ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO
LAURA MILLER 541 938
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 2
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST PART A: CASE FOR INNOVATION: 1.1 ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE 1.2 COMPUTATIONAL ARCHITECTURE 1.3 PARAMETRIC MODELLING 1.4 ALGORITHMIC EXPLORATION 1.5 CONCLUSION 1.6 LEARNING OUTCOMES
6 9 11 15 16 17
PART B: DESIGN APPROACH: 2.1 DESIGN FOCUS 2.2 CASE STUDY 1.0 2.3 CASE STUDY 2.0 2.4 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT 2.5 TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES 2.6 TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL 2.7 ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES 2.8 LEARNING OUTCOMES
19 26 28 30 33 34 39 41
PROJECT PROPOSAL PART C: GATEWAY PROJECT: 3.1 DESIGN CONCEPT 3.2 TECHTONIC ELEMENTS 3.3 FINAL MODEL 3.4 LEARNING OUTCOMES 3.5 CONCLUSION
44 64 68 72 73
INTRODUCTION My name is Laura Miller, I am 20 years old and a 3rd student in Bachelor of Environments majoring in Architecture. I have always had a strong passion for design, whether it through the medium of painting, model making or computer graphics. Since i was about 12 i have always looked to architecture as the direction of design i wished to pursue. Architecture has a way of encompassing the values of our culture while creating an experience and place which can be used for specific functions. It is the interaction the design has with its users in architecture that interests me the most. Since first year, i have been introduced to sketching and computation as methods of designing. Virtual Environments gave an introduction to Rhinoceros and its abilities to change the way in which we can design. The Design Studioâ€™s Earth and Water allowed me to learn skills such as AutoCad and Skecthup. I enjoy the possibilities proposed by computational design, and investigating the new ways we can approach th designing process. I hope that this project will further broaden my ability and understanding of computational design as it has such a strong influence on architectural practice today.
PREVIOUS WORK The brief of this project undertaken in the subject Virtual Environments was to design a wearable body lantern through the means of computation reflecting an influence from nature. We were introduced to Rhinoceros 4 as the software used to create and manipulate our designs. Through the project I developed skills and understanding of using form making tools, how to manipulate these forms to eventually panel and fabricate the final design. Exploration of Rhinoceros allowed me to expand my approach to designing, and showed me the possibilities of using computation for designing. This project required us to begin the design process by sketching our ideas and inputing these into the computer for manipulation. The outcome of this project allowed me to explore different patterning techniques which may perform as the structure and skin of the design simulataneously. Rhinoceros also accelerated the process for not only producing the design information but also the contruction information, allowing me to fabricate the lantern effectively.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
PART A: The Wyndham City Gateway Project ‘should propose new, inspiring and brave ideas, to generate a new discourse.’
CASE FOR INNOVATION
ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE Why architecture? What solutions does architecture offer that will be beneficial to the Wyndham City Gateway Project?
In order to answer these questions we firstly have to understand the basis of this discipline and ask what even is Architecture? How do we define it in the 21st century? Architecture is often hard to explain as one singular definition, it can be decribed in numerous ways. Many would proposes that architecture is design or architecture is problem-solving or that architecture is merely the producing of buildings. However Williams (2005) wants us to understand that ‘architecture needs to be thought of less as a set of special material products and rather more as a range of social and professional practises that sometimes, but by no means always,
lead to buildings’. This evaluation of architecture that Williams wants us to understand ignites the idea of architecture as a discourse. Discourse is defined as ‘a written or spoken conversation or debate’. (Oxford University, 2013). In relation to architecture the discourse involves the philiosophies and culture influencing these discussions. As a result informing the ideas and direction that inspires the design of a building. Forming a contunious evolution within the discipline of architecture. The following examples help reitterate how the discourse surrounding architecture informs and defines the architecture itself.
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM Frank Lloyd Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is centred at the heart of Manhattan, New York. As one of Wright’s most well received but also controversial buildings of his career. The museum attracted a lot attention due to its bold contrast to the rigid grid which forms Manhattan’s skyline. It embodies the ideals of organic architecture through it fluidity and sense of continuity, drawings its influences from the modernist movement. The ideals comprised by modernism are evident in the museums rebellion against the ornametal facades of its historcial predecessors and its use of materials produced during the industrial revolution. Wright’s vision was to ‘make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony - such as never existing in the World of Art before.’ (Aaltonen, 2008) In order to achieve this Wright allowed each level of the building to simply flow into one another while wrapping around a central atrium. This brought forward a new way of thinking about spatial organisation, allowing
Figure 1: Guggenheim Museum, New York
the circulation throughout the building to connect all its parts. As an art museum, the idea of revolving around the building in a continious fashion allowed the the exhibitions to tell a story as one moves through the space. This idea still translates to it’s users today, allowing for a functional and efficient circulation pattern. This idea of a circular museum was highly controversial, prompting critiques decribing it as an ‘attack on art’. (Aaltonen, 2008) However Wright stuck to his intent of connecting the art with the building, causing a new discourse in architecture. Although the ideas of a strong design intent and relationship between the buildings part are still qualities we find in architecture today, the always evolving discourse of architecture is looking to new ideologies of design. Rather than creating a segmentation between interior and facade, architectuure is exploring the ideas of designs performing as the structure and skin of the building simultaneously.
