ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO AIR Yun Yun Ling (512032)
“Architecture needs to be thought of less as a set of special material products and rather more as range of social and professional practices that sometimes, but by no means always, lead to buildings.” -Richard Williams, Architecture and Visual Culture
INTRODUCTION Yun Yun Ling (512032) Studio 1(2)
My name is Yun Yun and I am currently in my third year of the Bachelor of Environments (Architecture) degree. I am 20 years old and originally from Kuching, Malaysia. To be honest, digital design in architecture has never been a favourite of mine. I prefer the simplicity and clarity of a design rather than the complex patterns digital technology seems to produce. However, I am open to new ideas and canâ€™t wait to see what this subject has in store.
My first encounter with digital design theory and tools was through the BodySpace project in the subject, Virtual Environments, which I took during my first year. We were required to use Rhino and the panelling tools plug- in as a tool to produce 3d models of our design. The final model was then sent to the fabrication lab to produce our wearable model.
Since then, I have utilized Rhino in of my design studio subjects. Ho ever, I have only used it in the e stages of my design work whe run out of ideas and when I wan send my site plans to the fabricat lab. I still find it quite a challenge transfer my ideas to the compu Besides Rhino, I use AutoCAD drafting and also attempted rend ing with 3ds Max.
n all owearly en I nt to tion e to uter. for der-
There is a growing trend in the
field of architecture where the aim of the architect is to build an ‘’iconic ‘’ building. A building that will supposedly benefit tourism and bring fame to the city it is located in. However, do these sort of buildings have the right intentions or is this trend getting out of control? Iconic architecture is at risk of looking self centred and alienated from the city’s fabric as it tries to stand out and prove a point. Sometimes, we think that designing an ‘’iconic’’ building is tough and only architects with great skills are capable of designing such buildings. However, it is actually the opposite as these buildings usually only deal with one issue, which is, ‘’how to make the building stand out of the crowd of other structures?’’ On the other hand, other issues like space, lighting, urban coherence and etc will be secondary and usually neglected.
Le Cobusier’s famously remarked that “a house is a machine for living in”. This reduces buildings and spaces to something cold and mechanical for human habitation1. It may sound absurd but it is quite true in some literal sense. However, no one would want to think that they are living in an emotionless space. Because of this, we need to rediscover the important aspects of architecture and what we could do to improve it One way we could bring back the goodness of architecture is by going back to basics and to think of the end users of the buildings. Ultimately, bringing back the connection to humans. .
Christopher Hume, Architecture as argument for creating better world, (The Star, 2009) <http://www.thestar.com/life/ homes/2009/01/23/architecture_as_argument_for_creating_better_world.html> [accessed 15 March 2013] 1
An example of a building that (I feel) does not connect to its users is the EMP in Seattle which was designed by Frank Gehry. Many locals have pointed out that the structure resembles crushed tin cans. With that, it has already failed to connect to the users and passer-bys, aesthetically. The building fails to aid the exhibits and instead creates a bad environment for people to be in with its huge proportion and lack of lighting. (Do not take this as insult to Gehry) Some may argue that it is impossible as architects are usually hired by a corporate body who does not necessarily care about the users when money and fame are involved. However, there have been good examples where a building is able to connect to its users emotionally and physically
This project emerged from the inside out, and the place
Kolumba Museum, Cologne, Germany by Peter Zumthor
such example is Peter Zumthor’s Kolumba Museum. The museum houses a collection of religious art on the site of the ruins of St Kolumba. The choice of organic material and warm colours on its exterior is part of the reason why it is able to join seamlessly with the ruins and the urban context. However, it is in the interior that we can experience Zumthor’s vision. He brilliantly uses light to capture the user’s emotion and creates a sense of serenity in the building. Visitor’s are also able to manoeuvre around the ruins as part of the museum’s exhibits. Zumthor adds that he was fully aware of the ‘Bilbao effect’ and designed the Kolomba Museum in counter to it.
