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My name is Andrea Valenzuela. I am a third year architecture major at the University of Melbourne. I have chosen to pursue a career in the Architecture, Building and Planning discipline as it involves the use of both artistic skills and problem solving abilities, with a focus on the pursuit of sustainability in our natural and built environments. The most important thing that I have gained from the architecture major is the ability to the consider and appreciate world around us, built and natural, from anthropological, historical, technological and design perspectives. I have developed proficiency in design softwares such as AutoCAD, Google Sketchup and the Adobe creative suite through work experience with T&Z architects and undertaking design based subjects throughout school and university. Above, the evocative model images submitted towards my second year Architecture Design Studio: Earth are shown. Architecture Design Studio: Air has been my first experience working with the proscribed Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. From this subject, I hope to gain literacy and understanding of algorithmic softwares and the process of parametric design. The min objective is learning: to concieve a design which demonstrates ability surpassing that which I currently hold.














Fresh Hills Artist Team: Matthew Rosenberg
 Artist Location: Los Angeles, USA 2nd Place, 2012 Technology: Wind turbines Wind turbines installed in the artificial landscape, the form of which places the turbines in optimal position as it reaches upwards towards levels of increased energy potential1. Expanding Future Possibilities Employment of wind power technologies, which is not commonly used beyond simple wind turbines, ‘leads by example’. Contribution to site and inhabitants: The bamboo forest in the centre offers an on site maintenance solution for the ‘skin’ and also functions as a community garden. Native vegetation is housed here, promoting engagement with the local environment. The central hub draws visitors as a place to gather and reflect; as opposed to turbine farms that isolate landscapes and prevent visitors. This facilitates discourse and education about sustainable energy generation and inspires future possibility. Likeminded individuals with an interest in sustainable infrastructure are likely to be drawn to Fresh hills, facilitating positive community interaction and exchange of ideas between those who share common interests.

Matthew Rosenberg, 2012, Electronic Image,, <>, accessed 10 March 2014.

Contribution to ideas, ways of thinking: “The apparatus is generated from the grafting of fresh kills wind rose data onto the site”2. This design demonstrates connection between site-specific data and the designed structure. The symbiotic relationship between site and design is as emphasized by the concept of organic architecture3. Critique: The scheme outlines plan for bamboo forest, but does not consider lifespan of bamboo cladding vs. growing time. No solution is offered to the noise generated by wind turbines; required in order to utilize the central hub as a community space. Should this be resolved, however, this design solution increases usability of the space even in times of low power generation potential.


1 “2012 Second Place Award Winner”,, Last Modified 2013, <http://>. 2 Ibid. 3 William J.R. Curtis, “The architectural system of Frank Lloyd Wright”, in Modern Architecture Since 1900, (New York: Phaidon Press, 1996) pp 113-129.



Fresh Kills Coaster Artist Team: Jason Shannon, Paola Yanez
 Artist Location: Jersey City, USA

Technology: Solar panels due south. The slope of the running track is based on angles of optimum solar energy gain. South facing panels generate the most amount of electricity, on average, of all possible orientations1. Pavegen kinetic energy converters are used in conjuction to harness kinetic energy of runners using the track, increasing energy output of the coaster2. Expanding future possibilities: This scheme introduces the concept of attracting users and generating energy as part of one unified strategy. The idea is transportable, applicable to any site. Contribution to site and inhabitants: Creation of usable space, which promotes exercise and healthy living, community, and the harmonious relationship with wildlife and landscape. The raised track leaves animals undisturbed and minimizes need for clearance of natural vegetation.

Jason Shannon, Paola Yanez, 2012, Electronic Image,, <>, accessed 10 March 2014.

