We have started a collection of online articles on Parametric Design. We will be using Pinterest to organize the collection, which will expand as new articles are added.
The competition invited architects, students, artists, builders and allied design professionals to submit their design proposals for the third annual Sukkahville Design Competition. The participants were called to re-imagine the traditional Sukkah, a temporary structure, constructed for the holiday of Sukkot. The event was organised by Kehilla foundation, a non-profit organization funding affordable housing and was aiming to raise awareness on the issue of homeless people.
The competition brief was used as part of the, 2nd year Advanced Computer Aided Design, Course (ARCH-262) of the Architecture Department [ARC] of the University of Nicosia during Spring Semester 2013. All students were encouraged to submit their projects developed during the course for the competition. ‘God’s Eye’, a proposal by Christina Galanou and Chrystalla Koufopavlou, was among the six shortlisted entries invited to be constructed at Mel Lastman Square, in Toronto, Canada from September 22nd to September 24th 2013.
‘God’s Eye’ initial design concept expanded on the requirement for a sky opening, an integral element of the traditional Sukkah. A pair of interweaved doubly curved surfaces, form a central enclosure (focal point) which corresponds to a small roof opening, emphasizing the spiritual significance of the structure. The twisting configuration of the project results in two entrances/exits enabling the visitor to progressively experience a protected space which celebrates the connection between the Earth and the Skies. Despite its scale, the structure manages to combine the elements of surprise and interaction thus further enhancing the overall experience of the user. The choice for a woven cladding highlights the idea of shelter, family and bonding whereas the proposed materials (recycled corrugated cardboard and recyclable PVC pipes) underline the ideas of affordability, ephemerality and fragility.
Following the decision to participate in the second phase of the competition, an advising and support team of professional architects and engineers, hosted at HUB Design+Engineering Platform, was brought together to help the students develop and realize the winning proposal. In parallel, a fund-raising process was initiated to offset construction and transportation costs of the group.
The team began re-engaging the project in early August 2013, researching, developing and testing the initial concept while planning the journey ahead. ‘God’s Eye’ was subsequently split into two inter-depended systems – The Structure (Primary and Secondary) and the Skin (Weaved Cladding). Both systems were continually developed through experimentation, digital simulation and Full Scale Mock-Ups. Two such mock-ups were built and tested in Cyprus prior constructing the project in Canada.
A major consideration which imposed numerous constraints and drove many design decisions was the realization of the Sukkah 9000 km away from the base of its Designers. The materials and construction methods were consequently chosen and developed to reflect Middle Eastern Culture as well as to tackle unpredictability, transportation and to allow high tolerances.
The structure was developed using locally produced PVC electrical conduit pipes, bent-in-shape and assembled together using custom-made metal and polycarbonate joints fabricated at the [ARC] F-LAB. The structure was designed to be hand-carried by the team to Canada in three lightweight and easily transportable bags. Specialized software was developed to calculate pipe bending behaviour, packing and work out pipe lengths in order to minimize waste and optimize luggage sizes.
The skin was made out of one-sided corrugated cardboard strips cut into various widths adapting to the curvature of the doubly curved surface. The strips were weaved onto the secondary structure and worked both as a diaphragm and cladding. The choice of cardboard rolls enabled continued weaving, increased workability and decreased weaving time. Specialized software was developed to calculate each strip’s length and width which minimized waste and optimizing construction times.
All six shortlisted proposals were successfully realized in Toronto, Canada from September 22nd to September 24th 2013. All projects were of very high standards and the event attracted local and international media attention. ‘God’s Eye’ drew hundreds of visitors and received exceptional comments from the public and the competition jury which awarded the team with the 1st Prize of Sukkahville 2013 International Design Competition.
The Journey of ‘God’s Eye’ from Cyprus to Canada will be officially presented at an event hosted at the Architecture Department [ARC] of the University of Nicosia on Friday December the 13th 2013 @ 18:30
‘God’s Eye’ team: Christina Galanou (Student Unic [ARC]), Chrystalla Koufopavlou (Student Unic [ARC]), Michalis Georgiou (Lecturer Unic [ARC], Architect @ HUB), Odysseas Georgiou (Teaching Staff Unic [ARC], Structural Engineer @ HUB), Theresa Kwok (Architect @ HUB).
Sponsors: University of Nicosia, HUB Design+Engineering Platform, Heat Flow Ltd, IDS-Interior Design Services, A&A Diamorfotiki Ltd, Lois Builders, ITS Computers Ltd, Nice Day Developments LTD and Shoham Cyprus LTD.
