Posts tagged with "Parametric Design":

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designx_rhino_02 Interested in learning how to build parametric design models using Grasshopper for Rhino3D? DesignX, in conjunction with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, is offering a workshop on Monday, May 20, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM that focuses on fundamental concepts and mechanisms with an emphasis on professional practice. Instructors Ronnie Parsons and Gil Akos will help participants understand pertinent applications of parametric design and will demonstrate how to use Grasshopper in creative practices. Interiors, architects, and anyone seeking to find out what parametric design is and when it is useful can register and attend. The workshop fulfills two AIA CEUs.
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Learn Parametric Design From the Pros at Facades+PERFORMANCE On April 11+12

parametric_wkshp_01 We know you've seen those sleek parametric designs that are all the rage in cutting-edge architecture, but have you ever wanted to make your own? Venturing into the software zoo of Grasshopper and Rhino can be daunting on your own, and understanding algorithms and computational geometry can sound like Greek to the uninitiated. Luckily, parametric expert Ronnie Parsons of Mode Collective has joined the upcoming facades+PERFORMANCE Conference taking place in New York City next week, April 11 and 12, and will help guide beginners into the exciting world of Parametric Design. With a focus on fundamental concepts and workflows for creating performance-based design models with the parametric design tool  Grasshopper for Rhino3D. Parsons' Technical Workshop, Introduction to Parametric Design, will guide participants through a series of exercises designed to emphasize the relevant applications of parametric design for professional practice. Register today for the Introduction to Parametric Design workshop and the facades+PERFORMANCE before space fills up. There are 8 LU AIA CE credits up for grabs, so head on over to the facades+PERFORMANCE homepage for more information.
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Mode Lab Launches Online Learning Resource for Parametric and Digital Design

Intrigued by parametric architecture but don't know where to begin? Meet Mode Lab, an online network connecting creatives to everything architectural and design related including courses, talks, and workshops that help teach how to use advanced systems like Data Trees, Grasshopper, and Kangaroo. Other courses offer lessons in Organic Modeling to Parametric Pleating to Algorithmic Design. The group just launched their new website, with several upgrades that make taking courses even easier. Courses are now easily sortable by format, subject, or software; a growing community of instructors have joined the Mode Lab team; payment has been streamlines; and work by Mode Lab members is now featured on the site. Mode Lab's growing online destination is transforming the way designers and architects interact, share, and gain the skills and knowledge to develop innovative ideas.
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Poon Design Uses Parametric Algorithms to Create Geometric Trellis in Pasadena

Beverly Hills-based Poon Design has transformed a Pasadena home's porch trellis into a modern mathematical marvel. Using a parametric algorithm, architects Anthony Poon and John Kim used translucent acrylic to create a perforated structure composed of water-jet-cut holes. Circles of varying sizes dot the trellis allowing light to softly filter in while still providing ample shade. “The glowing pattern allows sunlight to stream in alongside constantly changing shadows,” said Poon. The wood frame of the 9-foot structure is supported by galvanized metal poles and covers a 550 square-foot deck made from wood and recycled plastic composite lumber planks. Hexagonal cut-outs pepper the deck reaching out towards the future pool, garden, and guest house. A tree will be planted in the largest opening and align with an aperture above for a truly contemporary look.
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“Minimal Relaxation” Has Maximum Impact at MoCA Shanghai


