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Takeru Onishi 508631 Michael & David

CONTENTS ABOUT ME 4 Previous Work Virtual Environments Design Studio Water

A Case for Innovation

A.1 Architecture as a Discourse Manuel Gea Gonzales Hospital Sendai Mediatheque A.2 Computation in Architecture Aqua Tower A.3 Parametric Modelling National Bank of Kuwait Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre


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PREVIOUS WORK VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS Throughout studying in Melbourne, I have come to use the computer for most of my projects and presentation, using AutoCAD, Rhino and Photoshop. As an amateur of understanding digital design theory I am limited by it but I hope to become familiar with it. Through computerization, I have previously produced a digital model using Rhino through the concept of understanding a natural process, in which becomes a base for a computerized design. This is then panelized and folded onto thick paper, to then wear the model on the body. Ice cracking and melting became the

theme of my project, where the cracks became closer together as you approach the point of impact. I believe this project is similar to the works done in this studio as we are using Rhino to make different forms through the theme of a natural process. What makes it different is the use of parametric design, where a whole new introduction of technology comes into play. It becomes a means of form refining, rather than form making.

Hi! My name is Tak, and I am in my 3rd year of studying architecture in Melbourne University. I was born in New Jersey, USA and lived in Japan and Canada but mostly lived in Bangkok, Thailand. I love food (Thai food especially). I appreciate my friends. I have a passion for music. I have been singing and playing guitar for about 8 years!



DESIGN STUDIO WATER: MIES VAN DER ROHE This project studied the idea of a certain famous architect, in which learning from the masters enabling us to learn specific things from their way of understanding design and their thought processes. By studying Mies Van Der Rohe, understaing minimalism and how the use of simple

symmetry and geometries can create horizontally emphasised orderd buildings. Through this, I was able to design a boat house that consisted within Mies’ ideas along with personal design ideas.

A.1 ARCHITECTURE AS A DISCOURSE “I am looking for something more primitive, a kind of abstraction that still has a sense of the body. The in between is more interesting to me.” - Toyo Ito



I believe that the ‘in between’ Ito is referring to the idea that contemporary architecture is the architecture of perpetual discovery, a sense where design, as a discourse is abstract yet made up of certain physicalities of geometry and shape. It is architecture with no destination, only entrances and potential. Architecture is a method of defining ourselves, whether it is socially, politically or as a way of art, it is a way to showcase our very definition of aesthetics and beauty. As technology develops exponentially throughout the years, we are leaving the age of computer aided processes into a whole new aspect of computational design. Through this, we are able to start designing new geometries and ideas that could not have been done in the past. “Architecture needs to be thought of less as a set of special material products and rather more as range of social and professional practices that sometimes, but by no means always, lead to buildings”1. What I believe Williams is trying to saying is that the physicality of architecture is only the tip of the iceberg, where instead it is the socially desired aspect of architecture that leads to a creation of the building. The architectural discourse of style and form have been fundamental throughout the past decade. However, recently it has 1 Williams, richard (2005). ‘architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture: Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew rampley (edinburgh: edinburgh University Press), pp. 102-116, p. 108

become a search for architectural ‘authority in terms such as ‘sincerity’ and ‘appropriateness’2, a way to make a building appropriate to its context and surroundings. Through parametric and algorithmic design, new innovations can be made. It is crucial to understand that as Frazer mentions about computational design, is to use it more as a ‘tool’ to create innovative and creative design. It is argued that the ‘designers’ creativity is limited by the very programs that are suppose to free their imagination’3. This is the current issue as the certain benefits that parametric design provides are the very things making contemporary design inhuman, a product of the digital age where the designers creativity is ‘fake’ and limited. The Wyndham Gateway Project provides a great opportunity to explore the use of parametric design. Through the use of parametric design, potentially a greater design can come about through form finding, with a greater vernacular response to the surroundings.