Contribution to ideas, ways of thinking: The combination of kinetic and solar energy iterates that a single design is not limited to a single form of energy generation. Humans are in many ways responsible for environmental damage, this initiative allows them to also be the solution. The ability to contribute fosters interest in environmental and sustainability issue. This opens up the question of how else we can help. Critique: The scheme assumes humans to be heavily environmentally and/ or fitness motivated. While the gradients of the track optimize solar gain, the steep slopes create a strenuous circuit and are likely to deter potential users. The design is likely to produce seasonal benefit. Lack of sunlight is often accompanied by cold weather in autumn and winter. It is likely that less people will run in this weather. The coaster will experience simultaneous reductions in energy output through both the solar and kinetic generator systems during the colder months.

1 “Your Solar Panels Aren’t Facing the Wrong Way”, Forbes, last modified 11 November 2013, <http://www.>. 2 “FRESH KILLS COASTER”,, Last Modified 2013, <>.



Case studies: Computing self organisation: Environmentally sensitive growth modelling. Material behaviour embedding physical properties in computational design processes. Computational design has affected the design process by enabling a dynamic, visualized design process, rather than visually fabricating a fully preconceived idea. The result is an increase in creativity of design solutions, both visually and structurally. It may be argued that a visually experimental design process encourages prioritization of form over materiality, “in the virtual space of digital design, form and force are usually treated as separate entities – divided into processes of geometric form generation and subsequent engineering simulation”1 This method of design development resembles that employed by Frank Gehry and Antonio Gaudi: conception of form before function, and post-justification of aesthetic agenda. What are the ongoing and incoming changes within the design and construction industries? The introduction of 3D modelling software and parametric/argorithmic design strategies, as discussed above, have dhifted the paradigm of design conception techniques.Technological innovations have been made possible by the employment of ‘modern’ materials such as plate glass, steel, iron, reinforced concrete e.g. curtain walls. An understanding of the influence of materiality on form fosters generation of holistic designs that are well integrated with function2. Design strategies have encompassed the relationships between influences such as function and materiality in response to a change in societal values, where sustainability may conflict with long standing economic concerns. The form-found structural analysis model aenables simulation of residual stress in a finite, element-based simulation.

Moritz Fleischmann et al., 2008, digital image, au/store/10.1002/ad.1378/asset/137_ftp.pdf?v=1&t=hsyhwhqk&s=9706b39ac5a73717e6ab68a a6d13623b784c0c50.

“Design computation provides the possibilities of integrating physical properties and material behaviour as generative drivers in the architectural design process. Thus architectural form, material formation and structural performance can be considered synchronously” . 1


1 Moritz Fleischmann et al., “material behaviour embedding physical properties in computational design processes” Architecture Design 82, 2 (March 2008), b784c0c50. 2 Ibid.

A.2 DESIGN COMPUTATION How does computation impact on the range of conceivable and achievable geometries? Algorithmic softwares enable designers to explore infinite mathematical possibilities. This has exponentially increased exploration and possibility with regards to geometric form. Employment of complex geometric form and supporting systems is encouraged by computerized design as it increases speed and efficiency in design conception and development. The project of plant growth modeling, as undertaken by the University of Alberta, Canada, is based around the premise of computing self-organisation. Self organization is based on mathematical, spatial models which are dynamic and progressive1. Technology now exists which is capable of simulating the effects over time on such mathematical algorithms considering a given set of influences. This is demonstrative of the progression of computer technology enabling 3D modeling programs to process increasingly complex mathematical principles. What does computation contribute to evidence and performanceoriented designing? Computerized building performance rating schemes such as NABERS and Green Star have reformed standards of performance orientation. Computerised design increases propensity for consideration of feedback. The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 20104 project, material behaviour embedding physical properties in computational design processes, is an example of computerised design technology employing mathematical principles to evaluate design possiblities. This project focuses on elastic bending and has produced results that lead to design possibilities of bendingactive systems; which are structurally equipped to respond to linear forces2. Architecture has always progressed through the development of standard processes and components attributed to the architectural style or movement in question. Examples of this include the classical orders and the rules of the gothic. Modern architecture is no different: we have developed standardized methods for the construction of modern technologies, made possible my computational design, such as curtain walls, trombe walls and reinforced concrete flooring systems. Contrary to the view presented by the futurist manifesto, the success of modern architecture and technology is derived from, and inspired by, innovative development through history. The computational design movement may be seen as another brick that will pave the way towards future prosperity. Plant growth modeling: computerised model of self organisation 1 “Computing Self-Organisation: Environmentally Sensitive Growth Modelling”, Architecture Design 2 (April 2006), f?v=1&t=hsyeuc6w&s=04c4fdb73dc210e225af8a051d314049f8c49f63\ 2 Moritz Fleischmann et al., “material behaviour embedding physical properties in computational design processes” .

