Page 1

semester 1, 2016





ast experience

Behotel, Project 4 (2014)



Hailing from the little red dot of Singapore, i have a great passion for design. I like drawing on eveything and anything and often doodle on a old canvas shoe or a styrofoam cup. Growing up, i was always in awe of huge buildings and their majesty as they invoke a special feeling in me. I did interior architecture back in Temasek Polytechnic and just started university a few weeks ago. Going into year 3 without much prior knowledge to architecture is overwhelming and although it is all new, i’m hoping to get the best out of it and also experience melbourne’s architectural culture. Choosing melbourne was a getaway from the concrete jungle in Singapore and i got to see a lot of beautiful architecture that are monumental and classic. I am fresh to the concept of parametricism but find it really interesting as it is a progressive technology that is breaking away from conventional traditional architecture. Architecture to me is more than just rigid buildings in heavy materials. I appreciate and love ancient arhitecture but at the same time admire the idea of architecture that is able to go wild with ideas.

Introduction Studio Air explores the imapact of computation on architectural design. Approaches falling under the umbrella term of “digital architectural design� have developed into the most vibrant and influential areas in contemporary architectural discourse and practice. Technologies enabled by computing triggered a comprehensive re-consideration of established design workflows leading to new opportunities, creating new challenges and requiring new competencies.




Design Futuring A.1. Design Computation A.2. Composition/Generation A.3. Conclusion A.4. Learning outcomes A.5. Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches




B.1. Research Field 28

C.1. Design Concept 32

B.2. Case Study 1.0 28

C.2. Tectonic Elements & Prototypes 32

Criteria Design

B.3. Case Study 2.0 29 B.4. Technique: Development 29 B.5. Technique: Prototypes 30 B.6. Technique: Proposal 30 B.7. Learning Objectives and Outcomes 30 B.8. Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches 31

Detailed Design

C.3. Final Detail Model 32 C.4. Learning Objectives and Outcomes 33

1 part A conceptualisation



Architecture as a discourse/ Design Futuring

Design Director: Roland Snooks A speculative project in collaboration with the Mitchell Lab (@ Texas A&M), Directed by Gabriel Esquivel. A collaboration between Kokkugia and the Mitchell Lab at Texas A&M, The Cliff House may come off bizarre as a project for living space. However, the unique methodology set into creating this experiment conceals design intent within individual elements, allowing the local scale to be reduced to a sub-material level. To test the endurance of composite fabrication, cliff site was chosen to resist the high wind and static loads. It is an ambiguity as to whether this project would be structurally stable but it sets us thinking about the exploration of agent-based behavioural design methodologies performing across various scales of form, structure, and composite fiber. This experiment sparks a debate about composite fiber construction and its structural optimization. Adopting this material is a negotiation

Cliff House, Nevada, USA, Images: Clifff House Source: Kokkugia

Future designs are looking into fusing built projects into the environments – a platform that this design excelled in. This exploits the translucency of the composite material, revealing the embedded networks and emergent hierarchies of structural strands. ‘The composite skin registers the ripples of bifurcating and converging strands that blur the distinction between structure and ornament.’1 These strands connect to the cliff for structural necessity and also from the inclination to extend a flow of shape and blurring the edges of the object – a strategy for diffusing the object into its environment and making it seem like it grew through the existing cracks in the rocks. Incoporating these unique materials will expand future possibilities for parametrical and different approaches to the world of architecture. 1



Design Futuring

Image: Google’s Californis HQ Source: Dezeen

With major climatatic events happening around the world, we are confronting our nemesis - a defuturing condition of unsustainability. In Design Futuring, Fry states ‘Nature alone cannot sustain us: we are too many, we have done too much ecological damage, and we have become too dependent upon the artificial word we have designed, fabricated and occupied.’1 Therefore, the future in arhitecture are largely based on sustainable design and


1 Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring

Google North Bayshore has a concept of creating lightweight block-like structures that are portable, instead of going for permanent buildings. According to Google, this will offer flexibility as the company invests in new product areas. This project drawn me in because of the ingenious use of build material and continuity of form which integrates the environment and the working space beautifully. In the complex, there is almost like an artificial sky whichis made out of four glass canopies and this enables Google to create its own microclimate. The office also do not require stairs to maneuver to another level. Modularity is also key in the design of this space as rooms are stackable and movable. This conception screams sustainability - which comes back to the context of future designs we will advance towards in years to come.