CHINA’S NATIONAL GRAND THEATRE
Figure 2: China’s National Grand Theatre
Figure 3: Interior of China’s National Grand Theatre
Eloborating further on the idea of architecture as a discourse, Architect Paul Audreu’s striking National Grand Theatre of China in Beijing expresses the new ideas spiking converstation within the architectural practice . ‘Architecture is as much a philiosophical, social or professional realm as it is a material one’. (Williams, 2005) The voluminous curved building draws its insipartion the philosophies of organic architecture, simultaneoulsy create a social space for the art of theatre to be shared. Possessing the ideology of connecting the building to nature through its fluid lines and waterfront location, it almost seems as though it needs the environment surrounding to complete it. These ideals stem from the architectural theories brought about from computational architecture.
Figure 4: China’s National Grand Theatre
The glazing used on the theatre allows natural light to penetrate throughout the day, and at night when lit from inside ‘the movements within can be seen from outside’. (ArchDaily, 2008-2012) Evidently this rejects ideas of architecture to be static, allowing the movement of light to create a dynamic design. This building attracted attention through its use of computational technologies, a strong contrast to the more traditional architecture surrounding the site. Computation allowed the architect to create the structure to be the skin of the building itself, a new architectural typology. Invisioned by Audreu as a structure which allows for ‘harmony through a combination of modesty and ambition, agreement and opposition’. (ArchDaily, 2008-2012)
1.2 COMPUTATIONAL ARCHITECTURE How can computation be advantageous to the designing of the Gateway Project? How does computation change the way in which we design ? How does is affect architecture?
A stark contrast to the traditional ideologies of architectural designing, the computer rejects the pencil and paper method allowing us to conceptualises complex geometries. Computation brings more to architecture than just complex forms, it also changes the way in which we approach designing. It ‘allows designers to extentd their abilities to deal with highly complex situations.’(Peters, De Kestelier, 2013) We now have the ability to design solely through computation, using parametric modelling to form and manipulate our design. However ‘design computation is still only seen by many as “just a tool” and remote from the real business of creative design’. (Frazer, 2006) We need to understand the functions and abilities of
our computational programs, in order to change our perception of them as ‘just a tool’ to utilizing them to their full designing capabilites. Computation has evoked a new discourse in architecture. The innovative forms and design methods straying from the conventional and traditional have brought forth discussions of dehumanisation and relevance. The ideals influencing design culture have also moved from the emphasis on form and geometry. Computational architecture is there ‘particularly appealing are not the new forms but, paradoxically, the shift of emphasis from the form to the structure(s) of relations, interconnections that exist internally and externally within an architectural project.’ (Kolarevic, 2003)
Digital modelling gives design the opportunity to explore new realms in architecture. We now have the ability to conceptualise designs in a 3 dimensional environment, providing greater understanding of our structures before they are built. Zaha Hadid is an architect at the forefront of computational design. She utilizes computation to realise and manipulate geometry such as the curvilinear form in Figure 6, to produce structures that demonstrate the advantages of parametric modelling. The idea for the design of the Szervita Square Tower in Budpest (Figure 5, 6, 7) intends to present itself as a radical contrast to the traditional pedagogy of the surrounding architecture while maintaining in context with the heritage of the city centre.
Figure 5: Parametric model in 3D design space
Computation allows Hadid to approach the designing of this building in a different way to how we would traditionally. Using parametric modelling, Hadid has the ability to create this structure with the fusion of two complex geotmetric patterns overlaying a blob-like form. Digital technolgies allow an acceleration to the process of designing with great complexity and in turn â€˜the design information is the construction informationâ€™. (Kolarevic, 2003)
Figure 7: Compterised model of design
Figure 6: 3D render of proposed design for Szervita Square Tower
Figure 8: Compterised model of design
1.3 PARAMETRIC MODELLING What is parametric modelling? and how can this new way of designing help develop the Wyndham City Gateway Project into a wellrecognised structure?
Parametric modelling is a term that seems to be changing and evolving as its use in architecture becomes more recognised and practised. Steming originially from mathematics, the term parametric is a ‘set of equations that express a set of quatities as explicit functions of a number of independent variables, known as parameters’. (Weinsstein, 2003). In terms of architecture, it allows us to create algorithms forming our deisgn ideas and manipulate the forms produced by changing the parameters of inputs inside the parametric model. Parametric modelling ultimately allows for control and efficiency in our generation and development of design ideas, presenting greater opportunities for innovative and creative forms to be produced. The influence of parametric modelling on the architectural practice has even spiked the question of parametric design forming its own design movement. Elite architectural figures such as Patrik Schumacher forsee the idea of parametricism becoming ‘the great new style after modernism’ (Schumacher, 2010).
Although parametric modelling seems to have no limitations in its ability to control all elements of the design within connecting algorithms, caution must be taken to recognise the some implication that do arise. With the capability to perform such small iterations to a design, there is the potential for changes to go unnoticed, which may implicate the fabircation of the design later in the process. The inability to replicate or contribute to a parametric model without previous knowledge of the algorithms in use also poses as an issue facing this way of designing. However parametric modelling exposes far more possibilities to architecture, that outway the implications that may be faced. It accelerates the design process and accuracy in structure design, as well as attracting attention and motivating discussions within the architecture discipline and wider communtiy. This can allow for a less expensive building process and ultimately involves less people in the construction phase. How can we afford to not utilize the advantges of parametric modelling in architecture?
