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Contents Personal Statement Introduction Part A EOI I: Case For Innovation................................................................................................06 A.1. Architecture as a Discourse A.1.1. Case Study 1: Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando Building A.1.2. Case Study 2: Foster’s Gherkin A.1.3. Case Study 3: Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest A.2. Computational Architecture A.3. Parametric Modelling A.4. Algorithmic Explorations A.4.1. Grasshopper Challenge 1.0: Volume/Room A.4.2. Grasshopper Challenge 2.0: Meshing Exercise A.4.3. Grasshopper Challenge 3.0: Array Along a Curve A.5. Conclusion A.6. Learning Outcomes Part B EOI II: Design Approach...................................................................................................24 B.1. Design Focus B.2. Case Study 1.0: Office Da Banq B.2.1. Population Matrix B.2.2. Bundling, Stratification, Bundling, Contouring and Sectioning B.3. Case Study 2.0: deCOi One Main Street B.3.1. Reverse Engineering B.3.2. Critical Reflection B.4. Technique Development B.5. Technique Prototypes B.6. Technique Proposal B.7. Algorithmic Sketches B.8. Learning Objectives and Outcomes Part C. PROJECT PROPOSAL...................................................................................................66 C.1. Gateway Project: Design Concept C.2. Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements C.3. Gateway Project: Final Model C.4. Algorithmic Sketches C.5. Learning Objectives and Outcomes


Personal Statement Initial skill set: Rhino:










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 involve 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.



a. 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 ‘limit’ 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 architect’s vision of the space and then realised through parametric design.


Part A EOI I: Case For Innovation “applying the principles of science to solving the problems of humanity.� B u c k m i n s t e r

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A.1. Achitecture as a 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.’12 Now that we are taught how to use scripting or computer based methods of architectural design the ultimate “solution space” can be susceptible to designer abuse with the creation of unbuildable architectures. If addressing the problem and continually referring to it, we can avoid such side tracks of abuse and we can orient design and in some cases produce amazing, previously unattainable, architecture. An advantage with parametric design is that as in virtual reality environmental conditions can be tested as with car and boat design where things like aerodynamics are important. ‘The starting point for many design methods has been the notion that design is a process of searching for a solution that satisfies a given set of goals and constraints. The sought-after solution, according to this notion, “exists” within a universe of potential, or candidate, solutions - a so-called solution space.’16

The use of parametric tools enables contemporary examples of architecture that could only be apparent after computational architectural modeling has taken place on a given design idea. It is interesting to note in my three examples of computer generated architecture that the forms are interesting designs; the Tod’s building for its angular construction elements, the Gherkin for its overall symmetry but underlying constructional complexity and the Bird’s Nest for its abstract structural forms. These three buildings are an interesting take on the use of computational architecture to generate their forms and it is apparent that these three design would not have been able to be constructed without it.


A.1.1. Case Study 1 Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando Building



Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando building is situated in Tokyo, Japan squeezed amongst some unusually bland residential architectural situations which is reflected in the Tod’s L-shaped wrap-around plan. The Tod’s building is of particular interest as it is derived from something found in nature - this being a tree. It is presumed that the facade was generated from the analysis of the naturally occurring tree branch structure. However irregular this may seem it is noted that the building contains both upright and oblique elements which act as a very efficient structural system for the building. The Tod’s building is constructed with composite materials, these being reinforced concrete - the beauty of which allows for angular elements to be a part of its structure. The materials in discussion allow for compression where the concrete would crack on a minute level allowing for the steel reinforcement to become the banding tensile structure. It is important to note that the characteristics of concrete used in this manner provide the opportunity for further abstraction of form to be achieved enabling a built outcome. 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. In comparison to this building’s natural inspiration it can be said that the tree optimises its growth in relation to the mass of the branching members holding up the canopy. This means reducing the member size as the tree grows to expand and optimise its ability to capture the sun’s rays. The Tod’s building has underlying patterns of structure that allow for loads to be distributed towards the foundation in similarly optimized fashion. They are positioned throughout the building’s skin which allows openings in the façade. This tree-like structure brings the external in and projects the internal out.

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A.1.2. Case Study 2 Foster’s Gherkin



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 Foster’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 Tod’s building in the image of a tree. This far-reaching design was possible due to parametric modeling in several programs. “The 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.”6 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.


