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ABPL30048_2012_SM1: Architecture Design Studio: Air

Journal HongSheng Low 395842

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Part I : Expression of Interest Case for Innovation

ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE -------------------------------- 4 COMPUTING IN ARCHITECTURE -------------------------------- 6 PARAMETRIC MODELLING -------------------------------- 8 RESEARCH PROJECT: CUT - DEVELOP GROUP EOI DESIGN BRIEF ------------------------------- 11 CONCEPT ------------------------------- 12 DESIGN PHILOSOPHY ------------------------------- 13 CASE FOR INNOVATION ------------------------------- 20 SITE ANALYSIS ------------------------------- 22 MATRIX EXPLORATIONS ------------------------------- 24 REVERSE-ENGINEERING CASE STUDY ------------------------------- 28 DIGITAL MODEL ------------------------------- 30 PHYSICAL MODEL ------------------------------- 32 SUMMARY + LEARNING OUTCOME (MID-TERM) ------------------------------- 34

Part II : PROJECT PROPOSAL PROJECT DEVELOPMENT DESIGN DEVELOPMENT ------------------------------- 36 FABRICATION + ASSEMBLY METHODS ------------------------------- 42 PHOTOGRAPH ------------------------------- 46 RESPONDING TO FEEDBACK

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Part 1 : Expression of Interest


Architecture as Discourse Biomimicry ‘...a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problem’ (Panchuk 2006).

With the advancement in technology, nature became visual; an exploration into the microscopic and genetic makeup of organisms amplified the possibilities within architectural design. As architectural designing increasingly aims to resolve challenges that have often already been resolved by nature and also increasingly seeks to incorporate concepts and techniques, such as growth or adoption, that have parallels in nature, nature as 1)model, 2)measure, 3)mentor should possibly be the direction the Gateway design is heading. The internal spiral wells of the Venus Flower basket (Fig below) provide a perfect model for structure and natural ventilation for Norman Foster’s Swiss Re Tower. The building adopts the structure of the organism that functions as reinforcement mechanism to withstand the structural pressures of the deep sea, to counteract sheer stresses posed in high-rise buildings.


Swiss Re Towers Norman Foster (2003)

Montréal Biosphère R.Buckminster Fuller (1967)

Week 1

Architecture as Discourse

Although copying natural forms has brought structural innovations to the field of architecture, it is limited to a formal objective. The journal presents here emphasizes the use of nature to enhance experience: the relationship between the human and the environment. Simply copying a natural environment or form cannot achieve this because it lacks the criteria that prove necessary in ecology the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environments): performance, interactions or systems of exchanges. The complexity of the structure of Fuller’s geodesic dome was developed through the idea of microcosm within macrocosm. The building’s surface derives its essence from the metaphor of human skin where it can adapt itself according to external environmental conditions through the processes of photo, sound and heat sensitivity. His architecture evoked the very ideas of environmental, ecological and sustainable design strategies that changed the way society thinks, acts and lives today (Parsons, Thomas, and Romer, 1990).


Computational-Aided Design Vs The critical distinction between computer-aided design (CAD) and computational design is that the amount and specificity of information CAD produces never surpasses what has been initially supplied, it just simply ‘computerized’ wellestablished methods of geometric description (Terzidis 2006); whilst, computational design enables the processing of information in such a way that new information is created.

Emergence Emergence suggests that a simple set of components in a given environment, interact to create complex systems. Interchanges in nature are based on the concept of emergence. An example to consider is an ant colony. The queen does not give direct orders to the ants. Instead, each ant reacts depending only on its local environment and the genetically encoded rules for its variety of ant, which contribute to the complex behaviours in the colony, i.e. the number of foragers or nestbuilders needed at a time.(Johnson 2001) In architectural practice, ’Morphogenetic Beachscape’ project conducted by Christoph Waibel, uses the idea of emergence by first evaluating different criteria for the building’s overall fitness, then combining and mutating them, and finally the emergent and evolution of the final outcome.


Computational Design

Development in computational design has made modelling objects to modelling processes, from designing shape to designing behaviour, and from defining static digital constructs to defining computing systems capable of reciprocal data exchange and feedback information possible (Menges 2012). This changes are enabled emergence in biomimetic design processes in architecture, which will be discussed further in the journal.

