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JEN YOUNG TAN

2014 SEMESTER ONE


JEN YOUNG TAN 2014 SEM ONE STUDIO 13 TUTORS BRAD & PHILIP Special thanks to philip and brad for their invaluable guidance marcus the ever supportive bf groupmates cecilia and cat & the best league friends who convince me to do my work instead of playing “just 1 game.. or 2 or 3 or 10”


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introduction

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a. conceptualisation

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b. criteria design

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c. detailed design

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jen

young

tan

549641

s i n g a p o r e //m e l b o u r n e aspiring architect, league of legends fanatic and professional eater

I have always enjoyed drawing, designing and model building. This, together with exposure to various types of architecture in my travels, has inculcated in me a profound interest in architecture and its history. It has always fascinated me how in the past, man could construct intricate and beautiful structures without the use of modern machinery. I also greatly appreciate the growing trend of sustainable/ green architecture and most recently, modern and minimalist architecture. One day, I hope to be able to leave my mark in the architectural world and make a difference in people’s lives.

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I enrolled into the Bachelor of Environments with little knowledge of computer software, be it CAD or 3D modelling. As mentioned earlier, I love hand drawing and this has been my main approach for all my studios over the past two years. In 2012, I was introduced to Rhinoceros through the design studio Virtual Environments. Having no experience with modelling programs prior to this, I found it initially difficult to pick up. However, I gradually learned to appreciate digital modelling for its efficiency and flexibility.


introduction

During the 2013 summer break, I was very fortunate to be able to intern at an emerging architectural firm in Singapore. It was an invaluable experience in many ways. I had the opportunity to work on some residential projects, picking up AutoCAD and learning about interior designing and joinery amongst others. Most importantly, I realised how different the working world of architecture was in contrast with what I had anticipated.

Digital architecture is interesting as it allows for a unique and varied approach to design in contrast with traditional methods. This is especially evident with the emergence of parametric design in architecture today, especially in recent years. Even though I’ve never designed a building using parametric design, I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate built examples, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which was innovatively designed using CATIA1. Through Studio Air, I hope to be able to learn and discover more about parametric design and how to work towards design intent through this approach. In addition, I hope to be able to further develop my 3D modelling techniques, especially with the importance of such skills in the architecture industry today.

1. “Parametric Design: A Brief History”, AIACC, 25 June 2012, http://www.aiacc.org/2012/06/25/parametric-design-a-brief-history/.

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A.1. design futuring LAGI Precedent energy technology research

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A.2. design COMPUTATION journal precedent - contemplay precedent - Zaragoza

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a.3. composition/generation journal precedent - khan shatyr precedent - slipstream

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a.4. conclusion

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a.5. learning outcome

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a.6. references appendix

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Fig 1.1 Artist’s impression of Plan Bee

Fig 1.2 Artist’s impression of a nectar pod 1.1. Plan Bee, < http://landartgenerator.org/LAGI-2012/LAGI2012/>. 1.2. Nectar pod, < http://landartgenerator.org/LAGI-2012/LAGI2012/>.

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a.1 lagi precedent

â&#x20AC;&#x153;...the conscious emulation of natures geniusâ&#x20AC;? Janine Benyus

With a design concept based on the beehive, Plan Bee is an installation that generates renewable energy that can potentially provide electricity for 170,000 homes comfortably. Its design integrates the sky, earth and the sea, which is similar and very relevant to the Copenhagen site in the LAGI 2014 brief. Plan Bee incorporates modern technology with simple influences from nature, which, in my opinion, is extremely crucial for LAGI. It reflects how any nature is able to produce sustainable outcomes and ensures that the design process is always related back to the surrounding contexts. In addition, it promotes advanced usage of wind energy through releasing a turbine from a fixed structure, letting it fly. This method is able to generate more wind energy in contrast with conventional methods.

Not only is Plan Bee a system to generate wind energy, it is also aesthetically attractive and engaging. Nectar pods, which house the operating system, dot the site, creating interest in visitors. When static, the beekites are displayed on their perches and prove to be an amazing sight when in the air. After dusk, the kites are gently lit with light-emitting diodes, an ethereal and surreal sight.

This project reflects how elements and geometries found in nature can integrate with technology to provide sustainable solutions, expanding future possibilities of energy generation. At the same time, it is constantly kinesthetic, aesthetically pleasing and educational for visitors. Plan Bee serves as a reminder of how beautiful the environment and nature while reinforcing the importance of supporting sustainable energy generation. It provides inspiration for further development of projects incorporating social, cultural, environmental and natural factors.

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Fig 1.4 Medium Wind Belt

Fig 1.3 Micro Wind Belt

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Fig 1.5 Oscillation of the Wind Belt

The Windbelt is the first non-incremental innovation that does not require a turbine to harvest wind. It utilizes aeroelastic flutter to garner energy from the wind2, unlike typical rotating turbines, which can be an aesthetic eyesore. Aeroelastic flutter is notorious for being the devastating force that caused the collapse of the Tacom Narrows Bridge3. However, its ability to capture strong winds reflects its potential benefits.

The main mechanism of The Windbelt comprises of a taut membrane, which shakes and vibrates upon wind flowing over it4. From there, the energy produced from the moving membrane is then converted into electricity through various linear generators5. This is a cheap and clean alternative to tradition production of wind energy.

2. “Windbelt Innovation,” Humdinger Wind Energy, 2010, http://www.humdingerwind.com/. 3. Institute of Physics, ‘Reinventing Wind Power’ in Discover, date unknown, http://www.physics.org/ featuredetail.asp?id=47. 4. Institute of Physics, Discover. 5. “Windbelt Innovation,” Humdinger Wind Energy.

6. Humdinger Wind Energy, Windbelt Innovation.

Various scales of The Windbelt are available, ranging from Windbelts that are tinier than a Blackberry to Windcell Panels spanning metres high6. Thus, the variation of Windbelts available should be considered during the design process and aesthetically integrated in the final design.


a.1 ENERGY TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH

Fig 1.6 Ability of the Wind Belt to deliver diverse types of power

1.3. Windbelt, <http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/windbelt-ed02.jpg>. 1.4. Windcell, <http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/07.09/images/windbelt-photo_300.jpg>. 1.5. Oscillation Profile, < http://www.humdingerwind.com/#/wi_overview/>. 1.6. Windbelt Overview Drawing, <http://www.humdingerwind.com/#/wi_overview/>.

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In recent years, 2D and 3D computer software have become increasingly popular and integral in architectural design. Computers have the ability to rapidly analyze and extract information from a general pool of data and process it more precisely than the human brain ever could. More importantly, such complex information can be replicated in forms that are easier to comprehend.7 In addition, computers have proved to be extremely beneficial for problem solving. It approaches any issue neutrally and is able to produce a multitude of solutions rapidly.8 This, combined with the ability of the human brain to be creative and dynamic, produces cutting-edge and modern design ideas.

Computation enables drastic design intents to be achieved through precision and calculations. It takes into consideration all the factors that might affect the design process and fabricates this information. With computing, architecture is no longer solely about design, but incorporates science, technology and culture as well.9 More often than not, the combination of computer software and traditional design approach creates curvilinear forms combined with interesting textures and cladding.10 Architectural design is thus improved and revolutionized as new designs can be achieved easily through the combination of computation and creativity.

Fig 1.7 (right) FLUX by CCA Architecture/ MEDIAlab 7. Yehuda E. Kalay. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of ComputerAided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 5. 8. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, 6. 9. Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge, eds 2014), 1.

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“Formation precedes form”.11 This phrase is an apt representation of how computation has influenced and changed the entire design approach. The design process has an even larger influence and impact on the final design outcome than it did before. This is especially evident in parametric modeling, whereby the relationship between parts-and-whole is crucial, creating a new approach to design philosophy.12 Computer software ensures that one thinks critically about the design development, as every change made, regardless how major or minor, has an impact on the final outcome.

Computation has resulted in a multi-disciplinary approach towards architectural design with the incorporation of mathematics and science, amongst others. Numbers and formulas are now used as a basis to create design. This allows complex geometries and patterns to be considered and integrated in the actual design process, and not simply utilized as a finishing. In addition, materiality and how they affect the design can, and should be considered – “Transition to an architecture of a new transparency and materiality, and surfaces of complex material systems.”13 This reflects how essential it is for the engineer and architect to work in sync in order to coordinate the various aspects that now have an even larger influence on design. As mentioned in the Kalay reading, design comprises of Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation and Communication.14 This process ensures that any discrepancies between the design process and computation are able to be resolved easily. Thus, an agreeable solution that fulfills all criteria of the design process can then be easily attained.