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A.1.3. Case Study 3 Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest

k. Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest structure for the Beijing Olympics is truly a sophisticated system that borrows from formal qualities of a bird’s nest. However, functionally, the design allows the natural crisscross elements of such a structure as found in nature - on the building they act as angular bracing between the vertical hybrid space-truss elements. These being overlapped in several angles across the building: giving cross bracing structure to the building. Whereas, the space-truss elements act as columns and cantilevers tied in with the external structure of the facade. The building can be perceived as a bird’s nest upside-down where the nest-like façade encompasses and nurtures the seating bowl. The covered spectator area is independent from the façade’s structural method where a standard mode of structural support is used, namely, reinforced column and beam. The reinforced concrete is used here as it provides rigidity – a quality which is needed in such a high traffic purpose where it must withstand the stresses and strains put upon the building. The massive qualities of the construction of the seating bowl reduce the possibility of movement; the resonant reverberations. The use of steel in construction allows for long spanning members that can be wrapped around the freely expressed form as the exoskeleton which ties together the structure and entwined ornamental façade. “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.””10




The curved rim of the top sides is an extension of the overall curved nature of the building; which portrays a softer take on nature’s bird’s nest. In a building of this blob nature it can be subjected to more complex structural loads than a rectilinear building. The nature of the blob building has evolved in an environment where parametric architectural software is being used causing a further push of the visual scope and freedom in ‘parametric’ form. This being included in the design process for aesthetics - not necessarily structure. However, in a structural sense, it is plain to see that there is some regularity within diagonal elements which repeat in parallel.

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A.2. Computational Architecture


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’.’1 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 in-fact, the computer that allows us more technically advanced design through which we can create a level of abstraction not formally attainable with previous methods. ‘As an idea, a formless phenomenon, a technological development towards lightness, a tabula rasa of a capitalist economy, a gradual loss of architecture’s moral weight and certitude’7 Despite the current situation; where the computer has its downfalls because of a lack of control in some situations where the computer becomes the designer; not the facilitator as designer. However, the computer has an innate ability to provide the platform within which we are provided with the opportunity to conceive, write, draw and model to a further and far more sophisticated form of architecture. It is important to note that the quality of the design idea, its purpose or “moral weight” is dependent on the ability of the designer; not necessarily the technology. ‘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.’6 With the attraction of blob architecture, in this case where ‘the term blob connotes a thing which is neither singular nor multiple but an intelligence that behaves as if it were singular and networked, but in its form can become virtually infinitely multiplied and distributed.’8



Currently there are many theories surrounding blob architecture and its ability to impress visually and the possibilities of fabrication at high speed with a previously unachievable precision. The only downfall of this type of architecture is that the more sophisticated the design is, the harder it is to build. Though the architect is allowed to visualise his or her dream design and critique it, in some cases it may not be built and they just remain as theorised entities. ‘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.’14 As Patrick Schumacher states, ‘[architecture] encompasses all three categories: artefacts, knowledge and practices - all understood as communications that connect to each other in an ongoing recursive network.’11 Hence, the built and un-built architectures both have just as much authority in the context of architectural discourse and how we communicate them. ‘The autopoiesis of architecture is the ongoing communication process that takes place in myriad architectural practices, schools of architecture, magazines, books and web-sites: a gigantic parallel process producing a swarmformation of cross-referencing elements. The total mass of communications that constitutes this autopoiesis comprises diverse items such as sketches, drawings, CAD files, renderings, buildings and photographs of buildings that all circulate as communications.’11 At this point of scripting for architectural purposes we can say that the environment has come to a point where the majority of architects are using Computer Aided Design methods. Historically CAD has used primitives where scripting software creates volumes via points, curves and surfaces; in contemporary practice it is becoming more prevalent that through object oriented scripting within a CAD tool has imbedded itself within the designer’s process of creating and procuring the architectural result - of which the software is either too advanced to pick-up. The environment of cyberspace allows for sharing of scripting data which in some ways compromises the control or authorship of parametric design processes. The concept of design sharing is still in the stages of debate and it is a fact that learning scripting is enabled by the use of co-authorship. This type of learning enables a further depth in architectural concepts, both philosophical and material which an individual can presuppose.


A.3. Parametric Modelling



Parametric: a “set of equations that express a set of quantities as explicit functions of a number of independant variables, known as ‘parameters’”13 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. ‘usually algorithms are thought of as recipes, methods, or techniques for getting computers to do something, and when restricted to computers, the term “algorithm” becomes more precise, because then “unambiguous and simple to follow” means “a computer can do it.”’15 Within an architectural discourse there is always a purpose. In this sense we can call it a problem. The reasoning is generated in the mind then it is transferred via sketches and furthermore to the ultimate outcome of which is to put these ideas into parametric software. In the end finding a solution in which ‘an algorithm is a particular set of instructions, and for these instructions to be understood by the computer they must be written in a language the computer can understand, a code.’2 The danger of computation is to over work a scenario or situation to the point where the purpose is lost or becomes unclear. Therefore it is integral to relay between analog and digital mediums. The positive thing about parametric design is the option to repeat, reassess and reconfigure. ‘These performance tools, though they can be very helpful for certain designs, can also distract.’3 In some people’s view ‘it can be argued that computational design tools need to be more closely connected with the building process.’ 3 As is the condition at the moment where builders work from drawings and lack the availability of the software programs puts them in the situation where they can’t decipher or even view computer models. ‘We have a hunger for far greater computer power to allow the multi-parameter decision-making to take place in realtime, and many of today’s scripters need to take off their gloves, define their goals more precisely, and think about coding from first principles as excitedly as adopting an algorithm designed for another context, before discovering any limitations’4