Morphogenetic Beachscape Christoph Waibel

Week 2 Computational Design

“Synergy is the only word in our language that means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of any of the system’s separate parts or any subassembly of the system’s parts. Universe is synergetic. Life is synergetic” - Buckminster Fuller

Nature and our society are both dynamic systems, and so why shouldn’t our buildings be? The behaviour of ants suggests that interchanges in nature are based on emergent properties. The use of computation tools conceivably helps in understanding and simulation of complex systems or behaviours. The question now is how to instrumentalize the relationship between body and environment. To answer this, we shall hone in on one aspect of emergent behaviours, which can be translated to an architectural idea: interaction.


Multiple Natures - Fibrous Tower SOMA Taichung, Taiwan

Parametric Design

Fig 3.1

Through the use of parametric design tools, by imputing external data like intensity of sunlight and wind velocity (for the Gateway project) as parameters into the design, the resultant geometry would be efficient, in terms of its energy generation, and use of energy. This leads to another important aspect of parametric design: its ability to maintain relationships by rules. In other words, since all the resultant forms are associated to the initial parameters, they all relate to each other. Thus, if one parameter is changed, the entire geometry will be updated. As explained earlier, interactivity is the ultimate goal of this Gateway project. A two-way interaction between the built and natural environment is favourable. For instance, a high-tech solution should be avoided, ie floors that light up when you walk on them, color changing walls or hypersurfaces. These are all necessary innovations yet remain a oneway transfer of information (merely ‘reacting’ to the environment, instead of ‘interacting’ with it).


Week 3

Parametric Design

Plants proved to be a perfect model for a two-ways interaction in nature. Photosynthesis, known as the process by which they produce energy, happens on the cellular level yet affects the pigmentation of the leaf (Fig 3.2). In architecture precedent, Multiple Natures Fibrous Tower by SOMA was modelled based on the lamellas of flowers, where the ‘biomimetic lamellas’ respond to weather conditions by opening and closing themselves to protect inhabitants from the elements. (Fig 3.1)


Group EOI Ting Hooi SIW Eva (Yi FANG) Jeffrey TING Hong Sheng LOW


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Design Brief 1. Iconic & Eye-catching installation

OBJECTIVES A new architectural DISCOURSE introduced by computing design through the combination of space, nature and materiality

2. Integrating with the surrounding landscape


3. Illustrative materiality


Concept Melbourne as a city of integrates the traditional culture and the modernity, so our design tends to indicate the merging of the old and the new in Melbourne


Design Philosophy From regular to irregular


From urban to landscape


From bricks to glass and steel


From grey colour to bright colour



Case of Innovation _ Space Spatial Experience


n terms of spatial experience, the computing design enables a precise geometric form controlled by the parameters and has a folding form.


ccording to Greg Lynn, wrote in his Folding in architecture, the “calculated based form” introduced by the computer, enables an innovative flow and continuous geometry for buildings. That is, “a unifying figure whereby different segments and plans are joined and merging in lines and volumns.” (Lynn 1997). Also, he mentioned that the computer based form also provide a smoother transaction between two spaces than the traditional methods. Apart from the traditional divided form, the continuous space enabled by the digital technology foresees a new architectural discourse in such spatial experience. Therefore, we will use the continuous folding form for the gateway installation to highlight such state-of-art structure. Also, rather than the random form in the previous architecture design, the geometries used in the gateway project will also be précised calculated by computer and controlled by relevant parameters.

Changes of Architectural Discourse Classical architecture

regular form lead bearing walls

Modern architecture

columns support free plan, regular geometry

Postmodern architecture

irregular form dynamic facade



Computational design

continuours form folding


he Shoei Yoh’s roof for the Odawara Sports Center in Japan demonstrates Lynn’s idea of the folding geometry in practice. As can be seen from the image, rather than the traditional way of separating the roofs to the walls, Shoei Yoh used one continuous roof structure for the whole building. And such structure can be supported by assembling the standard elements from the computation design for the skin and the contouring medal rings underneath. In addition, the geometry of the entire roof is not random, rather than simply increase the depth of the roof trusses to bearing the wind and snow loads, Shoei experimentes with the deforming of the structure via computer simulation to find the optimum shape. And this automatic deformation made by the lateral forces resulted in an organic and irregular form.


he innovations of the folding form as well as the precise simulation of the geometry according to the natural forces not only indicate a new architectural discourse enabled by the logic computing design but also satisfied the scale and site condition in the gateway project. As the councils are asking for an eye-catching installation in an open landscape, the fluid form can be considered as it can easily expand through the large site. Also, the fabrication method of the Shoei Yoh’s roof could also be used as a reference for constructing the folding form. In order to stabilize the pitched form, the architects suggest the use of a central post to support the structure during the construction process and remove it when it finishes. Similarly, for the fabrication technique of the Gateway project, it could be useful to insert some predefined frame during the construction and remove them afterwards.