Download a chronological documentation of the Project from concept to realization below:the Journey PhotoBook
The advancement and proliferation of Digital Design tools and Fabrication methods calls for re-evaluation of current design and building processes. Within the above context, the AUTO-Mason design competition has been initiated to explore the potential of CAD-CAM applications in the construction sector and promote collaboration between academia and industry on the island of Cyprus. AUTO-Mason-13 has focused on industrial 7-axis CNC machines, specialized in stone and marble carving. Industrial Robotic Arms have been a fascinating challenge for designers that have been recently establishing new ways of communication with these relatively old but generic machines. As an increased number of such robots escape the automotive and aerospace industry into the building construction sector, designers are called to push the boundaries and explore the possibilities of what looks like an industry changing technology.
In the light of the above, Pavlides Marbles in collaboration with the Architecture Department of the University of Nicosia [ARC] and HUB Design+Engineering Platform, invited architecture, interior design students and young architects to submit their design proposals for the first AUTO-Mason Design Competition. Contestants were called to design a linear assembly of 41 Stone Panels which will form the main boundary wall of Pavlides Industrial estate in Dali, Nicosia.
The winning proposal, by Sam Welham, Matthew Gilbert and Era Savvides, has successfully fulfilled most of the competition aims and satisfied all technical and technological requirements of AUTO-Mason13 brief. The team has managed to achieve a fresh and aesthetically unique result, which demonstrated inherent digital fabrication logic. The propagating rippled surface of the project created a visually interesting outcome which was further celebrated by the choice of simple curving tools. The project admirably reflects rocky costal landscapes and natural geological formations often encountered in the eastern Mediterranean region. As a result, the jury consented, that the proposal formulated an iconic solution, well suited to Pavlides Marbles Estate.
The winning project will be fabricated using Pavlides’s Marbles 7-axis CNC machine and when assembled it is expected to be the largest digitally fabricated assembly on the island of Cyprus. The first of the panels will be fabricated and showcased at the upcoming IDEAL HOME exhibition which will be held at Nicosia International Exhibition Centre from the 8th to the 10th of November 2013.
Sam Welham, Matthew Gilbert and Era Savvides
Architecture Department University of Nicosia [ARC] (http://www.arc.unic.ac.cy)
HUB Design+Engineering Platform (http://www.hub.com.cy)
Pavlides Marbles (http://www.pavlidesmarble.com/)
AUTO-Mason13 – Fabrication of 1st Panel (31st Oct 2013):
Digital Design tools and fabrication methods have been advancing rapidly, changing the way spaces are designed, and realized. The competition seeks to explore the potential of CAD-CAM workflows and principles in construction industry using an industrial robotic arm specialized in stone and marble carving. Industrial Robotic Arms have been a fascinating challenge for designers that have been recently establishing new ways of communication with these relatively old but generic machines. As an increased number of such robots escape the automotive and aerospace industry into the building construction sector, designers are called to push the boundaries and explore the possibilities of what looks like an industry changing technology.
Pavlides Marbles in collaboration with the Architecture Department of the University of Nicosia [ARC] and HUB Design + Engineering Platform, invite architecture, interior design students and young archite
cts to submit their design proposals for the first Auto-Mason Design Competition. The aim of the open competition is to design a freeform wall in a linear assembly of 41 Stone Panels to be digitally fabricated using an industrial robot. The linear composition of panels will form the main boundary wall of Pavlides Industrial estate at Dali, Nicosia. The winning project will be fabricated using a robot and when assembled it is expected to be the largest digitally fabricated assembly on the island of Cyprus.
Mandatory Software Platforms: Rhinoceros 3D and/or Grasshopper
REGISTER NOW! to receive all necessary documents and your unique submission identification number.
Registration Deadline: Entrants must register by the 19th July, 2013; please send us an email with your name or names of team members at firstname.lastname@example.org
Submissions Deadline: 1st September 2013
For more information, contact email@example.com
AUTO-Mason 13 – [ARC] Site Visit (17th Apr. 2013):
AA Visiting School- Cyprus UN Buffer Zone
Aug 23rd to Sep 3rd 2013 – Architeture Research Center [ARC] – University of Nicosia – Cyprus
The island of Cyprus is currently split into north and south parts separated by the UN Buffer Zone, an 180km dividing line that encompasses a small portion of almost every terrain type and urban morphology one can encounter on the island. The objective of the AA Cyprus Visiting School is to map this territory that occupies 3% of the country’s total area, over a series of annually recurring workshops. Investigating one section per year, we will be designing urban scenarios of rehabilitation and computational strategies of projected development, with the aim being to document, analyse and speculate on the future of the entirety of the UN Buffer Zone in the case of a political solution to the division of Cyprus
Our approach towards the future rehabilitation of the UN Buffer zone is based on an agenda of associative digital urban design.
