towards computerisation. It turns out that computers can be well intergrated in the design process, as part of the design process, which I learnt that it is computation. Part A3 also made me realised that we can use parametric algorithms right from the start of design process to look and explore inspirations and form finding. Furthermore, robotic arms not just as a three dimensional cutting tool but also as a moulding tool. It made me realise that the uses of the robotic arms are quite flexible as long as we are creative enough to find ways to exploit its ability and flexibility.

At the same time, we should be wary about incorporating computation into our design process. It could devalue the architecture profession, as the requirement of being an architect or designer could be downgraded to having skills in algorithmic thinking and technical skills towards computer software. Today we still need people with high creativity and perhaps artistic mind to be able to handle well in the architecture profession. Computers are analytical machines and can do mundane jobs for us, but they cannot replace the human creativity that is needed in artistic side of architecture. The site will be analysed and information collected would be used as parametric input for Grasshopper algorithms. From the output products of Grasshopper, two or three designs would be selected and futher developed using analog means. Site conditions will be incorporated into the design process. Depending on the design solutions and goals, compromisation will be made on both sides using the method in Fig. 13. This design approach uses both computers and human creativity in creating the design. I believe the design product would not look too perfect like forms given by parametric algorithms. This can make my architecture more approachable, because nothing in this world is perfect. It would fit into the site being at Merri Creek as well as the modern techniques and styles in architecture.



During my Digital Design and Fabrication project, we failed to document our final physical form digitally, as we were not skilled enough in parametric modelling. We fabricated the pieces and assembled them. The physical form that we ended up with look very much different with the digital model which the fabrication pieces were based on. We experimented a lot of connection methods before succeeding. If we were skilled in parametric algorithms at that time, we would have created a digital model of the complex form and fabricate the pieces accordingly. This way, the connections would have fit better with the corresponding pieces, and we would have saved more materials and time spent for prototyping.


Elevation 1

I was new to Grasshopper plugin of Rhinoceros and was not sure what I was doing. I was trying to familiarise myself with the components. I considered it more as a built form, a pavilion and used Voronoi 3D after Populate 3D a box. After baking it, I varied the count (N) input of Populate 3D and baked another 3 voronoi cubes with varied number and size of cells.

Elevation 2

I first deleted some random cells inside so that it creates some spaces for a pavilion. I then realise what if the pavilion is inverse of a cave like cube I was creating, hence I selected some cells from beneath and changed them into another layer. From there, I extracted the form that satisfies my inspiration from a given classical music piece. The key idea I was focusing on that I extracted from the classical music piece was the cyclic repeatition of two obvious parts: a calmer and a more exciting part of the music.



Perspective view 1 I was able to create an interesting pattern using Divide Surface and Cull Pattern. However, the lines are just wires and they form a flat piece. I did not know how to further explore after this. I tried using the Pipe component and Rhinoceros crashed. This made me realise that even such algorithms capable of creating such complex geometries has its limitations as well. I extruded this pattern and similar to previous design, I selected individual components and deleted them to

Perspective view 2

After seeing what my peers have done, I realised that I did not give the computer enough control to see the true products that Grasshopper would give. I already thought of how this thing would be a pavilion and did the changes instead of allowing Grasshopper to produce its full potential. I was not sure what components to use and how to use or what has to be build first before using the components. I need to practice my algorithmic skills and thinking in order to get impressive forms generated by the parametric algorithms.

Top view 20



1. ”Binh House - Architecture - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 < architecture/2017/06/14/binh_house.html> [accessed 30 July 2017]. 2. Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) pp. 1-9, 33-45 3. Elizabeth Stinson, “What Happens When Algorithms Design A Concert Hall? The Stunning Elbphilharmonie”, WIRED, 2017 <> [accessed 9 August 2017]. 4. “Fabric Concrete - News - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 < news/2016/06/24/joseph_sarafian_ron_culver_fabric_forms.html> [accessed 5 August 2017]. 5. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg), pp. 1–16 6. Harrison Jacobs, “Why Grocery Stores Like Trader Joe’s Throw Out So Much Perfectly Good Food”, Business Insider Australia, 2017 <> [accessed 30 July 2017]. 7. “Hypar Gate - News - Domus”, Domusweb.It, 2017 < news/2017/04/24/hypar_gate_new_fundamentals_research_group.html> [accessed 30 July 2017]. 8. Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 5-25 9. “Parametric Design Studies On Novel Interiorities For Existing Structural Systems / 0RN8 - Evolo | Architecture Magazine”, Evolo.Us, 2011 <> [accessed 9 August 2017]. 10. Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 08-15



B CRITERIA DESIGN C l u e l e s s exploration





Week 5 From this week onwards, I worked as a group with two of my classmates: Nathaniel Foo and Jason Qian . We were to watch the opening scene of West Side Story (1961), directed by Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins. Two rival gangs of different decendents conflict with each other, and is expressed through dance and smooth movements in ths movie. Even violent fight were expressed through dancing. From this, we extracted the idea of harmonious conflict between two different elements. We then used Grasshopper to explore the functions and came out with this design for our pavilion, which we could relate with the idea we extracted from the opening scene. The squares and cylinders represents two different elements, like each member of the gang coming together in a gang fight. They form a rather harmonious composition as they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t intersect with each other, but still conflicting as they stay strong with their own geometry without compromise. This pavilion could serve as a semi sheltered and shaded area for barbeques and gatherings. Rooms can also be created inside the cylinders, with a roof overhead. Some squares can be covered as well. Also could have plants growing in them, mantaining the idea of harmonious conflict between sheltered and unsheltered space, between built form and nature. 24