1. Establish the basic grid

Construction process of the structure -cenral post located

2. Added the folding geometry on the grid

3. Added details to the geometry


Case of Innovation _ Materiality The Australian Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010 By Wood Marsh

Image from In order to reflect the concept of “old and new�, we use corten and glass as construction materials. Both of them also have high weather resistance to prevent corrosion that might result from the exposure to sun and rain. Based on the precedent of the Australian Pavilion, we intend to challenge the typical use of the materials by using corten as structural elements to support itself and the glass tubes. Computational techniques are then used to create hollow corten boxes and several glass tubes are blended to specific angles in order to connect with these corten boxes. For instance, in the Australian Pavilion, the building is threaded by a system of curved glass tubes that house the circulation ramp. The combination of corten panels and glass tubes makes this pavilion richer in texture and stands out from the other buildings. Furthermore, the idea of using hollow corten boxes is also partly because of the ease of construction and transportation.


Image from Shanghai_Expo__14_-600x400.jpg

Image from wp-content/uploads/old_img/pavilion_7.jpg

ICD/ITKE RESEARCH PAVILION 2011 By Achim Menges& Jan Knippers The ITKE research pavilion 2011 has used the concept of “forms follow materiality”. It demonstrates an alternative approach to computational design which is the computational generation of form is directly driven and informed by physical behavior and material characteristics. We might as well integrate this concept into our gateway design. For instance, corten is very flexible in creating different shapes. Hence, it is used to make hollow boxes to represent the use of bricks of old melbourne. On the other hand, glass tubes, which represent the new melbourne, are curved and intersected with each other using their bending property. This is the result after considering the concepts of “old and new” and “forms follow materiality”.

In regards to Wyndham Gateway project, the gateway is designed with the parameter of the sun intensity and its path. So, the form will change according to the parameter which directly influences the application of corten and glass tubes on the gateway.


Case of Innovation _ Colours

Case Study: Oil Pavilion, Shanghai Expo, 2010 The Oil Pavilion has a concise, grand exterior look where it used the crossing pipes which are interwoven into an exquisite “gift box�. The pavilion manifests strong features of the modernity and the petroleum industry. The fantastic space-time journey provided to the visitor by using the effects of sound, light, and electronic technologies. The pavilion highlighted the virtual scenes in the pre-exhibition zone, multimedia approaches are employed to create the fantastic scenes characterized by the petroleum and chemical industry, and pull visitors close to petroleum. The exterior walls of pavilion are built with new type of polycarbonate diffusion plates and tens of thousands of LED lights, the pavilion will present crystallike and splendid light and shadow effects at night.


To develop the idea of the play of colours and lighting into our own gateway project, we have explored and researched the techniques of using the “Photochromism technology” and “photochromism technology” where it is a colour changing technology based on UV light exposure and temperature change. By using this technique onto the glass tube of our installation, we can control the colour changes of the installation as we oriented the glass tube of the installation to face the sun orientation. The colours will change from black(cold) -red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet-black(heating). The changes of colours will give the exciting, and eye-catching feelings to the visitors and act as an iconic features at the site. The colour of copper, yellow, blue have been chose to resemble the concept of “Old and New” in Melbourne City. The copper colour is used to resemble the old, vintage feeling of old style architecture discourse which is using the bricks, stones; while the yellow and blue used to resemble the free form, dynamicism and fluidity of the new architecture discourse in Melbourne. Throughout the researches and case study in materials discourse, it’s been discovered that light and colours can be the most versatile building materials, where it becomes one of the most fundamental elements in the new architecture discourse. By implementing the new technology with the lighting effects, one can design a large effect on the internal environment and also help to create atmposphere, and link a space with its context. For the Western Gateway Design Project, we found out that the site is located at a dull, plain and wide highway area where there is no significant or eye-catching landmark that can be used to resembles the city of Melbourne. Therefore, the idea of intergrate the play of colours and materials into the gateway installation project has become one of the idea to show the iconic features in the site and develop a different kind of design for the daytime, and night time views to the visitors who uses the freeways.


