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STUDIO AIR

RUOY U N XU - RI TA

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CONTENTS 04 Introduction 07  PART A 08  A.1 Design Futuring 14  A.2 Design Computation 20  A.3 Composition / Generation 30  A.4 Conclusion 32  A.5 Learning Outcomes 34  A.6 Appendix


Introduction

Hi! My name is Ruoyun Xu, preferably Rita. I am currently studying Bachelor of Environments in University of Melbourne, majored in Architecture. Like most architecture lover, my enthusiasm towards it was developed while growing up with Lego, and it is developing now. I am particularly interested in ancient Eastern architecture and modernist architecture related with Russian Constructivism, Dutch De Stijl, German Bauhaus style, Japanese metabolism, brutalism, etc. Outside architecture, I also like hip hop and rock music, anime and cartoon, film photography and polaroids, movies and video gaming. Surprisingly, those I love most among these are actually the ones that are much older than I am. Anyways,

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thanks

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enjoy!


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PART A

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A .1 D e s i g n F u t u r i n g


TH E WHOLE E A RTH C ATA LOGUE

The Whole Earth Catalog, first issued by Stewart Brand and in 1968, is a self-published zine, but ends up with worldwide-circulation. As the name indicated, its purpose is to evaluate and list those useful, easily accessible yet not commonly known tools, and introducing knowledges about how to approach them to the countercultural communities1.

currently leading architectural practices and inventive materials are presented. For instance, the series of dome projects of Buckminster Fuller were often included in this chapter3. His ideas was wide spread and later experimented in various parts of the world. The offsprings of The WEC has been flourishingly growing everywhere as well.

The WEC celebrates the essence of individuality in a collaborative context. As Brand explained in the first issue of The WEC, people seemed to be engaged in all different kinds of systems throughout the whole life2. A person is almost inevitably to be defined as component of a family, school, society, nation, etc. But via The WEC, Brand promotes to regain the obscuring individual identity and direct personal power - skills, Eventually, the ultimate purpose of The WEC is obviously to provide access to items that can be used as effective tools serving this purpose. The WEC is not doubt a innovative revolution, simply because it is embedded with fairly revolutionary ideas such as selfsustaining, ecology, DIY (do-it-yourself), individualism and holism, composed based on user-generated content which was quite unique at that time, and this allows it to continuously self renew and evolve. Although it has significantly strong and explicit intents, it doesn’t limit itself from future possibilities, instead it is constantly adapted and modified throughout its life span according to the dynamic and ongoing altering environments.

Figure 1: Whole Earth Catalog

Especially, in the Shelter And Land Use chapter of the WEC,

1 The Magazine, ed. by Gwen Allen, (London:Whitechapel Gallery, 2016), p. 126. 2 Whole Earth Catalog, ed. by Stewart Brand, (1968). 3 R. Buckminster Fuller, ‘Thoughts of Buckminster Fuller’ in Whole Earth Catalog, ed. by Stewart Brand, (1998). 10


‘PERSONAL POWER IS DEVELOPING - POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO CONDUCT HIS OWN EDUCATION. FIND HIS OWN INSPIRATION, SHAPE HIS OWN ENVIRONMENT, AND SHARE HIS ADVENTURE WITH WHOEVER IS INTERESTED. TOOLS THAT AID THIS PROCESS ARE SOUGHT AND PROMOTED BY THE WHOLE EARTH CATALOG.’ - STEWART BRAND

Figure 2: Buckmiinster Fuller nd His Dome

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Figure 3: Inflatocookbook, 1971

‘AIM WAS TO DEVELOP THE PERCEPTION OF THE BODY IN SPACE WHILE WORKING THROUGH THE PLEASURABLE AND ANXIOUS FEELINGS PROMPTED BY SOCIAL INTERACTION’ - ANT FARM

IN FL ATOCOOKBOOK Figure 4: Soft-Tech, 1978 12


Figure 5: Inflatocookbook, 1971

Similar to The WEC, Inflatocookbook is another selfpublished zine with distinct and specific architectural intent first issued in 19714 . It is a manual produced by an architectural group named Ant Farm containing clearly illustrated instructions of how to construct and install their inflatable pneumatic designs. Inflatocookbook inherited the self-sufficient, eco-friendly and DIY spirits of The WEC, and further developed them via their own practice. Straightforward guidance to handy tools are also included in detail here to make the

technology accessible to everyone, and thus made this type of architecture easily attained by everyone. This type of architecture corresponds to flexibility engraved in The WEC since it is portable, made up inexpensive but efficient material which can be conveniently acquired - vinyl and it can be install and uninstall anywhere at any time by anyone who have read this manual 5. This type of architecture elaborated what The WEC described as ‘soft-tech’ for the fact that it combines the responsive, resilient, soft characteristic with the versatile, artistic, crafting aspects of technologies and skills.