Fig. 1: Retrieved from: “West Side Story Film Locations - On The Set Of New York.Com”, Onthesetofnewyork. Com <> [accessed 12 September 2017]

Internal Perspective CRITERIA DESIGN


FURTHER THINKING These drawings are made so that it looks incomplete. This way we are able to receive feedback on what it could be, what can be improved, not locking it to one single, intended use or look, being open minded on its potential. If we were to further develop this design, transparency of the elements would be varied. Some cylinders would be opaque and some cylinders would be transparent, depending on the function of the cylinder. For example, if the cylinder is to be used for a spiral staircase, it could be made of mesh or frame. If it is a cinema, it has to be opaque walls. If it were to be a greenhouse, it has to be glass. The squares would be capped with either opaque or transparent surface, or even leaving it as a frame, depending on the use of that specific location. It has to be frame if a tree were to grow out of it. It has to be capped if people were to walk on it. This could be placed on a grass field or within the trees. This structure, despite being not natural, could actually promote plants to grow and create a microclimate and habitat. If it were to be used by humans, the top of the pavilion can provide beautiful view and even an open square for muiltiple activities to happen. Benches, stages and other physical amenities could take the form of cylinders and squares. The scale of the shapes can vary accordingly. 26


External Perspective






A section in architecture drawings and documentation basically means having an enclosed building cut vertically in order to expose the internal or cross sectional area of the building.1 With the help of computers and digital design sofware, we are able to create a general form from multiple sections that vary with each other gradually. The computer creates individually-shaped section pieces according to the desirable fluid surface that we want to achieve. These pieces are arranged in perpendicular direction of the pieces. This way we are able to create a fluid form not only using fabric materials but also using flat rigid materials as proven by One Main in Boston by dECOi Architects. This method gives limited permeability and saves material, making the whole fluid form lighter. This, in turn eases fabrication and installation process as compared to fabric. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Architecture 101: What Is A Section?â&#x20AC;?, Architizer, 2016 < blog/architecture-101-what-is-a-section/> [accessed 19 August 2017].

Fig. 19, 20: Shape of individual sections determined by the computer are fabricated.

Fig. 2 28


Fig. 2-4: “Decoi Architects » One Main”, Decoi-Architects.Org, 2016 <http://> [accessed 19 August 2017].




Fig. 5

CASE STUDY 1.0 BanQ restaurant in Boston, MA, USA by Office DA, 2008

Fig. 6

Original Rhinoceros 5 digital models

Rhinoceros 5 digital model and Grasshopper files of the BanQ sectioning are downloaded and used as a starting point. The existing parameters and components are varied in order to create new iterations.



Fig. 5-6: Interior of the BanQ. “Banq / Office Da”, Archdaily, 2009 <> [accessed 25 August 2017]



Species 1 -Reference curve is varied in shape and direction. A curve determines the perpendicular frames for the plane of the sections. The direction and shape of this curve is varied, hence creating varied planes for sectionning. Species 2 -Varying shape of base surface The base surface for the sectionning is varied using the control points. Using the varied surface, the different curves used in species 1 is used to create these. 1.1


1.3 2.1





32 32




3.1 x*y^2 /z^3 +5

3.2 (x*y^2)/z^2 -5

3.3 (x*y^2)/z-2

Species 3 -Using different expressions A second base surface for sectioning is created from gridpoints of the base surface used in Species 2. These gridpoints used to form the second base surface are moved in the Z-axis according to a more complicated expression than the given one. In each of the expression,

4.1 Species 4 -Varying box corners.



2 box corners of a bounding box is varied. A line is formed from the 2 box corners. This line links to the Perp Frame component to provide planes for sectioning.

Species 5 -Using a different image sample A different image sample is used. Then box corners are varied like Species 4.









Species 6 - Varying reference line for second base surface of sectioning.


Using the same image sample from Species 5, the new expression (x*y^2)/z-2. The line for Perp Frame component for sectioning planes of the second base surface is varied in terms of shape and direction, like in Species 1.


Species 7 - Plane of bounding box is changed and box corners are varied The curve is changed. Then varying the boxcorners where the line is created. This line links to the Perp Frame component and provides reference plane for sectioning.







Species 8 - Plane of bounding box is varied. The curve is varied in terms of direction and shape. This curve is then linked to Perp Frame component to provide reference plane for the bounding box.






6.4 2.3


SPECULATION I noticed iterations 7.1, 2.3 and 2.2 have ‘legs’. This can perhaps be placed over the river, over the bicycle path. This can create more spaces in the site that matches the topography of the site without affecting the current activity. Iteration 7.1 is starting to look like an open amphitheatre. It can be an elevated amphitheatre, with spiral stairs or a slide on the left side.