Figure 9: Scaled card model of Torus House
Figure 10: Interior of Torus House
Computational architecture such as parametric modelling stimulates the idea of this ‘digital continuum’ in which we are discovering new and innovate ways to design with the use of computers. Preston Scott Cohen’s Torus house encompasses the new ideologies governed by parametric design. He employs the idea of topology, integrating two dissimilar mathematical geometires allowing him to create a structure which forms the idea of ‘oscillating between being outside-in and inside-out’. (MoMa, 1999) This idea made feasible through computation gives the house the ability to change with our perceptions of how we are to live. Parametric modelling has changed the way we understand ideas influencing design. Designed through mathematical representation, usually a curvilinear form.Topology has now become ‘less about spatial distictions and more about spatial relations.’ (Kolarevic, 2003) It is this shift in thinking that has drawn attention to computational architecture, especially parametric design. Figure 11: Interior of Torus House
Figure 12: Mercedes-Benz Museum
UN Studioâ€™s Mercedes-Benz Musuem located in Stuttgart, Germany utilized computation in order to manipulate mathematical algorithms within parametric models to produce the final design.
Figure 13: Mercedes-Benz Museum
This project has been inspired by the control and efficiency of parametric modelling to produce an organised and layered spiralling structure. (UNStudio, 2006) It encompasses a strong position of parametric modelling in the present and future of architecture, asking the question of the ability to produce this design without the use of algorithmic relationships. Although this building makes a bold statement on the benefits of parametric design by standing forthright in its flat and low density context, there is still the challenge of how this building may have developed further if it was not restricted to the design direction which had to be conceived and followed from the beginning of the development phase. Would the form emulate a different impression? But if parametric modelling was not employed, would the architect still have the ability to create efficient spatial oragnistaion in a complex curvi-linear form while maintaining his design intent? This structure falls into the architectural discourse encompassing the growing practise of computation. In this case the ideas and philisophies of expressing innovation and forward thinking have worked to the advantage of this design, utilising the attention parametric modelling attracts. It allows the architects to focus more on their intent to produce a form emphasising layers and organisation, controlling the parameters of the design efficently through parametric modelling.
Similar to the previous example of Zaha Hadidâ€™s work, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre uses the abilities of computation to create a complex geometry. This strong form embodies fluidity and curvilinear forms, only possible through parametric modelling. The bold structure employs the new architectural ideologies of interconnections and relationships between the systems at work. Parametric modelling allows for the continuity of structure within such a changing geometry. Figure 14: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre
This design possesses a strong stance on the neccessity and importance of parametric modelling in the architectural practice. It goes to the extent of implying parametricism as a design style itself. An idea proposed by David Schumacher an architect second to Zaha Hadid in her practice. The Cultural Centre rejects the principles of previous design styles, avoiding rigid forms, lack of variety and employing unrelated elements. Instead Hadid utilised the principles offered by this idea of â€˜Parametricismâ€™ forming a design in which all systems communicate with one another while being differentiated through gradients and bound by curvilinear forms.
Figure 15: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre
1.4 ALGORITHMIC THINKING Exploration of Grasshopper and Rhinoceros has helped develop my understanding of what parametric modelling is and how it works. Through the video tutorials explaining different ways to create forms and patterns, I was able to explore designs that would be far more difficult to realise through handsketching. Parametric modelling accelerates the designing process, giving the opportunity for more forms to be explored in a set period of time. The first parametric model featured here was an inital algorithm explored in week 1. It is a quite a simple mathematical formula in terms of the number of inputs and parameters used. However it produces a strong and complex form as a result. This is a design not easily explored through sketching. The next parametric model is a patterning list, in order to create complex and interesting patterns which may be used for fabrication or structure. It requires a more intricate algorithm in order to produce the pattern, but allows you to alter the patterns in many different ways using different parameters which create the relationships forming the design.
1.5 CONCLUSION This chapter has evaluated and explored the benefits of employing parametric modelling in the design for the Wyndham City Gateway Project. Through examples of built and proposed structure that have utilized these new ideologies and designing methods, it provides evidence of the strong impact and attention a parametric design will bring to the project and the city of Wyndham. Parametric modelling offers the opportunity to create an innvative and forward thinking design which will collaborate with the briefs intent on demonstating â€˜inspiring and brave ideasâ€™. It allows for an efficient and controlled process of design, which will provide opportunities for more forms to be explored. This way of designing also allows for the design information to become the structural information, lessening expenses on the construction phase and giving more emphasis on developing a design which will best express the briefs intent on promoting Wyndam City and creating an interesting and eye-catching design.
1.6 LEARNING OUTCOMES Through the process of this journal so far, i have developed my understanding of computation further and learnt about parametric modelling and the possibilities it offers the architectural practise. At the beginning of semester i did not have the knowledge and skills to see the computer as anything more than a computerisation tool, in contrast to something that could be employed during the initial designing stages. Parametric modelling allows for the entire project to be designed solely through computation, which presents itself as an exciting process that now allows designs to follow a logic of relationships and interconnections that may be manipulated with control and efficiency. Parametric design would have made a significant impact on previous project, allowing me to explore more complex geometries and forms in an accelerated process.
