STUDIO AIR S A M U E L
B E L L
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SAMUEL BELL - 585096 STUDENT JOURNAL
DESIGN STUDIO: AIR SEMESTER 1, 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE STUDIO (3) TUTORS: PHILIP & HASLETT
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INTRODUCTION PART A - CONCEPTUALISATION A.1 DESIGN FUTURING A.2 DESIGN COMPUTATION A.3 COMPOSITION/GENERATION A.4 CONCLUSION A.5 LEARNING OUTCOME BIBLIOGRAPHY IMAGE REFERENCES PART B - DESIGN CRITERIA
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B.1 B.2 B.3 B.4 B.5 B.6 B.7
RESEARCH FIELD CASE STUDY 1.0 CASE STUDY 2.0 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT TECHNIQUE: PROTOTYPES TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL LEARNING OUTCOMES
PART C - DETAILED DESIGN 58 70 82 112 114
C.1 C.2 C.3 C.4 C.5
DESIGN CONCEPT TECTONIC ELEMENTS FINAL MODEL LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS LEARNING OUTCOMES
INTRODUCTION Samuel Bell
Growing up on a farm in South West Victoria, I lived a childhood where I was encouraged to go outside and explore, to get dirty, to climb a tree, to make something. That lifestyle guided my learning and helped me discover my real interests. Everyday after school I would go out into my dad’s workshop and begin building something. As I was young, I was restricted to the use of hand tools for a number of years, insisting I spent hours and hours with saws and chisels and planes. I learnt through experience how to skilfully use all the tools in the workshop, and with the acquisition of each new technique I became less restricted in what I was able to design and then construct. I continued constructing as I got older, undertaking Woodwork classes throughout highschool, where I found a passion for the craft itself - only satisfied with perfectly fitting joints and the highest level of finish in my projects. While learning the importance of the fine detail, I also began to understand construction at a larger scale, when helping my dad with numerous house renovations. Art, specifically drawing, was another interest in my life that, like construction, grew as I did. With any long car trip or free weekend at home, I’d pull out my sketchbook and
grey lead and sketch anything and everything. I liked to be able to take an image in my head, and put it into lines on paper. Similarly to building, where I could turn a thought into a physical form. While I was using my drawings to visualise my designs for many years, it was almost a ‘kick yourself’ sort of moment when I thought about my two passions, and thought ‘Architecture!’ Going into my third year of the degree, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be studying, and while I have learnt an enormous amount about design, I feel those pre-existing skills of drawing and constructing have, to an extent, got me through to this point with relative ease. Studio Air, however, takes an entirely new approach to design, which has me quite nervous and well out of my comfort zone! Learning computational design skills, I know, is vital for anyone pursuing a career in the ever-advancing discipline of architecture. When considering the past twenty or so years in architecture, we have seen computerised modelling programs, namely AutoCad, work their way into most design processes, and eventually take over almost completely from hand drawn methods. Computational and parametric modelling programs like Grasshopper will surely be the next generation.
â€œStudio Air takes an entirely new approach to design, which has me quite nervous and well out of my comfort zone
PART A CONCEPTUALISATION
A.1 DESIGN FUTURING ‘Design futuring’ is the theory that without drastic and rapid change to the way in which humans use the Earth’s resources, there is no foreseeable future (reference). As the phrase infers, design is the potential hero to the scenario - the Batman to save Gotham City, the Superman to save Metropolis. Design, apparently, is the one thing that can stop humanity from driving itself to a burning end; however, at the same time, past and current design is largely to blame for putting the world in this dire situation.
signer. Ironically, parametric design, what this entire subject is based on, takes this idea to a greater level, where not only is computer software helping people to easily turn their ideas into 3-dimensional designs, but it requires you to input numerical data, or other abstracted information, and turns it into a form all by itself. With the click of a few buttons adjustment can be made to quickly and easily trial hundreds of variations of a design. In a sense, this is even taking away the ability to design, from designers .
The notion of ‘design futuring’ is largely relevant for the method of design focused on in Studio Air, parametric design. Fry (2009), raises the concept of ‘design democracy’, describing the ease of access for any person, educated or not, to acquire design software allowing them to practice as a de-
The fact remains, however, that the way in which we evolve must change, and perhaps the answer lies in the combination of skilled designers, and computational design. With the right. informed minds controlling programs like Grasshopper, perhaps it is possible that architecture will continue to become more sustainable.
A.1. LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVE
The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is an international design competition which aims to positively improve environmental, social and economic conditions with the design and construction of a public land art installation that also generates clean energy on a large scale. LAGI was first run in 2010, and then again in 2012, each year being set at a specific site across the globe, with unique characteristics, weather patterns and design possibilities. The 2014 competition has been set for the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
The requirements of the LAGI brief make this design project far more reliant on a good site analysis, and strict consideration to the site’s values, than any other I have worked on. This is not just meeting a client’s needs, for the style and/or function of a residential, or even commercial building - this design is for the public and the Earth. It has to appeal visually to all who view it; perform outstandingly to the benefit of the environment, and therefore the city of Copenhagen; and send message about renewable energy generation.
The site for the art installation, a manmade island called RefshaleØen was once a busy shipyard, employing thousands of workers. It is therefore a key historical landmark for Copenhagen, symbolising their strong naval and industrial influences. Taking up a large area of Copenhagen’s harbour, this site, and whatever is to be designed on it will be easily visible to the public from a long distance, as well as sitting perfectly in the backdrop to one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, the Little Mermaid statue (above).