‘IT WAS OUR ATTEMPT TO GATHER INFORMATION AND SKILLS LEARNED IN PROCESS AND PRESENT IT IN AN EASILY ACCESSIBLE FORMAT.’ - ANT FARM

4 The Museum of Modern Art, Access to Tools: Publications from the Whole Earth Catalog, 1968 - 1974 (The Museum of Modern Art) <https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/AccesstoTools/> [accessed 10 August 2018]. 5 Ant Farm, Inflatocookbook (1971), p. 11. 13


A.2 Design Computation

‘SCRIPTED, ITERATIVE, AND INDEXICAL ARCHITECTURE’6

Design computing can be defined as a thriving new form of art that based on cutting-edge technologies. With the popularising of computers, which has become an indispensable machine in our daily life, the fusion of art and computer science just naturally happened. It is similar to the art and craft movement, but in a more contemporary context and with more up-to-date media. Digitalising design tools and theories not only contributes to the emergence of unprecedented forms and expressions in numerous realms of art, but also leads to innovations in the design process. Both technical capacities and design concepts are crucial factors to the rethinking and reforming of traditional design processes and practices. Computer, as a powerful design tool, is able to understand, translate, analysis and even visualise inputs of design intents into various forms of outputs highly effectively. Computers seem to be intelligent for the fact that it can do extremely complex calculations and multitasking in a way and speed that human brains are not capable of. Incorporating digital tools allows considerably more achievable geometrical forms and better preciseness in details, both virtually in design process and physically in fabrication. It provides us with new ways to envision a design proposal and the future possibilities of its performance in different environmental conditions. Moreover, computation along with Internet applied in design also helps to destruct barriers of communication, spread information and ideas globally. There is growing discussion on the shifting of roles computer is playing in design process. Computer was initially introduced into design realm simply as a tool of digitalising preconceived design concept, which described as the term ‘computerisation’. But the trend seems to be turing the opposite, as more designers are trying to transfer more authority to computer, let computers analysis information and develop the design concept via parametric algorithms the wrote. This is described as ‘computation’. However it should be clarified that no matter how ‘clever’ they seem to be and how much they participated in the design process, computer is still a machine, which cannot be initiated without an input and cannot work without an instruction. It is still the designers behind the computers that ultimately controls. 6 A. Ali and C. A. Brebbia, Digital Architecture And Construction (Sydney: University of Technology) p. 51- 54. 14


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Figure 6: Mercedes-Benz Museum

The Mercedes Benz Museum by UNStudio is a sophisticated collaboration of architecture and technologies.The fundamental structure of the building is in a mathematical trefoil form consisting of 3 overlapping circles with a central void. The 3D modelling process of the basic form results in two interweaving trajectories as double helix, which allows for crossovers for visitors. 3D modelling also revealed the possible hidden danger caused by the 30 metre height, which was later solved by twisting the structural support7. One digital 3D model was shared by the entire team (including architects, engineers, etc.) during the design process to cope with the complexity of urgency of this project. Digitalising and sharing design made it possible to implement contributes from anyone efficiently during the design process, and their impact on the rest parts of the building can be shown immediately.

Figure 7: Concept Diagram, 2006

MERCEDES - BENZ MUSEUM

7 UNStudio, Mercedes-Benz Museum (Stuttgart: UNStudio, 2006) < https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/357/mercedes-benz-museum > [accessed 10 August 2018]. 16


Figure 8: Concept Diagram, 2006

Figure 9: Digital Model, 2006

Figure 10: Concept Diagram, 2006

Figure 11: Construction Process, 2006 17


Figure 12: Concept Diagram, 2018

Figure 13: CeramicINformation Pavilion, 2018

C E R A M I C I N F O R M AT I O N PAV I L I O N

Figure 14: Details, 2018 18

Figure 15: Construction Process, 2018


Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab of The Faculty of Architecture of HKU presented CeramicINformation Pavilion in 2017, which using traditional Chinese material terracotta brick and vernacular structural forms which was originally applied in Chinese woodcrafting, as well as utilising modern digital design and fabrication. The whole structure was made up of 1,000 small unique components which can only be connected to their specific neighbouring components by bolts. Complicated design computing process (approximately 1.5 million codes was generated) and digital fabrication technologies such as robotic 3D printing guaranteed the accuracy, specificity and flexibility articulated in the project. With the aid of digital technologies, the construction process was efficiently finished in 20 days without traditional architectural documents.