10. Oxman and Oxman, Theories of the Digital, 2. 11. Oxman and Oxman, Theories of the Digital, 3. 12. Oxman and Oxman, Theories of the Digital, 3. 13. Oxman and Oxman, Theories of the Digital, 5. 14. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, 14. 1.7. FLUX, < http://matsysdesign.com/2009/06/25/flux-architecture-in-a-parametric-landscape/>.


a.2 DESIGN COMPUTATION

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Fig 1.8 Structural and cladding details

Fig 1.9 The ContemPLAY Pavilion

1.8. Pavilion details, < http://issuu.com/farmm/docs/contemplay_1_/1?e=0/6633845>. 1.9. ContemPLAY Pavilion, < http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/09/ContemPLAY-McGill-2.jpg>. 2.0. Detail, < http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/09/ContemPLAY-McGill-2. jpg>.

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a.2 PRECEDENt

Fig 2.0 Moiré and Möbius detail

The ContemPLAY Pavilion is a student-led initiative developed at the McGill School of Architecture under the M.Arch course Community Design Workshop, and was launched to commemorate the new Design Research Studio. This project showcased how modern digital software and construction techniques could be utilized to create architecture in public spaces.

The socially sustainable sculpture creates visual interest from afar through its dramatic form, curves and geometry. The main structure comprises of a three dimensional Möbius space frame that twists and attaches to itself.15 The usage of the Möbius strip creates an architectural form that is able to connect the interior and exterior together. With digital modeling software, such curvilinear forms and continuous curves can be achieved easily due to the emergence of “topological” geometry, a stark contrast from rigid geometric forms in Cartesian space.16 This creates an undulating, fluid shape which can be further developed.

15. “ContemPLAY Pavilion – McGill School of Architecture,” Evolvo, published 5 April 2011, http:// www.evolo.us/architecture/contemplay-pavilion-mcgill-school-of-architecture/. 16. Branko Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), 15. 17. “Projects: ContemPLAY Pavilion,” FARMM Research, last accessed 2014, http://farmmresearch.com/projects/contemplay/.

The Möbius strip and Moiré pattern create an optical effect, a kinetic and interactive experience for the user. Upon approaching, the phenomenon of optical fluctuation occurs, resulting in a unique and aestheically pleasing visual sight.

The ContemPLAY Pavilion reflects how an otherwise difficult design intent can be achieved. There was the inherent difficulty of producing a Möbius strip using two separate surfaces to ensure that the perception of the structure enabled the correct cladding effect to be displayed.17 With parametric modelling, virtual prototypes that can be tested and analyzed.

Certain design intents can only be replicated in digital modelling. This precedent reflects so, and how design can be integrated with digital technology to create complex geometries and structures. The ContemPLAY Pavilion provides a new perspective of architecture in urban public space and how it can revolutionize and create new spaces to engage the community through a combination of social and environmental sustainability, parametric modeling and a design-focused approach.

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Fig 2.1 Elevation of Bridge Pavilion

Zaha Hadid’s Bridge Pavilion is the entrance for the World Expo 2008 Zaragoza. Designed by Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, it is considered Zaragoza’s answer to Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao. Its fluid, dynamic design is a literal representation of the Expo theme ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. The Bridge Pavilion is one of the few buildings in the world that manages to combine the two typologies of engineering and architectural elements18, creating a building-bridge. The structure comprises of two intertwining surfaces that span across the River Ebro. The first surface works as a base support for the second and more intricate surface, which comprises of a set of triangular sections.19 The surface rises and fluctuates organically, resembling the crashing of waves and ripples. This creates four main pods that have structural and spatial functions as they distribute the weight whilst creating four separate exhibition spaces.20 The manipulation of the two surfaces creates an elegant structure that is both an engineering and architectural marvel. Such level of detail and spatial quality can only be derived from a computational approach.

18. “Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion,” arcspace, last modified 19 Dec 2013, http://www.arcspace.com/features/zaha-hadid-architects/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion/. 19. Mark Gacia, “World Expo 2008 Zaragoza,” Architectural Design 78, 6 (2008): 102. 20. Garcia, “World Expo 2008 Zaragoza,” 103. 21. “Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion,” Zaha Hadid Architects, last modified unknown, http://www.zaha-hadid. com/design/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion/?doing_wp_cron.

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Signs of parametric modeling are reflected through the expression and performance of the bridge. It manipulates the simple geometry of the triangle to create a habitable, evolving structure with a distinct, striking effect. Shark scales inspire this cladding, creating an optical pattern of panels.21 This creates a unique aesthetic effect that makes it difficult to define the true form of the structure at times, even appearing somewhat alive and pulsating at times. This pattern is dynamic and flexible – it can be wrapped and contoured around the structure’s complex curvatures through a system of rectilinear ridges.22

This method is not just aesthetically appealing, but functional and economical as well. This precedent reflects how parametric modeling is able to create a rational approach towards defining and cladding complex surfaces into an elegant and beautiful structure. It is also a good example of how natural elements can be adapted and utilised in design strategies. In addition, it also helps to raise awareness and through reflecting the themes of water conservation and sustainability through its structure. 22. Gacia, “World Expo 2008 Zaragoza,” 103.


a.2 PRECEDENT

Fig 2.2 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Shark scalesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cladding details

a myriad of curving, interwoven structures forms a kind of intriguing architectural peristalsis, a visual delight unlike any other.

2.1. Bridge Pavilion, < http://www.zaha-hadid.com/design/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion/?doing_wp_cron>. 2.2. Cladding details < http://www.architonic.com/aisht/zaragoza-bridge-zaha-hadid-architects/5100245>, <https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/ucin1367924318/inline>, <http://www.arcspace.com/ features/zaha-hadid-architects/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion/>, < http://www.zaha-hadid.com/design/zaragoza-bridge-pavilion/?doing_wp_cron>.

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a.3 COMPUTATION/GENERATION

Computational design reflects how the development of design is integrated with data, which enables such information to influence and guide the design process. As expressed by Brady Peters, it “augments the intellect of the designer and increases capability to solve complex problems.”23 However, there is an increasing shift towards a generative design approach, which further utilizes computer software in an intrinsic manner.

Kolarevic describes generative design as “digitally generated forms (are) not designed or drawn as the conventional understanding of these terms, but (are) calculated by the chosen generative computational method.”24 Generative design is thus not simply a tool to create forms based on the design prcess. Rather, it generates a multitude of possible design solutions based on a series of inputs – algorithms.

Algorithms are defined as “an unambiguous, precise, list of simple operations applied mechanically and systematically to a set of tokens or objects.”25 It defines how a function is computed. As stated in the reading, there are infinite intensional definitions for every extensional definition, which are the inputs and outputs of any single function.26 Essentially, this is how generative design works. A fixed set of data is analyzed and processed to produce multiple solutions, which is then further developed by the designers. This method is highly beneficial as it enhances the capabilities of the designer to resolve complex issues.

23. Brady Peters, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design 83, 2 (2013): 10. 24. Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age, 13. 25. Robert A. Wilson and Frank C. Keil, “Definition of Algorithm” in The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press, 1999), 11. 26: Wilson and Keil, “Definition of Algorithm”, 11.

Algorithmic thinking encourages the development of generating and even modifying codes to alter the designs that will be produced.27 This approach is also beneficial as it enables the monitoring and integration of building aspects that would otherwise be impossible, such as considering future building performance.28 The following precedents will discuss such an approach to design. However, overreliance on computation and generation might also have its banes – sketching allows the architect to be more familiar with the building in ways which computer software cannot. With hand sketches, one can also consider scale, materiality and other factors without worrying about precision. Most importantly, sketches often trigger imagination and creativity, both of which are essential for designing. That said, generative design is an emerging form of design and will develop to become an integral part of architecture. As Peters so aptly puts, “When

architects have a sufficient understanding of algorithmic concepts, when we no longer need to discuss the digital as something different, then computation can become a true method of design for architecture.”29 It is truly when we are able to grasp and fully comprehend generative design that we will be able to achieve a new and revolutionary approach to architectural design. Fig 2.3 (left) Three-layer ETFE envelope of Khan Shatyr

27. Peters, “Computation Works”, 10. 28. Peters, “Computation Works”, 13. 29. Peters, “Computation Works”, 11. 2.3. ETFE Envelope, http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/khan-shatyr-entertainment-centre/ gallery/.

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Fig 2.4 (Above) Different formation options based on the structural forces of a cable structure

2.4. Formation options, http://www.bradypeters.com/khan-shatyr-centre.html.

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a.3 PRECEDENT

By Foster + Partners, this tented structure in Kazakhstan is an example of how generative design was considered along with materiality in architectural design to create a suitable building with a climatic envelope. The initial design forms were developed through the usage of a form-finding algorithm.30 A series of building forms was then defined and further altered through the integration of this algorithm with parametric modeling. Architect Brady Peters assisted the entire design and construction process through producing the aforementioned structural forms. Using a customized computer program, he was able to actually replicate the structural behaviour of a cable net structure, thus producing various outcomes.31

This precedent reflects how Foster + Partners and Peters had a deeper understanding and control of generative design, considering it alongside geometry and building materiality. None of these building factors were considered before or after one another; rather, they were developed in parallel and influenced one another.32 This resulted in a civic, cultural and social centre created beneath a light, economical and thermally efficient envelope, and a testament to the capabilities of computer generation.