“We’ve become used to museums as a marketing strategy for cities where art plays a secondary role,” he commented. “Authorities are interested in architects who create sensational shapes that will attract people for one or two or maybe five or seven years.” “This place is the opposite,” said the Zumthor of the Kolumba. “Here, people still believe in the art as more than just a good investment. They believe in the inner values of art, its ability to make us think and feel, its spiritual values. This project emerged from the inside out, and from the place.”2
Debra Motif, Kolumba Art Museum, (Architecture Week, 2009) <http://www.architectureweek.com/2009/0218/design_4-2.html> [accessed 16 March 2013] 2
By incorporating all these social factors (spiritual, values, emotions etc) into his designs, Zumthor has successfully managed to increase the number of visitors to the museum. This building is solid proof that a ‘’unique’’sensational shape or use of advanced technological materials in a building need not necessary bring fame or benefit a city. The Kolomba museum can be said to be timeless but not necessarily looking back. By visually connecting to its surroundings and its users, the museum has managed to contribute to a broader sense of place. It does not confuse users nor does it intimidate them. It welcomes them to its well-thought spaces and creates the best atmosphere it can for users to appreciate the artworks.
Leca Swimming Pools, Oporto, Portugal
by Alvaro Siza
half a century later, Alvaro Sizaâ€™s Leca Swimming Pools is still internationally recognized and admired for its beauty and seamless integration with the sea. The pools were designed for the working class of Oporto, Portugal. Siza disconnects the city and the pools by sinking the main building into the ground. This disconnection is important for users to truly experience the pools and surroundings as the it becomes a barrier in between the busy city and the pools. There is also a magnificent sensory experience as users slowly make their way to the pools. With no views of the ocean yet, users are led through a passage where they are able to hear the sound of the crashing waves of the ocean while the roadway becomes less audible. This is a fantastic lead up to the spectacular view of the pools and ocean that is to come in conjuction with the subtle play of senses he has created.
It is important to note that the ocean is dirty and polluted as it is used as a shipping lane. Hence, the pools were really designed to take advantage of the beautiful scenes without having to actually be immerse in the ocean. We are engulfed by mass globalization and the effects it has on almost every aspect of the world, including architecture. The Leca Swimming Pools prove to defy problems from the result of globalization and has stood the test of time in terms on aesthetics and durability. It is a building that has a strong connection to its site, culture, context and most importantly, its end users.
Computers today are used as an agent and tool for most designers. Computers are also known to have contributed in the ‘’Bilbao effect’’ when Frank Gehry utilized it to create the Guggenheim. Since then, computers have been used im almost every aspect of an architectural design process from concept sketches to creating building forms.
However, some debate that these tec
hnologies take away the cre ative element from designers and insists that ma chines would take over the designers role. Th is is not the case as there are many benefits of using computers in the architectural desig n process and it will never take over a desig nerâ€™s creativity. As computers require the know ledge, expertise and most importantly, the creativity of its user to churn out problem solvin g designs.
Computers are able to enha nce this creativity and its methods and techniques are able to help in ad dressing site, complex building progra mme and related architectural issues. In this chapter, I would like to focus more on the different side of computational design that is more unfamiliar instead of the futuristic blo bs many of us are so accustomed to in this technological age.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain by Antonio Gaudi
The use of computers in heritage architectural restoration projects.
People often relate computational designs to be
outrageous but non-ornamental because most computational designs that we are so used to (example: works by Zaha Hadid) have unique and crazy forms but are often just clad in steel and other systems so that it would appear to look futuristic and modern. In the following example, we can see how computers really play an integral role in solving design problems.
‘’By adapting a computer-aided design technique known as parametric design to create designs that are consistent with all of the available historical information on the church, new insights are gained into Gaudi’s own generative system. The results from these investigations are used to specify how the Church is actually being completed, thus making the church itself a statement of Gaudi’s design intent”3
The Sagrada Famila began construction in 1882 and is famously known as the greatest work of Antonio Gaudi. Unfortunately, the church is still under construction for more than a century now as Gaudi’s brilliant mind has been hard to decode. However, there has been a breakthrough with the use of the computer. Research teams have been investigating the church thoroughly through parametric design.