Copenhagen is already a world leader in renewable energy use, generating enough from its offshore wind farms to power most of the city - well on the way to achieving their 100% carbon neutral goal by 2025. I think this makes it the perfect location for the LAGI project, environmental priorities increasing the likelihood of a design actually being constructed, and existing, successful clean energy sources will assume the public will positively embrace and engage with a new project with perhaps unprecedented technologies.
â€œCopenhagen is already a world leader in renewable
energy use.. I think this makes it the perfect location for the LAGI project
A.1. PRECEDENT 1
LAGI DESIGN RESPONSE 2012 ‘SOCK FARM’ SOLAR + WIND POWER I was drawn to this proposal initially by its successful visual presentation, but it also provides an innovative multienergy generating response to the LAGI Design brief. The project consists of solar producing greenhouses, carefully arranged to maximise energy collection, while still allowing adequate light penetration through the semi-transparent pv’s to sustain growth of various sized plants. The large solar collecting area across the 84 ‘Fresh Houses’ has the capacity to produce enough energy to power 1200 homes every year. Above the fresh houses are a number of ‘Super Kites’, flying in consistent high altitude winds. Connected to the mother kites are networks of smaller kites, modelled from the idea of a windsock. With this vast number of kites flying at all times, energy production is never at a stand still, resulting in huge additional renewable energy generation.
While the LAGI Design sets a brief for an energy-generating proposal, successful entries are often those that use innovation to be environmentally beneficial in more than one way. The community garden aspect of this design is a thoughtful way of involving the public in a like-minded way; educating about self-sufficiency while renewable energy is being generated all around them. This proposal gives the public the opportunity to be constantly involved and to take pride in the site which would certainly increase their interest, and therefore awareness, in what is happening in the rest of the site. This demonstrates how energy can be produced in more than one way quite easily on the same site. The topography of the Fresh Kills site makes wind power an effective option, where solar can be used in basically any context, provided it is not completely blocked from the sun.
A.1. PRECEDENT 2
LAGI DESIGN RESPONSE 2012 ‘THE BEAUTY OF RECYCLING’ SOLAR POWER This proposal is another example of where, as well as producing energy, the design attempts to be innovative in making it as environmentally efficient as possible - in this case by using recycled materials. A series of floating balls, made from recycled plastic, collects the sun’s rays throughout the day through thin solar cells. This energy is then distributed to local power grids. The system also stores a small amount of its own energy to power small coloured LEDs within each unit, producing a visual light display every night for the public. At first glance I assumed this was a hydroelectric proposal, and I think that’s where this idea could
be expanded. The floating ball and cable mechanism almost already has hydrokinetic capabilities. Why not use the movement of the water to generate extra power? The opportunity is also there to make the proposal interactive. The system could also be a rowing activity or training station, where the float can be dragged out to measure power/endurance, and at the same time produce human-powered kinetic energy. This proposal has unfortunately not maximised the opportunity of the site or the potential of the many renewable energy technologies that are rapidly advancing and becoming available.
Hydrokinetic buoys tethered to the ocean floor use wave momentum to spin hydraulic turbines, generating up to 80% energy output over energy input. This method could have been implemented in â€˜The Beauty of Recyclingâ€™, and is one that stands out to me for possible use in the 2014 Copenhagen LAGI Competition.
A.2. PRECEDENT 1
PHAENO SCIENCE CENTRE ZAHA HADID The Phaeno Science Centre, by Zaha Hadid, is conceptualised as a magic box - â€œan object capable of awakening curiosity and the desire for discovery in all who open or enter it.â€? The project has used computational design techniques to outlay glazing patterns throughout the building. Internally, feature ceiling grids are created, to house services, act acoustically, and create a feature of the space. The curvature of the form is also likely to have been constructed in a computational program similar to Rhino, where parametric controls can quickly and easily manipulate the fluidity or strength of the form. This is not a strong precedent for computational modelling.
A.2. PRECEDENT 2
MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE ASHTON RAGGATT MCDOUGALL Melbourneâ€™s recital center utilises computational design in a number of different elements of the building. The polygonal glazed facade utilises one of the earliest techniques created in architecture by computational design - a Voronoi Diagram. This is where lines are projected through the most central path between a set of points, dividing the space up into many different regions, creating an irregular, but organic pattern of polygons. This
pattern, once realised, was used so regularly that it has now gone the other end of the popularity scale, and is almost seen as a primitive idea. The inside of Elizabeth Murdoch Hall shows use of computational design techniques, similar to that used for the Driftwood AA Pavilion, using a sectioning material system. The acoustic wooden panelling of the hall is produced from contour-like patterns projected onto the interior surfaces through a computational design program.
Fig.12 - Voronoi Diagram
A.3. PRECEDENT 1
ENTRY PARADISE PAVILION LAVA ARCHITECTS This transportable Entrance Pavilion by Chris Bosse (The Watercube) is inspired by microscopic cell structures taken directly from nature. This subdivision of three-dimensional space is seen in the cell biology of coral sponge and polyps, as well as the natural formation of soap bubbles, making it the most efficient subdivision of that particular space.
the entire process of fabrication and installation to be of speed and ease. After the form is created in Grasshopper/Rhino is fed into a ‘sail-making’ program which works out the easiest way for the tensile pavilion to be fabricated, from individual sheets of fabric. This process is similar to the unrolling process of planar Rhino models.