30. “Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre”, Brady Peters, date unknown, http://www.bradypeters.com/ khan-shatyr-centre.html. 31. “Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre”, Brady Peters. 32. “Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre”, Brady Peters.

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Slipstream, an “aircraft on a fantastic acrobatic trajectory through the space”, is a spectacular suspended sculpture to be displayed in Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2, which will be revealed in 2014. A complex 76 metre myriad of steel with more than 30000 unique components, this opulent sculpture utilizes precision engineering to simulate the action of a plane in motion. The structure is designed by artist Richard Wilson, whose works are heavily influenced by the engineering and construction industries. This sculpture is no exception – aerospace design tools and construction methods had to be employed for this project.33

It is extremely difficult to calculate the “shape in space” and project the fluid movement of the plane due to its non-linear route.34 In addition, other factors such as structure and buildability had to be considered, as well as time constraints. Hence, film animation software was used to produce an “elegant, continuous trajectory”35 within the Building Information Model (BIM) of Terminal 2. Apart from producing a design based on the plane motion, there was also a need to consider the volume that would be produced, and the structure required to support it.36 Thus, 48 variations were produced and scrutinized before a decision on the final movement that satisfied architectural and engineering needs was made.

33. Ralph Parker and Tim Lucas, “Tripping the Flight Fantastic: Slipstream, Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport,” Architectural Design 84, 1 (2014): 77. 34. Parker and Lucas, “Tripping the Flight Fantastic,” 77. 35. Parker and Lucas, “Tripping the Flight Fantastic,” 77. 36. Parker and Lucas, “Tripping the Flight Fantastic,” 81.

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In order for such a structure to be realized, swept volume algorithms capable of discretisation were created to produce a ‘mesh’ of the trajectory. Complex custom scripts and parametric modeling then produced a final model comprising of 30,000 unique pieces. A steel skeleton supports the structure, with a series of 110 OSB Bulkheads and plywood ‘combs’ linked together, creating a basis for the cladding.37 The surface is intricate and full of contours, comprising of aluminum ribbons of varying thicknesses and size coming together to form a streamline, undulating surface. Each component of the sculpture is unique and comes together through a specific geometry.

Slipstream is an example of how a beautiful, organic sculpture can be produced through a series computer software. More importantly, it showcases the emergence of an interdisciplinary approach to architecture and design through the usage of computer programming technology. Rather than being limited to conventional modes of ‘shape in space’, Wilson integrated aerospace technology and engineering, as well as parametric design that not only produced a revolutionary sculpture, but also met time and procurement constraints.

Clockwise from top: A sleek 76 metre structure, sculpture detail, film animation software producing a trajectory, programmatically generated rivet positions on the scultpture 37. Parker and Lucas, “Tripping the Flight Fantastic,” 79.


a.3 PRECEDENT

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a.4 CONCLUSION/A.5 learning outcomes

conclusion Parametric design has the ability to process and analyze data faster and better. This is crucial in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s society, whereby there is an increasing need for precision, speed and results. With the spread of ideas and technology in this age, visual programming can only become more prevalent and integral in the architecture and design industries.

The precedents have been especially important in influencing my intended design approach, exposing me to the diverse capabilities of parametric modeling and computational design. In particular, I would like to further explore the idea of a multidisciplinary approach and how it can inspire the design process differently. The ContemPLAY Pavilion and Bridge Pavilion displayed how technology further blurred the lines between engineering and architecture to create structures that were structurally and aesthetically appealing. I was also intrigued by the emergence of generative design and how beneficial it was for contemporary architecture. This was reflected in the precedents by Foster + Partners and Richard Wilson where numerous design options could be explored, even with the integration of factors such as materiality, as well as constraints. This was only possible due to the usage of technology and information from other disciplines, which helped to influence and inform design decisions.

A multidisciplinary approach to architecture and design is not new; however, digital technology has enabled a direct influence over design generation. It allows for a design process that considers every single aspect in equal value, creating an integrated digital response. As Kolarevic states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the design information IS the construction information.â&#x20AC;?38 Such a mindset is important as it allows for deeper understanding and control over design. Through the Classical to Renaissance periods, architects had a complete understanding over their buildings and structures due to their complete involvement in design and construction. 37. Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age, 7.

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Coming full circle, computational design today provides architects with the convenience and ease to do the same through generating forms that integrate structure and design. Generative design allows the emergence of a multitude of solutions while integrating factors such as materiality, sustainability and energy production and of course, creating an aesthetically appealing solution.

learning outcomes Over the past three weeks, I have definitely become more well-informed and learned about architecture computing. Grasshopper has been a rather steep learning curve thus far given that I am hopeless with technology. However, the videos have been relatively helpful in providing tips and guiding me in my learning journey. The readings have also assisted in a further understanding of the mechanics behind Grasshopper, which I thought was very beneficial as it provided a comprehensive learning guide. It has been interesting learning about the evolution and rise of parametric design, and studying precedents helped to bridge the software and readings together and reflected the potential of parametric design. Looking back, this knowledge would definitely have influenced some of my past designs, such as in Virtual Environments, where I would have the opportunity to explore further design solutions. However, parametric modeling is not necessarily applicable to all of my design approaches. At this point of time, I would consider a computational approach to design rather than a generative one - unlike computers and technology, a human mind is limitless in its creativity. That said, I can forsee parametric modeling becoming an integral part of my design process, and I hope to further my understanding and knowledge to gain a better understanding of generative design.


A.6 REFERENCES

Garcia, Mark, “World Expo 2008 Zaragoza,” Architectural Design 78, 6 (2008), 100-105.

Kalay, Yehuda E, Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 5-25.

Kolarevic, Branko, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing (New York; London: Spon Press, 2003), 3-62. Parker, Ralph and Lucas, Tim “Tripping the Flight Fantastic: Slipstream, Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport,” Architectural Design 84, 1 (2014), 74-81.

Peters, Brady, “Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought”, Architectural Design, 83, 2 (2013), 08-15 Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman, Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge, eds 2014), 1-10. Wilson, Robert A. and Keil, Frank C., “Definition of ‘Algorithm” in The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press, eds 1999), 11-12.

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The set of data shown above is based on the monthly maximum temperature reached in Copenhagen, Denmark for the years 2004, 2008 and 2012. This activity was extremely useful and relevant - it allowed me to understand better how a series of potential design solutions could be produced from a single set of inputs, as mentioned in the earlier readings and precedents. It is a visual representation of the information that was provided. From here, the surfaces can be further developed and produce a design outcome.

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a.6 appendix - algorithmic sketches

This algorithmic exercise was useful as well as it displayed how useful Grasshopper is in producing various geometric surfaces easily and efficiently. As depicted in the examples on the left, two separate types of panelling/fabrication approaches create two vastly different visual outcomes on the same curved surface. This is important as other factors, such as buildability and materiality can be taken into consideration when producing such panels.

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B.1. RESEARCH FIELD BIOMIMICRY

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B.2. case study 1.0. voltadom the morning line spanish pavilion selection criteria

31 35 39 41

B.3. case study 2.0. nonlin/lin pavilion reverse engineering

43 45

B.4. technique: development review

51 57

B.5. technique: prototypes digital prototypes physical prototypes

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B.6. technique: proposal

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B.7. learning objectives & outcomes

67

B.8. References appendix

68 69

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“ The germ is the real thing: the seat of identity. Within its delicate mechanism lies the will to power: the function of which is to seek and eventually to find its full expression in form. The seat of power and the will to live constitute the simple working idea upon which all that follows is based ” - Louis Sullivan Biomimicry: Bios, meaning life and mimesis, meaning to imitate.1 It is an emerging discipline that adapts ideas from nature, utilizing them to solve issues; essentially, “innovation inspired by nature”. Taking inspiration from nature is not new – architects such as Sullivan and Wright have long been inspired to incorporate nature into their designs. However, this evolving form of biomimicry in architecture draws inspiration from not just the visual forms and structures of nature, but the inner logic and systems of the morphological processes that occur.2 In this case, the design process is influenced by the fundamental processes in nature, which work in sync to provide a useful mechanism through a combination of simple materials and processes. Nature can be referred to as a model, measure and mentor3: Model - Studying nature’s models and then emulating these forms, processes, systems and strategies Measure - Using an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations Mentor - A new way of viewing and valuing nature

Biomimicry provides an insight into the understanding of microscale and nanoscale structures found in nature and adopting the useful systems found – “Transforming these structures into an embodiment with true utility.”4 With parametric design, we are able to replicate the functions of nature more precisely, akin to how mathematical machines are produced, according to the ChurchTuring Hypothesis.5

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1. “What is Biomimicry?,” Biomimicry Institute, 2014, http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/about-us/ what-is-biomimicry.html. 2. John Frazer, Themes VII: An Evolutionary Architecture, (London: Architectural Association Publications, 1995), 10. 3. “What is Biomimicry?,” http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/about-us/what-is-biomimicry.html. 4. “Biomimetics,” Tom Mueller, National Geographic, April 2008, http://ngm.nationalgeographic. com/2008/04/biomimetics/tom-mueller-text 4.