Sagrada Familia, (SIAL RMIT, 2006) <http://www.sial.rmit.edu.au/Projects/Sagrada_ Familia.php> [accessed 22 March 2013] 3
ICD/TKE Research Pavilion 2010, Stuttgart by Stuttgart University
Material-oriented computational design in architecture
The computer does have some limits. People often argue that the virtual world and the real world cannot be merged as there are so many factors in the real world that cannot be easily programmed into the computer. One such factor is the way certain materials react to environmental and external conditions.
This research pavilion is important as it signifies a new technique where the computational generation of form is influenced by the substantial behavior and material feature it possess. This is an incredible feat as material manipulation can be accurately calculated in the virtual world before construction commences. This saves much time and materials which are usually used on countless experimentation processes.
â€œAny material construct can be considered as resulting from a system of internal and external pressures and constraints. Its physical form is determined by these pressures. However, in architecture, digital design processes are rarely able to reflect these intricate relations. Whereas in the physical world material form is always inseparably connected to external forceâ€™â€™4
Achim Menges, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, (Stuttgart University, 2010) <http://www.achimmenges.net/?p=4443> [accessed 21 March 2013] 4
PARAMETRIC MODELLING G
oogle â€œparametric architectureâ€™â€™ and a wide collection of the same looking images pop up. All these images have a lot in common. They all appear to be cool, funky and organic metal-like structures. Being an architecture student who has some knowledge about parametric design, I wondered if parametric design has been reduced to shiny,.
unbuidable-looking structures that looks cool to the public who are unfamiliar with parametric design. As stated in the previous chapter, parametric design has helped in solving design related problems but many people are still clueless about that. In this chapter, I would like to break the stereotype of the image one has of the typical parametrical building. Parametric design can also be found in many other simpler buildings . By using these examples, I would like to ensure others that parametric design in architecture is not always large scale and intimidating. Thus, providing a connection between the users and the building.
Image Source: http://strictlypaper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/michael-hansmeyer-complex-cardboard-columns-throughcomputational-architecture7.jpeg
Ornamental Columns by Michael Hansmeyer
design offers new ways of controlling form and is being used by many architects to add a ‘’wow’’ factor into their buildings. ‘However, a number of experiential qualities (symbolic and phemenological) http://cargocollective.com/danielkbrown/Sensory-ParametricArchitecture has been lost due to this shift to parametricsm. We need to change our perception on parametric design that it is also able to create intricate and detailed designs. Michael Hansmeyer’s columns have proved to be a good example.5 Hansmeyer has managed to create a new language of orders that expresses today’s modern age and culture. He shows a modern way of thinking by reinventing the classical column that we all know into something beautiful and worthy of today. What’s wonderful about this project is the combination of old and modern. I like that Hansmeyer has ignored the notion that avant-garde architecture has to be non-ornamental and fluid (in terms of parametric design). The extremely detailed column has 6 million faces and is only possible by using parametric technology. The combination of complexity and delicateness resembles works by Gaudi too.
Michael Hansmeyer, Ornamental Columns, <http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/columns. html?screenSize=1&color=1> [accessed 21 March 2013] 5
AU Office and Exhibition Space, Shanghai by AU Architects Inc
The use of parametric tools in architecture has surely benefited the design and construction process. However, I am worried that it might be abused. Parametric designs often leave users intrigued and mystified. This results in a ‘barrier between humans and the building. Parametric structures do attract people by its free form and interesting geometries but it stops there. I feel that it is dangerously close to becoming a ‘’one hit wonder’’ where designers are trying too hard to create the next best thing which then results in irrelevancy in the design or structure through parametrics. The use of parametric design in surface treatment has resulted in many creative and unique facades.