Google Campus Mountain View, California

The thinking behind this project will go through in the future and this is what keeps Google office one of the most forward-thinking companies. We should nop longer go along with visionary designers of the past. “We live in a very different world now but we can reconnect with that spirit and develop new methods appropriate for today’s world and once again begin to dream.”1

bringing the outside, inside. ‘Translucent canopies will cover buildings and outdoor areas, designed to control the climate whilst also allowing natural daylight and ventilation throughout the facility.’1

Buildings will see themself exposing more to the outside world, unlike traditional closed buildings and energy saving designs like introducing sunlight and greenery into working/ living spaces so it does not feel like an enclosed space. It is, however a question of how well the designs can incoprate the environment without offending it.

1 Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013)

1 Google Campus,

011 06

2 A.2

Design Computation

The V&A Musuem courtyard spans a web-like structured canopy which is digitally constructed and intricately designed. Computing technpology allowed for this robotfabricated pavillion which is inspired by the harderned forewings of flying beetles. The intricate filment canopy is also an architectural envelope, load bearing structure and environmental filler. With the different materials we can explore to acheive various gemoetries, it also allow us to better understand the qualities of new materials and explore innovative ways of structuring. Due to the nature of fibrous material, the canopy will extend and transform over time. The sparse form intensifies the visitor’s experience while providing a differentiated and evolving space. There is an array of possibilities with regards to geometric forms and with the employment of computation, conception of designs are more effective and less time-consuming. The design process for this project relies heavily on computing to create the organic form that spans across the top. Because computerised design technology employs mathematical principles to evaluate possibilities, we are reliant on ideologies conceived, built, run or facilitated by the many regulations of contemporary engineering.

“Built entirely from robotically produced fibrous systems, the pavilion will intensify the visitor’s experience of the V&A’s garden by providing a differentiated and evolving space.”1


1, V%A Museum

“I think the combination of robotic construction and 3D printing is the future of the building industry.’ 3d printed forms

“I think the combination of robotic construction and 3D printing is the future of the building industry,”1 The above statement predicts the incoming change in the field of architecture. Precedent architecture has followed by standard rules that contibuted to building styles with a rigid feel and the rule of gothic. Although modern architecture has their rules as well, the innovation of softwares accomodated the possibilities of reinforced concrete, curtain walls and all these are galvanized through developments and advancements of arhitecture history. Forward-thinking innovative companies are coming up with 3D printed products. Because computational design is cutomizable, it allows users to design their own products and specifying their dimensions. These system offers advantages over conventional manufacturing process as 3D prints support themselves throughout the printing. With all these combined convenience they bring to the desgin industry, Computational design will continue a critical mechanic and the impact they can have will be anyting but small. Images (closckwise from top left): / / /

Image (left page) :




Design Computation

With the influx of technology, design in architecture is now largely computational. This has largely affected the design proess as we can produce structures that are highly complex and detailed. However, we should not let computation take over our design, with reference from Lawson Bryan, CAD might conspire against creativity thought {...} by encouraging fake creativity. 1 The design democracy now is being driven by a growing mass of free or cheap software, which is incresingly allowing anyoneto practise as a designer although only often at a superficial level. Softwares are purely there to emulate paper-based productions. According to Fry, current desginers are too involved in design of style and appearance, not taking consequence of their design. Design might be using a different tool set in 10 years, and we will see a renaissance of applications making the design and build process more powerful and efficient. One example of computational design is the ICD Aggregate Pavilion. Researchers and students from the University of Stuttgart used 30,000 spiky components and a robot to create a pavilion described as the “first architectural structure realised with a designed granular system� (+ movie).


