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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brad Elias and Philip Belesky for their guidance and tutelage for which without it, the publication of this book would not have been possible.

Not forgetting my fellow group mates, Albert Cheng and Leong Yan Yi for their contribution and effort for the realisation of this project.

STUDIO 13, Semester 1, 2014 University of Melbourne Tutors: Brad Elias and Philip Belesky 2014 Architectural Design Studio: AIR Journal 2014 Architectural Design Studio: AIR Algorithmic Sketchbook Printed in Melbourne 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS A.00 Introduction


PART A A.01 Design Futuring 8 Sustainable Energy Technology 10 A.02 Design Computation 14 Precedent Works: Horten Headquarters 16 Precedent Works: KREOD 18

A.03 Composition/Generation 20 Precedent Works: The Yas Hotel 22 Precedent Works: Elephant House 24 A.04 Conclusion 26 A.05 Learning Outcomes 28 A.06 Appendix - Algorithmic Sketch 30 PART B B.01 Stripping and Folding 34 B.02 Case Study 1.0 36 B.03 Case Study 2.0 42 B.04 Technique: Development 50 B.05 Technique: Prototypes 62 B.06 Technique: Proposal 70 B.07 Learning Objectives and Outcomes 76 B.08 Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches 80 PART C C.01 Design Concept 82 C.02 Tectonic Elements 100 C.03 Final Model 108 C.04 Additional LAGI Brief Requirements 124 C.05 Learning Objectives and Outcomes 126 Bibliography 128 3



Live, Laugh, Love The three things that has led me into becoming the person that I am today.

Live - Carpe Diem; living my life to the fullest, seizing every opportunity that comes my way. Laugh - Laughter is the best medicine; being happy and positive in every situation, taking a look at various situations with a different perspective and optimism. Love - Loving everything; the world in this day and age could really do with a little love.

My name is Leon Cheng and I come from the sunny city of Singapore. I would like to think that my interest in Architecture grew from various extreme factors; from my hatred of the space planning within my little, densely packed apartment to my love of playing with 'LEGO' blocks, my self fulfilling prophecy of being a left handed, believing that I am born to be creative and to my self-diagnosed mild obsessive compulsive disorder. My dream of becoming an Architect did not materialise until I enrolled into the Bachelor of Environments (Architecture). It was only after I completed my Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering (due to parental influences), was I determined to follow my dreams in the gruelling world of Architecture. The architectural profession is more than meets the eye and that is what intrigues me. Not only will I get to design buildings that will have an influence to people’s social and cultural behaviours, I would be able to interact and manage with people from various disciplines.

Digital Architecture has definitely made an impact in the industry today. I picked up AutoCAD and CATIA as drafting and modelling programs during my Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering and went on to intern for DPArchitects. 4

During which, I produced tender drawings and worked on projects in Mandalay, Myanmar, Singapore and Dong Guan, China, refining my skills in AutoCAD, Google Sketchup and learnt the invaluable skill of Photoshop. However, it is a pity that these programs are not favourable for parametric designing and therefore I look forward to having Rhino and Grasshopper skills to facilitate exploration of complex design. Parametric modelling with algorithmic input opens up the spectrum of design possibilities that even we might not be able to illustrate.


This project is located along the Yarra River, surrounded by steep terrain, segregating it from the urban areas of Kew. The panorama of natural views allows for specific framing of the expression of various elements of nature. The image below is a design concept emulating Alvaro Siza’s design philosophies such as the connection of internal and external spaces, specific framing of views and the addition and subtraction of geometric forms.




[1] Artist's illustration of a perspective view


FRESH CLOUDS The site, formally a landfill, is releasing up to 19,000 cubic feet of methane gas into the atmosphere per minute. Fresh cloud attempts to clean and convert methane gas into energy, which is then supplied back into the power grid. It also aims to convert the landfill site into a usable space for social activities, learning and an indicator of energy usage for the people. Fresh Clouds would drive a change towards a more sustainable and liveable city, achieved by educating the public and providing an indication of the energy consumption to the people.

[2] Typical Structural Form

1. "Fresh Clouds", Thomas Kosbau, et al, date not specified, http://


[1], [2]. Thomas Kosbau, et al, Fresh Clouds, date not specified, http://

[3] Artist's Illustration of a Night Perspective view showing coloured indicators of energy usage

Seven clouds located throughout the site provide an interactive experience for users. These ecological learning centres include topics such as2: - Fresh Kills Renewable Project Interpretation - Local VS Global Consumption - Climate Change - Local VS Global Water Pollution - New Technologies - Local VS Global Air Pollution - The Earth's Future

Located throughout the site, these ecological learning centres allows for users to explore and walk through the entire site, generating energy through exercise and creating a positive spirit.

Projects like this will drive future similar projects into incorporating a multitude of positive impacts on social, educational and environmental well-being. However, the process of human interaction with the spaces should be further elaborated. Issues such as regulating the number of people in each 'cloud' would be required.

2. "Fresh Clouds", Thomas Kosbau, et al, date not specified, http://

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) has definitely set the pace for project developments to keep up with. The intention of which, is to promote a sustainable lifestyle through means of built environment and education through experience. Designers are inclined to discover and explore various ways to redefine and lift the term "sustainable energy" into a way of life. Such initiatives, not only create awareness for the construction profession, it also educates the public and portrays sustainable energy as an important function in the world today.

Furthermore, the education system now, in the University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Environments (Architecture) exposes me to the importance of sustainable energy (Natural Environments, Environmental Building Systems and Reshaping Environments) in the future of our Earth.

As we move towards the future, the introduction of parametric algorithmic design will allow us to redefine the design process and allow us to work with data inputs to achieve the best possible outcome.

[3]. Thomas Kosbau, et al, Fresh Clouds



Have you ever wondered how the tree of energy distribution worked? The energy from the sun is taken in by the plants and into its fruits, which is then consumed by animals and humans beings. The energy consumed by us, human beings, is then converted to kinetic energy through activities and actions. But this energy goes into the ground, which is then dissipated. What if we are able to create a connecting loop by gathering energy that is going into the ground and convert it into electrical energy to power our appliances?

[4] Sustainable Energy Floor used in a linkway

[5] Application in an outdoor environment

This is where Piezoelectricity comes into place. Piezoelectricity is generated through mechanical pressure such as walking or the wind blowing, to cause a depression in the device which stimulates a negative and positive charge, generating electricity3.

Kinetic energy from human movement is redefined and harvested from activities such as walking and dancing by using the forces to generate electrical charges as the device is altered from its original equilibrium state. Sustainable Energy Floors allow for an array of energy applications such as digital energy meter, energy tower, battery, photo application, gaming setups, charging or powering and LED wristbands.


3. Can music solve the energy crisis?, Maria Trimarchi,, date not specificed, http://science. [4]. Tom Lombardo, Application of Sustainable Energy Floor, 19 June 2013, Artist’s Impression, ArticleID/5879/Power-Walking-with-Energy-Floors.aspx.