A.4. Algorithmic Explorations Preliminary Exercise 1. Circle 2. Copy x2 3. AreaCentroid


4. Scale 5. Loft Left


1. Rotate3d 2. Cap


3. BooleanDifference 4. Extractsrf Left


1. Rotate3d 2. Rectangle


3. Split 4. Scale1d Left


1. Mirror 2. Dupborder top

3. Planarsrf 4. Split 5. Extractsrf




1. Extractsrf 2. Rectangle 3. Curve 4. Rotate 5. Arraycrv 6. Sweep1 7. Split





A.4.1. Grasshopper Challenge 1.0 Volume/Room


Preliminary Meshing Exercise



A.4.2. Grasshopper Challenge 2.0 Meshing Exercise



A.4.3. Grasshopper Challenge 3.0 Array Along a Curve


A.5. Conclusion

Architecture as a profession has been using computers to generate forms and analyse structures for 50 years. The second example, the Gherkin Tower shown previously, 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 Tod’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. The Bird’s Nest is widely received iconic building generated out of the need for a landmark building for the Beijing Olympics. Not only do we recognize that the Bird’s Nest is in part a Chinese delicacy we can find similarities in the parametric methods applied to the Tod’s building; specifically using these methods to enhance its structural integrity; in contrast to the Bird’s nest entwined structural and biased to the ornamental purpose. Where only physical models previously allowed the form to be generated; computation has generated a building of unique quality with enterprising angular qualities. A bright innovative scheme conceived on all levels.


A.6. Learning Outcomes

It has become apparent through these exercises that parametric design methods have a major place within the discourse of architecture. Computation of space in a virtual world is playing currently a large role in the design of buildings. As well as in other associated industries where its testing methods enable superior results as can be clarified in the virtual world. Upon generating a digital model form and function can be manipulated with elements of structure and materiality. Design is tested throughout modeling software that optimises all elements of a varied design process within the algorithmic rules set by the designer; producing a parametrically produced design. Materiality and structure intertwine to produce an innovative outcome. In this sense the complexity of buildable dreamt architectural form becomes seemingly limitless. From the world of virtual reality, ‘a solution space’ becomes available in which design problems are solved and ultimately enable the data to be turned into a building physically. Outcomes of a higher nature put forward a platform to advance architectural design discourse.

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Part B EOI II: Design Approach

‘mathematicians and computer scientists sometimes sharply restrict the definition of “algorithm.” They take the definition of “algorithm” given here, and use it to define the notion of an effective procedure.’15


B.1. Design Focus



The group I am in decided that sectioning was going to be an area of design focus. I am interested in Buckminster Fuller’s approach to design. 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 robust this procedure may be when applied to the design of naturally inspired sectioned forms giving them the opportunity to perform in conjunction with one another. In response to the Gateway Design Competition we are seeking to redefine the existing boundaries of the Wyndham City Council, exploring the use of composite materials taking on an approach based on sectioning, bundling and generative design. The purpose of which is to investigate how we can combine the unique materiality attributes of composite materials, in our case, carbon fibre, and integrate them into a parametric environment to explore new conceptual design approaches.

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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 Calatrava’s building is a seemingly spine-like 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 Calatrava’s portrayal of motion is. Through studying Calatrava’s buildings I am interested in how his forms replicate movement, whilst incorporating stagnant and dynamic elements; which move almost like the wings of a hummingbird. I aim to utilise the ideas behind representing the dynamic in my design. With all my case studies knowledge from the natural world is borrowed upon to create buildings that possess representations of non-stagnant motion. In doing this I am interested in aeronautical forms that relate to natural entities of flight.



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B.2. Case Study 1.0 Office Da Banq The Office Da Banq derives its curved interior ceiling form from a surface covering its interior. The use of ply-wood has been championed through parametric modeling which allows for individual component production. The process of computation has provided the individual elements to be seen as one upon installation. The close nature of the contours reflected in the ceiling shows a continuity of elements that is evident through the machining of each structural beam and how it visually reverberates nuances of contour mapping. It is my belief that this is a far superior design because of its design process being parametrically modeled. The inherent nature of the parametric model that generates the contouring geometry gives the designer a freedom to interplay the interior space encompassed here which could easily extend to intertwine with organic custom made furniture.

Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 1

Gradient Circles Image Map

3 Record Label Image Map

Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 2

Bird Image Map

Snake gradient Image Map

hh. Grasshopper Paramater Exploration 3


Pyramid Image Map

Escher Image Map

ii .

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


B.2.1. Population Matrix

Technical Process

Manipulation of the original Office Da Banq grasshopper script 1.