1 (1999) Fake and Real Creativity using Computer Aided Design.

‘Robot uses stacked spiky particles to build groundbreaking ICD Aggregate Pavilion

Created by stacking synthetic particles, the exhibition is a representation of how computorised design has affected the look and time taken to assemble the structures we design. Without computation, the experiment would have taken an unreasonable amount of time to create compared to it being generated by a software. Because it is simple to switch around the parameters and change up the look, it gives designers abundant options to acheive a performance-oriented design. Other than making use of technology, the project also takes account into sustainability as the particles are made up of recycled plastic.

Distinct-Element Modelling (DEM) simulations

A total of 30,000 particles were stacked to form a series of towers positioned on concrete plinths.

The system, Distinct-Element Modelling (DEM) simulations were employed to help analyse the overall structural performance of systems involving numerous individual elements. giving the product a unique geometry and atmosphere to the architecture and to the space. Most often than not they blend in easier with the natural environments which differs from preceding architectures being orthogonal and straight.

Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge) Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) Issa, Rajaa ‘Essential Mathematics for Computational Design’, Second Edition, Robert McNeel and associates



Composition/ Generation

Images: Designboom visitors must meander through a narrow path of mesh material

Computation has allowed designers to extend their abilities to handle complex structures, and computerisation has increased the precision of drawings. 1Production of conceptual changes is sped up which greatly affected the way we work. Moving on from all these technology, architects use the information they gathered through these softwares into an understood model is termed as an algorithm. An algorithm, being an intensional definition of a computable function, describes how it is computed. It is made up of a list of basic The structure is thereafter generated according to this algorithm. Algorithmic thinking sets the designers carrying on an interpretive role od deciphering the end code and modify it to experiment new options and future design potentials.

1Computation Works by John Wiley & Son hanging in the interlaced material

Computation also has the power to provide inspiration and exceed the intellect of the designer, like other techniques of architectural design, but generating unexpected results as depicted by the exhibition. The undulating and canyon-like aisle creates a unique user experience to the people using the space. The form, acting as supplementary staircase in the exhibition space at the OK center for contemporary art, is an inhabitable and climbable social sculpture made of intricately interwoven mesh. As the activities increase, the installation becomes alive and shifts with the human movement.


3d-printed-house-interview Iamges: Dezeen


The advancement in technology gave computational designers their design tools, but their expertise go way beyond as they come up with concepts that further challenges the real definition of generating through comutation. Example of this approach is a two-storey house ‘Landscape House’, printed in concrete. It is formulated using the D-Shape printer which creates hollow volumes to contain fibre-reinforced concrete for structural strength. Therafter, the volumes will fuse to create the building. This revolutionary approach to construction will take architectural design to another level as manufacturing process cuts down on

Constructing a house with a 3d printer


4 5 A.4


The use of computation in the design world has definitly changed the way we work drastically. Parametricism gave a whole new approach to architecture, breaking away from the conventional straight and rigid buildings. My design approach would like to incoprate parametricism as its form adds value to create sustainable structures and structures that blend in with the natural environment. The materials used for creating these type of structures can be innovative and with the help of computation, it will be individual. As researched previously about how we will be designing in the future, sustainabiliity is key and parametric designs hold a significance in contributing to thatbecause of its flexibility to create a form with numerous types of materials. That way the environment do not get affected and we have ourselves spaces that are integrated with nature.


Learning Outcomes

By exploring computational design softwares, I could attain a better understanding of fluid structures and how they connect and follow a probability districtution based on a fixed set of parameters. There is a need for balance between the digital in architecture and the generative form of design. The introduction of these tools will contribute greatly to how we generate facades and with the influx of technology, it adds on to a significant part in the world of architecture. I have previously used 3d max and sketchup which although helpful, couldnt get me a series of forms easily. My past designs could have been improved by my new knowlege from generaing them into different forms and exploring more before putting down my design.

