ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO AIR
2013 NICHOLAS COOPER
Achitecture as Discourse
Tod’s Omotesando Building
Natural Inspiration and Computer Generative Capabilities
Grasshopper Challenge: Mickey Mouse
Sectioning: Exploring Patterning
Sectioning: Physical Examples
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â€œapplying the principles of science to solving the problems of humanity.â€? B u c k m i n s t e r
F u l l e r
My name is Nicholas Cooper, I am 39 years young. I am a third year Environments student majoring in architecture. I have completed a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design in which I gained experience with digital design programs such as AutoCAD, 3D Studio MAX, Page Maker and Photoshop. I have had limited experience with Illustrator and Indesign. I have a keen interest in architectural design, interior design and industrial design, as well as sculpture and fine art. It has been a long time wish of mine to study Architecture with the aid of digital design tools as I am passionate about a career in which I can be involved in an imaginative blend of Art and Science in the design of environments for people. Naturally I am a decision maker and I revel in team leadership and creativity. In choosing Architecture with the use of digital design tools as I am interested in the fact that people need places in which to live, work, play, learn, meet and shop all of these enabled by the evaluative nature of these tools. At a young age I was a Designer using CAD, I am trained in the art and science of building design and I long for the privilege to be licensed to protect public health, safety and welfare. In the future I hope to transform these needs into concepts and then develop these into building images that can be constructed by others through the use of a virtual environment.
In doing so, I will satisfy my personal need to communicate between and assist those who have needs. I believe my talent lies within a role that will involves computer generation of architecture as well as interaction with clients, users, the public as a whole and those who will make the spaces that satisfy those needs. Whether the projects I tackle are single rooms or a new building or the renovation of an old one, as an Architect I am interested in providing professional services, ideas, insight, technical knowledge, drawings, models both physical and computer generated within the virtual world. I am confident in my ability to deliver a balance of an extraordinary range of functional, aesthetic, technological economic, human, environmental, and safety factors. As an Architect I will be in a position in which I have the opportunity of finding a coherent and appropriate solution for the needs at hand. Interest in a career as an Architect comes easily, and it began early. By learning to see buildings, spaces, and their relationships, I am sensitive to things that concern Architects. I notice the effects of colour, texture, light, and shape. I consider how spaces feel when we are in them. I look for rhythm and pattern, simplicity and ornament, old and new in our environment. As an Interior Design Student I visited the design studios of schools of architecture, toured the offices of a local firms and read books and magazines on architecture to gain a broad understanding of the nature of an Architects work and the values of the profession. An Architecture curriculum is intensive and demanding, however I know that I am capable of putting in the required hours of late-night effort. The most exciting thing for me about the prospect of Architecture study is the opportunity to participate in a digital Design studio.
Introduction Architectural technology has developed significantly over the last 2 decades which have allowed a multitude of options for generating designs. Computerised design has enabled students to manipulate the design process from its infancies to be most high-tech levels of analysis. At university computer modeling has become the most integrated design solution to the varying problems that arise in designing the high-tech buildings of today. In fact it has become the universal discourse of the design and building industries. It presents an interface in which sculpting architectural space has allowed various and wide architectural forms to become possible. Digital media becomes malleable in a physical sense as the type of architecture we are talking about allows a complex set of architectural prototypes which are precisely aimed at generating a discourse about the design of interactive space. Entry into such a highly diverse range of possibilities is allowed as the built or physical is transformed into the digital environment and parameters are tested to the â€˜limitâ€™ of unlimited possibilities. Structures within computer environments allow geometry to be unfolded into translucent and divided layers creating a virtual space which is hypothetically perceived in four dimensions. In this journal which has been created through extensive research through architectural magazines I have encountered and included different contributions from leading architectural projects most commonly concentrating on the use of parametric modelling to create these buildings of interest. I have also included one building in which I believe the design to be boring, in fact ugly. At this point the question arises - which of these buildings uses parametric modelling? Can parametric modelling techniques replicate nature? - and if so, how? Does it do it through the replication of form, structure or ornamentation? The use of space by interaction between physical and ethereal elements enabling people using the space to have their senses provoked and to see the unseen. An interesting question is how parametric modelling enables the use of a designed space in regard to how it was foreseen and ultimately constructed. In regard to the buildings in question their atmospheric quality, acoustics and light all play a part relevant to how they were perceived from the architectâ€™s vision of the space and then realised through parametric design.
Parametric Modeling It is born from the depths of mathematical equations that parametric models arise. These may be simple equations found in reference books or direct mathematical correlations with natural phenomena in which I began looking at a commonly found natural object this being the sea shell. It is noted that such a structure can be deciphered by looking at the fibonacci sequence.
