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2017, SEMESTER 1, By Alessandro Liuti Sophia Buhm 916964

Sophia Buhm 916964 ABPL30048 2018 S1 Tutored by Alessandro Liuti



“Every great architect is a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” by Frank Lloyd Wright

Throughout history, architecture is one of the most prominent heritage of civilization which presents the culture, social, politic and development of the age. Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous modernist architect in twentyfirst century stated that the every architect should represent their own thoughts into the work. In the other word, the architecture should be existed within the architect’s own interpretation of the time. Further, It also suggests that the architecture is a great narration of history, which is capable to vision our future. Through the statement of past pioneer in architecture, I believe that I am required to practice with multidisciplines to represent the age appropriately. Some argues that the contemporary architecture is declassed as a composite work of engineering project rather than traditional meaning of architecture as cultural heritage, it still plays an important role to suggest a new direction to the future development of civilization.


CONTENTS Part A  Conceptualisation

A.1 Design Futuring A. 2 Design Compulation A. 3 Composition/Generation A. 4 Condusion A. 5 Learning Outcomes Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches

Part B  Criteria Design

B.1. Research Field B.2. Case Study 1.0 B.3. Case Study 2.0 B.4. Technique: Development B.5. Technique: Prototypes B.6. Technique: Proposal B.7. Learning Objectives and Outcomes Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches

Part C  Detailed design

C.1. Design Concept C.2. Tectonic Elements & Prototypes C.3. Final Detail Model C.4. Learning Objectives and Outcomes



A.1 Design Futuring

Against the defuturing unsustainability which leads an ecological collapse, design futuring suggest a necessity of understanding design practice anthropologically to address the problems by implementing technological advancement and human intelligence1. To accommodate the design futuring in architectural practice, it requires having a clear sense of what design needs to be mobilized for or against. Even more specifically, it means changing our thinking, then how and what we design. It brings back an idea by Peter Kropotkin, an activist in the nineteenth century after the industrial development, arguing to restore the quality of the natural environment and these precedents contributed to develop the idea of sustain-ability by Fry. ‘Redirective practice’ is the reference to design throughout embraces all design practices, including architecture as well as rethinking practice in the context of the Sustainment. Based on these, design futuring aims to revolutionize the conventional practice of design. 1 Tony Fry, Design Futuring : Sustainability, Ethics and New PRactice(Oxford :Berg, 2009),pp,1-4



Figure 1 The structural integrity of the Dutch Maritime Museum which creates spatial ambience by shadow and light.



Case study I

Dutch Maritime Museum By Ney + Partners

During the recent renovation, a vast space of the building inner courtyard has been covered by a glass roofing, creating a pleasant space for the visitors. In the evening hundred of tiny LED lights placed between shields of glass give an impression of the starry sky. The existing Dutch Marine Museum before the alteration was a typical Roman style building with a bulky volumnes of rectangular peristyle with a central atrium which allows a maximum sunlight. The alteration actively exploited the existing condition to alter the space, using the light weight materials within the strategy of engineering integration. Entire study of a glazed roof after a 5 engineering-designer’s architectural competition of international level. The roof of the Dutch Marine Museum courtyard in Amsterdam NL-had to offer an intrinsic added value to this historically preserved building. Based on wind hoses of ancient marine maps of the museum collection, a steel structure is developed of 30m by 30m.

The basic geometry was curved to a lightly bent dome that only transmits vertical charges onto the museum’s existing walls. Besides the steel structure also works as a scenographic element by the introduction of LED lights at different nodes and support points in the steel structure itself. This unique installation give a spartial embience to the visitors entering the atrium, by produce a new strategies of the site within a moderen interpretation. It accommodated a whole new perspe ctive and how to demonstrate the modern architectural practice on the existing heritage which does not funtion well in the modern society. The major typologies of this practice can be disciplined for future study. 1) Lightweight structure, 2) Light, 3) System integrity. The project was commenced at the idea of compass in the historical map, as the museum is dedicated to maritime history and various artefacts from the shipping and sailing in Dutch history. The idea directly indicates the typology of the building within the culture, sociey and history. This leaves valuable thoughts to this projects, where the architectural background engaged with cultural and historical context while implementing engineering installation project. Therefore, this precedent supports the idea, which successful installation project comes from the fundamental understanding in architectural values in social and cultural typology while applying engineering technology.