Case of Innovation _ Biomimicry ‘...a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problem’ (Panchuk 2006).

As architectural designing increasingly aims to resolve challenges that have often already been resolved by nature and also increasingly seeks to incorporate concepts and techniques, such as gowth or adaption, that have parallels in nature, nature as 1)model, 2)measure, 3)mentor should possibly be one of the directions the Gateway design is heading. Norman Foster’s Swiss Re Tower mimics the internal spiral wells of the Venus Flower basket to provide structural support and natural ventilation. Although copying natural forms has brought structural innovations to the field of architecture, it is limited to a formal objective. The EOI presents here emphasizes the use of nature to enhance experience: the relationship between the human and the environment. Simply copying a natural environment or form cannot achieve this because it lacks the criteria that prove necessary in ecology (the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environments): performance, interactions or systems of exchanges. As stated in the brief, the interaction between the installation (built-environment) and the surrounding landscape (natural environment) is important.

Structural Innovation

Emergence, Evolution

Interactivity is the ultimate goal of this Gateway project. A two-way interaction between the built and natural environment is favourable. For instance, a high-tech solution should be avoided, ie floors that light up when you walk on them, color changing walls or hypersurfaces. These are all necessary innovations yet remain a one-way transfer of information.

Two-ways interaction


Design Concept Melbourne situated within the East AsianAustralasian Flyway. Besides, Werribee has a huge important bird area, and there are natural reserves and wetlands around the site. Birds activities/ flying on the site would be expected. Since surrounding the site is a huge plain grassland with only little trees, the idea is to have our design as stopover site for the birds. Fig 1 Westgate Bridge

Fig 2 Flocks of birds assembling before migration

Local Scale Natural Reserves to north-west

Plain Grassland

Wetland to south-east

A good precedent to look at is the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne, which shows how wildlife adapted to living in the wetland bird sanctuary underneath the gigantic Westgate Bridge. Westgate Bridge brought inspiration to us as in how urban space can also be habitat for nature. For our design, due to the concern of noise produced by vehicles zooming past, the Boxes at the top will be used as planters to provide food and water for the birds. To avoid adding excessive loads to the structural support of the design, huge, bulky plants should be avoided.

Plain Grassland

Regional Scale

Large Geographic Scale

East Asian Australasian Flyway




Site Analysis In order to achieve the brief’s requirement of designing an installation reflects Melbourne’s image, we choose to use Melbourne’s CBD grid as our basic layout and choose the landmark buildings as our attractor points. As can be seen from the image, we identified the Melbourne CBD’s grid lines and the critical buildings in between.

Migratory Birds Potential direction of the birds flying

Natural Reserves

Wetland to south-east

Plain Grassland

Common Name Red-necked Stint Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Orange-bellied Parrot



Avereage Size 14cm 21cm 21cm

Consistency of Use Late August - Early March August - March March - October

Site Analysis LEGEND













Matrix Exploration Maths Function According to the Previous EOI in regarding to the spatial experience, the spatial experience of continuous form as well as the precise geometries generated by computing design is crucial. Therefore, the exploration of the grasshopper matrix is mainly focused on produce flowing and dynamic form as well as exploring the possible geometric forms. ASSOCIATIONS: the Math function is efficient in producing the precise geometric forms which determined by the parameters in the related math equalitions.And such effects can be seen effectively through the extrusion output. INPUT: compared to other inputs, the surface normal is the most sufficient one in generating a 3D form as it controls the perpendicular vectors to the grid points OUTPUT: apart form the extrusion, which has been tested in the math function association, the rotation is another critical output that could generate exciting 3D forns.

Association: Maths Function + Extrusion

Input: Image Sampler + Rotation

Outpu: Surface Normal 24

Matrix Exploration Multiple Maths Functions & Attracting Points

Overlaying another grids of maths function produces interesting results as the functions begin to exhibit ‘resonance’ - repeating patterns of overlap.