These equations may be found through the development of computer modeling of which can be done within an architectural firm or contracted out to specialists in analysing structural systems. Project data derived from the design gives parametric modeling the validity it needs to have a profound effect of the overall design. The accuracy of the data analysis methods determines the varied sophistication of the design outcome. Uncertainty of outcome is common as well as desired to break free from the norm. Modeling produces a less bias towards rigidity of design generated within an older school environment in fact it produces a further advanced process. This enables an extensive feedback graphically which includes support for traditionally risky areas such as input sizing and wizards.
Achitecture as Discourse ‘Over the last 20 years technological advances have presented a range of new possibilities for architects. All students now learn some form of Computer Aided Design (CAD) skills at schools of architecture and it is now an accepted language in the discourse of the discipline.’1
This technological advance has presented a whole new interface to describe architectural spaces and has allowed new sorts of architectural forms to evolve. ‘A set of installations and architectural prototypes, it is aimed at developing a discourse about the design of interactive space and, more precisely, investigating ways of treating digital media as physical matter. The surface of a computer projection is unfolded onto a translucent structure, with the result that ‘layers of digital information, behaviour and ambience share projection territories’ and create the prospect of a ‘nonscreen-based computer environment’.’2
As history tells us the process of architectural design is now a lot further down the technological track than previous methods using plans, sections and elevations all done by hand. In the birth stage, design appears in one’s head then on paper and for highly sophisticated generation – the computer. It is infact, the computer that allows us more technically advanced design through which we can create a level of abstraction not formally attainable with previous methods. ‘For a long time architecture was thought of as a solid reality and entity: buildings, objects, matter, place, and a set of geometric relationships. But recently, architects have begun to understand their products as liquid, animating their bodies, hypersurfacing their walls, crossbreeding different locations, experimenting with new geometries.’3
Todâ€™s Omotesando Building
Toyo Itoâ€™s building is particular interest as it is derived from something found in nature this being the tree. It is presumed that the facade was generated from analysis of the branch structure, however irregular this may seem it is noted that the building contains both upright and oblique elements. It is particularly apparent at night when artificial lighting enables viewing of the interior, as light filled cavities, create voids as irregular as branches create within a tree. Though, irregular they may seem, there is an underlying pattern which is obvious when observing the branches of the tree.
The TOD’s building by Toyo Ito has underlying patterns of structure that allow for loads to be distributed towards the foundation. They are positioned throughout the building’s skin which allows openings in the façade. This treelike structure brings the external in and projects the internal out.
The Gherkin Tower situated in London is a recognisable piece of architecture which fits on the global scale as a master piece. It has many interesting features, the most obvious is its skin which is hexagonal and is derived from the Venus Flower Basket Sponge. This sponge, a beautiful part of nature has a lattice exoskeleton that appears visually translucent in its underwater home. Stresses upon the organism in many directions become the driver for the evolution of its geometry. The pressure distribution on its exoskeletal structure is reduced by its rounded shape. The reduction of forces due to underwater currents was applied to Fosterâ€™s design of the tower.
When studying these two buildings there is a similar design process in that the vertical structure are accompanied by angular elements portraying natural phenomena as indicated by the Gherkin Tower as a sponge and the TODâ€™s building in the image of a tree. This far-reaching design was possible due to parametric modeling in several programs. â€œThe models allow you to play around with certain features of a building without having to re-calculate all the other features that are affected by the changes you make. This makes them extremely powerful design tools.â€?4
So, the design becomes a host to the parameters that the designer has set whilst allowing other features that you do not want to change creating a strong basis for abstract angles and curves.
Natural Inspiration and Computer Generative Capabilities Architecture as a profession has been using computers to generate forms and analyse structures for 50 years. The second example, the Gherkin Tower shown above, is an example of the power of this type of programing. Parametric modeling allows changes at all stages of the design process each of these having an effect on the other elements of the project. Geometrical parameters can be altered whilst retaining the overall integrity of the project. Parametric modeling allows an otherwise unavailable interaction with nature letting the form of the Venus Flower Basket Sponge to guide designers in producing the Gherkin Tower. Malleable design process that is tolerable of changing variables enables a landmark curved building as a result of experimentation with generative form creation. Tree-like algorithms allow the generation of building features similar to the oblique tree branch inspired structural skin within the TODâ€™s building. These computer generated branches optimised for structural and architectural merits. Unfounded opportunity lies within parametric design tools, especially when used in designing such buildings as we are mirroring nature.