Similarly to the materials making up those natural formations, the Pavilion is constructed from thin, tensile fabrics, stretching smoothly from floor to ceiling; then can be packed away into a bag weighing 17kg. Using images of cell structure, the form is created with mesh tools in Grasshopper. Using slider functions, or equivalent, the size, shape and fluidity of the structure can be manipulated to quickly generate many variations and find the desired form. Without this parameteric link the architect would be required to rebuild his mesh from scratch, making for drastic time increase. The nature of this structure makes for
The Entry Pavilion is an incredible innovation which creates amazing spaces from easyto-work-with materials which are cheap and lightweight, and it can be transported to different events and set up within an hour.
While our brief asks for a permanent art-form, tensile fabrics are not to be overlooked. They could easily be used for both solar and wind energy collection, and there’s nothing to say it couldn’t be used for hydro and/or kinetic in the future too.
A.3. PRECEDENT 2
LOUISIANA STATE MUSEUM & SPORTS HALL OF FAME TRAHAN ARCHITECTS
Louisiana State’s Museum and Sports Hall of Fame is one of the most perfectly constructed buildings I have ever seen. The intent of the design was to smoothly connect both the sporting and cultural historical records into one building with vague, or blended separation. The form of the internal space conceptually represents the fluvial river systems that have carved away at the Cane River banks for centuries. This organic, twisting, folding form is made up of sculpted panels of cast stone, and would be simply impossible to manufacture without the help of computational modelling.
Trahan Architects enlisted the expertise of Method Design consultants to design and fabricate a steel support system to perfectly fit the 1150 unique stone panels. Grasshopper was used to plan all the steel detailing supporting the panels. The details of this model are iteratively generated using a ‘response loop system’, creating every individual member, support and connection. Working in conjunction with Advanced Cast Stone, each panel was fabricated and fixed perfectly, creating the smooth interior that would otherwise has been tedious, messy, and basically impossible.
CONCLUSION The introduction to the subject through Part A was an almost overwhelming merger of the Land Art Generator Initiative brief and an overview of the evolution of computational modelling and it’s increased use in design processes in architecture. Renewable energy sources and Grasshopper - two highly complex elements in their own right, put them together and surprisingly they aren’t any simpler!
adjustable, as well as tuning distribution of space (high level of movement/activity areas and low level of movement/ passive areas). This idea is in the very early stages and at this point I have only thought about ways it could succeed, steering clear of thinking critically about ways it could fail.
Researching previous LAGI entries gave clear insight into the myriad possibilities for the brief; notably the inclusion of renewable energy technologies that are still in early stages of research. This encourages, or even permits, entrants to think for themselves about what could be foreseeably possible in the future - something that I, for one, would probably have never bothered with. I think this, while very minor, is perhaps my favourite part of the brief, as it ensured that I didn’t just pick an existing energy source and drift on through the phase, and in doing so really challenged my thinking. In saying that, at this point I have only come to think of innovative ways of differently using existing energy sources, rather than creating completely new forms.
With further exploration into renewable energies, and further experimentation with Grasshopper, hopefully I can further my design concepts and begin turning them into three-dimensional models.
Considering the site context, and the abundance of available water (not often so dominant), my first and constant thoughts are to use hydroelectric or hydrokinetic power as the major energy-generating source. While the port is relatively sheltered from waves, the rising and falling of the tide and wakes created from boats may have the potential to generate substantial power. One of my initial concepts is a ‘Sea Blanket’™, which I imaging to be a floating surface that is hydrokinetically systemated. With the rolling of water underneath or human activity on top, hydraulic pumps spin many small turbines to create power. This concept is quite applicable for a computational design as the floating surface would assumably be constructed from hundreds of panels with watertight and flexible junctions, resulting in a living surface. The use of Grasshopper would make panel distribution and scaling fast and easily
LEARNING OUTCOMES Throughout Part A, our research into computational design and parametric precedents has demonstrated the wonders of what this method of design is beginning to do in architecture, but merely breaking the surface of what it can do and what it will do in the future. While computers rely on humans to put in the parameters, their ability to generate enormously complex data structures allows them to create forms and patterns to a degree of accuracy simply impossible for humans to match. As the technology is still so new, architecture that has never been used before is being easily spat out of computers, with countless variations available with the click of a button. And that is where the biggest question lies... Is it becoming too easy? To a point where architects are restricting themselves by this new technology? It is clear that parametric modelling can be very efficient after one becomes competent with it, however, the likes of Grasshopper go far beyond standard design programs in terms of complexity, and I believe it will be that fact that will prevent a â€˜design democracyâ€™ occurring with parametric tools.
1. Case Building & Tecnology, Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, last modified 2011, http://case-inc.com/ project/BIM-consulting-louisiana-state-museum-and-sports-hall-fame-LOD-400-cast-stone-panel-fabrication-models-andcoordination. 2. Chris Bosse, Entry Paradise Pavilion, http://www.chrisbosse.com/projects/geneticpavilion/web/konzept.htm. 3. Elizabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, last modified 2014, http://www.melbournerecital.com.au/venues/emh. 4. LAGI 2012 Porfolio, Land Art Generator Initiative, last modified 2013, http://landartgenerator.org/LAGI-2012/. 5. Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame / Trahan Architects, Arch Daily, last modified September 2013, http:// 6. www.archdaily.com/428122/louisiana-state-museum-and-sports-hall-of-fame-trahan-architects/. 7. Melbourne Recital Centre, Check on Site,last modified August 2012, http://www.checkonsite.com/melbourne-recital-centre/. 8. Method Design, Louisiana State Museum and Sport Hall of Fame, last updated 2014,http://www.methoddesign.com/lsh/. 9. Phaeno Science Centre, Zaha Hadid Architecture, last modified 2007, http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/phaenoscience-centre/. 10. Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian, A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies, Land Art Generator Initiative, 2012. 11. Voronoi Diagram, http://www.olivierlanglois.net/voro.html. 12. Trahan Architects, Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame, last updated 2009, http://trahanarchitects.com/#/latest_news/latest_news_5.
