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table of contents INTRODUCTION




A.1. A.2. A.3. A.4. A.5. A.6.

07 13 18 24 25 26




b.1. b.2. B.3. B.4. B.5. B.6. B.7. B.8

33 38 46 48 64 75 80 82




C.1. C.2. C.3. C.4. C.5.

93 116 126 140 142


INTRODUCTION My name is Sarah Tan. I am a 3rd year Bachelor of Environments student, majoring in Architecture. Born and raised in Melbourne, I’ve always had a interest in art and design. My hobbies include drawing, graphic design and gaming whenever I have free time. My experience with digital design is still somewhat limited and fundamental. While being relatively proficient in the Adobe Suite prior to this course my knowledge of CAD or 3D Modelling programs such as Rhino, AutoCAD and Revit is still very basic from my time in Virtual Environments, Visual Communication and Studio subjects. I look forward to the opportunity of learning Grasshopper as an addition to my skillset. I believe it will be a rewarding program that will allow me to explore new technology and contemporary methods of creating architecture. A new paradigm, that will allow me to grow further as a designer.


part a: conceptualization

part a. conceptualization 05



DESIGN FUTURING | DESIGN GUIDELINES Sustainability over the past several years has been the centre of much discussion with the growing concerns for our future and the toll human habitation has had on our planet’s ecosystems. “Creation and destruction is not a problem when a resource are infinitely renewable, but can become a disaster when it is not. “ 1 We have created this condition, reaching a point where now we must acknowledge the limitations of our resources counting to sustain us. In response we have begun to acknowledge the challenges faced ahead to make up for our ‘status quo’ and the sacrifices we have made to maintain our excessive standard of living. 2 We are currently in a phase of transition practice of sustainability has become more apparent in organizational agendas, however society at a large still seem disconnected and complacent with the issues. So what is the role of designers in all this? Solutions are not found by chance but through confronting problems with “design at the front

line of transformative action.” 3 Design is the force that shapes our world, both how we see it and how it operates. Design practice can be an agent to help realize a sustainable future but that alone is not what will secure it. In order for our efforts to be significant a change in thinking is required and design also has the power to do that. Through means such as architecture, we can engage with design to express a message that influences people social, cultural, ethical or even political ideas. 4 We’re not only rethinking about how we design but how we can use it as a medium to redirect attitudes and values. These ideas will be integral to our project as we aim to create design with purpose, integrating sustainability with the idea of it. How can we create an innovative design that will engross visitors to consider how their actions can contribute to ‘futuring’ no matter the scale, individually or collectively? 5 The end goal is to turn this vision of a sustainable city into a reality.


1-5. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg), pp. 1–16 6. Ferry, Robert & Elizabeth Monoian, ‘Design Guidelines’, Land Art Generator Initiative, Copenhagen, 2014



The project was instigated from Echelman’sinterest in handcrafted material beginning with fishing net. She explores materiality with a new approach that seeks to create precise volumetric forms through soft materials. In order to achieve this she collaborates with professionals of other disciplines such as aeronautical engineers to further her understanding of material behavior and how to recreate her vision of the gentle movement within the wind’s choreography. (Fig.1) Furthermore she explores the variables of fishing net machines and methods of lacing.

Fig. 1 Understanding the variables of fish net and methodogy behind patterns.


The shape of the 1.26 Denver is derived from data collected from a recent tsunami that had rippled across the entire Pacific Ocean. (Fig.3) She takes inspiration from this shockwave and links it back conceptually as an event that “connects” the western hemisphere. The shape resulting was far more complex than any of her previous works that it could not be represented optimally with the usual steel framework she had employed for her previous projects. 7 This required the search of a material that could maintain structural integrity while remaining soft enough to move fluidly in the wind. These qualities were found in Spectra® fiber 8, A materials of soft fine mesh 15 times stronger than steel that withstand the forces of nature. However at this point in time there was no software that could explain how these complicated net forms would be modelled and how they work with gravity, so it had to be

Fig.2 Aeronautical engineering that , learning how to develop precise shapes in gentle movement.

Fig. 3. Tsunami diagram data, imitation of rippling movement.

7.Echelman, Janet, “Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously”, 2011. <> 8.Echelman, Janet, “1.26 DENVER”, COLORADO, 2010. <>


Fig. 4 An early rendition of the software used to create these sculptural net forms. (2011)

Fig. 5 2014 Maya plug-in “JNet” able to simulate geometry, wind movement and lighting effects. Later on in her career in another interdisciplinary collaboration, Echelman worked with Peter Boyer to create their own software a tool called ”JNet.” (Fig.5) It created this net sculpture while running a very fast but accurate simulations for form finding that could calculate structural forces as well as emulates the movement of wind through the net. The program uses embedded information with the specific limitations of net weaving machines from prior exploration in order to ensure fabrication. An understanding of materials allows us to understand its confines so that they can be stretched. Designs are generated by working with this simulation that realistically represents real world parameters. “You don’t know what you’re modeling until the simulation has completed. You have to “work with the simulation” quite directly in order to design.” 9 Peter Boyer

9. Autodesk. “Behind the Scenes of Janet Ec

Through design process urban sculpture is created, one that invites people to linger and contemplate as it fills a void and punctuates a public space.” The 1.26 Denver along with Echelman’s other works encapsulate a journey where she has taken the initiative to create something that is unexpected. She inspires us to explore the bounds of new materials and the advantage of working with other disciplines to realize a project that is both unique and innovative. The sheer wonder of how form is made feasible is just one way she instills curiosity in the viewer. Through it we can learn a lesson on how to engage the audience, open their minds to discovering what lies in the intent of the design and perhaps educate them.

Fig. 6 The Dordrecht energy Carousel by Ecosistema Urbano


This project’s goal was to develop a public space that was unconventional and could excite playful-ness in its users. Spanish architecture firm Ecosistema Urbano designed the Dordrecht Energy Carousel (Fig.6) in response to this brief which functions as an energy-generating chandelier with hanging ropes meant for the participation of children of all ages. The carousel shows an amalgamation of beauty and sustainability which is very relevant to our own goals for the LAGI Design.

It functions so that when kids swing around the carousel, kinetic energy is released and captured through the structure which is stored in the battery underneath the site. (Fig.7) It responds to lighting conditions so that when darkness rolls over the carousel becomes illuminated through self-sustained energy collected in the day. The carousel’s has a varying spectrum of colours (Fig.8) that determine how much energy has been stored, creating a opportunity for two different experiences: at day a bold structure dressed in bright red and at night a feature of colorful LED lights. 10

10. Wronski, Lisa. “Dordrecht Energy Carousel / Ecosistema Urbano” 25 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. <>


The energy carousel isn’t merely a place of leisure but also hopes to be educational. Targeting children from an early age to learn about alternative methods for generating power and simple concepts of sustainability. It uses hands-on interaction allowing people to become involved with the energy process physically. The concept is direct hoping to make people question of what they can contribute to creating a sustainable future just as how their simple have been used to power the carousel. The structure of the carousel also investigates efficiency of materials in construction to further highlight its design. It uses a limited amount of steel and instead tensile integrity is created through the use of ropes and textiles. 11 The design is not only sustainable but effectively communicates a means of interaction and engagement with the audience. I found interest in this design because it works as a public amenity regardless of its pragmatic design points. It is something that can exist outside the context of sustainability of well that makes it raw and attractive thus proving the tag line of LAGI that “Renewable Energy can be Beautiful”.

Fig. 7 Diagram of how energy is collected.


Fig. 8 Diagram of how energy operates at night.