Reimagining traditional Chinese gardens with parametric geometry

For MoCA Shanghai’s exhibition MoCA Mock-ups: The Architecture of Spatial Art, USC American Academy of China (AAC) Summer Studio 2012 spent six weeks designing, fabricating and constructing “Minimal Relaxation,” a parametric canopy and undulating, LED-lit landscape that creates prime skyline viewing locations on the museum’s rooftop terrace. Inspired by Frei Otto, an architect and structural engineer famous for his complex canopy structures, “Minimal Relaxation” extends his body of design research into physical and digital form-finding processes for minimal surface structure through “dynamic relaxation techniques.”
  • Fabricator  USC AAC (American Academy China) Summer Studio 2012
  • Designer  USC AAC Summer Studio 2012
  • Location  Shanghai, China
  • Date of Completion  August, 2012
  • Materials  Nylon string, high tension cables, bamboo poles, PVC rings, fishing line, MDF, shrink wrap, LEDs
  • Process  Parametric modeling with augmented Rhino 3D, CNC milling, shrink-wrapping
Faculty advisor, Alvin Huang of Synthesis Design + Architecture, explained that dynamic mesh relaxation is a digital simulation process in which the net, in this case, “is placed into continuous tension through the combination of the organization of its mesh network (the net), and the position of its fixed edges (the perimeter) and points (the poles) to find a stable force equilibrium. This results in a minimal surface, where each node within the surface has zero mean curvature.” The students then manipulated funicular form parametrically to accommodate the canopy’s holes, or viewing portals, and reverse engineer the construction process. For a 2,000 square foot rooftop, the students ordered a custom made 55’ x 55’ net with a 3,025 square foot reach that allows for the undulations in the design. The viewing portals were positioned to frame points of interest for viewers, such as the surrounding high rises. Once the students derived a geometry that incorporated these elements they were able to design an internal tension in the net so precise that its bamboo support poles didn’t require any additional attachments or securing. The canopy was so taut, in fact, that since its installment in early August it has already outlasted multiple monsoons. Though the construction of the net is basic (nylon string knotted into diamond shapes, much like a soccer net), the play between the parametric geometry and the net is what lends the materially basic structure such strength and staying power. The same idea of minimal surface for maximum impact was applied to the shrink-wrapped MDF landscape furniture, “where the plastic membrane is constantly trying to minimize itself over its rigid constraints.” Justin Kang, the Landscape Team Leader, explained how the landscape forms were designed to emulate the ripple effect of water droplets. “Wherever the canopy feature drops down the landscape feature dips up to meet the canopy.” Kang also positioned the forms “where the canopy opens so patrons can look through these apertures and see the framed Shanghai skyline.” The furniture does double duty as a lighting element, too. Each form is lit from within by 20V LED strips linked to motion sensors attached to an Arduino board that, ideally, would be programmed to produce light patterns in waves, but due to time constraints the lighting is controlled by a remote, allowing the museum to decided on the kind of lighting to play on the surface of the landscape. Even if visitors aren’t aware of the complicated geometry at work above their heads, the experience underneath the canopy and the view it provides, as well as the light show on the ground, have turned MoCA Shanghai’s previously underutilized and seldom visited rooftop into a nighttime destination. “Minimal Relaxation” was only scheduled to be on view for two weeks, but now the museum has announced that due to its popularity it will remain up indefinitely. Faculty: Neil Leach (USC/AAC Program Director), Wendy Fok (Univ. of Houston/We Designs), Alvin Huang (USC/Synthesis Design + Architecture) Canopy Team Leader: Ty Harrison Landscape Team Leader: Justin Kang Photography by Wandile Kraai
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Profile> Evolute workshop on Parametric Optimization with Florian Isvoranu, October 12

The Austrian company Evolute itself began with an evolution: in 2008 a research group on industrial design and geometric modeling at Vienna University of Technology founded a business. The goal? Deploy mathematicians, engineers, and architects to create tools that facilitate the design and optimization of highly complex geometric forms. In the October 12 workshop "Parametrically Driven Optimization for Freeform Facades" Florin Isvoranu, an architect who now leads Evolute's outreach efforts, will focus on optimization of complex geometry envelopes for efficient and cost effective fabrication. Working in Rhino 4, EvoluteTools PRO 2.0, and Monkey Script Editor, Isvoranu will move step by step from design to optimization to detailing to generating fabrication information, and how to parametrically link these steps into an integrated workflow.  The day-long event is part of Collaboration: The Art and Science of Building Facades, the Chicago edition of The Architect's Newspaper's popular conference taking place October 11-12. Isvoranu stresses the need for easy configuration and a user-friendly interface in new products that address technical subjects."EvoluteTools allows the user to specify an unlimited number of paneling constraints, prioritize the requirements and let the optimization engine find the right solution," he said. EvoluteTools PRO, a Rhino plug-in, even provides feedback that enables precision tailoring of all of a design's parameters, from aesthetic to financial. "Within the same piece of software we are able to design the panel layout, add as many constraints needed into the equation, tweak the optimization goals and export fabrication geometry using our Rhinoscript Interface," said Isvoranu. "The Scripting interface allows architects, engineers, and designers to tailor and manage the data flow to their specific environments and local requirements, saving time and cost." Throughout the whole workshop EvoluteTools PRO 2.0 for Rhino will be used by the attendees for hands-on examples and exercises. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own designs to be rationalized. Experience in using Rhino and knowledge of RhinoScript is advantageous. Participants will receive a 30 day evaluation license of EvoluteTools PRO to further explore its capabilities and also have a chance to preview new optimization tools and paneling technology. To register for the conference and this workshop, click here.
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Zaha to Take Parametric Design a Step Further at SCI-Arc

