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Digital Design Portfolio (ARCH20004) Semester 1, 2018 Melvin Dinata 900429 Dan Parker Studio 6

Author M e l v i n D i n a t a | MDesign


Architecture for me has always been about the humane; the people and its associations. Coming from a third world background, I was surrounded by an environment where shelters have shifted from a right to a priviliege. It was at that point where I realised that something needs to be changed, in this case, built. I have since set my course for the built industry, both Architecture and Construction.

Singapore 2014 - 2016 Clementi Town High School

Digital Design has opened up a multitude of opportunities for me offered by the progressively advancing technologies. I learn to appreciate the iterative potential of generative softwares , helping designers such as myself to explore design potentials at a rapid pace, never thought possible years ago. Through the skills acquired for this subject, I aim to produce designs that utilises the rather mechanistic nature of parametric architecture while remaining true to my core value: humane.

Australia 2017 - current University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Design) 2016 - 2017 Trinity College Foundation Studies

Work Experience: 2017 Era Kencana pty ltd. (Draftsperson) 2017 POB construction (Conceptual architect)

Awards / Exhibition: Therefore to me, the ideal design would be one that is generated through computerisation where the sytematic logic is based on biological phenomenas. Through my pavilion, I have rather obviously expressed such design approach with clarity. The pavilion was design with the concept of interdependency that can be found in natural processes. In this design, I have chosen to adopt the idea of symbiotic relationships, creating a structure that resembles an organism itself. For the future, I intend to further explore the realm of parametricism to create more innovative designs as I believe I have only threaded the surface of what generative technology can offer. With the new skills earned and possibilities emerged, I strive to better people’s life, by catering the one of many necessities: shelter.

2018 Winter MSDx ‘18 DD | Beta Dean’s Undergraduate Award Dulux’s Color Awards Finalist 2017 Summer MSDx ‘17 Alpha | GFOD 2017 FOD:R Exhibition, LKF gallery

“I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture� Tadao Ando

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Content 06

Diagramming Design Precedent :


Generating Ideas Through Process :

Subtractive & Additive Fabrication


A Pavilion Design :

“Symbiotic Intervention�

1. Diagramming Design Precedent

Serpentine Pavilion: Barkow’s Summer House

The summer house pavilion explores

The precedent study peeked my

the concept of visual orientation

interest in exploring free-curvaceous

extensively. Due to the structure’s

minimal forms due to its dynamicity

fluidity and free-flowing nature, the

in responding to its surrounding. The

pavilion provides both the occupier

differentiations in form connects to

and distant observers with different

its context more effectively, imposing

views from different orientations.

thresholds and circulations through


vivid and subtle means.





be said to always be ‘rotating’.

Summer House Pavilion Architects

Barkow Leibinger


London, United Kingdom

Area 50.0 sqm Project Year

2016 A concept iterative diagram by Barkow himself. Experimentation of different forms allows us to investigate a better final product.

Isometric Rendition The key experience of modeling this pavilion arises when assembling the multiple structural layers together. The orientation of each layers must be close enough to offer a harmonious connection but at the same time distant enough to prevent collision. A high level of precision is required as the pavilion behaves as a single entity, where every layers are inter-connected accurately.

Roof Structure

Circulation This diagram follows the natural intuitive of visualising circulation by tracking people’s paths. Instead of representing the information with geometric surfaces, free flowing lines are employed as it best represents the pavilion’s dynamism and fluidity. The overlapping of lines informs a movement pattern while respecting other less obvious pathings. Due to the wall’s C-profile, there is no internal space within the pavilion, influencing the circulation to follow an ‘ambulatory’ manner. Rotation again comes in mind as people are required to circulate the pavilion in attempt to reach the different seating areas, or to visually comprehend the whole pavilion. In such, the orientation informs the pavilion’s design as rotational and dynamic, as intended.

Circulation Path

Static Seating

Physical Roof Threshold

Implied Secondary Space

Physical Wall Threshold

Imposed Primary Space


The diagram explodes the different levels of threshold offered by the individual layers when working in synthesis. The empty spaces formed by the walls and roofs are represented in 3D forms to allow a more vivid visualisation of the level of accessibility and privacy; empty spaces are literally made into solid spaces. Due to the wall’s C-form, an entrance or exit is blurred, allowing people to approach or leave the pavilion from any direction. However, an internal threshold is still present within the walls and the roof. The wall, being on ground level, offers a more obvious threshold once the visitors enter to sit. The enveloping of the wall with the seating area provides a more distinct internal threshold. The overhanging roof also provide implied threshold of the space (i.e. when the roof starts to hang over a person).