Iterations 2.2 and 2.3 seems more like Frank Gehry’s work. The best material would be titanium. This shiny object would be an attraction for passing pedestrians, train passengers and graffiti artists. Besides titanium, it could be concrete or high quality fabric. I feel that fabric is better as it can allow some light into the narrow spaces. Moreover, it could be a plantation, like a large flower pot placed on the site.

1. Intersections are not too outrages. Transforming these into architectural form in real life is more plausible in terms of buildability.

For iteration 6.4, it seems like a lagoon being formed, with slopes. This perhaps can be placed partially into the river, creating a wading pool for children to play in., while the parents or relatives can lie on the slope.

3. Matches to the context of the site, being in nature, by the creek.

2. Potential to provide different types of spaces



Fig. 7: Retrieved from “Exhibitions Michael Gromm Any Malls”, Flinders Lane Gallery Flg.Com.Au <> [accessed 12 September 2017].




Week 6 An artwork by Michael Gromm, titled Any Malls (2017) is given. We extracted a significant quality from the artwork, which was one complicated element was formed from another simpler element, and vice versa. They are not entirely different and has similarities bridging them both. We then used Grasshopper plugin for Rhinoceros to create something, and then relating what we came up with to the quality that we extracted from the artwork. The general composition looks complicated, but is formed using two simple geometries, the pipe and the square. The floating pieces represents the simpler elements that forms the more complex element in the centre. For the uses of our building, we thought of being an observatory, client possibly NASA. Having the square platforms, people can also climb inside and around the internal of this structure, giving them access to higher ground for a better view or for evacuation from floods, being situated by the river. The floating square platforms could be held in place by transparent nylon cables and embedded magnets. When trains pass by on the bridge nearby, the floating platforms could move around the structure as its embedded magnet is attracted towards the train, but the strings or cables hold them towards the structure. CRITERIA DESIGN






FURTHER THINKING We did not take material properties into consideration. The floating pieces would have to be made of lighter materials so that it is still attracted by the magnets instead of gravity. To ensure it levitates, we would have to use manglev technology. In a way this is also a representation of the relationship between the complicated and simple elements. From a general composition point of view, it would look like falling leaves from a tree. This would be the simpler, more direct element. The more complicated element comes from the manglev technology which is required to make the levetation happen. If I were to further develop this, I would make the floating pieces arranged and levitated in a more organised manner, perhaps defining the border of a sphere. This actually simplifies the general composition created by the floating pieces. The pipes in the central complex composition would be removed, leaving the square elements to create the complexity of the central composition. This would make the general design more in relation, so that it seems like they are of the same source, similar to the idea extracted from the artwork. CRITERIA DESIGN


B3 CASE STUDY 2.0 One Main in Boston by dECOi Architects The project was for the penthouse offices of an investment group in green building and clean energy technologies (CChange). Most elements of the interior is comprised of sustainably-forested spruce plywood, milled using numeric command machines: information carves renewable carbon-absorbing resource. The automated algorithms for generating actual milling files gives extremely low percentages of error, hence reducing waste. dECOi Architects aim to fuse the floor and the ceiling into one continuous surface inflected by function. Shelves, desks, benches, storage units etc. were fused as part of the ceiling and floor. Moreover, inflection in the ceiling was echoed in the benches and carried down to the sinuous lines of the door handles. The form of the ceiling and the furniture relates to each other. Functional needs and details such as shrouds for LED lighting, ventilation grills and handles can be fabricated as part of the timber pieces, hence creating a more seamless interior instead of having standard industrial components interrupting the smooth flow of the surface.1 Fig. 8 Fig. 8-10: “Decoi Architects » One Main”, Decoi-Architects.Org, 2016 <http://www.decoi-architects. org/2011/10/onemain/> [accessed 19 August 2017].



1. “Decoi Architects » One Main”, Decoi-Architects. Org, 2016 < onemain/> [accessed 19 August 2017].

Fig. 9 Fig. 10




1st Attempt

1st intention was to create straight lines, varied their height and shape using control points, loft them to create a base organic surface for sectioning. However, failed to loft as intended.

Lofted and managed to create a normal flat surface. The lines are varied in terms of shape, height using control points.

Sectioned between the projection and sectioned line but failed for some reasons.



2nd Attempt

1. Curve created

5. Lofted surface sectioned

2. Curve height varied 6. Section lines projected into a flat surface above

3. Curves lofted 7. Section lines on the lofted surface and projected lines on the flat surface above are lofted to create the section planes

4. Curve size varied



8. Underside. Position of control points of the curves that drives the lofted surface is varied to make it look more like the OneMain.

9. Final outcome



The Outcome in relation with the Original

In order to create OneMain, I believe that the curves are varied according to where the services in the ceilings are. Wherever there is services that occupies space, the control point of the curve that drives the lofted surface at that location would be lowered. To create a more seamless flow, the other control points across the ceiling are fine tuned to have a smoother flow. Between my final outcome and the OneMain, the main difference I noticed is the columns. Perhaps they did not use the same method, the curves like the ceiling to create the seamless flow from ceiling to column. Or perhaps I was using an unnecessarily complicated process. However, the main theme of the ceiling, I believe I managed to reverse-engineer it as close as possible, having sections curve down accordingly, creating a ‘flowing surface’ for the ceiling.

