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Architecture Design Studio: AIR ABPL30048_2013_SM1 Madeleine Ingham 382523


Contents Part A: Case for Innovation Introduction Architecture as Discourse

1

Contemporary Computational Design

8

Parametric Modelling

14

Algorithmic Exploration

19

Conclusion

22

3


Introduction My name is Madeleine Ingham. I am originally from Hepburn Springs in country Victoria but have since moved to Melbourne to pursue territory study. I am currently a third year Bachelor of Environments student with a major in Architecture. I hope to continue into a Master of Architecture in the upcoming years with a focus in sustainable and functional design. Over the years I have gained some experience in digital software in Photoshop and InDesign and have basic skills in Rhino from Virtual Environments in my first year. Below is my body lantern which was completed through using Rhino software. Other than this I have very little in the level of skills and understanding of digital architecture. I believe that digital technologies are an important part of any industry in this day and age, especially for presentation. This is one of the areas where I think digital design is very beneficial to the architecture industry. Presentation is how architects work to sell projects. If a designer has a great idea but cannot present the idea coherently to the client it is a loss at both ends. Computers can assist in merging the understanding of the project between architect and client which I believe is very beneficial. This is the same between clients as it is between industry professionals. Clear concise designs and blueprints are important communication tools between the architect and the building industry. Computer programs largely assist in providing neat, clear and concise information between industry professionals. Computer aided design is also important for architects to use in association with the building industry. In terms of digital design for architecture I only have the knowledge from which I have reviewed myself. I have mixed feelings about the use of digital design in architecture, mainly due to what I have seen in the industry rather than through academic learning. I think using the computer to aid in design generation is a dangerous concept as it can create a piece of art rather than a functional design. As a student who aims to focus in sustainable design I find this a flaw in computer aided design systems. However, imputing a design into a system to test the quality of the project I believe is a very beneficial analysis tool for architects. I think computer aided designs should be just that, aids. I think that the design process should still be addressed at a paper based level or at least diagrammatically represented before computers become involved. This may be purely because of the way I wish to practice but I also think the act of the architect drawing the design by hand gives creates a greater connection between the architect and the design.. I think that digital design is a tool for refining a design, but that it should not be the only media with which architects should interact with. I hope that this subjects gives me a better understanding of how computer aided design and digital architecture simulation can benefit my future as an architect.


Discourse In Architecture In the lecture we discussed the concept of discourse in architecture. Stanislav started the lecture by showing some radical design ideas by Buckminster Fuller and discussed some of the debates and opinions which have been made about his designs. This led to a further discussion about conflict in architecture and how this has shaped the way in which architects have designed and practiced. Discourse in architecture, as I understand it from the lecture, is when cultural, social and political agendas create a differing opinions which ultimately can lead to a re-evaluation of a design. Discourse is an important component in architecture as without discussion about the design there would be no movement forward into other styles and ideas. ‘Any serious “rethinking” of architecture at the start of this century cannot be undertaken without upsetting the structure and emphases of the traditional profession, of traditional typologies, and of traditional modes of envisaging the architectural subject.’1 I found this quote from the lecture very useful in displaying how discourse has affected architecture throughout history. Without reevaluating the effectivity of the design there would be no move forward or leading development in design. Understanding the discourse around the design can lead to positive outcomes in the building industry as changes can be made for the better. Who knows how architecture would have progressed if it was not for the development of literary articles which discuss the issues surrounding the built form. The Richard Williams reading provides similar insight into the way in which discourse has shaped architecture design. In the Williams reading he discusses the difficulties in defining what architecture is as it is an ever changing profession. Williams address how as society changes, architecture in turn has changed with it. Throughout the article Williams discusses the progression of architecture from an art from and into a social and cultural expression. “As it will become clear, architecture is as much a philosophical, social or professional realm as it is a material one, and it is through the consideration of architecture as discourse that one can engage with it as visual culture.”2 Over the years discourse in the architecture industry has encouraged and discouraged certain aspects of design. This has lead to a developed culture surrounding architectural design and progress. Currently this culture is looking for new radical design ideas which have never been seen before however, as always, there is constant discourse over which designs achieve this. In the two precedents that I have chosen there are different levels of discourse with past and new architectural ideas. I feel that being open to discourse is a positive part of architecture design. Discourse provides the greatest analysis tool a designer can get. Discourse, despite its negativity, can be seen in a way as a form of constructive criticism.