Using point attractors, distance between the attractor points and grid points varies, depending on the position of point attractors and the function used to define the distance between them. It is a potential useful associative technique for us to input site parameters, to influence the outcome of our design. This is particular relevance to our design as the design brief encourage the integration of our design with the landscape and surrounding environment.


Matrix Exploration Rotation & Shaders

Shader function is used to explore the colour layering of how one colour can match with another to create a pattern that can allow light to penetrates through to create the the different colour mapping and shadows.

By putting it together with the extrusion, the surface and extrusion can enhance more on the shading areas and the final outcome will be more clear and interesting.


Matrix Exploration Streaming Text Files & Using Setss We have explored the possibilities of forms that can be created using streaming text files and using sets as associative techniques. Through experiments, we discover that the combination of “streaming text files” and “component” or “rotation” have the highest potential in creating really unique and organic forms. The data of streaming text files can be changed accroding to the design needs. From these explorations, we have a basic idea on how parametric modelling can help in challenging the typical use of materials.


Reverse-Engineer GANTENBEIN VINEYARD FACADE By Gramazio & Kohler

Gantenbein Vineyard Facade is chosen as reverse-engineering case study as the dynamic form of the brickwork that changes according to the sun path is related to our gateway design. As the bricks rotate, it creates strong light and shadow effect inside the building which also affects the spatial experience. Furthermore, it forms certain kind of patterns if seen from a distance and varies as the viewers or the sun move. In Wyndham Gateway project, the same computational techniques will be applied in order to achieve something interesting and iconic. As the site is near the Princess highway, the rotation of brickwork can be larger to create stronger and clearer light and shadow effects. It will be much easier for the highspeed trafficusers on the highway to see the changes of the gateway.


Reverse-Engineer Reproduction of Gantenbein Vineyard Facade

Transformation • •

From 2D to 3D From Regular to dynamic

The Gantenbein Vineyard Facade is reproduced in Rhino using Grasshopper. Image sampler is used to create the patterns on the facade while the output - rotation, rotates the bricks according to the sun path and produces dynamic effect of the brick wall. The definitions are later developed and integrated into our concept by transforming them from 2D to 3D, from a regular form to a dynamic form.


Digital Model A rectangular grid is used to produce a planar grid points from a planar surface. The grid points are then moved in z-direction to produce a 3D grid. Boxes are then created using those grid points with a cull pattern of: ‘true’, ‘false’. Using ‘Item’, the 2nd and 4th plane were retrieved so that they were rotated to exactly 90 degrees to the plane of boxes below. Then, attractive points as an associative technique was used to determine the pattern of the arrangement of the boxes. As discussed earlier, the grid of boxes is based on the Hoddle Grid of Melbourne City. The attractor points were chosen from some landmark buildings of Melbourne City (Melbourne Central, Federation Square, etc. By applying the definition to a curvilinear surface, we got our desired outcome.


Digital Model

The curves of the glass tubes are first created using “bezier curve” component in Grasshopper. Then, the “pipe” component is added to give them a volume. Their amplitude is controlled according to the sun path in order to get most of the sunlight during daytime. Hence, the colour of these glass tubes will change dramatically and is more noticeable for users on the Princess Highway.


Physical Model

1. Structural frame

2. Putting elements onto structure

3. Partly finished installation

4. Elevation of the partly finished installation

5. Finished installation without “glass tubes”

6. Puting the “glass tubes onto the structure

Similar to the construction of Shoei Yoh’s roof, the structure of the installation is based on a predifined frame to determine the overall shape. Moreover, according to the grasshopper definition, which rotates the “ box” 90 degrees every second layers, the basic component for the installation is a right angular element made of hollow corten surface. So the process of making the “ box” form is to combine the “ box” component according to the rhino model and the structural frame. Finally, the “glass tubes” of the model, which is made of the translucent plastic, is inserted to the “ boxes”. The location of the footing is decided based on the Hoddle Grid of Melbourne city and site constrain as discussed earlier in site analysis.