[5]. Energy Floors, Diagrammatic illustration of Energy Floor, 2011, http://www.

The key feature of sustainable energy floor is its feedback system. Real time feedback of the energy generated from the energy floor is provided to the users4. Information from the feedback system intrigues users to pay more attention to the amount of energy that one is able to generate by a simple task such as walking. Such information would allow users to have a sense of scale to how much energy they are able to produce. An individual module measures at 500 x 500 x 80mm, producing from 2 to 20 Joules per step, depending on the maximum deflection, weight and type of movement; each tile would generate up to 15 Watts on average and up to 25 Watts peak5. Modules can be made from various sustainable materials including recycled ceramic, plastic lumber, recycled asphalt, glass and bamboo6.

[7] Diagrammatic Illustration of Energy Floor

4. “Energy Applications”, Energy Floors, 2011, products/energy_applications/. 5, 6. “Sustainable Energy Floor”, Tom Black, 13 May 2013, Blog/2013/May/Sustainable-Energy-Floor.

[6] An experiential dancing on the Sustainable Energy Floor

[8] Application building entrances

[6]. Energy Floors, Experimental dacning floor [7]. Lombardo, Energy Floor [8]. Energy Floors, Application


"A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright


[9] Parametric Furniture Design

The art of designing buildings have evolved through the years of civilisation, through cultural changes, social requirements, political movements and technology advancements. As technology developed in the 20th century, the world was introduced to a virtual three dimensional world digital computation, where design schematics can be drawn in space and tested out, saving heaps of time and money. By simply looking around us, there are a myriad of items that consists of irregular complex shapes (e.g. Shaver, toothbrush, utensils, cars, etc.). However, buildings around us today, are still very much filled with basic geometrical shapes. It is no surprise that the building industry was amongst the last to start exploring new technologies7.

One of the leading architects whose project led the digital computation ‘revolution’ was Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum built in 19978. It marks the beginning of the digital computation age, where buildings are formalised and construed into a three dimensional world of digital representation where solutions are generated within the set of input parameters. These modelling tools are designed and programmed by humans to form a series of logic to solve problems or execute a specified task.


7. Branko, Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spoon Press, 2003), 6. 8. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge, eds 2014), 1-10. 9. Kalay, Yehuda E. Architecture's New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of ComputerAided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), 5-25.

[10] Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

This provided designers to be able to test and experiment with new forms. Moreover, Digital inputs of data on materials can facilitate in computer numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication. This would mean that materials would be more accurate in dimensions, pre-fabricated, saving time and can be tested digitally before manufacturing it9.

[9] Rocker Lange Architects, Urban Adapter, 7 Jan 2010, Photograph, http://rocker-lange. com/blog/?p=216. [10] Sputnik Shuffle, The Crisis of Architecture and the New Imaginary, 16 Oct 2011, Photograph,

[11] Algorithmic Architecture

Traditionally, architectural designs often come from one’s pre-conceived ideas of a form or are inhibited by one’s ability to generate the form within the digital World itself10. As the building industry start to explore design possibilities, designing methods shifts from construing an “imagined” design to “discovering” design or as Kolarevic would say, “...making of form” to “finding of form”...”11 In parametric design, designs are defined by numerical inputs instead of defining a particular shape; as such, varying the inputs allow for the form to be manipulated according to the algorithms defined12. We are now able, with the aid of algorithmic computation, come up with an infinite number of forms using variable inputs of real-life data, constraints and a list solutions. This results in designs and complex shapes that even we could not have imagined or drawn [11].

Not only does it provide a range of solutions, it also provides the architect variations of solutions that is formulated between the intended input constraints and all possible variations within it. This provides an avenue for sustainable architecture to develop and integrate into architectural projects.

With the aid of algorithmic computation, substantial data can be acquired but it is the job of the architect to educate developers and strive for a better future. It is essential for sustainable energy to be revamped from being perceived as an expensive and a green star requirement to being the path forward into a sustainable Earth for the future. However, with all that’s being said and done, we must now find a way to bridge the gap between the rationality of computational design and the practicality of political and economic powers.

Now that the communication between the Architect and other disciplines have been breached by the introduction of technology, it opens the door to multidisciplinary level of designing. Providing constant feedback and inputs to the design, including problem solving and resolution as the design process is carried out. 10. Stanslav Roudavski, Studio Air, Lecture 2, 'Design & Computation', University of Melbourne, 12. Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, 17. 13 March 2014. [11] Evolo, Inhabitable Bridge, 13 July 2011, Artist's Impression, 11. Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, 13. architecture/algorithmic-architecture-inhabitable-bridge-in-tokyo/.


PRECEDENT WORKS - HORTEN HEADQUATERS PROJECT: HORTEN HEADQUARTERS (2009) ARCHITECT: 3XN LOCATION: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK The Horten Headquaters is a commercial building aims to reach new heights in sustainable building by exceeding existing regulations for energy performance with solutions such as high insulation, ease of installation and excellent thermal panels13.

The outcome of the project is achieved by using custom digital tools developed to form a series of arithmetic logic, where solutions of the complex design are derived through an indepth understanding of geometrical princples14.

The interesting thing about this project is that GXN, a team of eight architects, designers, researchers and engineers, are actively involved in the planning15. This goes to show that industries now are engaging multidisciplinary teams early in the design phase, producing a solution that combines both design and sustainability. The inter-disciplinary collaboration introduces an avenue for various disciplines to share and exchange valuable input, striving for the perfect solution.

[12] Night Perpsective: Horten Headquarters

Furthermore, collaborations a wider range of network and levels of professions such as manufacturers, educational institutions, scientists, artists and partners from the manufacturing industry will foster innovative contributions towards a sustainable future16.

[13] Day Perpsective: Horten Headquarters


13. Jorgensen, Kasper Guldager, "GXN: Building Networks for Collaborative Research on Materials in Architecture", Architectural Design 81, no. 6: 75. 14. Jorgensen, Kasper Guldager, "Research on Materials in Architecture", 73 15. Jorgensen, Kasper Guldager, "Research on Materials in Architecture", 73 16. Jorgensen, Kasper Guldager, “Research on Materials in Architecture�, 73

[12]. Adam Mork, Horten Headquaters, 2009, Photograph, Archdaily, http://www.archdaily. com/43658/horten-headquarters-3xn/horten-kbhdk3xn/, (18 March 2014) [13]. Mork, Horten Headquaters. [14]. Mork, Horten Headquaters.

[14] Horten Headquarters Windows

The fact that 3XN poured in resources to engage a multi-discipline team, GXN, shows the transition into an important phase in the role architecture firms today. It shows the role architectural firms have in the bid to strive towards a sustainable future.

And with the aid of design computation, designers would then be able to key in various data inputs from various disciplines, important parameters and constraints to generate various possibilities that are not pre-conceived.



