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studio air journal TAN YEE YIN (560654)








A.0. Introduction Hi everyones! I’m Yee Yin, Tan, 3rd Year in Bachelor of Environments, Majoring in Architecture, The University of Melbourne

“16 years ago, I was just a kid who always follows my dad’s footsteps. I used to unfold the recycled boxes and start drawing on it to get rid of the boredom of waiting. whilst my dad was busying with his stuff.” That was the starting point of my painting life. Improving from using colour pencil, crayon to water colour, and now, digital programming had become a must tool in my designing. In the beginning of my university life, architecture was a total new thing that I could barely know from where should I start with. Time flies as now it turns to be my third year in Architecture Faculty. From the past two years, I was exposed to digital programming tools, construction studies, model-making and etc. Not only that, I also practice my critical thinking as well as presentation skill. Virtual Environments was the subject which I first get to know about Rhinoceros. It was definitely an interesting subject that we were asked to produce a wearable lantern by using the panelling tool in Rhinoceros.

Later, I further brushed up my skill in Rhinoceros during my short intern back in Malaysia. I realised that Rhinoceros is a useful NURBS-based-3D modelling software which manage to provide us the accurate measurements that is crucial when comes to physical modelling. With the enhancement by Grasshopper, designers can efficiently design whatever they would like to. In Air Studio, a range of explorations with the use of Grasshopper is just begins!


A.1. .21Introduction Design Computation


his is the project I did for my Water Studio. It is a boathouse locates next to the Yarra River. In this studio, I have to refer to the master architect, Herzog and De Meuron. I empasize on the walking ramp on the top of the building, which creates extra space for users to hang out as well as provides greater view beyonds Yarra River. I focused on tha materiality and the envelope of my building. A transition of light would be experience by the users in my building. The shading effects would bring a under seabed atmosphere in the restaurant.


Sustainability is now a buzzword both among professionals and scholars. How-

ever, though climate change and resource depletion are now widely recognized by business as major challenges, and while new practices like “green design� have emerged, efforts towards change remain weak and fragmented.[3]


Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Introduction, ( New York: Berg, 2009), pp. 2. Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Introduction, ( New York: Berg, 2009), pp. 5. 3 Tony Fry, Design Futuring: Book Description, ( New York: Berg, 2009).. 2


A.1. .21Design DesignFuturing Computation


ow is the future being understood? And what is meant by design? This is not a ‘how to’ question, but in fact, it requires a clear sense of what design needs to be mobilized for or against. [21 From the past until now, design brought many creations for the ease of human being. People design a city in such a way they would want to live in; people design useful tools to overcome their limitations. However, when we gain something we tend to lose something. Defuturing is the severe issue due to the destructions and exploitations for these designed creations. And now, design for sustainment becomes the mutual objective for designers to ensure a sustainable future, in other word, we could claim ourselves as environmental activists as well. Advanced technology improvements indeed bringing us to a better living quality compared to the old days. Despite of this, it led to the privatized trend of life whereas people tend to obtained privately many things that were once only available by sharing. This is in fact an unsustainable practice since the amount of Earth could give is never sufficient for every single person on this world. Moreover, it is the design for consumption in which we as humans are too relying on technology in order to get what we want far exceeding what we need instead. Hence, a redirective approach in designing is a must to shift the technology creation purpose from consumption to the one for sustainment, as what Design as Politics project aimed for.[2]

Design can be said as an innate ability, which makes human unique. In this matter, design democracy as in Hester’s proposal is definitely a good move to engage with multiple views in reaching a best trade-off solution for sustainment.

However, quality is always the priority regardless of quantity. With today’s advanced technology, heaps of easy accessible creative software such as Grasshopper, Rhinoceros, Autocad and etc are bringing the Everyones-Can-Design trend to the community. This ‘bottom up’ approach in computational design somehow led to designs that having forms without content. Thus, design intelligence is paramount in design democracy to ensure a useful design is developed rather than just the fancy form explored from the algorithmic practice. To get people out of the defuturing comfort zone, a discovery of new sustainable living pattern needs the assistance of design intelligence, which manage to redirect the community to betterment.