Night effect of the installation


View 1: View from the surrounding landscape

View 2: View from the vehicles travel underneath

Detailed views


Mid-Term Summary EOI Summary Our design consists of the combination of four different approaches: spatial experience, materiality, colours, and biomimicry. Knowing and understanding the concepts of other group members are essentially important, to keep our design idea coherent to each other’s. For our design, although the model seems interesting, the concepts supporting the design aren’t strong enough. For example, why and where the structure hit the ground, the reasons for the orientation and arrangement of the boxes, why hoddle grid of Melbourne city was used, etc. These have to be resolved in future to produce a strong argument for our design proposal. Moreover, the proposal as stopover sites for migration birds has to be reconsidered as in how the design can produce the needs of birds instead of just being there waiting for the birds to stop. Furthermore, our model although is parametric, it’s still possible to be built without the use of parametric tools. Stronger relation to the parametric design tools has to be established in future. Also, although the current precedents chosen are good in generating our arguments, we didn’t use it to really guide us in our design. The design outcome of our proposal is a good way to start. To further evolve it, we may look into joinery systems as suggested by our tutors, and trying with simpler 2D surfaces first.

Learning Outcomes Design through research: We were introduced with Kalay’s reading (Architectural New Media) in

week 2 to assist our understanding of an architectural design process. Adequate knowledge and skills (complex series of grasshopper definition, cut research, reverse-engineer research introduced to us) are needed to innovate us in our design. It is important to learn from our process, reflecting during the progress and learning from it.

Group Work: There are both limitations and strengths in working in groups. Brainstorming among group

members brought new, creative solutions. However, poor communication and mis-understanding of each other’s concepts may lead to neglected issues in the design. Also, distribution of workloads and utilising the strengths of each group member are very important to be more productive and to achieve a better outcome

Grasshopper: Our group was quite restricted by our knowledge on grasshopper. We succeeded in

producing digital model hugely with the help of tutor. It’s is really important to really understand what each component does, instead of just blindly following what was shown in the weekly ex-lab tutorial.

Forming Arguments: Making coherent design solutions and arguments were largely part of what

we learnt in producing our EOI. It requires a synthsis of our knowledge on grasshopper, design methods, understanding of brief, fabrication techniques and material qualities.


Part 2 : Project Proposal


Design Development Design Idea Shortfall of previous design proposal: (i) Joinery system for boxes (ii) Lack of engagement with site parameters (iii) Transition from old to new (too sudden)



Regular, uniform shape (box), with corten (rust texture) as material to metaphorically represent the old

Irregular shape, with glass (transparent) as material to metaphorically represent the new

Developed the idea of intersecting surfaces (idea formed by considering joints), only to realize structural issue

The effects of wind towards the design is taken into account (interaction with wind and the vehicles)

Blocks flipping due to wind

Final idea is to have a smooth changing from ‘old’ to ‘new’. Hence, morphing from a square (representing old) to a irregular triangular (representing new) was developed instead of having a distinct separation from ‘old’ and ‘new’ as in previous design. Again, the idea of ‘old & new’ will be illustrated in the material as used before. Also, the ‘new’ panels will also be able to rotate due to wind force produced naturally or by vehicles. Then, waffle structure is used to provide structural support to the installation.


Design Development Form Finding With the adoption of BIM, mere data collection and technical optimisation have open up new ways of thinking with the creative use of ‘soft data’. The new tool give us the freedom from being forced into the formal indulgence of signature of architecture or a hyper-rational mode of performative justifications. The new tool can be used to replace the lack of architect’s creativity in designing forms; as the massive data can act as the new agnostic tool to provide us the space to go beyond theories and nostalgic semantics and to have more options in designing the building’s facade. Studying OMA Photo Tropic Tower also taught us the importance to strategize which factors and methods to be used, how they will be applied or generated, and to judge what they contribute. (2009)

Precedent - OMA Photo Tropic Tower

For the Western Gateway Design Project, the idea of collecting data from the surrounding (contour as for our design) was implemented in our attempt for form finding. The installation takes the contour as the base data to develop. Figure below shows how the final form of our deign is generated, and how the design idea combine with it.