Alterations to the dimensional parameters


Multiple image samples


Bird chosen for random simulation of points


Points divided with minimum and maximum thresholds of z values


Lines interconnecting between the two threshold matrices of points


Rotated about x directional vector with pseudo randomly distributed angles


Mesh generated from end points of generated lines


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. In a curatorial approach the green dashed iteration is classed as good due to some of its interesting forms and how they enclose space. The yellow dashed iteration is average and the red dashed is bad due to their haphazardness. In regards to the usefulness of these examples – they may not be viable due to their random nature - even so they represent a bird and its nest. More control over this technique will need to be developed in future explorations. Triangular planes derived from bird image extrapolated into an abstraction of a bird’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 inherent intelligence. The whole nest is then inverted to create a skin covering the space enclosed underneath.


B.2.2. Bundling, Stratification, Bundling, Contouring and Sectioning The models on the right show how a transformation via script enables one to create abstract geometric forms which may have some spatial characteristics featuring tiling and sectioning. Of which, the form was derived from a perceivably random data bundling process; the hero image being the bird’s eye view of this creation. The front elevation shows openings and folds displayed generously. The right elevation is my preferred auxiliary view as it features some horizontal elements at which an opening is created. The perspective image shows major external form at both ends. Many folds create surfaces at many angles working between each other to define the space. To create this chosen computer model a number of processes were undertaken. The first of which was bundling data as a matrix of points that can be used to generate any possible form, however the nature of the random generative technique lacks control at this stage. As previous I generated a form from a complex bitmap image of the bird; in the following generative exploration I will create the abstract surface with a more user defined approach. Using a grayscale image that will create where the perceivably random points are is a more controlled input where a required outcome, as such, is needed. The process of sectioning is a valuable method of creating my design where it generates forms of a similar nature that can be fabricated and installed along-side one another. Using a similar technique as previously explained from the Office Da Banq algorithmic technique; the method of sectioning allows the image of choice to create the desired surface that may become the input into this contouring technique. The aspects of the contoured geometry are structural members, so they are the link between the virtual and the physical or material. The outcome of the design purpose is to create an assembly of materials that work together as the design is intended to perform a structure encompasses by a ‘skin.’ By skin I mean; the contours that are representational of the bundled obtuse abstract surface as a rhythmic entity which diffuses the boundaries of the space. So the skin could take on any perceivable form; it is not necessarily the action of the skin to encompass the form, but be a part of it, which would be an interlocking of material members. The surface is an external input into the generative technique which creates the actual materialised geometry.


Site Plan

Right Elevation

Front Elevation



B.3. Case Study 2.0 deCOi One Main Street As an example, the DeCOi Office installation portrays beautiful curved form that invites the viewer to come closer. It is the rolling nature of the piece from one end to the other that entices those who see it to appreciate its organic nature. The piece was created via CNC milling and laminated ply panels. It is amazing how this process of computation outputs such an iconic piece. One can only wonder what the rest of the design impacted upon the design of the reception desk shown. It is easy to compare this example with the previous example, being Office Da Banq. The comparison lies between the two where the former uses plywood sheets as construction members as contoured representations of the input surface and the DeCOi reception desk uses solid plywood members as a direct recreation of the input surface from the virtual to the physical world.

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B.3.1. Reverse Engineering 1.

Describe base curve with 4 points.

2. Describe new curves which describe the curvature of the final form relative to the base curve through the translation of the base curve control points.

3. Divide the parabolic curves by an equal number of points and interpolate a curve between the 7 relevant points that are related by their point index along each curve. P3 P5 P4 P2 P1

P6 P7

4. Using the interpolated curves create a lofted surface.

5. Using a defined vector create contours at a spacing equal to the material thickness.



B.3.2. Critical Reflection

The render of my recreation of the deCOi desk for the One Main Street office refurbishment is on the right and the render of the original desk form is on the left. The overall arc is the same in each image. however, the end of the curve which defines curvature of the desk top which wraps around itself to meet the ground surface is not the same. Although the image on the right is a good representation of fluidity of form it is without the surface (ground) that the image on the left does have. The curve in section of the image on the right is similar to the left and the overall success of this comparison is reliant on this as well as the overall top arc which wraps around.

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The abstract forms of the Walt Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry vary in scale and curvature and are arranged at odd angles each picking up differing light conditions depending on the time of day. This is reliant on the reflection of the brushed stainless steel and the angle of the sun. In-fact, at all angles the building can be viewed as a shiny sculpture. The Disney building has used parametric modeling in its conception and it is a possibility that a similar process of defining curves that are utilised to create curvilinear surfaces as was used in the DeCOi project recreation. It is this that allows a high level of control for the designer to intentionally produce the beautiful forms.


The JS Bach Chamber Music Hall by Zaha Hadid displays similar attributes to the Disney building in that curves create an interplay of forms that allow for extravagant spaces to be created within. The controlled design process enables artificial light and exhibition viewers to consume an interplay of light and space - focusing on the musical performer. The continuous surface was generated by a script from curves that began from opposing ends intertwining around a focal point which controlled the distribution of section curves to control the second degree of curvature.