Design Reflection The Serpentine Summer House Pavilion is a good precedent study towards a more organic form that I am particularly interested in. In the attempt to reverse engineer the summer pavilion, I learned the design potential of free-flowing forms in communicating an essense of dynamism and orientation. Such forms respond better to its surrounding, establishing a more intimate connection between the structure and its context. The whole concept of inter-dependence between the different layers to become structurally feasible will be one of the main idea that I will carry forward to my future designs.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

“Making a pavilion allows you to open up in a very free, experimental way.� Frank Barkow on Summer House Pavilion

2. Generating Ideas Through Process:

Subtractive & Additive Fabrication

TASK 1: Waffle and Panel

The second module - Generating Ideas Through Process - introduced students to the world of parametricism , generating design through algorithmic parameters. For this module, a script based design software (Grasshopper) along with other plugins were used as the main explorative tools. For Task 1: Waffle and Panels, I carried forward the concept of inter-relationship between different elements within a form - in this case, the 2 surfaces generated. The relationship established between the 2 surfaces is centralised around a system of light casting and catching. The light casting surface then ‘embraces’ the light catching surface for the system to take place. Different profile of panels are also used for each surface in respective of their function - Perforations for light casting and solid for light catching. The final product is a dynamic structure that investigates the potential of lights to create a defining relationships between 2 surfaces.

Design Iterative Matrix Lofts






{0,0,0} {-10,78,150}



Grid P

{129,79,150} {142,-18,150}

{141,-6,150} {-10,35,0}



{140,35,45} {24,29,0} {84,29,0}




Paneling Grid & Attractor Point

{Index Selection}

{Index Selection}

{Index Selection}

{Index Selection}






{150,79,150} {230,30,157} {141,100,0} {228,157,-10}



{300,150,0} {332,92,02}





{Attractor Point Location}

{Attractor Point Location}

{Attractor Point Location}

{Curve Attractor}





+ +











Exploded Diagram

Light-catching surface mantains more rigidity to reduce distortion when displaying light and shadow casted by the light-casting surface.

Light-casting surface follows a curvaceous form that envelops the other surface to direct and control the orientation of the light projected onto the other surface.

2D panels are used to further emphasise the dissolving and lightness as the wall disappears and fades onto the open. The variety of panels used also demonstrates the iterative nature of Grasshopper

Perforations on the light-casting surface allows for maximum light to penetrate into the inner volume of the structure and onto the light-catching surface Similar to the other surface, the solid nature of the panels decreases as it progresses upwards. i.e. No. of triangles per panels reduces.

Perforation gradually grows in intensity towards the top to simulate the progressive dissolving of the solid ground walls onto the open skies.

Computational Process:

Step 1: Defining Parameters: Bounding Box The first set of components generates a 150x150x150 cube which acts as the defining parameters for the surfaces to be generated.

Step 2: Forming Loft Surfaces Each surface is formed from 2 lines that are generated by points around the edges of the box. The lines are then lofted to form a surface.

Loft Surface + Paneling

Step 3: Paneling Surface 1 The light casting surface is paneled with perforative panels that are varied through point attraction. Weaverbird PictureFrame is used to generate the openings

Step 4: Paneling Surface 2 Light catching surface is paneled with solid panels that varies in complexity. Morph 3D command is used to transition the panels into the surfaces.

Computational Process:

Step 1: Contouring Surfaces This group of components is responsible for contouring the surfaces in Z and X axis. The curves generated are where the waffles will be generated from

Waffle Structure

Step 2: Lofting Contours The contours generated are then lofted to create the contouring waffle structure.

Step 3: Creating Notches Notches are created to allow individual waffle pieces to slot into one another. This allows the structure to be structurally sound due to the interlocking of members.

Step 3: Trimming The pipes used to create notches are then trimmed against the waffle members. The final outcome is then a waffle structure ready to be individually laid out and laser cut.