[15] Perspective: KREOD Pavilion

Evolute GmbH is a high-tech company that is anchored on geometric computing expertise in modern architecture where complex freeform designs are derived and solved by using design computation methods17. KREOD, is a product of design computation involving digital modelling, analysis, geometry optimisation, production data generation and data exchange platform18. The usage of digital tools in the design process resulted in a hexagonal panel layout. This enables the design team to test out various forms and patterns to obtain an optimal strength in the structure. Figure 16 (left) shows a parametric algorithmic computation, studying the patterns for KREOD's facade, resulting in the hexagonal pattern. This will save the design team time and cost from physically testing the patterns out. 17, 18. "Evolute delivers geometry for KREOD", Evolute the geometry experts, 14 Nov 2012,


[16] Parametric pattern analysis

[15]. Pavilion Architecture, KREOD, 2012, Photograph, evolute blog, http://blog.evolute. at/?p=407, (18 March 2014) [15]. Pavilion Architecture, Parametric pattern analysis

Subsequently, the details of the joints are resolved injecting data into the parametric design. Here, a balance between the strength and visual acuity of the entire structure is carefully solved. Finally, the entire data set of the parametric design, once resolved, is sent for Computer Numerical Control (CNC) fabrication, where the respect parts are fabricated with minimal wastage and maximum accuracy19. This is yet another fine example of how parametric design is taking a step into the 21st century to show the industry on the possibility and opportunities that it has to offer.

The role of KROED does not only create a space for us to gather and interact, promoting social sustainability, it also educates the users on parametric designing, sustainable architecture and possibly the importance of sustainability in the world today.

[17] Parametric computation of entire structure

[18] Parametric joint analysis

As a student experiencing the advancement in technology and the emergence of a different designing method, it is intriguing to see how parametric design can change styles of architecture, impression of sustainable energy and lead the world towards a sustainable future.

[19] Night perspective 19. "Evolute delivers geometry for KREOD", Evolute the geometry experts, 14 Nov 2012, [17]. Pavilion Architecture, Parametric computation of entire structure

[18]. Pavilion Architecture, Parametric joint analysis [19]. Pavilion Architecture, Night Perspective



[20] Michael Hansmeyer Computational Columns


[20] Michael Hansmeyer, Computational Architecture, Columns, Photograph, http://www., (24 March 2014) 20. Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, 83 (2013), 2, 11

21. Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, “Definition of ‘Algorithm” in The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press, eds 1999), 11-12 22. Brady, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, 15

With the introduction of computational tools in architectural design, architectural firms are now redefining their design methods and process; the roles of computational designer however, varies in different companies ranging from formulating basic algorithms to integrating parametric design into the design process20. In any case, parametric design is finally making its way into the building industry in different ways. The designing process is redefined into form generation rather than emulation. Forms can be expressed and generated through algorithmic computation of data inputs, that the designers themselves would not have imagined21. This process is made up of a series of simple coded algorithms that is written to produces outputs from varying inputs.

Generation of design forms opens up different avenues for designers to explore unique forms and materials that are otherwise too expensive to test or difficult to illustrate with existing tools22.



The 5,800 diamond-shaped glass panel grid shell of the Yas Hotel is generated by the use of Digital ProjectTM and CatiaTM V5 PLM; here, a wire framing is developed, which is then subjected to a series of codes, allowing for analysis and detection23. This allows for materials and details to be resolved and tested for optimal outcome. [21] The Yas Hotel

[22] The Yas Hotel 23. Christoph Gengnagel, “Computational design modelling : proceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin 2011”, (Berlin : Springer, c2011), 267.


[21] bform technologies, EvoluteTools PRO, YAS Island Marina Hotel Panel Layout, http://www. [22] F1 Fanatic, Yas Marina, Abhu Dhabi - Circuit Information, Photograph, http://www.

As the facade contains a large pool of information, specific node mapping, search strategies and indexing strategy is employed. Respective lines are coded with a reference number which intersects another line, producing a systematic number reference to the exact intersection within the entire grid layout24.

With the help of computational tools, working on such a complex form, made up of a multitude of connecting joints and intersecting frame, quickens the process and allows for easier management of problems as well as solutions for the project. [23] The Yas Hotel Night Perspective

[24] The Yas Hotel Night Perspective 24. Gengnagel, Computational design modelling : proceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin 2011, 271.

[23] Dezeen, The Yas Hotel by Asymptote, Photograph, the-yas-hotel-by-asymptote/. [24] Joachim Lang, Hotel Yas Marina - Abu Dhabi, Photograph, 28 March 2013, http://www.


PRECEDENT WORKS - ELEPHANT HOUSE PROJECT: ELEPHANT HOUSE (2002-8) ARCHITECT: FOSTER AND PARTNERS LOCATION: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK This project was developed from a cutting out parts of two intersecting torus (donut shape), which formed the roofing of the enclosure. Several factors such as thermal performance, light, weight, glazed domes allowing for visual connection with the sky and minimizing visual impact on the landscape was considered; the design was then put through a parametric modeling program which allows for generative design possibilities, exploration of different panel types, distribution of the grids and solving the fittings of respective connections25. The tree like patterns are generated through the parametric computer model by applying an algorithmic pattern which helps to fill up the respective glaze with the patterns in accordance to the constraints set out. This project shows how parametric modelling can help with the patterning and design of the enclosure roof with multiple constraints25.

[25] Elephant House Parametric Analysis


25. “Elephant House, Copenhagen Zoo”, Brady Peters, Brady Peters, date not specified, http:// 26.“Elephant House, Copenhagen Zoo”, Brady Peters, Brady Peters, date not specified, http://

[25] E Pihl & Son, New Elephant House,

[26] Elephant House

[26] Brady Peters, Elephant House,


A.04 CONCLUSION There is without a doubt that the way we design becoming redefined. The introduction of algorithmic computation has not only led to a revelation in the building industry, it has also evolved the way design ideas are brought forward. Being able to generate a form based on data sets collected opens up a world of possibilities in design outcomes. Furthermore it allow for better, faster and more accurate communication between the various disciplines. The fabrication process of the KREOD project (pg. 1819) is one example of how the fabrication process can not only save cost and time but also produce accurate products for construction by CNC fabrication.

Brady Peters discussed about how computational designers are emerging into the architectural profession and classified them into four various form of influences27. This shows that a new form of architectural language is being developed in the architectural discourse. Simple data inputs subjected to a series of algorithms introduces a whole new spectrum of possible forms. A list of variable inputs from us will be inserted into the parametric design tool through a series of mathematical equations in the form of boxes (in Grasshopper) which then produces an output, presented in graphical representation.

[27] Zaha Hadid - One North Master Plan 27. Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought�, Architectural Design, 83 (2013), 2, 11


[27]OpenBuildings, One North Masterplan, Digital Illustration, buildings/one-north-masterplan-profile-2905.

All these digital revolution that is happening does not mean that we as humans, are unable to generate designs analogically. We, are able to generate forms in an analog form but it would take a long period of time to manually calculate the eventual form. The computer, is just merely a fail-safe tool to help us achieve our desired goal. Ultimately, is it the mathematical equations that programmers define for specific ‘functions’ within the parametric design tool.