Sustainment is the acceptance of plurality within one unified goal, a meta-diverse end which he identifies as fundamentally changing our behaviour in order to avoid defutured world.[3] Similar to Fry’s thesis, in the LAGI competition, it encourages people to design a sculptural form that can function as both renewable energy generator as well as tourist attraction. It invites interdisciplinary teams from around the world to present their ideas for what infrastructure art of sustainable city looks like. To ensure the quality of the outcomes, a list of criteria had been set as the reference for the jury. This shows how the quality of interdisciplinary design is being maintained with the set of restrictions. Lacking of ecological literacy made us become less sensible to the natural factors in urban design. According to Hester, it would be a benefit if the city is capitalized on their regional characteristics. A wise use of natural resources, with the principle of maximise the effect from a minimal source would definitely guarantee a continuous supply in the future. Often, as designers, smart use of appropriate resource is indeed important. With the smart use of natural renewable resources available at the site, it would be getting closer to the target for Copenhagen to become the first carbon neutral capital by 2025.


‘Given the fragile nature of the site, we decided to focus on the

air as well as create ground structures that could float in between the network of engineered system and highlight the dramatic topography of the landfill/estuary.’[4] 5 4

Land Art Generator Initiative, Sock Farm(2012), <> [accessed 25 MARCH 2014]

A.1. .21Design DesignFuturing Computation



Iwindn thisbasedproject, in relation to the topography, solar and energy parks are planned along the east and

west slopes through its north-south ridge. For the first part, there would be a series of large greenhouses which called “Fresh Houses” that enclosed in a semi-transparent PV glass structure. On the second part, it consists of wind harvesting Glider kites that move up to a great distance to generate adequate energy. The energy generated will be consumed to power the installation of the tandem sock kites and Fresh Houses. Tethered to these main kites, are the smaller ‘sock’ kites that generate a moving, pulsating canopy on the banks of Main Creek. It acts as a moniker of the wind and the sun as it traces the changing shadows throughout the day. The principle of maximise the effect from a minimal resource have been applied in this design concept. The use of both solar and wind based energy generators in respective to the locations can ensure sufficient energy generated from these renewable resources throughout the year. During winter, although there is less solar energy being captured, but it could be traded-off with the wind energy. Besides, the design also introduces a complementary indoor produce farm on this site to supply food source to the neighbourhood. Greenhouse farming has the potential to attract users by exposing them to the greenhouse planting system.

However, greenhouse farming also requires electrical furnaces whenever supplementary heating is needed to grow the plants. The greenhouse covering could not be insulated well since it needs to allow light to filter into the structure, hence, supplementary heating spent to continually replace the heat lost. Thus, certain amount of energy generated from the renewable resources would be used up to supply electricity to the farm. In addition, for the super kite, albeit it could reach up to a 1000 feet in altitude, however, there is energy loss when it is reeled back by the tether. Hence, in this design, the net-gain energy is largely reduced after the energy loss as well as being used up to power the mobile sculpture of the tandem kites and to run the green houses as well. The unique kinetic airborne canopy could be a trademark of the site but somehow there is a waste of useful energy to power it rather supply to the neighbourhood.

A multifunctional project likes Sock Farm can be a good precedence for the green project at Copenhagen, which rather than only respond to the requirement in the brief, we can do something extra like the green house. Somehow, when doing this, we have to consider the consequences of the design to the environment.

This project would transform the New York City to a new green reality. The use of renewable resources to supply electricity can compensate the part of the carbon emissions produced by the population. Not only that, greenhouse gases can be absorbed by the vegetation in the Fresh Houses.


‘At this tender young age, between telling everyone how big wind energy

would soon be, to the doubt of “smart people” like, for example, my Yaleeducated engineer father, I also saw that the laddermill was a drag machine, that drag-based turbine were the less efficient, therefore the “laddermill” needed to be changed to a lift-based machine - the sky serpent!’[6] 7 6

Selsam and its Awe (2006), <> [accessed 15MARCH 2014]

