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SEMESTER 2, 2018

STUDIO AIR Yuen Wai Chan Studio 10 Allan Burrows


Part A: Conceptualisation

A.1. Design Futuring A.2. Design Computation A.3. Composition/Generation A.4. Conclusion A.5. Learning outcomes A.6. Appendix - Algorithmic Sketches


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INTRODUCTION I am Christy, a third year architecture student studying at the University of Melbourne. I was born and raised in one of the busiest city, Hong Kong. Growing up in a fast-paced city, I learned to be practical and efficient to do things. Regarding this, Hong Kong has become an inspiration for me to develop my interest in architecture. I always wonder how can a densely-populated city includes so many buildings. Featuring various designs and styles of buildings around Hong Kong, this motivates me to explore on design. Moving to Melbourne in 2015, for me, Melbourne is totally different from Hong Kong. Melbourne is a slow-paced city which enables me to slow down and appreciate the aesthetics of a city. The experciences I gained in both Melbourne Hong Kong has strengthened my passion and determination towards the journey of studying architecture. I truly believe that design means a lot to a place, it can shape and give meanings to it. During my spare time, I love to do yoga. Yoga brings lots of fun to my life and it helps me to relieve my stress and pressure from life. It also helps to develop my ideas and thinking on makes me understand that I cannot rush during the design process and I need to truly engage myself in an activity in order to get the best outcome. Yoga is not just a sport but it also allows me to spend time to connect with the surroundings, I have done yoga in both interior and exteriors before, the environments impact me a lot on my sense and emotions. The exploration on the relationship between emotions and environments is very intereating and I believe this is one of the key that I need to consider during the process of design. Digital architecture is a fresh item to me. I believe this is gonna be a new challenge, also a door to access to new idea. I am excited to explore more on it and get to know the opportunities arose from technology to architecture. I have experiences in digital design during first year and second year, I hope this will help me to overcome the challenges coming up from the semester. Can’t wait to investiage the possibilities I can gain from this course.



city girl from Hong Kong.

‘The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.’ -Frank Lloyd Wright




A.1. DESIGN FUTURING Design can shape places, it creates the world where human beings and animals are now living in. Humans use design as a tool to create desirable living then consume the finite resources to fulfil lives. Having such anthropocentric world, our planet is facing lots of challenges these days. Challenges arose from environment, resources and human beings, so how can we overcome all these challenges to secure our future? Maybe, design is a solution. Nowadays, the concept of sustainability is unquestionably important to consider during the design process. Why sustainability? Humans have been neglecting the damages brought to the ecological systems, being unsustainable by the exploiting the use of finite resources. All environmental issues such as climate change, rise in sea level, insufficient natural resources, overpopulation etc. are tightly connected to the act of human. Thus, if human refuses to adopt the concept of sustainability, how can we secure our future?

In order to avoid defuturing, the huge step needs to be taken: stop the destruction of nature and start using renewable resources. These actions can save our resources plus sustaining our future. Design can shape the world, change our perception towards the world. Architects should deliver the message of sustainability via the design of architecture, it can motivate human to realise the condition of our planet. By the end, to bring the plausible future to be our future. Thus, design is really the way to overcome challenges, a solution. The two-case study showing on the next few pages are from Australia. These two architecture will show how relevant it connects to “design futuring”, in what extend they enable possibilities.

To sustain future, human needs to start with design. We human should learn to accept the fact, “Whenever we bring something into being we also destroy something.” (Fry, Tony, 2009). Regarding this, human should not have an idea that the role of design is problem solving, the suggested environmental issues are impossible to fix. The only way to do is to minimise the damages, adopt sustainability approaches and change our attitudes on design. For instance, nature is a valuable finite resource on our planet, creating nature by including the ecology in design is just ending up with continuing the creation of artificial world.