However, many of the parametric precedents currently in the world today are either small scaled installations or facade designs, which do not take efficiency into consideration. Many of such designs does not affect the internal geometrical layout of buildings. The Yas Hotel (pg 22-23) is an example where its facade is designed parametrically but the internal spaces are regular. Are we then, able to find a connection between parametric designs and our functional spaces such as homes, offices and shops?

Zaha Hadid’s masterplan for One North (Singapore), emulates flow and inorganic shapes into the plan. However, will developers develop on the respective land plots that come in irregular shape and sizes? Here we are faced with the balancing of design fluidity and practicality, where we must find the right balance.


A.05 LEARNING OUTCOMES The emergence of parametric design into the building industry is beginning to shape how architectural firms operate and create. Algorithmic computation provides fast and precise calculations through algorithms to formulate specific patterns or details which then can be fabricated by the distribution of data.

Furthermore, the ease of data distribution facilitates the introduction of multi-disciplinary inputs into the design process. The designing progress is now moving ahead in parallel with inter-disciplines instead of progressing in series, one at a time. This would quicken the design process, save time and also provide potential problems which will surface in later stages of the project.

[28] Reza Ali, EMERGENT, [28] Reza Ali, EMERGENT,


The generation of design, achieved by variable inputs into the algorithm, allows the generated form to be altered without having a pre-conceived idea. These generated forms are worked within the constraints set by the user to define boundaries for the form. A selective process can then be conducted on a multitude of outcomes to pick out the best.

The use of these parametric programs thus, the next step forward into the future of design. However, as mentioned in my conclusion, I would like to explore and discover the possibilities that parametric modeling possesses, with the goal of linking efficiency with generative design.

If we are to pursue and explore into the path of parametric design to develop ideas based on data inputs, then at the end of the day, is the role of an architect any different now?

And with that, I would like to end off with a quote from Karrie Jacobs:

Crumpled, folded, rounded showoff “wow” buildings will become increasingly commonplace — but they’ll no longer be designed by the stars. The only true stars will be the guys who design the parametric software. - Karrie Jacobs


A.06 APPENDIX - ALGORITHMIC SKETCH Refer to Leon Cheng, Studio Air, Semester 1 2014 - Algorithmic Sketch Book



The stripping and folding method of designing is essentially the product of strips which are bent and contorted (folding) to form various curved surfaces. The facade can be formed by multiple strips of materials put together, creating a pattern or a mobius strip [29].

With folding, materials are bent and contorted into various shapes, testing the material’s structural performance as seen in the ICD / ITKE Research Pavilion [30].

[29] Maria Mingallion, ComtemPLAY Pavilion

In most cases, we can observe the stripping and folding design system with the use of timber or even metal as it provides the ductility as well as the strength to be folded.

The stripping and folding method of design maximises the use of material performances and at the same time creates a patterning effect for the facades which is by itself, structural28. Maximising the structural potential of materials would eventually render the structure more ‘sustainable’ and cheaper to construct. Furthermore, the contortion of strips would allow for a wider range of forms to be generated. This in turn could reduce space wastage and create various interesting spaces for different functions. In this case, it would fit into the LAGI design brief.


28. Jessica Escobedo, Double Agent White in Series of Prototypical Architectures / Theeverymany, July 28, 2012, 29. Jessica Escobedo, Double Agent White, July 28, 2012 30. Marc Fornes, in conversation with Sophie Fetro, Sache, July 9, 2012

[30] ICD/ITKE Uni Stuttgart

[29]. Maria Mingallion, ContemPLAY Pavilion, 2012, index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=20684. [30] ICD/ITKE Uni Stuttgart, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion, http://www.oliverdavidkrieg. com/?page_id=123.

Project: Double White Agent Architect: Marc Fornes / Theverymany Location: Residency at the Atelier Calder Double agent white was developed from intersecting nine various spheres, forming a curved pavilion. The project is able to maximise the degree of morphological freedom whilst using the least amount of components. This provided the project with “structural continuity”, “visual interplay”, and “logistical efficiency”29. Individual aluminum panels were subjected to a series of coding to generate the various perforations, similar to tessalation patterns30.

The Double White Agent project is relatively different from the other stripping and folding projects in the sense that there no significant strips can be seen. However, if you look close enough, the composition of the spheres consists of many perforated strips attached along side with one another.

There is no distinct structural component to be seen. The entire structure is held up by maximising the material performances as well as the degree in which the individual intersecting spheres intersect.

[31] Sophie Fetro, Double Agent White [31]. Sophie Fetro, Marc Fornes: Double Agent White, Photograph, 2012, Double-Agent-White-prototype-d.



The formulation of this project is divided into two main phases. The grasshopper algorithm below shows clear distinction between the two phases. The algorithm begins with an input of four basic curves which is then extrapolated into the final form.

[32] Biothing, Seroussi Pavillion [32]. Biothing, Seroussi Pavillion, Digital Illustration, March 24, 2010,



species 1

Changed the circle component into a variable polygon

species 2

Changed the vector component from point force to a spin force

species 3

Added a jitter component to a random reduce component to generate the random positions of the ‘leg’ extensions

species 4

Took the final output of the original formula and lofted the ends with a straight function followed by creating a triangular mesh

species 5

Took the final output of the original formula and extruded a polygon around the ‘leg’ extensions.


ITERATIONS Increase number of points on divided curve

Increased Radius Increase number of points on divided curve

Increased Radius Alteration of ‘leg’ like structure

Polygon Shape Changed Alteration of ‘leg’

Decreased radius and Increased frequency of points sample Alteration of ‘leg’ Increased number of sides Change in geometry

selection and criteria Four of the most successful iterations have been selected to be further elaborated on. The selections were based on how the design responds to the site brief.

The extruded polygons acting as roofing structures enables this design to be possibly viable. Here, I can picture a huge pavilion with different zones with varying light penetration as one enters. The intersecting polygons would create an interesting shadow play within the pavilion and also allows varying amount of natural light to illuminate the canopy. This canopy can be used for social gatherings and carnivals. Metal could be used in this construction as it would require a number of intersecting roof components in an extensive range.

Construction of this particular design may be challenging, but it introduces a flow in circulation for users. The spiraling features from the various point nodes can represent the flow of energy around us and also creates an interesting space of varying intensity. As one enters from the right, they will be led into the main area through a series of ‘energy’ flows. This sculptural feature can be used as an educational space on energy flow and also a social gathering spot for all walks of life. Sculpted timber or strips of timber can be used to fabricate this design.


Considerations were made based on constructability, potential functionality, ease of introduction of sustainable energy modules, spatial atmosphere and circulation.

Distinct structural elements in the form of stripping and folding can be identified easily. It creates a free flowing space with a common area in the middle. The form can also be seen as a landscape contouring where the emphasis is towards the middle section. This sculptural design can be used as a social gathering spot as well as an event space for various activities.