If I was unconstrained by the original form, I would change the parts of the ceiling where it droops down. I would make it more exaggerated and let it touch the ground, or even through the floor and into the floor below. At the same time I will still ensure that the surface ‘flows smoothly’, avoiding jagged areas. Besides, instead of having the sections going in one axis, perhaps the section pieces can turn in the x-y plane accordingly. In Grasshopper terms, the curve that determines the perpendicular frames for the sectioning can be changed. For this, I used a straight line, but perhaps I would make it a curvy line and have the perpendiculars rotate accordingly.

Fig. 11: “Decoi Architects » One Main”, Decoi-Architects.Org, 2016 <> [accessed 19 August 2017].




Week 7 Given a text, we extracted the idea of fragmentation, where small, ordinary elements come together to form a greater, harmonious composition. In the case from the text, it is the formation of the city Zora, how small elements make create the uniqueness of the city. Using Grasshopper, we input components and changed parameters to see what form it gives us. This form that has relation to the idea we extracted from the text, and was further rendered, providing the context of the site, its location in the site and its materiality. We deceided to have our design over the river, among the trees. The idea of the river and its surroundings intrigues me. It is made up of flowing water, rocks, soil, flora, fauna claiming habitat in the site, concrete paths, brick piers of the bridge, etc. All these elements by itself is rather common. When they come together in this site, it becomes unique as a whole, creating a one of a kind site. The vertical elements over the river would be ropes, those on the banks would be structural to support the entire structure. It would be made to look the same. These ropes provide a fun and alternate way to cross the river. People can swing and climb on ropes attached to the circular structural rings on top. This itself could create sport activities or games revolving around swing ropes, similar to the obstacle course Ninja Warrior. The top tier composed of the structural rings can serve as a different kind of sport as well, having people to crawl and climb across challenging openings and thin members. Overall, this design would attract active people who likes outdoor and physicall activities, creating a congregation hub. 46




FURTHER THINKING One of the feedback received was that the design reminded her of the tree vines and the dense tropical rainforest back in her home, Malaysia. She had outdoor activities in the jungle which includes swinging from ropes and flying fox. She said this brings back to her memories. This makes me think that our architecture could recall certain memories. The idea of dense jungle and its activities that she perceived does not really blend into the site, but perhaps this is what makes the design unique and stands out. Because it is something you would not expect to find in the site, hence it would attract you more, sparking your curiousity. If I were to further develop this design, I would have ropes of different thickness, lengths and slip, making it more challenging and attracting people to come here. Besides being for sports, it can be scaled down to trap trash in the river, serving as a river filter for environmental purposes. If the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ropesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are denser, it could also house unsightly equipment and turbines in it for hydroelectric, tidal or wind power generation. The river floods sometimes, and the site is really windy. These aspects can be utilised and given back to the local community. The vertical elements allows water or wind to pass through while giving visual limitations. 48

















Species 1 -Varying the shape on the under side. Varying position and number of control points that determines the base loft surface for sectioning.

Species 3 -Included image sample Using different image sample to offset points from projection surfaces. A surface is then created using these points and is used as projection surface instead.

Species 2 -Varying shape of surface for projection of section. The section lines of the base loft surface are projected onto a flat rectangular surface. Then the projected lines and the section lines are lofted to create the section planes.







In this species, the projection surface which is the flat rectangular surface is changed to a lofted surface formed from a few curves. Then the control points of the curves that determines the loft shape of the projection surface is varied.














Species 4 -Varied planes of sectioning

Species 5 -Added curves above to extend the base loft surface upwards

Curves of different shapes and orientations are used to provide perpendicular frames for the section planes.

More curves are added above the base loft surface to extend the base loft surface. Then the size, shape and control points and position of the curves are varied.






Species 6 -Varying shape of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;legsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and orientation of the section planes. Control points and position of the bottom couple curves of the base loft surface is varied. Then using the same varied curves from Species 4, orientation of section planes are varied.









Species 7 -Involving Panneling Tools to create the base loft surface Using Paneling Tools to create a grid from the smooth base loft surface. Using the grid, panels are formed. This paneled surface of the base loft surface is sectioned. Then the control points of curves of base loft surface is varied.










Species 8 -Position, scale, control points of curves are varied. Using the paneled base loft surface, the position, scale, control points of curves are varied. 8.7

Species 9 -Orientation of curves are rotated to lie horizontally The curves of the base loft surface were arranged vertically on top of each other. The curves are rotated 90degrees so that it lies side by side. Then the control points of the curves are varied.




SELECTION CRITERIA I realised the site was quite windy as there is not much things to divert or block the wind coming to the site. The fact that strong wind passing through the site can be utilised. In iteration 6.4 and 8.5, there are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;legsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; which could provide covered space underneath. It could either stand on the ground, or be hung from above, creating a canopy. It could be placed over the river or over the paths. With this massive scale, perhaps holes can be cut out from the panels, creating internal spaces. These internal spaces can extend to the edge of the general form, creating a window opening to enjoy the view in a more sheltered area. The internal spaces of this great mass created by sectioning panels could house wind turbines and necessary equipments for electricity generation. The sectioning allows wind to pass through it with minimal resistance and hides unsightly technical equipments.