B.4. Technique Development Matrix of Iterations Fluid Forms


In the following examples I am hoping to derive some fluid and dynamic forms related to movement and aerodynamics. This aim will be key to the Gateway Project in which I am hoping to create a form or a series of forms that relate to nature. At this stage I have created a method to produce these fluid geometries. The process of computation was initiated by an image of a man-made object whose form is very organic, but may not be directly derived from nature. It may possible to use the technique to create fluid forms that mimic natural phenomena.


B.4. Technique Development Matrix of 12 Iterations



B.4. Technique Development Enclosure Exploration



B.5. Technique Prototypes Steel wire mesh coated in black paint that I have deformed from its original flat state to a crunched up abstract form that holds its restitution.

Square wire mesh which has a broader spacing between each wire strand. I have then covered the mesh with fiberglass sheet and coated it with resin. This form is interesting in that it creates a curved wall.

Aluminium mesh that was in a raw state until I bent it to create two folds and then I covered it with a fine fiberglass with resin.


Papier-mâchÊ covering a football and this created the form and then it was covered in plaster bandage to achieve a smooth surface. It could be thought of as an organic form or pod. This particular form is interesting as it resembles half an egg.

Cast plaster with wire reinforcement within it. The form was created from a mold I constructed out of rubber. I like this image as it shows what could be a footing for a building.

Cast plaster and dowl showing how upright members behave when placed in some sort of footing, in this case plaster that was formed using a mold. This exercise shows how floating footings would behave.


B.5 Technique Prototypes

The exploration for segmenting a circle on a plaster base enabled me to use a single form four times and connected through a central core and braced with wire. All of this encapsulated in Perspex. In regard to this design this model is successful in experimenting the basic method of sectioning a simple cylindrical form and replicating this all with the fundamental process of prototyping and the technique utilised in this experiment.


Through these exercises of physical model making we have explored the use of this curved form of which each element overlaps and each is interlocked via slots within the timber. We came to use timber because of the stiff properties of fiberglass which restrict the ability to explore funicular forms. In this exploration we chose to use string in the place of wire as the function to stabilize and hold together the timber elements. We found this to be lighter and more flexible as well as being a good marriage with the balsa wood.


B.5 Technique Prototypes


In this model we continue to generate form by the act of making where-as three panels are bound together by string and are slotted into a base with uprights. This is an experimentation of a prototyping method where composite materials will be used to create more efficient structure. The upright elements could evolve to be more slender and organic in by exploring methods of self-supporting funicular structural systems which would naturally lead to a more fluid geometrical form – of which we are aiming for.


B.5 Technique Prototypes

This model uses the folding technique in which a roof structure is folded inwards and conversely outwards. This form is held up by a simple structure upon which the roof is fixed down to the base which holds the uprights. The design is similar to an Indonesian pole house, however it was not derived from this. It has a similar roof design that was commented upon by the lecturers. I like the form as it is organic and reminiscent of the chapel at Ronchamp in form.


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.

This is a final abstract experimentation with two captured interlocking moments of dynamic flow that were generated by curved forms and strategic bundling of the mesh to create powerful resonance of fluidity and interlocking waves.


B.5 Technique Prototypes

This technique of model generation borrows from the squid in that either end could be the head and the patterning confuses predators to disguise and scare due to the camouflaging attribute of hiding or on the other hand informing those who might eat as poisonous. The form is dynamic as it needs to move through the water with ease and it can be the factor that determines its flat form. The model has similar features and it lays on the ground as does the animal in its hidden posture.

oo. 54

The physical model here shows the use of segmenting in its technique of prototyping and it contains three back ridges and many intersecting uprights. All bound by wire to enable flexibility as well as hold form. This model is directed in the opposite way as it has a back bone as opposed to the grasshopper model that is a blob form with no noticeable structure. These models allow for comparison between the virtual and the physical where external skin becomes internal skeleton. At this point one considers which direction to go in with regards to internal and external and how these relate. The act of extracting the virtual model to realise it within the physical has completely altered the outcome of the project. We have acted as an ancient anatomist extracting the skeleton from the virtual cadaver. So we are left with the visceral skeletal remains of the original fluid concept.


B.6. Technique Proposal Through a process of prototyping and material explorations we explored bundling and sectioning as a means of defining form based on defined points in space. Part of this involved exploring what was physically feasibly with the intention of exploring how we could define a form based on a set of parameters with flexibility to be manipulated and transformed in the digital environment. Parrallel to this notion, we were also exploring how we could define a form that was lightweight, with a structural integrity and efficiency of material use. In exploring opportunities to redefine the boundaries of the project we started by analyzing an aerial photograph of the Werribee area to define an interpretative form, which we could then redefine and iterate, the iterations as sections, forming the points in space and defining the anchor points for the carbon fibre filaments. As such, it is intended that the carbon fibre filaments through a logical process of weaving and interpolation will define the form and not the iterated sections themselves.