11. Ecosistema Urbano. “ ENERGY CAROUSEL “ 2010<>



Theories of the Digital in Architecture | Architecture’s New Media The use of computers in architectural practice has had a profound change in the conception, realization and fabrication of designs. Technology has advanced to increase the intricacy and capabilities of design as we specifically study new emerging methods through design computation. Traditional methods of the architectural design process through drawing and translating these ideas into a digitized entity preconceived in the mind of the design. This method referred to as a ‘top-down’ approach utilizes computers as a means for precision to sophisticatedly and accurately draft out design ideas. The process is termed ‘computerization’ and it vastly differs from the practice of computation in architecture. Rather, Computation is defining this process as we know it as we shift from traditional methods of drawings to using algorithms in order to capture and communicate designs more effectively. Parametric systems are used to create thinking based upon “a logic of associative and dependency relationships between objects and their

part-and-whole relationships”. 12. It allows for experimentation and modulation of conditions in designs such as the porosity of surfaces as a parameter to control light penetration. Computation has the ability for ecological design and that responds to environmental contexts through the reading of data. It has capability to differentiate separate parts of a building to produce a new wave of tectonic and material creativity. Design through computation boasts a new sort of complexity that simultaneously able to high generative variability in design solutions that is integrated with simulation software for energy and structural calculation. This allows us as designers to take on a more significant part in the goal of sustainability where we can design for efficiency. There is a clear logic behind the process of design which can prove advantageous in comparison to traditional methods. It streamlines the design process to give use more creative control that is supported by data analysis, over the danger and uncertainty of ‘top down approach” concepts.

12. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10


9. Autodesk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Behind the Scenes of Janet Ec

DENVER BOTANICAL GARDENS Over the past several years, Marc Fornes has created a reputation as a leader in development of computation through his designs defined by script driven typologies that defy typical conceptions of architecture. He realizes geometrically complex and self-supporting structures with an artistic flair. He creates algorithms to create the thinnest and strongest structures possible, (Fig.9) the goal to design facades which economize materials and logistics a very pragmatic approach that beings to tackle ideas of sustainability.


The precedent we will be examining is the “Denver Botanical Gardens” one of his many experiments that research complex geometries with surface tessellation. It is scripted through algorithm, rules encoded into computational programs to which the results are guided by precise operations. The outcomes however are unpredictable, with many iterations. Fabrication is heavily considered in creating the complex forms being composed of flat elements. “Structural bark” that relies on the assembly of parts. (Fig.10) Together they form a skin of undulating surfaces which also works as a structure. “In seeking to investigate and develop systems in which there is an integral relationship between models and concepts, a great source of knowledge lies in the design principles of nature”. 13. Fornes’ designs are often interpreted as organic forms inspired of flowers, shells, coral however this is a misconception of the design process, that does not replicate the curvature but rather the principles of nature where “the designer simplifies those laws, adapts them, and makes them physical.” It is more than an imitation of appearance but producing a form which digitally responds to the environment as a second nature.

Fig. 9 Testing structural capacity when tensile force is applied

Fig. 10 Strip geometry for fabrication

13. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10


Fig. 11 Shellstar Pavilion by MATSYS

Fig. 12 Form Finding

Fig. 13 Surface Optimization


The Shellstar Pavilion (Fig.11) is a lightweight temporary pavilion that maximizes its spatial performance while minimizing structure and material. Commissioned for Detour, an art and design festival in Hong Kong in December 2012, the pavilion was designed to be an iconic gathering place for the festival attendees. Located on an empty lot within the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong, the design emerged out of a desire to create a spatial vortex whereby visitors would feel drawn into the pavilion center and subsequently drawn back out into the larger festival site. The Shell star pavilion is a lightweight parametrically modeled pavilion that maximizes the spatial performance in association to minimizing material and structural supports. The design process can be broken down into stages which were enabled by computational techniques. The form-finding process (Fig.2) was generated through the use of Grasshopper and its physics engine plug-in Kangaroo. It is organized into catenary-like thrust surfaces aligned for structural vectors that would calculate the minimal structural depths required. 14 It’s surface was then optimized creating cells

that compose the structure that are able to maneuver by bending slightly during fabrication in order for the curvature to take shape. (Fig.13) Through python, cells could be unfolded and prepared for fabrication.(Fig.14) The provision of parametric technologies has greatly simplified the design process of an otherwise complex form. Whilst some may hold the view that computing in architecture dampens creativity rather is the opposite. Computational tools have greatly increased the scope of design outcomes and what we are able to produce. It encourages creativity through providing a new doorway of opportunities. While computer’s aid us in simplifying complex processes that the human mind cannot easily comprehend it is still us who controls how the script, “the recipe” of the design shall partake and it only us humans who have the instincts to judge whether a design is successful or not. While a computer may aid us in the generative process it also means we are designing in a meaningful ecological manner and it is us who will select what will go through to the final stage of design.

Fig. 14 Fabrication Planning 14. MATSYS. “SHELLSTAR PAVILION” 2012. <>




Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought| Definition of ‘Algorithm’ Computational design is rethinking an entirely new concept of designing where we see a shift of architectural practice and literal from on that is composition based to a generative one. Digital technology has been in existence for quite some time now but until recent years has been used to simply digitize existing procedures such a drawing with a result already “preconceived in the mind of the designer”.15 We are now moving forward from this mode of “computerization” to computation design which extends our abilities to “deal with highly complex situations as designers”. Computational design works through the input of algorithms as opposed to a sketching of concepts to generate ideas. A designer inputs into the computer a “recipe, method or technique for the computer to process”. 16Algorithms design how a function is computed rather than what it is, which has been apparent in our ongoing study of Robert McNeel &Associates’ Grasshopper®.

Algorithmic thinking means taking on an interpretive role where we must comprehend how to perceive the results from a generated code and have the knowledge of how to modify it and its parameters so that we may explore different iterations to solutions and venture further into design potentials. For computational techniques to be beneficial they must be adaptable. “We are moving from an era where architects use software to one where they create software”.17 Brady Peters Through computation Architects are now able to experiment with design in conjunction with building performance simulation. We are able to makes use of performance analysis that allows us to predict how materials, tectonics and certain parameters will affect the building. 18 Thus the development of computational simulation tools has facilitated us in creating more responsive designs. Meaning in architecture is constructed as an encounter between architecture, its environment and its users.

15,17-18. Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 08-15 16. Definition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999).


It functions so that when kids swing around the carousel, kinetic energy is released and captured through the structure which is stored in the battery underneath the site. (Fig.7) It responds to lighting conditions so that when darkness rolls over the carousel becomes illuminated through self-sustained energy collected in the day. The carouselâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has a varying spectrum of colours (Fig.8) that determine how much energy has been stored, creating a opportunity for two different experiences: at day a bold structure dressed in bright red and at night a feature of colorful LED lights. 10


Fig. 15 ICD/ITKE Research Pavillion by the University of Stuttgart


The ICD/ITKE Pavilion 2013 was an interdisciplinary project conducted by architects, engineers and biologist to test the possibilities of biomimetic design strategies with the developments of robotic production. The design investigates “material and morphological principles of arthropods’ exoskeletons’ as a point of study.19 Computational design tools and simulation methods are used within the fabrication process to direct a robot into winding carbon and glass fibres. Taking inspiration from the biological precedent of fibre reinforced materials, the design seek to simulate and

integrate this into its form generation. The pavilion create a high performance structure so strong that its thickness is a negligible 4mm. We can see evidence of a shift from composition to generation as the design follows a “bottomup” approach, instigating a wide range of different subtypes of invertebrates. From this study of biomimicry, computation aids the process and in the 5 different patterns are generated for selection to be combined into this layered shell of fibers.

19. “ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion / University of Stuttgart, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning” 06 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. <>

Fig. 16 Generative process of patterning and testing structural optimization



Hansmeyer’s process involves creating an algorithm to design the structure of the Doric column. He uses a generative design process tweaking the algorithms each time where the result are columns that while follow a similar aesthetical rule do not actually share surfaces or motifs in common. Together they create a cohesive language shared in their materiality and fabrication process. Unlike traditional architecture its creation holistically as well as down to its microscopic surface details follows a single process. It is clear that these form are unimaginable to the human rationale and are free from our limits, our preconceptions of forms. He too explores nature processes and extracts them into an abstract algorithm to create something new. In “Columns”, Hansmeyer experiments with an input for a subdivision process that distinguishes between individual components. Four cylinders were initially used in this algorithmic definition but each with its own distinct local parameter

settings. This process can be run again and again with altered parameters to create infinite permutations of columns. These permutations can be united into new columns, and can form a point of departure for new generations of columns. 20 “The architect assumes the role of the orchestrator of these processes.” Michael Hansmeyer A full scale, fabrication of the model was constructed using 1mm sheets cut in a contouring manner and held together by poles running through a common core. 21 His work however is much more than just creating complex sculptures but also follows the method of computation in the way we design and build structures. Through this integration of mathematics and materials it too explores efficiency in materials and maximizing structural integrity.