The processes found in nature are in some sense, similar to the mechanism behind parametric design. Simple systems come together naturally to produce a complex end product. In order for such an emulation to be successful, there is thus a need to understand the design strategies based on biomimicry, and not simply develop a conceptual design based solely on aesthetic construction. Biomimicry also showcases how simple materials that are found in nature can be utilized in such a way that forms “structures of complexity, strength and toughness”.6 This usage of materiality is especially important, especially when it can be considered throughout the design process. With computer technologies, biomimicry as a conceptual design allows for the further exploration of structural advantages and natural formations to create a series of design outcomes. However, the dynamics and variability of the elements interacting with each other in nature should be considered, and how they can in turn affect the design process. There is the inherent risk of being too focused on the conceptual design of biomimicry to the extent that further design progress becomes limited.7 It is essential to prevent the final design solution from being too literal. At the same time, the complexity of nature should still be subtly integrated and translated into the design.

5. Frazer, Themes VII, 13. 6. “Biomimetics,” http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/04/biomimetics/tom-mueller-text 7. “Biomimicry: Just Let Go,” Carl Hastrich, Bouncing Ideas: Emerging Design Ideas of Biomimicry, Critical Creativity, Sustainability and Strategic Thinking, Feb 2013, http://bouncingideas.wordpress. com/2013/02/04/biomimicry-just-let-go/.


b.1 research field

The ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion at the University of Stuttgart showcases how biomimicry as a conceptual design is realized through the construction of a temporary, bionic research pavilion. It interprets the plate skeleton morphology of the sand dollar and adopted the basic principles of its shell to create a simple geometric structure.8 This project reflects how the perfomative capacity of a structure can be converted into architectural design based on structural and material behaviours found in nature. Through parametric design, element simulations were created in order to analyze and modify the structure based on the information provided to create a modular, bionic pavilion. My group aims to use computational methods in a similar approach to provide a solution for the LAGI brief based on biomimicry, through adapting structural performances found in nature, along with ideas of sustainability and materiality to create a desired design outcome.

Fig 1.1 Tension/Compression of the pavilion structure

8. “ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion,” Universität Stuttgart, 2011, http://icd.uni-stuttgart.de/?p=6553.

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Installed in commemoration of MIT’s 150th Anniversary Celebration and FAST Arts Festival, VoltaDom reflects multidisciplinary research based practice SJET’s (founded by Skylar Tibbits) venture into parametric design8. This vaulted passageway is reminiscent of the works of Escher and Gaudi, as well as great rib-vaulted ceilings found in Gothic cathedrals. Through revisiting one of the most significant in architectural history, a contemporary and sculptural interpretation of the vaulted ceiling was produced through computational design and fabrication9, producing an elegant, organic and modern structure.

The vaults were inspired by the idea of voronoi in biomimicry, which divides space into regions based on a specified set of points. This created the general layout of the vaults that formed the passageway, providing thickened surface articulation, along with oculi on each vault that allows light to penetrate whilst providing views10. VoltaDom also aimed to further develop the idea of the architectural “surface panel” through an increase in the depth of a doubly curved vaulted surface11. This results in an effect of curves within curves – elegant, organic and intriguing.

8. “VoltaDom Installation / Skylar Tibbits + SJET,” Lidija Grozdanic, eVolvo, 22 Nov 2011, http://www. evolo.us/architecture/voltadom-installation-skylar-tibbits-sjet/. 9. “VoltaDom Installation / Skylar Tibbits + SJET,” Lidija Grozdanic, eVolvo, 22 Nov 2011, http://www. evolo.us/architecture/voltadom-installation-skylar-tibbits-sjet/. 10. “VoltaDom: MIT 2011,” SJET, 2011, http://www.sjet.us/MIT_VOLTADOM.html. 11. “VoltaDom: MIT 2011,” SJET, 2011, http://www.sjet.us/MIT_VOLTADOM.html.

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In order to realize such an outcome, the Skylar Tibbits team decided on a fabrication approach that was unique and novel – the transformation of the double curved vaults into simplified, developable forms that could be fabricated easily and efficiently. Essentially, the fabrication technique was akin to that of rolling a strip of material12. This resulted in a series of forms that could be easily assembled and still evoke a vaulted effect.

VoltaDom reflects how nature and architectural history can integrate together to produce a contemporary installation, recognizing one of architecture’s most important elements – the vault. This is further supported with the emergence of digital fabrication and parametric design, which not only allows for material and design limitations to be easily identified and resolved, but even simplifies the fabrication process, allowing for easy assembly of the installation.

Fig 1.2 (Right) A series of voronoi and oculi to create a vaulted passageway

12. “Skylar Tibbits: VoltaDom,” Arts at MIT, date unknown, http://arts.mit.edu/fast/fast-light/fastinstallation-skylar-tibbits-vdom/. Fig 1.2 Installation VoltaDom, <http://www.evolo.us/architecture/voltadom-installation-skylar-tibbitssjet/>.


b.2 case study 1.0

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HEIGHT OF CONES RADIUS OF OCULI NO. OF POINTS RADIUS OF CONE

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b.2 case study 1.0. In this definition, voronoi are created through the intersection of cones with a plane which then trims off the cone tip, creating an oculus.

Fig 1.3 Original voronoi from precedent

The cone heights, oculi diameter and number of cones are the variable parameters that define the aesthetic outcome of the voronoi. The number and position of points can also be randomly selected to create a desirable pattern. However, a limitation for this definition is the extent to which it can be modified until it no longer represents voronoi.

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The Morning Line is a performance space for musicians and composers. Inspired by biomimicry, it explores revolutionary architectural possibilities and computational design. Designed by architects Aranda/Lasch, its multidisciplinary approach to architecture considers other aspects e.g. art, mathematics, cosmology, music and science13.

The geometry comprises of an equilateral tetrahedron, which is truncated using fractalprocessing techniques to produce an appropriate form. With generative and parametric design to complement the architects’ creativity, this otherwise complex process then becomes easier to achieve.

13. “The Morning Line by Matthew Ritchie with Aranda\Lasch and Arup”, Design Boom, last modified 2 April, http://www.designboom.com/art/the-morning-line-by-matthew-ritchie-with-aranda-laschand-arup/. 14. “The Morning Line”, Siggraph, last modified 2 April, http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/galleries_experiences/generative_fabrication/04.php.

15. “Matthew Ritchie with Aranda\Lasch and Arup AGU – The Morning Line”, Art Contemporary, last modified 2 April, http://www.tba21.org/pavilions/49/page_2?category=pavilions. 16. “The Morning ine”, Siggraph, last modified 2 April, http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/galleries_experiences/generative_fabrication/04.php.

The architects wanted the building to “directly express its content through its structure”14, producing a building that was seismographic. They were also inspired by cosmological theories, which resulted in the idea of a cellular-like structure15. Thus, a series of recursive fractal-inspired geometries were developed and repeated.

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The structure was constructed using 17 tons of coated aluminum. The pavilion is not simply a space that can be occupied, but is also a sculptural masterpiece with much aesthetic appeal16. This integration of structure and design is easily achieved through the rise of generative design. It reflects how parametric design is able to create a new approach to architecture and consider a multi-disciplinary approach.


b.2 case study 1.0

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SCALE (0.3 - 0.6)

NO. OF SIDES (3 - 8)

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b.2 case study 1.0. The definition comprises of defining the size of the polygon through determining the radius and number of sides of the geometry, controlled through sliders in Grasshopper.

However, there were limitations when it came to further expanding on this definition - the number of sides of the polygon was inversely proportional to the extrusion point in the x-axis, which resulted in the flattening of the 3D object formed.

A scalar slider determines the number of fractals that is found on the polygon. As reflected in the sketches, an increase in the number of fractals creates increasingly complex forms.

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INCREASING APERTURE

INCREASED VARIATION OF HEIGHT

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b.2 case study 1.0. The base geometry of a hexagon is replicated and used to form a pattern. In this instance, both the apertures and heights of the geometries can be varied. The offset distance to determine the aperture can be changed accordingly with the use of a slider, creating different visual effects.

The height of the cells can also be changed. To create a more dynamic outcome, image sampling was integrated into the definition to create more variation of the heights. With the ability to vary both aperture and heights, an otherwise simple pattern is able to create more visual interest and appeal.

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b.2 case study 1.0.

The group decided on the following Selection Criteria: - Functionality of the space and the structure - Buildability and realization of project - Ability to harness energy via use of wind - Aesthetic relation to the site - Incorporating ideas of biomimicry - Materiality - Consideration of users; creating a space that can be occupied - Affect and effect - Light and shadow to create an emotive response

These four outcomes were considered to be more successful than the others because they reflect the key characteristics found in the case studies but at the same time, are unique and developed differently from the original iterations. The selected outcomes are visually distanct, and also provide more opportunity to be further developed.