MPavilion (2016) Unlike other projects, MPavilion is a project comprises of the work from the architect and local artisans and craftspeople. Its aim is not to create a stunning modern architecture but hoping to use the right materials to capture the spirit of a place and take care of the nature which is the context. It is always important to realise the context. However, ringing construction to a place is already damaging the natural landscape, to decide what to be built is considerably hard since it impacts the surrounding. MPavilion by Studio Mumbai is well-aware of the context, having an aim of show respect to the context is good way of thinking. As discussed, connecting the architecture with nature nor bring nature to architecture, neither way is respecting the surrounding. MPavilion achieves the aim by using bamboo as a source of construction material. Bamboo is a renewable resource also fastest growing vegetation. Bringing this material is very difficult, unlike timber or steel, bamboo doesn’t have a standard size but varies differently. It is very challenging task to bring bamboo as construction material. By seeing the completion of MPavilion, it proves the use of bamboo in a real-life construction. To commence the construction, bamboo was transported from India to Melbourne, a workshop was held in India craftsmen taught the construction workers how to work with bamboo. This shows materials is never limited to the traditional ones (concrete, timber, steel, etc.). To be sustainable, to create future, think out of the box is crucial. This project is significantly important, it can act as a guide for others to follow, it teaches people to realise the context and how to minimise the damages by having the right choices of material in construction.



MPavilion (2016) Architect: Studio Mumbai Location: Melbourne, Victoria Status: completed

Figure 1 The overview of the MPavilion

Figure 2 Showing the surrounding of the MPavilion

Figure 3 showing the detail of bamboo framework. They are connected and tightened by rope.





One Central Park (2013) The most significant part of One Central Park is its façade. It made up of vegetation and can considerably recognised as a “green architecture”. It aims to create a harmonised living condition of architecture associated with the nature, also to prove that a concrete jungle will not hinder the development of nature in a city but linking humans and nature together.

One Central Park (2013) Architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel Location: Chippendale, NSW Status: completed

The idea of city and nature integration is not a “fresh thing”. It has also been argued that it is not working since it impacts the species. However, this approach can be done sustainably by the construction methods and transportation methods. There are still rooms for human to improve but One Central Park is considerably a way to try bringing nature to city by not just creating a garden for people to linger. It brings species to design as a façade to let people realise the existence of nature and it is closely related to human. Undoubtedly, vegetation does bring huge benefit to deal with environmental issues. For instance, it helps cooling down the temperature, absorbing carbon dioxide, slow down the impact of global warming, etc. During the construction process, the approach is aiming to minimise the cost of damages to the environments. In transporting the species, they are all based nearby Sydney in order to minimise the transportation cost and protect the species in good condition. The way it avoids damages is very encouraging which is very good approach towards sustainability. However, the architects once said that the plants on the balcony can be removed if the residents do not like that (de Manincor John, 2014). This speech contradicted with the aim, if it aims to create a harmonised environment to integrated city with nature then designer should have a design that fulfilling the aim. This shows a good approach/attempt to bring sustainability into design doesn’t mean that the people will value the original purpose. Moreover, it enables possibilities for designer/architect to think of this concept in the future to enable the possibilities of creating future by bring ecology to daily life to inhabitation.

Figure 5 Considering One Central Park engaging in the context, increase the vegetation in a city

Figure 6 Showing the detail of green facade


A.2. Design Computation If design creates ways to future, then computation is a tool working towards the tunnel that connects to the future. With digital technology and the use of computation, a new door has been opened for architects to access. They are able to achieve the ideas popped up in their brains which seem to be unreachable but yet now bringing these ideas to reality. In the last decade, complex geometries, “free-form” has considered as lacking rooms to produce. However, digital design has enabled the possibilities of achieving complex form. It is capable to have creation and modulation on different elements on a design (Oxman, Robert, Rivka Oxman, 2014), regarding this, it helps a lot on designing the building façade, building forms. Design flexibility will then never be limited by inadequate technology or “unachievable ideas”. Digital design also acts well in problem-solving. We human can make mistakes easily and the most challenging part is not identifying the root problems, this limits the possibilities. However, computer does not make mistakes, under the condition that something is going wrong, computer is able to run the whole process again to figure out where the problems are. To work out the solution to overcome the problems, it generates possible solutions and test them one by one with constraints and goals (Kalay, Yehuda E., 2004). These save time and much more efficient than working by hands.



It is believed that computation enables more creation and innovative ideas in design, it allows architects to continue a complex form design, it also avoids uncertainties and mistakes that hesitate human to move forward. The following case study will demonstrate the benefit of computation and how computation potentially works in architecture.