This design resembles a mountain range. It is composed of straight lines, which is preferred in construction. Triangulation patterns also help with the ease of construction and installation of energy panels. The alternating roof levels introduces an interesting range of spatial atmosphere within the structure.

This structure can be used as a canopy for events and social functions. Metal could be used in this design to create a framing system for triangulation to take place.


B.03 CASE STUDY - 2.0



[34] ContemPLAY Pavilion,

[33]. Farmmresearch, ContemPLAY Pavilion, 8 April 2014, [34]. Farmmresearch, ContemPLAY Pavilion, 8 April 2014,


This lightweight timber and steel structure serves as a hands-on investigation of new methods of practice.31 The pavilion is meant to aesthetically engage it’s users through it’s unique design and by playing in a single clear gesture, making use of the möbius strip form and moire effect created by the doublelayered timber cladding.32 users would experience optical fluctuation due to the composition of the form and cladding.

The masters students divided the process to three block; firstly, defining the volume to contain the structure, secondly, designing the structural system [34] and deriving the cladding elements, and finally, mapping them onto the curves.33

The ContemPLAY pavilion is a reflection on how a complex stripping and folding can be realised. Since these timber strips are double cladded, there is a need to ensure that there is no overlap of strips that would prevent the moiré effect.

On the tallest section of the pavilion, the outer cladding is relatively straight while the inter cladding is most curved at that location. Furthermore, the möbius strip is a very complicated form. With the help of digital modeling software this continuous, fluid shape can be easily achieved and further developed. The final pavilion outcome could only be achieved through various iterations and mock-ups that were designed through computation. Many problems would not have been realized and resolved if not for the prototypes built and these prototypes could only be constructed through the use of computation.

[35] ContemPLAY Pavilion, Structural Framing

31. Farmmresearch, 2011, 8 April 2014, pavilion/desc.html. 32. McGill University, 2011,8 April 2014, contemplay-pavilion-172611. 33. Archdaily, 2012, 8 April 2014,

[35]. Farmmresearch, ContemPLAY Pavilion Structural Framing, 8 April 2014, http://www.



Generating the structural bracing from two initial curves drawn in Rhino. Intermediate bracings are defined by the distance between the relative points on the curve with respect to one another.

Trusses are seperately defined and mapped onto the lofted profile of the two initial curves.

The bracings are further rotated tangent to the angle of the overall structure.

There were some problems encountered in the process of generating the strips. Many methods of drawing a curve, such as ‘Geodesic’, ‘Interpolate’, and ‘BiArc’ were used. However, it was not possible to generate a rather gradual curve.


From the initial curves, lines are drawn based on the number of division of the initial curves, which is then offset inwards to produce the inner cladding.

The same method is used to create the diagonal strips on for the outer cladding

To produce the diagonal strips, shift list was used to propagate the points in the direction of the slant.

The final stage of the reverse engineering definition was the compilation of different branches of definitions of the bracing, truss, interior and exterior curves. It was important to fuse various repeated components across the four seperate definitions to ensure consistency in the profile.






selection criteria

The selection of the various iterations was based on several key factors, such as buildability, technology, feasibility, interaction and cost. Firstly, we must ensure that the selected project fall in between the fine line of ‘simple’ and ‘complex’.

Next, as integration of sustainable energy is of our main concern in this design, we must ensure that designs are able to allow for mechanical components to be integrated. Ensuring that designs fit into the site’s context is also crucial in the selection. The other important factor considered is the interaction between the design aesthetics and users of the site. It is important to create an engaging experience for users.

With the design aesthetics, we aim to induce a technologically advanced affect onto users by interacting with the pavilion. Users would leave the pavilion feeling they have learnt something or experienced something unique.

Last but not least, it is important to keep in mind the potential cost of the designs by ensuring the presence of simple connections and parts for fabrication.



species 1

species 2

species 3

species 4

species 5

species 6

species 7

species 8

species 9

species 10

species 11

species 12


1. Strong relation to stripping and folding of strips, forming a rather intriguing space and views into and out of the sculpture.

2. A rather interesting but complex form that symbolises a flower, with varying intensity and thickness of strips, creating an interesting space.


3. Relating back to the precedent study, the use of moirĂŠ effect is an interesting option, along with a simple frame that would be rather easy to install.

The moirĂŠ effect is a favourable choice here as it engages the visual senses of users by simulating movement as one looks across the overlapping strips.

Here, there is potential to allow for strips to vibrate between the anchor points of the strips to faciliate piezoeletric energy generation. This is facilitated by the strong winds of the site.

4. Varying heights of the pavilion allows for views to emerge within the pavilion along with the strips generating the moirĂŠ effect creates a rather engaging space.



physical prototype MATERIAL TESTING Experimentation with various materials such as metal wires, polyester strings and cotton strings were chosen based on the stiffness of the material. Metal wire represents the potential of metal cables tensioned across the bracings and polyester strings represent synthetic fibers

Testing of the moiré effect was first conducted with the three materials by looking at the effectiveness based on various thicknesses of the materials. We found that the cotton strings had moiré effect. As a result, we would increase the diameter of pipe in the grasshopper definition. The use of metal wire and polyester strings help inform us of the different overall affect that it creates. The metal wires would create a rather ‘hard’ surface and the polyester strings would create a ‘softer’ approach.

Metal Wire

Polyester String

Fixing the bracings together too, posed several solutions to our structural layout of the pavilion. In this model, we fabricated a column like structure with slots to fix the bracings in. We had in mind the concept of having the pavilion to be easily put together and constructed without the need for complex connections and extensive manpower. Cotton String


The picture above shows the testing of how the structural elements (represented in black) of the pavilion can be slotted into the bracing (white) at 30° angles to form a structurally sound structure. The weight applied onto the structure was approximately 300% of the structural elements. The diagonal structural elements could be blended into the pavilion along the direction of the moirÊ strips and hence create an uninterrupted pattern.

The dovetail connection was tested here with regards to using timber as our main material for the entire pavilion. This was one of the way in which the timber strips could be fixed onto the timber bracing through dovetail cutouts in the bracing for simple installation. However, we realised through the prototyping process that since our moirĂŠ strips would be diagonal, it would be difficult to flat fabricate diagonal cut outs for attaching the strip cladding.


digital prototype STRUCTURAL COLUMN TO BRACING CONNECTION The following digital prototypes were modeled for testing the various types of connections between the bracing and the structural support.

With having simple fixtures in mind, we tested the visual appearance of having vertical angle bars to secure the bracing, horizontal angle bars behind and an extended tab on the bracing attached to the structrual support.

Vertical Angle Bar Fixture

We always kept in mind that the external cladding has to be kept free in order to allow for an uninterrupted strip cladding.

With the option of either cladding to be attached onto the external and internal surface of the brace or having cables strung through holes on the bracing, this simple modeling exercise has allowed us to better visualise and foresee the problems that can arise in the fabrication process. Thus, we have concluded that an extended bracing would be adopted to allow for uninterrupted flow of strips.