Prepare yourselves Angelenos: Zaha is coming to town. Her installation Pleated Shell Structures will be on display at the SCI-Arc gallery beginning October 12. The installation's details are still limited, but it appears that it will further push Hadid's and partner Patrik Schumacher's legendary experimentation with parametric design, giving smooth forms a more tactile, imbedded surface. So if parametric design is 3D, could this be 4D? Which dimension are we in now, anyway?
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Profile> Architect Chris Lasch Presents Tooling Scripted Facades on July 27

"We've always been interested in the tools used in architecture and have always tried to be critical of these tools," stated the partners of Aranda/Lasch after being named finalists in MoMA PS 1's Young Architect Program (YAP) in 2005. "At a certain point we began making our own computational tools and realized that we could make structures that organize space and put forth a way to practice architecture." Fast forward seven years, and Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch continue to pioneer new forms through innovative scripting. On July 27, Chris Lasch will lead Scripted Facades, a special workshop that is part of AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco. Lasch co-founded his firm with Benjamin Aranda in 2003, and the duo has made a name for themselves through the deep dives they take into materials and structure for every project, whether a building, installation, or object. In addition to a nod from MoMA PS 1 in 2005 for their YAP proposal The Grotto, Aranda/Lasch won the United States Artists Award and Young Architects Award in 2007, and the same year their practice was the subject of Tooling, part of the Pamphlet Architecture series by Princeton Architectural Press. In 2008, they were featured in the Venice Architecture Biennale (and again in 2010) and also invited back to MoMA to create a large-scale installation in the museum. Since then, they've completed a 42,000 square-foot temporary structure for Design Miami in 2009, in addition to working on commercial and residential projects in New York. This fall Aranda and Lasch will both be visiting architecture professors UC Berkeley. Lasch’s upcoming July 27 workshop on Scripted Facades will offer an intro to creating customized components in Grasshopper through the use of Python scripting. Attendees will be led through a series of tutorials structured as a parametric facade design exercise. This will provide an overview of Python syntax, data management, and script control within the context of Grasshopper’s Python Scripting component. Attendees will learn to build a scripted component, and integrate it within the flow of a Grasshopper definition. To register for this workshop and the preceding July 26 symposium, click here.
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Play It Forward: A Temporary Interactive Installation

Part of this year's Digital Capital Week, the project turns games into donations for a charitable cause.