Step 1: Building the base STEP 1: build the surface according to the STEP build the base 1: surface contour

base surface according to the according contour to the contour

Selected site as the base contour Selected site as the base contour

Step 2: Developing the STEP 2: develop form to desired size

STEP 2: develop the surface to the

obtain the sectional lines

the surface required sizeto the required size

obtain the sectional lines

STEP 3: create Step 3: Creating wafflethe STEP 3: create waffle based structure structure on thethe waffle surface basedstructure on the based on the pre-defined pre-defined surface surface

create the first half ot the panel with the rectangular shapes

create the first half ot the panel with the rectangular shapes

extrude the selected contour lines extrude the selected contour lines

scale up basic contour lines scale up basic contour lines

add the second half ot the panel with the triangle shapes add the second half ot the panel with the triangle shapes

create the surface based on the selcted contour create the surface based on the selcted contour

mirror the scaled the contour skeleton mirror the scaled the contour skeleton

add the attractor points on the surface to determine the layout add the attractor points on the surface to determine the layout

cut the surface by section planes cut the surface by section planes

create the surface based on the contour skeleton create the surface based on the contour skeleton

add the panel on the waffle structure add the panel on the waffle structure

Step 4: Adding the panels on the waffle structure STEP 4: add the

STEP 4:on add panels thethe

panels onwith the structure structure attractorwith points attractor points

create the lower layer of the waffle structure based on the surface create the lower layer of the waffle structure based on the surface

add the upper layer of the waffle structure ` add the upper layer of the waffle structure `

add slot joints on the both layers add slot joints on the both layers

the complete frame underneath the complete frame underneath


Design Development Site Analysis LEGEND B










The chosen site (the green colour circle area)is arranged to a bigger scale so that it maximize the experiences of the travellers and create an iconic view on the plain site.



17 18 19







14 13










8 7

Winter Solstice

The orientation of installation is arranged according to the sun path analysis. The diagonal position of installation can extend 6 the time traveller spend and enhance the Summer Solstice driving experience with the gradual change of shadows and lighting.

Design Development Design On Site B A







Design Development Digital Model Step 1 : Setting direction and magnitude of change

Step 2 : Forming waffle structure on the surface generated as shown earlier


Step 3: Forming joints for panels sticking onto waffle (at the intersection points of waffle structure)

Step 4 : Assigning the panels onto the waffle structure

Step 5 : Forming holes on panels for jointing using ‘solid difference’ between panels and the joints

Final Model


Design Development Physical Model

Organising and grouping the panels

Grouping waffle structure

Assembling waffle structure

Waffle structure showing the joints

‘Old’ panels assembling

Assembling ‘new’ panels

Fabricating physical model becomes easier if things are organised according to sequence. We encountered some problems in sticking the panels onto the joints of waffle structure as it does not fit in exactly like what we’ve thought of. The use of glue then helped to solve our problem. Slotting the waffle grid together provides a firm structural frame for the model, making it stable unlike our previous one. The only concern we have is that the orientation of panels are supposed to follow the form of the surface, but when we arranged it for fabrication, we have forgotten about it, leaving it up to our decision to how the panels sits on the joints.


Shadowing Effect

Shadowing Effect of Rotational Panel


Design Development Joinery System


Design Development On-Site Installation The sequence of real installation will be very similar to how the physical model is assembled. However, because the panels will be huge (1.5m x 1.5m for square panels and 1.5m equilateral triangle panels), they will break at the centre point, especially the glass. Hence, a steel bracing will be needed, and bolted at four sides as shown in the diagrams below.

Rotational Joint

Fixed Joint

Joinery for planes and waffle structure

Footing Structure where it extends into the ground


Design Development Photographs



Responding to Feedback Form and Length 1. Instead of having a fixed shape, the overall form of the surface can also be used as an indicator of “old to new”. To achieve that, we could add a regular semi-circular form at the entry to represent the static, dull “old”, and moving towards a doublecurvilinear form that represents an exciting, interesting “new”. This is also to increase the length of the installment (to approximately 500m), and hence further increase the time the vehicles zooming below may experience the installment.

2. Also, as the shadow of the panels will be quite strong, giving a sudden impression when vehicles entry. The idea is to have a gradual effect of shadowing, slowly inviting the vehicles to the installation. Hence, there will be some individual waffles before reaching a closed surface.


Responding to Feedback Effects of Structure

Having the panels on top of the waffle structure makes the effects of it viewed from below less evident. So, we decided to have the layers flipped by having the panels underneath of the waffles structure.


Responding to Feedback Associative Rule _ Attractor Points The complexity and rationality of the installation can be potentially increased by introducing the attractor points definitions in the grasshopper. To do this, first, the joints for panels sticking onto waffle structure cannot be limited to just the intersection of waffle structure. We planned to use attractor point as an associative rule to govern the layout of the panels.