18 13


Appendix/Algorithimic Sketches



Algorithmic Explorations

The exploration of natural form similar to Biothing Seriouss Pavillion. Genrated by the self-modifying patterns of vector fields based on behaviors of electro-magnetic fields (EMF) I also exploited the number slider on grasshopper to create a series of movement.




Algorithmic Explorations


box morph

This is created by stacking a curvy form and twisting it to form a loft. Box morph is then applied and experimented with cone shape and tube shape.


references Robot built pavillion 3D Metal Printing Dezeen, Robot-built pavilion proposed by Achim Menges for V&A museum courtyard (4th February 2016) Numen/foruse/ swap staircase Google California HQ The Cliff House, Nevada, USA (2012)

Readings 1. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg) 2. Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) 3. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge) 4. Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design 5. Woodbury, Robert F. (2014). ‘How Designers Use Parameters’, in Theories of the Digital in Architecture, ed. by Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman (London; New York: Routledge) Articles Google’s new office complex will have an artificial sky and no stairs or walls; Metal 3D Printing Continues To Move Forward;


part b

criteria design

patterning 26


Research Field

In the context of architecture, patterns aids in designing cities and buildings as it is a sustainable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software architecture. This technique being highly flexible, gives solution to many problems in software engineering such as the restrictions of computing and hardware performance limitations, therefore reducing business risk. [1] Patterns are very flexible so they may be compiled together into a pattern language that addresses a particular domain and can easily form different variations of design. As of now, the patterning language in architecture has yet to establish its impact in the industry. However, it has a significant impact on architects/workers who work with information technology to create their work. Creating an architectural pattern is manifesto to each individual’s style and based on establishing rules and guidelines on what the individual favour or regard to be an architecture that will look good and at the same time work out. Looking at the works of most notable, we can see a dominant style that’s embedded across their buildings. Some adapt to technological and societal trends and allow their style to expand and transform over the years to best adapt to technological and societal trends. However, their method of design will always display one or two themes that tie their creation into one. It might be based on materials, an exploration/experimentation or an environmental adaptation to site.

Architectural patterns should incorporate the number one rule about rules – rules were made to be broken. [2]

[1] “Introduction To Software Engineering/Architecture/Design Patterns - Wikibooks, Open Books For An Open World”. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [2] “The Patterning Of Architecture”. Blue Architecture. N.p., 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [3] [IMAGE - left]



Research Field


Atelier Hitoshi Abe - Aoba-tei @ Sendai, Japan

This French restaurant is located in the existing office building which faces a famous street for its beautiful zelkova trees. Aoba-tei and his team were attempting to design a soft boundary surface that spaces out the lower and upper floor and connects the inner space of the restaurant with the space defined by zelkova trees, which symbolizes zendai. [4] Patterns on the peforated thick metal plate was generated through computation and hereafter holes were pierced using a numerically-controlled turret, in sizes of 4mm, 6mm, and 9mm at a spacing of 15mm, following a digitized image of a zelkova tree that was decomposed and reassembled by computer. The design creates an opportunity for lighting design to be incoporated in the interior space. Using a low-resolution digital camera, these “graphic holes” give rise to a realistic image of the actual trees. The inner wall is a materialized image that acts as a boundary surface connecting two physically separate locations. The grasshopper definition given are two simple image sampling algorithm which stack together to form depth and an interesting texture and pattern.

Conceptual Limitations: As the technique is generally straightforward in the manipulation of the definition and the repetitiveness in patterning, it is hard to get a very unique concept/ design that stands out from the pool of patterning architecture.