20-21. Hansmeyer, Michael. “Subdivided Columns - A New Order (2010)”. <>

Fig. 17 Initial 4 design generated outcomes

Fig. 18 Demonstration of Fabrication Process

Fig. 19 & 20 Diagrams of sliced plans within the column

CONCLUSION Designing for the future is in an unavoidable challenge we must face if we are to answer the prospect of a future that can sustain our standards of living. This project will tackle this issue with two tasks in mind. Firstly how can we design sustainably and the other how can we utilize the power of architecture and design to convey a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;messageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that will be heard by the public. We have explored some precedents to answer these queries by analyzing other designersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; processes and achievements. This may be in breaking the boundaries or expectations of materiality to create structures that are efficient while still managing to be beautiful. It may be in the discourse of the design intent that seeks users to engage with a design so that they can begin to contemplate discuss the message we have which is this transition into a green culture. Not only on a socioeconomically level but so that it is embedded into our habits and ways of thinking. Our goal is to make people think not only the consequences of their actions but how they can spin them to make a positive contribution to the betterment of the world. We also look into the evolution of design processes reflecting on the benefits of emerging computation tools. These will be key to finding solutions, ones supported by the logic of data and within the constraints of parameters. With this we can design more efficient buildings, ones that a responsive to their environments. Through this journal we have looked into the conceptualization process and the shift of the industry towards innovative parametric architecture. There is much in favour in designing with computational tools and I believe they are not only the future of architecture, but the answer to the future itself.

LEARNING OUTCOMES It was interesting to look into a new approach different from previous studios that were almost entirely concept based, without a deep consideration for the pragmatic aspects of architecture such as sustainability and structure. Through looking at precedents it revealed just how broad the range of possibilities there are for architecture. It encourages me to think more analytically about methodology and the significance of design. Traditional processes seem to be becoming increasingly archaic and an ignorant way of designing. By experiencing tools such as grasshopper firsthand while overwhelming I believe it is just the begging to an insightful learning experience. To be able to control and simulate building environments we can create more responsible design that is not only more ecologically friendly but economically too.

REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY 1-5. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg), pp. 1–16 6. Ferry, Robert & Elizabeth Monoian, ‘Design Guidelines’, Land Art Generator Initiative, Copenhagen, 2014 7. Echelman, Janet, “Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously”, 2011. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.< janet_echelman> 8. Echelman, Janet, “1.26 DENVER”, COLORADO, 2010. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.<> 9. Autodesk. “Behind the Scenes of Janet Echelman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. Accessed 09 Mar 2014 <> 10. Wronski, Lisa. “Dordrecht Energy Carousel / Ecosistema Urbano” 25 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 09 Mar 2014 <http://> 11. Ecosistema Urbano. “ENERGY CAROUSEL “ 2010-2012. Accessed 09 Mar 2014 < energy-carousel/> 12. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10 helman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. <> 13. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10 helman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. <> 14. MATSYS. “SHELLSTAR PAVILION” 2012. <> 15,17-18. Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 0815 16. Definition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999 The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press), pp. 11, 12 19. “ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion / University of Stuttgart, Facuty of Architecture and Urban Planning” 06 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. <> helman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. < http://autodesk.blogs. com/between_the_lines/technology/> 20-21. Hansmeyer, Michael. “Subdivided Columns - A New Order (2010)”. <> helman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. <>

REFERENCES IMAGES Fig.1 Echelman, Janet, “Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously”, 2011. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.<http://www.ted. com/talks/janet_echelman> Fig.2 Echelman, Janet, “Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously”, 2011. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.<http://www.ted. com/talks/janet_echelman> Fig.3 Echelman, Janet, “1.26 DENVER”, COLORADO, 2010. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.< project/1-26-denver/> Fig.4 Echelman, Janet, “Janet Echelman: Taking imagination seriously”, 2011. Accessed 09 Mar 2014.<http://www.ted. com/talks/janet_echelman> Fig.5 Autodesk. “Behind the Scenes of Janet Echelman’s Sculpture at TED Conference with Autodesk” 2014. Accessed 09 Mar 2014 <> Fig.6 <> Fig.7 <> Fig.8 <> Fig.9 <> Fig.10 Fig.11 <> Fig.12 <> Fig.13 <> Fig.14 <> Fig.15 <> Fig.16 <> Fig.17 <> Fig.18<> Fig.19 Hansmeyer, Michael. “Subdivided Columns - A New Order (2010)”. <> 20-21. Hansmeyer, Michael. “Subdivided Columns - A New Order (2010)”. <>






MATERIAL SYSTEM: TESSELLATION Tessellation is a commonly used in architecture as a form of surface expression. It is the collection of pieces, fit together tightly, to form a plane or surface. They can be virtually any shape so long as they puzzle together in a taut formation. In architecture, tessellation can be explored in 3D through both paneled patterns onto building as well as digitally defined meshes. We have chosen tessellation as our material system because of its modular nature which gives us the ability to approximate complex forms. Computational design has revitalized an interest in tessellation by providing us a means to easily explore and incorporate it into our designs where traditionally assembling these patterns manually was a time-intensive and laborious. Digital technology now allows us to automate patterns and modify them for greater variation at relative ease.

how people will engage in the design. Ornament is the figure that emerges from the material substrate. Through ornament that material transmits affects. It is therefore necessary and inseparable component of design. Computational experiments allow us to visualize how these shapes and forms materialize and tessellate as we generate multiple possibilities playing with qualities such and density and shape. Tessellation also offers a method of fluid fabrication for that usually using only sheet materials that are easy to cut and assemble.

Tessellation is becoming increasingly relevant to buildings as architects who strive to push the limits of complex forms in design. It is a form of ornament that influences how architecture is connected to the material in the way it manifests new aesthetic compositions and the affects



Fig 1. Digital Origami detailed close up

In order to grasp the capabilities of tesselation, we look towards two precedent projects â&#x20AC;&#x153;Digital Origamiâ&#x20AC;? and Technicolor Bloom. Despite both being classed as tesselation they take completely different routes in expressing it into an aesthetic form. Digital Origami University of Technology, Sydney/Chris Bosse, 2007 The aim of this project was to test the fitness of a particular module, copied from nature, to generate architectural space, operating from the assumption that the intelligence of the smallest unit dictates the intelligence of the overall system. Ecosystems such as reefs act as a metaphor for an architecture whereby the individual components interact in symbiosis to create an environment. (Fig.2)

Fig 2. 3D Tessellated Form, mimicing reef ecosystem

From thirty-five hundred recycled cardboard molecules of only two different shapes (Fig.3) , Digital Origami reinterprets the traditional concept of space.

Fig 3. Modular components that make up the design

Fig 4. Technicolor Bloom from above

Fig 5-7. Laser-cut panels, Test mock-up, Installation

Technicolor Bloom Brennan Buck, 2007

Technicolor Bloom (Fig.4) is a full-scale prototype that produces doubly curved, digitally designed geometry, using completely standard, scalable fabrication technology. Built from fourteen hundred uniquely cut, flat plywood panels, the installation favors intense detail over seamless elegance.(Fig.5-7) At the same time, it proliferates continuity: continuity of surface morphology, continuity of the structural patterns across those surfaces, and varied interrelationships of depth and color from one surface to the next. Adaptive tessellation algorithms were used to produce the initial patterns, parametric design, with its associated discourses of efficiency and automated authorship, was suppressed in favor of specific design intention and the precise control of visual effects.

Both precedent projects show how successful tesselation can be in providing and whole different range of outcomes depending on their design goals and motivations. When stretched to go beyond, designs become multi-faceted, wrapped with continuously layers of complexity. Tesselation is a surface condition but when integrated with consideration of form, structure, apertures, materiality directly into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geometry a kaleidoscope of effects can be achieved.