A.1. .21Design DesignFuturing Computation



his device is equipped with multiple small rotors along its shaft. They all rotate in synchronicity, with the exhaust of the upper rotors helping to drive the ones below it. These rotors act as gyroscopes or spinning tops that stabilizing the driveshaft where they are attached.[5] Doug Selsam invented a high altitude wind generator called the Sky Serpent. The goal is to eventually tap into high winds in the jet stream and generate enough low-cost electricity to supply the increasing demands of the world. Back to traditional windmill, the installation requires a huge space and this becomes restricted due to the overpopulation around the world. The creation of this kind of kite or balloon windmill led to a new chapter in the renewable energy designs. Selsam Superturbine gets rid of any components that do not contribute directly to the generation of power. At its heart is a very long, flexible drive shaft, mounted on a housing with a versatile universal joint and designed to bend and twist at multiple angles to shift along with prevailing winds. Furthermore, this tubine is flexible to the energy productivity as the amount of energy could be increased even more by adding a dirigible anchored to the upper end of the turbineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spine. Once anchored, the entire shaft can freely rotate, adding its own motion to the rotors and allowing even greater power generation. This intelligent design not only serve for wind energy but also solar. The blimp itself could be covered over with solar cells. It

However, this superturbine is yet to be constructed. Whether they do equally well with full-scale turbines still could not be guaranteed although some smaller test models had been made.Even if it could be built, but still these devices will cause safety threats to ships, boats, and wildlife who wander too close, especially in unpredictable conditions due to the swaying with the wind.

For the Copenhagen project, such an innovative design can be a good inspiration. Albeit the given space of the site is limited, but with the creative invention likes this superturbine would definitely reduce the need of large space in order to produce adequate energy. This can be sustainable, as in the future, a tremendous population growth of 100,000 towards 2025 is being forecasted for this city. This indicates more empty spaces are needed for inhabitants.

8 5

Selsam and its Awe (2006), <> [accessed 15MARCH 2014] Selsam and its Awe (2006), <


Oxford Dictionaries (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014] Performative Architecture (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014] 9 Rivka Oxman andRobert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture:INtroduction, ( London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group), pp. 6. 10 Rivka Oxman andRobert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture:INtroduction, ( London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group), pp. 3. 8



rchitecture, according to Oxford Dictionaries, it defines as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the art and study of designing buildings.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;[7]Performative architecture allows the use of digital technologies to challenge the way built environment is designed.[8] The engagement created by designers, engineers, planners, and other related professions create a platform for the creative designs to be built in reality. This trend opens an opportunity for digital architecture to being one of the redirective approaches in leading the community to a sustainable future with their designs. In the past, traditional architecture and designs are sourced from the analysis as well as by the constraints imposed. Thus, limited ideas are able to be produced. Today, the use of computing system in designing process creates more possible outcomes as in virtual world; it allows more imaginations to occur. However, there are also some designers who misuse the technology by simply generate designs from the algorithmic process without critically thinking about the content. This will results in the form created with only aesthetical value rather than functionality. Thus, design thinking always important in computation approach to ensure a qualitative control over the outcomes.

Design computation never reaches its permanent state, it never stop exploring any new possibilities to overcome its restriction as a programming tool. Nowadays, architecture could hardly stand alone without computer. From design process to the production; from the form generation to the fabrication, this man-machine relationship becomes the medium that support design thinking and making.

Apparently, digital materiality and fabrication become a trend in designing. The concept of digital materiality brings a new chapter of digital tectonics in design. With the use of computer, the way we perceive materiality with object is unlike the traditional way. Rather than previously manipulated static forms, designers now can play with geometric flows, which the surface the volumetric deformations that can be explored with computer tools. The performative design of material systems becomes an integral part of the digital architecture. It is the computational modelling of natural principles of performative design of material systems that we can potentially create a second nature, or a sounder architecture with respect to material ecology.[9] Some people accuse that design computation is unrealistic as it allows too much freedoms in designing even though some of these virtual designs could never be built in reality. Somehow, an architectural design is indeed a virtual object. There is no architectural design without some margin of indeterminacy that allows different paths to be followed.[10] In order to allow the virtual world closer to the reality, the invention of software such as Grasshopper creates a set of rules that not only considers the aesthetical value of the design but also the rationality of making it real. Computational design, although it is capable of a high level of generative variability, there are still modes of operation and preferences that constrain the designer. In this case, constraints are good to designs to ensure the outcome is logical in term of construction.