1 Anthony Vidler, ‘‘Review of Rethinking Architecture and the Anaesthetics of Architecture by Neal Leach’’, Harvard Design Magazine (2000), 3. 2 Richard Williams, ‘Architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture : Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew Rampley (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), pp. 102 - 116.

3


Discourse In Architecture

Source: http://aldorf.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/amazing-paperhouse-by-shigeru-ban/

Source: http://aldorf.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/amazing-paperhouse-byshigeru-ban/


Shigeru Ban PAPER HOUSE Lake Yamanaka, Yamanashi, Japan, 1995 Shigeru Ban has created much discourse in the architectural industry after creating a new building material and by being a leading architect in sustainable design solutions. Ban’s use of paper to create load bearing building elements was revolutionary to the building industry. Ban used strengthened paper as a design solution for providing temporary shelters to residents affected by the Kobe Earthquake in Japan 1994.1 Ban used paper as it was a material readily accessible, made sturdy enough to support a structure and could be broken down and recycled after use.2 Using paper as the main material and the quick construction time made this project inexpensive and available to a variety of people of varying socio economic status.3 This meant that anyone after catastrophic events had the accessibility to one of his designs. Ban’s humanitarianism work is seen throughout his career and he continually works throughout the world assisting in temporary building structures for the homeless. However, he has transformed his make shift shelter solution from paper tubes into more permanent structures such as Paper House (Lake Yamanaka, Yamanashi, Japan, 1995). Ban uses his paper tubes in a curving dynamic ‘S’ shaped manner to create the walls in between the static floor and roof elements.4 The floor and roof looks to reference back to Le Corbusier’s simple design principle of a flat floor and ceiling separated by columns, however Ban has made it strictly his own style through the use of the paper tubes. This could display a discourse influence in architecture as Ban has taken a well liked style posed by Le Corbusier and incorporated it into his own design. The use of paper has become a defining element in Ban’s work and he continually experiments to push the boundaries with the material. Already Ban has dynamically changed the way in which paper is used in building in his two different projects. The original use of paper as a cheap and efficient material for the less fortunate is transformed into a design feature in a grand house. The occupants of Paper House do not have the same social economic concerns or distress as the previous users of the temporary shelter which fundamentally changes the original purpose of the material. Although the material is no longer about helping people in need it still reflects Ban’s want to insure that people are comfortable and that they enjoy the privacy of the space.5 Ban is well known for his innovative ideas with recyclable materials, paper being the major material. Ban was working on sustainable solutions in architecture back in 1980’s years before environmental solutions and recycled materials were even apart of the architectural community.6 This makes him one of the leading architects in the sustainable design industry. Ban can be described as a modernist, experimentalist as well as a rationalist.7 Ban has created a new form of architecture in sustainable design with recyclable materials in which other architects will be measured against. His work in the architecture industry is significant to the movement of sustainable design by sustainable architecture not only functional and environmentally friendly but also beautiful. 1 Designboom, ‘Shigeru Ban: Paper Loghouse’2010) <http://www.designboom.com/history/ban_paper.html> [Accessed 21/3/2013]. 2 Designboom, ‘Shigeru Ban: Paper Loghouse’2010) <http://www.designboom.com/history/ban_paper.html> [Accessed 21/3/2013]. 3 Shigeru Ban Architects America, ‘Paper Log House’ <http://www.dma-ny.com/site_sba/?page_id=331> [Accessed 23/3/2013]. 4 Elizabeth Nielsen, ‘Shigeru Ban Builds with Paper ‘, ARCPROSPECT International Foundation, (2012) <http://arcprospect.org/index. php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2370&Itemid=2&lang=en> [Accessed 21/2/2013]. 5 Elizabeth Nielsen, ‘Shigeru Ban Builds with Paper ‘, ARCPROSPECT International Foundation, (2012) <http://arcprospect.org/index. php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2370&Itemid=2&lang=en> [Accessed 21/2/2013]. 6 Barbara Porada, ‘Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Cathedral Underway in New Zealand’, ArchDaily, (<http://www.archdaily.com/tag/shigeru-ban-architects/> [Accessed 22/3/2013]. 7 Artek, ‘Shigeru Ban’ <http://www.artek.fi/company/designers/13> [Accessed 24/3/2013].