IMAGES Fig. 1 - Sam Bell, Me and my Dogs, (Cavendish, 2013)
Fig. 2,3,4 - “Sock Farm”, Land Art Generator Initiative, last modified 2013, http://landartgenerator.org/LAGI-2012/ soc26010/.
Fig. 5, 7, 8, - “The Beauty of Recycling”, Land Art Generator Initiative, last modified 2013, http://landartgenerator.org/LAGI2012/DE89B326/.
Fig. 6 - Ocean Power Technologies, “Bouy Type Wec of the Coast of Hawaii”, A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies, 2012, Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian.
Fig. 9, 10 , 11, - Phaeno Science Centre, Zaha Hadid Architecture, last modified 2007, http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/phaeno-science-centre/.
Fig. 12 - Voronoi Diagram, http://www.olivierlanglois.net/voro.html.
Fig. 13 - Wojtek Gurak, Melbourne Recital Centre, last modified August 2012, http://www.checkonsite.com/melbourne-recital-centre/.
Fig. 14 - Pia Johnson, Elizabeth Murdoch Hall, last modified 2014, http://www.melbournerecital.com.au/venues/emh.
Fig. 15, 16, 17 - Entry Paradise Paviliion, LAVA, http://www.l-a-v-a.net/projects/entry-paradise-pavilion/.
Fig. 18, 19, 20, 21, Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame / Trahan Architects, Arch Daily, last modified September 22 - 2013, http://www.archdaily.com/428122/louisiana-state-museum-and-sports-hall-of-fame-trahan-architects/.
PART B DESIGN CRITERIA
B.1 RESEARCH FIELD
CASE STUDY 1.0 VOUSSOIR CLOUD - IWAMOTO SCOTT
The Voussoir Cloud installation by Iwamoto Scott uses an ultra-light material structure of thousands of panels to create a vaulted form spanning throughout the Southern California Institute of Architecture gallery space. The 3-dimensional â€˜petalsâ€™ which make up the structure are made from a thin ply wood, scored and folded to create bordering flanges along all the surfaceâ€™s curves. These flanges provide the structural system for the design, allowing the petals to retain their intended curvature as well as being the junctioning element to connect each petal. The Voussoir Cloud used a computational script in Rhino to achieve its multi-vault structure. A tangent offset script was produced that allowed the curve of each petal to be greater according to its height, resulting in the structures arch lines beginning slowly from the ground, but then curving away more and more as they got higher.This allowed for accurate fabrication to produce the intended design. This project uses a combination of material performance, panelling and tesellation computationally. With the given Grasshopper definition, including the Kangaroo plugin, hopefully our group can use this as a starting point to develop a working definition from where we will begin our design.
B.2 KANGAROO PHYSICS MATRIX
Using the given Grasshopper definition of the Voussior Cloud, we attempted to manipulate the existing form and produce entirely different iterations. With the introduction of another plugin to try to navigate, Kangaroo, I found it challenging to alter the definition to anything largely different to its original look. Sliders to change the width of the voronoi grid and the distance of the offset grid were about all I managed to vary.
CASE STUDY 2.0 HYPER-TOROIDAL DEEP SURFACE PROTOTYPE
After spending some time researching projects that used material performance, and playing with a Grasshopper definition with the physics plugin, Kangaroo, we were beginning to gain a better understanding of our chosen material system; itâ€™s possibilities and its restrictions. The Hyper-Toroidal Deep Surface Prototype by Mihaylov and Nicolova for Stuttgart University was a project we found serious intriguing, and one that we decided on researching further. The prototype is a make up of many elastic membrane surfaces joined to create a continuous tensile surface with variable cylindrical apertures. Internal meshes of less area create a double-thickness membrane. The meshes are controlled with the use of many anchors at surface junctions or vertices, straining the material into the desired tensile form. What is produced is a complex, but systematic web of tensioned surfaces and varied dimensioned perforations. When considering our groupâ€™s initial design concepts, such as focusing on wind and kinetic power generation, a material system of this type is quite well suited. As it uses no rigid materials, the structure is still free to move with the stretching of its elastic members (kinetic potential), and the material surfaces can be stretched into almost any form, creating great opportunity to catch wind and harness wind power.
B.3 REVERSE ENGINEERING
The process of reverse engineering our case study proved relatively difficult as the only surface type usable in Kangaroo is a mesh surface, and getting a mesh into your desired form was rather difficult. Initially a box mesh was created and the naked vertices were used as anchor points, so when Kangaroo was toggled on the mesh would relax from the square geometries. To make the Rhino model more like the Deep Surface prototype, we added an internal mesh with a longer resting length than the external mesh. By changing these settings we could easily test the relaxedness of the messes and get it to our desired form. We then modified the mesh geometry to 6-sided polygons, which increased the complexity of the form. The final form was created with the combination of two of the four-pronged tubes and the manual movement of control points.