PART B: The Wyndham City Gateway Project ‘need not be literal or didactic in its referenceres, as it may capture a more abstract, aspirational intent and feeling.’
2.1 DESIGN FOCUS
BIOMIMICRY â€˜It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.â€™ - Leon Megginson
FOR LIFE & ORGANISMS TO EXIST TODAY
they must be:
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
CONCEPT - TREE What makes a tree optimal?
leaf shedding leaf orientation interlocking branch tissue vascular system layering tree growth rings root system
ABILITY TO ADAPT How do these processes affect design?
ADAPTATIONS FOR DESIGN LEAF ORIENTATION Adaption due to the sun, to prevent the tissue within the leaves from burning. In terms of the project: Direct exposure of surfaces in the design to the sun may be avoided to maintain the beauty and ‘eye-catching’ nature of design. Sun can effect the degradation of materials: fading, discolouration, cracking, shrinkage.
INTERLOCKING TREE BRANCH TISSUE Structural adaptation allowing branches to attach themselves to the tree’s trunk. The strength of the connection between the branch and trunk is dependant upon the formation of the interlocking branch tissue. In terms of the project: Interlocking can be utilized to create a rigid structure in the design.
LAYERING TREE GROWTH RINGS A new ring layer is formed on the trunk of a tree each year, the age of a tree may be determined by the amount of rings it has produced. The size and colour of the tree rings is dependant upon the climatic effects of its context. In terms of the project: The adapation of the layering of growth rings may be adapted as a metaphor connected to the growth of Wyndam in terms of population.
PRECEDENTS - RMIT DESIGN HUB
The RMIT Design Hub was designed to be a climate-responsive organism using a smart skin facade. This smart skin incorporates 16,000 automated sun shading sand blasted cells. These cells are photovolaic with the ability to turn transparent in the rain, while also allowing for evaporative cooling and fresh air intakes, resulting in improved internal air quality and reduced running costs. Sections of the cells have the ability to track the movement of the sun in order to provide shading. Parts of the nothern facade is dedicated to the research in solar energy technology. The cells in the entire skin of the building have been designed with the ability
to be easily replaced by the advancements of research in solar cells, as technology in the future allows for it. This building involves many diciplines to coming together to produce a multifunctional and highly-efficient building.In terms of Biomimicry it has inherited the process of adapting to its context, in its ability of follow the suns path create shading and alllowing for change in its solar technologies. This form of adaptation is a useful application of the design of the Wyndam City Gateway project, abstracting biomimicry for its systems and process, opposed to its form.
PRECEDENTS - THE MORNING LINE
The Morning Line project was concieved through the idea of creating both a monument and ruin simultaneously through exploration of open celluar structures, idealized as a ‘universal bit’.The geometry of the ‘universal bit’ was realised from a truncated tetrhedron, intending to reproduce its ability to grow and shrink as well as attaching back upon itself in order to create three-dimensional fractals. To form the idea of growth , the geometry was generated through the language of
cells and lattices found in crystallographic construction. The ‘organising’ force of crystal structures inspired the deisgners, allowing it to perform as a modulated structure through its simple principles and unfolding geometries. In terms of biomimicry, the Morning Line demonstrates a unique and innovative solution to design, allowing it to perform on a multitude of levels, not just as a static structure.
Our introduction to using grasshopper as a designing tool in our project explored input directions in relation to our focus on biomimicry. We experimented with voronoi inputs, applying them to both surfaces and solids, as well as interchanging voronoi edges between linear and curli-linear lines. Exploration of appling hexagonal shapes to a surface in also shown, in order to experiment with attractor points across these surfaces. Further development of grasshopper definitions and understanding of how these inputs functions will allow for these types of forms to extend in the direction of biomimicry in terms of our focus on the tree.
2.2 CASE STUDY 1.0
In Case Study 1.0 we explored the definition used to produce the VoltaDom by Skylar Tibbits. Using the alogorithms forming the original geometry of cones used in the design, we appled multiple inputs and parameters to extend the form further. The first column series of mutations explored the apllication of the convex hull input. Changing the parameters on this input extended the design producing the final outcome forming a cell-like geometry. The second column series experimented with delaunay edges, changing the curved edges of the cones into a connected linear system. The outcomes form complex systems of interlocking linear edges. The third column is a series of designs formed through the application of the substrate input. These outcomes extend the form of the cones into an abstact collection of geometries fitting together in a complex arrangment within a circle or rectangle. The final column applies the cone geometry to solid forms. These forms create interesting effects on the orginial solid solid, creating a more complex and visually effective design.
These designs may be applied to our project development to assist the form finding process. They create complex geometries, and can be easily extended through changing parameters. Application of these input may be associated to our design focus, by abstracted the processes of a tree into systems of parameters applied to a form through grasshopper.