This understanding in computing is playing a role to practice digital design thinking in the project at Copenhagen. A performative sculpture that performs both aesthetical value as well as sustainable feature would be a future trademark for Copenhagen as a green city.


A.2. A.2.Design DesignComputation Computation

Some people would say technology is slowly concurring the human as in we tend to be digitally dependent rather than applying design thinking when comes to the design ideas. Today, this could be untrue since design becomes the thinking of architectural generation through the logic of algorithm. Scripting of set of rules with the control on parameters need logical thinking to relate the objects with their parts-and-whole relationships. As the advanced technologies continually developing, designers could even explore the geometries in a micro scale. In architecture field, the context of envelopes now is becoming more interesting with the ability of producing prefabricated materials in a micro scale.

Complex architectural and engineering challenges of turning a simple idea-solidifying the motion of a cartwheeling aircraft, into a vast kit-of-parts jigsaw puzzle for Richard Wilson’s new sculpture at Heathrow Airport.

‘People move – Architecture stops. People desire – space

defines. The designer as spatial programmer collects movements and desires and releases them into the conception of building.’[11]

-Ben Anderson 11


Performative Architecture (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014]

A.2. A.2.Design DesignComputation Futuring


This challenging project is done with the creative use of computing techniques. A series of computation pro-

cesses were being carried out to produce this unique form and translating it into a buildable kit-of-parts for rapid assembly. These include a novel combination of film animation software, aerospace design tools and scripting. In Slipstream’s design, cutting-edge computer programming technology, a popular technology in aerospace industry is used. It can accurately translate the volume of an aircraft’s movement through space. However, in order to transform this unique sculpture from the virtual world into the reality, many millions of operations had been running through by the generation of parametric modelling together with complex custom script.

Here is the contradiction between rationality and creativity. The generation of the sculpture from the source motion is beautiful, however, for it to be constructed is highly irrational. This is because each point on the Slipstream sculpture are differed and always markedly from every other. Trials followed by trials, a synthetic solution mentioned before made it possible to develop an integrated model of more than 30,000 unique pieces! In order to present the visual design, there is usually a sufficient space to locate the structure to support the envelope of a building. For Slipstream, a three-way iterative design process which finally came out with a satisfied form after 48 version of trying.

The main support of this sculpture is the 76-metre steel skeleton, a series of plywood spars are linking the OSB bulkheads on the skeleton to set out the complex surface of the Slipstream. Onto the upper layer of ply is scribed the settingout pattern for the aluminium panels which the sculpture’s instructions were printed upon its surface. Scripts generated the plywood skin components and the aluminium panels and also dealt with input pieces that displayed a high degree of variance in shape and size. In this case, computation does not only aid in virtual modelling but this digital fabrication also help to build the masterpiece in real world. The creation of Slipstream shows how a creative use of a range of computation technologies end up with such a remarkable sculpture in reality. Without the aid of Grasshopper, it is impossible for me to produce a parametric sculptural design. However, in order to transform the digital design into real model, Rhinoceros is playing an important role with the unrolling surface tool. This technique is quite similar to Slipstream, which many pieces of two dimensional surfaces build up together to form a three dimensional object of complicating curving. The structural system of Slipstream have given me a great idea on how to build up my design in the future by considering extra space for the supporting structure to be accommodated. Furthermore, the principal design of motion inspired me to think of using the abstract wind movement as part of my design ideas.


‘The Helix is truly an engineering marvel. While the structure

is incredibly delicate and intricate, it’s been engineered to support more than 10,000 people at a time. The Helix is the first example of this structural solution applied to a bridge – there is nothing else like it.’[15] -Dr See Lin Ming, Arup project leader 13


ARUP, The Helix (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014]