Physical Model

Laser Cutting Panel laser cut lineworks

Waffle Laser cut lineworks

The most important step in preparing a file for laser cutting is ensuring whether the panels are developable when unrolled (i.e. no overlap). Once that is resolved, the steps leading to the completion of the cut follows a defined set of procedures. The main challenge is to make sure lines are assigned to the correct layer (cut, etch, raster). An etch accidentally assigned to cut may cause the entire panel to become unusable. Hence, high level of attention must be present as such minor carelessness bears considerable consequences. Through laser cutting, I also learned the significance of Orienting to align cuts which subsequently reduces cut timing and cost. Proper nesting also allows for more leftover surfaces which can be valuable as stock often runs out when there are heavy demands.

Black: Cut Red: Etch

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TASK 2: Boolean Geometries

Task 02 Full Page Photo

For Task 2: Boolean Geometries, the concept of porosity is introduced. Through the solid-void relationship, I was prompted to start considering concepts of thresholds - spaces for programmes, as well as circulations about the spaces. In this project, I utilised perfect spheres with varying sizes as the main boolean carving objects. Spheres are chosen due to its curvaceous profile that leaves a smooth , non-angular cuts. The whole distribution of the spheres is generated to create an overhead light-well where skylights are filtered into the interior spaces through a telescopic system. This again plays with the idea of utilising lights where in this case; lights are being used to signify important thresholds.

Design Iterative Matrix Grid Manipulation





{176,155,167} {39,96,102}










{126,-33,-18} {Point Attractors}

Sphere Distribution



{Point Attractors}

{Curve Attractor}

{Curve Attractor}










Sphere Transformation

{Point Attractors}

{Random Attractor}

{Curve Attractor}

{Point Attraction}






{Shear Morph}



{NU 2-planes scaling (Y and Z}

{Orient and Distance Attractor}


{Reverse Distance Attractor}

Exploded Diagram

An opening at the top provides a pathway for light to enter the inner section of the structure. A ‘telescopic’ element carved from a series of spheres provides directionality to the lights that are being casted onto the inner volumes.

Multiple volumes of openings suggest various possible means of circulation about the structure.

Minimal supporting structure further suggests the uncanny heaviness of the cantileving mass above that appears to be hovering.

Cantileving roof suggests an implied threshold underneath the structure.

Directional light from the light-well above is defined clearly onto this open area, suggesting a space of interest or gathering.

Computational Process:

Step 1: Defining Parameters: Bounding Box The first set of components generates a 150x150x150 cube which acts as the defining parameters for the boolean geometries to be contained and carved.

Generating Boolean Geometries

Step 2: Points Matrix Grid This set of components creates a points matrix along the cube’s surfaces via 3x3 grid system. This points will be the reference points for geometries

Step 3: Manipulating Grid The point matrix generated are then manipulated using different means of attractions - point, curve, etc. The customised points are then cellulated to form cells

Step 4: Generating Boolean Geometries This group creates geometries based on the cells generated previously. The geometries’ properties are manipulated through varying attractions / magnitudes.

Step 5: Boolean Differentiation The final step uses Boolean Difference to carve the cube with the geometries generated. This then forms a form with potential spaces formed by solid and void

Design Iterations

Aesthetic Potential Spaces Fenestrations Circulations

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This first iteration explores the idea of cantileving for lightness. Centralised around an open interior mass, the form generates a clear definition of potential gathering spaces. Perforations generated around the wall would potentially create interesting directional lights to the centre space. However, the circulation is too simplistic where there is only one way in and out.

Aesthetic Potential Spaces Fenestrations Circulations

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The second iteration explores the idea of having a second level. A light well is generated by the boolean process, creating interesting light sources towards the interior spaces. However, there appears to be no potential access to the second level. The lower level is also too narrow for any possible programmes to take place

Aesthetic Potential Spaces Fenestrations Circulations

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The third iteration follows a more horizontal form - creating a cave-like system. The booleaned geometry produces very interesting means of circulating about the places rather than just a straight path entering/ exiting. However, as most of the openings are located on the sides, the place would have difficulty obtaining lighting unless artificial lights are used.

Aesthetic Potential Spaces Fenestrations Circulations

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The last and chosen iteration combines the successful traits of the previous iterations. A cantileving roof creates a floating effect on the form’s large massing. An open space provides potential for programmes that is accessible through various ground openings for circulation. A light well above filters in lights onto the main area, effectively incoorporating utilising the fenestrations of the form.

