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STUDIO 2 TUTOR: Rosemary Gunzburg & Cameron Newnham




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A thrid year student of architecture. Have done studio Earth and Water. Have always known there is something called ‘Algorithm Design’ but have naver tried it out. So of course this is the first time useing Grasshopper to do parametric design. Looking forward to it. Still have the concept of having built-up ideas in mind and use conputer as a tool for better quality presentation rather than seeking design ideas from computer programs. Typical Chinese, from look to brain. Love to make friends, but sometime don’t want to talk to anyone because wish to find some “inner-peace”. Not a serious person, has always been funny and approachable. Ambitious but a bit lazy. Not smart enough but quite self-satisfied. Has a nickname called ‘Chilli’ due to the similar pronounciation to the ‘hardrememberable’ Chinese name Qilu. *You’ll know me better in person.


Qilu . Wang





DESIGN, is driven by people, also

used by people. Design should work for human beings’ purpose of pursuit of happiness. Today the technology is fast paced developing, and the design thinking is also altering with the pace of the society, of new demand from different users. Therefore the consideration of design futuring needs to be taken by designers of all differnt fields. What do we, as architects, need to consider, or learn about design futuring? Or as questioned by Tony Fry, “How can a future actually secured by design?” [1] Sustainability has become one of the goal of design. Tony Fry has acknowledged in his book that architects today must consider about the possible mistreatment to the landscape and environment during construction because it is the fact that whatever we creat or take destroy something on the other side. “The omelette at the cost of the egg, the table at the cost of the

tree, through to fossil feul generated energy at the cost of the planet’s atmosphere.”[2] Fry also encourage designers today to use renewable energy, since the relation between this “creation and destruction loop” is recoverable. And this is quite a challenge for us to find renuewable energy sources or invent new tecnology or material to for renewable energy generation, and LAGI’s task also asked us to bring innovative ideas and use green, renuewable energy for our design task. At the same time, the new method of design also challenges today’s architects of their innovative thinking. The design process has changed from analog to digital. A growing number of new architectural forms has appeared. More and more people use computing method for their idea generation, and therefore the future of design is still on it’s way.



THIS large size, high-extruded Chinese map is made from Tieli wood from destroyed Qing dynasty temples. The whole sculpture is demonstrating chinese features from all aspects in a frankly way. For instanse the material use, the overall colour, and of course the shape of China. The reason why he extruded the map is because of he wants to use the large volumn to demonstrate the large population of China.

THE artist, Ai weiwei, one

of the Chinese artists who is always having controversial ideas on his art and architectural works. He is a performance artist who lived in New York for more than ten years, an architect who helped design the “Bird’s Nest,” also known as the National Stadium built for the Beijing Olympics, but later spoke against the Beijing Games, and a dissident who is depicted as a “hooligan” by his artist friend Chen Danqing.[3] He is also son of famous Chinese poet Ai Qing, husband of artist Lu Qing, and father of a three-year-old sweet young boy. He likes cats and ice-cream.

He always creates large sized, or, from some Chinese critics, ‘over-sized’ works. Ai is concerning about the large population of China also the great long history of China and these conciderations are always demonstrated in his artworks. Ai’s way of thinking and seeing things is critical and deep. This Map of China is like the the Chinese population and history are squeezed and blended together. The different depth of the Tieli wood’s colour demonstrate how hard to explain the Chinese history and culture. The material is recycled and natural, and this can refer to Fry’s acknowledgement of the “creation and destruction” loop.

A.1.1 ART WORK 9



THE original concept of the Walking City came from the

British architect Ron Herron in 1964.[4] It appeared in an avant-garde architectural journal in Archigram. Ron Herron has described the walking city as a giant mobile robotic structure, which controlled by their own intelligence, that could freely move around the world. Each single machanical city can move to wherever contains the resources and various walking cities can interconnect with each other to form a even larger “walking metropolises”.[5] Ron Herron has devided cities into puzzle pieces and the idea of the walking city has innovated and challenged people’s way of seeing cities until today.

Today, many cities are facing the problem of declinning in jobs and energy, people start moving away from central cities seeking a better lifestyle. The fixation, as a main character of cities, has somehow contributed to the problem because the limited mobility of the city itself.