5


Discourse In Architecture

Source: http://upall.co/helsinki-rock-church-1556.php

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Temppeliaukio_Church_1.jpg


Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen TEMPPELIAUKIO CHURCH (Church of Rock) Helsinki, Finland, 1969 The Church of Rock has a large construction history associated with a large amount of discourse. After many years of the parish trying to find a design for the church, in 1936 the parish accepted Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen’s design of a church built into the bedrock.1There was a large amount of controversy at this time in the 1960’s regarding the role of religion in society and thus the scale, cost and necessity of the church was questioned.2 The churches original proposed size became smaller and ideas were squashed by the controversy of the Helsinki public. In fact, the original design did not include the walls to be left rough and virtually unworked as the architects thought it would be too controversial at the time to be accepted by the Parish.3 However, once the excavations were done, the combination of discourse amongst the public regarding the cost of the temple and the success of the excavations meant that the rocks were left rough and unworked.4 The rough rocks have now become a major feature of the church as well as enhancing the acoustics, making it a great concert venue as well.5 This movement away from being a traditional form of church can be said to be influenced slightly by the surrounding opinions at the time of the build. There are also many influences which can be seen in the original design from the modernist movement. The idea of using the natural topography to form a feature in the landscape can be seen in earlier inspirational buildings such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. Like Wright, brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen have used the landscape around the site to create features in the building. Wright used natural stone surfaces in the interior of the building and contrasts it against smooth concrete and stone elements. This idea of contrast between artificial and natural has been incorporated into the Church of Rock. Most of the rock surfaces have been left rough, but there is the contrast of smooth stone and of course the very smooth and perfectly rounded dome. The dome references back to the original idea of a dome within a church but the use of glass and copper has fundamentally changed the antiquity representation of the church and dome. The copper dome sits above 180 glass windows which give the dome the appearance that it’s floating.6 When approaching the temple from the south all that can be seen is a layer of rocks and the copper dome peaking up from the surface. It is well hidden considering its large expansive space. The building entrance is off a main street and a sense of euphoria is felt when entering the surprisingly large space.7 Although the church still follows the style of many traditional churches though its oval space, alter and large dome, the design is very unique in it’s style from a traditional church. Unlike many traditional churches in which the large expansive space is normally dark with diffused lights from stain glass windows, the Church of Rock is underground but brightly lit by the glass which sits below the dome. Today the Church of Rock is regarded as an amazing piece of architecture which combines the natural elements of its surroundings while providing a separate well lit sanctuary used as a church, concert space and an architectural masterpiece. 1 Kirkko Helsingissa, ‘Temppeliaukio Church History’ <http://www.helsinginseurakunnat.fi/seurakunnat/toolo/touristinformation/temppeliaukiochurchhistory.html> [Accessed 22/3/2013]. 2 Maila Mehtälä, ‘Rectification to the Design History of the Temppeliaukio Church’2007) <http://www.temppeliaukio.fi/english/artikkeli1.htm> [Accessed 23/3/2013. 3 Maila Mehtälä, ‘Rectification to the Design History of the Temppeliaukio Church’2007) <http://www.temppeliaukio.fi/english/artikkeli1.htm> [Accessed 23/3/2013. 4 Galinsky, ‘Temppeliaukio Church’ <http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/temppeliaukio/> [Accessed 20/3/2013. 5 JollyRogArrh, ‘Helsinki Rock Church’2012) <http://upall.co/helsinki-rock-church-1556.php>25/3/2013]. 6 JollyRogArrh, ‘Helsinki Rock Church’2012) <http://upall.co/helsinki-rock-church-1556.php>25/3/2013]. 7 JollyRogArrh, ‘Helsinki Rock Church’2012) <http://upall.co/helsinki-rock-church-1556.php>25/3/2013].