6.4 54



SPECULATION I realised the site lack seatings. This discourages people from stopping at the site to enjoy nature. People would just pass by or through the site, using it as a thoroughfare. I want people to pause at the site, and this can unlock further activities to be held. Iterations 7.1 could be part of the underside of the existing train bridge, creating more interesting form instead of the common and boring piers and beams.


Iterations 7.1, 5.4, and 9.5 can be benches scattered around the site. Perhaps of varying scale. Benches can encourage people to stop and gather in the site. If these iterations are at the scale of a building, it could create sheltered spaces as well. It can be placed in the river, not obstructing the flow of the river as it is made out of sectioned panels.





Iteration 9.5 Material: Screenboard Fabrication method: Laser cut and glued



1. Sectioning pieces are nested in Rhinoceros and the file is sent to the laser cutter. The laser cutter is able to cut the shapes with high precision and specifics. 2. Cut pieces are popped out and arranged according to sequence. 3. The pieces are glued together.

Problem: exact position and rotation of the next piece when glueing. Domino effect when error. Need focus and constantly refer 3D model. However, I was able to create a slight variation of the digital model and unlocks different potential to the design. Potential: Holes in the middle of the section piece was cut due to nesting error. However, this reminded me that internal spaces can be created with hole cut in each of the multiple section pieces. Also it reduces the overall weight. If this is the scale of a building, it could be possible to be suspended from the two bridges. With slight variation from imperfection of assembly, it gives form that resembles a canopy of a pavilion. CRITERIA DESIGN


The Art of Deception




Week 8

We chose the Little Kingfisher as our source of idea. It is a relatively small bird, around 12cm. It has higher chance of being preyed by other animals. It has white spot before the eyes which is larger of size than the eyes. Predators might mistake the white spot as its eyes, therefore its overall size, making it seem larger than it actually is. Its habitat and feeding ground is near water bodies. Its white breast and belly blends with the bright sky, and with darting flight pattern, it is hard for underwater preys and predators to detect the little kingfisher above the water surface. In a way, it deceives the prey and predators underwater in order to survive. We extracted the idea of deception. We experimented Paneling Tools plugin in Grasshopper and went on with anything that happens to come up. We were able to relate to the idea of deception and hence went on rendering material into it and placing into site.

The design has an organic shape in general but is actually made out of flat panels. It looks like it is made out of marble, but it is actually made with lighter materials. It gives a heavy feeling for something that is hanging from the two bridges using cables, deceiving people that such a heavy stone structure with organic shape is actually suspended above the river. The perforations have smaller openings on the outer surface and larger openings on the inner surface, giving a different perception and lighting effect. The interior surface is undulating and perforated. People can enter it by sliding down the cables from the bridge. Inside, the holes can be filled with beanbags for seatings, or left open for activities like rock climbing. The holes can also be capped with glass and people can skateboard in there.



Top view

Section 60



terior Perspective

FURTHER THINKING The feedback received was to create an optical illusion on a flat floor for the internal space. Instead of actually having undulation and perforated floor, the visual effect and illusion can be created by using patterns or tilings on the ground to deceive the people in there. I find this feedback makes the design enhance the idea of deception. Also, having a flat floor can allow a wider range of activity to occur inside. Another feedback that was given was that the underside of the structure reflects the river below. Surfaces could replicate visually of what is behind. This way it would have different effects throughout the surface of the structure, deceiving viewers about the true scale of the structure. I found this feedback enhances the idea of deception as well.







Our site is by Merri Creek at Clifton Hill, Melbourne. It is bordered by two intersecting train lines along the southeast and southwest, Queens Parade along northwest and Creek Parade up to the northeast.

I believe in order to activate or make full use of the site, we can either respond to the environmental conditions or address the lack of encouragement for gatherings in the site. Further developing Week 8â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s algorithmic task and applying my research field, I thought of multiple potentials that the design could have, and how it can address the weakness and strengths of the site.

I visited the site and noticed that it is very tranquil and peaceful. It is mainly used as a thoroughfare by pedestrains and cyclists along the Merri Creek Trail. Rarely people gather or hang out at the site. There is a lack of seatings or proper area where people can hang out. I also noticed some plastic bottles and trash in the river. The site is also very windy and receives plenty of sun. I noticed signages which indicates that the river sometimes floods.




B7 LEARNING OUTCOMES PROJECT I learnt that I should be careful not to get too attached on a project that is building up to something potentially great. I should be aware and be open of other projects that are going concurrently. I was actually looking forward to my design proposal, building up from my PartB self exploration of Grasshopper and research of my field, the sectioning. After spending much effort and thought, I was told that we are not following the brief entirely and by PartC of the journal, we are developing the sketchbook task instead of the PartB research and iterations. This made me feel like my effort is wasted and perhaps we should not do things with all of our heart because it might not happen at all and gets cancelled halfway through. On the other hand, this could be a very real world lesson in an architecture firm I assume. During an ongoing project, the client might suddenly file bankcruptcy and the project would be abandoned halfway through. I think I still would put full heart into working the projects because it can sharpen my skills in the architecture design process, skills in handling crisis and having a backup plan. Take risks. Throw myself into the ditch so that I can survive in the harshest conditions in the real world. I want more of this kind of experience so that I can get practice and get use to this sudden shutdown of an ongoing project and still able to come up with a good alternate design.