2 Leach, neil, ed., (1997). Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory (London: routledge), p. xiii 3 Terzidis, Kostas (2009). Algorithms for Visual design using the processing Language (Indianapolis, In: Wiley), p. xx


MANUEL GEA GONZALEZ HOSPITAL The Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital located in the heart of Mexico city is not only know for helping the sick, but known for its fashionable and functional architecture. It acts as an environmental filtration system through the use of a ‘double skinned facade made of Elegant Embelishments’ prosolve370e’ which intakes the city’s polluted air from congested roads full of vehicles. The facade is activated through passive daylighting, where a coating of ‘superfine titanium dioxide’ that functions to reduce pollution in the urban area.1 The quasicrystal patterned facade not only reduces pollution levels, but to assist the building to reduce solar gain by acting as a natural light filtration system thereby reducing energy levels used from the hospital2. Through this technological advancement, the architecture as a discourse responds to the urban environment. Because of the excess pollution, an appropriate solution was introduced to not only improve aesthetics but the local environment. The use of this technology can further enhance the responsiveness of any building, as long as it is located in high urban density areas, or highways that have large number of cars passing by. This is by any means a sustainable movement towards the future. I believe that the Wyndham project should not only be a design to showcase, but to also be able to respond to the urban context, i.e. the highway through the use of these quasicrystal 1 Cooper Hewitt, Elegant Establishments, <>[Accessed 1st April 2013] 2 Lori Zimmer, Inhabitat, <http://inhabitat. com/mexico-citys-manuel-gea-gonzalez-hospital-has-an-ornate-double-skin-that-filters-airpollution/>[Accessed 1st April 2013] 11

TOYO ITO SENDAI MEDIATHEQUE Sendai has been widely known for the building designed by Toyo Ito: The Sendai Mediatheque. This building provided Sendai to become internationally known, thereby improving its popularity as a city. The Mediatheque contains a range of spaces including a library, cafe, internet booths etc. These activities are all located within an area of 50x50meter space, seperated on 7 platforms that are almost floating on top of each other. 13 steel tube-like structures are interact to produce a series of stable hollow columns that hold the platforms together.1 Through computerization, these steel columns were able to be designed for manufacture. Not only do these columns provide natural lighting due to its hollow characteristics, but act as a way of enhancing the plain design of the building. The combination of the columns and the glass panels that are suspended through the platforms provide a series of beautifully designed open spaces for multipurpose activities. To have transparency within every floor of the building enhances a fraglie and open feel, yet when it comes to 9.0 magnitude earthquakes and ty1 Carlos Zeballos, Architectural Moleskine, <http://architecturalmoleskine.blogspot. html>[Accessed 24th March 2013]


phoons the building remains structurally sound. The structural responsiveness of the building could only be done through the advancement in technology, the innovative structral component of the steel columns and the mind of Toyo Ito. I believe that the steel columns reflect the trunks of the surrounding trees, in which the glass exterior is used for separating physical internal and external conditions. The visual aspect of the interior and exterior seem to fit its surroundings that have an appropriate means of aestheics. Moreover, these columns respond as shafts for utilities and lighting, acting like a vein in a living organism. The idea of futurism, a sense of minimalist designs and features come into play with this building. The use of minimal ornamentation and the wide glass facades all point to minimalism. I believe that this design is a further developed stage of Le Corbusierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea of suspended floors on point loaded columns, where the columns evolve into an innovative solution, and the facade emphasising the columns through transparency.

A.2 COMPUTING IN ARCHITECTURE “The designer essentially becomes an ‘editor’ of the morphogenetic potentiality of the designed system, where the choice of emergent forms is driven largely by the designer’s aesthetic and plastic sensibilities” - Branko Kolarevic

Digital technologies have truely affected the way architectural practices are undergone. Through the inital process of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM), allowing computation to become more intergrated with architectural design. Computational architecture has become significantly important in this new millennia, due to the ever increasing use of computational designing. But what does it mean to computationally design? Computational systems have begun to ‘assist human designers by taking care of smaller or larger parts of the design process’1. Through drafting or using modelling systems, computational systems provide different alternatives to approach a single design goal. Digital process now allow a wider range of adaptive and conceivable properties of form and geometries to be created. The emphasis is more focused towards ‘finding of form’ rather than ‘making of form’2, where using computational design to find the right geometric shape becomes paramount.

The idea of ‘form finding’ is essentially the method of using computational system to generate a wide range of geometries using different components. Through computation, we as designers are able to incorporate precise information and parameters to alter the outcome of a design. The design journey is much to do with structural moulding, where computers allow a range of possible variables to the design. Thus, frequent testing and refnement to the design will optimise the final outcome, resulting in a design with all excess features taken away and innovative ideas added in. This leads to the critical opportunity that computational design provides: To design something that responds to the local climate. To have the potential to optimise a design to fit and to be moulded appropriately into its surroundings is key for buildings in the near future. The area of which the Wyndham Gateway project will be associated with becomes fundamental in creating a design that responds and fits within its immediate surroundings.