Having been abandoned for 38 years now, the development of territories lying within the Buffer Zone has been brought to a practical standstill. Our aim will be to re-instantiate this development, fast-forwarding into the near future and speculating on the sprawling tendencies or predicted demise of the Green Line’s urban or rural fabric. Computation and the creation of our own associative tools will enable these architectural speculations to take place. In response to this design intent, during the AA Visiting School there is going to be intensive tuition by experienced tutors in the following software platforms:
– Grasshopper for Rhino
– Nudibranch plugin
– Python scripting for Rhino and Grasshopper
Through Rhino and Grasshopper we will address and articulate the landscape topology and existing urban context, while the Nudibranch plugin will be used in order to introduce agency and differentiation into the selected sites, guiding their future development and potential sprawl. Python scripting will be taught and utilized as a tool to augment the linear-computation processes of Grasshopper and introduce recursive functions to simulate development scenarios.
Pavlos Fereos [Bartlett GAD RC2 Tutor]
Kostas Grigoriadis [AA DIP 2 Tutor]
Michail Georgiou [ARC] UNic Lecturer]
Alkis Dikaios [Partner Dikaios+Associates]
“Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”
Fractals escape the concept of fixed topological dimension. What architects understand as a finite size or length, what we try to comprehend in different scales and annotations in plans or elevations, in the field of fractals does not exist. Fractals may be exactly the same at every scale. Imagine thus an architectural plan that as you zoom in does not change, that it’s “the same from near as from far”.
This intrinsic property of fractals is rather difficult to implement or to be designed using non-finite methodologies. Recursive and iterative protocols within coding and scripting languages enable the designer to generate and develop certain procedural models of manipulating complex geometrical or spatial models of fractional dimensionality.
By analyzing, testing and reproducing in Python scripting processes of fractal conception, we aim to introduce recursive functions in Rhino and Grasshopper, as a step forward from its mostly linear computational structure.
The workshop will be held at [ARC], Architecture Research Center, University of Nicosia from the 26th – 29th of March 2013. All lectures and Events will be open to the public.
Fractal Recursion – Workshop Moments:
[RvsR]₂ Workshop will run @ [ARC] University of Nicosia from the 19th – 23rd of November 2012.
During the 70s, Nicholas Negroponte suggested that architecture would be greatly benefited from the integration of computing power into built spaces, thus creating better performing and more rational buildings. In 1991 Mark Weiser published a paper in Scientific American titled, The Computer for the 21st Century , where he coined the term Ubiquitous Com¬puting describing a seamless integration of computers in our surroundings and everyday life. A few years later, in 1999, Neil Gross in an article in the Business Week suggested that: In the 21st century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies–even our dreams. Today, in 2012 we are not far from such futuristic visions. Our work spaces, our homes, our automobiles are all retrofitted with mini computers performing all kinds of tasks. At the same time our handheld devices (computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) are equipped with numerous sensors able to collect and process various sorts of data. The digital skin of Neil Gross is definitely inseparably interwoven to the physical world and it acquires new virtual layers and extensions year by year. At the same McCullogh highlights that: when information technology becomes part of the social infrastructure, it demands design consideration from a broad range of disciplines. Social, psychological, aesthetic and functional factors must play a role in design. Appropriateness surpasses performance as the key to technological successes. Appropriateness is almost always a matter of context. We understand our better contexts as places, and we understand better design for places as architecture.
While we can almost safely assume that information technology is nowadays part of the social infrastructure, architects and designers are soon to be called to take an active role in exploring and weaving considerable parts of the above mentioned digital fabric. As Andrew Payne mentions, Designers in the future will be called upon to create spaces that are computationally enhanced. Rather than simply design traditional buildings and then add a computational layer, it is better to conceive and design this integration from the outset.
Over the last fifteen years there has been a constant shift towards preparing the ground towards the above direction. During the process, design tools and methods have been reinvented and advanced digital construction and fabrication techniques have been applied in design. At the same time, the architect’s education and research fields have been expanded well beyond the traditional domain of architecture in areas like mathematics, robotics and computational engineering. Will this new emerging digital toolbox and the constantly expanded knowledge tank provide the means for realizing Negroponte’s initial propositions for better performance and rational? Can we even surpass performance and strive for appropriateness for better design in architecture?