I learnt a new method of design process: having a whole bunch of sketch designs, shortlisting and selecting which design that has highest potential and would be able to suit the brief given, then further developing it. This method accelerates design creation process, especially creating sketch models through digital 3D scripts and softwares like Grasshopper plugin for Rhinoceros. These digital methods allow us to change parameters and variables that determines the sketch models, and the result can be visualised rather instantly. Comparing to building multiple physical sketch models from scratch and placing them all on a large table or floor, Grasshopper allows us to create thousands of them without expense of material cost, physical space and time needed to process the material. A different set of technical skills are needed to have Grasshopper create sketch models as compared to physical model making. I also managed to get the basics of Grasshopper in terms of my technical skills. I also know what kind of variations in parameters and components that creates interesting and different designs. Moreover, it works hand in hand with digital fabrication techniques. As the laser cutter requires Rhinoceros file to create highly precise cut shapes, Grasshopper plugin in Rhinoceros also made the nesting process way more convenient.

ALGORITHMIC SKETCHBOOK Our design process was exploring in Grasshopper, selecting any design form that has potential to meet the brief given and add little improvements in order to justify the potential uses. We then present its relation and how it answers the given brief, and its potential uses. This weekly task where a different brief is given each week sharpens my skills in finding the qualities of an idea source and translating that into architecture. Also, it helps me in discovering the potential uses and aspects of the design forms created by Grasshopper. I realised we are actually pushing the frontiers of design process. By the time I am in the working force in future, using Grasshopper in design process could be quite common. This could devalue our role as architects as creating an exciting looking building comes from technical parameters instead of directly from the idea source itself.


1. “Architecture 101: What Is A Section?”, Architizer, 2016 <> [accessed 19 August 2017]. 2. “Decoi Architects » One Main”, Decoi-Architects.Org, 2016 <> [accessed 19 August 2017]. 3. “Exhibitions Michael Gromm Any Malls”, Flinders Lane Gallery Flg.Com.Au < contemporary> [accessed 12 September 2017]. 4. “West Side Story Film Locations - On The Set Of New York.Com”, Onthesetofnewyork.Com <http://> [accessed 12 September 2017]

Crediting my groupmates Nathaniel Foo and Jason Qian for working together for the weekly algorithmic sketchbook designs.





E m b r a c i n g unexpectedness from cluelessness, in search of potentials





RESTARTING AFTER EXTRACTING IDEAS FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT Sticking to the idea of deception extracted from the little kingfisher, we further developed and explored what features that defines or strengthens the idea of deception. The feedback received for the week 8 design was basically to create optical illusions in order to deceive the users. We thought that illusion is a very strong method to anchor the idea of deception. We also started to take into account the site characteristics and incorporate it into our design. Among them, we decided to focus on the lack of reason for people to come and hang out at the site. We wanted to create something so that people can have a reason to come to site and hang out, and not just using the site just as a thoroughfare. From this, we extracted ideas of: i) ii) iii)

dynamic general form made from flat panels penetrations of views dramatic (from the suspended heavy weight)



Week 9 Maintaining the idea of deception and ideas extracted from week 8, we used the method of optical illusion. Using the same design process throughout the semester, we explored Grasshopper scripts and components and chose a form that it generated. We noticed the bowl-like shape for the top part and a canopy-like bottom half. These two parts are actually one single form but looks like sepereated due to the forest of straight pipes that run in between them. This gives optical illusion. We thought that the bowl above could be used to store water, so we thought “why not make it a swimming pool on it? That should give people reason to come to the site and interact.” We also decided to make the whole thing made of glass or other transparent materials to create an illusion that there is a floating body of water overhead. FEEDBACK FROM WEEKLY PRESENTATION 1. It looks like a whale’s tail, when it flips up after surfacing to breath air, along with the water tension between its tail and the sea water surface. It is interesting for someone else to realise something about our design that we did not expect or notice. 2. Does not see much relation with the site. We should source ideas of forms from the site itself, not only addressing the problem but also relating to what is on the site now. IDEAS EXTRACTED i) dynamic form ii) transparency (further development from idea of penetration of views) iii) dramatic form of illusion (from the heavy weight above that seems dislodged from the bottom half)

PHOTOREALISM VS VECTOR LINE DRAWINGS With photo montage rendering, it gives us an idea of what it could look like when it was built on site. However, our tutor Julius had a different objective in mind. Our design process for this week was creating a form through Grasshopper, seeing what the form could potentially be and what it look like it could do, and settled with that. We then did renderings to secure the potential uses that we had in mind. This in turn limited other potential designs and uses that could have been noticed by other people. This was why Julius liked our vector drawings of our plan more than the rendering. Vector drawings are open to more potential uses, and even different depth and views of the form, as compared to renderings. It allows further development, different interpretations and speculations in which more fantastic ideas can be brought out. 70







Week 10 So we decided to print out multiple vector linework drawings and colour them in. Much like the Grasshopper linework iterations made in Part B, the same idea is used. Having different vector linework laid out and selecting the ones which has high potential for further development. With linework drawings, we have no perception of the depth, shape, transparency and even the view angle of the form. This allows us to determine and customise each part individually as it is more open to different interpretations and potentials. DESIGN PROCESS We extracted curves from the existing path on the site. Using the curves, it is used as reference curves in Grasshopper. We then explored around different components of Grasshopper and settled with this form. We then printed 3 sets of 6 different views of the form and coloured the linework drawings using different medium and styles. Each of us took a set of 6 linework drawings and coloured them in individually to be open to different interpretation and allow more fantastic speculation to arise. Nathanielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drawing