The old structure use the intersect points to determine the position of the panels. Here, the panels are placed along the waffle structure.

1. Introduce one single attractor point to the skin to produce a “hole”, so that the sunlight can come through, and the shading effects can be changed accordingly.


2. Similarly, multiple attractor points can be applied to create the light “ spots” in different locations and in different sizes by the control of the attracor points. So if we trace the sun path as the source of the attractor point, the lihgting effect of the installation can be manipulated through this parameter.

Responding to Feedback Changing Shape of Panels Previously, the shape of the panels are relatively simple. as it is changed from rectangle into triangle slightly. But the overall concept of the panels are not altered radically throughout the structure.

An alternative way of adding the complexity of the panels is to add more interesting shapes to the panels in a more dramatic way.

OPTION 1: The triangular shapes can be altered by adding the “ connecting edges� at the end, so that the panels can potentially be joints to each other.

OPTION 2: The triangular shapes can also be changed into more dynamic frames at the end. And these organic forms (like leaves) resembles the landscape of the surrounding environment.


Part 3 : Learning Objectives and Outcomes: Final


Reflection/ Conclusion The most challenging part in this subject has to be designing with grasshopper. I considered myself lucky to have a go in Rhino during my first year virtual environment. But then, grasshopper to me is still a total stranger. When first tried out the few tutorials on grasshopper, I was really confused and wondering ‘why use Grasshopper?’. Why not just use rhino to draw a line, instead of scripting it out, involving several components and extra effort. After struggling and striving through the whole learning progress, I now realize how grasshopper allows you to see the procedural steps and hence break the workflow at any point you desired, in order to add extra steps or change any or all of the original geometry for a substitute. In short, grasshopper unfolds and make visible the steps to final design. The most essential and yet confusing thing in Grasshopper is the structure of the data. We managed to overcome our problem based on trial and error method (flattening, grafting, path mapping), which took a lot of our time. In future, I would like to learn more and understand the data structure so that I can manipulate it to my desire. Besides, parametric design allows for a greater control on the outcome, showing how the design evolve when changing some parameters. Furthermore, parametric design also allows us to reuse some original aspects of design and alter them according to the context of the site without having to start again with scripting. Efficiency in fabrication methods is also what makes this design tools, possibly, the future of architecture. Besides Rhino and Grasshopper, my skill in softwares like Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and V-Ray also has a significant improvement in this 12 weeks, partly due to the sharing of knowledge among the group members. Illustrator in particular amaze me the most (the high-quality vector images that can be used to explain and draw diagrams in a short time). Working in group, although there were times when we argue for our wants, learning from each other has proved to be beneficial to our learning process. For our group, we divided tasks according to each others’ field of specialty, i.e. ‘technical department’, ‘layout department’, etc. We find that relative efficient and works best for us. Of course, we do share among ourselves the knowledge and things we learnt during the process. Forming arguments and responding to the briefs are what we also learnt in this studio. Meeting the clients expectations and yet conform to site restrictions and regulations are all important in my future working career. Besides, to successfully convey my idea to the clients or authorities in future, a clear design narrative and a clear, well-prepared presentation are what to be improved further from what I’ve learnt thus far. Overall, this studio is the most time-consuming studio I’ve encountered. But then, I enjoyed the time spent on developing and pushing our design. I intended to continue developing my skills on computer softwares as the process and outcome of it are more well-organised, cleaner, visually pleasing than handsketch drawings given my skill in manual drawing is rather poor.


Bibliography Sumit Singha, 2012, Multiple Natures – Fibrous Tower in Taichung, Taiwan by soma, from <http://>, accessed on 14 March 2012 Neal Panchuk, 2006, ‘An Exploration into Biomimicry and its Application in Digital & Parametric [Architectural] Design’, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Boden, Margaret A. and Edmonds, Ernest A., 2009, ‘What is generative art?’, Digital Creativity, pp.21- 46 Bell, B., and A. Vrana, 2004, ‘Digital Tectonics: Structural Patterning of Surface Morphology, Fabrication: examining the digital practice of architecture,’ Cambridge & Toronto. Achi Menges, 2012, ‘Biomimetic design processes in architecture: morphogenetic and evolutionary computational design’, IOP Publishing Ltd, UK & USA.


Final Journal  

Final Journal

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