2.3 CASE STUDY 2.0 The Spanish Pavilion was designed by Foriegn Architects in 2005 for the World Exposition in Japan. This bold and striking building represents the essence of Spanish architecture in its brightly coloured facade. The outer skin of the building, sepreated from the internal pavilion, consists of varying hexagonal geometries precisely fitting together to form a consistent facade. This lattice structure made up by these geometries has a repetitive nature, which to some extent is broken up with the variation in colours. This Pavilion is successful in providing a bold and intriguing design, however more complexity could be explored to abstract the central form of the hexagon to create a facade that is more unexpected.
In re-engineering this Pavilion we came across many difficulties, mainly in part for the lack of our knowledge in Grasshopper. To create a basic representation of this design, we applied a hexagonal geometry to the surface of a box. From this we created panels and frames on the individual hexagonal surfaces in order to create the variation shown in the Pavilion. These variations are formed by punched out holes in there centre of the hexagons, creating small openings in the facade. The process of this case study helped to develop further skills in using grasshopper, and applying it to real-life projects. However our group did not see the potential in this definition to apply it to our idea of Biomimicry. We want to create a more abstracted design of the processes and systems encompassed by nature. This pavilion is too straightforward in its geometires, and basic in its overall form. Although it worked well for its context of the World Expo, it will not work well for the context of the Wyndam Gateway project which needs to express ‘brave, new ideas’ through its ‘abstract, aspirational intent’.
2.4 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT
Moving forward from the Case Studies and into the development of our design techniques, we explored our direction of the tree adaptation in further detail within Grasshopper algorithmic exploration. Within this matrix we explored the process of tree growth rings, through the idea of rings layering upon itself. The form of a spiral was explored with its ability to layer back on to it self generating a larger and strong form, similar to that of the tree. Abstracting the spiral form for its essential idea of layer, and exploration of simple layering techniques appied to linear forms was also developed. The abstraction of laering away from the spiral form has more potential to develop further in oder to attend to the needs of the brief.
Devolping more complexity in the design was enabled through the use of attractor points and a multitude of layers. Attractor points were utilized to investigate the orientation of leaves, and how this may be incorporated into the design. Extending the idea of layering panels from the previous matrix as well as looking at geometries on a surfaces we explored the relationship created through attractor points. Exploration was made through extruding and angling these panels and geometries at different values and angles. This is a technique which may be developed further in the design, as it has an â€˜eye-catchingâ€™ appeal in its changing form, with the potential to engage with the site and adaptations of biomimicry.
Again referencing the inital matrixâ€™s experimentation with layering panels, we extended this further by incorporating the idea involved in the tree adaptation of interlocking branch tissue. By using polylines connecting points, a ruled surface was created. From this we extruded panels from the surface, and intersecting different surfaces to form a sense of interlocking. In some cases these linear lines took appearance of curvi-linear forms, creating complex forms incorporating rigid and fluid impressions. These explorations in the technique of interlocking and layer is one which would have great potential in the Wyndam Gateway Project. These design incorporate the focus on biomimicry through a complex and eye-catching form, which would easily stretch across the site along the highway.
2.5 TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES
Initial fabrication exploration through prototypes investigated two different approaches: using a tensile structure, such as wire to prevent the structure from collapsing, and using the design as the structure itself. The wire prototypes allowed for the designs which used layering and orientating/rotating panels, whereas the technique of the design also being the structure was limited by the exploration we had done previously to only demontating extrusions/tesselations of a surface. Further prototyping in the proposal of the design will help develop the ideas of fabrication and allow for a coherent relationship between the algorithmic sketch and the built project.
2.6 TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL
INTERLOCKING BRANCH TISSUE
LAYERING TREE RINGS
= ENGAGE WITH SITE
In relation to the Wyndam City Gateway Project and the design direction of Biomimicry, our design will engage with the site by streching across the road while also involving the ideas propsed through the adaptations made by the tree. To incorporate all the processes chosen on the tree, we explored the application of layering multiple panels along various curilinear shapes. This juxtaposition of linear and curvi-linear lines gives greater complexity visually, also using rectangular shaped panels allows for the project to be easily fabricated while still giving the impression of a fluid form. Adding another level to this design, we explored attractor points to angle the panels towards as specified point, this created a design which appeared either solid or sectioned dependant on where it was viewed from.
INTERLOCKING The adaptation of interlocking branch tissue is abstracted into the design as a structure to allow for stability and complexity. The interlocking portrays the idea of strength and is a functional desigh element forming the frame for the panels.
LAYERING The adaptation of tree rings is utilized in the design as layered panels creating an overall curved form. These panels give the idea of growth, as they are repeated across a central curve, forming the overall design.
ORIENTING The adaptation of leaf orientation is involved in the design through the rotating panels oriented towards a point. In this project the attractor point would be the position of the sun in order to avoid exposure on the surface of the panels causing degratation to retain the intent and beauty of the design. This concept also allows the design to become contextual form, linking to the idea of biomimicry and the ability to adapt/change due context and climate.
The final prototype uses polypropylene panels and thin metal wire to fabricate the chosen exploration outcome. This propotype shows the different visual effects the oriented layered panels give from various angles, interchanging between the appearance of solid and broken. The polypropylene also allows for light to transmit through, creating an eye-catching appearance which has the potential to be lit at night in an interesting manner. The thin metal wire creates the structure in which the panels are joined and allows for an interlocking form. The wire is a difficult material to work with, it tends to kink easily when manipulating it, and is difficult to create a protoytpe which can stand on its own. In future design development and prototyping, further investigation into materials which may replace this should be made, in order to fabricate the final design effectively.