When Washington, D.C.-area designers Hiroshi Jacobs, Jonathan Grinham, and Kash Bennett were asked to create an installation for Digital Capital Week’s 24-Hour City Project, which seeks to improve urban environments with creative technology, they knew it had to be more than just something to look at. The team created Play It Forward, an interactive, motion-sensing display that donates a small amount of money to charity each time someone plays with it. Unveiled at the technology festival’s closing party at Arena Stage and now part of an exhibit at D.C.’s Project 4 Gallery, the installation demonstrates how advanced parametric design and digital fabrication methods can work together to encourage interaction and promote social change in the process.
  • Fabricators Hiroshi Jacobs, Jonathan Grinham, Kash Bennett, Jasmina Lopez, Sam Mrozinski, Alana Thurmond, Chris Weimann
  • Designers Hiroshi Jacobs, Jonathan Grinham, Kash Bennett
  • Location Washington, D.C.
  • Status Complete
  • Materials White polyethylene on MDF, Arduino microcontroller, photoelectric sensors, LEDs
  • Process Parametric design, digital fabrication, custom interactive sensor-driven technology
Once the design trio won 24-Hour's $1,000 grant to design their project, they had only a month to create it. Budget and time aside, the project's main challenge was modeling the entire interactive system by hand. “We had to integrate a number of systems into the fabrication,” said Jacobs. “It's the surface itself, the connections between units, and also the connections from the individual units to the structure. It's a little different from a project where you have one material and one connection system.” The piece was fabricated with the help of fabrication equipment and students from the School of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America. Its exterior of white polyethylene was chosen for cost, and the project's units were sized so that two could be CNC-cut from a single 11-by-17-inch sheet. But the installation's exterior, a white, wavelike form that lights up in red, belies its complicated innards: 432 hardware connections, 72 photoelectric sensors, 288 LEDs, and more than 1,000 feet of electrical wiring, all assembled to create a new form of social interaction. Sensors located across the piece allow installation visitors to play a simple game in which LEDs provide visual feedback. For the initial presentation, each game resulted in between $1 and $4 being donated to KaBOOM!, a charity that builds playgrounds in needy neighborhoods. The piece generates a digital readout of how much money has been donated, while players are prompted to share their experience via social networks. This physical-digital interaction is made possible with an Arduino microcontroller working in conjunction with the sensors and LEDs. The designers describe the system in a project statement:
As the game is played, the microcontroller transmits game data via processing to an internet data hosting website called Pachube, which in turn is accessed by a custom-developed website that displayed statistics about the most-recent game. Players access the website on their smart phones by scanning an individualized QR code that is displayed on an Apple iPad near the installation.
For the next two weeks, the piece will be installed at Project 4 as part of an exhibition related to digital fabrication that will also include some of Catholic University's work for the Solar Decathlon. The designers see Play It Forward as part of a larger goal to influence architecture. “The most interesting thing to us is not any one of those individual technologies, but using them together,” said Jacobs. “I think this could happen on a bigger scale in a more permanent way.”
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Trahan's Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Cast stone and steel become the medium for collaboration at Trahan Architects’ newest project.

Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Sports Hall Of Fame and Regional History Museum was designed with northern Louisiana’s geography in mind. Located in Natchitoches, the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, the 28,000-square-foot building overlooks Cane River Lake at the boundary of the Red River Valley. While the museum’s exterior will be clad in a skin of cypress planks, a nod to the area’s timber-rich building stock, the interior spaces will be formed by a skin of more than 1,000 cast stone panels resembling land shaped by eons of moving water. As the panels begin to be installed, AN went behind the scenes to learn how the project is taking shape.
  • Fabricators/consultants CASE Inc. (BIM manager and fabrication technology consultant), Method Design (geometry and steel detailing consultant), David Kufferman PE (specialty steel consultant), Advanced Cast Stone (cast stone fabrication)
  • Architect Trahan Architects
  • Location Natchitoches, Louisiana
  • Status Estimated July 2012 completion
  • Materials Cast stone, steel
  • Process Geometric resolution, structural analysis, steel detailing, BIM
Creating the building has been a largely collaborative effort. Texas-based Advanced Cast Stone will fabricate the stone panels, but the team involved in realizing the design also includes specialty steel consultant David Kufferman, steel geometry and detailing consultant Method Design, and Case, the firm providing the project’s fabrication modeling, BIM management, and technology consultation. Using Trahan’s 3-D documents, Case developed a set of customized automation procedures to create a final 3-D model with all of the stone panels, each with its own geometry. “If there’s not repetition with the panel typology, there can be repetition with the process of creating the files themselves and not necessarily the geometry,” said Case partner Ruben Suare. The firm’s software-agnostic approach allowed them to build the proper interface with a range of tools across ten different software packages. These models were used for structural analysis and coordination of all building systems, as well as for outputting shop tickets for use during fabrication. “This is an ideal situation for us because we are managing all 3-D information across the process,” said Case partner Federico Negro. They also created a clash-detection matrix to show where thickened panels would conflict with the project’s structural steel framework, to which the panels will be attached with embedded connections. Method Design served as a consultant to the engineer and stone fabricator to resolve these issues. “We basically had to develop tools to manage the tools,” said Method partner Reese Campbell, who previously worked with Negro at SHoP Architects. In all, Method designed 30 connection types for 1,150 panels, each with between 6 and 15 connections (each panel may attach with three to four connection types). Installation of the cast stone skin has begun and is scheduled for completion in the spring of next year, with an anticipated museum opening in the summer. Panels range in dimension from 2 by 2 feet to more than 15 feet square—the largest piece, to be installed on the atrium’s second floor, will weigh nearly 3 tons. Because panels are stacked in an offset-brick pattern, they must be installed in a specific order. “Not only is the finish of the piece important, its alignment with its neighbors and the grouting is important,” said Negro. “It’s a piece of sculpture.”
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Seeyond's Parametric Building System

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Self-supporting tessellations can take almost any form.