One good example is the AU Office and Exhibition Space by Archi Union Architects Inc. The main facade for this office is made out of hollow bricks. Through the use of parametric technology, they have managed to create curved walls that echo the “contours and definition of silk undulating in the wind’’. We normally associate concrete as a rough, rigid and dull material. However, once paired up with parametric technology, can create a beautiful expression and even appear delicate. The walls create a new experience for users as light diffuses through it and is also different than the typical office typology.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Achim Menges, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, (Stuttgart University, 2010) <http://www.achimmenges.net/?p=4443> [accessed 21 March 2013]
Christopher Hume, Architecture as argument for creating better world, (The Star, 2009) <http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2009/01/23/architecture_as_argument_for_creating_ better_world.html> [accessed 15 March 2013] Debra Moffit, Kolumba Art Museum, (Architecture Week, 2009) <http://www.architectureweek. com/2009/0218/design_4-2.html> [accessed 16 March 2013] Michael Hansmeyer, Ornamental Columns, <http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/columns. html?screenSize=1&color=1> [accessed 21 March 2013] Sagrada Familia, (SIAL RMIT, 2006) <http://www.sial.rmit.edu.au/Projects/Sagrada_Familia.php> [accessed 22 March 2013]
PART B expression of interest ii DESIGN APPROACH
And if you think of Brick, for instance, and you say to Brick, ‘what do you want Brick?’ And Brick says to you ‘I like an Arch.’ and if you say to Brick ‘Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that?’ ‘Brick says:’...I like an Arch.’ Louis Kahn’s conversation with a brick
our Our teamâ€™s field of interest is MATERIAL PERFORMANCE.
In the beginning, we did not set any constraints and just went crazy with ideas. As our main focus was to create a responsive piece of artwork, we researched more into responsive architecture and installations. Our research brought us to works like the musical road in California, where a tune would be played as a car drives past a section of the road. However, we were so engrossed in architecture/art that was literally able to move around, play a song or even do something cool that we forgot that responsive art/architecture could also include passive responsiveness. With that in mind, we decided to use the theme of CHANGING PERCEPTIONS as our inspiration in relation to our material performance design approach.
SEEING THE BIG PICTURE
Material performance is a good approach for the Wyndham City Gateway project as there has been a huge increase in designers using this approach in their designs. Designers are starting to understand the importance of knowing and researching more about a particular material before diving straight into the drawing board. By using the approach of material performance in this gateway project, we may also be able to add into this popular discourse, generating more publicity for the artwork and the city too. I used to think that Louis Kahn was crazy when he used analogies like his conversations with a brick. However, as I ponder, one can never truly design something without knowing its true properties.
Because of this, we have decided to use timber as our material of interest. We would like to change perceptions of Wyndham and timber. Instead of just being known for its waste management or just another suburb in Melbourne, we want people to understand that Wyndham is also an advocate of the arts, with a vibrant arts and culture community. In addition, we would also like everyone to understand more about timber. We feel that timber is a really underrated material. People usually only associate it to rustic cabins or timber cladding on walls and floors. We also chose timber as we thought that it would be the most practical material in terms of scale and cost. Just knowing its properties isnâ€™t enough in this case. Material behavior can be used to our advantage by incorporating it into parametric software which can then influence the design outcome.
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS PRECEDENTS
Image sourced from: http://02mydafsoup-01.soup.io/since/12362421?newer=1
Frei Otto and Shigeru Ban, Japan Pavilion EXPO 2000 This structure is made almost entirely out of paper. This project is good as it shows the surprising properties of paper and is also environmentally friendly. Paper used at such a large scale is really amazing and unheard of at the time. Paper tubes were used to create the structural grid which held up the paper membrane6. Otto Frei is famously known for creating structures that are light but have extreme strength. We normally think of paper as a weak and fragile material but through this project, we understand that it can do a lot more with it. Besides this, the structure resembles a gridshell and its form is obtained parametrically. The combination of technology and traditional materials make this a good precedent to start off with. 6- http://www.designboom.com/history/ban_expo.html
IWAMOTOSCOTT- Voussoir Cloud We normally don’t associate timber with compressive properties. However, IwamotoScott’s Voussoir Cloud has managed to do just that. The design is structurally sound due to the comoressive force exerted by the timber vaults that depend on one another. Now who would have thought that a lightweight timber material could substitute stone or bricks by creating vaults and arches? I know it cannot entirely replace these solid materials but it is one huge step in understanding the many things timber can do. Timber is also normally seen as a flat material. Through this project, we see that timber can also be a ‘’fluffy’’ material. The way the structure seems to puff up when users walk underneath provides a wonderful spatial experience. 7- http://www.triangulationblog.com/2011/06/voussoir-cloud.html
ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010
“The starting point of our deliberations was one of the properties of plywood, the potential of which has not been exploited for structural purposes up until now,” Manuel Vollrath8
Plywood was chosen in this research pavilion because of its bending behavior and the usability to allowing the structure to be selfsupporting, with great control over specific angles on how plywood can be bent. It all started with the idea of researching the material and seeing where the material could take them. By physically researching and experimenting, they were able to input their physical data into parametric softwares9.