2.7 ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES INTERLOCKING
The algorithmic sketch which produced an interlocking form, was one which created a ruled surface which could then be applied to many different surfaces. By using this algorithm on multiple surface, these could then be unioned to create an overall interlocking form.
The algorithmic sketch utilizing attractor points to affect form created a relationship between the geometry and point. Changing the parameters in this relationship allowed for the form to change in various ways, creating interesting forms.
The algorithmic sketch producing our final technique proposal outcome uses an attractor point and panels along a curved line. The relationship between the specified attractor point, which is to represent the sun, and the form through parameters may change the orientation of the individual panels. Interlocking is incorporated into the alogorithm in a different way, using a pipe geometry which intersect with the other secton of the design. This algorithm utilizes key tools in grasshopper connected with the inputs needed to create the design intent producing a system that shows development from Part A in the complexity and understanding in the program.
2.8 LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
This next stage in ‘Expression of Interest’ has developed my understanding of both grasshopper and parametric design extensively. The Case Studies formed a solid basis for introducing more complex algorithms and outcomes. Although we did not use the definitions forming these case studies, they developed my understanding of how an algorithm translates into a fabricated design. Our technique development and argument correlated well due to our strong direction in approaching the project. Moving forward into further exploration for a final form, more emphasis on grasshopper sketches will need to be made. From the strong base of the processes we have focused on in Biomimicry, we will be able to experiment with complex and interesting forms in a specied design direction. The final outcome of the technique proposal, although encompassing all the adaptions of biomimicry, lacks in being ‘eye catching’ and portraying ‘brave new ideas’. It is a simple initial form utilizing our knowledge of parametric modelling and our design direction, however does not fabricate as a complex or interesting form in its context. From this simplicity further algorithmic expression can be explored, to develpp a better understanding of what we want to achieve. In doing this, our final design will not only satisfy the brief but also our goal in replicating specific processes from nature.
PART C: The Design Proposal should develop a design which â€˜will have longevity in its appeal, encouraging ongoing interest in the Western Interchange by encouraging further reflection about the installation beyond first glance.â€™
3.1 DESIGN CONCEPT
After the feedback from our Part B: Design Approach presentation we re-evualated our design intention and how we were going to achieve a design which incorporated: 1. our direction of biomimicry, 2. the capabilities of parametric design, 3. a relationship to Wyndam City The form we came to in part B did not fulfill all of these intentions to the best of their abilities, and therefore had to be re-assessed in order to move forward in our generation and application of parametric design. We went back to the beginning and looked at our direction of biomimicry, the ideology behind approaching it and how we would use this direction to create a design which â€˜inspires and enriches the muncipalityâ€™ Wyndam City (2011).
BIOMIMICRY ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’
- Leon Megginson
THEORY OF EVOLUTION
THROUGH THEIR PROCESSES AND SYSTEMS
OPTIMAL SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
â€˜The logics of generative computational systems that integrate material, form and performance in the design process offer ways of processing the flow of structural forces and interaction with environmental influences on a material construct.â€™ (Menges, 2012)
LEAF ORIENTATION INTERLOCKING BRANCH TISSUE
Reassessing biomimicry as our design direction allowed us to see the issues with our previous form generation in Part B, and how it lack the dynamic nature of the processes and evolving systems which are found in our environment. To allow for a more coherent and focussed design we narrowed our adaptations found in the tree down to two key processes: leaf orientation and interlocking branch tissue. In our design concept we wanted to exploit each adaptation for different purposes, firstly the leaf orientation for its contextual adaptation. In which we could use parametric design to change our design depending on sun exposure, etc. Secondly the interlocking branch tissue for its system of structural adaptation.
Leaf orientation is an adaptation responding to the sun, preventing the leaf tissue from burning in hot climates and maximising solar exposure in cooler climate. To create a form which like the process of the leaf orientation would be adapted to its context in terms of the sun, we needed to design our project parametrically. To do this we explored the Grasshopper plugin Geco which uses Ecotect to generate a solar analysis of a surface dependant on itâ€™s location. Initially we experimented with the abilities of this plug in, and how we could utilize it in our design exploring the relationship between solar exposure and leaf orientation. Through our exploration it was clear that more differiantion in the surfaceâ€™s curve/angles allowed for a greater variation in themal exposure across the entirety.
MEASUREMENT IN WH/M^2
Exploring Ecotect/Geco further in order to utlize its ability in our project design we did a solar analysis of planar surfaces by importing Melbourneâ€™s sun data into Ecotect. This showed that a planar or flat surface had a uniform solar exposure across it, while the amount of exposure changed depending on its angle to the sun (parallel to the sun had minimal exposure, while perpendicular to the sun had maximum exposure). This analysis showed us that in order to create of form which was dynamic and contextural it could not involve a planar surface which a uniform solar exposure, as this would be static and not site specific to the Wyndam area.