1 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5 25 2 Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 3 - 28.



STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS AQUA TOWER Located in Chicago USA, the Aqua tower is a 82 storey apartment building designed by Studio Gang Architects. The focal point to this structure is the use of an undulating terrace installation which spread out in distance as the height increases. This creates a minimalistic contemporary ‘aquatic’-like ornamentation that covers the facade of the building. Not only does it create an addition to a Mies-like skyscraper in the United States, but provides solar shading through the eaves created from the terrace floor above. These curved balconies could not have been configured and edited without the assistance of computerized systems such as AutoCAD or Revit. By implementing these curves into such a program, the computer generates valuable information required not just for architects but for other parties associated. The design process that Jeanne Gang, the principal architect, approached with used the site in order to make the building an ‘organic, site-specific design process’1. Through observing the climate 1


Contemporist, <http://www.contemporist.

and the views from specific places, the team were able to treat the building and its environment as an interconnected entity. Not only is this building site-specific, I personally believe that in its urban context, it is site responsive. Living in suburban areas are not efficient, as living in highrise buildings and in higher density areas provide a better sustainable pattern of development. Through the use of computerization, a variety of different design processes can be used. The Aqua tower has one of the largest green rooftops in the state, thereby providing amenities for residents and improving the general ecofriendly aspect of the building.

com/2009/11/24/the-aqua-tower-by-studiogang-architects/>[Accessed 28th March 2013]


“Parametric modelling opens new windows to design [...] This creates endless opportunities to explore for forms that are not practically reachable otherwise” - Robert Woodbury


Parametric modelling is a powerful tool that designers use through computational systems in order to create specific designs that have specific parameters in which they interact with each other. Conventional designing would involve an understanding of the general design, function and the form. Once a design is set, it is difficult to alter or change due its rigidity of the design system. However, through parametric design, we are able to consider each and every different component that make up the design, thereby being able to disect the design into to smaller elements that still have the specifc properties of each parameter. A combination and configuration of them will alter the overall form. Therefore, it is crucial for parametric designers to have a wider range of design outcomes so that theres higher potential to find an appropriate form for the specific design. Parametric design can be said to be a language, a means of communication for people in the field of computational systems, where sharing an idea, a component or a design itself becomes easy for others to understand the algorithmic processes that lead to the design. Whereas conventional designs struggle as innovators will have to carefully com-

municate the design process and how the design finalized. The visual aspect of parametric modelling provides a new dimension when designing, as any alterations made will outcome a physical change in the parametric model, a variable you can personalize and adjust to the specific model. An important short comings of parametric modelling is considering the surge in potential with hardware and software development, along with more user-friendly tools, the ‘originality of the outuput has hardly kept up’.1 Personally, by strongly inter-relating parametric modelling systems with innovative ideas stemmed from man can add quality to the ‘output’. Parametric modelling, being polar opposites to conventional design approaches, can be considered to be unconventional due to its perpetual generation of geometry (confined by its algorithmic processes). It is essential to understand that parametric modelling should be used as a ‘tool’ to assist in creating innovative designs, not as the ‘brain’ of creativity and innovative design 1 Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 - 71. 21

FOSTER + PARTNER NATIONAL BANK OF KUWAIT Foster and Partners’ design for the National Bank of Kuwait Headquarters is a environmentally responsive building combined with detailed works of geometry. This building’s design was configured through the responding to the local climate. On the eastern and western facades are covered by a vertical shading structure that reduces solar heat gain during warmer seasons. This is done without compromising the northern ascpect of the building, which has sufficient shading and exterior views. Through careful planning, the team was able to create a parametric modelling system to quickly produce options, thereby incorporating rapid prototyping to achieve an appropriate solution1. The paratric model used through Bentley Systems’ GenerativeComponents (GC), capable of intergrating various performance parameters while investigating complex geometric solutions for the building. Additionally, the model contains geometric analysis of the fins which are fed to the engineers to manufacture. 1 Architectural Digest, ‘The Innovation Imperative’, ‘Computation Works: The building of Algorithmic thought’ [Architectural Digest, 2013]

