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Wyndham City Gateway Project Major Concerns interpreted from brief.

Case for Innovation Architecture as discourse - The Tower of Nests - Driftwood Pavilion - Land of Giants Reflection + Preliminary Expression of Interest Computational Architecture - Innovation in system - Innovation in process Scripting and Programming - Hyposurface



CUT. Experiments Matrix. Input/Association/Output Further explorations Case Study - Spanish Pavilion Reflection on Case Study Developing ideas through model making

Preliminary Narrative

Refining after Feedback More experiments


Wyndham City Gateway Project Requirements, Concerns and Goals

With the emerging parametric tide pushing design into the new era, advanced technology and ways of thinking will be incroporated into the project for Wyndham City, aiming to add highlights to local community upon meeting its requirements from given brief.

According to the brief, Wyndham city needs better living condition and aesthetic streetscapes, more open spaces and parks. A harmony between natural environment and human activity need to be maintained while applying modern concept. The design needs to work with local history and culture, creating a sense of pride to express Wyndham City’s value seen in the past and future.

Location and raised concerns - On urban growth boundary where residential and commercial meets undeveloped plain - Sense of arrival, fresh experience Design Concerns and Requirements: - Exciting and eye-catching - Inspiring and enriches the manicipality - Longerity, survive the first glance - Need significant impact, iconic feature - Dialogue between the design and its landscape - Work with speed, passing motorists

The New Realm

In recent years, myriad computational technologies and theories has been applied to work with creative ideas to open a new chapter in the design field. Through explorations, they further branch into many unprecedented realms that produced innovative design solutions.

Yet beyond this, a computational approach to architecture enables the generation of the previously unseen. Forms that can longer be conceived of through traditional methods become possible. New realms open up. ————Michael Hansmeyer

The Tower of Nests

Towards the Future Metropolis.

ARCHITRCTURE AS A DISCOURSE The Tower of Nests is a conceptual future project of a high-rise structure designed as a habitat for human, birds, insects and wildlife in Shanghai. Regarding environmental issues, this project contributes a new vision in urban architecture to achieve the balance between industrial development and the nature. In order to build a better society, the designers promote sustainability and harmony with nature.

‘We need to learn how to coexist with nature. We propose a building that aims to become a symbol; not of power nor wealth, but of a new era of harmony and interplay between nature and mankind.’ In this sense, the tower is not only a built environmental factor but also a language call on the responsibility in maintaining the natural environment as human and animals are brought closer and the contact becomes richer than ever. In this sense, this tower contains a greater value in rooting a sustainable future.

The Driftwood Pavilion The impending digital tide.

Driftwood Pavilion is a project that used parametric technology to create a piece of architectural language to make connection with the audiences, to communicate. Through a computer-generated script, the movement of lines was generated in a continuous parallel fashion, creating line drawings which formed the basis of a plan. Designer’s interests revolved around carving, eroding and layering. By such manipulation, a sense of movement is celebrated which gives the structure a living atmosphere. According to William’s article again, such design is becoming a form of art which everyone has their own intepretation. Placed in a public square, while some might find it out of place, some others like me, might perceive the beauty of flowing lines, some can feel sentimental connections to its conceptual links to driftwood and the sea and people who is interested in structures ans spatial arrangement might praise its deeply sculpted form.

Also, thinking about its construction, such smooth lines and complex structure are attained thanks to digital technology. Therefore, the scultural pavilion also spell a new future of fabrication. Referring to Architecture and Visual Culture, communication are needed not only for stakeholders but also for the builders. And through the exploration of innovation on construction, robots are designed to take script of the design and then produce the structure. Such advanced technology used is also to communicate the idea of a digital future.

Land Of Giants

Intelligent Monuments.

The Land of Giants is an award-winning unbuilt project located in Iceland. It is a very smart design, making only minor alterations to existing steel-framed electricity towers, the pylons are then tunred into a humanoid shaped sculpture soaring into the sky. Symbolizing a cultural and humanist value, the pylons are again signs expressing mankind creativity and intellegence. The designers sucessfully elaborated the brilliant idea of turning infrastructure on modern landscape perceived intrusive to art pieces that are functional and at the mean time, aesthetically pleasing. More than that, the pylons can configure to respond to their environment with appropriate gestures. When the carried electrical lines ascend a hill, the pylon-figures change posture, imitating a climbing person which cleverly in a way project moods fitting with their surrounding. The dialogue between the design and its landscape is, in this project, very well stretched out. ‘These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon-figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.’