From the exploration of solar anaylsis on planar surfaces, it was determined that the surface would have a uniform exposure across it. Therefore in order to create a dynamic form for the Gateway projectâ€™s design we created multiple planar surfaces at differing angles to the sun then smoothed these into a continuous surface. By doing this it allow for a variation in solar exposure across the surface creating a curvlinear form.
CURVE SURFACE DIFFERENTIATING SUN EXPOSURE
SOLAR ANALYSIS FOR THERMAL HEAT EXPOSURE
After determining the form of our surface we perfomed another solar analysis to ensure that our assumptions from our previous exploration were correct. This analysis which used Melbourneâ€™s sun data in Ecotect showed a wide variety in solar exposure across the surface, this was the goal we intended to achieve in our form. From this point we needed to find a way to show the dynamic nature of this design in regards to its change in exposure, apart from the light and shawdow which would be an obvious result of a undulating surface.
To enable the variation in solar exposure across the form to be visually evident to the drivers we came across a new type of materials using thermochromism. Thermochromic materials are based on liquid crystal technology which is reactive to heat. The colour of the material changes dependant on the specific temperature at that point. This is a reversable colour change as the crystals within the material re-orientate at different temperatures which is what produces the variation in colour. This is an innovative and exciting new material which would spark interest and conversation well 窶話eyond first glance. As indicated as an intention in the brief. This interest in the material and its adaptation to solar exposure through its thermal properties is eyecatching and utilizes the process used by the leaf in order to orientate itself depending on the solar exposure it requires.
For the fabrication of the screen surface it had to be tesslated, as a screen of this magnitude (83metres long, 15metres high) could not effieciently or successfully be materialised in one continuous peice. Creating smaller triangular pieces allows for the thermochromic paint to be baked onto the aluminium panels and then assembled to the aluminium frame on site. Aluminium is a light weight and malleable material which is effiecient to cladding a contiunous vertical surface. It is also an ideal material for use in a context with exposure to weather, through its good ability to resist corrosion.
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A protoype of the tesslelated surface was made to visualize its qualities in a physical sense. The tesselation gave the form greater complexity, and modelling the surface showed the dynamic nature of its angles and curves from different view points. The triangular panels also allows the surface to be easily fabricated, as these could be unrolled indiviually from the Rhino/Grasshopper model and send tot he fablab for laser cutting. In the prototype we used flashing as the aluminium frame behind the tesselated panels, this gave the surface its shape and strength.
INTERLOCKING BRANCH TISSUE Interlocking branch tissue is an adaptation in tree as a structural response to ensure the attachment of branches to the trunk. The strength of the branches connection to the trunk of the tree is dependant upon the interlocking system of tissue. We explored this interlocking process as a structural solution to our design. As the thermochromic surface will not be able to stand on its own, a structural support will need to hold it in position. Therefore a dynamic branching systems of supports will stablize and ground the design.
SUPPORT IN MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS
To create the structural design to support the screen/surface we began with a simple linear truss system, looking at how this would be positioned to stabilise the surface. We then went on to explore ways of creating the more dynamic and chaotic system of interlocking structure shown in the bottom diagram. Intially we looked at the Grasshopper plug in Rabbit which has the main function of creating branching systems, however this was too limiting in the forms it produced and also always appeared to create the aesthetic of a tree which was not what we wanted to achieve.
As Rabbit was not able to be of use in our generation of a structure, we found the inputs Exoskeleton and Topologizer which allowed us to create an interesting and less constrained interlocking design. The input of exoskeleton allowed us to create a chaotic branching system through the crossreferencing of points on the surface and a curve on the ground to create connecting lines. By using exoskeletion it gave these lines a thickness, and created nodes at intersecting points which had a greater thickness to prevent the systems from collapse. Topologizer cleaned up this network of branches to dispose of uneccessary connections exoskeleton had produced. The benefit of exoskeleton create these thicker nodes is that they not only emphaise our intention of mimicing the treeâ€™s process of interlocking branch tissue but also stabile the system at its intersections.
We explored many iterations of the exoskeletion being placed on one side, also creeping onto the other side of the surface, being on both sides of the screen and branching underneath the surface. Through these experimentations we came to the conclusive design of the interlocking system on one side of the screen with many nodes and connection points. This was because we did not want to intefere with the experiential quality of the thermochromic surface and the change of colour it would produce throughout different times. By being on one side of the design it would create two different experiences depending on which direction you are viewing the project. The interocking systems was intending to appear chaotic and dynamic in order to be eyecatching to the drivers and represent the complexity of tissue connections between tree branches and their trunks.
GATEWAY PROJECT SITE PLAN 1:1000
The Wyndam City Gateway Project offered three potential sites for the design to be stiuated. We immediately ruled out Site C initally in our designing process due to its lack of engagment with drivers being too the far to one side of the highway, therefore not allowing for the engagment of multiple lanes of traffic. As the designing process developed we experimented with the positioning of our design on both site A and Site B. However due the form of our design and its structure not branching across the highway, we wanted to still allow for the engagment of the drivers without isolating between two directions of traffic. As a result we positioned our design on Site B, where the service lane exit extends off the main higway, allowing it to be experienced from two viewpoints as well as being close to the drivers, engaging them with the design. This site allows for both directions of traffic to view the project from a far and progress towards it changing their perceptions and experiences of the design. Also utilizing the service exit as a viewpoint of the design is beneficial to the experiencial quality of the thermochromic surface, as the drivers will be decreasing their speed allowing them to experienct the varitation in colours more clealry than just a flash of colour while travelling at 100km/h on the highway.