Fig 8. Voussoir Cloud by Iwamoto Scott

Fig 9. Design process, panelling of vaulted structure

Fig 10. Panel details



VOUSSOIR CLOUD BY IWAMOTO SCOTT Voussoir Cloud is an interesting project that uses tessellation as surface expression in a 3d structure. It is a landscape of vaults and columns consisting of clusters of three dimensional petals, which are formed by folding thin wood laminate along curved seams. Gaps between the petals is integral for the sensorial effects - it creates a stunning shadowing effect and lightness to the form. Voussoir Cloud’ explores the structural paradigm of pure compression coupled with an ultra-light material system. Computational hanging chain models refine and adjust the profile lines as pure catenaries, and form finding programs to determine the purely compressive vault shapes. Delaunay tessellation (Fig.9) is useful in capitalising the structural logic and is used to develop these petal forms, which make up the catenary structures. Each of it’s petals has a slightly different geometry and curvature that were developed upon within scripting. (Fig. 10) Delaunay tessellation specifies the compacting of smaller cells towards the base of the columns, forming strengthened ribs. The petals at the top of the columns loosen.

The catenary structure as a method of form finding (Fig.11) is a notable aspect of the Voussoir Cloud because of the structural logic behind it. The form is optimized by calculating the minimal surface required under certain conditions or parameters for it to be structurally stable. In exploring our own design we also want to integrate these ideas of material performance along with tesselation. Through the use of Kangaroo’s physics engine, we will be able to justify our project’s contribution to sustainable design so that is not only decorative surface, but one that considers material wastage through structural optimization.

Fig 11. Catenary Form Finding







B.2. MATRIX EXPLORATION MESH RESOLUTION In this series we have played with the mesh resolution of our form changing the values of subdivision on the vertical and horizontal axis. We can see that even in just using one form, the change in these parameters affect the degree of accuracy in which we approximate surfaces. Surfaces could appear either smooth and precise the higher the resolution, or faceted and crude the lower it was.

POINT DISTRIBUTION Point distribution determines how the vaults of the structure are organized and affect how people will move throughout the spaces. In this series we have experimented with point based on a simplified Fibonacci algorithm, each iteration changed by modifying the number of points, changes how the sequence adapted. Cull patterns were also experimented with to remove selected points.

GRIDS Grids are made up of cells which are easily scale-able to recreate the Voussoir Cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vaulted geometry. the layout in comparison to the previous series are organized and controlled. We start to experiment with the differentiating base size for the vaults using a repeat data component that would create a pattern of scale sizes for the definition to follow. Cells were also culled to achieve desired spatial forms.


At this point we realized vaulted geometry could be created from any shape. using the graph mapper to create a radial voronoi pattern, we culled the cells to get more unusual forms. later iteration were based upon diagrams of tesselation such as penrose tiling. This series experiments with forces as well as the inversion of the vaulted geometry by changing the direction of which the vaults are lofted.


These forms were created using the Lunchbox plug-in as an automated method of subdividing spaces. Here we have applied panelling onto our mesh faces where perforations could be varied through cull patterns, the dispatch component to control where perforations are . Panelling undertaken in grasshopper was done by triangulating mesh faces because they are developable since they are always planar.



Developing our iterations from our matrix, we explored the our design possibilities by playing with parameters that affect form. This particular design was achieved through the use of a hexagonal grid the base shape input into kangaroo to have a high rest length and unary force to achieve the crown at the top. It is a rigid structure that considers the pipes as a material/method of fabrication resulting in a truss-like system. Because of this the structure is strong and efficient. Structural stability is an important factor of a design which must consider any possible loads that will be imposed on it. This may be things such as energy collector installations or environmental determinants. Challenges to the design may lie in the complexity of it structure so to counteract this the base mesh may need to be smoothed again and again to produce a viable form for building. The form may lose detail but the considerations for fabrication override what is lost.

Similarly, this design used piping as a method of fabrication. It sports a flatter top which we reasoned could be a more logical option for panelling a surface that is more open to sunlight, possibly for solar energy collection. The roof also slopes into a vaulted form with a crevice in the middle which we see potential in for rain water collection. Both designs also share a quality of mimicing nature, forms of fractal patterns like those of certain flowers and their petals. These may appeal to people aesthetically in a spiritual sense, using biomimicry not only to inform the structure but making people feel in awe of how nature may be translated or interpreted in architecture.


The voussoir forests are formed from a network of arches made out of hexagons. It is made so as to use each geometry as a part of a larger pattern, with the rectagular form like the area of the design site. It also uses hexagons except that panel surface were made with perforations. Implications of the design include that there is an element of randomness as well as order in the organization of the trees. The design may be used for physical interactivity, like a maze, that would incite a sense of discovery and wonder to the users encouraging them to engage with the space.




SHELLSTAR PAVILION BY MATSYS For case study we wanted to experiment with line mesh geometry instead and apply the same logic of using lines as springs that we had learned from the first matrix. Instead of working from a surface we saw more potential in creating interesting designs through patterned tesselations, so we explored the Shellstar Pavilion, a precedent I was already familiar with to understand how to do this. Shellstar is a lightweight temporary pavilion that maximizes its spatial performance while minimizing structure and material. In this way it shares similar ideas to the Voussoir Cloud, so we were able to adapt the knowledge easily. We were able to recreate the Shellstar Pavilion quite accurately with the aid of diagrams from their design process. _______


B.3. REVERSE ENGINEERING Drawing base mesh shape with triangles based from a pentagon, rotated and mirrored to follow the vortex diagram by MATSYS.

Hexagrid layed atop mesh outline and trimmed using region intersection component.

Anchor points are drawn where the mesh will be pinned down

Blowing up the curve pattern generated using Kangaroo physic components. Curve lines are exploded with duplicates removed as input for spring connections.

Centre of each cells is found for a scaling point. the scale of the cell perforations changed by calculating their distance from the ground.


DESIGN AGENDA Fig 12. Kinetic Pavillion

At this stage our direction was going toward creating an interesting mesh surface, blown up from kangaroo which we could panelize with solar panels for energy generation. Our intention was to create something that would optimize the capturing of solar energy by making it a responsive surface that can orientated itself towards it.

Using an Arduino board and Firefly we thought to recreate a similar affect with our pavilion where you could manipulate the meshes anchor points like the responsive poles do in the Kinetic Pavilion.

Kinetic Pavilion We looked at the Kinetic Pavilion Research Project by Elise Elsacker and Yannick Bontinckx as a precedent for responsive architecture. The pavilion is referred to as “smart architecture” which based upon weather data input into the program ‘Ecotect’ responds to solar alignment. In cold environments it tries to catch as much solar irradiation as possible. The height of the pavilion changing to where heat levels are high. in warm environments instead it changes it shape to become aerodynamic to allow winds to cool down the pavilion and the roof structure responds to create shadow spots. It also responds to the dynamic movement of humans using the structure.

Fig 12. Demonstration of mesh robotics changing form in response to arduino technology



Fig 14. Marling

Fig 13. Burble

From feedback for our design agenda and reverse engineering process we were remade to think of the design to better fulfill the brief criteria of ‘engaging and stimulating’ it’s audience. While we had looked at pragmatic aspects such as structural qualities and energy generation we hadn’t yet considered how it would appeal to it’s users. While we may achieve a design that is responsive to the environment there is nothing connecting it to it’s audience so we went to look towards interactive precedents. We came across the works of Usman Haque (Fig 13-15), playful is execution with bursts of colour that respond to the actions of their audience.

Fig 14. Evoke

The Burble, is a structure is made of balloons attached to a mesh anchored to the ground. As people on the ground shake and pump the handle bars of the Burble, they see their movements echoed as colours through the entire system. Marling and Evoke also follow the same concept but instead of responding to kinetic energy they respond to sound waves produced by people in the urban streetscape. These projects are a spectacle for an audience that requires interaction to see their affects. We want to apply that same logic to our design, if people can interact and find interest in our project it has a greater chance of stimulating there minds to question how it works, what it’s goals are and from there we create a starting point to educate people on sustainability and sustainable design.