Figure 16: Concept Diagram, 2018 19


A.3 Composition / Generation


Composition: The action of putting things together; formation or construction. Generation: The production or creation of something. - The Oxford English Dictionary

Digitalising architecture has always been controversial since the distinctions between the terms ‘computerisation’ and ‘computation’ are often confused and misunderstood. The determinant factor of which term to adopt is a simply two-way question: Who is the decisive one, computer or designers behind them? To answer this question, it is essential to find out whether the design concept is pre-composited before digitalising or autogenerated via parametric approaches. As Yehuda E. Kalay argued , the lateral recently emerged concept generation approach has been surprising us with its unpredictable and unexpected outputs 8. Non-linear and indetermined forms with poetic and creative thoughts embedded are becoming more accessible.

Figure 17: Micromegas, 1979 8 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), p.27.


JA PA N E S E J O I N E R I E S A LG O R I T H M

Similar to the CeramicINformation Pavilion, generative parametric algorithm is used by Aryan Shahabian, a researcher at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna to develop interlocking 3D geometries inspired by traditional Japanesse woodwork joineries. Billions of possibilities of combinations are generated and demonstrated by using digital softwares such as grasshopper. And fabrication will also be achievable by integrating digital technologies as laser cutting, CNC programming and 3D printing.

Figure 18: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 19: Algorithmic Process, 2017

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Figure 20: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 21: Algorithmic Process, 2017


Figure 21: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 24: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 22: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 23: Algorithmic Process, 2017

Figure 25: Algorithmic Process, 2017 23


A RVO PÄ R T S O U N D C LO U D

In order to memorise Arvo Pärt, Coop Himmelb(l) au processed and analysed sound information in his song ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ and referenced the sequence spectrogram derived in the form of the building9. The building is designed to be suspended in a natural forest in Estonia, floating among dense pine trees, to form a organic and poetic courtyard space.

Figure 26: Digital analysis diagrams, 2014

9 Coop Himmelb(l)au, Arvo Pärt Sound Cloud (Laulasmaa: Coop Himmelb(l)au, 2014) < http://www.coop-himmelblau.at/architecture/projects/arvo-paert-sound-cloud> [a 24


accessed 10 August 2018]. 25

Figure 27: Arvo Pärt Sound Cloud, 2014


Figure 28: Hybrid Huts, 2015

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HYBRID HUT

Figure 29: Plan, 2015


Mexican architecture company Rojkind Arquitectos designed the Hybrid Hut to respond to the common doubt of new technologies applied in architecture: Would it cause negative effect on existing usual architectural approaches? Instead of isolating digital technologies and traditional local construction methods, it aims at exploring the linkage between modern technologies and vernacular crafts trades10, finding a balance with which they can evolve together and maximise their mutual benefits. In this sense, architecture is expected to function as a connecting bridge to provide skilful artisans and craftsmen with access to new technologies. The Hybrid Hut, which temporarily assembled in Canada as a shelter to protect against cold weather, adopted local laminated wooden beams as main material. The production process of this kind of timber were carefully analysed with computer-aided technology to ensure maximum utilisation of its materiality and the best structural integrity they can perform. As the project name indicated, it is a hybrid between digitally designed structural form and conventional fabrication, which confirmed the conversion of architectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position and duty with rapid technology developments.