Grasshopper Challenge Mickey Mouse
1. Circle 2. Copy x2 top
3. AreaCentroid 4. Scale 5. Loft
1. Rotate3d 2. Cap
3. BooleanDifference 4. Extractsrf
1. Rotate3d 2. Rectangle
3. Split 4. Scale1d
1. Mirror 2. Dupborder
3. Planarsrf 4. Split Left
1. Extractsrf 2. Rectangle 3. Curve 4. Rotate 5. Arraycrv 6. Sweep1 7. Split
Sectioning Exploring Patterning In this exercise we discuss the geometric patterns underlying certain pursuit and prey-capture phenomena in nature. Is it possible to suggest feedback laws that explain such patterns. My interest in this arises from the study of a motion camouflage (stealth). Models of interacting particles, developed prove effective in formulating and deriving biologically plausible feedback laws that lead to observed patterns.
Camouflage is a primary defense of any animal or fighting machine. Camouflage was applied with one of two aims. Low-visibility camouflage schemes served to make the object difficult to pick out at a distance, or from specific vantages. On the other hand, disruptive or “dazzle” schemes were intended to mislead the observer as to an objects size, speed and direction of travel. Two tiny species of tropical octopus have demonstrated a remarkable disappearing trick. They adopt a two-armed “walk” that frees up their remaining six limbs to camouflage them as they slink away from trouble. I have a fondness for security countermeasures in the natural world. As people, we try to figure out the most effective countermeasure for a given attack. Evolution works differently.
In some animals a wide spectrum of variants is tried. If one of them has an advantage in terms of differential reproductive success, it begins to predominate in the population. In this sense, you are driven to at least a local optimum. The problem with evolution as applied to technology is that youâ€™re never guaranteed to arrive at an efficient (as in well-engineered) optimum. E.g., nature never evolved the wheel for locomotion.
The idea of evolutionary design and natural selection is the event with infinitely small theoretical probability of â€œdiscovering a technique or tactic which worksâ€? this does indeed happen, which gives that individual an advantage over its peers, and then gets passed down to its offspring either through genetics or memetics, who in turn have an advantage over their peers, thus, over time, forming a majority.
Physical Examples Pictured physical models are a representation of what is commonly known as foils. These are representational of bird wings that enable thrust and directional movement and the ability to steer as well as stabilise in motion through air. I find these interesting in relation to my case study of the Gherkin and TOD’s buildings in that the form of the Venus Flower Basket Sponge moves in relation to the tides it is apparent that the Venus Sponge adapts and is harmonious with the micro currents that flow within the surrounding fluid. The comparison case study of the TOD’s building is representational of another part of nature being the tree. The light and form of the images show how movement may occur in relation to structures with such streamline features and colour variants. When speaking of this I am interested in the fluidity of forms like these through the air. An interesting comparison is how the images are representational of how fluid is comparable to air in that air is invisible and fluid is visible and to be distinct the movement of water over such surfaces and how it reacts in creating movement on a similar pathway as air. Fluid can be all objects in that each entity has movement within its particles and “solid” objects. We refer to such entities as solid due to the fact that they hold their form over a longer time frame. Fluidity has many different degrees of dynamism from the super solid state to a plasmatic soup somewhere between these two polar opposites sits air, of which its atmospheric entity is visually captured through the quality of light in these images.
These models are a second stage of development of the fins first stage of light and fluidity. Pictured here are forms that have interesting colour, transparency and relationship to wings on a bird. It can be recognised that there is some interplay of interaction between the forms. That leads me into my study of the Gateway Project where I am looking at birdâ€™s habitation from pre-birth to eggs and hatching I find this interesting in that their environment has lots of factors that must be right for them to procreate. What is interesting is feathers in relation to movement, decoration, stability, warmth, attraction.
Conclusion As we have spoken about modification, assembly and location - flexible parameters that can be chosen to control the location and geometric constraints of modeling a design. The diligent generation of production and design enabled through parametric modeling reduces the occurrence of floors in assembly, reduces work and limits mistakes. So, buildings such as the TODâ€™s building and the Gherkin become feasible design proposals. Design of this type enables buildings of this nature to be produced and allows further exploration of more abstract design of natural examples of innovative architectural form, structure and space.
Originally the group I was in decided that sectioning was going to be an area of design focus. However, after some indifferences I decided to pursue another area of my personal interest, that being, Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. I am interested in this as the geodesic dome is one of the strongest structures known to man. For this design project I have decided to compare Buckminster Fuller’s domes to a bird’s egg. It is known that a bird’s egg is a very strong structure in some ways, these being, in compression along its major axis. I was originally drawn to a bird when I photographed a lorikeet in a Melbourne suburban park. It struck me how wide the bird’s chest was and as well as its overall size. I began to think about its egg and its nest and how it goes about breaking out of the egg with an egg tooth and later in its life builds a nest. The nature of Bucky’s domes in reference to its tiling lead me to consider how similar in nature eggs would look and perform in conjunction with one another.