Figure 2. ICD/ITKE - Research Pavilion 2017 © Burggraf / Reichert


Case study II

ICD/ITKE - Research Pavilion 2017 By University of Stuttgart

In the contemporary architectural typologies, fabrication is an important field which enables the unlimited design strategies alongside manufacturing. The architectural practices in twentieth first century seek to produce more radical design essentially in 3 ways, material, structure and manufacturing process. The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion has produced a series of pavilion project which is integrated with computational design, engineering and fabrication to broaden the architectural disciplines in future. The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 201617 is a good example of showing design futuring practice in architectural context. Goal of this project is to envision a fabrication of continuous fibre structure in a dramatic span3. The contemporary construction material - lightweight steel and high tensile enabled unique approach to both design and construction process. Materiality The building scaled structure is made of fabrication of glass and carbon fibre-reinforced composites. The surface of the overall length of 12m pre-fabricated structure was covered with the fibres. Methodology While traditional methods only fabricated in the full-scale surface moulds, previous project at the ICD/ITKE showed an ability of composite fabrication completely without the surface moulds.

Design Concept of the project is to analyse the functional construction of lightweight structure while implementing architectural disciplines such as using light and mass to provide the shelter to people, which is a main material of the project. The project is a combination of radical challenges in design and contruction process including free flow substructure and fibre reinforcement without formwork and surface created by layering fibre filaments in multiple stages. Current modern architecture is focused to research expressive technological development in materiality and methodology to achieve a desired visuality rather than historical, cultural or social typologies which has implemented in the past architectural footpath. According to Patrik Schumacher, project is an equipment to compare the phenomena with treatise by reordering the concepts instead of being a reflection towards the world 4. In this context, architectural projects that we commence need to be focused on much broder audiences with new typology of architecture. That is a breaking an egg and is to suggest a new direction to the future architectural practice. 3 Archdaily, ICD-ITKE Research Pavilion 2016-17 / ICD/ ITKE University of Stuttgart (2017), <https://www.archdaily. com>[Accessed 12 March 2018] 4 Schumacher, Patrik (2011). The Autopoiesis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 5





A.2 Digital Computation

Contemporary architecture differentiates its style from the past precedents5. A development in fabrication design enables to formulate design process while implementing technological advancement. This realization, triggered by emergence of simulation software to create design specified material, does not limit the design or form anymore. Thus, digital material fabrication technologies drawn by the digital computation also created a digital architecture 6 . In particular, digital creation and modulation of the elements allowed architect to break the boundaries between architecture, engineering science and manufacturing process. The parametric design creates unprecedented typologies which takes a control of the restriction or algorithmic procedures. To sum, digital computational practice allows designers to implement ecological design in accordance to environments by researching the design7. Some argues that the digitalization in architecture loss the poetics in culture, however the symbiotic design process integrated both architecture and technology is only just a way of practice 8 . 5 Oxman, R.. and R. Oxman (eds.). 2014. Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London, Newyork: Routiedge) 6 Oxman & Oxman, 2014 7 Oxman & Oxman, 2014 8 Frazer, J. J. 2006. ‘The Generation of Virtual Prototypes for perfomance optimization’. In Oosterhuis. K. and L. Feireiss (eds.) GameSetAndMatch II: The Architecture Co-Laboratory on Computer Games, Advanced Geometries and Digital Technologies (Rotterdam: Episode Publishes),pp. 208-212



Figure 3 Las Cigarreras de Alicante Cultural Space © David Frutos

Figure 4 Las Cigarreras de Alicante Cultural Space © The courtesy Tomas Amat Estudio de Arquitectura



Case study I

Las Cigarreras de Alicante Cultural Space By Tomas Amat Estudio de Arquitectura

Design is essentially a purposeful activity to improve the current environment by reshaping it 9. Methods of digital computation throughout the entire project allowed calculating and modulating the variation of elements in fabrication10. The La Cigarra is a meeting space for various commissions. The project architect Paul Belda describes the concept of the project, “We made an adjustment to the space in which we live. An insect adapted to the environment, a project conceived and designed specifically for Las Cigarrreras, which is not a space to use. It was not about making a normal cafe, but an exceptional work that would link with the surrounding cultural environment”. The primary design intention of the project is to ‘design the man made environment’ inspired by the insect and the surrounding environment of the site. In order to directly link the conception with construction under the strong architectural intention, the analysis of the form. The project is analyzed into three different part; head, body and tail. The head contains the core functional part of the entire building which utilize the kitchen, bar and cold storage etc. The junction between the tail and white chunky head is the body of insect as a building structure, where the exhibition is.