In the above context, the 3rd workshop of the series will explore the notions of adaptability and interactivity in architecture and aims to expand beyond the use of the computer and digital fabrication, into robotics, electronics and physical computing platforms. The dyad reactive/responsive has been chosen as the theme for this workshop which aims to highlight the fine differences between the two terms. For the scope of the workshop, the property of Reactiveness is synonymous to impulsiveness and as such is lacking in processing as opposed to Responsiveness. The workshop will strive to highlight intelligence in systems and pose the problem of multiple contradicting parameters in digital design. Following [RvsR] and [DvsI] the [RvsR]₂ workshop will focus in creating physical interactive prototypes responding to certain parameters/information.
Grasshopper and plugin Firefly paired with Arduino programming language and computing platform will be introduced to students as possible tools for experimentation.
[RvsR]₂ Workshop Outcome:
Team: Andras Botos, Safa Kadhem, Rossol Kadhem, Christina Poourkou, Ioannis Kyriakides
Run Kitsio Run [RKR]:
Team: Lefki Charalambous, Chrysanthos Yiakubiv, Marios Stavrinides, Yianna Hadjicosti
Weather Control Box:
Team: Antoniou Marios, Fotoula Hadjinikola, Rena Tsangari, Stavrou Eleni, Stephanie Zavalli
Team: Theokli Georgia, Darivianaki Maria, Nikos Georghoudes, Demetrios Pinakiotis
[RvsR]₂ Workshop Moments:
The 2nd Parametric Design and Digital Fabrication Workshop has concluded @ the Architecture Department [ARC], University of Nicosia. The workshop was held from the 21st – 25th of November 2011 and the participants were called to explore the dyad data/information [DvsI].
The workshop theme emerged from the mere observation that digital data is nowadays abundant, ubiquitous and more accessible than ever. Simultaneously, the various computational tools embraced, developed, and widely used by designers today, facilitate the handling of such digital data. Given the above circumstances, one can potentially foresee a valuable source for steering or even founding our designs.
Digital Data come in various forms and structures but it is often supported that they are not of any significance if they are not organised or perceived within a certain context. According to Informationpedia, ‘Data is a set of unrelated information, and as such is of no use until it is properly evaluated. Upon evaluation, once there is some significant relation between data, and they show some relevance, then they are converted into information. Now this same data can be used for different purposes’. Similarly, during the last Smart Geometry Conference 2011 titled, Building the invisible, and according to Marc Thomas the following directions were clearly highlighted: ‘We should not be distracted or seduced by the existence of massive amounts of data — we actually need the processed comprehensible information that arises from data. We also need to avoid being trapped in data silos and be able to utilise information from many diverse sources.’ We can gather as much data as we like but that data only becomes information once it has been processed, interpreted and then presented in a form that is comprehensible to the recipient.’
[DvsI] was structured as a sequel to last year’s workshop [RvsR], which examined the differences between the processes of repetition and replication. For the purposes of [RvsR], the data/information used to drive replication has been assumed or logically declared. However, it came to be a common direction of all the participants that gathering/generating, filtering and conveying information is a new frontier for Parametric Design.
Before exploring such frontiers, and as it was clearly mentioned above, one had to clearly define the relation and interdependencies between data and information. [DvsI], aimed in researching, understanding and utilising the dipole data/information, and applying it in design through the possibilities facilitated by parametric design and digital fabrication tools and methods.
The workshop was consequently expected to address the following questions:
Where can we search for such data sources and how can we transform them into usable design information? How do parametric design tools and digital fabrication methods allow harvesting, mapping and exploiting data/information? Can we support and drive our designs based on such informational foundations? What are the gains from applying these methods for both the design process and product?
[DvsI] consisted of 5 teams, with 3-4 persons each. Marhta Tsigkari, Odysseas Georgiou, Michalis Georgiou and Kyriaki Pafitou, formed the tutoring team.
Grasshopper and plugins Kangaroo and DIVA where introduced to students as possible software for research and experimentation. Each team was asked to develop and present a project that would demonstrate the process of data transformation (gathering/generation, filtering and visualization) into meaningful information able to support and drive their design proposals.