Figure 30: Construction Process, 2015

Figure 31: Concept Diagrams, 2015

10 Rojkind Arquitectos, Hybrid Hut (Winnipeg: Rojkind Arquitectos, 2015) < http://rojkindarquitectos.com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018]. 27


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BRE ATH/NG A sustainable sculptural project named Breath/ng was presented by Kengo Kuma in Milan in 2018. Japanese ancestral origami art was embraced with recent technologies and innovative fabric material. The general spiral suspended form was derived by using parametric algorithms in software 3D CAD of Dassault Systèmes, materialised with carbon fibre which can absorb air pollutants, and finally assembled with 46 customised 3D printed flexible joints11. The installation was digitally designed with multiple pleats to maximise exposed surface area, thus the capacity of filtering air is effectively increased.

Figure 32: Details, 2018

Figure 34: Breath/ng, 2018 Figure 33: Details, 2018 11 Kengo Kuma, Breath/ng (Milan: Kengo Kuma, 2018) <http://kkaa.co.jp/works/architecture/breath-ng/> [accessed 10 August 2018]. 29


A.4 Conclusion

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Part A contains precedents ranging from late 1960s to today, displays thoughts from people with diverse background in various periods of time, on architecture, those relatively new tools that has been applied in it and how are they related. Although there are growing debates on Innovative technologies and conventional approaches, they are not necessarily opposing. For us as contemporary architecture experimenters, manipulating parametric digitalising tools in a well-controlled extent to refining preconceived architectural concept can be practical and effective. However, the concept should be accentuated and consistent throughout the whole design process to prevent abusing of technology. With this in mind, I would like to start my exploration with the the conflict and contradiction between new technologies and old traditions, then identify their inherent similarities and deviations, establish inter-association network and reflect it on the conceptual form. I wish to celebrate the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Symbiosisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of both in the contemporary context and articulate harmony in architectural form.

Figure 35: Parametric Interactions Multifunctional Bench, 2012 31


A.5 Learning Outcomes

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After 3 weeks of studying the theory of architectural computing and practicing algorithmic programs, I would describe myself as barely literate in the beginning of the semester, since I realised that I had plenty of misunderstood about computational design approaches. To be honest, I could not distinguish the terms ‘design futuring’ to ‘design for future’, ‘design computation’ to ‘design computerisation’. But I am gradually becoming aware that designnot only can seek for fitting into future time frame, but also self-adapting with time. That computer-aided tools not only can be used to digitalise a design project, but also generate a project for you based on inputs of concepts. More aspects such as environmental impacts should have been considered and more possibilities of forms could have been introduced if I had applied computation into previous design process. I believe there are more profound realm in architectural design computation that waits for me with deeper exploration in the rest of the course.

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A.6 Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches

OCTREE

GROUP = 1

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GROUP = 50

G ROU P = 10 0

GROUP = 200


GRO

UP

=1 GRO

UP

=50 GRO

UP

=10

0 GRO

GRO

UP

=20

0

UP = 1 GRO

UP = 5 GRO

UP = 10 GRO

UP = 25

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CONTOUR

D IS TA N C E = 10

36

DISTANCE = 25

DISTANCE = 50

D IS TA N C E = 10 0


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Bibliography

Primary Resources

Ant Farm, Inflatocookbook (1971) Brand, Stewart, eds. Whole Earth Catalog (1968) Coop Himmelb(l)au, Arvo Pärt Sound Cloud (Laulasmaa: Coop Himmelb(l)au, 2014) < http://www. coop-himmelblau.at/architecture/projects/arvo-paert-sound-cloud> [accessed 10 August 2018] Fuller, R. Buckmiinster, ‘Thoughts of Buckminster Fuller’ in Whole Earth Catalog, ed. by Stewart Brand, (1998) Kengo Kuma, Breath/ng (Milan: Kengo Kuma, 2018) <http://kkaa.co.jp/ works/architecture/breath-ng/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Rojkind Arquitectos, Hybrid Hut (Winnipeg: Rojkind Arquitectos, 2015) < http:// rojkindarquitectos.com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018] UNStudio, Mercedes-Benz Museum (Stuttgart: UNStudio, 2006) < https://www.unstudio. com/en/page/357/mercedes-benz-museum > [accessed 10 August 2018]

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Secondary Resources

Ali, A. and C. A. Brebbia, Digital Architecture And Construction (Sydney: University of Technology) Allen, Gwen, eds. The Magazine (London:Whitechapel Gallery, 2016) Kalay, Yehuda E. , Architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) The Museum of Modern Art, Access to Tools: Publications from the Whole Earth Catalog, 1968 - 1974 (The Museum of Modern Art) <https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/AccesstoTools/> [accessed 10 August 2018]