A.2. Design Computation



he Helix Bridge provides a pedestrian pathway across the head of the Singapore River between the city’s existing CBD and its new Bayfront district.[12] It becomes a symbolic of Singapore’s goal as Asia’s ‘connected city’. During night time, the DNA-inspired design will be emphasized through a series of dynamic multi-coloured LED lights installed on the helix structures. From the plan view, the bridge is in an arc shape arrives fluidly into foreshore promenades on each side. The principal concept of the bridge is the lightweight double helix structure, which is contrasting to the heavy vehicular bridge next to it. The canopy formed from the double helix structure in integrated as segmented glass panels and perforated steel, which makes it different from other bridge structures. This structural typology generates an interesting feeling of moving along the journey. The bridge design is a multidisciplinary product of collaboration between architect (Cox Rayner/Architects 61) and engineer Arup. The concept is developed in 3D using the Arup software. Using Arup’s own 3D software, Oasys to explore possible solutions, a method of successfully linking the two helices was found.[13] The structural design software enables the form-finding and fabric analysis in order to solve structural problems such as tensile strength, right shape to resist applied loads or cope with non-linear fabric materials. Other than that, Oasys’ crowd simulation software enables users to develop custom analysis based on spatial, temporal, operational and personal characteristics of people and their environment.[14] Since The Helix Bridge needs to afford living loads of the passers-by, this software is definitely could be used as reference in the design process. These invented software allows the designers to set constrains onto the design so that can focus upon smaller scope of research.

12 13 14

The Helix Bridge is the first bridge in the world that incorporates the helix structural solution. It is engineered to support more than 10,000 people at a time with the idea of two delicate helix structures act together as a tubular truss. The interesting way of connecting the two separate spiralling steel members is by holding them together with a series of delicate connecting rods to form a rigid tubular structure, which wrapping around each other in opposite direction and one inside the other. A sustainable design approach has been used with the five times less steel than a conventional box girder bridge, and the frame can support the pedestrian deck, shade canopies as well as light fixtures without the need of another sub-structure. This ends up with an attractive functional design that using minimal resources. This inspires me to focus on sustainable construction to be applied in my sculpture design with as less as possible of the material used.

In this project, design computation assists the analysis stage of the design process by collecting the crowd simulation data as well as determines the best solution for the structure to be built in reality. Hence, the development in computation is no longer restricted in the virtual world, but manages to relate the design to real world.

ArchDaily, Helix Bridge/ COx Architect with Architects 61 (2012), < > [accessed 27 MARCH 2014] ARUP, The Helix (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014] Oasys, MassMotion , < > [accessed 27 MARCH 2014]



C omputation is defined as ‘ the processing of information and interactions between elements which constitute

a specific environment; it provides a framework for negotiating and influencing the interrelation of datasets with the capacity to generate complex order, form and structure. [11] From this definition, it refers to the use of computer to process information through algorithm. This later allows exploration of new ideas with the control over parameters and changes made throughout the process. The flexibility of algorithm allows the design to accommodate any changes in parameters effectively. Computational designers tend to generate and explore architectural concepts through modification in algorithms that relate to the respective element. In generative design, it does not simply transform what we can design but having a huge impact on how we build. From a simple cube, it can turn into a variety of different creative geometrical outcomes after went through different explorations. Today, the parametric families of components and the control of data are playing important roles in computational approach to convert the compositional geometry to a generative product. A generative approach designs the process, but not the form. Designer decides where to make the change, how it being made with the ratio set. Hence, the end product contains the ‘story’ of its origin through the algorithm.

Design can be said as an innate ability, which makes human unique. In this matter, design democracy as in Hester’s proposal is definitely a good move to engage with multiple views in reaching a best trade-off solution for sustainment.

Nevertheless, algorithm, which is a front-end analysis needs a clear set of rules in order to run the process in computer. This can be a challenging part for setting a correct input. Sometimes we not sure whether or not the information provided is enough to guess the algorithms. If the points were drawn on a blackboard, we must probably have no problem in sketching their convex hull. However, if it needs us to locate the points in order to form a certain shape, it would require an understanding on how to make it and have a great imagination to figure out the point locations before draw them on the blackboard. This is why most people found algorithm is hard to practice. We need to have a clear image of what we want and how we could make it in order to carry out this task. By imagine what the outcome might be at the end, we can decide the input of the algorithm and most of the time, the outcome is not exactly what we aim for, which there are always unexpected possibilities gained at the end of the stage. What does it mean to be a good algorithm? It’s hard to know when the algorithm is complete and it is good enough that we should stop exploring. Similar to designing, it is crucial for the designers to know when to stop design. Algorithmic practice allows us to keep evaluating the output of each step and if the next stage is giving negative impact on design, we could always back to the previous step.