The Tower of Nests

Setting aside the question on whether the tower can be built and will it actually work or not, this concept is very innovative as a architectural project and even more profound as a discourse. And the promoted idea of interplay with nature is exactly what I was looking forward to do in the Wyndham City Gateway project. Since Wyndham city has such a rich history and territories of natural attractions. In this sense, I am looking for a integration or compromise between the new-borned digital star in the thriving industrial world and our Mother Nature’s warm embraces. Moreover, The Tower of Nests was proposed with a skin constructed with natural materials such as wicker, straw clay and stone. Tracing back to early life on earth before human was even born, birds and insects were natural’s architects, therefore, the use of earth material and the concept of imitating structure from nature may be very appealing.

Driftwood Pavilion Sense of movement, celebrated in the Driftwood Pavilion, is one of the key concepts that digital design brings by introducing the smooth flowing lines and surfaces. (Kolarevic) These continuous flowing lines together with the sense of movement are highly appreciated by the audiences, in this case, as they deliver an emotional impact. Evoking emotions is an important connection to make for a successful design with its audience, such approach will be very much effective in the Gateway Project since it needs to be a iconic feature that delivers significant impacts. Also, the sense of movement is very appealing for the motorists moving on the highway, a design that moves along will sure survive the first glance.

Land of Giants Similiar smart design method used in Land of Gianta that alters existing element on site into an affective visual feature was also applied on the ‘House in the Sky‘ project in Werribee region. Inspection on possible resources for alteration located on Gateway site will be included during further design process. As quoted earlier, driving past such design as Land of Giants will be a unforgettable experience, a fun and vibrant experiencial atmosphere will be an essential core in my Gateway design in order to enrich local community and its manicipality. To briefly conclude, general goals set in this phase is to create a fun and experiencial structure that is able to interact and make connections with audiences; to bring laughters, a good mood or even a minor smile that add to its social value; to bring closer nature and promote the harmony; to celebrate the sense of movement.

I In general, enabled by the use of computational programming, the design process are much more flexible than drafting by hand, simply by pulling some control bars, adjustment can always be made also following a very logical order that computer generates. Also during the design process, information can be easily extract or exchange according to designer’s needs. (Kolarevic) New perception towards architecture has been pointed out by architects such as Manuel de Landa, similiar to Michael Hansmeyer’s idea taken from nature, architecture aid by computational technology is now conceptualized as an open living system which has its bones and skins, which grows to adapt to the environment. Like the growth of a child, the bones develop together with the skin to make sure it functions the best. Then it comes to my personal interpretation, with the powerful computational technology, parametric architecture is shifting the idea of each design into a living cell.


Computational, digital architectures are defined by computationallybased processes of form origination and transformations, i.e. processes that emphasize logics of the underlying computational concepts such as isomorphic polysurfaces and motion kinematics. —— Kolarevic As a living organism, motion is highlighted in many modern projects such as Greg Lynn’s roof for a bus terminal with its form imitating its surrounding traffic and pedestrians’ movement through a series of data generated to therefore respond to its environment. Fermid Breathing Light As another mean of applying kinematic movements, Fermid light was designed mimicking the breathing movement of a living organism. Natural inhaling and exhaling movement is controlled by a device underneath, applying external forces to the curled white skin. With no bloby shape and complicated geometry, a skeleton with advanced technology is decorated with texture produced through parametric thinking. The light, however, seems to lack a sense of richness comparing to similiar stunning kinematic designs. But after all, the approach of bring closer the animal kingdom is, as always, fascinating. This can be utilized into the design for the Gateway as a highlight.



‘The design information is the construction information.’ The digital application may further lead to a transformation of the professions and even building industry. A digital continuum from design to production.