7


Contemporary Computation Design The role of computers in contemporary design can be likened to the revolution of the industrial age on architecture. Beginning with Frank Gehry’s Guggeheim Museum, digital technologies have created a new realm to work in and are changing the way which we practice architecture.1 Computers are a great tool for architects, as unlike humans they will never tire and make arithmetical mistakes, providing architects with a logical analytical tool that can process tasks quickly and repetitively.2 Computers are largely beneficial to architects as they prevent errors in design, provide a way to see the design three dimensionally and can assist in the fabrication and construction of the design. Computer programing has allowed for the design, development and manufacturing of more experimental designs. In particular curved structures which were once limited by paper design are being revolutionized through computer aided design into organic forms which challenge the traditional development of buildings (solid, rigid structures which uniformly dissipate loads).3 Architecture largely ignored the use of curves throughout the last century despite how developed the use of curves were in other built industries. Computers are allowing architects to create geometries which were never before thought conceivable to build. Computers have become a tool which largely assist easing the design process for an architect however, there are some negative outcomes from computer aided design. Digital technologies have created discourse amongst the architectural community as these technologies, although pushing limits in designs, can also limit creativity. As with any media, the design in some ways is limited by parameters. The use of computers adds a new dimension to designing and can affect the design process. It is of concern to the architecture community that in generating design through the use of computer programming that the set parameters of a program will not be broken down and therefore designs will become the outcome of computer programs rather than the architects design capabilities. It is therefore encouraged in many academic journals that the design process should use multiple medias or follow the traditional explorative design process. 1 Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 3. 2 Yehuda E. Kalay, ‘Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design ‘, (2004), 2. 3 Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 3.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Source: http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es/en/the-building/outside-the-museum/


Computerization is primarily seen as a tool in architectural design. This is where the initial design is created by the architect but computerization is used to present the final design which the architect has envisioned, such as Frank Gehryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guggenhium Museum in Bilbao. This is a fantastic way in which computers have contributed positively to the architectural industry. The Guggenheim museum would have been a nightmare to communicate design information to clients, builders and other external contractors without the use of computer programs to break down the design into a way which could be communicated clearly to all external parties. Computers also assisted in construction of the Guggenheim by providing correct mathematical calculations allowing for the construction of the intersecting planes in the buildings. In contrast to computerization, computation is where the computer aided design is used initially in the design process and continued to the end of the design. This sometimes begins by the exploration of patterns in computer programs where a set architectural form has not already been made. Computation is surrounded by a large amount of discourse in the architectural community as this process solely relies on the parameters of a set program and redefines the role of an architect in the design process, which some architects believe is limiting. For the Gateway Project we are required to use Rhino and the grasshopper plug in to generate designs. Grasshopper is great for generating very innovative designs and I believe there is a great potential to design something very eye catching for the project. I think it is also important that we acknowledge that although there are benefits in using this technology that caution should be taken when using this program to generate design. It is important to keep assessing the design related to how it will work as a built form. As this will largely be a computation design the computer programming will be used to generate ideas to fabrication of the design. It is important that while undergoing the Gateway Project that we do not get too lost in the potentials for design in the program and that we keep referring back to how the design will work within the context of the site.

9


Contemporary Computation Design

Source: http://www.pscohen.com/torus_house.html

Source: http://www.tasmeemme.com/project/view/1002


Preston Scott Cohen INC TORUS HOUSE Old Chatham, NY 1998-1999. The Torus House by Preston Scott Cohen is an example of computer aided architecture. The curves are based on the mathematical concept of a torus.1 Preston Scott Cohen liked the torus for its symbolism and blended this shape into the formal home styled living spaces creating a struggle between curves and flat surfaces.2 Computer aided design heavily assisted in the evolution of this project as the unconventional curves between the straight flat surfaces required careful mapping and calculations for manufacturing. This project is referred to as smooth architecture belonging to an avant-garde style which explores curvilinear design.3 Computer technologies and CAD programs revolutionized the possibilities of curvilinear design through the understanding of NURB systems.4 This design can be described as a computerization design as the architect has used the computer to assist in representing the design after the initial idea was already created prior to computing commencement. In my opinion this is an example of where digital technologies have been positively utilized as a tool in the architectural process. Computers have allowed for precise measurement of curves and provides an insight into how these forms can be built, especially important when choosing materials. Without computers this would have been a very complicated design to produce and manufacture. 1 Derek Magee, ‘Preston Scott Cohen’2009) <http://dmageeish.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/preston-scott-cohen.html> [Accessed 3/4/2013. 2 Derek Magee, ‘Preston Scott Cohen’2009) <http://dmageeish.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/preston-scott-cohen.html> [Accessed 3/4/2013. 3 Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 6. 4 Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 6.