Horizontal Angle Bar Fixture

Extended Bracing to slot into structural support


The above image shows how we resolved the connections between the structural columns and the bracing. Initially we faced problems with the columns as they were not perpendicular to the bracing at respective points and thus would present problems for installation. As a result, the columns now would be orientated perpendicular to the bracing at respective points despite changes in the base curves.



Curved Strips*

Straight strips with one at 5° tilt*

Radial Strips*

Zigzag strips offset vertically*

Further research into the moiré effect had led us to experiment with various forms, different from the curves in the contemPLAY pavilion. Here, we have tested out various shapes and see a potential in expanding our design variations. The zigzag strips were on top of the list as it would facilitate ease in installation and fabrication.

* The moire effect can not be seen here in a static setting.


Digital Prototype after Kangaroo Physics Plug-in

We then used the definition and applied kangaroo physics to the strips to see what kind of effect the strips produce aesthetically. Through various alteration of the stiffness and rest length, we derived with an optimal number which simulated a vibration-like effect.

But of course, data of the stiffness of various materials to be used must be further researched on and put back into the definition to accurately simulate the effect.



SITE RESPONSE SITE INFORMATION Denmark is located far up into the Northern Hemisphere, the sunlight hours are inconsistent throughout the years with an average of 7 hours during winter and 17 hours during summer at approximately 15mph.34 Based on the wind data collected from 06180 Kobenhavns Lufthavn, the average speed recorded from all directions were 5.7m/s; Most amount of wind at 240° (South West), recorded at an average of 6.3m/s with the greatest speed of 21.6m/s.35


Wind Direction



With the effect of kineticism by the moiré effect as well as the vibration of the strips, the pavilion would seem like it is actually moving. This would create awareness of how movement can be directly related to the generation of electricity. Furthermore, this pavilion would send a message to the people of how Copenhagen is moving (kineticism) towards a sustainable future. This pavilion would be a reminder for the people to save energy.

A total of three pavilions, varying in design, would be located on the site with surface areas responding to the direction of wind. The pavilions are strategically laid out to prevent interruption of wind flow across the site.

34. Weatherspark, Sun - Daily Hours of Daylight and Twilight, 28 Apr 2014, https://weatherspark. com/averages/28823/Kastrup-near-Copenhagen-Capital-Region-of-Denmark. 35. Danish Meteorological Institute, Observered Wind Speed and Direction in Denmark - with Climatological Standard Normas, 1961-90,, 135.


However, in order to generate more electricity, vertical height must be increased. As such, the intent of exposing certain views to the west, allowing users to experience views with and without the moiré stirps would be affected.

Layout Plan

View showing the background emerging from the pavilion


View from across the river



Learning objectives & outcomes The realisation of a project must not only be focusing on concept, ideas and the exploration of parametric design. It is important that as we generate designs, we too must constantly refer back to the design brief and to identify the main aim and work towards it.

With respect to the generation of energy, it is essential to conduct further research into the fields of our selected renewable energy in accordance to the site data (e.g. amount of energy piezoeletric strips can produce with certain amount of wind). Therefore, research would be done to approximate the amount of energy that can be generated to understand the potential scale of renewable energy in our design. As we progress further into the design phase, these data collected would further influence the design as we make changes to optimise the pavilion.

Resolution of joints, connections between structural and nonstructural elements remain an important part as we start to consider the fabrication process. There is plenty of research, testing and prototyping to be done and this would be the beginning as we decide on the specific design to extrapolate.

Part B has allowed me to understand the design process of parametric modeling, the process in which ideas are generated and explored, the understanding of Grasshopper Parametric Modeling program and most importantly, realising the design.

In the initial stages, I found it difficult to grasp how parametric modeling with Grasshopper worked. But as soon as I started playing with the components, I came to realise how it is basically scripting in a visual form. My short stint in engineering helped me understand how programming is masked behind these components. I started to think like a programmer. To understand how data would flow from left to right and what were the steps that I had to take in order to get what I intended to. Research done in Part A has greatly helped in my understanding of Part B. Our team decided to pick stripping and folding as it was fairly difficult. We believed that picking something complex would accelerate the learning process as we started to test and experiement with unknown components. However, our plan almost backfired as we had spent too much time trying to reverse engineer our precedent and we eventually were at wits end as our designs and iterations were too complex. In our matrix of species and iterations (pg. 56-61), most of our species involved addition of a list of components to manipulate existing definitions. We were too fixated on generating complex shape we forgot that we have to balance between 'buildability' and complex designs.

B.08 APPENDIX - ALGORITHMIC SKETCHES Refer to Leon Cheng, Studio Air, Semester 1 2014 - Algorithmic Sketch Book




Part C considers three main points to be further improved: 1.) Further develop on the form 2.) Resolve tectonic elements on site 3.) More research done on energy system

The interim presentation feedback brought up several key issues which the group have admittedly neglected whilst being caught up with other aspects of the design concept.

With the original siting of our design, we have come to realise that much attention was the interaction between the moire strips, piezoelectric strings and the users. The form was very much unexplained and had no reason for it to be there. Also, one of the major feedback for the interim presentation was that there was insufficient data collected on the energy generation method presented. As a result, we first focused our attention to the generation of a form, informed by the site and its existing data to come up with an optimal form which maximises the energy generation yet creates awareness and an experiential affect onto the users.

Followed by conducting a deeper research into the types of energy generation that is available for our design intent. Numbers and formulas were gathered and a simple graph was plotted to further our understanding of the various materials we could employ. 85

DESIGN CONCEPT ENERGY SYSTEM Piezoelectric - Vortex Induced Vibration

As wind passes through a cylindrical object, a differentiation in pressure on the ends of both side causes the rope to be shifted in space, generating a vibrating effect. This form of energy generation would also be applicable in slow wind speeds at 2mph36. As a result, the energy generation output would be consistent through out the year.

This vibrating effect would then create an optical illusion of a moving structure as the vibration simulates the notion of movement across the site.


MOIRÉ EFFECT The moirÊ effect is an optical illusion created by juxtaposing two repetitive patterns above one another with one slightly tilted at an angle this creates a moving pattern as the perspective moves across. The result of this optical illusion would induce a sense of movement and 'kineticism' as users transverse throughout the site.


36. Grouthier, et al., 2012, Energy harvesting using vortex-induced vibrations of tensioned cables, Department of Mechanics, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France, 2 March 2012.

[36]. Grouthier, et al., 2012, Energy harvesting using vortex-induced vibrations of tensioned cables, Department of Mechanics, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France, 2 March 2012, p2.