This got me thinking about the various first steps of a design process. Some people sketch out their designs, some mould or play around with a material till something interesting forms and some even use computational/parametric tools to generate a design. Through this project, we could add ‘’researching about material properties’’ into the list of the first steps of a design process.
The team in University of Stuttgart made a wonderful pavilion that enables one to think more and to reflect more about it. The fact that they were able to take advantage of the properties of plywood and still prioritize aesthetic value makes it even more valuable. It would really be a shame if we knew all these technical stuff but didnâ€™t utilize it to create something beautiful. The combination of good design and function is clearly exhibited in this precedent.
I guess what really convinced me that this was a good precedent was the fact that it was able to change my views on plywood. To me, I never really understood the potential plywood had. I did not even know it was possible to bend it without breaking it.
Image sourced from:http://www.digitalcrafting.dk/?cat=23
CASE STUDY 1.0
IwamotoScottâ€™s Voussair Cloud MATRIX EXPLORATION 1 A
ht of columns
Notes: Rows 1-6: Top view Rows 7-12: Perspective view A- Change in unary force B- Change in radius C- Change in size of column D- Change in height of column E- Surface treatment F- No of points G- Application of attractor points
In this matrix, I would like to highlight 4 changes that have caught my attention. These changes are: • The applied unary force • Surface treatment of the structure • Application of point attractors -4.08 • Number of points applied
Unary force of 195 had been applied
Firstly, the change of unary force on the structure creates a more inflatable top as the force exerted on it increases. I really like this effect as it gives the structure a playful and animated feel to it. It really is hard to document it just by using vector lines as the drawings do not show the fluidity of the structure that we are able to see from Grasshopper. With the help of the kangaroo plugin, the inflatable top is able to simulate movement. With the help of advance technology, I am sure this effect would be able to be incorporated in architecture which can result in a fun and playful building.
We also applied some point attractors onto the existing GH file. Through this method, we discovered that we were able to separate the columns in a random way. It also resulted in some clustered columns. This effect could create a path in between the structures. However, it does split the structure into two which could not be ideal in certain circumstances. Through this exercise, I find attractor points really useful in generating an interesting pattern. Attractor points are able to generate patterns that are dynamic and interesting by just moving the controlled points around. In real practice, there are many architectural facade designs that look like they have been controlled by attractor points .
The number of points also significantly affects the project. The increase of points increases the number of columns which also increases the structural integrity of the project. The increased number of columns really affects the form of the final structure. It may not be so ideal as it doesn’t give people much room to manoeuvre around. The maximum number of points we could apply was only 12 for some reason. The definition didn’t seem to work once the points increased above 12.
WB stellate/cumulation @distance of 5
WB Sierpinski Carpet
11 points had been applied
Next, we were able to generate different surface geometries onto the structure with the help of the Weaverbird plug-in. By using the plug-in, we were able to control and create complex forms on the surface of the mesh. If you notice, one of the effects even resembles Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre with its sharp pointed fins. The Sierpinski carpet effect is also able to produce a structural lattice form. This could be useful in creating structural skeletons.
WB inner polygon subdivision
We felt quite constrained as the GH file that was provided was already too complicated and we had little knowledge about it. We had a hard time trying to inflict any huge changes to the existing structure as any slight change may cause messed up lines to appear as the model tries to find its equilibrium point. However, working on this file did expose us to the other plug ins that were available (plug-in in a plugin- pluginception? hmmmmm). These tools really showed us how effective parametric design is. Through this exercise, we are able to see that parametric tools are not only able to aid the aesthetic look of architecture but also its structure.
CASE STUDY 2.0
ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 UNDERSTANDING MORE Refer to pages on second precedent for further analysis of this pavilion.
The strips of plywood is thinner at the straight parts and gets thicker at the bent parts. There is a pattern of straight-bentstraight-bent on the strips.