11 Source: http://dmageeish.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/preston-scott-cohen.html


Contemporary Computation Design

Source: http://www.franken-architekten.de/index.php?pagetype=projectdetail&lang=en&cat=0&param=overview&param2=21&param3=0&

Source: http://www.franken-architekten.de/index.php?pagetype=projectdetail&lang=en&cat=0&param=overview&param2=21&param3=0&


Franken Architekten GmbH BMW Bubble Frankfurt, Germany, 1999 The BMW Bubble is one of the first structures in the world that was created from start to finish by computers.1 This can be described as computation as the whole design process has been developed using digital technologies. The design is based on the interaction between two water droplets and like Torus House, the design is curvilinear and has used computer aided technologies greatly assists in producing this structure.2 The movement and tension of the water droplets was explored through computers, specifically using a drop simulation, making this design a project of movement or kinetics.3 The mapping of movement is a new design technology produced through computers and gives us a greater understanding of how the building will work, as well as making more specific bio-inspirational analysis. The curves in the BMW Bubble reference the study of water droplets very correctly as they do not follow one radius and display the shape of water surface tension. This design, in my opinion, is successful in communicating the idea of two water droplets. The design does not appear restricted by computer aided technologies, instead enhanced. It can be assumed that computer technologies assisted in manufacturing and producing the design as the produced form follows the lines of the digital design very closely. The BMW Bubble is an example of a computation design success where the design is creative and the materials elaborate the form of the design. 1 2 3

Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 21. Franken Architekten, ‘Bubble’ <http://www.franken-architekten.de/index.php?pagetype=projectdetail&lang =en&cat=0&param=overview&param2=21&param3=0&>3/4/2013]. Branko Kolarevic, ‘Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing’, (2003), 21.

13 Source: http://www.franken-architekten.de/index.php?pagetype=proj ectdetail&lang=en&cat=0&param=overview&param2=21&param3=0&


Parametric Modelling Daniel Davis’ lecture on parametric modelling provided a good summary on what parametrics is, how it has been incorporated into the architecture industry and the positives and negatives associated with it. Davis describes how parametrics is a term borrowed from mathematics which we now use in the architecture industry. The definition which Davis uses to define parametrics is taken from a mathematical encyclopedia where parametrics is described as a ‘set of equations that express a set of quantities as explicit functions of a number of independent variables known as parameters’.1 Davis describes how this expression has been adopted into architecture where ‘the idea of the explicit connection between the parameter and the geometry at the end’ is explored as design.2 Davis makes it clear in his lecture that parametric modelling does not require scripting and computation. Parametrics can operate in a realm outside of computers and has been used for many years prior to computation. A perfect example of this is Gaudi using a parametric model consisting of weights forcing point sources into certain shapes based on the force of gravity to create his design. This can be defined as parametric because there are set parameters (location of the weight points), equations (laws of gravity) and quantities (the model itself). As with many new technologies there is a large amount of discourse in the architecture industry which surrounds it. Woodbury has his own opinions on parametric modelling and how it should be implemented into the design process. Woodbury states that “Design is change. Parametric modelling represents change” and that architects should embrace parametrics.3 Woodbury discusses the many positives in using parametrics as it moves the designer forward from add and erase to add, erase, relate and repair.4 This is a major breakthrough in design as it means that a change in algorithms and numbers can lead to a change in the design and vise versa so bringing change to the design is very easy. “Initially, a parametric definition was simply a mathematical formula that required values to be substituted for a few parameters in order to generate variations from within a family of entities. Today it is used to imply that the entity once generated can easily be changed.”5 Being able to manipulate changes quickly and efficiently in a design while still being able to control the parameters of the design is a very beneficial aspect of parametric design. However, not all changes are fluent and easily adapted in parametric modelling. For instance, finding the point in the algorithm or in the program nodes which represents a certain aspect of the design to be changed can be difficult without a very deep understanding of the design and program. This makes it very difficult for external onlookers who have not participated in the digital parametrics to alter the design. In general it can even become hard for the original user of the parametric model to create major changes to the design as changing the parameters can create larger scaled negative effects. Creating changes to parametric designs later in the design process can lead to disfunction in the construction process as the initial parameters have been disrupted and altered. 1 2 3 4 5

Eric Weisstein, in CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics Chapman and Hall/CRC. doi: 10.1201/9781420035223-18., 2003). Daniel Davis, Parametric Modelling Lecture, 2013 Robert Woodbury, ‘Elements of Parametric Design’, (2010), 1. Robert Woodbury, ‘Elements of Parametric Design’, (2010), 5. Chris Yessios, ‘Is There More to Come?’, Architecture in the Digital Age. Design and Manufacturing (2003), 68.