B.2. CASE STUDY 2.0 REVISITED REVERSE ENGINEERING THE BURBLE With our new interest in the Burble as a precedent, we attempted to recreate it but now incorporating a wind simulation onto our mesh structure to show how it will behave with lateral forces. In order to recreate the balloons we also looked into circle packing algorithms to present how the lighted balloons will fit onto the structure.


Create hexagon grid on Grasshopper.

grid and move 2 Bake edges.

triangular 3 Impose lines into hexagon grid.

curves 4 Reference into the Kangaroo

simulation engine. Set anchor points and run unary force simulation.

mesh 5 Reference spheres on mesh.

through circle packing. Set gradient to balloons to simulate change in led lighting.

lines out 6 Extend from curves to

spheres. Run wind simulation.


Fig 14:

Diagrammatic process of Kinetic simulation of form in Kangaroo engine (2-sec intervals from right to left).








Digital Prototype 1 Floating Canopy: Mesh, Wind Simulation, Panelling, Circlepacking Balloons onto Mesh Surface, Randomizing heights of t

Digital Prototype 2 Catenary Pavilion. Mesh, Wind Simulation, Panelling, Circlepacking Balloons onto Mesh Surface, Randomizing heights of

With the capabilities of computational design we are able test and simulate how structures will behave in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built environment. For our design, our idea involved a semi-flexible mesh with balloons integrated into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s system as energy collectors. Due to the complexity we were advised to create digital prototypes that would simulate how our design will function. The proto types allow us to string our ideas together and start working towards solutions. By being able to do it digitally we are able to better understand the limitations of our design such as those for structure. Below are screen captures of the simulations, showcasing how the mesh geometry will behave according to how it is anchored and the degree of swaying it can forgo to harvest win energy while still remaining structurally stable.

the balloons to show how lighting response works more realistically.

f the balloons to show how lighting response works more realistically.


Prototype A depicting LED Lighting Interaction. In this prototype we have experimented with one of the patterns in our matrix. The square panels while dense in 2D, when blown up leaves many large holes. The structure may need a skeleton to hold them up adequately as it appears even though it may not necessarily be, deformable. The structure while appearing lightweight appears almost too open and has difficulty defining itself as a space so we should explore more options.

Prototype B

B.5. PROTOYPE B In this prototype, we have tested how perforations in the mesh affect the overall aesthetic as well as â&#x20AC;&#x153;movementâ&#x20AC;? of the form. By doing this the appearance the design gives off is more segmented, like multiple strands emerging from the central point of the vaulted based. Despite this, space is still well defined in the structure, much more than prototype A with some parts left in the centre unperforated for shelter. The mesh used triangulated hexagons, alike the Burble.


Nighttime Simulation of the mesh being inflated into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s optimal form under certain parameters.

B.5. PROTOTYPE C Out of our developed design this was chose as our final prototype for undergoing wind simulation. made with a hexagonal pattern and a delaunay mesh applied the height of the structure is at a human scale that allows people to be able to touch and explore it in proximity. Because it has no perforation it is a more stable form and the best for defining the different spaces that may be used for different purposes. It is a more functional design as opposed to a simple installation. Prototype

C using a regular delaunay mesh derive from a


a hexagonal grid.



Inputting each of our selected designs into a wind simulation we are able to unders conditions to determine the affects on the stability of the structure. The weight of the plies a vector to the mesh along the X and Y axisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

From our observation of each meshes behaviour we could determine that denser m the structure up. The structure is more rigid and the impact of the wind is less obvio

Wind Simulation performed on all three meshes (

stand how each will react when undergoing the same e force is manipulated using an MD slider which also ap-

meshes, unperforated require less unary forces to hold ous in movement.

Fig 15. Design Proposal within user context

Fig 16. Site Plan


TECHNIQUE: PROPOSAL The design will create awareness on the possibilities of sustainable design, stimulating and challenging visitors to question how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aesthetics are achieved. We seek to create a pavilion-like form using mesh geometry that we have purposefully calculated to be of minimal surface to reduce material wastage on parts while being structurally stable. Transparent balloons will be attached to the structure using piezoelectric resin cables to collect energy from imposed wind loads. The stronger they bend, the more energy is harvested. Additionally they can be tugged at by users at anchor points to generate kinetic energy that helps power the balloon lights at night. This interaction allows users to physically participate in energy generation so that they can feel and see their contribution directly. This is an integral aspect to our design for users to enjoy it to itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fullest potential. It is the focus rather than an extra feature by making interaction almost essential. In order to maximise energy generation potential we also seek to employ photovoltaic solar panels onto surfaces where the mesh is


B.4. ENERGY COLLECTION METHODOLOGY Tree - Harvesting kinetic Energy As the balloons sway in the wind, kinetic generators such as the M2E Power Kinetic Battery at the base of each balloon work like an automatic watch and produce electricity through the swaying motion. Along the branches, spaced every 3 ft, are more kinetic generators, piezoelectric generators, and LEDs. This combination creates electricity from the bending of the translucent PVCs with piezoelectric ceramic plates, captures energy from the movement with the kinetic generators, and lights up to indicate electricity harvesting. Fig 16. Tree, LAGI Proposal

Fig 16. Tree, Energy Generation Methodology

Multiple sources to maximize energy harvested

Balloons bend resin cables by wind forces to generate energy

LED Lighting; featuring different coloured lighting based on energy collected


Photovoltaic Panels Kinetic Motor with inverter and cable to main power grid with safety grade access mesh

Piezoelectric Resin Cable; can be operated by users to generate kinetic energy

Fig 17. Energy Generation Diagram for Our Proposal



LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES Through this design process my ability to make a case for our proposal has been developed by taking in feedback. Precedent works have really helped us move towards formulating a concept that is exciting and relevant to the brief. However while I myself have a clear understanding of my goals in my design I believe my execution of communicating and presenting it succinctly to others still requires much more work. From simple things such as LED lighted balloons being mistaken for coloured ones were things that while obvious to me in hindsight is not obvious to the audience. The criticisms of our design included comments such as: 1. The design needs to be more responsive to the site. 2. A clear identifiable scale. 3. Better executed/more diagrams to relay our ideas without talking. 4. Experimenting with different mesh geometry. Overall i felt i did anticipate similar feedback as things i was aware I had not discussed in detail with my group members. The project has really highlighted the importance of communication and everyone being on the same page in order to work efficiently.

As with the mesh geometry, we were able to explain the limitations, or at least to our knowledge, of kangaroo in only working with meshed surfaces. So while we had explored different curve patterns we required meshes in order to be able to panel them. It was suggested that instead of using panels we explore a design outcome that only uses wireframe, finding interest in form purely through skeletal structure. Through algorithmic sketches, the matrix exercises and reverse engineering I find myself gaining a better knowledge of algorithmic thinking. Through sketches we learn new techniques and matrixes we learn how to develop them. Reverse engineering takes us out of that comfort zone to really research how computational design is applied to existing precedents.







REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. 2. Iwamoto. L. 2009. ”Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques’ 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Moussavi, Farshid and Michael Kubo, eds (2006). The Function of Ornament (Barcelona: Actar), pp. 5-14 8. Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Realising the Architectural Intent: Computation at Herzog & De Meuron’. Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 56-61

REFERENCES IMAGES Fig 1-3. Fig 4-8. Iwamoto. L. 2009. ”Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques’ Fig 9. Fig 10-11. Fig 13-15. Fig 16.



part a. conceptualization 091



Entering the final phase of our project, were started finalizing the key points of our proposal first reflecting upon feedback given in our interim presentation. Our approach to design needed to be innovative, which we have attempted to do through creating a balance between sustainability and cultural appeal in our design. Something that has the potential to be iconic as well as educational. Addressing the feedback allows us to critically analyse the more unconvincing aspects of our project and how we can improve upon to create something more realistic, optimal or feasible. The first point we took from the presentation was how we could optimize the form for energy collection. Currently our design was too low and the vaulted form made it appear to be hugging the ground. It is counter productive when then energy generation method we are using is â&#x20AC;&#x153;high altitudeâ&#x20AC;? wind power. It was suggested that we elevate the balloons and structure to be higher and abandoning the idea of anchoring the structure along itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perimeter and instead to allow it to function as a canopy that could move freely in the wind. This is because we want the structure to be able to move as dynamically as possible in order to harvest more kinetic energy.