Architects had never made buildings. In the past, architects were only meant to produce drawings and drafts. However, nowdays modelling on computers becomes the major focus as another big innovation during an architectural process. By modeling not only the form but the relationships of various factors within a building, these models go beyond static representations and are able to change dynamically to accommodate ongoing changes in the design. Also challenging the role of engineers and builders, design and buildings now can be easily produced following fabrication instructions. In this sense, a digital model provided by designers can lead straight to the actual production.

The Collaborative Cloud Project

The structure is a computer generated form with detailed information such as joints, angles, spaces. Designers then literally become the engineer and the builder.

Furthermore, in projects such as the Collaborative Cloud, located in Colorado where houses some highest activity wind corridors. Such information were suppose to be taken by architects as constraints during the developing process. However, with the computational technology, wind data were measured and programmed to be one of the design forces through stimulation. Therefore, wind became the medium for the project which drives design decisions. The process of developing a design to respond to its specific context can now work backwards which makes it work better within that environment. Challenging Kalay’s idea of design are to solve problems, in this case, given context is to solve design problems. Whereas in our Gateway Project, possibility and potential solutions given by the context should be taken into the design process as the Wyndham City has abundant natural resources for innovation.


Hyposurface is a scripted display screen with an elastic architectural surface made up of small metal plates that are controlled by the digital device behind. Enabled by the radical media technology, the plates can move following certain electronic stimuli programmed from inputs such as sound, light and other external forces. Reacting to these inputs, the surface then produce dynamic outputs, similiar to the grasshopper scripting logic we are experiencing. Governed by information, hyposurface is somewhat like a precisely controlled liquid, being able to produce pliable surfaces such as moving waves patterns and even text emerge,

The design intend was to create an eye-catching display system. I believe what makes Hyposurface stand out is the interactivity it offers with its audience. Unique experience of ‘playing with‘ the screen is then a valuable outcome of creator’s free will of designing attained by scripting as discussed in Mark Burry’s article. I personally think the sense of freedom emerged in this project for both designer and user is the future for contemporary architecture. Also, as a project that can physically alter the environment, this interactive surface offers new possibilities for creating responsive environments.

Imagine myself playing with this living surface, I perceive its general success in providing a fun experience triggering both audiences’ visual and tactile sense, together with the atmosphere enriched by the play of colour and light. Regarding the complex machinary device behind the surface, most of the audiences appreciate it due to curiosity. Especially when the device is programmed to allow customerized movement appealing to individual interest. In this sense, hyposurface is alble to deliver advanced technology to the public by making engagement and interactions.

On the other hand, I find the surface a bit ‘cold’ in terms of its material. The cold metal always gives less of the emotions and more of a distance together with the sharp edged geometries. But it somewhat depends on its context, as stated by the designers, this project is expected to be used in commercial purposed occasions which is very appropriate. However, in the Wyndham City Gateway Project, modern but cold materials and mass machinary governed design is less of my interest as it will not connect to the natural landscape.



INPUT Explicit Grids

Surface Grids

ASSOCIATION Image Sampler Curve Attractor Attractor Point


By rotating, soft textures can be achieved with a trend of motion. Poetic effect, like the surface of a lake wrinkles by a gentle breeze.

Waves, tide, cloud. Romantic, natural and soft texture.

Explicit Grid + Image Sampler + Rotate Sense of moving away.

Morie Pattern, visual effects

INPUT Explicit Grids

Surface Grids Arbitrary Points

ASSOCIATION Image Sample Attractor Point

OUTPUT Rotate/Extrude

By extruding, three dimensional patterns and effects are made possible. Play on the angle, when audiences moving, different view on different angle till reach to a certain point where a clear bulged image can be revealed.

Sound waves, wind, natural forces.

Patterns as apertures, play with light and shadow.

Play with patterns as apertures on the surface, hollow, elevated(extrude), levels, sizes, shapes, layout.

INPUT Surface Normals Explicit Grids

ASSOCIATION Image Sample Random

OUTPUT Rotate/Extrude

Textures and patterns attached on the surface, which gives more variety since the NURBS surface can be altered with countless possibilities. With surface normal, twisted shapes with smooth surface can better convey the idea of motion. Concept of skeleton and skin.

Motions in natural world. Tornado, wings of birds, etc.