The geometry produced could be easily manipulated and applied to future designs in various ways, such as panelling. They also have the ability to influence the overall form and arrangement of any given structure. The qualities of these iterations are unique, comprising of both organic and angular lines that evoke ideas of biomimicry and nature. Due to the variety of case studies investigated, the effects that could be derived from these geometries are endless - from a Voronoi shattering effect to the infinte pattern of fractals. When taken into consideration with the other factors as aforementioned in the Selection Criteria, these geometries can then be applied to a vast variety of forms, surfaces and spaces. Through manipulating the relevant parameters to produce a desirable outcome, they can be easily diversified and applied to most forms and surfaces, regardless of how undulating, angular or curvaceous it may be.

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Figs 1.3 - 1.5 (From left to right) Tubular forms integrating together to create Y-shaped enclosures under, the tubes then flaring out to form puckering surfaces with various apertures, then conjoining with each other

Figs 1.3 - 1.5. http://www.dezeen.com/2011/08/02/nonlinlin-pavilion-by-marc-fornestheverymany/.

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b.3 case study 2.0.

The NonLin/Lin Pavilion is an elegant perforated pavilion that investigates the design and build component of a precise environment whilst incorporating analogies from nature and economic and cultural contexts17. Its built form, resembling that of a coral, was developed through custom computational protocols using a series of parameters including form finding, form description to produce developable linear elements, information modeling, generational hierarchy and digital fabrication18. It thus utilized parametric design to create a form with sculptural and formal qualities. The basic morphology of the pavilion, which also incorporates multi-directionality, was based on a “Y” model. In addition, another feature of the pavilion was its ability to transform from one “state” to another – that is, the tubular members of the structural network open up and recombine into larger apertures, with the reverse sides evolving to produce an enclosed area. This resulted in a spatial environment with many intrinsic and extrinsic aspects, creating an interesting result.

17 - 21. NonLin/Lin Pavilion by Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY, dezeen Magazine, published 2 Aug 2011, http://www.dezeen.com/2011/08/02/nonlinlin-pavilion-by-marc-fornestheverymany/.

In order to create the aforementioned effects, there was a need to produce custom computational protocols, which could be depicted as a set of linear elements and further developed, unrolled and fabricated19. However, the non-linear character of the model made this difficult due to potential defects e.g. constantly changing curvature, varying radii. Hence, agents with local ‘search behavior’ properties were used to trace along the surface and solve these local and specific issues20. A separate set of developable strips could then be produced. The main strategy for the Pavilion comprised of populating discrete components onto a cohesive surface, with varying and blending proportions across a series of surface domains21. These components were then further developed into a series of steps, procedures and codes, each with a specific utility. Thus, multiple codes could be produced and tested, enabling any errors to be identified easily. This approach ensured that there was control on a local level, allowing for a deeper understanding of the relationships for each definition.

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b.3 case study 2.0.

Using Rhino, circles were drawn to create the desired form (in this case, an simple experimentation of an arch form with tubular forms similar to that of the NonLin/Lin Pavilion. The angles of the circles were carefully considered to replicate the specific form and variation as well as increase the complexity to be as similar to Case Study 2.0 as possible.

Upon creating these circles, they were referenced into grasshopper and lofted. It proved an arduous and difficult task to recreate the â&#x20AC;&#x153;puckeringâ&#x20AC;? effect of the tubes at the ends of the openings, as well as ensuring the joints of the tube forms were linked properly. In addition, this method used too simple a definition in Grasshopper. As a result, this solution was abandoned and a different approach was attempted. 46


1. In this second approach, the tri-partite form and circulation pattern of the NonLin Pavilion is re-engineered is using the “Y” form. Arches were drawn out in Rhino through this manner, creating an inhabitable space in which the visitors can explore.

2. A series of these arches were then joined in a random manner in an attempt to create variation and increase the complexity of the form.

3. From here additional lines are added to the initial arches to try and create more “branches” for the tubes. The use of Grasshopper and Kangaroo now become integral in creating the exoskeleton structure of the form.

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b.3 case study 2.0.

4. Grasshopper takes the polyline inputs from Rhino and creates a base wireframe. This is then plugged into the exoskeleton component, which enables the number of sides and nodes, radius, knuckle bumpiness and division length along the tubes to be adjusted. This results in a mesh which can then be further explored.

5. With the mesh, the forces for relation can be altered according to the nodes to create a physics simulation using the Kangaroo plug-in. It uses the points around the exterior edges as references in order to make the interior edges into â&#x20AC;&#x153;springsâ&#x20AC;?. By incorporating a slider, you can change the mesh to be either more or less relaxed (varying the length of the springs by the original length). By using this function, the final outcome creates a funnel-like tube which is similar to that found in the NonLin Pavilion.

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b.3 case study 2.0.

Creates polylines

Remove any duplicate lines

Thickens wireframe + adjustable variables Converts to a mesh

Reversing Engineering the NonLin/Lin Pavilion was an arduous process - it uses computational design on an extremely advanced level. It was especially difficult to recreate the distinct puckering shapes on the top of the pavilion, as well as the intrinsic connections within the enclosure. The tubular forms found in our Reverse Engineering are similar to that found in the NonLin/Lin Pavilion. It also follows the general Y-shaped model as seen in the case study. Using a series of Rhino-related software, we were able to create a series of tubes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;relaxâ&#x20AC;? and curve instead of remaining rigid throughout. However, we were unable to further develop the stripped patterning from the pavilion due to the struggle with creating the form itself.

Joins mesh into a single list Removes duplicates Takes the end points of mesh edges to create springs

With the diversity of the exoskeleton and the shape and form of the structure, many opportunities can be explored from this stage to further develop this definition.

The group aims to deviate away from the limiting Y-shaped model that was strictly adhered to in the NonLin/Lin Pavilion, aspiring to create interesting and complex forms that still incorporate biomimicry and aspects from the site/brief. With these additional factors and our Selection Criteria in mind, we hope to be able to explore further iterations and create a design that is able to fulfill all the requirements.

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b.4 technique development

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In accordance with the brief, our selection criteria considered the importance of the structure being able to harness energy via capturing energy i.e. wind on the site. In addition, we wanted to ensure that the structure would be relevant and appropriate within the context of the site, blending it with its current surroundings but at the same time, being able to stand out with its unique composition to attract users.

Following our initial ideas of biomimicry, we attempted to create potential designs that could borrow ideas from nature. It also had to be an interesting space for users to occupy through evoking curiousity and interest from visitors who would then be inspired to interact with the space. The tubular forms from the NonLin/Lin Pavilion were thus adapted and further developed through exploring different shapes, sizes and combinations, each being more complex than the next, while ensure that it retained the ability to capture sufficient wind to produce energy. It was also essential to further incorporate the historical, social and cultural context when considering the design.

7. Yehuda E. Kalay. Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), 18 8. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, 18. 8. Kalay, Architecture’s New Media, 19.

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Kalay states “search(ing)” comprises of “Finding or developing candidate solutions, and evaluating them against the goals and the constraints”22. This process of selection involves producing a series of potential solutions, and then choosing the most appropriate one to further evaluate and develop23. In this context, it is crucial to ensure that each iteration is thoroughly reviewed on the premise of fulfilling the selection criteria. As specified in the reading, search methods should abide to the following: Depth first, Breadth first and Best first24. Through following these rules, we were able to explore each iteration thoroughly and shortlist the most promising options with the most potential for further development. Amongst all the iterations produced, the group was particularly drawn to long and slender iterations which keep to the tapered forms that were found in the NonLin/Lin Pavilion but are also able to capture wind efficiently (refer to photos on right). These forms can also be further developed to create a variety of structures as well as consider site-related factors. With such form, it can be continuously developed and expanded due to its pipe-like characteristics. Many materiality options can also be easily considered in this instance.


b.4 technique development

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Due to the tapering nature of our design, we decided on the usage of materials that were flexible and could showcase the unique shape and curves that were distinct and specific to our intended design approach. Through experimentation and speculation, we shortlisted three plausible ways of constructing the model digitally: 1. Aluminum, which would function as the frame as well as the cladding of the structure. This approach was used in Case Study 2.0, which was simple, as the frame could be easily constructed through stripping. However, when the panels were unrolled on Grasshopper, there were many overlaps and complex shapes that would be too difficult to unroll and fabricate without advanced software 2. Wooden weave/wicker material, which was inspired by the Spanish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010. Both designs had undulating curves, which posed a problem with traditional cladding approaches such as metal, glass or concrete. Timber, especially when slim enough, is more flexible and adds interesting textures and character to the structure. A stud frame of sorts was thus developed in order to cater to this approach, and then clad with weave.

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A portion of our overall model being segregated into panels and unrolled, with those too complex to be fabricated highlighted in red

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stud frameâ&#x20AC;? being designed with notches to resolve the connection between the vertical and horizontal components


b.5 technique: Prototype

3. Fabric, which we felt would be ideal for cladding as it would enable the shape of our design to be shown clearly. This would involve the usage of a steel wireframe inside to create a basis on which the fabric could be wraped around, with reinforcements at the base to ensure stability. In addition, another design approach of the group was to showcase the ripple effect of the piezoelectric panels, which would form a separate and inner layer under the fabric, and thus it was decided that a transclucent material should be used. A digital prototype was thus designed accordingly, creating a series of steel circles and wires to provide structural and architectural support for the overall shape.