B.3 PROTOTYPE EXPERIMENTATION To better understand the case study and to get an idea of how to fabricate a model like this, we decided to make a prototype of a simple part of the form. After building it in Rhino and Grasshopper, it was baked and unrolled. Due to the slumping in the centre of the form, the faces of the form must be unrollled in strips. As each face was an identiical surface it made for fast, easy digital and physical fabrication.
By printing out the unrolled surfaces onto paper, we created stencils to cut the strips from a thick fabric. Beginning with the internal layer, each strip was sewn along its edge to the adjacent strips, creating the funnel-like form. The same procedure was repeated with the outer layer, although this had to be sewn inside out, and then righted to avoid seams being visible. The inner membrane was then put into the outer, and after being alligned they were sewn around the edges. Like its precedent, this prototype was intended to be stretched out at all vertices by a fine wire inside a frame, however the thick fabric allowed it to hold its form relatively, and the extra time required was decided to be wasteful.
B.4 TECHNIQUE: DEVELOPMENT To try to expand further with our experimentation, we worked through ways of creating different meshes, and therefore different forms. By projecting a random point grid, and with the help of ‘cull pattern’ and varying ‘seed’, we produced a number of iterations of random forms. Attractor points were then trialled, to affect the diameters of the form, and the rise and fall in the z plane. In this experimentation, we lost sight of our energy generation concepts and our emphasis on material performance, becoming too concerned by what form we were creating.
B.4 DESIGN SELECTION
SPECIES1 DESIGN: The intersection of multiple forms creates circulation opportunity for this species. The use of a double thickness membrane ensures experiences will differ according to whether you are viewing the form from the outside of standing within it. ENERGY: The multiple, funnel-like apertures of this design press the use of wind power collection. The elastic membranes also have potential to produce human-powered kinetic energy. 40
SPECIES 2 DESIGN: The shrinking of the internal membrane from a vast opening to a narrow aperture presents an interesting experiential quality for a viewer moving through this form. ENERGY: The internal membrane of this species has great kinetic potential, basically forming a suspension bridge, which will be very responsive to human weight and reverberate with wind.
DESIGN: In addition to two openings, drawing people through the site, an interesting horizontal view is achieved from the point of the mermaid.
DESIGN: This snaking form twists in both the x and y planes, producing a visual sectional feature to the public eye, as well as inviting people to explore its interior.
ENERGY: This form also has the ability to harness kinetic energy, through public interaction and wind. Solar cells may be integrated in the membrane fabric to also collect solar energy, maximising the designâ€™s performance.
ENERGY: The design allows for kinetic energy via people and wind movement through the material membrane. The form can be zoned according to the siteâ€™s qualities, such as the solar path and wind motion.
B.5 DIGITAL PROTOTYPING
Tensile Mesh layout // Varied number of points were used to dictate the number of material panels made up the form.
Structural Rib Beam layout // Rib beams were created with the contour function. The distances were altered to vary the quantity of members.
B.5 PROTOTYPE PROPOSALS
B.5 PHYSICAL PROTOTYPING
The process of physical prototyping was predominantly an experimentation of the varied ways in which a material membrane could make up form. The process was not as such a rehearsal of our desired structural form, and the beams and tunnels and merely a simplified representation of what we may come to produce. However, back to the real purpose of the task, we trialled three fabric systems that hung from our symbolic beams. .
B.5 PHYSICAL PROTOTYPING Steel rods and strip fabric // This prototype experimented with the splitting of the membrane concept, into hundreds of thin strips of fabric. The thought process behind this was that the individual strips will be greater influenced by the wind, and have better experiential qualities, such as break up of light, interesting light and shadowing, becoming a writhing surface and possibly making a humming sound in strong winds. The introduction of steel rods spanning across the beams was necessary with this prototype.
Single membrane // This prototype trialled the use of one single membrane enclosing the entire form. At a real scale with a tensile fabric, this would be anchored at all corners and at various points along each beam to stretch the membrane into its desired form. This would, presumably, be less responsive to wind, but would act more as a funnel, creating a different experience.
Connected strips membrane // The third prototype follows the method from the Deep Surface case study, and uses several strips to make up the tensile membrane. This allows the membrane to fit the desired form with less stretching and anchoring. It also has the potential create interesting lines and different spatial experiences due to its adaptability.