DISCOVERY FROM DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION I made a mistake and instead of colouring between the horizontal lines, I went down perpendicularly. However this allowed me to see that some lines can be the foreground that determines the transparent surface, while the plane that I am colouring is the interior wall, creating an enclosure. This also made me see the form made up of cuboids, even though it is an illusion made by distorted forms made by Grasshopper. While I interpreted the form as cubic volumes, Nathaniel interpreted on the frames and surfaces. He extracted the lines that formed flat square surfaces and with human touch, it made the surfaces seem warpped. This gave it a more dynamic feel along with the general composition of the form. We decided to combine and apply the three different interpretation and further develop it. i) ii) iii) 72

Transparency with a play of depth, about what is behind, what is in front. Dynamic from generally flat panels. Surface and space PROJECT PROPOSAL

My drawing

3 out of 6 types of vector linework drawings of the same form, but from different view angles

The different colouring medium, styles and interpretations of the same set of drawings by 3 different individuals.



C2 TECHTONIC ELEMENTS & PROTOTYPES Week 11 Here onwards, we were not exactly sure how to further progress. We thought why not use a different approach, since we are open to different methods to extract ideas and forms. Throughout this semester we had been extracting and developing ideas from different sources, from artworks to music to birds, so why not using a physical model this time to progress and develop our idea of deception? CONTEXT TO START OFF As a class we already made a Rhinoceros digital model of our site. We decided to fabricate it so that we can build a model on it, to see which part of the site that would fit our idea best, to see what can we extract and take advantage of the site conditions. TRANSPARENCY MODEL ITSELF















From our colourings in week 10, we decided to lasercut around 500 square pieces of clear perspex, each 3cm x 3cm. This would allow mistakes and exploration as we wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be restricted by fear of not having enough to make a proper model. We also lasercut around 300 mirror perspex of the same shape and dimensions because it was a new material that we have not worked before and wanted to try using it to create a different effect.


Assembly of site model: lasercut MDF boards

PROTOTYPE AS EXPLORATION TOOL Using hot glue guns, we glued the flat square panels together and try different compositions and place them on the site model. We were basically applying the same design process as what we did with Grasshopper. We tried different methods and see what comes out, then see what things that we can extract and further develop.



DISCOVERY We glued some panels according to the topography of our site. We noticed that from certain point of view, the model is barely visible. We decided to go on with this idea of transparency, like the thing is there but it seems like nothing is there. We continued extending the structure along the riverbank because it sits rather comfortably on the contours. Through this we realised that we can also incorporate the dynamic feel by having the panels glued in a jagged arrangement. A deception where the structure seems to be fragmenting apart but it is actually secure and static. We initially placed a mirror to cover the structural part behind which extends perpendicularly along the river. This in turn lead to another discovery. The piece of mirror reflects what was opposite, so from a certain angle, we could not tell the mirror was actually there as both sides of the river have similar views. This enforces our idea of deception in terms of the confusion of what is behind and what is in front. Imagine when someone walks by, from the opposite bank, that person might seem to disappear and reappear again. This itself also creates illusion. On the real site, both side of the river banks has green shrubs and trees. As we contiunue building it, we realise that due to the strength of the hot glue, panels can be joined at an angle. This lead us to create an organic general form like a barrel, which consists of flat panels. This should address the problem on the site where there is a lack of shelther. We slowly built it up and also attached one of our models made during the exploration phase to the end of the model to give the fragmentation feel to it.



Curving up Mirror








We presented this piece for our weekly presentation. The feedback received was that we should go back to Grasshopper and let the digital medium provide the unexpected iterations and explorations. However, what I think is that this physical prototype gives us an idea on how things would go together and it is a different way in exploration of ideas, that we do not necessary have to use digital means to give us variations.


Barrel vault shelther sourced from site topography with large interior space


Confusion of what is behind and in front


Transparency and reflection

Nevertheless we took that advice and went onto Grasshopper because it is easier to create variations of designs that we humans could not even build physically. This prototype served as a stepping stone for us.


iv) Dynamic Organic general form created by flat panels



Week 12 REVERSE ENGINEERING We first create a rough digital model of our prototype using Grasshopper. We had two different variations of models that was created through Grasshopper based on our prototype. We decided to apply the same design method as week 10 as that allowed us to discover something that we would not expect, to be open to different interpretations and potential uses. 3 different views are taken for each model. Each of us got 6 vector linework drawings and we coloured them in individually, keeping in mind about the ideas we extracted from our prototype. We were also not worried about making mistakes as this could lead to something new and unexpected. We would just further develop and make do whatever that comes up.





COLOURING ITERATIONS In a way, this could be seen like the iterations that has been done on Grasshopper in Part B. Having mulitple variations allows different potentials and speculations.

