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Table of contents

Introduction 5 Part a: conceptualisation 6 Part B: criteria design Part C: detailed design -


“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.” - LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE



Simone rose lania Currently a 3rd year student at the University of Melbourne, Studying the Bachelor of Environments, Majoring in Architecture. Melbourne born, Italian raised.

Design has always had an appeal to me. Even as a child I found enjoyment in creative, artistic pastimes. However what triggered my true interest in a design-based career was admiration of family members who worked in the design and construction industry. At the age of 15 I travelled to Adelaide to complete work experience at an architecture and interior design firm owned by my cousin. What I enjoyed most about this experience was venturing out of the office to meet with clients, visit sites and shop for product. I appreciated the fact that each day was different and that there was an abundance of opportunities within the profession at various scales. Later in my secondary studies I considered other professions, however architecture was always on the agenda. The multidisciplinary approach offered by the University of Melbourne in the Bachelor of Environments was ideal for a student like me, someone who hadn’t delved into artistic subjects in VCE, instead emerged in all other faculties. What I realise now after completing two years of the bachelor is that architecture is also right for me, as it is a career which integrates so many disciplines and requires skills in various areas. In my opinion, architecture is a vehicle for expression and an opportunity for the designer, the client or the city to present a message, create a persona, develop a culture and educate its viewers. In addition the ability to be responsible for a tangible object in which people can experience and the opportunity to make a mark on a city are exciting aspects of architecture, which drive my ambition to be successful in the industry. In the past 2 years of the bachelor I have been exposed to some digital design tools, including AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Sketchup and Rhino3D. I have used AutoCAD and the Adobe Creative Suite programs regularly in previous design studios and the elective subject Visual Communications. However, my exposure to Rhino3D in particular is limited to a workshop run by the University that I completed during the summer break. I am eager to develop my skills in Rhino3D and Grasshopper, as I believe that with a greater knowledge of these digital design tools, I will discover new and exciting methods of design. In addition, I believe computation is the gateway to envisioning innovative design ideas, which is necessary to achieve advanced architecture in the future.




Part a: conceptualisation







design futuring Lagi entry ‘calorie park’ The LAGI entry, ‘Calorie Park’ delves into energy production beyond the traditional renewable energy resources by harvesting kinetic energy/’man power’ produced by humans whilst exercising using a micro-inverter technology.1 Nowadays exercise is an important part of one’s everyday routine and despite an abundance of fitness centres being developed there is a desire to exercise outdoors, emerged in the environment and at no cost. This project makes efficient use of the space as it creates a usable area that is reflective of the importance of exercise in society today and the desire to be fit, as well as producing electricity. People who value exercise and the well-being of the environment would be expected to use the installation on a regular basis.

humans. Therefore, the design provides a platform for activity, which is beneficial to human health, encourages social interaction and ultimately contributes to sustainable development of the city. There has also been consideration of the fact that there will be peak times of use for such a design and hence an alternate energy production mechanism needs to be employed during times of the day when human use is at its lowest. Solar panels have been incorporated into the exterior of the exercise pods in areas with the highest exposure to the noon sun. This strengthens the design by eliminating the potential for inefficiency in the event that human use was limited.2

The carbon neutral design is more than an installation - as well as being a popular past time, it is proven that exercise has positive effects on both physical and emotional health for

It is assumed that such a design would be appreciated for a long period of time, as unlike other installations, an individual can visit this interactive structure habitually. In addition, the design would appeal to a broad sample of people and it is expected that society’s interest in exercise will only escalate in the future.

1 “Calorie Park”, Morteza Karimi, Land Art Generator Initiative, accessed 10 March 2014, http://

2 “Calorie Park”,


01 Morteza Karimi, Calorie Park, 2012, digital design, Land Art Generator Initiative,, (accessed 10 March 2014) 02 Morteza Karimi, Mechanical Energy, 2012, digital design, Land Art Generator Initiative,, (accessed 10 March 2014)