14 14


Working with parametric modelling does create a large amount of control and efficiency in a design but there are many underlying issues which are becoming more prominent in the design industry. The more that parametric modeling software is being used the more similar we are seeing the end product becoming. This has created discourse amongst the architecture community as to what level should be parametric modelling be used in the design process. Scripting is an emerging solution which designers are using to break through the set parameters of parametric programs and make their designs more original and different to other parametric designs. Scripting is beneficial to parametric modelling as it provides a deeper engagement between computer and user which is not always present in using the set parameters of a program.1 Scripting is also a way in which designers reduce their time by automating routine tasks. Scripting cultures are emerging where designers create more imaginative, innovative solutions without being restricted by a programs parameters.2 Despite scripting’s position not yet being defined in the industry, scripting appears to be a positive solution to the issues regarding parametric modelling creating derogative design. However, like most computer technologies, there are issues with integrating them into the design industry. Scripting is largely an amateur based skill and it is a time consuming process, even for those who are considered experts at scripting.3 Scripting is limited by the skills and knowledge and “even after a model is created, other designers can’t easily modify the design because they don’t possess the knowledge about how it was created and the original design intent.”4 This is an issue when working in large groups in design which is becoming a more common way to practice when addressing large scale projects. Parametric modelling is very advantageous to the design community in providing great designs quickly and easily which are functional. Parametric modelling provides control and efficiency to a design which is not seen in many other design processes which eases the process of design. However, on a larger scale there are negatives to parametric modelling as the more it is used the more frequently we see the similar styles and patterns in built form around the world. Scripting provides a solution to these problems as it is usually the software’s parameters which continually create these similar designs. However, scripting in itself creates more issues in communications of designs despite the new and imaginative designs which are being created through this design process. I think that all design projects are different and parametric modelling can sometimes be very beneficial to a design. However, parametrics is not a necessity of the 21st century and it should not be used for the sake of using it. Parametric modelling, for me, is a great design generator which like all mediums has its limitations. It can be used more effectively in some designs more than others and I believe that there should be more observational analysis of the effectiveness of parametric modelling to find where exactly it is most beneficially used. 1 2 3 4

Mark Bury, Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley, 2011) 8. Mark Bury, Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley, 2011) 62. Mark Bury, Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley, 2011) 11. Parametric Technology Corporation, 2008. “Explicit Modeling: what To Do When Your 3D CAD Productivity Isn’t What You Expected.”

Source: http://zeospot.com/exotique-by-projectione-an-amazing-interior-installation-architectu design/exotique-lighting-installation-design/


Parametric Modelling

Source: http://architecturerevived.blogspot.com.au/2008/08/mercedes-benz-museum-in-stuttgart.html

Source: http://architecturerevived.blogspot.com.au/2008/08/mercedes-benz-museum-in-stuttgart.html


UN Studio Mercedes Benz Museum Stuttgart, Germany, 2001–2006 The Mercedes Benz Museum was a very large project comprising of over two hundred and forty six companies and engineering firms.1 The museum is a complex double helix form based on the shape of the Mercedes Benz logo.2 Parametric design was used throughout the design, more specifically in reducing the labyrinth to a single diagram and controlling the overall geometry.3 According to Ben van Berkel, UN Studio’s cofounder and director, parametric modelling and digitally controlling the design made it possible for changes to be made quickly and efficiently and display the change on all other aspects of the building.4 This was interesting to read as the effect of small changes in parametric modelling can sometimes have negative impacts. It is interesting that parametric modelling was used to map and experiment changes in the design as working with such a large variety of companies requires many people to be able to use and adjust the design. This is difficult as it requires many people to know the exact parameters of the design and continually follow the changes which are made. As far as we know parametric modelling was successfully used throughout this design as the complex form has been compiled together effectively. Computer aided design separate to parametric modelling was also very important to this designs structure due to the combination of many materials and the curved surfaces in the design.5 1 2 3 4 5

Robbie Moore, ‘The Benz’, Specifier, (2013) <http://www.specifier.com.au/pastissues/9592/The-Benz.html> [Accessed 3/4/2012]. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.