We addressed these concerns in our final design idea by creating two layers to the pavilion instead of one. This allowed the structure to have one lower canopy that would at as a shelter to users at a more human scale and an upper mesh that would hold the balloons at a much higher altitude. The balloons would be attached onto the lower mesh to provide lift so it would behave almost like a floating canopy. By doing this we could address another point of criticism in establishing scale. Our previous prototypes hugged the ground because we wanted to maintain a pavilion structure that could behave as shelter to users instead of towering over them. By separating the design into two layers we are able to answer with a pavilion structure relatable to human proportions in the lower mesh while optimizing and not constraining the amount of energy captured by having the higher mesh to contain the balloons and stop them from entangling. The last major point of criticism was our designs connection the site and whether it was fulfilling the brief in consideration of the site conditions. We expanded upon this is how we orientated our structure to respond to the site context. where winds were most prevalent and what access paths had been established.





Fig 6. Prevailing Winds on Site

Looking at the detailed site plan provided by LAGI, we can see the land composition of the site as well the sites major access routes from the south by footpath or water taxi. (Fig. 9) Views we want to take advantage of are by the ware towards the west and views we want to avoid are of the industrial site nearby. Taken from the taken from Technical Report 99-13 for the environmental conditions in Refshaleoen shows the average of wind patterns over an annual being most prevalent from a westerly direction. (Fig. 7) Fig 7. Wind Diagram showing winds prevalent from a westerly direction.

These have had influence on where we have chosen to orientate and place our structure, towards the south west that provides an access routes and allows for optimal wind capture. Because design requires a low-density gas to keep the balloons buoyant, we have also looked into the possibility of it being supplemented by a natural gas found on site - methane. Methane, while though not an endless source, may be extracted through methane wells and provided to the balloons. It is a good alternative to helium which is a non-renewable gas so that the structure can be self sustainable.. This is a design opportunity that is pertinent to the site.

Fig 8. Detailed Site Plan showing underlying make up of the land and access routes.

Methane wells

Reused building materials Fig 8. Site Section Diagram of methane Supply


PREVAILING WINDS Finer grid: Dense grid = More flow Perforations = Increased altitude Coarser grid: Indentations for open views

Fig 8. Design Response (

Our design response was to create a tesselated mesh that would optimize wind capture on site. Through creating variations in the grid size we could make specific areas denser to allow more flow. The orientation and angle of inclination, allow the form to increase the surface area that faces towards the west to capture the winds. To support this optimization of form other tactics that have guided the shape and form of our mesh are the perforations, introduced to allow it to flow at higher altitudes and well as functioning to provide views to the users towards the balloon spectacle


Fig 9. From Mesh to Sail, Screenshot of process in creating our mesh ( This video details the process we underwent in creating the form of our mesh, the details between each step which are better represented in motion because of our design’s focus on kangaroo physics simulation. We wanted a structural logic to our pavilion so that we could determine how it’s form may be optimized to be constructed in reality. The main idea to our design however was to create a dynamic mesh the could ripple in movement to the wind so we decided to panel our mesh using a delaunay tesselation. Because of it’s triangular nature, always maintain planar face no matter how they are bent it means the structure will be able to adapt while maintaining rigidity. In addition we were also able to identify the design challenges and parameters applied onto the mesh. Computing defines project’s process one of which was optimized form for the mesh. To form the mesh, a grid is modelled with curves that are later manipulated through data lists interpolating curves to slowly change shape to fit as they progress through intervals between curves. When designing the mesh we had to

consider the perimeters and bounds of the mesh and division of space between curves in consideration of density of the panels to be input later. The grid is made to parametrically change it’s curvature to fit the shape of the intended mesh so that we have some control over the aesthetic of the design, making it highly customisable. We are able to “generate” different outcomes until we came up with something satisfactory. This was especially helpful for our purpose to extend the roof line to higher altitudes at the east side being the most apt due to wind forces predominantly coming from the west. We wanted the wind to blow across the structure. Following that we were able to retrieve points from the final grid to create a delaunay mesh, which has a suitable geometry for construction in making a lightweight and stable roof. An critique of this method however is that due to the variant sizes within the mesh panels, without controlling them to be set size, variant sizes of panels are required for manufacture so although the assembly of the roof may be relatively simple, fabrication and logistics will have to be carefully planned and carried out.


Fig 10. Stage 1-4 of creating the basic mesh

1 2

Within Rhino, draw 2 sets of curves that are congruent (vertical set and horizontal set). Reference these sets separately in Grasshopper. For each set, shift lists (both up and down, e.g. +1, -1). This ensures that the later points are interpolated between the top curve with the middle curve, and the middle curve with the bottom curve. Divide curves for each list to obtain the points on each curve.


Simultaneously create a range and set a vectors2points between the curves in each set. Multiply the vectors and move them along the path (which in this case is the link between the vectors that had to be grafted into sets of each move).


Use a nurb curve component to draw the curves in between the points. Obtain curve lengths.



Fig 11. Stage 5-8 of creating the basic mesh

5 6 7 8

Use list item to extract the first curve. Then, merge data streams with the curve lengths.

With the result, divide them up into segments and interpolate between segments. For our case, 10 segments were used.

In doing this, more even distribution of curve lengths are obtained for each set.

Using a curve/curve component, reference the vertical and horizontal set. Find out the intersecting points between each sets. The resulting grid of points will be the same grid that is used for the delaunay mesh.

Fig 12. Stage 9-12 of creating the basic mesh


Create a surface for the form within Rhino (a mixture of nurb curves were used with the split tool).


Position the surface onto the grid of points created earlier. Reference within Grasshopper.

11 12

Within Grasshopper, get the interior curves. Divide the length of the curves (x number of lengths) to get the outer points on the outer edges of the form itself. At the same time, use a surface/curve component to solve the intersection between the surface and the earlier grid of points. The resulting points will be the ones imposed onto the surface.



Fig 13. Stage 13-16 of creating the basic mesh


Combine the points from inside the surface and the interior curves.


Using these points, create a delaunay mesh.



Clean up the form by either converting the mesh into brep and baking the geometry on rhino. Following that, explode and delete. Join the geometries and convert into a mesh again in Grasshopper. Alternatively from the original untrimmed mesh, dispatch and cull faces that are bigger than intended size.

The final mesh is ready for Kangaroo simulation. Technique of the simulation is the same as that of the experiments tried out in Part B.




Fig 14. Form Finding Simulation Video Screenshots (

This video shows a demonstration of wind forces imposed on our structure and thus the kinetic movements that give it itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dynamism. The first video show the structure moving with the wind, a simulation for the energy generation requirement of out brief. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presents how users wills experience the design of the pavilion as it ripples in the wind.




Simulation 1 - Projected kinetic lines from the ground that would form the basis of anchoring of the pavilion.


Using gumball, move mesh up the z direction so that it is levitating from the xy plane. From the mesh that we have, obtain curves from mesh boundary faces. Add anchor points within Rhino.


Within grasshopper, reference these points. Cull north. Project points. Then, use the draw line component between the projected points (on xy plane) and the points from cull north.


(a) Unary force 1: Extend the curves by using negative component on the list of lengths. The end points of the curves will be the points of the unary force for Simulation 1. Use an MD slider to control force.


(b) Unary force 2: Divide the extended curves and obtain points. List item and set as unary force for Simulation 1. Set positive value for unit z.




Simulation 2 - The overhang upper mesh net that holds the balloons together. This simulation is directly related to the wind sim Hence, the movements located here are horizontal from the wind loads imposed on the mesh itself, and also vertical, from the


(c) Unary force 3: From points of divided curves, cull index (reverse list and repeat). Set as Unary force for Simulation 1, along with negative value for unit z. Use a shatter curves component and set as geometry for Simulation 1.