Design futuring Photosynthesis


Photosynthetic organisms are capable of converting carbon dioxide to organic carbon and can affect atmospheric carbon content both directly and indirectly. Photosynthesis affects the climate in various ways, most importantly, it contributes to maintaining stable temperatures; cool enough for life to exist. This is due to the effect of photosynthesis on carbon dioxide levels, as carbon dioxide contributes to greenhouse gas, which is associated with the rising temperatures on earth. 1 Recent studies have found an opportunity to heighten the positive effects of photosynthesis on the planet and utilise this invaluable, natural process to harvest energy and rid of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is negatively affecting the ozone layer. Through photosynthesis we are capable of collecting energy in an environmentally conscious, sustainable and economically feasible manner. The energy collected can then be fed into the city’s electricity grid and the demand for electricity produced via burning of fossil fuels and other carbon dioxide producing resources can be reduced. Potential dependence on photosynthesis as a source of electricity for an entire city is limited however, wide application of this energy harvesting system could have a considerable impact on energy production and in conjunction with other forms of renewable energy resources, contribute to achieving carbon neutrality.2 Cyanobacteria in particular perform a specialised version of photosynthesis, known as ‘oxygenic photosynthesis’ using two photochemical systems. This is the main process that provides energy to the entire biosphere of earth, evidently giving rise to the ozone layer that protects from solar ultraviolet radiation on earth.3 1 Reza Razighifard, Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis, (place of publication n/a: Wiley, 2013), 46-47 2 Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Mononian, “A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies”, Society for Cultural Exchange and Land Art Generator Initiative, 2012, 25 3 Razighifard, Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis, 49


Blue-green algae is a favourable choice of cyanobacteria to fuel photosynthetic energy production as algae act as minute biological entities that transform carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy via photosynthetic processes, growing logarithmically whilst doing so. In addition they can grow directly on combustion gas containing 4-15% carbon dioxide and can be produced using wastewater.4 The opportunity to not only produce clean energy, but to also make use of water sources and carbon dioxide which would otherwise contaminate the atmosphere, is promising for humanity and is progressive towards sustainability. Furthermore the use of algae could assist in future development of a dual system, in which both electricity and biofuel are produced. This prospect is foreseeable as algae can produce a biobutanol known as ‘solalgal fuel’ as a by-product of photosynthesis. This product can be used in gas engines without engine modification and is a clean substitute for current fuels used in motor vehicles. Evidently such a system would be optimising use of dispensable product in various ways. 5 Whilst more traditional forms of renewable energy resources present higher conversion efficiencies, energy production via photosynthesis is an innovative opportunity to rid of pollutants in the atmosphere that previous ‘dirty’ energy production has created. Such a resource would also present opportunity to educate society about biological process and environmental conservation. We would therefore be acting retrospectively and proactively in our mission to create a cleaner planet and a more sustainable future.

4 Ferry and Mononian, “A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies”, 54 5 Ferry and Mononian, “A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies”, 52 01 Vincent Callebaut Architects, Algae Airships, date of image n/a, digital design, 02 AlgaePARC, date of image n/a, photograph, ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=105680&CultureCode=en





hem. In addition edge of structural a result of Mexico’s ions. For Fernando e challenge lies not or the engineering n of a culture of ects organise and ion to allow for new

nceived as an iconic o host one of the in the world, and ea of Mexico City. had never been resented various d construction was how to realise precedent or local and coordination of to its success, as were developed tric modelling and o design and model s. Museo Soumaya at represents the container for the oor plate responding on that floor. The he design process els, and the final nned to create design surface. d the digital model mns and horizontal surface. e interior finish and ex 3-D structure ting strut, as he local surface eam selected a freethe firm Geometrica o provide support

The Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Mexico built in 2011 was designed by architects, Fernando Romero and Armando Ramos. This $70 million project is a prime example of the “blobby” forms which computational design has made realisable (The building geometry is exemplified in Figure 01). The design concept is based on a “container” that comprises the artwork. However, the design outcome was a result of utilising computation to explore design ideas both aesthetically and structurally. Without the use of parametric design, three-dimensional modelling and fabrication, formation and dynamic transformation of the design model would not have been possible. Evidently, such a complex shape and façade design would not have been realisable.1