ICD Research Pavilion (2011) Research pavilion 2011 is a project that explores how biological systems can be transferred to architecture. The design of the sea urchin’s plate skeleton morphology is applied through computational design. By testing, different kinds of geometries are used and the result has reflected such complex form can be built by highly thin plywood. Without computation, the materials and forms of research pavilion will not be worked that efficiently. To deal with the complex form, each geometric plate is robotfabricated with finger joints. With these finger joints, plates can be connected and form the ultimate form. Also, such joining system is with high load bearing capacity. These proves the work of computation is able to achieve architects’ needs, it fastens the construction by hanging out the joining systems. What is more, this joining system is appeared to be no bending moments, a high strength system is created. Research Pavilion 2011 is a lightweight construction and people used to believe that such joining system only works in traditional/formal geometries which is unable to work in our designated shapes of geometry forms. However, computation has proved the possibilities it can bring.

ICD Research Pavilion (2011) Architect: ICD-ITKE University of Stuttgart Location: Stuttgart, Germany Status: completed

Figure 9 The form of gemetry is unlike the normal form, but it is achievable with the use of computation

With computation, it works well in the construction of Research Pavilion 2011, it shortens the time for construction, minimise the use of materials but well perform the strength in load bearing capacity.

Figure 10 The finger joints on plates, the use of material is a extremely thin plywood (6.5mm)



UK Pavilion (2007) UK Pavilion is appeared to be a parametric design. It was considered as a buildable project but with help of computation, it proves the feasibility of the project. The use of materials presented in UK Pavilion is acrylic spikes. There are 60,000 spikes on the faรงade of the pavilion, without computation, human is nearly impossible to work out with this complex design. Before that, its purposed number of spikes needed is 100,000. However, by testing during the design process, it was reduced to 60,000 spikes to be used. This proves the use of parametric design, it can generate a solution to reduce the meaningless construction process and excess use of material. This helps architects a lot in the design process. Also, the inside is also fully covered with spikes. To design such interior and exterior, parametric design plays an important role in helping to adjust the density and size of each spikes. The whole process requires high technology, skilful workers, high cost to work out the whole construction.

UK Pavilion (2007) Architect: Heatherwick Studio Location: Shanghai Expo 2010 Status: completed

Figure 11 The overview of th UK Pavilion

With parametric design, it is able to work out the statistic that human needs and save time, money and materials in construction. It can potentially improve the design industry and efficiently get the outcomes architects desire.

Figure 12 The construction process showing how much spikes needed to be used and the densely-placed together



A.3. Composition/ Gerneration What is computation?Is it associated with computisation? Computation and computisation are two different ideas. Computisation is simply how architects work with computers acting as a tool to help with architects, to produce things to support the concepts of the architects. On the other hand, computation is by functioning computer itself to generate algorithm that can help with architects in achieving complex forms and geometries, it can also be known as parametric systems. They are two ideas but with a similarity that is fulfilling the same aim that achieve efficiency. To be accurate, computation should be recognised as part of the design instead of helping architects with problemsolving. It serves as a tool to exanimate the design concepts with the elements how can they be worked well together easier, and at the same time, it generates algorithm to do making parametric models. Parametric design is hanged out via software which will be a dominating the design industry very soon in help with and be part with the design.



Music Pavilion (2011) Music Pavilion is a parametric design done by soma. The formation of the pavilion is basically the repeated linear base elements which do not change the size of it. Using the heterogeneous elements to display a homogeneous density.

Music Pavilion (2011) Architect: Soma Location: Salzburg, Austria Status: completed

To create this unique form and shape, with the help the grasshopper to produce the parametric model is crucial, it helps architects to evaluate the entire structure. The structure is from architectural parameters to enhance structural performance. To increase the flexibility, the overall structural can be divided into 5 separated sections, the purpose is to suit different locations. It is believed that without the use of the parametric model, by testing the different constraint. The entire design will not work that well. This also shows parametric design is somehow part of the design instead of standing out just as a tool to help architects to work out the concept, it can create ideas for the design to follow so that it works well in every aspect.