Due to this reason, and also the knowledge base came from Ron Herron, The spanish architect Manuel Dominguez has developed and proposed a “Very Large Structure”, as a nomadic city that can move on caterpillar tracks to locations where work and resources are abundant.[6]


AS this “Very Large Structure”’s

designer, Manuel Dominguez has also put his attention on the energy generation. To make the structure move a series of Tracks, which are ‘house sized’ individually, the energy should be a big issue to consider about. However, Dominguez has decided to make fully on board energy generating system.[7]


Within the certain area on board, there will be greenary, solar collectors, wind power generaters, rain water collectors and all the other natural energy generating systems, and these types of natural sources and energy are always recycled and reuseable. This makes the whole “Very Large Structure” very sustainable and

efficient in energy use and generation. The designer has formed a “moving ecologycle system” that has the ability to operate as a city in common sense.

“IF built, the city would be about

as tall as the ‘Gherkin’ building in London, and contain a full range of offices, homes, shops and industrial buildings and other basic daily facilities as well as structures for producing power and freshwater.”[8]

is more realistic than it’s ever been. [9] The scale of the structure isn’t dissimilar to that of our current largest structures, and its designed to have less on an impact on its local environment than a city without the ability to move south for winter.

Dominguez has declaired that his design was “self-consciously utopical” but pointed out that building it

The city will be able to move around and since it is mostly generated by natural power it will create minimum

environmental impact on a certain, fixed area, as the city today. Everything will have more potential and more opportunity as the city has the charachter of moving. Easier communication, even faster paced improvement for future and so much more benefits can be created by this “Very Large Structure”.



“STATIC is not a word that describes the Sino-Italian Ecologi-

cal and Energy-Efficient Building (SIEEB) at Tsinghua University in Beijing.� [10] Designed to maximize passive solar capabilities and fitted with state-of-the-art active solar elements, the SIEEB is a dynamic energy-efficient oasis that optimizes its urban location with ecological considerations. Architects Mario Cucinella and the Milan Polytechnic conceptualized the structure to educate and showcase possibilities for energy-efficient building, particularly in regard to CO2 emissions. [11]




project is a collaboration between the Ministry for Environment and Territory of the Republic of Italy and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China. [12] The SIEEB takes on a symmetric layout that opens towards the south with stepped exposures and a central courtyard. Integrated photovoltaic arrays shade terraces while capturing solar energy. [13]

Double glass façades with horizontal sunshades create the building’s exposed exterior on the east and west. Pivoting glass louvers with reflective coating cover the exterior walls of the courtyard to regulate daylight and solar gain. The northern exposure is heavily insulated and mostly opaque to shield against cold winter winds.

OVER 1000 square meters of photovoltaic panels supply primary energy needs. With a focus on minimum CO2 emissions, the architects opted for gas engines with electric generators for supplemental energy. [14]

Recaptured heat is used for hot water, winter heating and combined with absorption chillers for cooling in summer. Conditioned air is dispersed via displacement ventilation and a radiant ceiling system enhances thermal comfort. Room temperatures and lighting are sensor-controlled to minimize energy use when rooms are vacant. The SIEEB houses the Sino-Italian Cooperation Program for Environmental Protection, a collaborative for education, training and research with a focus on energy conservation and emissions reduction. The structure and the program both stand as an example for future energy strategies – a welcome trend in the coal dependent nation. [15]





NOW our architects need to be

able to use a whole range of computer programs for better and more professional and technical design outcomes. It is arguable that whether it is benefitial or not when we create through using computer technology. Is the computer helping us to create new forms of design? Or it is somehow bringing limitations into our creativity? At first, we must know the difference between computational and computerisation. Computational design is the way of seeking design outcomes useing digital methods, whereas computerisation is using programs as a tool to demonstrate or enhance designer’s ideas and outcomes. They are similar but somehow completly different.

Should we use our own brain to wait for the inspiration spark, or leave the possibilities adn calculations to technologies and then pick our favs? This is a worth thinking task for today’s architects. A increasing numbers of digital designed structures are built, so is the digital design the future of architecture? Are all the architects need to have the ability to adapt digital design? Are the stuffs designed by computer programs have real meanings and souls?There are so many posibilities and challenges that today’s architects are facing.




The process is now still very difficult to be controlled and the output is also very hard to predict. A tiny change in parameters leads to the formation of an entirely different structure, or it can prohibit a structure from forming at all. Therefore a deliberate, constructive use of these processes on an architectural level appears a long way off.