The building façade is composed of hexagonal aluminium panels. Computational tools such as Gaussian analysis facilitated the design process by providing data required for resolution of issues regarding modification of hexagonal panel properties. In addition, parametric modelling techniques established by Gehry Technology were capable of dealing with the complexity of this façade design and determining panel size and configuration which was important in defining how the geometric data of the panels would be extracted and applied to the exterior surface 2 (Figure 02 and 03 are macroscopic representations of the panel configuration). Computation was not only essential in the design of the building exterior. Without

parametrics, prominent interior features such as ramps, internal structure and Fernando Romero and Armando the roof would not have been foreseeable as conventional two-dimensional Ramos of Fernando Romero EnterprisE drawings and design processes would not be able to represent such elements. (FREE) describe how the firm’s design What is interesting about this building is that collaboration between the for an iconic museum in Mexicoproject City,team was essential and computation was the vehicle in which this process which adopted complex computationalcould be facilitated. Even during the construction phase the entire project team continued to work in conjunction via a central, digital, threetechniques, required them to develop dimensional model. As a result precise information regarding the building was continuously accessible to all team members.3 The convergence of digitally an integrated and highly 02 collaborative based representation and production processes of designs is invaluable in approach to design; with a central digital providing information to a series of professions associated with the project. 3-D model being applied throughout This precedent exemplifies that use of digital modelling has broadened the scope of formal exploration in architecture and enhanced the construction phase. the design process as both design conceptualisation and design construction can now be more direct and intricate as the information can be extricated and modified with greater facility and speed.4

top: Facade layers from the interior: insulating durock, primary structure composed of bent oil-rigging structural tubes, triodesic secondary structure, waterproofing panels supported by the secondary structure, and the hexagonal panels supported by purlins mounted on the secondary structure.


exico, 2011 the south facade.

Parametric building design is the vehicle for the future of architecture as “smooth” architecture was overlooked in the past despite its connection with cultural and design discourse in other sectors of society.5 Museo Soumaya is an intriguing example of how the use of NURBS enabled by algorithmic centre: View of can the south design leadfacade to showing complex,67undulating and sinuous building forms which detail of aluminium hexagon cladding previously did not have the potential to be conceived, represented or developed. panels.

r columns of the e belt, seven steel e concrete core that


n re



1 Fernando Romero and Armando Ramos, “Bridging a Culture - The Design of Museo Soumaya”, Architectural Design bottom: View of the Journal Article 08,completed 2013: 67 structure with 2shimmering aluminium hexagonRamos, “The Design of Museo Soumaya”, 68 Fernando Romero and Armando 3 Fernando Romero and Armando Ramos, “The Design of Museo Soumaya”, 69 cladding. 4 Branko Kolarevic, “Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing”, (New York and London, Spon Press, 2003), 6 5 Branko Kolarevic, “Architecture in the Digital Age”, 6 01, 02, 03 sourced from: Fernando Romero and Armando Ramos, “The Design of Museo Soumaya”, 67-69




03 01 Foster + Partners, Projects: City Hall London, UK, 1998-2002, 2014, computation, Foster + Partners, http://www.fosterandpartners. com/projects/city-hall/, (accessed 18 March 2014) 02 Projects: City Hall London, UK, 03 14Projects: City Hall London, UK, 04 London City Hall, date of image n/a, photograph, Vis[Le],, (accessed 20 March 2014)



