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Digital Design - Module 01 Semester 1, 2018 Rachael Li

912103 Chelle Yang + Studio 01

Week One

Reading: Zeara Polo, A. 2010. Between Ideas and Matters.

According to Zeara-Polo, the diagram does not play a representational role in the design process but provides an organisational and can have a performative quality depending on how it is deployed. Explain how Diagram is different from Signs and Symbols? (100 words Maximum)

Signs and symbols are merely used to draw relationships between multiples concepts and form, they exist only in abstract space. A sign expresses qualities of dynamic objects, hence used for material expression of the qualities, functions and properties that is not directly relevant to the actual performances of designs. A symbol, on a higher level than sign in terms of conveying information, expresses dynamic object through a formal representation which a sign could not represent explicitly apart from capturing the influence of certain object. Diagram however is a mediator between physical construct and concepts on an organisational leve. It draws serves a more pragmatic purpose than representational role as it confers and substantiates information drawn from signs and symbols. It augurates logical development from the concepts done with signs and symbols and gives more defined meanings to each designed space and structure.It is a tool that describes relationships and prescribe performances in a space. Diagrams organises conceptual information in a more systematic way, and may even gives hierachical definition to each of the key componeents in a design.


Week One

Precedent Analysis

Image 1 (top left) shows the initial process of building the model starting with tracing the steel structure. Image 2 (top right) shows the extruded result of the steel structure to show its thickness. And this determines the later placement of solids, glazing and voids. Image 3 shows the plan view which provides a better indication of the projection of shadows cast by the solid coverage. To start with, I traced the steel structure lines based on the pavilion plan provided in rhino. I offseted each line to give thickness when I extrude later. After constructing the structural element, the solids and glasses are placed according to the outline of the intersection steel pieces.

Photo of the pavilion: The Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion over the years. (2018). [image] Available at: The-Serpentine-Gallery-Summer-Pavilion-over-the-years.html?frame=2235550 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].


Week Two

Reading: Hertzberger H. 2005. The in-between and The Habitable Space Between Things, from Lessons for Students in Architecture. Herzberger discusses how design should not be extreme in its functionality. Use your precedent study to explain how the pavilion allows for an appropriation of use. (100 words Maximum)

The notion of flexibility is seen more crucial rather than adhering to a specific function in the reading. The ability of form to play different roles under changing circumstances not only by creating the necessary conditions but also by actaully encourage differentiated usage. This is reiterating the idea of ‘affordance’ in architecture which aims to achieve maximum utlity of a building. This infers an appropriation of use. Diverse functions allows greater accomodation potential which is like a ‘musical instrument’. The primitive element, steel structure of Toyo Ito’s serpentine pavilion, not only serves as structural support for the architecture but also creates alcove-like (receeding spaces on the walling of pavilion) through the zig-zagging/ intertwinig of steel. This allows people to sit and be away from the circulating envrionment around them. Moreover, as the zig-zag of steel structure are partly covered with in-set solids , some taller ones reaching up to knee high and waist high length allows people to lean on and even sit on like they sit on a bench. A place to sit offers opportunities for temporary engagement with others in the same surrounding (eg. those sitting on the chairs). The hollow parts of the wall also allows them to interact with the exterior surrounding (eg. people walking pass the building) while serving its primary purpose of ventilation. The appropriation in a way blurs the defined threshold between interior and exterior created by wall, but also in another way introduces multiple threshold facilitating active engagement with people’s surrounding.


Week Two


SERPENTINE PAVILION- Toyo Ito Through my modelling process, I think every component is key to deliver a holistic understanding of structure, threshold and circulation. The concept initated with an extremely complex random pattern derived from an algorithm of a cube expanding and rotating at each layer. The intersecting lines formed geometric shapes of triangles and trapezoids. The initial concept of the study evolved from making the patterns on a 2D plane and imagined the 4 smaller surfaces to be folded around the square. The interplay of solids, glazing and voids creates transparency and translucency which gave a sense of infinitely repeated motion but also creating thresholds. I learnt that apart from creating threshold with obvious entrances, threshold can also formed around intersecting parts of the structure as well as interchange of solid and void. The solid and void in term creates opaue, translucent and transparent environment and informs about the circulation and distribution of the people. Where there is shade created by opaque solid, people are more likely to accumulate and stay for longerr. Where the glazing allows abundant light into the building but blocks the heat to moderate the interior temperrature, people are more willing to engage for quick chats but only for short time. The void serves ventilation purpose but also establishes multiple thresholds and blurs the defined threshold between interior and exterior created by wall. The multiple threshold created through facilitate active engagement with people’s surrounding.


Week Two Diagrams



Primary Circulation Space Moderate temperature

Circulation diagram

Circulation paths

Shadow defined threshold Threshold diagram

The most obivious circulation paths begin from rhe 4 entrances on each

The interplay of void, glazing and solid defines three different levels of thresh-

side of the pavilion. These smaller arrow paths tracks the primary circula-

olds. The solid is by means the most physically defined threshold that divides

tion indicating that people can exit freely from any of the entrances. The

interior from exterior and forces people to enter from certain entrances, cre-

bigger arrow paths indicates the most directly paths that people may take

ating a semi private space from external surrounding. The second threshold

once thay entered the pavilioin, that is heading to the reception area

is rather not physcially defined, after people passed the first threshold, the

(marked by the dark circle). The shaded parts shows areas where crowd is

crowd parts in areas that has moderate temperature created by the glaz-

static and accumulates as compared to the remaining white parts where

ing. The glass allow light through but block out excess heat. Hence, the third

people are constantly moving and distribute sparsely. The darker the co-

threshold is the shadow created in between the glazing. Shadows separates

lour, the longer the duration of time spent due to presence of sitting areas. 6

crowd further into those that wish to stay longer and those staying temporarily. People will transition into shaded spaces where they can rest for longer.



Image 1 shows the process of the large isometric view model consisting separate glazing layer laid on top of the solid structure. This is to show the transparent quality of the glass and parts of the inside hidden lines that were not visible from Make2D on rhino can be preserved. Image 2 shows that I have Make2D by layers, so all the lines will be captured instead of making2D altogether which will result some flaws such as broken lines. Image 3 shows the glazing of pavilion. I have before making2D, I used the ‘hatch’ command to shade all the glass panels so that after I exported I can easily just adjust the opacity to show the glass quality in Illustrator. 7

Appendix Process

These images shows the sequence of composing the final steel frame plus the base diagram. The grey contrasting background makes the steel structure stand out. To achieve this I exported the 2 layers separately and also created different layers for each in Illustrator and added stairs at then end.



This image shows the bottom of pavilion as I have also constructed the bottom structural steel. This is shown as it is not visible in the isometric view of the model.

This section of the one of the pavilion shows the opportunity of affordance in this pavilion. The yellow highlighted parts shows the hollow/ void sections of the building and the ones closer to the ground can be used for sitting. It represents my thinking process as I tried to mark out the threshold and circulation.

This shows the inital tracing process for the pavilion. I used points along each curve to ensure each line of the square surface (red) joins up with the side facets (blue). After completing the tracing, I rotated the blue facets in 90 degree to get the box form.


DD Module 1 Journal  
DD Module 1 Journal