B.7 INTERIM PRESENTATION FEEDBACK
The interim presentation was vital for our group, because it was very apparent that throughout Part B we had veered quite off track. Rather than focusing on what would make our design most successful, i.e. energy generation potential and the use of tensile membranes, we began worrying about what our form was going to look like, and then as a side note thought about how we could incorporate the two focuses into them. That is a complete contradiction to what I believe this subject, and LAGI brief is intending to get us to do. The factors that determine the form of your design should be whatever it is you intend to produce energy with. For us this is majorly wind, and therefore it should be data like wind direction and wind patterns that dictate the layout of our design on the site. Also, it was mentioned that we had almost created a streamlined form, that sat as low to the ground as possible, ultimately minimising the potential for catching wind. Sails. A form designed to maximise wind catchment. Why had we not thought about sails?! While the feedback from the interim presentation almost insisted we go back to the drawing board, we were faced in the right direction and given an encouraging shove. We can still work from our Deep Surface Case Study, we just need to have those focuses in our head for all our design deci-
KEY ISSUES OVERSIMPLIFIED DESIGN AND ALGOROTHMIC TECHNIQUES LITTLE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORM/TENSILE TECHNIQUE AND WIND TECHNOLOGY HEIGHT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR DESIRED ENERGY SOURCE BETTER USE SITE CONDITIONS TO INFLUENCE DESIGN EXPRESS TECHNOLOGY SCULPTURALLY AND EFFICIENTLY
B.7 LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
As Part B has been almost entirely groups working on their own definitions and designs, it has been notably more challenging than Part A. I have experienced frustration unlike any other studio before, as it’s ‘goodbye’ to the fine liners and Copics, and ‘hello’ to computer screens, Grasshopper and various confusing plugins. The number of times I have had to restart my computer because Grasshopper has crashed, have sat trying to work out why certain functions are red, have searched Google and Grasshopper forums searching for a way to achieve something, has almost been unbearable! However, everyone has experienced the same thing and I know these programs take a long time to master. Think of the ‘design democracy’ if it was all so simple! While I certainly wouldn’t say myself, or my group as a whole, has flourished in this phase, I don’t think we have gone too badly. We have chosen a material system which not many others have chosen, and in my opinion it is a bit more complicated than many other choices. We have researched case studies which have shown us the possibilities of using material performance, and have given us our own goals for what we are trying to achieve this design. We have gone through the process of downloading Kangaroo and WeaverBird, learning how they work, and using them to expand on our design. We are at a point of realisation, however, where we unfortunately accept our latest trials and path of development is not going to result in a great design for the brief, or achieve what the subject really sets out to teach. We are now required to go back to our early iterations, and with our key focal points in mind, try to get it together.
PART C DETAILED DESIGN
C.1 DESIGN CONCEPT
It became clear towards the middle and end of Part B that we had drifted away from our, initially strong, concept of using the ‘material performance’ process to create a design that harnessed wind energy with tensile membranes. Restricted by what we couldn’t do in Grasshopper, we developed an idea that was not addressing and of our own requirements, and was generally unsuccessful. Throughout Part C, we were much more thorough and also more critical in our development and decision making, which resulted in designs with far more potential than earlier achieved. The diagrams to the right dipict the proposals at the end of Part B (Left) and Part C (Right).
C.1 SITE FIELD LINES
Once we had arrived at our primary concept, of arraying a uniform sail component repetitively across the RefshaleĂ˜en site, we sought about researching parametric methods to projecting lines across a site on which to place the numerous sail components. We found what we were looking for in the Grasshopper plugin, Anemone. Using a loop function and rotating point charges, we were able to twist lines through the site, according to where we set the charges, how strong the were and, of course, how many we placed. This allowed for vast experimentation of these generative arrays with relative ease, and the results produced were very effective. After some trialling, we referenced the LAGI brief to decide on the spatial qualities we wanted to create across the site. Taken from our earlier development, we wanted the entrance to the
site, the south eastern corner, to act as a wide funnel, directing the public through the site to the other key points, the water taxi terminal and the siteâ€™s prime viewpoint on the western edge. These areas, therefore, were where we placed the charges to direct the fluid curves around the points. The production of many iterations helped us consider options we had not previously thought of, and through this process we noticed that a large area of dead-space was created with just three point charges. A resolution, we found, was to create an accessible, but sheltered area where that dead-space had been, as an area of refuge on the site, creating another experiential quality on the site. The looped curves naturally created paths through the site, and later on in the process, when sails where incorporated, we could manipulate that as we saw fit.
C.1 FIELD LINES & CONTEXT To ensure our generative line array was truly the one that would best achieve the groupâ€™s objectives, we looked at the site with the consideration of surrounding Copenhagen harbour. This then gave us a clearer view of the proximity of the field lines, the views they would direct visitors towards, and even how it would look from the air. These new factors required us to complete further iterations, from which we picked one that we thought perfectly sectioned the site would promote those experiential qualities once sails were projected on the site.
C.1 SAIL ITERATIONS ITERATION 1 Height: Width: Surface Area:
6.94m 5.05m 175.2m2
Base Circumference: 6.19m Able to hold 176 transducers.
kWh: 377.8 kWh/day: 9,067.2 kWh/yr: 3,309,528 422 sails: 1,396,620,816kWh/yr 210,842 houses fuelled per year.
a = 66.64kg b = 1397.7N c = 1399.3N
ITERATION 2 Height: 11.56m Width: 8.4m Surface Area:
Base Circumference: 10.34m Able to hold 295 transducers.
kWh: 1,047.3 kWh/day: 25,135.3 kWh/yr: 9,174,374.3 274 sails: 2,513,778,552.7kWh/yr 379,897 houses fuelled per year.
a = 133.28kg b = 3876.6N c = 3878.9N
ITERATION 3 Height: Width: Surface Area:
18.5m 13.56m 1254.3m2
Base Circumference: 16.46m Able to hold 470 transducers.
kWh: 2,705.9 kWh/day: 64,941.3 kWh/yr: 23,703,561.4 127 sails: 3,010,352,292.7kWh/yr 454,942 houses fuelled per year.
a = 188.16kg b = 10020N c = 10021.8N
ITERATION 4 Height: Width: Surface Area:
23.11m 13.56m 1928.2m2
Base Circumference: 20.48m Able to hold 585 transducers. a = 243.04kg b = 15404.2N c = 15406.1N
kWh: 4,159.7 kWh/day: 99,831.5 kWh/yr: 36,438,507.7 110 sails: 4,008,235,849.2kWh/yr 655,261 houses fuelled per year.