Calatrava’s Milwaukee Museum
Milwaukee Museum by Santiago Calatrava is an abstract high tensile building structure that from many perspectives looks like the features of a bird. From bracing arms to sweeping curves the building has bones in structure, ribs in form and high reaching poles with cable stayed ties that support the bridge. Some features look like wings, others look like beaks, others look like a bird’s puffed chest. It is a truly amazing building. Light floods the interior spaces, both low and high, painted in white. It truly looks like a sophisticated swan perched within the landscape. “Among the many maritime elements in Calatrava’s design are: movable steel louvers inspired by the wings of a bird”5
Protruding from the central core of Calatravaâ€™s building is a seemingly spinelike back bone to which is attached the stretched out two wings of a bird. Motion is captured within this architectural feature giving the structure movement as well as poise. Fanning out either side of the building is other forms that once again portray open wings. In this case they portray stealth. The structure of the building uses repeated elements that give the building linearity whilst holding curved form. In fact it is in every angle that one can appreciate how in depth Calatravaâ€™s portrayal of motion is.
Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest
Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest structure for the Beijing Olympics is truly a sophisticated building that borrows from a bird’s nest. The design allows the natural crisscross elements of such a structure as found in nature. “The design resembling a bird’s nest was inspired from the art of Chinese ceramics and its purpose is to leave the spectators wondering which aspects of the structure are functional and which are only included for design purposes. In order to achieve the design of a stadium that was “porous” while also being “a collective building, a public vessel”, the team studied Chinese ceramics. These two main conceptual ideas gave birth to the “nest scheme.””6
The curved rim of the top sides is an extension of the overall curved nature of the building; which portrays a softer take on natureâ€™s birdâ€™s nest. This being included in the design process for aesthetics not structure. However, in a structural sense, it is plain to see that there is some regularity within diagonal elements which repeat in parallel. These being overlapped in several angles across the building: giving cross bracing structure to the building.
Case Study 1.0 Office Da Banq
Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 1
Gradient Circles Image Map
3 Record Label Image Map
Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 2
Bird Image Map
Snake gradient Image Map
kk. Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 3
Pyramid Image Map
Escher Image Map
Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 1
Gradient Circles Image Map
3 Record Label Image Map
Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 2
Bird Image Map
Snake gradient Image Map
Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 3
Pyramid Image Map
Escher Image Map
Case Study 1.0 B.2 Technical Process Manipulation of the original Office Da Banq grasshopper script 1. Alterations to the dimensional parameters 2. Multiple image samples 3. Bird chosen for random simulation of points 4. Points divided with minimum and maximum thresholds of z values 5. Lines interconnecting between the two threshold matrices of points 6. Rotated about x directional vector with pseudo randomly distributed angles 7. Mesh generated from end points of generated lines
Architectural Qualities of the Geometry Triangular planes derived from bird image extrapolated into an abstraction of a birdâ€™s nest. The form of which generated by points of the individual nest members intertwining and linked to each other through an amazing function of bird intelligence. The whole nest is then inverted to create a skin covering the space enclosed underneath. Who is the designer? It can be said with parametric modeling that the computer is often the designer. This occurs when complex calculations override the foresight of the designer. In this case abstract mathematical equations dictate form. In this design I have tried to pull back and somewhat refine the abstract form into a conceptual basis that may relate to something in the real world, such as a bird and its self-constructed habitat.
Lorraine Farrelly, 2007, ‘The Fundementals of Architecture,’ AVA publishing SA, Switzerland.
Aether Architecture/Adam Somlai-Fischer, 2005, ‘Induction House,’ Architectural Design, vol 75, no. 1.
Ole Bouman, 2005, ‘Architecture, Liquid, Gas,’ Architectural Design, vol 75, no. 1.
4. Marianne Freiberger, 2007, Plus Magazine, viewed 10 April 2013, <http://plus.maths.org/content/perfect-buildings-maths-modern-architecture>.
5. Morten Wilhelm Scholz, 2001, Open Buildings, viewed 21 May 2013, <http://openbuildings.com/buildings/milwaukee-art-museum-profile-2502>
6. Emily Pilloton, 2007, Inhabitat, viewed 21 May 2013, <http://inhabitat.com/beijings-olympic-stadium-by-herzog-and-demeuron/>
progress so far