B.6. Technique Proposal



B.6. Technique Proposal



B.7. Algorithmic Sketches Attracter Point



B.7. Algorithmic Sketches Fractal


B.8. Learning Objectives and Outcomes

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 TOD’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. Our concpet has naturally oriented itself from the influence of the parametric fabrication technique to the architectural language similar to Calatrava’s Milaukee Museum. Though we intend to progree towards more fluid geometry like that of the ICD/ITKE Pavillion. We have used these materials to replicate carbon fibre filaments as a prototype for physical construction on site, referencing the ICD/ITKE pavilion from 2012. The use of carbon fibre filaments as our predominant material can be directly correlated to and mapped within the digital environment. The implications being that we can utilize the unique materiality attributes in the most minimal and most efficient manner but generate an interpretative form that can be constructed and modeled based on a number of points in space. The strength therefore at a conceptual level comes in its ability to transform the anchor points and base geometry and consequently manipulating the interpolated form. In doing so, we are creating a gesture that references the existing land population and site context. At a large scale it exists as a large symbolic gesture, but the texture and weaving of the carbon fibre filaments allow an interaction at a personal level. Nevertheless, conceptually we are redefining an interpretative form as it could develop in the future in an effort to contribute to a symbolic reinvigoration and regeneration of the council and its public image. Moving forward, we hope to further explore generative design by exploring points in space and using as anchor and attractor points to define form.


Part C. Project Proposal The project for a sculpture that aims to generate interest in the boundaries of the Wyndam City Council using bundling and sectioning and referencing case studies we hope to instill interest in our design that is parametrically modeled using composite materials. Our argument relies on the material attributes and the design generated through parametisation.


C.1. Gateway Project: Design Concept Although Nick McMillian was not able to present, he has pursued a system of emergent fibrous bundling which I endeavor to realise in the physical world. We have had numerous ideas driving our design proposal, however at this point we are working as a team in a better manner than previously. The idea of using the Wyndam boundaries is still relevant. And the physical model plays on the use of carbon fibre tendons which has been substituted with wire or fishing line to link the segments of our design. The fibres act in tension, where bundling occurs friction between the fibres may affect the tendons arrangement. The act of using the Wyndam boundary is to link the development of the area with something tangible to people who pass the installation provoking intrigue and interest with the area. The fibres will be installed with precision previously unattainable within the time limits. We have done several models showing sectioning and we believe the use of the bundling and stratification idea is a valid avenue to pursue. The design has multiple components and it is through the difference of each when married together that makes our project composite. It is more than forms linked with wire. It is extensive material exploration that tests the compatibility of material use in conjunction with others. We aim to stress the material attributes to push further in the direction of abstraction. However, maintaining a fluid form that has the qualities that buildings of composite materials contain. The use of timber in our models partnered with a tension system lets our sculpture’s individual timber elements move with each other as a result of natural forces. The natural qualities of timber, supposing they are laminated, expose their raw nature of the material as smooth sides showing its grain, to layers exposed on the edge. The structural integrity of this material and beauty of it marries with the structure of carbon fibre inspired from the precedent project studies. However, in this case it is replaced with ribbon in the model. The timber form of the Wyndam boundary acts as upright structural elements that utilise the compressive capabilities of the timber and our abilities to easily form it into any conceivable shape. The partnered material to timber in this case is carbon fibre that has high tensile structural qualities. It is extremely flexible and holds whatever it is applied to with strength and durability. The quality of material use in this project allows flexibility of elements that only carbon fibre can provide. The tendons have no flexural strength so they are utilized only in tension, however this property of carbon fibre allows funicular forms to emerge through bundling techniques which we are using. The process and design of our sculpture is cost effective and has sufficient structural quality in comparison with price of fabrication to place the new Wyndam Gateway as a unique and defining proposal, drawing attention to the area that is in growth. The cost effective nature is in the beauty of the design in which all the elements have been tested and will behave in a manner known as they were engineered. The Wyndam council are prepared to invest a large sum of money for a design that acts as a new Gateway bringing people into the area who have been inspired by the sculpture and take further interest in what the area has to offer after viewing the Gateway. The fluid nature of the sculpture draws people because of its obscurity in position and what it triggers in people’s minds. The positioning of the sculpture located next to the roadway insures that the persons travelling along its length cannot but notice what it is about, even if no further investigation about its nature is taken. Although the idea of using the Wyndam boundary as a valid form of geometry it has now no longer such a driving seed as it was earlier. The algorithm as it stands now is linked to bundling as points along a curve are connected to one another as a measure of proximity to the closest lying curve. Through this process we can literally bundle the curves in virtual space. Through the parametric process we have great control over the underlying principal for the generation of the curved elements. However, the overall form of the curves that start to reveal a sense of enclosure through the ribbon elements is subjective to the designer’s perception of a previously unknown outcome that has been generated through ‘low level’ data flow.