design computation London




London City Hall by Foster Associates was completed in 2003 and is an appropriate example of the use of computation to conduct energy and structural calculations, which then become the driving force in design generation. Through this parametric medium, generative variability is achievable in architectural design and tectonic and material creativity are stimulated.1 London City Hall demonstrates the affect of computing in a top-down design process. The building design was developed using a parametric control system, which created a custom model from which the architects could determine dimensions and experiment with design alternatives. The design process enabled synthesis of a functional, spatial, sculptural, structural and environmental form, which required consideration through a series of viewports that were made possible by computation tools.2 The final shape of the building is central to the axis leaning towards the sun as this design allowed for minimal surface area in the direction of the sun whilst maximising city views. In addition, air current movement and natural ventilation, which were measured by linking the digital model with a CNC machine influenced the building geometries (Figure 01 and 02 model the effect of these environmental aspects on the building form). It is evident that the primary shape was a design decision based not only on aesthetics, but also to maximise energy efficiency. Stimulation software for energy calculations was therefore closely associated with the design outcome. However, not only external design decisions were a result of computation, even the internal helical stair design has purpose beyond aesthetics. Computation was utilised to measure acoustics of the lobby area. The measurements collected influenced the staircase design as the feature traps sound and reduces echo within the space.3 Furthermore, experimentation was conducted through a series of fabrications to realise the final digital model. Digital materiality was important in the design development as it created links between the conception and final outcome. A series of prototyping through fabrication allowed for the realisation of tectonics and contributed to achieving a balance between interesting geometrical shapes and buildability4 (Figure 03 shows various prototypes created via fabrication). The use of quadrilaterals for the entire building facade was linked with buildability - in terms of economics and the concealment of structural members. This was impacted by computation and experimentation with geometries such as triangulation until a conceivable geometry was established.5 The final outcome is an interesting design that utilises computation in the design process. However, it is not entirely based on the programming to the extent that creative thought is lost in exuberant shapes which lack background meaning. London City Hall takes data from the surrounding context and environment and impinges this on the final geometric form via computation. It is therefore an embodiment of designer intellect combined with computerised algorithmic capabilities. In addition, it demonstrates the degree of parameters necessary in design and building development. 1 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture, (London and New York: Routledge, 2014), 3-4 2 Alex Hogrefe, “Evaluating the Digital Design Process”, Bottom-up vs. Top-Down, 2010. 2 3 “Perfect Buildings: The Maths of Modern Architecture”, Marianne Freiberger, Plus Magazine, last modified 1 March 2007, http:// 4 Hogrefe, “Evaluating the Digital Design Process”, 2 5 “Perfect Buildings: The Maths of Modern Architecture”,



Design computation Serpentine pavilion, London The Serpentine Museum, by Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond in Kensington Gardens, London was built in 2002. It is an example of the use of procedural design and scripting as a means of research and design composition. This project is of interest as it marks the emergence of digital technologies to support design formation and the shift away from “compositional and representational theorising”.1 The 2002 Serpentine Museum is a powerful expression of the aesthetic and tectonic potentials allowed by algorithmic design via computation. The overall form of the pavilion design was derived from a cube created algorithmically and transformed through expansion and rotation (Figure 01 and 02 represent this concept in sketch form). This design outcome was established after experimentation with different shapes and algorithmic models that led to outcomes such as vortexes as opposed to the velocity based concept behind the final design2 (These models are represented in Figure 03 and 04). The façade design is an expression of many triangles and trapezoids developed via a series of intersecting lines, which differ in transparency and translucence to create an illusion of 1 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture, (London and New York: Routledge, 2014), 3-4 2 Cecil Balmonds Special Lecture at REsite, Czech Republic, 2013, online video, http://www.archdaily. com/419828/video-cecil-balmond-s-special-lecture-at-resite-2013/


boundlessly repeating motion.3 The scale and materiality make the pattern relevant and turn the geometry into an animation by manipulating light and creating an internal shadow effect. The design follows preceding architectural theory of basic structural anatomy as a system of posts and beams, however computation presented an opportunity for this traditional framework to be challenged. Through parametric design the posts and beams could be distorted so that they became inclined and broken and the structure could be cascaded to create several overlaps. As a result the structure is not obvious, instead architecture and structure conjoin and harmonise in an “inseparable reading of space”.4 It is evident that computation in this project broadened the design process, allowing for experimentation with abstraction in a quick, easy and economical manner. In general, through algorithmic experimentation, the scope of a designer’s imagination can be broadened and design solutions achieved leading to the realisation of abstract digital models that are actually buildable. 3 “Serpentine Pavilion 2002”, Archello, accessed 18 March 2014, serpentine-pavilion-2002 4 Cecil Balmonds Special Lecture at REsite,





05 01 Cecil Balmond, title n/a, 2013, computation, Arch Daily,, (accessed 18 March 2014) 02 Cecil Balmond, 03 Cecil Balmond, 04 Cecil Balmond, 05 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2002, Toyo Ito + Cecil Balmond +Arup, photograph, Arch Daily, serpentine-gallery-pavilion-2002-toyo-ito-cecil-balmond-arup_11-iii-jpg/, (accessed 18 March 2014)