[4] “Aoba-Tei Restaurant | Architravel”. ArchiTravel. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [5] [IMAGES - top] [6] [IMAGES - bottom]



Iterations/ breakdown

Herzog de Meuron - de Young Museum @ San Francisco, California

Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the new de Young blends with and complements its natural surroundings. The building’s dramatic copper facade is perforated and textured to replicate the impression made by light filtering through a tree canopy, creating an artistic abstraction on the exterior of the museum that resonates with the de Young’s tree-filled park setting. The building’s copper skin, chosen for its changeable quality through oxidation, will assume a rich patina over time that will blend gracefully with the surrounding natural environment. To create the perforation design for the facade, architects Herzog and de Meuron superimposed abstracted digitized photographs of tree canopies onto each elevation of the tower. Facade bumps and peforation patterns were derived from the digital images which in turn generate the unique facade. [7]

[7]“Detail In Process”. Google Books. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [8] [IMAGE-right]




Iterations/ matrix


4 succesful iterations



Iterations/ successful 4




Case Study 2.0


AU Office and Exhibition Space @ Jungong Road, Shanghai, China

Architects:Archi Union Architects Inc ArchitectsArchi Union Architects Inc Area: 1200.0 sqm Project Year: 2010

Located in a newly formed artists’ complex, this old warehouse on Jungong Road, Shanghai was originally used to store fabrics. The area consists of three identical warehouse spaces totalling 1,200 sqm. Abandoned and dilapidated, it has now been given a new life as an office and exhibition space. The central warehouse has been converted into an outdoor recreational space and entrance lobby serving the exhibition hall and the studio. The external parametric wall of the warehouse encloses the building on three sides. It consists of concrete blocks, angled to create an interesting texture and varying amounts of light. Inside there are two meeting rooms and exhibition areas. The roof of this space has been left intact, simply renovated. Large windows run along both walls flooding daylight into the large open space. This design makes use of a parametric processes to superimpose the contours and mimick silk undulating in the wind. The brick facade seemed like they are attracted towards a force and turning towards it. Thtoughout my process, i decided to explore and divide the 2D grid and experiment image sampling a gradient image onto the surface to create that turning effect of the facade.

[9] “AU Office And Exhibition Space / Archi Union Architects”. ArchDaily. N.p., 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [10] [IMAGES] -



Reverse Engineering Process (failed attempts)




Reverse Engineering Process




Technique: Development

iteration series one radial grid

iteration series three radial grid


iteration series two piped



Technique: Development

iMAGE SAMPLER: merri creek canopy

Using images of canopies in merri creeek as they are sparse and creates a balanced contrast of shadow and light.


iMAGE SAMPLER: sound reading

Using the sound reading taken within CERES to generate a series of patterns. The point on the grid rotate in an almost constant manner because of the calm soundwave.





4 B.04

Technique: Development (Successful Iterations)


This random undulating patttern is generated from image sampling the sound readings. The rotated grids in different angles are then lofted to this wavy surface which could function as a shelving.

This pattern is generated by a radial grid and the form resembles little fans which could have a possibility of filtering of light or noise.

Hexagonal grids was used to generate the form and the rotated grids created the sense of movement in the panels. The extruded grids also creates possibilities of shelving/ pods for planting.

This form was generated by extruding the grids in different units which created a 3D effect of intersection.While it is an interesting tessellated form, the complexity might result in difficulties during fabrication.


Fabrication Fabrication prototypes prototypes


Technique: Prototypes


Prototype 1 rotated blocks


Jointing: steel cable Pros: easy to fabricate as an unrolled geometry. Cons: Material easy to fold but warps easily


Prototype 2

Prototype 3

Material: thick card paper Assembly method: intersection/ teeth jointing Model was structurally stable yet very flexible.

Assembly: cardboard and stapler Interesting shadows but choice of material and angle assembly a chore.

Miura Ori


twisted panel

e of rotation makes the

Prototype 4 tesellated panels

Translucent material (tracing paper) creates a blurred shadow effect. Joints (brass fasteners) allows maximum flexibility



Technique Proposal


CERES Short Courses and Workshops


CERES offers a diverse range of short courses and workshops and courses for people of all ages and abilities. They focus on sustainable gardening, sustainable cooking and sustainable living. CERES short courses and workshops are environmentally friendly and soul lifting.