The strips are first laid out flat before being assembled.
Images sourced from detail-online.com
CASE STUDY 2.0
ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010 REVERSE ENGINEERING There were lots of problems when we started our reverse engineering process. We managed to create a similar effect to the original pavilion but by using a slow and tedious method. We first lofted 3 rings and divided the surface. We then exploded (BANG!) each component and manually dragged it to each single component to complete the definition. This sort of defeated the purpose of using parametric tools as it was supposed to ease the work flow rather than making it harder. However, thanks to Mikeâ€™s and Daveâ€™s help, we were able to come up with a much simpler definition after understanding more about data structures and data matching.
The rings were used to control the degree of bending in the model. In addition, we could also increase the amount of bending by increasing the number of rings. Whilst experimenting with this, it got really confusing as the number of rings started to increase. We initially treated the model as one element but it did not give us a desired result. But once we separated the model and splitted up the curves, we started getting the inner lines to curve as well. By having a better understanding and control of the model we could then start to imitate the main design element of the ICD/ITKE 2010 pavilion design.
Number of rings increase
Could not control inner curve
Through these images you can see how the rings (in magenta) affect the bending of the curve. However, because we treated the curves as a single element, we couldnâ€™t control the curve at the inner section of the model. We then thought of the idea of separating it as different elements to get the desired result. The 4 elements that resulted in this is the inner curve 1 (cull pattern: false true), inner curve 2 (cull pattern: true false), outer curve 1 (cull pattern: false true) and outer curve 2 (cull pattern: true, false)
After establishing a technique, it was just the matter of trial and error where we had to play with the number of rings and the distance between each ring to get the result we wanted.
8 Inner curve 1 (false, true) Inner curve 2 (true, false) Outer curve 1 (false, true) Outer curve 2 (true, false)
Step 1: Creating inner curve 1 Step 2: Creating inner curve 2 Step 3: Creating other forms by changing width of ring Step 4: Creating outer curve 1 Steps 5-7: Creating outer curve 2 and playing around with the rings Step 8: Final form
Vector drawings of the final reversed engineered model.
CASE STUDY 2.0
Similarities | Differences
Similarities: • The main element (weave pattern) can be seen in the reversed engineered one and the original one. • The main inner column where the curves start from is there. • Similar form. Differences: • We couldn’t get the curve to stay straight then bend. • No connectors (joints). • We did not have the same amount of strips compared to the original one. • The original structure was made as a whole single element. We separated ours to get it to look similar.
TECHNIQUE- development Material Tests Plywood
Because our design approach was material performance, it was only natural that we did more tests on the material itself before diving straight into Grasshopper. 2 different materials were tested: plywood and timber veneers. We used elastic bands to test each materialâ€™s breaking point. For plywood, we used 300mm long strips of 3mm thick plywood that were bent perpendicular to the grain and strips that were bent parallel to the grain. The number of elastic bands used and the height of the bend was measured. We found out that plywood bent parallel to the grain was much stronger. Through this material test, we were also quite surprised to find that plywood was capable of bending to such a high degree. The figures from the test were then inputted into grasshopper (thanks Dave for helping us!).
Input of our findings into grasshopper. The colour red represented the breaking point
Bending perpendicular to the grain
Bending parallel to the grain
TECHNIQUE- development Material Tests Veneer
Single Strip Veneer
Double Strip Veneer
Laminated Strip Veneer
Laminated (Pattern) Strip Veneer
Next, we started to test timber veneers. These veneers were extremely thin and fragile with a thickness of 1mm. The first test was to bend a single strip veneer. The veneer was able to bend to its maximum degree without breaking. The next test was bending double layered veneers. Obviously the double layered veneers were going to be stronger but what we found most interesting was that the veneer started to warp (may also be possibly due to the bad gluing technique). We proceeded to test out laminated veneer to see if it would change its bending pattern. True enough, the parts where it was not laminated bent more than the laminated parts, creating a nice smooth curve in the middle of the veneer strip. Finally, we tested out another strip of laminated veneer. However, this time, we created a pattern by creating jagged edges on the laminated bit. There was a slight difference in this technique as the non-laminated strip was warping a bit. This technique did cause the veneers to lose it structural integrity as it soon broke after the picture was taken. The next step was to cut openings into the veneer to see what would happen. The veneers tend to bend where the opening was. So instead of bending in the middle where it normally would, it started to bend at the area where the opening was located.