6 7 8

Reference mesh in Grasshopper. Obtain face boundaries. then get discontinuities and set them into wind component as point 1/2/3. Plug into Simulation 2. Use the same MD slider as Step 3 to control wind force. From the Geometry output of Simulation 1, shift paths, list item and get the end points. Draw a vector (vector2points) between this result and the cull north points.

mulation explored earlier in Part B, with the additional input of the kinetic ground tethers that are set as anchor points. ground cables.





Create a move component and add a multiplication unit. Use the geometry as anchor points for Simulation 2


Obtain face boundaries for the geometry output of the simulation. Explode curves and obtain the list of unique points.


Project the points onto the XY plane. Obtain the distance in between the points and the point on the mesh after the simulation, multiply.


Using the multiplication as length, draw lines extending in the negative z-direction from the unique points. This will become the balloon lines that connect the roof panels with the balloons.




13 14

Move the projected points from Simulation 2 to the same negative translation in the previous step. Draw vectors between these points and the points from the most original mesh (face boundaries, explode). Move the points and translate along the same multiplication unit as Step 11. Set this as anchor points for Simulation 3.


Start Simulation 3.


Add mesh balls to the output geometry of Simulation 2. Virtually, these are the balloons.





Anchor cable wires to the ground.

Balloons Under-net

Vertical Connection (wires)

Hoist net of balloons up at the ends of cable wires.

Roof Panels

Roof Connection (Wires)

Attach secondary mesh to the roof line

Anchor Resin Cables

Fig 15-16. Process and Construction Diagrams

Add panel units to the secondary mesh

The design consists of 6 layers that are reliant on each other to function The ground anchors allow the height of the design to be controlled, and holds the upper layers together. The vertical connection is also important as it secures the roof allowing it to stay afloat and so that no part of it will be too close to the human users due to the balloons in the air above. The balloon net is for keeping the balloons together so that they will not get tangled which would inhibit movement in the cables and thus energy generation.



The panels of our canopy were selected as the core construction element to out design because they will enable the kinetic function in our pavilion through how they are jointed. Our chosen material for the panels is carbon fibre rods which will be protect using high strength ETFE(Fig.17), the material our balloons will also be made of due to it’s ability to withstand high temperatures directly. Because of the irregularity in our panels, our concerns with weatherproofing joints need to be addressed. The material is also lightweight which is integral to our concept of a “floating pavilion” if we expect it to be hold itself up with the aid of the balloon lift. It also allows light to be transmitted through and the transparency of the materials enable users to view the different layers of our floating pavilion particularly the balloons above. It is important that they remain in sight of our users due to the interaction users have with them as well as the lighting spectacle at night when they light up according to energy collected. Because of it’s durable properties, it’s lightweight nature and ability to transmit light EFTE seems to be an appropriate material for the pavilion’s construction. In addition to the spirit of LAGI it is also a recyclable material.

Alternatively, we have also researched other possible materials with similar aesthetics to EFTE such as the AIA Pavilion by Gernot Reither which uses the sustainable material called PETG(Fig .18) a glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate. The material is derived using either recycled plastic or sugarcane, which follows Copenhagen’s goal towards a zero carbon footprint in the future. It also has a similar translucent quality as EFTE. However as evidenced in the picture, the PETG is much more solidified and rigid. Because we are aiming to create a canopy that allows for flexibility in it’s skeleton, we need a “soft” material that can withstand constant movement

Fig 17-18. EFTE in the Eden Project (Top) and PETG in the AIA Pavilion (Bottom)


C.2 TECTONIC ELEMENTS PROTOTYPING Panels 1 Connect through a central node

Balloon 2 Insert cable into node

Capping/ 3 Apply Flashing over the Panels

capping for 4 Apply the central balloon wire

Fig 21. Joint Construction Process

Fig 20. Joint Prototype 1 Although the grid of our mesh in reality is an irregular tesselation we simplified our joints prototypes so that we could easily fabricate and construct or models to assess whether the jointing system would work. Using hook joint we envisioned our panels to be connected in such a way so that it allows for both vertical and horizontal movement to obtain the flexibility required of the mesh. Upon testing the joints felt loose and flimsy and not made to fit, so we decided to expand upon the idea and make it so that the connection was tighter and more secure.

Fig 21. Joint Prototype 1 from above


Fig 22. Double Hook Panel (Left) VS Single Hook (Right) In order to create a more stable connection between the panels we opted to create a double-hook panel as opposed to single hook, comparison seen in Fig.22. However upon further reflection while the jointing method seemed at first feasible, feedback noted that they were too clunky to work and that the weight of the joint components not to mention the environmental protection would add too much weight to our â&#x20AC;&#x153;light weightâ&#x20AC;? canopy. They would also restrict the movement of the panels if they were to overlap the edge of the panels.

Fig 23. Nested Joints Files


Fig 24. Manipulating the flexible mesh through applying forces to strings which represent balloon wires. In our second prototype we decided to do a model at a smaller scale to understand how the mesh my behave as a whole. Extracted from our projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mesh itself this time the model showed us the possibility of Dynamic movement in the mesh. Although the panels were made out of thick 3mm box board that had been laser cut, it showed a great amount of flexibility. We tied the panels together using florist wire to create hoops between the panels that allow for movement.

Fig 25. Nesting Prototype 2 in Rhino

While the detail of the joints was were not thoroughly explored in this model it did bring us closer to understanding how our pavilion may function(Fig.24) and proving that it is possible to a degree. Creating the model at a smaller scale also allowed us to see how it performs aesthetically. We noted the possibility of lighting effects through perforations could add another layer to our design. (Fig.25)

Fig 26. Fabrication of Prototype 2

Fig 27. Demonstrating the flexibility of the mesh to create varied forms and lighting.


Fig 28 . Different materials explored to create the detailed panels from left to right, black card, polypropelene & perspex Fig. 29. Preparing nesting and fabrication.

Expanding upon our previous model we decide to take the idea further into a functional model that could be observed at a human scale. This time we explored the weight of materials and tested them against the lift of 15-20 helium balloons (some of which popped or got away) using high-float helium. We first cut out panels using 200gsm black card but found the material to be flimsy and completely inappropriate to representing our choice material, ETFE so we opted to try polypropylene of thickness 0.6mm. It also bears a similar translucency to EFTE making in suitable aesthetically. While the jointing was still flimsy due to inadequate materials our model showed to be partially working (Fig 30.) as we could see some lift around the edges. It seemed entirely possible that had the balloons not be a few days old or had we not lost the ones we lost, that the panels would float. We understood how factors such as amount and size of balloons, the density and freshness of the gas all play a part in the success of our design. Nevertheless we came to the conclusion that out model could be improved upon further by cutting out larger perforations in the panels to minimise weight.

Fig 30 . Final Helium Detail model


Fig 30a and 30b . Final Helium Detail model Our second attempt at recreating the helium balloon detail we decided to use perspex. We decide to edit out fabrication file so that the chamfered perforations were bigger thus removing unnecessary weight from the material, making it easier to float. Unlike the polypropolyene the perspex had no issues with burnt edges so aesthetically was more representative of what we had in mind. The material however was much more dense, ass well as being 2mm thick so we were not able to assess whether creating larger perforations would have been a bigger improvement. We came to the conclusion with our results from the first model that, our concept of a floating pavilion is completely feasivble if we had a material that had the same density and flexibility of ETFE. Because these materials werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t available for our method of fabrication we were somewhat limited in our findings. our models were more or less visual representations of our structure.