M 2 T a s k 2 : 3D printing

The model was generated through plastic 3D printing. With plastic printing, the main challenge is to design around the restrictions imposed by cantileving forms. While generating the model, I had to constantly resolve forms that may possibly generate large volumes of support structure which is not ideal due to the additional time and cost produced. By utilising different orientations, minimal support can be generated. MakerBot , a printing software, is useful in calculating the time and cost, as well as generating a simulation of supports for us to identify and reduce. Simulation of supports generated by the model’s orientation when actually printed.

Physical Model

A spotlight signifies the presence of something important

It is the purpose of a building to shelter people People are the most important aspect of architecture

3. A Pavilion Design

A Symbiotic Intervention

“Biomimicry is learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes and ecosystem to create more sustainable designs� Janine M. Benyus

Queen Victoria Garden, Melbourne

The Hearth |

A symbiotic intervention

The Hearth is a light-emitting entity that benefits from the symbiotic relationship between two organisms that form the pavilion. The idea stems from the primary concept of light catching - casting, creating an interplay of dynamic design within a static structure.

The pavilion is fabricated to accomodate a lunchtime seminar and an evening quartet performance, sheltering an estimate of 15-30 audiences. The pavilion form is essentially a distorted hollow cube, where the programmes can take place within. Worn walnut lines the interior, creating a more tactile, humane experience. The exterior of the cube naturally forms an enclosure, providing shelter for inhabitation. Polished walnut is employed to clad the exterior, providing it with a glossy profile that assist in reflecting lights further to the diffused context. Raised above a stepped podium from the park, the pavilion provides a clear transition upon entering. The pavilion connects to the surroundings by the projections of lights that extends to a proximity. The intensity and direction of lights produces varies throughout the day due to the sun’s movements. This provides an effect where the pavilion undergoes a photosynthesis-like process of filtering lights in and projecting it out.

The external form of a pure cube provides the juxtaposition of rigid, orthogonal external with a minimal, free-flowing internal.

The flat and empty wall acts as the ‘light-catcher’ by providing a surface for the patterned lights casted by the perforations.

The relaxed surface takes the role of the ‘light-caster’ which projects light in every direction through the perforations onto surrounding surfaces

Seatings are subtly integrated as part of the structure itself by utilising the minimal surface forms.

Isometric Rendition

The pavilion’s platform helps to reinforce the intended circum-ambulatory nature of the pavilion’s circulation to understand the pavilion as a whole.

The float creates a seating that allow viewers to sit and view outwards into the light being casted on the ground by the pavilion

The stepping platforms (one on each side) acts as the only means of entering / exiting the pavilion. This helps to clearly define the assigned circulation when navigating the pavilion.

The wall floats above the ground. This form provides the impression that the wall’s mass itself is not load-bearing. It is instead supported by the internal columns which cantilevers outward into the walls.

Circulation Diagram

Legend: Main Circulation Path Area of Movement

C o m p u t a t i o n a l P r o c e s s : Bridging

Step 1: Dividing The Surfaces The first set of components divides the surfaces into cells that can be individually selected. These selected cells will then form the face-areas for the bridging.

Step 2: Bridging Surface The next group generates the bridges between the selected cells of the bottom and top surface.

Step 3: Joining the Form The next step involves combining the bridges and surfaces as a single object. This is so that the bridges can be relaxed as part of the surfaces.

Step 4: Baking final product The final outcome is a single object consisting of bridges and surfaces. The top surface is wire-framed to provide a view towards the interior of the object.

By the same logic, the surface bridging script is futher explored to attain a form with higher clarity, allowing programmes to be speculated into the spaces . Three base surfaces are employed to simulate basic enclosure - walls and roof - which allows the bridging to happen in more directions. Cylindrical volumes replaced quadrilateral forms to provide a juxtaposing profile between the interior and exterior , further exploring the possible relationship between inside and outside.

C o m p u t a t i o n a l P r o c e s s : Relaxation

Step 1: Dividing the object The first set of components breaks down the object into faces via triangulation to allow a higher degree of customisation. The smaller the faces, the smoother the relaxed form will be

Step 2: Anchor Points This group provides the anchor points for the relaxation to ‘latch’ onto. In this case, the anchor points are generated from the naked edges of the object

Step 3: Relaxation The Kangaroo component then relaxes the object with reference to the anchor points. This creates a series of tensile elements within the cube.