C.1 SAIL ITERATIONS
C.1 SAIL SECTIONS
C.2 TECTONIC ELEMENTS PROTOTYPE 1
It was thought that the groupâ€™s decided strategy to design a sail with an individual structural mechanism would make the design and fabrication process much easier (which, in the end it did) however, untill we managed to produce this tectonic element, we were at a complete stand-still.
Our early designs featured a cuff element that sat around the top of the ball, contacting with the base in a 360 degree ring when it leaned too far, and in this action, hitting the piezoelectrics. The most successful variation of this design was our first prototype.The image below is the sectioned mesh that was used to 3D print the prototype.
While our proposal uses sails that harness wind, the way it uses piezoelectric transducers to generate energy from the movement of the sail is unprecedented. Therefore the design of our tectonic element had no real basis to go from. As the sail is not a turbine, we wanted to avoid turbine type systems. We started looking at ball and socket joints, seeing that it could move in any rotation of a spherical orbit, but could be restricted by the design of the socket if wished.
Using PLA plastic, a working prototype was created, allowing us to physically test the range of movement of the sail. and the success of the cuff. There were suggestings that this particular system would place too much strain on the connection between the ball and the poles, so there was need to experiment with more prototypes, and after the first being a success, 3D printing was the right way to go.
C.2 TECTONIC ELEMENTS PROTOTYPE 2
Advancing from the simple ball and socket design of prototype 1, there were two main objectives for the second prototype to achieve. 1) The element restricting the movement of the huge sail above was a fairly small attachment piece, and it was definitely thought that at some point, the element on the prototype 1 design would fail. Therefore, prototype 2 featured an extension of the sail poles, below the ball, acting like a â€˜tap rootâ€™. The tap root pole was the new feature that would both stop the sail from falling over completely, and also what strikes the piezoelectric strip and springs in the concrete base.
2) The first prototype did nothing to stop the sail from acting like a turbine, and spin in a 360 degree rotation. To allow the sail to align itself with the wind with the dominant wind patters on the site, we thought the sail should have a 60-80 degree rotation. To achieve this, our prototype incorporates two short flanges attached to the ball, which will contact the base at the end of that rotation. The 3D printed prototype enabled us to test the success of these two new alterations, and proved that both functioned as intended. This prototype was our final proposal for the tectonic component.
C.1 SAIL CONNECTION FIXTURES These details shows a standard base anchor point plate connection for one of the sail components. The edges of the sails are fitted with a flexible steel rod, that is connected to the sail poles at regular increments. Where the sail comes to the base point, it is clamped by the base fixing plate, which is, in turn, connected to an pin connection of the base.
C.1 LIGHT STRIPS It was an idea that occurred late in the design, to utilise the field lines used to create the sail array in a form and part of the design on the site. Initially, they were just a means to place the sails on the site, however, were quite a beautiful generative visual, and therefore we wanted to use them.
In a way to unify the sails, draw people through the site, tranfer power to the grid and symbolise the production of clean energy, we turned these lines into strip lighting components. With the use of a concrete trench and LED strip lighting in a waterproof housing, our lines became a visual representation of the amount of energ that way being produced on that given day, by pulsing the lights along the line at a particular speed. This would happen day and night, and the lights would be powered by a small portion of the energy generated by the sails themselves. Underneath the light housing, the power generated from each piezoelectric system is tranferred to the grid through electrical cabling. At regular, but staggered intervals across the site, the concrete strips with rise up into a curved bench seat for the public.
GLASS LIGHT COVER
LED STRIP LIGHTING (3 X ROWS) ALUMINIUM LIGHT HOUSING
ELECTRICAL CONDUIT (PIEZOELECTRIC TRANSFER) ELECTRICAL WIRING (POWER LED LIGHTS)
C.1 PIEZOELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY
This detail shows the piezoelectric spring system at the base of the component. With any movement of the sail, the springs are compressed by the pole and the piezoelectric transducers are engaged. This power runs through wiring up into the lighting strips.
C.3 FINAL DESIGN
HIGH IMPACT POLYSTYRENE SHEET 1mm
PERSPEX SHEET 3mm
FABRICATION & FINAL MODEL 1:500 SITE MODEL
FABRICATION & FINAL MODEL 1:100 DESIGN MODEL
LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT Our proposal consists of two main materials, concrete and carbon fibre. A large amount of concrete is required in our design for the footing system of the sails and trench for the light/seating strips. Cement is an additive of concrete and also one of the primary producers of the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Cement, dependent on proportion added, creates up to 5% of worldwide man-made emissions, 50% of which is from the chemical process and 40% from fuel burning. It is estimated that one tonne of structural concrete will produce 410kg/m3 of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon fibre is used to support the sails, optimising the materials strength and lightweight composition. The process of manufacturing carbon fibre requires large amounts of slow heating procedures and hence uses a high level of energy, 25 â€“ 75 kWh/lb1. The environmental communities and producers are now heavily regulating carbon fibre manufacturing due to its heat intensive procedure. The production of carbon fibre elicits produces harmful gases including nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, which both contribute to global warming. Carbon fibre, unlike steel, cannot be melted down and recycled. Therefore, there are large amounts of waste associated with the material, of which mostly ends up in landfills. While carbon-fibre was the chosen material for this design decided upon analytical research, given a greater time frame, testing of full scale member s would be undertaken for lower embodied energy materials, ie. steel, wood. Although our site uses materials that have negative implications on the environment, the large amount of renewable energy our installation will, in the timeframe of a few years, counteract this. One of the main aims of our proposal is to educate the visitors about renewable energy, done by the pulsing light strips indicating energy collection of the current day. This aims to encourage visitors to the site to think about renewable energy and implement it in their own homes. If this is successful, it is also reversing the damage of materials used on the site as less energy id being used elsewhere.