LOCATION OF PROJECT ON SITE B AT SCALE: 1:500
3.2 TECHTONIC ELEMENTS
STRUCTURAL DETAIL OF NODE
To test how we would construct the interlocking structural system in physical form we made a prototype and detail drawing which depicting the aesthetic and technical qualities of the design. The detail drawing depicts the tehcnical elements of the structure contained within the polyester injected molding forming the outer membrane. We derived our solution from the principle ideas of latticelike structures. Our interlocking system consists of 150mm diameter steel rods â€˜linkedâ€™ to the 900mm diameter nodal spheres at the intersecting points. The steel elements used for the rods and nodals sphere would be galvinized to maintain its durability while exposed to weathering in its open and vulnerable setting. To ensure the polyester injected molding forming the outer membrane stays in place, bracing around the nodal sphere and packers around the steel rods are used. This structural system allows the exoskeleton created in grasshopper forming a continuous mesh over all the interlocking members to be utilized for its chaotic and continuous nature. While the technical elements shown in the detail allow for it to work as a structural systems holding the thermochromic surface in position.
The physical protoytpe shows the outer membrane of the structure giving it a continous skin between the the rods and nodes. This would be constructed from polyester injection molding in white to allow for the curvilinear shape of the interlocking system and create the appearance of a continuous structural network of branches. The prototype was constructed by molding plasticine using foam board for the formwork. This demonstated the idea of the continuous outer membrane with its non-uniform surfaces. As the interlocking system is not uniform in its distribution of connections and amount of rods intersecting at the nodes it was determined that we would need between 20-30 varying molds for the nodal spheres with differing form and radius. Galvanized steel was chosen as the material for the rods and nodes due to its ability to be easily prefabricated to the structures specification then assembled on-site to produce the entirety of the branching structure. It is also a light-weight material in comparison to something like reinforced concrete, making it more easily transportated, fabricated and constructed. Polyester injected molding is a material that has the ability to produce free-form surface which is what we wanted to achieve with our exoskeleton. It also has a high resistance to heat, minial skinkage and good dimensional stability which is the ideal properties for creating this outer membrane for the interlocking structure.
3.3 FINAL MODEL
Our final model was created using 3D printing in order to produce a model of high quality showing the constrast between the smoothed surface and chaotic interlocking structure. Investigation into other methods of modelling the branching structure showed that it would not be able to be constructed effectively and neatly, which as a result would affect the presentation of our final design. Therefore 3D printing allowed the connection between both the surface and structure to be shown, as well as the interlocking system as a continuous netork of connections. The final model shows the experientail quality of the intelocking skeletal structure on one side of the design, through light and shadows as well as the layering of connections between branches and nodes. From differing viewpoints you are able to experience the quality of this structural systems differently. The smoothes surface is juxtaposed next to this chaotic system of connections, giving a relaxed quality amongst the complex branching network. Their is also an experiential quality of the curved surface shown through light and shadow, which in reality would portray a variation on colour through the thermochromic material reacting to the differing sun exposure.
3.4 LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES The feedback from the final presenation of our project was quite positive. The argument of biomimicryâ€™s connection to the project and how it was achieved parametrically was demonstrated in a convincing manner to the panel of critics. A criticism of a high level which was expressed by one of the guests was of the ability of the thermochromic design. He questioned the abilities of the surface to have the same variation at different times of the year when the sun is at differing angles and heights. In regards to this, the thermochromism works as a heat reactive material, not from the light exposed on the surface. Therefore there would be a changing effect on the surface throughout the entire year, and an especially large change in colours between the season in which the temperature ranges will alter dramtically. This allows the design to be contextual to its site, if it were to be placed in a different environment it would have a different ranges of colours through that places temperature ranges and height/angles of the sun throughout the year. In regards to the learning outcomes studioâ€™s course, through the process of developing a design for the Wyndam City Gateway Project I have developed a multitude of skills, especially in the area of parametric design. This studio has allowed me to not only have the ability to utilize parametric design through form-finding and development using Grasshopper, but also understand how parametric modelling works and its advantages in architecture.
The Wyndam City Gateway Project asked for a design which would be ‘eye-catching’ using ‘inspiring and brave new ideas’ to create a design which left an impression ‘beyond first glance’.(Wyndam City, 2011) Through our project we parametrically designed an installation using innovative materials and the complex idea surrounding biomimicry to produce a Gateway specific to the city of Wyndam and its location. The use of parametric modelling in this project has allowed for greater possibitity in the generation of a design which will spark a new discourse for the muncipality. It presents the ability to create complex and dynamic forms consisting of a multitude of relationships forming a coherent design. The Gateway project which we have proposed offers Wyndam City the opportunity to present itself as a forward-thinking and innovative community through the inspiring and complex design using the new technologies of parametric modelling. These technologies give the project more depth in its relationship to the enviornment, design direction and site creating a comprehensive gateway which will leave a lasting impression on its viewers.
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