The tail, left part of the building in the figure 4, is parametrically modelled by architects and is pre-fabricated off-site. It represents skin of cicada, which slips out of their skin in every occasion, inspired by the geological location of the site where the insect lives. The each section explored different types of tectonics both separation and combination of skin and structure11. In particular, the continuous curvilinear form is manipulated to represent the skin by the control points and degree of the curve, which is parametrically engaged within the computation. While investigating the case study, it is found that the project is only enabled by digital fabrication method which manipulated by architect to combine the materiality and engineering technology from the very preliminary phase of the design process. Overall, the digital continuum enabled the design, engineering, manufacturing and production to be a realized organism to form the new typology in architecture in the XXI century12.

9. Kalay and Yehuda, Architecture’s New Media: Principles, The Theories and Methods of computer Aided Design (Cambridge:MIT Press,2004), p5. 10. Oxman & Oxman, 2014, pp 7. 11. Kolarevic and Branko, ‘The Digital Continuum’, in the Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing,(New York: London: Spon Press, 2003)p 41. 12. Archdaily, Las Cigarreras de Alicante Cultural Space / Tomás Amat Estudio de Arquitectura (201), <https://www.archdaily. com/775214/las-cigarreras-de-alicante-cultural-space-tomasamat-estudio-de-arquitectura>[Accessed 13 March 2018]



Figure 5 Interior view from the floor to top in the atrium © Hufton + Crow

Figure 6 Facade Tesselation © The courtesy of UNStudio



Case study II

Lane 189 By UNStudio

UNStudio is a well known architectural practitioner implementing the digitalized design realm to substantialize complex geometric forms. The firm showcases a collaboration of architectural conception, building material, engineering technologies and management throughout process. The project is to demonstrate ‘Old Shanghai’ feel by translating the chinese heritage such as geometry, pattern and tessellation, into modern architectural typologies. In the broader analysis, the building used two big digitalization technique in externally and internally. The façade of the building is articulated with the geometrically hexagonal grid, while the gradually resized facade components give a variation of the exposure for each part of the building 13. The three-dimensional components on the curved façade first modelled as a panel with a gradient size transition and are then articulated into three-dimensional assemblies for each geometry model.

The exposure of each segment contributes to manipulating the sunlight and exposure of the actual skin of the building depending on the area. This is more sophisticated geometry modelling than simple tessellation surface system by providing a richer repertoire of tessellation. Internally, the entire central atrium is enveloped with fabricated wooden structure. In this case study, the design adequately employed digitalizing technologies during the design process to generate the parametric modeling to analyse and sinthesize the design. Digitalized architecture now requires both logical conclusion and un-logical problem shooting15. To summarize, digital computation allowed designer to provide enough information in order to achieve the intended design strategies. It gathers manufacturing, production and tectonic system to produce a refined architecture compared to the early ages, which conception and construction of building was separated16 .

14. Archdaily, Lane 189 / UNStudio (201), <https://www.>[Accessed 13 March 2018] 15. Kalay and Yehuda, 2004, pp6. 16. Kalay and Yehuda, 2004, pp9.





A.3 Composition / Generation

“Future is not tomorrow, future is today” - Otto Frei Digitally computed performative design, parametric model and digital materiality radically forced contemporary architecture to the form generation style17. It is clearly seen that digital computed practice benefits all across the world, and the design tool has become much more intensified than before to produce more radical form generated design as requested from the eager of design futuring. Today, computer generation replaced countless necessity of physical experiments and model activities. In the other word, digital method allowed designer to break the field of fabrication, manufacturing, production, mathematics and engineering. The form generation is simulated based on algorithmic script by using computer’s language18 . Furthermore, this digitalized method requires architects to develop the algorithmic thinking. It is a reference that the replaced method for design is absorbed as part of a profession and skill in contemporary architecture industry.

17 Oxman & Oxman, 2014, pp.10 18 Peters, Brady, (2013) ‘Computation Works: The building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83,2, pp.9



Figure 7 Model for the Olympic Stadium Munich co-operated with Behnisch & Partners, Leonhardt and Andra © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn



Case study I

1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich By Atelier Frei Otto Warmbonn

Frei Otto’s integrated research in lightweight and tensile structure throughout his life created a new style of contemporary architecture and have made a tremendous impact across architecture as well as engineering. The Munich Olympic Stadium is remarkable in form-finding practice. The truly sophisticated architectural experiments of ‘physical, biological and technical processes which give rise to object’ was based on natural phenomena such as soap bubbles and spider web. Otto referred this activity as ‘systematic method of invention’19. Through his obsession, the Olympic stadium is based on a series of soap bubble experiments to test the capable structures. When enter the looped string into the soap bubble, a curved form is found. Based on this simple idea, Otto developed light weight structure for tremendous size of building. Furthermore, model development using geometrical data is directly translated into working drawing for construction work. Main material of the structure is lightweight steel and tensile, to create the free formed structure which has believed impossible until the completion of Munich Olympic stadium.