“you’ve got to bumble forward into the unknown” -frank gehry




composition/generation fondation Louis vuitton museum, Paris Fondation Louis Vuitton por la création Museum is currently under construction in Paris. This museum for contemporary art, designed by Frank Gehry embraces the notion of embedded intelligence and self-optimising stimulation rules.1 This way of design has been criticised as a diversion from real, conceptual design objectives, which is degenerative to traditional compositional design. However, this project, despite utilising parametric tools for design generation, promotes computation in architecture as an integrated art form2. The construction is comprised of 19,000 fibre-cement panels and 3,500 curved glass façade sections all of which were parametrically enhanced to achieve explicit geometry. The unprecedented scale and particular curvature of the glass panels required the glass fabricator ‘Sunglass’, to use a parametric glass mould to achieve cylindrical geometry via bending of glass sheets. In order to achieve these parametric moulds Gehry Technologies established fabrication and geometric rules specifically for the model that included optimisations, 1 Tobias Nolte and Andrew Witt, “Gehry Partners’ Fondation Louis Vuitton”, Architectural Design Magazine, 2014, 82 2 Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design Magazine, 2013, 15

which are new to “embedded generative intelligence and simulation”.3 It is evident that generative methods have progressed and are not only used for design experimentation. Nowadays, mechanical fabrication processes have a dramatic impact on the design geometry and validation requires analysis of numerous parameters for each element of assembly.4 Without algorithmic thinking, such a complex, curvilinear design would not be realisable and furthermore buildable.

Vuitton project demonstrates that despite the time consuming nature of extensive analyses enabled by generative design approaches; the use of such technology augments the designer’s intellect and creates the potential to seize the complexity of building a project and the parameters active in the building development.6

The majority of analyses conducted for the project were performed via generative exercises enabled by computation, however this design process was time consuming and hence in order to avoid this limitation the team implemented collaborative processes to offload work to alternate, low-demand machines. Ultimately a “private cloud” for generative geometry and optimisation was established to increase the efficiency of the process and determine material deformations.5 Hence, the Fondation Louis

The realisation of integrated models is essential in today’s industry. Seamless sharing of digital models is beneficial as it accelerates distribution of information, provides more direct accountability and simpler reporting.7 Overall, this project has an important role in architectural discourse as a precedent that promotes generative design and more specifically, the use of parametric modelling to enable concurrent design. Concurrent design facilitates optimisation of separate portions of the model simultaneously, which is central to architectural discourse and promising for the industry as a means of deploying surface analysis and optimisation methods in architectural constructability.

3 Nolte and Witt, “Gehry Partners’ Fondation Louis Vuitton”, 2014, 84-85 4 Nolte and Witt, “Gehry Partners’ Fondation Louis Vuitton”, 2014, 85 5 Nolte and Witt, “Gehry Partners’ Fondation Louis Vuitton”, 2014, 86-87

6 Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, 15 7 Nolte and Witt, “Gehry Partners’ Fondation Louis Vuitton”, 2014, 88

01 The First Dramatic Images of New Parisian Landmark, 2014, photograph,,, (accessed 22 March 2014) 02 Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, 2011, photograph, Delood,, (accessed 22 March 2014)






Composition/generation NATIONAL BANK OF KUWAIT HEADQUARTERS Fosters and Partner’s design proposal for the National Bank of Kuwait Headquarters in Kuwait, was generated by the Special Modelling Group (SMG) team at Fosters using parametric design. The use of parametric modelling tools from early stages in the design process enabled exploration of geometrical solutions as well as integration of performance parameters within the model.1

operational requirements.2 It is evident that the SMG embraced algorithmic thinking in the design process, as through the generation and synthesis of the generating code they were able to modify the model, exploring alternate design options and speculating additional design potentials. 3

The main parametric modelling software used for the design was Bentley Systems’ Generative Components (GC), which was supported with numerous scripted tools. Initially this software was used by the SMG to produce various models that were then developed further by the design team. In later stages of the design process, the model evolved to become a coherent geometry, which was aligned with performance parameters and considerate of environmental, structural, functional and