Figure 15 The overview of th Music Pavilion, showing the density of it with the heterogeneous elements

This design looks very complex to everyone but it is actually just about the faรงade, parametriuc design has enabled lots of opportunities to design, it does not just produce things that designers desire, it create more of it. In practicality, it reduces human mistakes and all unnecessary need from construction. It is always good to have the generation to reduce limits.

Figure 16 The algorthims generated from parametric models to test different constraints




Black Narcissus (2011) Black Narcissus is parametrically designed large form that ornamented with flowers. The piece comprises 1,000 elements, 644 repeated CNC routered syntra, 50 repeated jewel-like large flowers and 100 small flowers. It is produced with help with Grasshopper to produce parametric model.

Black Narcissus (2011) Architect: IGabriel Esquivel, David Hernandez Melgarejo Location: “The Rach� Texas A&M University, USA Status: completed

Without the use of parametric model, Black Narcissus will not achieve that much. It consists of fabrication, digital design but being managed efficiently and shortened time to complete. With such repetitive elements formed structure, if we can only work on it by hands, lots of mistakes will be made and it is very time consuming and inefficient. To work with grasshopper, it tests by constraints to generate algorithm which work out the most desirable outcome. So that we can easily produce this structure out. Beside, this piece sticks under the ceiling and with help of parametric model, it helps designer to figure out which pieces need to be stick on ceiling which saves time.

Figure 18 The use of grasshopper to generate the parametric model

Figure 21 The diagram showing how it can be attached to the Figure 20 The detail of the elements ceiling


A.4. Conclusion Design futuring is considerably important to our planets. To enable future, we human must learn how we consume resources and how to give those back to nature. It is believed that damages costed on our limited resources is unfixable but it doesn’t imply that they are losing a future. What we must take action on is adopting the concept of sustainability, as design is a solution to the problem, designers should bear in mind to switch using renewable energy in order to save our finite resource. With the advancement in technology, digital design can be tool and part of the design nowadays. It can definitely work with design futuring and minimise the risk of defuturing. Digital design enables impossibilities, helping design to achieve a higher level to help human with saving money and money. The arising trend of the use of computation is potentially beneficial to our planet. It works out the desirable future to be the reality.



A.5. Learning outcomes After three weeks of learning, I feel like I have gone through lots of ideas which have never come across to my mind in the past. Readings helped my with understanding concepts while case study helped me to know how these concepts demonstrated in real life. I understand the need of sustainability but I have never thought of design can be a key to our future, what is more, I can see the possibilities and opportunities brought by digital design. Investigating the precedent has widen my vision that how fascinating computation can actually act in our design. I believe there will be more and more opportunities brought by this industry, I am getting really excited to be part of it. Parametric design is yet helped us on developing/widening/strengthen our design concept. I believe merging the concept of design futuring and digital design can bring lots of incredible design that is beneficial to the world we created. I can’t wait to explore how parametric design bring variation to design in the up-coming part b and part c


A.6. Appendix - Algorithmic sketches Sketchbook task one

Photograph taken at 1 Field Street I like this style of fence since the design is very cute that reminds me of Disney cartoon characters’ houses. Also, I can see this simple fence can lead to lots of variations that will be very interesting!

Sketches on fence I recorded the elevation and perspective view of the fence. Also, how it differentiated when the fence is put on slope.



2 T p I w


20 rebuilt fence by lofting commard The third row is getting too “crazy” so the forth row is regenerated again and these five is most interesting ones which flow naturally like a paper and I wish to explore more on it. It is interesting to investiagate the different forms can be transformed the orginal fence. However, not every forms satisfy or can become what I expected them to br CONCEPTUALISATION 29

Sketchbook task two


Site plan showing the route I took in Merri Creek Trail The orange line is showing the footpath, I have taken a short trip to explore Merri Creek Trail



Conceptual drawing showing the experience I had at Merri Creek Trail. I feel really comfortable to walk on the trail with flatmate, we both enjoy hiking alot and the way we are surrounded by the nature helps us to relieve stress. So to design the “boundary� of the trail, I hope to use architecture/structure to connect the nature with built environment and hopefully it will not ruin the harmony of the place. That day was quite sunny and I believe the fance I made will also be shelter to people to linger and rest.