Case Study:

Spanish Pavilion

The Spanish Pavilion in 2005 Japan World Expo was designed by Foreign Office Architects, linking Spanish historical legacy with a vision of the future. The pavilion was enveloped with decorative lattices and traceries. The lattice consisted of six different tiles, based in a hexagonal grid, coded with a colour. The specificity of these pieces is that when they are assembled, they never repeat themselves, thus producing a continuously varying pattern of geometry and colour.

The blocks are made of glazed ceramic, a customary technique common on the Mediterranean Spanish coast, but also in traditional Japanese ceramics. The idea of creating a ceramic facade symbolizes the spanish approach to Japan. Recovery of the traditional ceramic lattice from Meditteranean architecture in order to acheive traditional spaces and shadow in the building perimter help in regulating the solar gains and spread of thermal load over the pavilion.

Solid ceramic Hollowed aperture

To reproduce the facade, simply by starting with a hexagonal grid, place number sliders to set the desired number of columns and rows, then noticed on one facade shown in the picture, some of the hexagons are solid tile and some are hollowed, by offseting the hexagons, smaller hexagons will appear to make the hollowed effect. But the offseting command applied to all the hexagons in the grid, in order to only make certain hexagons get that effect, i used list item command learned from EX-LAB tutorials to find specific hexagons that i want to offset. I didn’t really find a pattern in placing the hollowed ones, nor was anything mentioned in its documents, so I just picked random ones to offset.

The method of creating apertures on the pattern grid is interesting. It gives more visual variation by contrasting with surrounding solid tiles and it adds a special texture to the surface. Besides, they also have practical uses letting sunshine and lights in, basically functions as small windows. Also the use of light colours and its expression of culture values are inspirational for the Gateway Project when choosing materials.

Model 01 Birds’ Windows

Apertures opened up to different degrees that create variations, also decorate the surface as patterns.

Model 02 Bloom

A lively metaphor of the blooming process of flowers, apertures applied to play with light.

Three dimensional surface that folds in and bulge out, move as eyes follow its pattern and texture.

Model 03






Phase 3: Case Study

As I perceived, achieving both environmental and social values will be the core to the Gateway Project. The environmental values will be embodied in the idea of bring closer nature by incroporating natural elements or even natural wildlife into the design. The social value will be reflected upon aims to provide playful fun experience when driving past, to light up the mood and a vibrant environment. Then parametric thinking will be applied to develop the major design theme——Motion. A structure that responds to wind force on site with unique effects will be explored further.



After discussion with my group members, the exploration of sense of motion will still go on, but I will focus on expressing it through shapes or surface textures. Ideas from precedents such as Greg Lynn’s roof design for the bus terminal in New York which embraces motion in its curvilinear steel frame and the case study which cleverly provides viriation and mode of change through its pattern layout will be taken further.


Taken a good lesson from tutors’ feedback, I realized the interest in producing a kinetic structure that interacts with wind forces may involve sophisticated data analysis and calculation. Technical difficulties and complexity were underestimated by mistake, while busy getting overwhelmed by all those avant-garde precedents, producing a practical and buildable design for Wyndham City should be top priority. Therefore, preliminary concept will be refined and more practical approach will be explored in further developing process.

Pattern overlay So I go back to the case study to seek for more inspirations and potentials that I neglected before. When moving the hexagonal grid in photoshop that I exported from Rhino, I accidently moved the grid on one layer that create a series of overlaid pattern change with the grid on the layer below which is very interesting, similar to the Moire Pattern effect that tutor mentioned in

Effect of pulling the hexagonal grid horizontally.

Effect of rotating the hexagonal grid above which is more interesting. However, it might not be seen by motorists on the highway since they are moving in a horizontal direction.

Pattern experiments Then taking ideas explored from CUT pattern experiments, a hexagonal grid layer was combined with a circle matrix grid and circles near the center of hexagons are set bigger than the others so when view in front it has a spherical effect. Therefore, again, applying Kalay’s searching approach, effect of overlaying various geometries will be examined later.

By adding colours in, there comes more possibilities and effects. Also, if make the upper layer an extruded and three-dimensional one, then when looking from angles, certain views of the bottom layer will be blocked till move to the front.

AIR journal  

progressive journal

AIR journal  

progressive journal