Pr in

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s Fwy s e c Prin


Site B

Wyndham Proposed Gateway Project Site Plan Scale 1:200 (@A1) 69


C.1. Gateway Project: Design Concept


The repeating parametric element in our design is a system that wraps around the geometry created by the beams. The joints of our model are cut slots in beams at regular intervals allowing for the binding elements to be fixed and in tension to point from point wrapping around the structure creating form. The structure of the model relies on the four major curved beams that run the entirety of the model. Each of which, intertwine and cross over one another. It is the beauty of this system that allows precision of the tensile elements to be linked to one another. At one to one scale it is feasible that this joinery system with notch and groves fixed in a spherical footing at either end of the sculpture. These footings hold the beams in place that from they can twist whilst firm. The actual fixing method at one to one would be steel u-shaped brackets and pins, braced with carbon fibre tendons. The choice of structural fixing enables movement innate in the timber beams with the strength of carbon fibre that when put in tension allow for the structure to operate properly. This method of construction works well in a load bearing capacity and at each join it is both the cladding in operation with the beams that create a holistic approach. We have used several prototypes using wire, carbon fibre, ribbon and string. We have also used card, boxboard and acrylic in our prototyping, but we have found that acrylic works best with plastic ribbon as the tensile element.

These models are explorations in to weaving, segmenting and meshing. The weaving is to define the inner and outer ribbon tones that was a preliminary exploration into wrapping that snowballed into an interior and exterior relationship that we used in our final model. It is interesting as it magnifies the moire effect through contrasting ribbon along sections of our model. Early in the curved major model’s design did we decide on weaving as a method of tying together the major elements and it has been successful in later stages.

The stoking model was also a good preliminary model as it demonstrates how wrapped elements can be used to cover an outer frame. However, the superior solution was realised with a torsional twist in the beams to coordinate the slots with the ribbon.


C.2. Gateway Project: Tectonic Elements

This is the detailed model where sheets of aluminium bound together with acrylic are showing the bolt details. This detail shows most obviously that the acrylic is acting in the place of timber beams. In this case the timber is too big and cumbersome to be put in the acrylic’s place. However, this is a process detail showing the actions not the materials. In this detail the positioning of the bolts act in the place of a much larger flange and possibly more bolts. A proposed total of bolts would be two sets of four on either side of the flange. The aluminium sheet in this photo shows the position and fixing of the material which is to cover the exterior of the model.


These detail shots of the model resemble the precedent of Santiago Calatrava’s museum project in that ribs run along-side of the building combined with controlled curves representing a bird. In our model, similarities can be drawn between a Calatrava’s representation of a bird which has similar structural and patterning properties that may be correlated with a method of sectioning. The beauty of this precedent is its see-through nature also evident in our sculpture.


C.3. Gateway Project: Penultimate Model This model is a preliminary model in which we came to a conclusion about the bounding material, this being ribbon. The dome footings are apparent here, but they will be changed in the final model. The ribbon is not perfectly wrapped around the sculpture here, however, we do get an idea of what it would look like in the final model. It can also be stated that the model slightly loses itself upon the black background. This does give an alluring moire effect which we will pursue in the later model.



C.3. Gateway Project: Final Model

In heading towards our final model we have substituted box board for acrylic which is a high end material that can be bent in curves and wrapped in ribbon and plastic. Which, in this case is a composite fibre wrapped around the curves. We tried several types of ribbon and plastics to define the form of the model. Some of these were white ribbon, some were grey or silver and the interior black. We believe this model to be successful as it tests some of our earlier ideas that now are resolved. The idea of bundling and sectioning are at play here. The ribbon allows individual sections to be joined whilst encompassing the curves of the length of the sculpture. The process of constructing this model was pain staking due to its precise nature stemming from the curved beams overlapping each other and bending from each end of the site to the other. Rectangular cuts were made along the beams at equal spacing and they were joined with ribbon, white on the outside, black on the inside. This ribbon was wound from one end of the beams to another precisely fitting each hole in the adjacent beam. This process was precise in that it created an outer form of ribbon that produced a moire effect were an interplay of tone from the exterior to the interior captures the interest of the viewer. This model compared to the previous, is compromised by its footings. The previous model used dome footings which were put aside as too large, to heavy and were not complementing the model. In this model, the final model, the footings were treated like a seemless conitinuity of the beams which embed themselves in the earth.



C.3. Gateway Project: Final Model


C.4. Algorithmic Sketches In the beginning of our algorithmic sketches we were concentrating on generating a form with ribs as sections moving from a smaller scale into a larger scale. We explored the surface treatment of meshing through a series of exercises involving a series of arcs. Furthermore, we looked at creating curves along a plane. And then implementing a given form along a path. Advanced exploration took the part of a randomisation of graphical entities creating more abstract form that included interior spaces. We reverse engineered a project giving us control over its parameters. In addition to this, we manipulated a form through some abstraction. Giving us the idea of overlaying curves. With the idea of sectioning we put forms along an axis moving into blob style architecture. However, not dissimilar to the final algorithmic technique, we utilized swarming algorithims to generate a style of geometry which incorporates elements of randomization, but, with underlying pattern.