TECHNIQUEdevelopment Further explorations with veneer These tests showed us the natural properties of veneer. How the different natural forces exerted onto it were able to produce interesting curves and bends. Since we understood more about the natural properties, we wanted to know more about how we could manipulate veneer more by applying it to extreme conditions. We did this by steaming strips of veneers. I wrapped strips of veneers with damp paper towels and left them in the microwave for 30 seconds. After that, I started to wrap them around chopsticks. When I was wrapping them, I noticed that the veneer was acting like paper. Normally under those circumstances, veneer would have cracked and broke. After leaving the veneers wrapped for a couple of hours to dry, the strips were able to maintain its wavy form without any support. We also noticed that veneers were semi transparent as they are so thin. This was great as it provided a really beautiful effect when it came close to a light source. After all these tests and consultations with tutors, we decided to stick to using veneers in our design.
Wrapping the strips with damp paper towel then placing them in microwave
Wrapping the strips around chopsticks and holding them in place with elastic bands
Strips able to twist and sta bending qualities.
arting to manifest good
Semi-transparent veneer allows light to past through it. Beautiful effect.
Shape of strips stay in place without anymore support.
TECHNIQUEdevelopment Matrix explorations
In the case study 2.0 matrix, what we basically did was to play around with the rings that controlled the bending degree of the strips. I think we got too caught up with this and finally gave up when it seemed to get us no where (we were stuck on a single form- the circle). We wanted to keep it simple so we decided to further develop the simplest form we got out from the first part of the matrix. Next, we started to experiment with changing its form. The next outcome I chose to further develop was the one that was mirrored at the x-axis. The reason why was because I felt that it was simple but still had an interesting form that could be played around more. The next step was to use the strips to create a tunnel effect. We chose the form that was more interesting and different than the others. Unlike the others, the chosen outcome was asymmetrical and dynamic. Each single strip was different than the rest. It could also be a good experiential quality as users drive under it.
After this, we thought about the test we did where we cut openings into the veneer surface. I first used GH to input the openings onto the surfaces but it looked really ugly and there was no purpose to that. Since we felt that the material was supposed to inform us about the design, we cut the openings in real life and then modelled the openings onto Rhino.
TECHNIQUE- prototypes FIrst, we made a prototype by cutting strips of veneer and slotting them into foam core. Some strips were left untouched and some were laminated with various thickness of veneers. The reason we wanted to do this was to test out the natural bending movement of the strips when external force is applied to it. We came to a conclusion that the natural bending movement formed a sort of parametric wave which was quite cool to see. The model from the end result of the matrix looked simple enough to cut out so we tried to manually make our model. It proved to be a mistake as the model started to break. Our cutting skills were not as precise as a laser cutterâ€™s and therefore caused some edges to break. The fact that the veneers were so thin did not help either. We sent it to the FabLab which was actually the best decision as the model turned out to have clean and nice edges which did not break.
Some strips were laminated
Pushing the sides of the foam core to create the wave effect and to see its natural bending movement
Strips were first laid out
Slots were sliced onto the foam core
The strips were placed onto the slots of the foam core
4 Step 3 was repeated till model was completed
Assembly diagram for final prototype model
In the end, our model did not really look like the end result of the matrix as we wanted it to bend naturally. In other words, the form of the model was due to the spontaneity of the bending of strips. We did not anticipate this which was why we could not model it on grasshopper. This was a problem we faced.