Nathaniel Foo



De Lester Wong



Jason Qian



SELECTION AND SPECULATIONS We shortlisted and chose 3, one from each person. I did this view from the railway bridge. There seems like tensioned canopy on the top. This could provide an open space above the site. The glass roof can also serve as a platform above the site, where people still can interact despite occasional floods that happen there. With the fin-looking shapes that faces the river, objects that float can be secured in there, and even boats where people can use or play during the flood. They provide space partitions which can be further covered up for an aquarium or even a greenhouse. The square holes behind could be chimney for barbeque or for rainwater storage and collection. With the whole thing made out of transparent panels, it gives an illusion of something seems undefined on the site.

Nathaniel’s colouring here truely shows the transparency of the design, which even suggests the reflection of the river on the underside. This in a way can deceive the users inside, where they could see the river image overhead, and see birds that flies overhead. It also seems like a cage-like structure overhead but some are infilled with transparent panels. The possible uses could be an auditorium, with the large shelter and the domelike shape.

Jason’s colouring here sees the general form and in terms of the dramatic contrast. It also suggest the feel of it, where a cooler form of ‘iceberg’ in the centre provides relief in the hot, scorching surroundings. It actually makes people want to go towards the design form. This potrays the feel of having a structure that attracts people to the site and makes people want to hang out there.




We figured out a way to secure the square panels properly without the ugly glue marks everywhere. This way, the dynamic and organic general form can be more controlled in a way that it is not a mess. A system of bracketing around the square panels and slotting system secures the panels in place. All pieces are lasercut clear perspex to maintain the idea of transparency.



At first we tried drilling holes in them, and then tie them together using strings or thread to maintain the idea of deception, with no apparent structural form that holds the panels together. It cracked. The holes created was not aesthetically pleasing as well. After this we just decided to have frames or bracketing system to hold the panels up.

We decided to lasercut the framing and bracketing components in clear perspex. Each components are connected through slots cut in them.

A part of the assembled piece fell on the floor and it took us quite some time to find it because it is so transparent. The concept of deception is strong.





The purpose of this final model was to explore and start thinking about how these square flat transparent panels are connected to each other.







Interesting shadow effects created from different light angles. During the night, lights can shine from within or towards the structure that gives a shadow on the shrubs and trees, which would attract people to interact on the site even at night

The bracketing system can also be varied at different orientations and angles to create a more dynamic form.



The spinal arch that determines the panelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; arrangement can be varied in shape, not just being circular. This individual component can also be treated as a single section. If multiple and gradual variations of them are placed side by side, it can create a rather smooth organic general form.

DISCOVERY IN DESIGN We discovered the further possibilities after we assembled. These designs are totally achievable through lasercutting as it allows specific shapes to be cut with precision. Even when a final model is being assembled, we constantly found better ways to improve our design and make it more attractive. After all, we want to attract people to our site and in turn they would actually have a reason to go to the site and hang out. This transparent looking thing which reflects light from certain view angles, deceiving what is behind and in front and a rather dynamic form would sure invoke curiousity, enough to attract people to the site.



C4 LEARNING OUTCOMES THE FINAL OUTCOME WAS NEVER OUR STUDIOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MAIN FOCUS It was what we learn from it. The skills we acquire and sharpen in order to achieve certain goals. If we focus too much on the end outcome, we would be so blind in just trying to complete it and not realise what true lessons that have been learnt or exposed to. IT WAS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES To be open to speculations. So that we can choose the best of the best after having every single possibility laid out in front of us. If we settled with a final form or idea too early, and did all the proper renderings and models and etc., we could have missed out what was even better because the way we view that design is already fixed, blocking all other possibilities. IT WAS ABOUT BEING FEARLESS IN CREATING WITHOUT FORECAST Even though not sure what we might get at the end, there is an equal chance that we could either:

1. Create something terrible

2. Create something amazing and unexpected

Either way, when we present them, other people can see other potentials that we might have missed, and aid us further develop it, even from the terrible design. TO HAVE AN INVENTORY OF WHAT WE LEARNED AND APPLY THEM IN THE NEXT PROJECT WHEN NECESSARY With all the weekly algorithmic sketchbook done, we have an inventory of ideas, despite not fully developed. This in turn speeds up the design process for the final project, keeping record of each of the potentials. We would know which design or idea to extract and further develop easier. Basically the same design process as having a whole lot of Grasshopper iterations.



Doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter if it is incomplete or imperfect, because this allows further learning and improvement, and able to sharpen oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skills, like the layout of this page. Now, multiple logics about the layout, possiblities and improvements are running through the mind of the readers of this page. This is the point.



Nathaniel Foo JingHeng “Jason” Qian Without them, wonderful ideas would be bypassed, process won’t be as fruitful and the project would take forever to progress. AND OF COURSE MY TUTOR

Julius Egan For the opportunity to go crazy with disregard of buildability and cost and common sense, for the sake of idea extraction, lessons learnt during process, sharpening soft skills in presentation and most of all, bringing fun into architecture. To be daring enough to challenge the norm.

AND THANK YOU Alison Fong for the CD for submission and camera for photography, and my wonderful classmates whom hesitate not to provide feedback that aided our progress and improvements.

Studio AIR Journal  

De Lester Wong 796461 Sem2 2017 University of Melbourne

Studio AIR Journal  

De Lester Wong 796461 Sem2 2017 University of Melbourne