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Parametric Modelling

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PROJECTiONE EXOtique Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA The EXOtique project was produced by PROJECTiONE and students from the Institute for Digital Fabrication.1 There were specific constraints such as time, budget and the site (the ceiling at the school architecture building).2 The intention of the designers was to ‘create a simple, hexagonally based, component system that would act as a lit “drop ceiling” for the space, as the ceiling height would allow for quite a bit of variation in the surface.3 To create this design PROJECTiONE used the parametric modelling program Rhino and primarily used its plug in Grasshopper. These computer tools were also used for preparing the fabricated surface, printing and connections.4 The design created is light bulb lit, loose hanging structure which is curved throughout the structure rather than just at its edges. The connections of this project were therefore critical to the design as it is the connections which are also responsible for the way in which the fits together and reacts with each hexagonal member. This process was an exploration of digital modelling for fabrication where the design was already in their minds. In Rhino they created a surface and divided the space into hexagonal forms with the aim of creating a non planar folding and bending surface. This is an example of a beautiful design using parametric modelling. As the design and build was based primarily on repetitive patterns and had a set size, parametric modelling was ideally suited to this project. This is a design where parametrics have not limited the design but rather the design is an exploration of what parametrics can achieve. Parametrics largely benefitted fabrication of this project by calculating the edges for the hexagonal components which were a critical part of the design as without these elements coming together the fluid motion would not have been achieved. 1 2 3 4

PROJECTiONE.com, ‘Exotique’2009) <http://www.projectione.com/exotique/>. PROJECTiONE.com, ‘Exotique’2009) <http://www.projectione.com/exotique/>. Arch Daily, ‘Exotique/Projectione’2011) <http://www.archdaily.com/125764/exotique-projectione/>. Arch Daily, ‘Exotique/Projectione’2011) <http://www.archdaily.com/125764/exotique-projectione/>.

All images from source: http://zeospot.com/exotique-by-projectione-an-amazing-interior-installationarchitecture-design/exotique-lighting-installation-design/


Algorithmic Exploration Understanding Algorithms

Algorithmic Challenge Week One

For the first week readings we were assigned to read a definition of an “algorithm.” The reading describes the different ways in which an algorithm can be defined. Although it did provide a sentence long definition of an algorithm being a ‘recipe, method, or technique for doing something’,1 the reading also explains how the term algorithm can be used quite loosely and how this has made the definition of algorithm become a derogative term for something which requires a computer to generate it. Although computers can perform algorithms they are not the only way which algorithms can be solved or produced. Algorithms can be mathematical equations but more importantly can be anything which can be expressed finitely. The author then re-evaluates the previous definition to include that ‘an algorithm is an unambiguous, precise, list of simple operations applied mechanically and systematically to a set of tokens or objects.’2 The author deems this a more appropriate definition as an algorithm can be anything from a mathematical equation or tax bill to a cake recipe as long as the list of ingredients are finite.

This week we were asked to reproduce an algorithmic challenge demonstrated to us in a tutorial video. This tutorial explored how we could loft curves together and integrate this with Rhino to morph the loft into different forms. For this experiment shown along the bottom of the page I used a pentagon a circle a square and a circle. I then made set these curves into Grasshopper and joined them together with the loft tool. I then turned the points on and adjusted the curves which adjusted the lofts and kept baking my products to get the forms below.

I think that understanding the definition of an algorithm is important to this course work as Rhino is an algorithmic program. However, just because Rhino uses algorithmic expressions it does not mean that these functions are incapable to complete by hand. This begins to create the idea that Rhino is merely a tool used to express these equations which can be completed outside of a computer and that it is not creating something which cannot be Replicated elsewhere. 1 Robert Wilson and Frank Wilson, ‘Algorithm’, in The Mit Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science ed. by The MIT Press (London, 1999), 11. 2 Robert Wilson and Frank Wilson, ‘Algorithm’, in The Mit Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science ed. by The MIT Press (London, 1999), 11.