Using the linework contrast to generate a random rotation in the grids on a surface and then lofting it, the form generated creates small shelves/pockets that has a possibility of holding plants and creating an aesthetically pleasing and intruiging green wall.



Learning Outcomes


Through the past 9 weeks in studio, I have improved so much in rhino and grasshopper and have a clearer understanding of computational design. Part B of the journal allowed me to develop deeper understanding of algorithms and the various ways to generate them. However, i still feel like m lack of knowledge in parametric tools prior to this was a block in my creativity.

Previously, I’ve only looked at unique forms and not know how to generate them. After all these researches, I am able to create and manipulate more forms. Although there is still a lot for me to learn and be fluent in scripting and computational design, the course has been a starting point for me to pick up this skill and i will take it further by continuing to research on parametric modelling and improve my skills in computational design. I feel like parametric modelling will be a big part of design in the future as they are really useful in generating complex structure and forming advanced concepts of design.




generated soundwave from CERES community park sound recording

part c dadirri

moving forward



fter reviewing previous 2 proposals, i have decided to go along with the ooncept of the soundtrack of nature in Ceres as it held a deeper meaning . Feedbck was given that the random bumps on the form generated by the soundwave created visual interest and i could push the concept even further by analysing it in a different way. Previous exploration of inputting the soundtrack in an image sampler was a surface way of using the parametric tools and therefore in the next step of design, i would like to explore a different method of generating the idea. For this part of the project, i have decided to team up with felmen to continue on our proposal of a visual screen in the Ceres Community.




(pronounced ‘series’) is a place where people come together to share ideas about living well together, and directly participate in meeting their social and material needs in a sustainable way. Through social enterprises, education and training, employment and community engagement, CERES provides the means by which people can build awareness of current local and global issues, and join in the movement for economic, social and environmental sustainability. [11]


water pollution community does not seem like a community, areas not connected some areas not utilised lots of sustainability workshops ongoing

[11]“About”. CERES Community Environment Park. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. [12] [IMAGE -top] -


the proposal 68

functional structure

In the background study of Merri Creek connducted in Merri Creek Environs Strategy, it identifies that the visual character of the site was overlooked. The report states that there were a buildup of litter, visible pollution of water bodies and presence of indigenous vegetation. Within Merri Creek, our chosen site is the merri table cafe in Ceres Community Market. we hope to give visitors of the cafe a good experience as it is the most popular spot in CERES and hence propose a visual screen that blocks out unsightly intrusions, creates spaces for seating and also works as a display for greenery to add on the sustainable environment Ceres wants to promote.


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-45.3006 -58.71333 -39.67942 -49.72132 -63.46055 -52.69273 -47.32462 -40.28781 -48.23292 -90.309 -40.68015 -40.01804 -44.24508 -44.96556 -51.22415 -46.84527 -60.48176 -45.44824 -43.5798 -40.76657

-38.05332 -44.41967 -50.05225 -47.51142 -45.15543 -43.74141 -43.11229 -61.68172 -51.41935 -49.40254 -41.77877 -54.74597 -42.70477 -46.67213 -39.88624 -41.68172 -57.43995 -48.65329 -52.1393 -56.86704

collection of sound recording -- analysing it through sound software -- design computation


Concept design 70

sound analysis

Walking along Merri Creek, the sound of the nature encapsulated the area. The recording we had captured sounds of the CERES environment such as water streaming and bird chirps. Using this essence of Merri Creek, we put it through a sound analysis sotware (audacity) which analysed and generated a series of numbers according to the timing (seconds) and levels (decibels) of the soundtrack. These numbers are then used as reference points for generation of the design.



Tectonic elements & prototypes


technique development

generating the form

Soundtrack put through the softwre Audacity 2.1.2

translation of sound to data

in order to incoporate the concept of sound into our structure, we needed some sort of data infromation from the sound recording. With the help of Audacity (sound analysis software), the audio file of the sounds captured in CERES is generated into numbers according to their sound levels. Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds which plots any given track into various types of sound systems such as spectrum, cepstrum, frequency, levels and also generate a series of sound graphs. Due to constraints in computational design and the type of information we would require, we chose to use the data containing the timing (seconds) referencing the levels (dB) to carry onto the next step of design.