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List of Figures Figure 1: Ressmeyer, Roger, ‘Whole Earth Catalog’, Corbis, <https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/ arts-culture/stories/the-whole-earth-catalog-effect> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 2: ‘Buckminster Fuller And His Dome’, Courtesy Performa Magazine, <http://observer. com/2013/04/buck-the-trend-artists-channel-buckminster-fuller/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 3: ‘Inflatocookbook’, Hidden Architecture, (1971), <http://www.hiddenarchitecture. net/2015/04/inflatocookbook.html> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 4: Brand, Stewart, eds. Soft-Tech, Ant Farm, (San Francisco: Waller Press, 1978), back cover Figure 5: Ant Farm, Inflatocookbook, (1971), 25 <http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~bcroy/ inflato-splitpages-small.pdf> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 6: Bloem, Eva, ‘Mercedes-Benz Museum’, <https://www.archdaily.com/805982/mercedesbenz-museum-unstudio?ad_medium=gallery> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 7: ‘Concept Diagram’, UNStudio, (2006), <https://www.unstudio.com/en/ page/357/mercedes-benz-museum> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 8: ‘Concept Diagram’, UNStudio, (2006), <https://www.unstudio.com/en/ page/357/mercedes-benz-museum> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 9: ‘Concept Diagram’, UNStudio, (2006), <https://www.unstudio.com/en/ page/357/mercedes-benz-museum> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 10: ‘Concept Diagram’, UNStudio, (2006), <https://www.unstudio.com/en/ page/357/mercedes-benz-museum> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 11: ‘Construction Progress’, UNStudio, (2006), <https://www.unstudio.com/ en/page/357/mercedes-benz-museum> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 12: ‘Concept Diagram’, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, (2017), <https://www. arch.hku.hk/research_project/ceramicinformation-pavilion/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 13: ‘CeramicINformation Pavilion’, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, (2017), <https:// www.arch.hku.hk/research_project/ceramicinformation-pavilion/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 14: ‘Details’, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, (2017), <https://www.arch.hku. hk/research_project/ceramicinformation-pavilion/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 15: ‘Construction process’, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, (2017), <https://www. arch.hku.hk/research_project/ceramicinformation-pavilion/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 16: ‘Concept Diagram’, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, (2017), <https://www. arch.hku.hk/research_project/ceramicinformation-pavilion/> [accessed 10 August 2018] 40


Figure 17: Studio Libeskind, Micromegas. (1979). <https://libeskind.com/work/micromegas/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 18: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 19: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 20: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 21: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 22: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 23: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 24: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 25: An Algorithm Generates Numerous Interlocking Objects; Example: Free Form [Youtube Video], 19 June 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98PoexzAog> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 26: ‘Digital Analysis Diagrams’, Coop Himmelb(l)au, (2014), <http://www.coop-himmelblau. at/architecture/projects/arvo-paert-sound-cloud> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 27: ‘Arvo Pärt Sound Cloud’, Coop Himmelb(l)au, (2014), <http://www.coop-himmelblau. at/architecture/projects/arvo-paert-sound-cloud> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 28: ‘Hybrid Hut’, Rojkind Arquitectos, (2015), <http://rojkindarquitectos.com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 29: ‘Plan’, Rojkind Arquitectos, (2015), <http://rojkindarquitectos.com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 30: ‘Construction Process’, Rojkind Arquitectos, (2015), <http:// rojkindarquitectos.com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 31: ‘Concept Diagrams’, Rojkind Arquitectos, (2015), <http://rojkindarquitectos. com/work/hybrid-hut/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 32: ‘Details’, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Dassault Systèmes 2018, (2018), <http:// kkaa.co.jp/works/architecture/breath-ng/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 33: ‘Details’, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Dassault Systèmes 2018, (2018), <http:// kkaa.co.jp/works/architecture/breath-ng/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 34: ‘Breath/ng’, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Dassault Systèmes 2018, (2018), <http:// kkaa.co.jp/works/architecture/breath-ng/> [accessed 10 August 2018] Figure 35: ‘: Parametric Interactions Multifunctional Bench’, KG’MGarchitects Studio, (2012), <https:// archiquality.blogspot.com/2017/01/kgmgarchitects-studio-parametric.html> [accessed 10 August 2018] All other figures credit to author. 41

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