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Algorithmic Challenge Week Two “AA Driftwood” This weeks “Algorithmic Challenge” required for us to try and replicate a sculpture through following a grasshopper tutorial video. Mine did not come out as I hoped it would (model opposite). I experimented with sliders to try and adjust the depth of which the extrusions cut into the BREP but could not find the right number set for this to work. I experimented with different BREP’s and curves and got some very cool results. Although not outcome I was required to make I did understand the concept of cutting away sections to create “AA Driftwood” project.

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Algorithmic Exploration Algorithmic Challenge Week 3 For Week 3 we were asked to find a Grasshopper tool or definition and implement it into a design. I tried to find a pipe shape which I had seen already completed on a previous tutorial video. I found on the Grasshopper web site that what I was trying to achieve is done through using a pipe tool and that it is usually projected between two curves. I experimented and found that I could select curves, divide them (evenly so that the pipes can be projected evenly between the two curves) and then a line created between the divided curves. I then use the pipe tool to project pipes along the dividing lines of the curves and this gets me my achieved result. However, I wanted to take this further. So I created a spiral around a straight line and repeated the steps. The result was this amazing design of tubes twisting around a central axis. I tried to find a way to replace the pipe tool with something else which was a matter of examining node inputs and outputs and I found that the cone surface could be used as a substitute. Using sliders I can alter the radius and length of the cones to create these beautiful swirling designs.


Conclusion To conclude my Case for Innovation I wish to summarize the knowledge which I have gained from this section into how I will address my own design approach for the Gateway Project. Using computer aided technologies is an intrinsic aspect of this course and knowing how to properly use them in the design process is crucial to the effective outcome of the design. I have analysed the discourse around computational design and found that the main concern within the design community is that due to the limitations of software there is an evolving ‘digital style’ which is very repetitive in its style. This is a concern, however avoided if computer aided design is included in the right part of the design process. Obviously within the Gateway Project we are to use Rhino and Grasshopper to generate the design however, this does not necessarily mean that research and innovative design ideas will not be generated prior to computation. I personally find the computation approach a better design approach when addressing functional built models. However, using the parametric modeling design approach appears very beneficial to this project. Looking at precedents using parametric modelling such as EXOtique by PROJECTiONE which has a more similar brief with the Gateway Project compared to the larger built forms I have studies gives me much hope for a very innovative design to be created using Grasshopper. The gateway Project needs to be exciting and eye catching. Patterns is a very eye catching design feature and disruption within patterning immediately avert the eyes to get our attention. This is what EXOtique has done through its use of curves and patterns. However, what I found most appealing about this project is the tesselation of the surfaces. This design is striking and I think that the use of tesselation and lights is a very dynamic statement within the context of the Gateway Project. In tackling the design process for the Gateway Project I hope to use parametric modelling as a generative design tool based on innovative ideas which fit with the brief. I hope to generate these ideas using Grasshopper and continue to alter and develop the design until refinement. Using the tesselation technique will require many experimental models using light and colour prior to fabrication to assure that what is processed in the computer is communicated into the real form. The form of the model is crucial for this design to be effective. What makes using the tesselation process so innovative is how the design looks when you move around it. How the tessellated patterning appears to change as you move around the object is what I believe to be one of the most beneficial aspects of using it in the Gateway Project because as traffic moves around it, all sides can be beautifully eye catching and spectacular.

Learning Outcomes Through learning about the theory and practice of architectural computing I have developed a greater understanding of how digital software can interact within the design process. Prior to studying architectural computing I was very negative about how software’s can restrict design and take the creativity out of design. Learning about scripting and the cultures which surround algorithmic and parametric modelling I have much hope that architects are not planning on letting software’s limit their designs. This was a main concern for me coming into this course and I am glad to see that discourse in the architectural community is leading to people doing something about it. I have found beauty in the designs of Torus House and EXOtique through understanding how revolutionary they are to the built world. The use of curves in architecture is something which I myself have struggled with while working on paper which in some ways has limited my designs. Through understanding computer technologies I actually have more hope at being able to effectively use curves within the architectural field and manufacture them in a way I felt restricted through paper design. This is what made my last Algorithmic Challenge for week 3 so special to me. I was able to express curves effectively and beautifully in a way I couldn’t on paper.

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A Case for Innovation