Step 4: Perforations Perforations are generated via WeaverBird. The openings are generated in accordance to the individual faces that were generated in Step 1.

Computational Process: Fenestrations

Step 5: Selection based on Areas This group allows the selection of faces based on the size of their areas. The median value can be adjusted to alter the ‘larger than’ or ‘smaller than range.

Step 5: Selection based on Areas The selection divides the form into 2 different objects due to their area difference: ‘Smaller than’ and ‘Larger than’

Step 6: Perforations for Selected Areas The openings of WeaverBird can now be generated only within a set of areas rather than the whole object.

Step 7: Baking the Object The final product is a relaxed form with perforations located on specific locations that can be freely adjusted.

By using the same flow of work, the location of the perforations are assigned in better accordance to the concept of light casting and catching. The perforations are now primarily located only within the interior relaxed form and openings of the exterior walls. This is effective as the light funnels are now able to filter in more lights into the spaces inside and the weaverbird openings now provides a patterned profile for more interesting shadows and lights projected by the pavilion.

Relationship Diagram Initial form of the host: A pure cubic form with 2 surfaces exploded off

Cubic form is forced to distort to accomodate the parasite’s form. The host still mantains certain degree of its cubic form

The minimal surface parasite that depends on the host as a platform to project the lights that it generates.

Exploded Diagram

Holes on the host’s roof helps to funnel in natural light for the parasite to generate its lighting.

The blank and puristic cube form of the walls and roof (host), is being distorted due to the relaxation from the parasite. The host itself then catches the light that are being generated by the parasite, producing intense patternation on the previously blank walls of the host.

The internal minimal surface acts as the’parasite’ which latches onto the ‘host’ (orthogonal cubic walls and roof). This surface generates light by absorbing sunlight through the occuluses during the day and via LEDs at night time. The lights casted by the parasite (minimal surface) is then caught by the host (walls and roofs).

The distinction between the base and pavilion is blurred by relaxing the columns into the base; as if the column rises up from the base.

Design Iterations

Iteration 1 is the most straight-forward approach to the relaxation object. The pavilion concentrates on a centralised light source that acts as the main light source, projecting lights in every direction. However, the spaces formed through this form is not possible for the required brief as it is too small. More openings could also be added for better lighting inside

Iteration 2 is a more refined form of Iteration 1 that starts to greatly considers the threshold and circulation of a pavilion brief. The bottom area is now freed up to allow more spaces with the light casting surfaces now resolved onto the higher area, filtering lights in effectively. However, the light casted is not obvious enough as there is only one suface able to catch the lights

The last iteration both incoorporates light casting openings and light catching surfaces more extensively. Combining the more enclosed form of Iteration 1 and light wells of Iteration 2, the final iteration is able to generate light effectively while at the same time capturing the lights produced. A centralised space of Iteration 2 is also used to resolve the programmatic brief.

Atmospheric Rendering

The interior of the pavilion follows a honey-comb like profile. Flickering Visitors are greeted with a lightshow upon entering the pavilioin. The lights casted and caught is clearly visible in this orientation

lights with different levels of glow helps to create the effect of ‘breathing’ , suggesting that the pavilion is an organism itself.

A centralised space with seatings on the seat allows people to congregate or

Aptly named the Hearth, the pavilion viewed from the exterior resembles a

simply rest while being immersed by the intense-patterned projective lights and

fireplace that offers comfort and warmth from the harsh external elements. It

shadows. This establishes a greater feeling of actually being inside something -

is an entity that provides light in the dark and warmth in the cold - an effective

a pavilion.

example of a humane architecture

Physical Model The vision of the pavilion is then realised into physical forms.

The pavilion is generated through two methods of fabircation: Plastic Printing and Powder Printing

Plastic 3D print

Powder 3D print

Powder Printing is used to represent the potential of the pavilion’s perforative elements in casting complex lightings. Powder printing is also more effective than plastic in producing this model as powder printing does not generate support structure , making it a better option when generating complex forms. It also produces a smoother profile to allow sharper and clearer lights to be produced through the holes.

Light is a strong communicator of atmosphere, space and presence

Beings are instinctively attracted to lights

360 Atmospheric Screen

360 Image Output

Digital Design Semester 1, 2018

Melvin dinata dd portfolio final final  
Melvin dinata dd portfolio final final