Parametric modelling would be the main tool for us to run the project of Copenhagen site. Varies from the ordinary design pathway, learning the algorithmic process allows us to practice the digital design thinking as well as the ‘bottom-up’ approach as another alternative for design futuring.


A.3. Composition/Generation

Architecture is currently experiencing a shift from the drawing to the algorithm as the method of capturing and communicating designs.[12] Algorithmic concept allows architects to capture the complexity of how to build a project as well as providing clear information about the parameters that lead to the form formation. This is important since a good design always gone through repetitive experiments and evaluation stages. Algorithm allows architects to easily retrieve back the procedure. Hence, the responsiveness of computational simulation tool allows architects to explore and analyse new decisions during the design process.

‘I’m very interested in probing the human body as a bio-dy-

namic model that can give us new ways of thinking about issues of performance and adaptation at an architectural scale.’[17]

-Jenny Sabin

17 17 Jenny Sabin Studio, MyThread Pavilion (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014]

A.3. Composition/Generation


This is an architecture built for the International Nike Flyknit Collective that housed at Nike Sportwear’s own Bowery Stadium in New York.

How do you knit and braid a building? Could a building be as lightweight as air? How can sport influence both design and fabrication and inspire the next generation of buildings? What if we could form-fit and enhance architecture with bio-architecture and performance of our own bodies?[16]It’s inspiring with the way Sabin think about architecture. Rather than construct a solid rigid building, she thought of ‘knitting’ a building. In this design, Sabin links biology, art and technology together. Body motion was being analysed with the use of Nike + FuelBand technology to collect motion data from group of runners. She later transformed the patterns of this biological data into the geometry and material. With the reference of the dynamic body data, the surface patterns are generated via the parametric tools in design computation. From a single unit of thread, it turns into a building block for structures of great complexity.

With the multidisciplinary knowledge of science, art and technology, Sabin explores the relationship of the body to technology as well as structure, which later turn out to be a complex formfitting structure on a performance-enhancing shoe that made up of simple threads.

MyThread Pavilion made up of harder outer construction and softer, organic inner material. This pavilion employs the generative approach from a single thread to a complex pavilion made up of groups of adaptive knitted, solar active, reflective photo luminescent threads and a steel cable net holding hundreds of aluminium rings. The inner structure of soft textile which made up of whole garment knit elements is reactive to the presence of people as well as lighting. It absorbs, collects and delivers light whenever the materials react to the presence of people. Both response to sunlight and physical interaction is part of Sabin’s approach to enhance the performance and sustainability that Nike Flyknit addressed. This is definitely an interesting design in which it brings life to it. The intelligence act of relating bio architecture to the digital architecture leads to the formation of this creative pavilion. With the use of algorithm process in a repetitive way to this parametric model, it creates this network of reactive threads. This new form creates its own environment, its own community and its own energy with the installation of such sensitive and flexible materials as the cover.

MyThread Pavilion could be a great precedence with its relationship of motion and biology with architecture. The stimulation based on human responsiveness can be a creative feature of the design but without people surrounds, it could be nothing.

18 16

Jenny Sabin Studio, MyThread Pavilion (2014), <> [accessed 27 MARCH 2014]

‘No person could draft them by hand, but they’re buildable — and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form.’[19]

-Michael Hansmeyer

21 19 19

Building Unimaginable Shapes,dir. Michael Hansmeyer, (TED Talk, 2012)

A.3. Composition/Generation



he Subdivided Columns is a project involving the concept and design of a new column based on subdivision processes.[18] An abstracted doric column is used as an input to begin the subdivision processes. This input conveys significant information of topography and topology in regarding to the form to be generated. With the data input provided, this parametric modelling could be generated through algorithms. Along the process, repetitive actions and changes are being made by exerting controllers such as ratio in order to form a New Order Column. This algorithmic process is not a random process, which means there are rules established in order to be efficient. Effectively, the architect designs a process that produces a column, rather than designs a column itself directly. With the use of different parameters, this process can be repeatedly running to create permutations of columns, which later combined to form a new column.