“These voxels contain data that can interact with data of proximate voxels according to pre-established sets of rules. By iteratively conducting these interactions, data can be propagated through the voxel space. Eventually this data can be visualized, either as individual elements, or as a hull surrounding elements with specific values.” [16]

The Voxels, as an example of computational design, is designed based on the simple input and after all the calculations and cell-seperation as well as sub-division it generated all range of different results. The opportunity here using computational design is unlimited, and some of the results are unimaginable for us using basic sketching or human-mind imagination. The technology has helped us, somehow, to create things that we never seen before and also opened our mind to new possibilities and opportunities.

called Voxels. It uses the basic geometry of voxels to create these 3D different shapes on a ractangular box. Reaction Diffusion has been widely used in 2D projects and the Voxels has innovatively used reaction diffusion into 3D creation to generate the unlimited posibility of shapes on the base box.

“Rather than focus on pattern formation, it explores how these processes can enable spatial structures to emerge.” [17] The initial state is kept to an absolute minimum in the subdivision experiments. It frequently consists of a divergent value in a single cell or in a line of cells. The process’ parameters, somehow, are allowed to alter in both time and space. This can include specification of parameters through spatial gradients as well. Changes to these parameters lead to a truly astounding range of resulting structures.

From the very beginning of this project, it shows no clear design intent except the “seed” for conputer calculating, and the outcomes are all “designed” by the conputational technology. But the astonishing outcomes have convinced people that conputational design can reach the area that human brain is fairly hard to touch, and this is, somehow, extended and chanllenged human-mind in their way of thinking and generating design.




THE building is named Arbre Blunc, which

“Despite the name ‘white tree,’ this is by no means an ivory tower. A beat integral to the urban song, the building is destined as a public high-rise built for every soul in Montpellier.” [20]

The building is featured in a curved body which is reflecting the shape of a tree trunk. The most distinguishable feature of this building is the balconies of 120 apartments. [18]

It is not only designed for it’s owners, but also everyone that is a part of the city. Define it simply as an apartment building is such a waste of the designer’s intension and effort.

translates as White Tree, the 17-storey mixed-use tower will follow Fujimoto’s ideology that architecture should reflect forms found in nature.

They are designed to fan outwards, which means each of them is angled in different direction, and the shape and layout of these balconies are reflecting the pattern of leaves seeking sunlight. Apartments are also facing different directions. “Allowing future residents to select the orientations that best suit their lifestyles.” [19]

The building is like the unfolded box of it’s designer’s intension with every single detail that clearly showing the idea of the architects. It’s form, shapes, colours, are all telling people the thoughts and stories behind it. You can see it from the outlook that the building is carefully designed and contains personalities of that particular designer, or architect.


SOU Fujimoto’s general design inspiration is always come from the mother of nature. His intention of “building form should always come from nature” has been adapted by many of his followers. The built-up ideas are already there in his mind and his designs have always refered back to his central idea.

Computing, for Fujimoto, is used only as a tool for demonstration and better understanding for audience and clients. This way of thinking has been used by us, as students in Melbourne Uni, for studio Water and Earth, which is use brain and imagination to generate a first concept and idea, and then build models by hand, drawings or computer programs to bring the imaginations into realistic.


The plan and section diagram on this page are great examples showing the benefits computerisation can bring to us. The clear graphical layout, the colours, the scales and the context are all there for us to understand how the building is functioned. Computer, here, is used as a tool, is working for us, the designers. Human brain is still the central of ideas and computing method is the helper. However, no metter how the building innovated in it’s form, structure and function, it still looked like something that is “manmade” or, “stiffed”. Surely the building contains nature characteristics, but the form of it is still can be imagined easily by human-mind. And this is why computational design is beneficial for us because it can bring new opportunities and unimaginable forms that we have never seen before. We can

use simply imputs to capture large amount of fairly different outcomes. Human-mind may be challenged by the astonishing forms and come up with all new range of design concepts. There could be one of the benefits that computational design can bring us, and that would be the new development, or say it bigger, the evolution of our human brain.





GENERATIVE design is the prac-

tice of designing process which is eventually rised into structural form. It is normally associated with parametric design and computational design. Generative design has been used in different design field, and in particular, architects, use generative design to find more possibilities for their design practice.

As discussed in section A.2.1, computational design gives more opportunities and possibility for “new forms� of architecture design. Generative design is one step beyound the troditional computational design. The designers are normally have no idea what results they are going to jump into when using generatiive design. It allows complexity and brings suprise to designers with it’s astonishing outcomes.