Relating to the site context, the area we chose is the un-utilised space outside the merri table cafe and the form we generate will reference the curve of the existing parapet that borders the cafe space.



Tectonic elements & prototypes

Digital Fabrication

Because the the soundtrack was composed of water stream, our initial experiment was looking to create movement in the model using strips generated by the data.

Formed by inputting number data generated from the sound recording, each strip contains 10 seconds of information. The strips cuts each other and sit on the intersecting tabs.

Initial prototype 74

unrolled template with tabs for jointing

1 to 5

6 to 10

template of curved plan for reference


Overall design was not feasible as the extruding form was too dynamic to be held in place with the tabs and the overall structure seemed messy.

Expanding wood with heat:

Attempt to bend the wooden strips was made by applying heat onto a rod and pressing the wood against the molded shape. Because of balsa wood’s nature, the heat caused the surface to burn even though we acheived the curve.

The scoring method was used to allow the thick card to bend



Tectonic elements & prototypes

Fabrication failures and attempts



Final Detail Model


Final Detail Model





Final Detail Model

1 2 3 4 5


digital fabrication


curve & divide length reference curve from an existing infrastructure and use it as the starting point before it is transformed by the sound data. The curve is then divided into 20 segments, creating 20 points along the geometry.

using soundwaves

move & interpolate Move the 20 points (derived from the previous step) along the x-axis using the 5 sets of 20 sound values and interpolate them. This will result to 5 unique curves influenced by the sound pressure levels (dB) at different times of the soundtrack(s).

creating the strips

extrude extrude the 5 curves along the x-axis to create surfaces that form the width of the strips. Repeat the extrusions this time along the z axis to form the height of the strps. For each unique curve, use 3 variations of width (x axis extrusions) to create a 3-strip thick stepped band.

jigsaw joints

evaluate curve & move & rotate & line sdl & endpoints & arc sed & join curves create jigsaw joints to provide the connections along each strip. To do so, firstly split the strips into 3 parts. Then, produce the outline of the jigsaw joint using lines and arches.

dowel connections

brep|brep - circle - extrude - divide curve - list item line determine the area of intersection between each stepped band and cutout circles where the dowel can sit into. The circle-cut-outs need to have a 4mm diameter and be 1 strip deep(smm) on both intersecting strips.



Final Detail Model

Puzzle joint to fit wooden strips together due to limitations in length of wood.


Dowels to fix different sets of wood together and to create gaps for sunlight to pass through.



Final Detail Model

the narrative









Final Detail Model


Interior View (right) View of toilet and bike shed will be shielded from the structure



Final Detail Model


Exterior View Structure adds liveliness to the dull walkway and small spaces to sit.



Final Detail Model

further exploration


A feedback that we got was that the project was lacking in the exploration of jointing methods. The grouping of the 3 strips could have limited the connections we use. The form of the structure was also very calm compared to general sonic architecture projects. If there was more time, we will push the design further with an alternative idea to panelling tool for incoporating the number data into grasshopper. Because the structure turned out to be quite simple, we could look into layering other techniques of design onto the screen to generate more interest.


learning outcomes

The process of grasping this software was painful yet fruitful. Having been through all these sessions about computational design and successfully generating a prototype, i felt that Studio Air added value to my knowledge of designing in 3D. There were so many techniques and approaches to design that i’ve acquired and this will aid me in coming up with better ides in the future. Although my project throughout this course has encountered a number of failures, these attempts allowed me to have a clearer understanding of the various fabrication methods we could use and also learn from my peers along the way. My final product was fabricated with no errors and is functional. However to be critical, i felt that the project stayed on the safe side and the short amount of time could have limited the extent of explorations. With this new skill and a different perspective on architecture, i will continue to explore the realm of computational design.



Lu shixian finaljournal  
Lu shixian finaljournal