A main influence on the geometry of the design however was the local climate in Kuwait. Vertical structural shading fins shield the eastern and western façades whereas the north is open and exposed to sunlight and optimum views. A complete geometric description of the construction of the shading fins was contained in the parametric model, and engineering input was embedded via a data spreadsheet link. Via computation, the buildability of the fins could be determined by investigating curvature levels of elements and the degree of repetition to maintain the overall building

1 Dusanka Popovska, “Integrated Computational Design”, Architectural Design Magazine, 2013, 34

2 Popovska, “Integrated Computational Design”, 34 3 Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design Magazine, 2013, 10

shape.4 Hence, the writing and modification of algorithms enabled exploration and generation of architectural concepts in relation to element placement and configuration. Conclusively, in this design proposal the use of parametrically modelling is utilised to link the geometric relationships between design elements. Evidently, the process required for the creation of such a complex design is facilitated, as multiple variations of the building can be developed at a rational rate and rapidly fabricated for prototyping. Calculations such as wind, solar and acoustic analysis can also be aligned with the parametric model for further enhancement of the design. Ultimately, the prospects for architectural design are broadened and the potential to create, complex, stimulating and sustainable buildings is optimised through generative design and parametric modelling as an integrated art form. 4 Popovska, “Integrated Computational Design”, 35

01 Kuwait NBK Tower, date of image n/a, computation, Skyscraper City,, (accessed 22 March 2014)


A.4 CONCLUSION Parametric design represents an exciting, contemporary and innovative approach to architectural design, which I have not had the opportunity to explore in previous design studios or my university degree in general. I intend to utilise this topical technology to stimulate my design process and explore an alternate way of thinking about architecture and design. Whilst computational design shifts away from traditional design approaches, which I have become accustomed to in previous design studios, I intend on maintaining key concepts essential to a design however, through a digital medium. I aim to generate a design, which is respective of the site in Refshaleøen, Copenhagen and representative of its historical and geographical qualities to ensure that the design is unique to the site and embedded within its surroundings, as I believe it is important to engage the design within both the environmental and cultural context. In particular, I intend to incorporate energy calculations in my parametric modelling explorations to not only enhance my design process but to enlighten myself on the potential benefits computation has for delving into more sustainable and environmentally responsive architecture. I believe that this is crucial to creating a design which identifies with the LAGI brief. Hence, this factor is essential for the assignment however, more importantly is integral to my future as an architect in today’s society where environmentally savvy design is central to architectural discourse. Design generated by algorithmic thinking that incorporates environmental calculations has the potential to benefit both the environment and society as architecture envelops everyone who experiences it, whether they are engaged consciously or subconsciously. The LAGI is an opportunity to create architecture, which is responsive to the demand for not only renewable, clean energy sources but also a public space that connects society with this demand. This design approach is advantageous as by developing an architectural space that is shaped by environmental efficiency, users are immersed in the issue and more likely to take action in their daily life to promote the solution. A design approach stimulated by parametric modelling and scripting will allow for innovative boundaries to be overcome, as through the use of Grasshopper there is a myriad of creative opportunities to be explored. It will be possible to augment my intellect and envisage design possibilities, which previously may not have been imaginable due to static limitations. Furthermore the realisation of topologies will be conducive due to digression from convention. In addition rapid, precise prototyping via advanced fabrication technologies will enhance the design process by demonstrating the practicability of the digital model and the potential to achieve a highly refined, realisable design. Overall, the precedent projects analysed stimulate my intended design approach, as it is evident that through parametric design enabled by computation a connection can be formed between the architecture itself, those who experience it and the environment. Each of these precedents explores the use of computation in a unique manner however they all demonstrate the evolution of architecture and the potential to engage in architectural discourse through my own experience with computational design.