(Left to right, from top left) The structural frame, piezoelectric panels and fabric cladding being designed and put together

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Two physical prototypes were developed and built in order to test the capability of the materials that were speculated on digitally. As mentioned earlier, materials were chosen based on their flexibility and ability to reflect the warped character of the structure.

For the first prototype, thick wires were attached to laser-cut MDF circle frames to create a stable wireframe structure that reflected the physical appearance of the design. Transclucent fabric was used to stimulate the behaviour of stretch fabric, the material opted for the actual structure itself.

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The wires were twinned around the fabricated circles, which proved stable enough for the prototype (refer to top right and bottom left photos). However, if this approach were to be used for the final design, an alternative method should be considered to ensure that its structural integrity is not compromised. Testing Outcomes Wind: Members- Low Velocity; High Velocity Overall structure- Low Velocity; High Velocity Tension: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High Compression: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High Movement: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High


b.5 technique: Prototype

For the second prototype, bent balsa studs were cut and joined to MDF material through notches laser cut on the circular frames (right photo). Although this created a fairly stable structure, the joints would fail in real life due to structural instability. On hindsight, a dovetail joint would be able to ensure increased structural integrity. Thus, another issue that needs to be considered is the task of flat fabricating the structural frame for this design. Various weaved material were then attached to the longitudinal balsa frame to clad the overall structure (centre photo). This provided an interesting and unique textured feel to the overall structure. In addition, it emphasized the tapering design of the structure, which was one of the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aims. The cladding will also flap, reflecting the movements of the piezoelectric panels inside.

Testing Outcomes Wind: Members- Low Velocity; High Velocity Overall structure- Low Velocity; High Velocity Tension: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High Compression: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High Movement: Members- Low; High Overall structure- Low; High

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Located within the Northern Hemisphere, Denmark is experiences erratic periods of sunlight and consistent strong winds. This is further reflected by the abundance of wind turbines present within close proximity to the site. Research indicated predominant winds from the South-Westerly direction (refer to photo on right).

The structure is located towards the Northwest corner of the site, providing panoramic views. The tunnels of the structure face Southwest, enabling the piezoelectric panels to collect sufficient energy. The piezoelectric panels are fixed such that when exposed to the wind, they flap, creating a rippling effect (refer to second photo from top). Because the cladding of the structure is selected such that it either exposes or reflects the movement of the panels, turning the â&#x20AC;&#x153;invisibleâ&#x20AC;? wind into a visual spectacle. At the same time, it hopes to educate users on how wind energy is harnessed through the exposure of the piezoelectric panels.

It was important to ensure that the structure would be consistent with the current site context, but at the same time, be able to stand out and evoke curiousity. The design aims to direct users towards the views across the bay and create a sculptural space for interaction and enjoyment. Hence, the overall scale of the design is large, with a maximum height of four metres.

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b.6 technique: Proposal

Photos reflecting the structure within site context

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b.6 technique: Proposal

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b.7 learning objectives and outcomes

After the Interim Presentation, it was evident that much more information and research needed to be incorporated into Grasshopper. This was especially needed with regards to the technology aspect of the brief, whereby sufficient evidence was required to support our thesis and to prove that the structure would be able to actually harness energy. Another concern that was voiced during the Presentation was whether such tubular forms would be sophisticated enough to collect any wind energy at all and if so, a need to support these claims.

With this in mind, it is essential to further research and develop the existing form into one that can, and will be more efficient in collecting sufficient wind power to be converted into electrical energy. One possible approach to further develop our current design would be to widen the ends of the tunnel to form a wide overaching surface which can then be covered with piezoelectric panels. This potential solution thus not only manages to increase the surface area for energy collection, but also retains the distinct tubular forms. Another pressing issue that needs to be resolved would be the structural connections and joints within the structure. This is especially important and must be thoroughly considered during the process of fabrication, due to the nature of the non-linear structure.

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Overall, Part B has allowed me to gain a better understanding of parametric design through the translation of ideas into Grasshopper, as well as how processes and ideas are then formed.

However, at this stage, I still find myself struggling to showcase my design intents and ideas strategically and properly in Grasshopper. Many times, my group and I had many ideas which we wished to reflect; however, we were usually limited not by the boundaries of computer software or the design brief, but rather, translating our ideas into parametric design through Grasshopper. With Case Study 2.0., the group decided to select a precedent that was vastly different to what we had experimented with in Case Study 1.0. and hence there were multiple barriers and difficulties we faced during the Reverse Engineering process. With a better understanding of our design and how it relates back to the NonLin/Lin Pavilion, we hope to further experiment within Grasshopper and manipulate the ideas we have generated to produce an ideal design that encompasses wind technology, aesthetic design, fabrication and buildability.


b.8 REFERENCES

Frazer, John. Themes VII: An Evolutionary Architecture, London: Architectural Association Publications, 1995

Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.

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We were able to experiment and apply some of the exercises learnt from the videos and apply them while developing our iterations. In this case, we were able to incorporate Fields and Attracter Points into our definition, producing an interesting shape. Other experiments that produced successful iterations include Delaunay.

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b.8 appendix - algorithmic sketches

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C.1. DESIGN CONCEPT REFLECT REVIEW refine

73 75 85

C.2. TECTONIC ELEMENTS

89

C.3. FINAL MODEL physical model Site model

101 103

C.4. ADDITIONAL LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS

111

C.5. learning objectives & outcomes

125

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Fig 3.1. Elevation of the existing design

The feedback that was received during the Interim Presentation mainly revolved around the existing form of the design, but also the integration of energy generation as well. Firstly, there was a need to further develop our design approach, with the main concern being that the current structure was neither sculptural nor architectural. The forms were also too random and were not particularly influenced by any particular set of information. Another essential aspect of the design that had to be reconsidered was how sufficient energy could be harnessed using a suitable form of technology. In order to resolve these pressing issues, the group decided to redevelop and remodel the design to create a more suitable form that would be better able to address the brief.

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Initially, the design was remodelled such that the ends of the tunnels merged together to form a flat, overarching surface that could be further developed and panelled. This addition would not only provide utility, but also increases the total surface area to be clad with piezoelectric panels. It would also provide a space with increased utility and function. However, after much deliberation, it was decided that this design would be difficult to fully resolve, let alone further develop into a physical structure that could be constructed.


c.1 design concept

Fig 3.2. Partis of (left) the distribution of structures on site and (right) the development of our existing ideas into a tree-like form

With this in mind, the idea of biomimicry and our existing ideas were reevaluated, whilst still maintaining our key concepts. With these further developments, a series of tree-like structures that still retained our initial bone-like frame, as well as aspects of the overarching surface, was created. In addition, it was decided that solar panels would be a better technology to incorporate as compared to piezoelectric panels. In addition, they would be able to provide solar shading. This resulted in the exploration of new algorithms on Grasshopper to create a suitable definition in addition to our existing Exoskeleton. With the usage of L-Systems and the Delaunay function, we were able to produce a satisfactory structure.

There was also a need to further test the ability of our structure to capture sufficient energy in the most efficient manner. This can be tested through various Rhino plug-ins such as Ladybug. Real life simulations will be carried out as well in order to finalize the best approach, siting and distribution of our design. In addition, such experiments can reflect the interaction of our structure with sunlight, a key feature of our design.

With regards to the materiality and fabrication approach, many amendments have been made in order to ensure that it is incorporated in the Grasshopper definition, a development from our current approach to the fabrication process. This will thus provide a more efficient alternative to our design.

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SPECIES 1

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Fig 3.4. Various species of the structures

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SPECIES 3

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Fig 3.3. Aerial view of Refshaleøen

Refshaleøen comprises of many multipurpose recreational and community areas. Many parts of the area are also slated for urban development. There are currently many existing users on the site, and this will be considered when further developing our technique. It is important to address the current site context of the site but at the same time, ensure that the design is able to stand out, engaging and attracting visitors.

The heights of our “trees” range from six to 10 metres. This not only ensures that sufficient sunlight can be captured, but will also pique the interest of passer-bys within close proximity of the site. Eight species of trees have been developed with a range of heights and canopy radii to create variation, simulating a real forest (refer to Fig 3.4).

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Fig 3.5. Finger Plan of Copenhagen, Denmark

The group wanted the entire site to be utilized as much as possible. In line with our ideas of the man-made, a precedent that was also looked at was that of Copenhagenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s metropolitan development strategy. Resembling that of a hand, it reflects â&#x20AC;&#x153;fingersâ&#x20AC;? radiating out from a palm (refer to Fig 3.5.). Again, the idea of the forest, its growth and density was studied and emulated. As shown in Fig 3.6., a forest has four discrete rings of density. Based on these two ideas, potential forms of dispersing the structures throughout the site were tested (refer to Fig. 3.7.).

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It was essential to ensure that the canopies did not overlap with each other. This allows the solar panels to be fully exposed to the sun, and for light to filter through, emulating the atmosphere in an actual forest. A key aspect was to reflect the integration of the man-made and the natural and how these two forces influenced our design intent.