Architecture Design, 2006, digital image, syeuc6w&s=04c4fdb73dc210e225af8a051d314049f8c49f63\

A.3 COMPOSITION/GENERATION Literature and Practice

The introduction of computer-aided design has provoked different response strategies. The degree to which designers embrace the freedom and autonomy associated with the use of algorithmic design softwares affects the capacity of the designer to embark on a generative design process. Scripting cultures: Scripting is the capability offered by design softwares that allows the user to adapt, customise and reconfigure software around their own preferences and modes of working. ‘Scripting language’ is often synonymous with ‘programming language1. Software modified by the designer through scripting provides a range of possibilities for creative speculation that are not possible using the software only as the manufacturers intended2. An algorithm is a set of rules that precisely define a set of operations. In parametric design, algorithms are the data inputs that inform the parameters of the design, in turn dictating its form3 A parametric model is a model wherein the parts of a design relate and change in a coordinated way as defined by the parameters and dependencies stated4.

Most architectural practices are still limiting themselves to the former, although a few strategies have been identified for integrating computational design into architecture: First, and most commonly, computational designers form groups that work separately to the design team. These exist in practices such as Foster + Partners and Grimshaw. Second, Computational design consultants, such as SMART solutions and Gehry Technologies may be hired by architectural firms. Third is full integration of computation into the design process i.e. lack of separation between concept development and computational technique allows for an inherently generative design procedure. Such firms as MOS and Facit homes have employed this strategy. Fourth, an emerging model of software engineer/architects1

Employment of algorithmic thinking and parametric modelling makes the difference between computerisation and computation. Computerisation refers to the use of computers as a ‘virtual drafting board’ for the purpose of simplifying the editing process and increasing precision of drawings5. Computation furthers this by allowing designers to employ complex mathematical algorithms in their designs by way of utilising computer technologies in generational design strategies6.

1 ’Mark Burry, “Scripting Cultures,” Architectural Design, June, 2011, 8. 2 Ibid. 3 Introduction to Grasshopper. Directed by Modelab. New York: Modelab, 2013), Online video.


4 Introduction to Grasshopper. Directed by Modelab. (New York: Modelab, 2013), Online video. 5 Brady Peters, “The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, 2013, 10. 6 Ibid.

1 Ibid.


Grimshaw architects: Southern cross station. The roof’s form plays a crucial role as part of the environmental envelope. An efficient ventilation mechanism, the canopy satisfies internal needs for diesel extraction as well as cooling1. Function being the main design focus here, it becomes evident that the development of form was removed from the initial design process. The visible disconnect between form and function may result from separation between computational designers and the primary design team. Source: Grimshaw, Southern Cross Station, Photograph, (accessed 26 March 2014).

MOS Architects The portfolio of work displayed by MOS architects has been described as “experimental” and “wilfully strange”2. MOS designs communicate a creativity that comes from an integrated understanding of design intent and computational design. Element House is an exploration into the integration of the seemingly competing design considerations: systems, and shapes3. This is representative of the cohesion between form and function that can be achieved to its greatest extent when the design team integrates computational design with the formal design process.



Source: MOS, Element House, Photograph, (accessed 26 March 2014).