Generative design allows architects to move away from the troditional compositional design and create things and forms that are unimaginable and unprecedented, or say, a bit different with special, calculated ingredients. Generative design is like architects’ great helper, it makes the design work more efficient and innovative, and these benefits are highly suitable and demanded for the society today more than ever. Nevertheless, there are also limitations due to the lack of technology for fabrication today, so not everything that been designed in parametric can be built, it is a shame, therefore this section has chosen 2 relatively small scaled precedents for generative design studies. Since it is easier for better understanding.



THIS parametric project designed by Dimitrie Stefa-

THE design was elaborated during a week-long parametric design workshop specifically geared towards its production. The designers faced the harsh requirements of creating a design with just the few materials and tools provided by the sponsors while at the same time fitting costs inside a budget dwarfed by its expectations.

The design boasts a strong representational power which was much needed in order to fulfill its main goal: attracting passers-by to the event. [22]

Subsequently, the creative exploration agenda was constrained to a relatively limited approach which, most importantly, was scalable in terms of materials and fabrication techniques.

At the same time, the object, through its tectonic characteristics, tries to make legible the new ontology which is slowly defined by computational architecture and thus becomes a showcase for the design processes empowered by digital tools.

The realization of the design was made possible by advanced use of parametric design techniques (using Rhino+Grasshopper) including geometry generation, piece labeling, assembly logic, and fabrication.[23]

nescu, Patrick Bedarf, and Bogdan Hambasan started out as an ambitious student-powered endeavor to design and fabricate at a 1:1 scale the flagship pavilion for the ZA11 Speaking Architecture event in Cluj, Romania; while at the same time integrating it into its historically-charged context. [21]







THIS design proposal for a contemporary city

bench seeks to understand the concept of street furniture as a holistic design problem. Instead of offering only one single static design, this scheme suggests multiple varying solutions that meet specific fitness criteria. The project “Urban Adapter” is based on a digital parametric model. At its core the model utilizes explicit site information and programmatic data to react and interact with its environment. “That way the model’s DNA structure is capable of producing a variety of unique furniture results.” [24] Together they generate an endless family of new urban bench furniture. Rather than having a fixed form the members of the family can adapt to different site conditions and programmatic needs. [25] While all of the designs have the ability to serve as a seating element, some have additional programmatic values added, such as recycling containers, flower buckets or billboards serving for advertisement or educational purposes.


The generated functional surface invites the user to new seating and communication arrangements and establishes a unique identity for the urban space of Hong Kong. [26] This is a fairly small scaled project which is containning large amount of information and thoughts at the same time. This is a typical project that have used both way of generating design outcomes. The designers has put their thinkings into the digital design, and use the parametric to control the form of the seats. The name of the project is also rational and , it has used parametric forms to adapt Hong Kong’s crowded urban environment. These seats appear flexibility and soft characteristic, in other words these seats are easily to fit in even the surrounding conditions are new. The diagram of generation has shown that there are controlled parameters in this design which are the fixed elements of seats, such as bench body and backings.










"WHEN architects have sufficient understanding of algorith-

mic concepts, when we no longer need to discuss the digital as something different, then computation can become a true method of design for architecture" [27] --AD Magazine group.


THE new technology brings new

challenges acomppanied with new opportunities, and opportunity means the possibility of better future. Computation has brought designers a whole range of new forms. With these new forms of architectural production and approach, architects today can be more innovative and capable to create more complex designs. Computation has opened and widened our mind and has changed the way we seeing things. Design forms are no longer simple and restricted. Computation helped architects to create “crazy shapes� which can be later faberacated using paramatric modelling. However, there are still a big distance between today’s buildability and creativity. Not all the designs can be made into real life. Of course we can not 3D print a giant building, but what is more important is that computation has changed our way of thinking. Designers are no longer stopped and restricted

by realistic rules, there are so many unimaginable and unprecedented forms that can be made in computation mathod, and, the possibilities that computing design can bring, is unlimited. In the later on LAGI project, I will use computational design method to seek for some inspirations. Also, for environmental consideration, I will keep on my research for sustainable material use and construction methods. The parametric design and modelling approach will be undertaken for the final design outcome. There may be more than one outcome eventually due to the unlimited possibilities, however, the most suitable and refering to the brief approach and result will be chosen as the design outcome.