“People are pretty burned out on the office cubicle and panel systems,” said Nat Porter, general manager of Seeyond Architectural Solutions. The company, which launched this month, aims to give architects an alternative to standard space dividers with its new user-controlled parametric design and digital fabrication building system. Seeyond’s history goes back ten years, to sculptor and designer Jonas Hauptman’s experimentations with folded materials. For a class he was teaching, he turned for materials to Liberty Diversified International (LDI), whose roots are in the corrugated fiberboard industry. Hauptman teamed up with Paul James, a mathematician, economist, and industrial designer already working with LDI (now Seeyond’s parent company). They presented their business proposal in 2009 and the new fabrication system was born.
  • Fabricator Seeyond
  • Designer Seeyond
  • Location National
  • Status Ongoing
  • Material Flat stock
  • Process CNC cutting and scoring
“There was a big gap in what you could envision on a computer and what you could build,” said Porter. “The business idea was to close that gap.” The company supplies its own specification tool, called Tess, to architects and designers (an iPad app is available). From there, the user selects a type of feature—wall-mounted structure, non-loadbearing wall, ceiling cloud, column wrap, or partial enclosure—then modifies its size, shape, and tessellation before choosing other options like relief patterns or lighting. Because Tess is a parametric design tool, any change of one geometric variable modifies all dependent variables as well. Once the design is finalized, 3-D modeling data is converted to 2-D CAD information before being exported in machine code for fabrication. The fabrication technique can be applied to any cold-formed material that can be cut and scored with a CNC machine, then folded into shape. Each tessellation within the design is a monocoque, or self-supporting shell. The company says a designer should know within hours of creating a model what a feature will cost and how it looks rendered into a space. Base pricing ranges from $50-$85 per square foot and manufacturing time, from design to installation, is expected to be four to six weeks. Most structures are assembled in a few hours (watch a video of the process here), and none require any tools. Once CNC cutting is complete, flat pieces are folded; then, modules are aligned with high-performance, rare earth magnets. For early projects, the company will build sub-assemblies in its 5,000-square-foot Golden Valley, Minnesota, facility and ship them to the client, but in the future structures could be flat-packed and assembled on site. Freestanding structures are anchored to the floor with a heavy base plate or bolts. The system is so new that the company is only now beginning its first commissioned projects, including a freestanding enclosure for a PR firm and an illuminated restaurant wall, but it has built several of its own installations. These include a cable-hung cloud, a curving, wood-veneered shell, and a wall with an interior matrix that comes into high relief when illuminated. Along with LED modules, acoustical modules and designs for outdoor structures are also in the works. “I think our challenge is that the possibilities are infinite, but infinity overwhelms people,” said Porter. “So a lot of our job is going to be showing traditional applications, but our real goal is to give power back to the architects and designers. It’s going to be really interesting to see where they take it.”
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Parametric Tribeca House Clears Preservation Hurdle

A fanciful parametric design for an addition to a single family house in Tribeca made its way before the Landmarks Preservation Commission today and walked away with a stunning unanimous approval. Jeremy Edmiston of SYSTEMarchitects designed the new facade and addition to an existing three-story single-family house at 187 Franklin Street. According to its web site, the firm studies contemporary culture with "a focus on spaces that are multi-layered, overlapping, and intertwining — systems consisting of varying constituencies, economies and environments — systems both concrete and intangible." From the looks of these boards presented to the panel, this project is right on the mark. Currently a nondescript three-story building sitting in the Tribeca West Historic District, the addition adds two new floors and a new facade above the first floor. Preservation consultant Bill Higgins of Higgins Quasebarth related the dynamically morphing facade to the classic details of nearby art-deco buildings and the porous metal balconies to the ubiquitous New York fire-escape. While the comparisons may seem far-fetched to some, the Preservation Landmarks Commission approved the project 9 to 0.