Otto’s radical and future driven architectural innovation became a landmark of the nation. Otto in his book ‘conversation with Otto’, mentioned that “Now it can be calculated, but for more than 40 years it was impossible to calculate it. I have not waited for it to be calculated in order to build it.” Today, this structural experiment is calculative in computer without physical experiments based on these previous obsession and eager for design futuring. Despite the skyrocket budget of the project, the passionate idea in natural phenomena to achieve sustainability and truly intensified multidisciplinary research is a commemorative achievement.

19. Archdaily, Frei Otto and the Importance of Experimentation in Architecture (2015), <https://www. name=recommendation>[Accessed 13 March 2018] 20. Pugnale, Alberto, ‘(Digital) Form-Finding’ in the AAD_Algorithms-Aided Design. (Le Penseur Publisher, 2014) pp.355



Figure 8 Sunset at Jean-Drapeau © Guilherme Garcia



Case study I

Montreal Biosphere By Buckminster Fuller

American architect Buckminster Fuller is well known by his radical geometric architecture located in Montreal. The geometric tessellation, consisted with pentagons placed in a hexagonal matrix, forms a perfect sphere. The present dome is remained only in skeleton structure after the fire event in1976. Ironically it embraces the sincerity of structural integration than the original design21. The transparent building structure represents the manmade environments for design futuring. The Biosphere consists with a repertoire of three-dimensional lightweight steel structure by engaging the members in hexagonal grids. The shell structure is mathematically calculated to be able to construct, the whole form of the structure is an analytical form-finding configured in tensegrity22. The self-equilibrium forms with minimum potential energy, are determined using genetic algorithmic. The simple but extremely complex to manipulate the degree of the each side of the sphere, creates a disclosure during the construction.

The capabilities in construcion to build the extremly complex algorithmic design was limited and Fuller’s original intension of design to send a message through architecture was not successful caused by the debates over practicality of the architecture. Although the structure is not an innovation like the previous example, Biosphere shows how architect applied science and architectural aesthetics in response to society. The analytical form generation calculated in mathmetical orders and algorithm by architect based on architectural full intention leaves a great impact to the today’s practice in architecture.

21 Archdaily, AD Classics: Montreal Biosphere / Buckminster Fuller (2014), <>[Accessed 15 March 2018] 22. Uzum, Fatih. Form-finding and analysis of an alternative tensegrity dome configuration, 20.11 (2017), 1644-1657



A.4 Conclusion

The digitalized environments made a tremendous impact across the world as well as the industry of architecture. The digitally aided design process enabled more précised planning to produce more complex geometry not only in architecture but also in product and material. Furthermore than the CAD world, it created possibilities for designers to actually employ craftsmanship through their architectural practice in a bigger picture by breaking the boundaries of engineer, manufacturer, consultants and construction management. Essentially, design is a creative action to change the existing condition to achieve better future. Based on the historical artefacts and knowledge gained from our ancestors, and the current ‘state of the world’ necessitate a new way of thinking – design for sustainment. To achieve sustainable design in architecture, the study of Design futuring suggests an importance of redirecting architectural practice based on humanity engaged with culture, social and economic value. The design futuring mindset then leads a current disclosure associated with digitalization in architectural practice, particularly in parametric design. Through the precious precedents and former attempts such as Otto frei in form generation practice induced countless subclassed styles such as form finding, grid shell and RC shell in particular. Thus, computation particularly in Grasshopper accommodated a calculation of the engineering mathematics for construction to easily implement during design process.



A.5 Learning Outcome

To briefly summarize my understanding throughout the learning materials, developing a style of form generation in parametric design method is placed for next stage. By engaging the eager of new way for practice, ‘design democracy’ is then realized to solve the global ‘climatic chaos’. The case studies of previous attempts in developing the design futuring with digital computation allows to attempt further practice based on the gained knowledge from the precedents. Digital computation is inevitable in today’s society to create manmade environments while employing sustainability with displines of the architectural design. By exploring the digitalization in architecture in topics of design futuring, design computation and composition/generation in a field of architecture, it emphasized the development of form generated parametric design. The task is clear through the research field; to understand the previous researches in form generated design and to develop the theory by practice using the algorithms.



STUDIO AIR ALGORITHM SKETCHBOOK 2017, SEMESTER 1, By Alessandro Liuti Sophia Buhm 916964










Buhm, Sophia, 916964 PartA  
Buhm, Sophia, 916964 PartA  

Week 1