Task 2 -Grasshopper

The rebuilt fence used is the above one

Try on contour commard to use the contour on the design



Offset commard: To many curves which make it weird

It is too messy by joining the lines together

Lacking of variations, very similar to the orginal one


REFERENCE Arch Daily, MPavilion 2016 / Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai (2016) <> [accessed 8 August 2018]. Arch Daily, ICD | ITKE Research Pavilion 2011 / ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart (2012) <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Architects’ journal, 2010 July 8, v.232, n.2, p.41-46, photographs, sections, details, site plans Architecture au, One Central Park <> [accessed 8 August 2018]. Curating Cities, ONE CENTRAL PARK VERTICAL GARDENS - Patrick Blanc <> [accessed 8 August 2018]. Definition of ‘Algorithm’ in Wilson, Robert A. and Frank C. Keil, eds (1999). The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (London: MIT Press), pp. 11, 12 Designboom, gabriel esquivel + david hernandez m: black narcissus <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Designboom, soma: music pavilion salzburg biennale 2011 <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Dunne, Anthony & Raby, Fiona (2013) Speculative Everything: Design Fiction, and Social Dreaming (MIT Press) pp. 1-9, 33-45 Evolo, Black Narcissus is Parametric Designed Installation Based on Contemporary Fashion (2011) <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Institute for Computational Design and Construction, ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2011: Progress (2011) <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Fry, Tony (2008). Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice (Oxford: Berg), pp. 1–16 Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004). Architecture’s New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 5-25 Kane, MPavilion 2016 <> [accessed 8 August 2018]. MPavilion, 2016: Studio Mumbai <> [accessed 8 August 2018]. Oxman, Rivka and Robert Oxman, eds (2014). Theories of the Digital in Architecture (London; New York: Routledge), pp. 1–10 Peters, Brady. (2013) ‘Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought’, Architectural Design, 83, 2, pp. 08-15 Schumacher, Patrik (2011). The Autopoiesis of Architecture: A New Framework for Architecture (Chichester: Wiley), pp. 1 -28 Sebastian Jordana (2010) <> [accessed 9 August 2018]. Thomas Heatherwick and Maisie Rowe, Thomas Heatherwick Making (London: Thames & Hudson, 2015,) p. 217-231.



LIST OF IMAGES Figure 1 John Gollings, MPavilion, 2016, accessed 07 August, 2018, Figure 2 John Gollings, MPavilion, 2016, accessed 07 August, 2018, Figure 3 John Gollings, MPavilion, 2016, accessed 07 August, 2018, Figure 4 Simon Wood, The north-west corner of One Central Park, viewed from Broadway, accessed 08 August, 2018, Figure 5 John Gollings, Images courtesy of Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia, accessed 08 August, 2018, Figure 6 Simon Wood, Almost 50 percent of the towersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; facades are planted with green walls designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc, accessed 08 August, 2018, https:// Figure 7 Pink Rungruang, lalique presents crystal architecture collection by zaha hadid, accessed 08 August, 2018, ?lp=true. Figure 8 Roland Halbe, ICD | ITKE Research Pavilion, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 9 Roland Halbe, ICD | ITKE Research Pavilion, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 10 Roland Halbe, ICD | ITKE Research Pavilion, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 11 Daniele Mattioli, UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 12 UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 13 UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 14 Sarah Fearnley, LEO Lane â&#x20AC;&#x201D; DAM Smart!, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 15 Ridhika Naidoo, soma: music pavilion salzburg biennale 2011, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 16 Ridhika Naidoo, genetic algorithims, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 17 Ridhika Naidoo, interior, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 18 Dimitris Kottas, Digital Architecture New Applications (Barcelona: Links, 2013), 53. Figure 19 Erika kim, gabriel esquivel + david hernandez m: black narcissus, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 20 Erika kim, gabriel esquivel + david hernandez m: black narcissus, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 21 Erika kim, air flow diagram, accessed 09 August, 2018, Figure 22 Hufton and Crow, The Learning Hub, at the University of Singapore, 2016, accessed 07 August, 2018,