The average wind spped of \ Copenhagen is 5.8m/s2. This average combined with the sail surface area, gives the wind force acting on the sail, ‘b’.
The bre ing This sider plied
weight of the carbon fitubes is sourced dependon height and thickness. weight is doubled to conboth tubes and multiwith gravity, producing ‘a’.
The force produced on the piezoelectric panels by the sail is calculated as ‘c’. This force is then multiplied by 0.27kWh (the energy produced by one piezoelectric panel) to receive the energy output of one sail. To find the energy output of the whole site, this output is multiplied by the appropriate number of sails.
c2 =1,958,006.18N c = 1399.3N kWh = 377.8 113
LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT:
FINAL PRESENTATION & SUBMISSION:
Coming out of Part B, my group and I felt a growing frustration with this idea of parametric design, and the software that it embodies, and complete confusion as to where we were at with our design and where it was headed. Therefore, Group 1 took quite a while (too long) to really bite into our final phase. Our design at this point had become stagnant, and did not at all represent a collaboration our design intentions and personal styles - it was really just a lofted form, straight out of the week one Grasshopper tutorial, with the inclusion of a bit of panelling and minor structural consideration.
As previously stated, our lack of a strong concept throughout Part resulted in our group really falling behind. By the time we had established our proposal and individual sail component, we had little time to waste in developing lots of variations of the same design and working out optimum performance details - we had to begin fabricating and presenting it and try to resolve those issues on the go.
In order to move forward, we had to take a few steps back to our earlier ideas of what we wanted to achieve with our design, and reconsider how we could best do this with our proposal. We were still set on our selection of wind as an energy source, and confident that, while rarely seen, this could be used in collaboration with kinetic technology to produce power for our LAGI design. After the Part B presentation, the words of Stanislav really stuck with me - “Sails. Why not sails? They have evolved throughout history to harness as much wind as possible.. And height. If you are going to use wind, it has to be high. Using tensile membranes high above the ground has the potential to be really beautiful, and completely mesmerising!” So with those points drawn from our presentation feedback, we planned a new agenda of the boxes that our future proposals must tick, and with that, I am confident in saying, we have developed a proposal that well addresses the LAGI brief, uses a good ratio of parametric design and manual design, and also represents our aims and styles as the designers.
HARNESS WIND ENERGY USE PIEZOELECTRIC KINETIC TECHNOLOGY UTILISE HEIGHT ON THE SITE DRAW PUBLIC TO/THROUGH THE INSTALLATION CREATE AESTHETIC VISUALS FROM SITE & AIR
The final presentation feedback was, overall, really positive. Our tutors acknowledged that the proposal took a long time land on, and with that in mind, the design had come a long way. Comments were made of ways in which we could further the exploration of our proposal, such as by increasing and decreasing the size and number of sails, to see how the energy performance changes. Advise was also given of ways of improving our presentation techniques. So there it was! Not too much to rectify - should be no trouble getting it all done to a high standard, with plenty of time left over to study for Construction Design the day after submission! Oh how wrong I could possible be! FABRICATION is the word that explains it all. I should have realised by now after watching so much Grand Designs, that no matter what, you WILL run over time and you WILL go over your budget, even if it is on a 1:100 scale. I endured no less than ten file adjustments/rebuilds in an attempt to get our final model 3D printed, and also endured ten emails stating, “Your model has failed”. In the end, we layered our model from perspex strips, and I have no doubt, that some 60 hours not wasted on 3D model attempts would have seen our final renders/details remarkably better.
STUDIO AIR: Each part of this subject has provided many opportunities to learn and be challenged in all areas of our architectural inventory. Design futuring and parametric design were completely foreign terms to me at the beginning of this subject, and now, they are only a little bit clearer. Studio Air has broken the ice of my relationship with these topics and methods of design, and I have no doubt that with the ever-evolving technology of architecture, we will be seeing a lot more of each other in the years to come. I can certainly see now that parametric modelling is a very powerful and valuable tool, when understood and used properly. I feel I have learnt a basis of which to expand my ability with parametric tools, and hopefully can begin to incorporate it into my future designs. As well as parametric software, Studio Air threw me into the deep end of all the modelling and fabricating softwares and processes involved with computational design, and architecture as an evolving discipline. 3d modelling, while time consuming and infuriating, is something I am so excited to have learnt how to do, and have found myself seriously interested in and want to be involved in in the future. It was more than a matter of submitting a Rhino file to FabLab - I also learnt how to fix meshes with NetFabb. I had not used the FabLab since Virtual Environments in first year, so the submission of several files saw me regain my competence in setting up files, and choosing machines and materials. I also trialled my own material after submitting a Material Data Sheet. The studio also required us to calculate real power estimates, assess environmental impacts, research material choices, and design connection details. Design Studio Air has been, without doubt, the most challenging, exhausting, and frustrating subject I have done at university, however, other adjectives also include ‘rewarding’, ‘interesting’ and ‘fun’. I have learnt more than I thought possible, and believe I have done quite well.