LEARNING OUTCOMES The first few weeks of Studio Air have been pivotal in my study of architecture, forcing me to broaden the manner in which I assess design and enhance my knowledge and critical thinking skills. Prior to this subject, concepts such as computational design and generative design were unknown to me. I was aware of parametric design due to a brief introduction to Grasshopper in a Rhino workshop I attended, however, I was unacquainted with the extent to which it can be utilised and the outcomes that can be achieved by algorithms. The technical component of the subject thus far has been critical to my understanding of this. Weekly video tutorials and algorithmic sketchbook tasks have exposed me to various outcomes that can be achieved using Grasshopper. In addition, through exploration of these tasks I have recognised the basis from which prominent architecture throughout the world has been generated. Furthermore, through my study of precedents I expanded my knowledge on significant architecture throughout the world and key architectural practices that embody parametric design in their projects. Moreover, in my analysis of precedents I have learnt how computation can be utilised not only to generate designs but also to enhance the environmental and structural performance of them. What I found particularly interesting is that parametric modelling has benefits beyond the scope of the design itself. It has been used as a mechanism for achieving concurrent design and hence is an essential element of communication and management within a project between the professionals involved. Prior to this subject, my exposure to architectural discourse was minimal. By reading and reviewing architectural literature I have been enlightened on the debate concerning computational design and been encouraged to form my own opinion on the issue. Generally, I am an open-minded person who will support both sides of an argument hence it was difficult to act opinionatedly. What I have learnt through my introduction to algorithmic thinking, which I believe is essential to the debate, is that parametric design although computer generated, does not render the human mind redundant. A designer’s perceptions and intelligence remain encapsulated in the design, as they are the ones who modify the model to meet their aesthetic and functional expectations. The learning experiences in regards to architectural computing that I have had in the beginning of this subject would have been useful in enhancing my designs in previous design studios. Through the use of computational design I could have explored design solutions, which were not foreseeable two-dimensionally. Furthermore it is now apparent to me, that conducting rapid prototyping via fabrication technologies would be an efficient way to test the structural stability of design ideas. In addition, the exploration of architectural literature and knowledge of precedents could have been used as sources of inspiration for my design concepts. Overall, I believe that my experience learning about the theory of architectural computing has shifted my perspectives on architecture. I now assess the built environment beyond the aesthetics and function. I expect that this will be influential when I begin designing parametrically and I am intrigued by the opportunity to discover and develop new, creative prospects.


A.6 Appendix

ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES The weekly algorithmic tasks extended on the material demonstrated in the video tutorials and hence were important in synthesising the content presented. By implementing the algorithmic thinking to a specific task outlined by the tutors I was able to develop a familiarisation with the components and explore the possibilities of parametric modelling through trial and error and manipulation. As well as watching the prescribed video tutorials, I watched additional videos online to enhance my understanding of Grasshopper components, which were introduced and in some cases develop on these components. In addition, on some occasions I met with my peers to complete algorithmic tasks along side one another. This was a valuable experience as we were exposed to a broader scope of outcomes as well as issues other people faced. Researching precedents and delving into architectural discourse extended upon the knowledge obtained via the video tutorials. Through the literature I was able to put the algorithmic tasks into context, recognising how building forms derive from and are enhanced by parametric modelling. On the converse, the algorithmic tasks allowed me to put in perspective the extent of algorithm required to achieve complex precedent designs that I examined. The sketches included are an amalgamation of the basic principles of Grasshopper learnt in the past, initial weeks of the subject including, lofting, data matching and pattern creation. These principles will provide a strong basis for the upcoming design process.




GRIDSHELL Figure 01 represents a gridshell that was inspired by that of Matsy Smart Geometry. The Gridshell was ultimately achieved using the geodesic component, however in order to reach this output a series of basic Grasshopper components needed to be employed. Potentially, this algorithm could be engaged in the LAGI design to create a precise and stimulating, lattice like structure.


DATA GEOMETRY Figure 02 represents a generative design, which reflects data relating to wind movement and wind speed in Copenhagen. This lofted geometry demonstrates how data input in parametric modelling can create interesting forms, which are responsive to the site context. Therefore, this algorithmic sketch touches on the ability to use algorithmic thinking as a means for creating environmentally responsive architecture. This is a particularly critical aspect of parametric modelling in a project such as the LAGI where the environmental performance is pivotal to the concept and overall success of the design. Evidently by using data relevant to Refshaleøen, Copenhagen as algorithmic inputs, I intend on generating stimulating, meaningful geometries to shape an overall site relevant design.





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