1. FORCE BY WIND v= velocity of wind p= density of air A= surface area t= time 2. DELFECTION E= Young's Modulus I= 2nd moment of Inertia ( ) x= deflection F= force y= distance from start to max deflection 3. AREA OF MAX AND MIN DEFLECTION A= area of max and min deflection x= deflection y= distance from start to max deflection 4. POWER P= power p= density of air A= area of max and min deflection v= velocity of wind 5. ENERGY E= energy P= power t= time



A total of 5 materials was tested: 1.) Wipe Rope 2.) Aramid Fiber 3.) Spiral Strength 4.) Locked Coil Strength 5.) Solid Steel


Through research, the team managed to develop a series of formulas and applied them into Mathlab to select the best materials for energy generation.

Average Wind Speed


Aramid Fiber was chosen: 1.) Light weight 2.) Colour 3.) Can be made from recycled material

With the vibration of cables through vortex induced vibration as well as the moirĂŠ effect, users whom are stationary and moving would experience constant movement throughout the site. This would create an awareness of how energy generation is related to the notion of motion. 89

The site sits in Copenhagen, Refshaleoen, which now hosts an array of different small entrepreneurs sits along the harbour, opposite the iconic Little Mermaid.

The sculture sits towards the water edge of the site, rising up to approximately 21m. Users approaching the site would have their eyes drawn to the structure which draws their attention across the site. With the moire effect and vibration of the cables, the optical illusion creates a mirage of movement even when the user is stationary and in motion. Users transversing through the site would be able to experience different scales of vibrating cables, learning of how the energy would be generated and then actually experiencing the actual scale as they proceed further into the site. The concept of movement and vibration as well as the tall structure creates an awareness for the users on and off the site on how movement relates to energy generation.



DESIGN CONCEPT FACADE The generation of the form was based off the wind rose diagram, which influenced not only the in plan but also the height of the structure to allow for more wind to be captured. The average speed coming from various areas determined the height of the structure which is generated through the shifting of points respectively.

PIEZOELECTRIC CABLES & THE MOIRÉ EFFECT The piezoelectric cables are installed in a diagonal manner to create the moirÊ effect. The cables will vary in sizes from small to big, giving users a range of scale in which the energy generation would take place. At the entrance, where the structure would emerge from the ground, the small cables would enable users to interact and experience on a small scale, how energy would be generated. As the users explore further into the site, they would experience the vibration of larger cables in action.


RAMP The ramp was incorporated into the design with the intention of bringing users through a journey of the energy generation process ranging from the small ropes at the entrances to the larger ropes as the journey reaches its peak. Here, users would be able to experience up close, the vibration of the cables as well as be exposed to the little mermaid across the waterway where the interior and exterior cladding intersects This relation to the iconic little mermaid ties the project back the historical context of Copenhagen and also the future as they look forward to being Carbon Free by 2025.

The ramp system is also a commemoration to the Danish pavilion in the 2010 Expo, Shanghai. A stage that shone the light onto environmentally conscious Denmark.

The slope of the ramp is specified according to international standards for wheelchair accessibility: 1:20 slope with a 2m landing every 10m climb. The ramp is supported by diagonal columns, echoing the diagonal cables on the facade.


DESIGN CONCEPT TECHNIQUE FACADE The development of the facade structure in Grasshopper was mainly dealing with the use of list management and points to formulate the overall design concept.

RAMP The development of the ramp system comprised of the initial adjustment of curves to fit the standards of a wheelchair friendly ramp, followed by a series of extrusion and lofting process.


Shifting of points to attain a diagonal line was used, accompanied by the culling of unwanted/ intersecting data

Alternate columns were removed through the cull function to reduce the amount of columns structurally and visually




The overall size of the project is relatively large, spanning up to approximately 180m in length, 100m in width and 25 metres in height at the extremities.

The construction process would include the possible use of cranes to lift the various steel framing up in place and welding would be used to ensure a rigid connection between the column and bracings for the facade structure. The ramp would be essentially 'slotted' into the prefabricated steel columns and secured with a simple bolt and nut connection.


TECTONIC ELEMENTS FACADE With the scale of the project and the various forces that would impose on the structure, we decided to select steel as our main material.

The facade structure consists of four main beams which span horizontally across with vertical steel columns connected at the various junctions.

The strongest and most economical method of joinery would be weld the steel structures together.


The overall form of the facade structure is concaved. As a result, there would be a large amount of compressional force acting on the top beam. As a result, the grade of steel that is to be used for the top beam would have to be of a higher grade. The overall form of the facade structure is concaved. As a result, there would be a large amount of compressional force acting on the top beam. As a result, the grade of steel that is to be used for the top beam would have to be of a higher grade.

RAMP The diagonal columns which supports the ramp structurally aims to emulate the diagonal piezoelectric cables. It also represents the overall scheme and idea of leaning forward into the future as Copenhagen forges ahead to being carbon free by 2025.

Eventually, the prototype structure gave way at the joints of the columns. This could mean that further support would be required at the joint.

As a result, a prototype was built to test the viability of having diagonal columns as structural support. The results yielded positive results as the prototype was able to support approximately 300% of the weight of the materials. The structure is represented by foam boards. Once assembled (without any glue), the structure was subjected to weighted objects such as coins, a bottle of glue and a box of knives.

The team understands that although these are speculations, we must at least ensure that structural reasoning is applied when developing the form through prototyping.

That goes to say that if this project were to proceed into development of design, further research as well as structural consultants would be engaged.


TECTONIC ELEMENTS Beam Detail Due to the form of the structure, various different forces would be acting on the structure; tension, compression, torsion. The team came up with a digital prototype to solve the various forces. The detail comprises of two universal beams to withstand compression and tension forces along with perpendicular plates spaces across to counter torsion.

Circular holes were then penetrated through the beam to house the Piezoelectric components. Furthermore, for the ease of installation and maintenance, the team factored in access latches at the side. Attempts to prototype a door hinge proved to be fruitless and thus, hinges were acquired from warehouse. This would mean that it would reduce the cost of construction.


PIEZOELECTRIC JOINT DETAIL Several joint detail prototypes were designed to allow for 360 degree movement due to the nature of vibration. The joint comprises of a housing which hosts the piezoelectric material, insulation, an electrical diode and the aramid fibre.

Materials used for prototyping the joints were a rubber plug (to keep water away) and a rope to simulate the aramid fibre. Carabiners would be used to facilitate maintenance.


TECTONIC ELEMENTS MoirĂŠ Effect Prototyping A prototype for the moire effect of the supposed diagonal orientation of the whole form was made. Made from white perspex, this prototype consists of one moving part assisted by a rail system and one stationary part. What this does is that as the moving part slides across, the moire effect would be in effect. The moving part also represents the movement of users across the site.


We recognise that the effect might not be as effective up close. This is where the users would come up close to the structure and see how it actually works and when they look across the site, they see the moire effect. This focuses the attention of the users in two different states. One, the moire effect from a far and two, the energy generation.

Vortex Induced Vibration Prototyping In this prototype, we used rubber bands to simulate the tensioned cables spanning across a bracing. After which, the team tested the effect of the vortex induced vibrations by using a fan to blow against the tension cables. The results were satisfying although, there were some that did not vibrate as much as we liked it to. As such, the tension of the cables must be properly adjusted and further researched on to ensure the desired effect is produced.