The many solutions constructed using the parametric model were then developed to further fit the criteria of the structural, environmental, functional and operational requirements. The fins of the building were carefully designed using computational systems in order for them to be orientated correctly to the path of the sun. Additionally, these fins were designed to provide structural rigidity and aesthetics to the building. By using computational methods 59 floor plans and sections were used to further analyzse the building spatially. These methods are more concerned with programs such as AutoCAD and Revit, where floor plans become a necessity. The parametric model was capable of generating multiple variations of the building shape, in which a number of them were used for further development for certain responsive tests to do with the local climate. However it is crucial to note that ma jority of the initial designs were made through one parametric model, which may create only certain parameters to alter and configure, thereby limiting the design outcome to only a combination of those parameters. 23

KHAN SHATYR ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE The Khan Shatyr entertainment centre is a landmark in the country of Kazakhstan. It is one of the tallest tensile structures in the world, where the entire envelope of the structure covers the centre. There are many ameneties within the centre: cafes, restaurants, cinemas, water park and many flexible entertainment spaces. Besides its aesthetic qualities, the tensile structure is made up of three-layer ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) envelopes, which is essential to reduce conduction from the external weather conditions. Kazakhstan, know for its extreme weather conditions range from -35°C in winter to +35°C in the height of summer. During summer, low level jets push cool air across the vicinity and the vents at the apex open for inducing stack-effect ventilation. During winter, warm air is blown on the inside of the ETFE to melt unnecessary snow or ice. The envelope was designed by using a ‘form-finding algorithm’1 to 1 Architectural Digest, ‘The Innovation Imperative’, ‘Computation Works: The building of Algorithmic thought’ [Architectural Digest, 2013]


generate possible designs for the cable skin structure. The algorithm was used to further develop and refine the building. Through parametric modelling, this entertainment centre was able to be made through intricate algorithms analysed by a comutational device. Not only does the envelope enable light to enter through to keep the vicinity lit, but also to shine and reflect outwards at night to showcase the social attention the centre is getting. This entertainment centre will be a prominent destination for the local people of Astana to go to throughout the year. This is only possible through the design being responsive to the local climate, whereby keeping the temperature within the building in a comfortable level for the users and providing shading or sunlight when necessary.

A.5 CONCLUSION I believe that architecture is a vernacular entity, where it is responsive to the natural environment. To have ‘fluid’ properties, meaning taking the form of the local climate and surroundings to become appropriate to the setting. Incorporating the facade of presolve370e creates a health benefit for the local people in Wyndham, where through understanding the site context of Wyndham can we really design a structure that is fluid enough to settle within its surroundings appropriately. Through these precedents, I have been able to absorb valuable informattion regarding parametric desgin and how it can innovate new ideas for the Wyndham Gateway Project. It is crucial to design in this way because of the idea of that contemporary desgins have become too extreme, in terms of algorithmic processes. Instead I believe to use the benefits of parametric design just as a tool and to assist in the design of a structure thats ‘primitive’ but with an abstract sense of the body.


A.6 LEARNING OUTCOMES Throughout these couple of weeks, I have been immersed in the experience of theory and practices of architectural computing. Initially, when challenging myself to understand parametricism and computational design I was unsure of what to expect. Having experience in using AutoCAD and Rhino have not assisted me in knowing the theory and practices more, rather it gave me confidence to know background information on 3D modeling programs. A solid understanding of the theory and practices could enable me to dive further into the knowledge of parametric design and what it could offer for me and my designing career. To create facades out of voroni geometry or to create designs rapidly using algorithm sequences. The possiblity is endless, just my personal skills that limit me!


BIBLIOGRAPHY Architectural Digest, ‘The Innovation Imperative’, ‘Computation Works: The building of Algorithmic thought’ [Architectural Digest, 2013] Burry, Mark (2011). Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 8 - 71. Carlos Zeballos, Architectural Moleskine, <>[Accessed 24th March 2013] Contemporist, <>[Accessed 28th March 2013] Cooper Hewitt, Elegant Establishments, <>[Accessed 1st April 2013] Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), pp. 3 - 28. Leach, neil, ed., (1997). Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory (London: routledge), p. xiii Lori Zimmer, Inhabitat, <>[Accessed 1st April 2013] Terzidis, Kostas (2009). Algorithms for Visual design using the processing Language (Indianapolis, In: Wiley), p. xx Williams, richard (2005). ‘architecture and Visual Culture’, in Exploring Visual Culture: Definitions, Concepts, Contexts, ed. by Matthew rampley (edinburgh: edinburgh University Press), pp. 102-116, p. 108 Yehuda E. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media : Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), pp. 5 - 25



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