Fig 30c. Model Visualised in Real life Context,



Fig 31 Sectioned Balloons for Fabrication

Original intending to create a 3D printed model we ran across complications in capable dimensions of the printer at 200mmx200mm with our model scaled to the appropriate size. The dimensions of our project in real life span 100m by 113m. Due to the 3D printer being unable to print anything with a 2mm thickness it meant that both our mesh and balloon resin cables could not be printed to be structurally stable and increasing the thickness in the file would hinder the representation of the design. As they are integral components to our design we were made to explore other fabrication options that could be cut quickly for testing in case any issues arised. Along with consideration of budget we opted to section our balloons in grasshopper, nesting them out to be cut a laid atop section by section. (Fig 31) Because of the complexity and layering in our design as show in the schematic diagram earlier, we understood the dynamic skeleton could not be represented accurately at such a small scale, particularly in a rigid model and so we cut it down the most quintessential components. The balloons, the lower panelled canopy and the anchor cables. Following the fabrication of the roof we constructed canopy by scoring white card and bending it to approximate the curvy form of the pavilion. Actual wires were later added into the model as representation of the cable wires, particularly those situated at the anchor points of our design. To finish the model off so that the materials had a consistent aesthetic we spray painted the boxboard balloons to the white of the ivory card. The final model fits on less than on-third of the site, ours done to the scale of 1:350 to fit snugly on a 900mmx600mm piece of boxboard. Situated by the water to gain access to view, the wind and the water taxi we have kept it so that users can circulate around the structure without having to walk long distances to get from one end to another. This is important if we consider the possible functions the pavilion may have and how it will be used.

Fig 32-34 Site Model Scale 1:350 from several viewpoints.

Fig 35 Site Model from the South East, Scale 1:350



Fig 37. Rendered Model 1

Fig 37. Rendered Model 2

Fig 37. Rendered

d Model3

Fig 38. Rendered Elevation from the East




This project was built upon the goal to stimulate and educate it’s users through an interactive structure that could directly engage them in the process of energy generation. The idea is to create a floating pavilion, lightweight that could be held up by balloons. The balloons cover the structure creating a network that generates energy obtained from high altitude wind power. They harness the kinetic energy from the wind through resin cables. At certain points of the structure users can also contribute in providing additional kinetic energy through pulling the resin cables. Our aesthetic is a dynamic structure that ripples with the wind and creates a symbiotic relationship with its users with its form responding to their actions. At night this pulling motion causes LED lights in the balloons to react and light up, its colour determined by how much energy it has collected throughout the day.

To deliver a state of art structure, our project relies on the sophisticated system of technological integration of its components. As mentioned before, the main idea of the project is based on a high altitude wind power system which collects energy through the balloons interactions with wind. Having this condition, we understand that the mesh network the balloons connect to needs to be high enough to take advantage of steadier, more persistent and higher velocity winds at higher altitudes. The lower canopy mesh will be held up and partially supported by air balloons. The balloons will be connected to the mesh using resin cables, of which allow them to anchor to the land which fuel methane to the balloons collected in the existing landfill on site. The resin cables run through flywheels that are arrayed around the micro-turbines, under an earthen enclosure.

With these ideas combined we want to show that “Renewable Energy can be Beautiful”(LAGI) and tackle challenges of preconceived notions of sustainable design. The project celebrates Denmark’s success with wind power whereby 22% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption is produced by wind, the highest rate in the world. In addition to the local ties it seeks to create public friendly space for people from any age groups in the community that is iconic and fun in a bid to bring global attention to our purpose. The space functions as a pavilion but is flexible to multifunctional activity due to its open plan.

These tethering cables are pulled by the balloons’ lift; their kinetic motions are converted by the turbines into energy. Piezoelectric panels and kinetic motors placed on the ground are systemized to connect to an external power grid to transfer energy generated for the use of the city. It also monitors the degree of energy captured by projecting an ambient glow in each balloon installed with LED lighting, glowing at night to provide visible feedback of energy that has been collected in the day.

ESTIMATE OF THE ANNUAL KWH GENERATED There are many complicated calculations in regards to wind turbine generators; however some rough ideas can be achieved using primary mathematical formula or energy, whereas here involving aspects of Wind Velocity, Area, Air Density and a basic discriminant. By looking at the Copenhagen’s average wind velocity, wind energy that can be collected and converted into electricity will be around 5,487 kWh, gained from the equation as follows: Energy calculation Power=0.5 x Swept Area x Air Density x (Velocity)^3 Air density = 1.23 Speed = 21 D=35 (exposed to wind panel) E = π x (d/2)² x 1.23 x (21)³ x 0.5 = 5,476 kw/h

DIMENSIONS AND LIST OF THE PRIMARY MATERIALS USED The balloons, 3 metres in diameter each are composed of high strength ETFE a fluorine based plastic. It is designed to have high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. EFTE is recyclable and light (1% the weight of glass) making it ideal for our sustainable approach but it is also strong, capable of bearing up to 400 times its own weight. As it allows more light to be emitted through than glass it allows users to view the different layers of the structure and bask in sunlight during the day. At night the transparency of the material also helps to emphasize the intensity of the LED lighting. The skeleton of both the lower canopy mesh and balloon mesh that prevents entanglement of the balloons use carbon fibre rods. This is because of their strength and ability to bend, allowing for the dynamic movement our concept is based upon. Panels range from 1.5-4metres in length and width and are also covered in some areas to provide shelter to the structure again using EFTE tensioned over the carbon fibre rods to cover.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT In implementation of our design we also have to consider the possible impact it may have on the environment or surrounding area. Due to the scale of our design resources needed to sustain its functionality lie large in its materials. We have considered this in our proposal to use EFTE and methane in our design. The former is a material that is lightweight, meaning it is easy to transport and construct but that is also recyclable. In the event where maintenance is required to the panels, or balloons need to be replaced due to the high pressures they succumb to EFTE is a practical choice which also fulfils the functional needs of our structure. We use methane sourced from the site’s own landfill taking advantage of the surrounding context instead of having to have a continuous supply of helium to the balloons which is quite unsustainable. In regards to the design first and foremost goal of generating energy, we have also reflected upon its sustainability in a functional sense. It must continuously be able to generate energy to justify the resources that have been invested into its construction. This is resolved in our interactive component of the design so that even when winds aren’t prevalent we can still harness the kinetic energy of the users.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES & OUTCOMES “Interrogating the brief” At the beginning of the subject we were challenged with learning a new approach to design to garner innovation through integration of parametric design and computation with issues of sustainability. Throughout the semester we have continuously interrogated the brief and addressed given feedback, which has given me a better perspective of how to create meaningful responsive design. As a result I believe our design has been relatively successful in being memorable. “Develop and understanding of relationships between architecture and air” Our design proposal develops a relationship between architecture and air in a quite literal way, using wind as our source of energy generation and a pavilion that floats in suspension. “Develop and ability to generate a variety of design possibilities” Computing has defined most of our project from the early stages of learning how to reverse engineer projects that could not be done through conventional methods and gaining the ability to expand upon their ideas to generate a variety of design possibilities. Our final design while perhaps not obviously parametric using form optimization, control of geometry in mesh tesselation and force simulations that give us insight to how projects would behave in reality. Algorithmic sketches and tutorials have also

“Develop skills in various three-dimensional media” Within this project we have experienced several forms of 3Dimensional media specifically in creating computational geometry and in digital fabrication experimenting with plug-ins beyond grasshopper such as kangaroo and weaverbird. When undergoing our model making process it was valuable that we came across complications because it challenged us to think of other solutions and possibilities of fabrication such as in the case with the balloons.

REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Danish Meteorological Institute (2013). Technical Report 99-13, Wind Energy Diagram2 from Slelsmark (89-98). Pg 245. 2. Dave Laviten (2012). High-Altitude Wind Energy: Huge Potential â&#x20AC;&#x201D; And Hurdles. From, <> 3. Inhabitat (2011). Gernot Reitherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cocoon-like spherical enclosures made out of sugarcane win AIA award. From, < win-aia-award/gernot-riether-aia-pavilion-new-orleans-5/> 4. Kitegen (2010). KiteGen research. From, <> 5. Raeng (n.d.) Wind Turbine Power Calculations < pdf> 6. Kitenergy (n.d.). High-altitude wind technology. From, <>

REFERENCES IMAGES Fig 17. Eden Project Fig 18. Gernot Reither - AIA Pavilion < win-aia-award/gernot-riether-aia-pavilion-new-orleans-5/>

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