Final Model South facade Scale 1:500

The final model, which sits on a boxboard site model, is made out of white perspex with multiple holes laser cut into them to allow for threads to be weaved through, simulating the aramid fibre cables. Each sector is individually weaved and stuck on together with glue (in place of welding)

The process of building the site model further my understanding of the possible construction process. As the overall form is , construction would start from the both ends and would be built towards the middle, similar to building arches.

Final Model Front Perspective Scale 1:500

Final Model

Perspective from Ramp Scale 1:500



Internal perspective

from ramp

The design of this space is to awe users of the site with the facade spanning over their heads as the tensioned cables vibrates away, inducing a futuristic atmosphere that is constantly moving, further enhanced by the moire effect.

Internal perspective from ramp

Internal perspective from water feature

night render birds eye view


FORE MOTION Fore motion anchors on the concept of movement through vibration and the optical illusion created by the moire effect. The entire structure would seem to 'move' in its position. As users approach the site, they would be exposed to different scales of the energy generation technique.

Aramid fibre cables are tensioned throughout the entire facade structure, which generates electricity by vortex induced vibration through a piezoelectric material.

Right from the entrance to the site, the first glimpse of the energy generation method would be in a small scale, to illustrate in scale, how the energy is generated through movement. As they transverse further into the site, the facade strucutre rises from the ground, increasing in scale. Here, the start of the ramp interrupts the users attention as their vision catches it and is guided to the towering structure, rising up to over 20 meters high, invoking a sense of awe.

Movement and motion is the key element within the site as the ramp and layout of the project encourges constant movement.

The entire project would generate approximately 63.596 kWh, enough electricity to support 103 households in Copenhagen.

The amount of steel used in the construction would prove costly to the environment. However, the overall awareness that the project generates would spread exponentially as people get remind of how movement relates to energy. Experiences from the site would be taken back to homes and remind users of the importance of energy .

Steel Beams: 1000mm Wide 500mm THK Steel Columns: 1000 x 750mm THK Aramid Fibre Cable: 160mm Ramp: 200mm THK Perforated Steel Ramp Columns: 400mm Diameter


Objective 4:

Though we managed to conclude on a specific type of energy generation method, the one thing that my team and I have learnt about interrogating the brief is that before up to the interrim presentation, we have failed to focus the right attention to the brief itself. As a result, we were not able to fully utilise the site and achieve the brief's requirements. Nevertheless, we proceeded on by formulating the data provided from the site brief and using it to influence and inform the form of the project. In doing so, we were able to better formulate with a form that would maximise our energy output as well as fit into the team's concept.

Often, the digital world that we generate our form in always sits in 'air', without any structural resolution and siting. This might seem like a literal interpretation of how we can draw a connection between the digital world and the actual world.

Objective 2:

With the introduction of visual programming, I realised that there are many possibilities to approach a site brief and to formulate a design. One particular new term that is intriguing is generative design. This was done by using Grasshopper plug for Rhino, which enables one to easily develop a form based on basic inputs. In doing so, we were able to freely test and experiment with a myriad of forms in a short period of time. This method has introduced a faster and unimaginable way to generate forms one could not have expected. Objective 3:


As much as generative design is interesting in the various forms that one could derive, there always has to be a line drawn between practicality and innovation. One of the biggest lesson I have learnt in this course is that there are many factors that one must consider in every phase when generating a form. Albiet from considering variables to generation of form to fabrication. Even if we strive for the weirdest and most interesting form, we must always ensure that there is a sense of constructability in it. Not to mention the potential cost and environmental impact of the project.

Objective 5:

Through out the process of this project, every step that the team takes in the development of the plan involves a lot of discussion. These discussions, often ranges in ideas and interpretation of what the eventual form would be. I have to say that this objective is one that I can really learn from and move forward in this course. The essence of critical thinking and reasoning, not only with myself but also my group mates has further developed my approach to architecture. Essentially, I've acquired a skill which could not be taught in books. Portraying and communicating your ideas to the audience is of utmost importance. Objective 6: Parametric design in deconstruct architecture has brought about a divide in views amongst architects and critiques. And often, as students, we get caught in the middle without having a deeper understanding of what it really is. This course has provided a more in-depth understanding of parametric design with the precedent studies of buildings in the relevant fields. It is often said that one way to win your opponents is to understand them and I could not agree more (not saying that I am against parametric design). Knowing the essence of parametric design, I am able to see the flaws and advantages and as an architect in future, I would be able to maximise my output by using various design methods for their advantages.

Objective 7: My short stint in programming with C++ back in my engineering days has allowed me to better understand 'visual programming'. This method of programming progresses step by step in a logical sequence, working in a systemic order of inputs and outputs. Though it might seem dynamic with the forms that one is able to generate, the program actually follows a set of instructions which can be done without the use of a computer (but it would take a long period of time). Nevertheless, there are many methods in which a same outcome could be achieved. Objective 8: One of the main advantages with computational design is that it can be done within a short period of time as oppose to doing by hand. I feel that in the many phases of the design process, computational design would be best fitted into the initial design phase. Here, we would work with numerical data gathered from site analysis, generating a form through countless experiments and developing a systemic patterning. However, all these would require a high level of technical ability in order to fully utilise computational design. The lecture with Alexander Pena brought up an interesting point on how technology is developing at such a rapid rate that by the time one is familiarised with a certain program, a new and better one would take its place. And in order to keep up with technology, we must be adaptable. Architects of the future must be able to adapt to the changes that technology introduces to be as efficient as possible. Then again, it does not mean that one should not bother with the understanding of technology now; We should embrace it, fully understand it so that we are well rounded architects. And that is what this profession really is.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Gengnagel, Christoph. 2011. “Computational design modelling : proceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium Berlin 2011 / Christoph Gengnagel... [et al.] “(eds.). n.p.: Berlin : Springer, c2011., 2011. UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE’s Catalogue, EBSCOhost (accessed March 25, 2014). Grouthier, C. et al, ‘Energy harvesting using vortex-induced vibrations of tensioned cables’, Department of Mechanics, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France, March 2 2012. Jorgensen, Kasper Guldager. 2011. "GXN: Building Networks for Collaborative Research on Materials in Architecture." Architectural Design 81, no. 6: 70-75. Art & Architecture Complete, (accessed March 18, 2014). Kalay, Yehuda E. Architecture's New Media: Principles, "Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design", Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004, 5-25. Kolarevic, B. "Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing", New York; London: Spoon Press, 2003, 6-17. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, "Theories of the Digital in Architecture", London; New York: Routledge, eds 2014, 1-10. Peters, Brady. “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, 83 (2013), 2, 8-15 Pena, A. “Architecture Studio Air”, Lecture, University of Melbourne, May 15 2014. Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil. “Definition of Algorithm” in The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. London: MIT Press, eds 1999



Cheng Leon 595491  

2014 Semester 1 Architectural Design Studio University of Melbourne

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