FROM the very beginning of this

semester, my understanding of the relationship between architecture and computing is still limited at the point of “technology is used as a tool”, which it has a specific name called Computerisation. Through all the learning from precedents, reading of literatures and parametric practice of Grasshopper, my perspective of seeing design and my way of generating design ideas has changed quite a bit. From onefold brain-thinking to mulriple parametrical thinking, this learning experience has opened my eyes and extended my ability in both aspects of skills and ideas. As Frank Gehry has stated: “If I knew where I was going, I wouldn’t do it. When I can predict or plan it, I don’t do it.”[28] It is rational for me to use this quote here to describe how the computational or generative design works. How exciting it is to produce unlimited possibilities that we would never know where we going to end up with. I am now so passionated of seeking my design ideas through using parametric methods. There would be so many opportunities for me to design something that is completely unprecedented and unpredictable.

Nevertheless, there are still some remainning of the traditional compositional design methods in my mind, and sometimes I think it would be even better if I combine them both together to generate my design ideas, because they are somehow closely related during design process. For example, when I did my design using compositional method (like what I have experienced in studio Water) and use Rhino to build the model from my imagination, my idea has been influenced and changed a bit when I first saw the model demostrated on the computer screen. The technology has helped me thinking and pushed my one step further to generate my idea. Therefore it might be better if the two kinds of design methods are used together at once, because they overlap in someway and they can help and complete each other in some aspects. Meanwhile I am also excited about working with my team members, because after learning parametric design they may having different opinions and ideas with me, and I am very looking forward to share and also gain some different thinkings. Can not wait to try out and test our design model.




FOLLOWED the study of paramet-

ric design, I have completed a cage format which have adjustable height, mid-column width, bar thicness and bar conor radius. Parametric design has changed the design process from volumatric to mathematic, which is easily adjustable using sliding bars. This cage is completed in 4 main steps, the first step is the simple ractangle generation with control of its length, width and conor radius using slidebars. The second step is the offset of lines and loft into volumns as well as the the duplication of the base of the cage. The height is also controlled


by a slidebar through changing the distance of duplication. The third step created breps using through creating different axis on the base ractangle curve, and extruded the breps into the shape of midcolumns. The size of the column is controlled by the slider as well. The final step is just simply connect columns onto the duplicated base in step 2 and use Demo node to view the final result. All characteristics are changeable using parametric design. As long as I am capable to create these simple forms, there will be more challengable and interesting forms I can build using generative design. The flexibility and complexity it brings to me is very interesting and useful.


I ALSO had a go with the metaball

battery in Grasshopper, and created these changable chimney-shaped volumns. Each chimney has it’s own position which is controlled by the position of the base point captured using create random points. When I slide the slider that controlles the position of the points, the chimney will move around as well within the pre-setted ractangle area. Therefore it generated the movement of the chimneys and has the effect of


fuse and seperate when they move into or away from each other. I used the colour map to put range of colours onto the chimneys from green to red. The colour is changable when we change the theme of the colour map. Again, the outcomes are random and generative design has created posibilities to different results. Just like these chimneys, they can be varied in their height, width and also position, and the outcome will be always different.




[1],[2]. Fry. Tony, 2008, Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethic and new practice (Oxford: Berg). Page:4-5. [3]. Smithsonia.COM, 2012, “Is Ai Weiwei the most dangerous man?”, Accessed: 15th Mar 2014. [4],[5]. Glassco, John. “And The City Just Walked Away”, Venue Magazine, 2004 [6],[7]. ArchDaily, 2012, “A Walking City for the 21st Century”, Accessed: 20th Mar 2014 [8],[9]. ORACLE TALK, 2012. “A Walking City for the 21st Century”, Accessed: 21st Mar 2014 [10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15]. Inhabitat, design will save the world, 2009, “SIEEB Solar Energy-Efficient Building in Beijing”, Accessed: 16th Mar 2014 [16],[17]. Michael Hansmeyer computational architecture, 2009, “Voxel-based Geometries”, Accessed: 20th Mar 2014 [18],[19],[20]. Dezeen Daily, “Sou Fujimoto designs nature-inspired tower for Montpellier “modern follies” project”, Accessed: 23rd Mar 2014 [21],[22],[23]. EVOLO, 2013, “Parametric Designed Wooden Pavilion in Romania / Stefanescu-Bedarf-Hambasan”, Accessed: 23rd Mar 2014


[24],[25],[26]. A AS ARCHITECTURE, “URBAN ADAPTER BY ROCKER-LANGE ARCHITECTS”, Accessed: 25th Mar 2014 [27]. Peters Bredy, 2013, “Computation Works: the Buildings of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, 83.2, Page 12. [28]. BrainyQuote, 2014, “Frank Gehry’s Quote”. Accessed: 25th Mar 2014


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