Care has been taken to ensure that the tree canopies vary in orientation and do not overlap with one another. At areas with increased density, they have been arranged such that they align, creating thin gaps which natural light can filter through.


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Fig 3.6. Plan and section views of tree growth and density

Fig 3.7. (From left to right) Grid, radial and increasing density distributions

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Fig 3.8. Final distribution and layout of structures and species throughout the site

Our final plan comprises of a fairly dispersed area at the entrance of the site, becoming increasingly dense and then arranging itself into a radial pattern at the end, where a man-made hill is located, creating interest in the site topography. This arrangement reflects ideas adopted from both concepts. The growth from sparsity into a denser area reflects the development in a forest, while the radial arrangement with a centric focus is derived from the Copenhagen plan.

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The photos on the right spread (Fig 3.9.) showcase how the trees have been developed through a systematic manner, starting with a radial arrangement. This area is more structured and rigid, with trees that are precisely planted. The trees then spread out in a wider radial distribution, increasing in randomness towards the entrance of the site. Fig 3.9. (right) Development of structure distribution based on forest growth


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It was essential to test how the different distributions would influence the amount of sunlight that would be collected through these solar panelled Delaunay canopies. The Ladybug plugin was used to provide a visual representation of the average amount of solar energy that would be exposed to each panel through displaying the implications based on sunlight. This would assist with our decision-making, enabling us to further modify our design such that it would be as optimal as possible. The panels which collected the least amount of energy i.e. blue coloured panels would be culled and replaced with glass panels instead. Thus, Ladybug not only provides an indication based on energy production, but also assists in further design decisions. Running the various distributions on Ladybug reiterated our aforementioned decision on the final plan to be used (refer to Fig 3..). Further calculations, which will be elaborated on in C.4, reflect the amount of energy which would potentially be collected from these solar panels.

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Fig 3.9. Suggested user activity through the site

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In terms of circulation, it was decided that no obvious paths should be constructed in order to recreate the experience of exploring a forest as genuinely as possible - users are encouraged to circulate in any way possible, creating their own picturesque journey through this sci-fi forest (refer to Fig 3.9.). An open theatre and stage will also be constructed on the hill, allowing the space to be further utilized. Overall, the aim of this design proposal was to create a futuristic arena filled with towering steel structures, whilst evoking ideas of nature at the same time - a statement on the relationship between the man-made and natural.

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L-SYSTEMS L-Systems were explored and used to produce the wireframe for the trees through generating patterns found in nature. However, instead of having a series of random and varying branches, we decided to instead create a rigid, replicating pattern to emphasize the â&#x20AC;&#x153;man-madeâ&#x20AC;? aspect of our structures. In this case, each branch spans out to produce another three brances, each protruding at the same angle.

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PIPING These branches, currently existing as simple polylines, were then thickened to an appropriate diameter that could be physically constructured. This was essential in ensuring that it would be structually stable. This was done using the Pipe command, creating branches of approximately 100mm in diameter, which can be realistically represented using hollow steel pipes.


c.1 design concept

EXOSKELETON In order to create a suitable connection between the joints, the Exoskeleton component was relooked at. Each curve was split into six equal segments, and the end points used to create a series of four sockets which then connect together. Each branch pipe is then inserted into its corresponding opening within the joint. This will be further elaborated on in C.2.

DELAUNAY A Delaunay surface was then added to each structure to create an individual canopy, with a supporting wireframe under. Points located at the end of each branch were used as a reference to create the distinct, angular surface that crowned the top of the structure, to be built using solar panels and glass.

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Fig 3.10. Structural diagram of the “tree”

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PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS: The Delaunay surface comprises mainly of solar panels sitting on a 20mm thick carbon fibre wireframe. Not all the panels are angled at an optimal direction towards the sun - these panels which are less efficient will be replaced with glass panels.

SPIDER JOINT: Due to the varying angles at which the panels protrude in the Delaunay surface, spider joints have been utilized to resolve the connection between the branch structure and the panelled canopy, with each joint being unique. HOLLOW METAL JOINT: The most distinct aspect of our structure, this joint reflects how the branches are each connected to each other. The joints are specific to each tree, providing sufficient support to hold the branches together while withstanding weather conditions.

STEEL TRUNK/BRANCHES: In line with the futuristic theme of the design, the majority of the tree will be constructed using steel. Steel strips will be clad onto furring channels attached to the concrete column, while the branches will be constructed using hollow steel pipes. CONCRETE COLUMN: This concrete column allows the load from the branches and tree canopy to be carried and transferred to the footing, ensuring stability of the structure. The columns will be precast and then transported to the site accordingly. PIER FOOTING: The pier footing provides a stable base for the tree as it transfers the load to the foundations and enables the tree to stand upright. The concrete columns will then be fixed onto these footings.

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The joints comprise of sockets that each align specifically to the branches of the tree. This is done through using points on each branch curve as a reference. This ensures that every socket is angled precisely towards its corresponding branch. The diameter of the socket is the exact dimension as that of the hollow steel pipe. These precautions are taken to ensure that the joint is a perfect fit and creates structural stability. Each component of the joint system can be customized and takes into account the material thickness and opening of the socket, which can be adjusted as the design is further refined. This was an important aspect - the joint could either be indiscernible and discrete, or have a wider diameter than the branches such that they contribute to the aesthetic of the structure. Upon experimentation using the relevant parameters on Grasshopper, the bigger joints injected more character into the overall design, creating a form that was more intriguing without being too distracting.

Each of the eight species of trees have varying parameters in their L-system - hence, the angles at which the branches protrude out all differ from each other. Thus, each species have a specific joint. The dimensions for all eight species of joint sockets (and branch diameters) are standardized. In reality, these joints shall be customized and moulded for this specific use. After the branch is inserted into the socket, the edges are then welded for reinforcement. Editable parameters: - Length of the socket - Thickness of socket material - Diameter of socket opening

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Final measurements: - Length of the socket 250mm - Thickness of socket material 25mm - Diameter of socket opening 65mm

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There was an opportunity to further explore and develop the joints in between the branches. These connections were an integral aspect of our design, and altering its appearance could greatly influence the overall aesthetic of the tree. There were two main design directions in mind: 1. A sleek, futuristic look, achieved with the usage of steel or chrome joints or matt black metal joints to create a darker aesthetic.

2. The usage of corroded metal e.g. iron (patina) or corten to evoke a ruined and erroded but aesthetically pleasing feeling through the bluishgreen tinge that is produced. It was also thought that this could be representative of the interaction between man-made and nature. This was also tested in reverse order, with copper branches and steel joints.

Research proved that the joints, if made using corroded copper, would be stable enough to serve its structural purpose. With that in mind, these four potential solutions were evaluated in relation back to our main design intent. Ultimately, it was decided that the silver steel joints would be best suited towards the direction in which the design was developing towards. It was felt that a sleek and uniform finish could further enhance and instill the idea of a sci-fi forest. With the steel trunk and branches, the tree is able to further evoke and support the theme of a futuristic arena, whilst still being considered and integrated into the parametric process.

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Due to time constraints and other limitations, the joints for the prototype were unable to be 3D printed as originally intended. This would have been ideal as it would be the most accurate representation of how the joints could be fabricated in real life. Thus, it was decided that another suitable approach for the 1:5 detail prototype would be to flat fabricate the joint, to which pipes could then be attached. This would provide a better visual understanding of the joint and how it relates back to the branches.

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In order for unrolling to occur successfully, the joint was split into five separate segments. This allows for flat fabrication to be carried out. It must be noted that this approach is less accurate than that of 3D printing out the joint as the material thickness will not be represented as well. However, this can be rectified with amendments to the physical model. The main purpose of this model still remains - to test if the joint will provide sufficient structure and rigidity, as well as be aesthetically pleasing in terms of material thickness and length.


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Inventory: 1. Steel pipes 2. Joint flat-fabricated out of black Optix card

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Inventory: 1. Steel pipes 2 - 4. Intersection joints 5 - 8. L joints 9. Sequence of joints fitting together

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c.3 final model

Inventory: 1-2. Flat-fabricated Delaunay panels (rearranged on Rhino to ensure no overlap between panels) 3. Joint and branches 4. Formation of the canopy

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c.3 final model

The 1:500 physical model showcases the surrounding site context, as well as the topography planned for the actual site itself - a hill at the north -west end of the site. Each tree is indicated on ths site model, which provides a physical indication of how far it would be from the surrounding trees. The model was also used to test the effect of shadows throughout the day. The photos reflect how the sun casts a series of interesing shadows at different times of the day, further enhancing the overall aesthetic of the design by creating a play between lights and shadows.