Unlike traditional design processes, the single subidivison process generates the form at multiple scales: from the overall proportions and curvatures, to smaller local surface formations, down to the formation of a micro-structure. More features would be discovered as getting closer to the form. Algorithms allow the additive method which results in a series of columns that contains both local condition as well as an overall coherency and continuity . In architecture, sometimes, we have to roughly figure what we want at the end of the stage. With the finite input, a planned set of rules could be commanded. At the end, the outcomes would not be exactly the same, after gone through some other possibilities along the algorithmic process.


The complexity of column contrasts with the simplicity of its generative process. At the initial prototype fabrication stage, a full-scale of 2.7meter-column was fabricated form a 2D surface of 1mm sheet to form a 3D model. This is definitely labour intensive, which the overall process only needs few seconds to be produced digitally, but it requires days for this columns to be built in reality. Hence, it would be more efficient to be printed with 3D printing technology, which is less time-consuming for the assembly. Sand-printing technology could overcome the limitations such as small-scale and low material costs. It fabricates elements with high resolution and accuracy in a short period of time, which can fully self-supporting as a solid construction.

There is a paradigm shift in making and fabricating in architecture. Computational design thinking through digital tooling and material manifestation is being practiced recently by designers. From a simple cube, algorithmic practice in grasshopper allows possibilities in converting it into a complex façade as shown in the lecture. By referring to a set of database in regarding to the site context, we can manipulating the changing variables in order to produce various possible outcomes, which later can be traded-off to come out with the final satisfied solution. The idea of micro-scale fabrication is quite unique, which itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slowly becomes a new trend in the contemporary architecture.

Michael Hansmeyer Computational Architecture, Michael Hansmeyer-Subdivided Columns, <> [accessed 26 MARCH 2014]


A.4. Conclusion


esign for futuring needs a critical design thinking about development for sustainment and how human behaviour acts upon it. The advanced technologies in architectural design allow a shift from virtual to a position of hybridity with the actual. The emergence of digital architecture proven that computation no longer just for representation purpose, but also practice design thinking digitally, as well as actively explore in prefabrication and materiality. For instance, parametric modelling becomes a popular computational tool which contains a set of data to be manipulated in order to get different possible design outcomes. The generated design outcome usually originated from a simple geometry which later went through a series of algorithmic process. What is my rough design ideas? Sustainability would be the main concern on my design. I would always consider the trade-off effect of my construction to the sustainment. Maximising the strength of my sculpture design with the minimal use of material could be my goal in this project. It will make no difference if we use unsustainable method to build the so-called green project. Thus, I want to minimise the harms caused by the construction of my project to the environment. Other than just functions as a renewable energy generator, I prefer to make my sculpture to be useful in other ways as well, which will give benefits to the users. In brief, not only the aesthetical value that I concern about, but also its impact on the environment and the community. I want it to make a change to the local community. What is my design approach? To do so, computation tool can be employed in design process. Algorithmic process in the parametric modelling will allows me to keep on track with my design process development and explore new possibilities in the parametric tooling. Keep making changes throughout the process and later compare and contrast the several outcomes. Finally, this will end up with the best-suited solution for the project. Meanwhile, along the process, I will make some experiments with simple prototypes.


A.5. Learning Outcomes


fter gone through the readings and lectures, my thinking about computation has shifted from negative to positive. Before this, I always think that digital tool is nothing but simply to represent our ideas in a clearer way. It is just an ‘accessories’ to make my design look better and more presentable. However, now I realised this is not true. Design computation is still in its infancy, which more and more exploration that continually being developed to make the virtual world closer to the reality. It could assist us in exploring new possibilities. The algorithms in computation require the design thinking in order to set the rules as the command for the computer to do its work. Inspired by the work of Michael Hansmeyer, he showed how powerful is the digital tool to do something that we could not get it done with hand. The micro-scale of the details could be produced by computation within a short time but it seems to be an impossible task to build by hands. This understanding allows me to start appreciate what computation could contribute in my design. Back to the past lantern design in Virtual Environments, I would practice Grasshopper tool in the digital modelling so that I could explore more possibilities to best fit my principal design.’



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