As we have explored points along an axis as an effective way to generate form, now we may explore the relationship between points relative to geometry in Cartesian space. The replication of form of a similar nature through differing scales allows an element to be within itself making the macro scaled object from the micro building blocks that are the whole. The idea of bundling is realized through the implementation of a swarming technique to create a seemingly natural geometric pattern of strands while creating the illusion of randomness or something abstract whilst still having a degree of control over the output.



Final Algorithmic Sketch


Final Algorithmic Sketch In this diagram the algorithmic process is broken down into different imbedded algorithms explaining the key parameters involved in the process. The operation of this diagram shows the user input in the green segment as the relative input for each algorithm or the user’s method of control for the generation of the output. This process of random algorithmic generation of points and curves as the output can then be evaluated and manipulated with the user’s discretion. The form of the final model was generated through the use of rectangular prisms in space that were populated with points and then these were linked from one rectangle to the other to generate an outline. The rectangular prism domains define the magnitude of bundling of the curves. So we have an element of control over this formal language of bundling through scaling and moving the domains in virtual space. The connections were picked according to the output of the random generator engine within the jitter component. These generated curves were then evaluated by the designer as either good or bad from multiple iterations of outputs from manipulating the random generator seed.

Algorithmic Process CreateRectangular Rectangular Create Prism Domains Prism Domains

Populate the Domains with Randomly Scattered points

Generate ‘random’ connections between the domains with curves

User Evaluation

Scale, position, proportions

Number of points, Random seed

Point sequence, Random seed, degree of curvature

User Input

Abstract explorations


C.5. Learning Objectives and Outcomes The process of undertaking this studio was exciting as well as time consuming with Rhino and Grasshopper algorithmic challenges being the main generator of form, from which we learnt our basic skills in these software packages. We also learnt Indesign to articulate the journal in a graphic sense. Not only learning in the digital world took place, but also physical model making allowed experimentation of material performance. Critical assessment was beneficial as the level of abstraction was high in the design task of creating a sculpture that was not only eye catching and the purpose of which was to create interest in the Wyndam area. The objective of this studio was to learn the software associated with it, with which we did and we combined it with both physical models and others cut on the laser cutter and the card cutter. The software we were using allowed us to facilitate fast turn-around of precision models that were fabricated quickly and accurately. The idea behind our design arose from looking at precedent examples and generating our own seed for our project to eventuate from. The outcomes of this studio was to mass produce both physical and virtual models which we tested our early ideas always leading to an end point, at some stages differing, but in the end we have a concurrent idea between the two group members which we can say is a coming together of the essential physical and virtual elements inherent in our Gateway Project. An algorithm at play here is generated through a type of swarming mathematical process that can be almost directly relational to the natural phenomena of flocking birds. The realised qualities of our final design show the above mentioned technique of swarming which has become the seed for the generation of the fluid geometrical form through evaluating its beautiful natural curvilinear qualities. Then replicated using random generation methods and user evaluation as a more pragmatic approach to this style of design. Exploration of a further nature lies in the realm of the fourth dimension: the connection between the swarmed points that can only exist in the virtual world. Since completing the presentation we have become aware the area of the footings has some design work to be done. Instead of the beams going into the ground where holes are put we have decided to express another way of grounding the building. With the idea of the beams piercing the landscape at two distinct points may give the impression of disconnection. However, to strengthen the connection to the landscape – the new directions we may take could be to literally embed the beams within the landscape by piercing them through and in the earth, a stitch of grounding and growing elements from the earth. Also an investigation is to look at herding. Where multiple versions of the same species of the sculpture through slight change can be viewed as one or complimentary to one another. In relation to the Wyndham area the individual sculptures act as a whole. The differences between them create interest and a dynamic perspective for the viewer to echo this perspective to their idea of Wyndham of positive change. With reference to scale and orientation we have put our sculpture on the site where it covers a good portion of the site’s length and its orientation allows freeway travelers enough time in passing to engage in multiple elements. The moire effect takes place as it is longitudinally aligned with the freeway. And at first glance one can notice that each of its sections are related or tied together, as represented in the final model by ribbon. With relation to the structural system used that is timber beams and carbon fibre tendons. The beams as wrapped with carbon fibre allow for a strong and creative structure that portrays the curves and overall fluid form. Metaphorically speaking the human body also has tendons and beams (bones). These move together as does our structural system that can be seen in our model. In this case, the rigidity of the tendons on the beams keeps the structure in tension. Only being able to move at small intervals; almost always fixed and non-moving, however, as stated the tendons do work with the beams.





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