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Sunrise

Morning

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c.3 final model

Afternoon

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KOMOREBI (n.) sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees

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Mid day

Komorebi is the Japanese word describing that tranquil, airy and surreal feeling for when sunlight filters through the trees – a perfect description of one’s experience whilst walking amongst these futuristic structures. A few trees scatter the entrance of the site, gleaming silver-white under the Copenhagen sun and enticing passer-bys to enter and get lost in this literal urban jungle as they venture further in. This sci-fi forest comprises of more than 150 modern trees littered all around the site. Ranging between heights of six to 10 metres, they tower over the average person. A wide overhead canopy is created from the combination of the multiple tree “crowns”, emulating the effect that one would experience in an actual forest.

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Inspired by ideas originating from biomimicry, Komorebi aims to reflect the relationship between the man-made and natural, creating forms that incorporates the fundamental principles of both. Our final tree-like form did not derive any direct inspiration from a tree itself. Rather, development and refinement of our ideas resulted in the creation of a structure that could coincidentally be related to the visual form of a tree. Natural forms and concepts influence the design’s bone-like structures and branching system. However, it was also essential to showcase the influence of the modern as well, resulting in rigid and obvious patterns, as well as in the choice of materiality. The overall experience of the site was also extremely important and something that was taken into huge consideration.


c.4 ADDITIONAL LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS

Care was taken when designing the tree canopies, as well as the spacing in between the trees, to create an ethereal atmosphere by manipulating light and shadow throughout. A program was also included in the design – a stage/outdoor theatre at the North end of the site, with a panoramic view of the bay as the backdrop.

Komorebi aims to reflect the complicated relationship between the man-made and natural – how they are able to sync and contradict each other simultaneously. This project also hopes to be able to efficiently incorporate and collect sufficient energy to sustain itself as well as facilities in the surrounding contexts, and at the same time, educate visitors. At the same time, Komorebi aspires to boost and integrate itself into the current cultural context of Refshaleøen, creating a socially appealing area for recreation and interaction.

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KOMOREBI Aerial perspective of the sci-fi trees distributed around the site

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KOMOREBI Perspective view of Komorebi, looking towards the stage and the panoramic views across

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The humble solar panel was the technology that was incorporated into our design. The canopies of the trees were designed to fit angular pieces of panels within a thin wireframe. Light energy is collected through these photovoltaic panels, from which electricity is then generated. The amount of electricity that will be produced can be used to self-sustain Komorebi i.e. onsite lighting and other electrical utilities. Any additional electricity generated can then be used for surrounding commercial applications. All the solar panels used in our structures have been optimized using Archsim, further calculations and data sources1.

The global formula E = A * r * H * Pr was used in order to calculate an estimate of the annual kilowatthours (kWh) that could be potentially generated by the design from the approximately 150 trees present on the site. Based on the various species, the minimum number of panels per tree is eight. Based on these numbers, 8 panels x 150 trees x 119kWh/an = 142,800kWh/an

Thus, 142,800kWh would be produced annually.

1. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Danish Solar Energy,â&#x20AC;? Solcell Ltd - Danish Solar Energy Int., date unknown, http://www.dansksolenergi.dk/. Steel pipes: http://3.imimg.com/data3/WW/DT/MY-903415/hollow-pipes-500x500.jpg.

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Steel pipes: http://3.imimg.com/data3/WW/DT/MY-903415/hollow-pipes-500x500.jpg.

Fig Solar power electric system diagram


c.4 ADDITIONAL LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS

It must be reiterated that not all the panels on each individual canopy are occupied by solar panels. The colourings on the canopy in Fig . reflect the annual solar projection strength from left to right i.e. dark red to dark blue, and the panels which are exposed the most throughout the year to the least.

Even though not all the panels are optimal in the collection of sunlight, the combined energy harvest from all the trees is able to generate a significant amount of electricity

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Concrete column: Tapers from 1000mm diameter to 300mm diameter Height ranges from 6000mm to 10000mm

Flat steel strips for the trunk cladding: 600mm in width

Hollow matte steel pipes: 100mm in diameter 1700mm in length

Customized steel joints: Average length of each socket 250mm (varies between species) Socket material thickness 25mm Socket openings 100mm diameter Steel pipes: http://3.imimg.com/data3/WW/DT/MY-903415/hollow-pipes-500x500.jpg.

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c.4 ADDITIONAL LAGI BRIEF REQUIREMENTS

Customized spider joint: 100mm in diameter with flat rubber ends to affix to the panelled canopy

Canopy frame: Carbon steel wire with 20mm diameter

Delaunay surface: Photovoltaic panels with PV glass in between tempered front/rear glass produced by Copenhagen firm Gaia Solar A/S2 with a total thickness of 8mm at varying sizes Double glazed fixed glass with varying sizes

2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Solutions,â&#x20AC;? Gaia Solar, date unknown, http://www.gaiasolar.dk/en/solutions/.

Carbon steel wire: http://www.bankerwire.com/material_images/high_carbon_steel_wire_6.jpg. PV panel: Gaia Solar A/S catalogue. Double glazed glass: http://aspec-windows.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/medium_Glass2.jpeg.

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KOMOREBI Night render of the structures, lit up using electricity that is harnessed from the solar panels Komorebi is a visual representation and modern interpretation of energy collection in trees. They serve as a visual reminder of the importance of nature in this world and the need for conservation and sustainability. This project aspires to be able to minimize its carbon footprint as much as possible whilst contributing back to the environment and being selfsustaining. As aforementioned, these sci-fi trees also hope to educate the residents of Copenhagen about the benefits of modern technology and energy harvesting.

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Feedback from the Final Presentation reflected the need to show shading and how different arrangements could influence this, which was done so and discussed in C.1. This is also seen in photos of the site model, which depicted the variation of shadows formed throughout the day in different seasons. The renders were also rectified accordingly to reflect our design better.

learning objectives 1. “Interrogat[ing] a brief” by considering the process of brief formation in the age of optioneering enabled by digital technologies; This studio has allowed me to explore the process of optioneering through the use of computational design. Grasshopper creates an opportunity to easily generate a multitude of potential design options and development directions. However, a key aspect as mentioned in the objective is to integrate key aspects of the brief in the process of optioneering. It must be noted that this was not taken into consideration when producing iterations in Part B rather, that process was guided simply through an aesthetic basis. That said, Part C allowed for further developement of the design with the brief and site in mind, thus fulfilling the brief requirements whilst still maintaining its design integrity. 2. Developing “an ability to generate a variety of design possibilities for a given situation” by introducing visual programming, algorithmic design and parametric modelling with their intrinsic capabilities for extensive design-space exploration; A series of parametric techniques were defined, expanded and edited, exposing us to various methodologies. The various case studies, precedents and final design algorithm all utilized vastly different approaches in their algorithms, which provided us with many learning opportunities. On the other

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hand, it also meant that it was difficult to quickly master one technique due to the many changes that occurred throughout. In this case, what was learnt was in quantity, but not so much in quality. 3. Developing “skills in various three-dimensional media” and specifically in computational geometry, parametric modelling, analytic diagramming and digital fabrication; Many opportunites were provide to explore this Learning Objective in depth. Throughout this studio, Rhino and Grasshopper, as well as other plug-ins such as Kangaroo and Ladybug were used in the exploration and development of our design. In addition to exploring a variety of approaches within a single material system i.e. Biomimicry, we explored the creation of a design using a combination of algorithmic techniques (L-Systems and Delaunay triangulation), which enabled us to experience the interaction between algorithms. Such an approach also opened windows to more design opportunities which otherwise could not be achieved. 4. Developing “an understanding of relationships between architecture and air” through interrogtion of design proposal as physical models in atmosphere; In a way, this learning objective was achieved not by my group, but perhaps by the multitude of groups using wind as their source of energy because “STUDIO AIR!”. Jokes aside, this learning objective came across vague - “interrogation of design proposal as physical models in atmosphere”. This should be a given when considering any brief as the ultimate aim is to design a structure that is able to be physically constructed, not simply because the name of the studio specifies as such.


c.5 learning objectives and outcomes

5. Developing â&#x20AC;&#x153;the ability to make a case for proposalsâ&#x20AC;? by developing critical thinking and encouraging constuction of rigorous and persuasive arguments informed by the contemporary architectural discourse. This objective was especially relevant with the design freedom explored in parametric design. We were constantly exposed to contemporary architecture throughout the first few weeks and constantly reminded to truly utilize parametric modelling and not approach it like certain firms which only use as a tool for digital development. 6. Develop capabilities for conceptual, technical and design analyses of contemporary architectural projects; The readings provided the opportunity for critical thinking, especially with regards to the projects that were being discussed. It exposed us to broad range of techniques and design approaches that had been or have yet to be discovered, and how these could be related back to our design brief and used in our design process.

8. Begin Developing a personalised repertoire of computational techniques sustantiated by the understanding of their advantages, disadvantages and areas of application. This was achieved best in the Case Studies and precedent studies, which provided a stepping stone into the actual realm of parametric design in the architectural world. It also allows us to explore the potential future developments that could be achieved and through that, come up with our own techniques.

7. Develop foundational understandings of computational geometry, data structures and types of programming; This was definitely achieved as aforementioned with exposure to various algorithmic techniques, precedents and case studies. The videos were also helpful in developing these skills and understanding the essentials of computational geometry.

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