1 “Southern Cross Station,” Grimshaw Architects, southern-cross-station/. 2 “MOS Architects Take on Humanitarian Design in Nepal”, Aleksandr Bierig, ArchDaily, last modified Dec 8 2013, 3 “Index”, MOS Architects, last modified 2014,


The project of plant growth modeling, undertaken by the University of Alberta, Canada, has addressed the role of bio-inspiration in computerized design by successfully modelling the process of self-organisation. As seen in nature, plant growth is inherently self-generative; computerization of a growth formula signifies a great capacity for computer modeling to employ generative design. This has prompted the question: in what capacity can we use computer modeling to influence and represent our own organically inspired design in Architecture Design Studio: Air?1

Exercise A.3 has explored the progression from compositional design to generative design. Progression and generation are related closely, in my mind, to the idea of growth and self-organisation. This theme also ties in with energy production. With nature and the growth of plants and animals as inspiration, I have looked towards case studies which have employed bio-inspiration and operate symbiotically with their environment. MOS Architects: PS1 Afterparty The fluid, organic form taken by the streetscape installation named ‘afterparty’ is characteristic of the experimental forms created by the MOS team and their full integration of computation into the design process. Bioinspiration The interior canopy structures resemble bats wings and similarly operate under tensile strength. Moreover, the mounds of the shelters are said to represent a primitive vernacular hut, which “reconcile technological change with innate bio-cultural memory” 1. Consideration of site and passive design The exterior cladding is of dark and rough fibre thatch which provides increased radiant thermal absorption. Shade is abundant with more than 90% UV protection. The interaction between existing airflows with site geometry and orientation were considered in the design placement to increase the effect of evaporative cooling. Through employment of concrete thermal mass, low pressure differential generates airflow through space2.

Source: MOS, Afterparty, Photograph, (accessed 26 March 2014).



Passive design can greatly assist the function of an energy generator requested by our design brief. This is shown by the wind rose shape of the Fresh Hills design, second place in the 2012 LAGI competition3.




Escape (Correspondence), (New York: MOS Architects 2014), online video.

2 Ibid. 3 “2012 Second Place Award Winner”,, Last Modified 2013, <http://>.

1 “Computing Self-Organisation: Environmentally Sensitive Growth Modelling”, Architecture Design 2 (April 2006), http:// 25af8a051d314049f8c49f63\



Research undertaken on generative design as prompted by the part A assignment have impacted on my interpretation of the concept of generation. Based on this, my design approach intends to incorperate bioinspiration in mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis by harnessing solar energy in conjunction with producing kinetic energy.

Architectural computation, as opposed to computerisation, provides opportunities for designers to explore solutions that would be impossible to generate with the human mind alone. Employing algorithmic strategies into parametric design, as we are beginning to in grasshopper, has prompted an understanding of data flows in design. Most importantly, I have learned the parameters of a particular design are specified, not the shape. Form is a response to the series of constraints placed by the designer.

Awareness of the nature in design is an innovative strategy in itself, as emphasised by the philosophy of Organic Architecture. A design solution that displays a visibly symbiotic relationship with itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surroundings inherently promotes a value of unity between anthropocentric and biocentric forces. Promotion of such values facilitates discourse and education about sustainable energy generation and harvesting. The use of multiple generator types iterates that a single design is not limited to a single form of energy generation. Moreover, the design strategy intends to employ adaptable technologies where possible, which can keep up to date with new developments. Community and environment are both to benefit from the design outcome. The concept aims to attract users and generate energy as part of one unified strategy. The design will create a usable space which promotes community interaction and a harmonious relationship between wildlife and landscape.

This knowledge is useful, also, when applied to compositional design. This awareness of the effect that self-imposed constraints take on my design possibilities would have greatly improved my responses to past design briefs. This understanding prompts the questions: How relevant is this constraint? It is derived from the brief, or is it an autonomous measure? Is the placement of this constraint going to limit my capacity for experimentation with form? Will it limit the design function? Is there a more creative way to satisfy the criteria?






Valenzuela andrea 590512 parta pages