TECHNIQUE PROPOSAL Through the prototype making process we figured that the structure could be cut into the ground which in a way also connects it back to nature. The sense of dynamic fluidity and continuous sense of motion one can experience as they travel under the sculpture conforms with our focus on changing perceptions. Users would start to change their mind about timber (the way it is able to bend) and how it is able to be used to create art sculpture. A simple material can go a long way if one understands how to manipulate it, in our case, we used cutting edge technology like Rhino and Grasshopper as a medium between the real and digital world. What I’m trying to say is that we are engaging 2 different parties. First, the normal, everyday users (with the introduction of extremely bent timber, it would be striking as most users wouldn’t have known that timber can be bent in such extreme way) and secondly, designers who have background on parametric software (Not many people would bother researching or checking out more on the sculpture, therefore, this group of people would be essential in “publicizing” this sculpture and also to prove that Wyndham is not only an advocate for the arts, but also how it has managed to get on with the times with the use of parametric design in the sculpture). The sculpture is meant to be dynamic and interesting. Hence, one gets a different reading of the sculpture at all different viewing angles. Through the material tests, we were also able to understand that veneers are able to change
through different conditions. This could be really beneficial as it would be able to change during different weather conditions and seasons. This would not be a static sculpture and it is able to create an on-going interest for the users through all these different effects. Realistically though, they are some drawbacks. While the model appears to be standing in the prototype model, it may not once it is at a 1:1 scale. There is also a concern that there would only be limited sizes of timber sheet. Without a single sheet of timber we would not be able to create a self supporting sculpture.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES & Outcomes
We managed to receive several good feedback during the mid-semester crit. The few issues that have been brought up are: • How would Wyndham benefit from this design? • The practicability of veneer. We need to look at a material that scales well. There are also some restrictions. We wouldn’t be able to source veneers/plywood that was 80m long. We should also look at other projects that have done material testing and see what they’ve done going from material’s testing phase to the actual design. • We need to focus on the next step to create something for Wyndham. We understood the properties of the material, now we need to utilize this information to create a design. • We stopped at the point where the real story begins and we haven;t told them yet. There are 8 fins which means there are 8 ‘stories’ we need to tell. Why do the fins bend in that way? Why are they shaped like that? A 9th ‘story’ needs to be told about how all these 8 stories come together as they do not work independently. In terms of material choice, I would still consider plywood as a good choice. Yes, there are some restrictions in terms of size but I still stick to our first argument where we want to change people’s perceptions on the material. Timber is rarely used in parametric design as compared to metal or some other material, and it also gives us a lot of control with the known properties. The group has decided to change the design. With inspiration from our case study 2.0 reverse engineering project, we decided we could always separate the final structure into different elements if there is a size restriction. By setting a restriction of say 5m to the material, we could work our way around this restriction and come up with a better design. In regards to precedents in material testing
to the final design. It really is hard to find appropriate projects as most precedents deal with smaller scale projects (eg, pavilions). For our case, we are attempting to create something huge over the freeway. However, it is also a good opportunity to contribute to this discourse with this large scale project.
Through this part B, Iâ€™ve understood more about how to utilize Grasshopper as an useful tool in designing. In this part, we used grasshopper to model our findings rather than generating designs from it. We were more focused on the material tests as we thought that it was the main part to our argument. However, in the next part, we plan to utilize and take more advantage of this software to aid in our next design. I also understood more about data structures and data matching which was great. I found myself knowing what to do when the model refused to loft itself by using the flatten/graft components. It is also essential to understand the data trees to ease the workflow. I felt stupid that I had exploded every single components (all 30 of them!) and dragging each component to the loft component. After understanding the concept, it took only a minute to get it done, compared to the 8 minutes where i had to manually drag each component. The next step will be to utilize more of the information we got to create a design.
Initial case study 2.0 definition.
Case study 2.0 final definition for each element (much simpler)
BIBLIOGRAPHY ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2010, (Stuttgart University, 2010) <http://icd.uni-stuttgart.de/?p=4458> [accessed 21 April 2013] Interview with Julian Lienhardt, (Digital Crafting, 2011) <http://www.digitalcrafting.dk/?cat=23> [accessed 22 April 2013] Japan Pavilion, EXPO 2010 (Design Boom website ) <http://www.designboom.com/history/ban_ expo.html> [accessed 20 April 2013]
Teaching by Doing: A Research Pavilion in Stuttgart, (Detail Online 2010), 2009) <
> [accessed 15 April 2013] Voussoir Cloud, (Triangulation Blog) , <http://www.triangulationblog.com/2011/06/voussoir-cloud.html> [accessed 18 April 2013]