The results are presented below:
Team A: Rotrackable
Team: Nataly Papandreou, Constantinos Kounnis, Pantelis Panteli
Digital Tools: Grasshopper, DIVA
The team implemented a series of Parametric Design strategies aiming in reducing the overall energy consumption of a hypothetical building. Among others, the group examined form-finding methods based on self-shading and developed an opening mechanism, the ‘Rotrackable’ that allows sunlight during winter while providing shading and ventilation during summer. The team attempted to find an optimum balance between the amount of solar radiation measured on the façade of the building and the overhang of the roof. At the same time, the Sun Vector definition, adapted from Ted Ngai and developed by Andrew Heumann was implemented to define the rotation and angle of the ‘Rotracable’ in respect to the position of the Sun throughout the year. The incoming light levels in the building were subsequently measured to verify compliance with Lighting Standards. This last step has also defined the minimum number and size of the openings carrying the ‘Rotracable’ mechanism which could be completely automated (if paired with a sensor-actuator system) or work as a low-tech device (with a number of fixed positions, manually operated by the user).
Team B: Solar Sieve
Team: Papaonisiforou Maria, Christodoulou Kyriakos, Gavriel Yiota
Digital Tools: Grasshopper, DIVA, Galapagos
The team implemented Parametric Design tools to achieve optimum lighting conditions for the entrance/yard of the Fabrication LAB of the Architecture department [ARC] of the University of Nicosia. The group proposed a canopy that works as a regulating membrane, permitting or restricting light wherever necessary. The team constructed a parametric model which enabled modifying the geometry and perforations of the canopy while simultaneously monitoring and calculating the resulting daylight factor and illumination values. As a final addition to the parametric definition, a genetic algorithm was implemented to iterate between all possible design solutions and determine which canopy provides the optimal daylight conditions for the space under study.
Team C: Optimal Shades
Team: Maria Chrysanthou, Antonia Loizou, Stavros Voskaris
Digital Tools: Grasshopper, DIVA
The aim of this project was to develop an intelligent, low tech, exterior shading skin for a hypothetical building that could regulate the annual solar radiation on its facades. The team approached the problem by subdividing the façades of the building into smaller panels and calculating the amount of annual solar radiation on each panel. The group came up with a parametric definition that relates the radiation values on each panel of the façade with the number and size of generated louvers per panel. To facilitate construction, the results were reduced to five categories per facade allowing modularization. Consequently, the East and West facades consisted from panels comprising 1-5 louvers, whereas the south facade consisted from panels comprising 5-9 louvers. As a final step the team calculated the new annual solar radiation on the shaded façades to verify their design strategy.
Team D: Tensegrity Module
Team: Polina Demetriadou, Anna Margaritova, Darcy Osting
Digital Tools: Grasshopper, Kangaroo
The project team aimed in studying, comprehending and digitally simulating a simple tensegrity module using parametric design tools. The process included digitizing the physical properties of two different elements (rigid and tensile), wooden rods and steel wires, and experimenting with finding various equilibrium positions of the digital apparatus by varying several of its parameters. As such the experiment regarded the initial position of the rods and the initial dimensions of the steel wires. Once several stable formations were achieved, the team investigated the possibility of assembling a number of modules together. Finally, the information taken from the simulation (element sizes) was directly used to successfully construct a 1:1 physical module, thus verifying the validity and the future potential of the digital model.
Team E: Fa[Brick]
Team: Stefani Kyriakide, Anna Tsareva
Digital Tools: Grasshopper, DIVA, Kangaroo
The team started by investigating the physical properties of an elastic piece of fabric. By physically measuring the elongation of the fabric in both x and y directions under a fixed load they came up with a parametric definition, digitally simulating the above deformation. The concept formed the basis for their design proposal – to provide shading for a specific part of the Department of Architecture [ARC] of the University of Nicosia, Cyprus which hosts the staircase of the building. Consequently the team subdivided the glazed façade of the staircase into smaller panels (tiles: 300x300mm) and calculated the annual solar radiation for each panel. The fabric was stretched according to the radiation values obtained on each panel. To facilitate construction, the results were reduced to five categories that resulted into 5 different types of tiles covering the façade.
[DvsI] – Workshop Moments:
Download the Full Resolution Booklet of the workshopDvsI Booklet
This is the first attempt towards defining a Comprehensive Parametric Model (‘a phenotype’) able to define most of the wooden roof churches of the Troodos region in Cyprus. The idea will be further explored during an upcoming workshop starting on the 26th of March 2012 at [A.R.C.] University of Nicosia.
The Workshop has concluded and all four teams have successfully presented their real scale prototypes.
RvsR started as an attempt to highlight the difference between the processes of repetition and replication, with the last being the requested outcome. The workshop has therefore implemented Parametric Design Tools (PDT) to investigate the above notions. In addition, RvsR intended in demonstrating the function of PDT as platforms for creating new design tools and geometry control mechanisms, as well as handling digital fabrication.
Repetition, in the workshop context, has been approached as the process by which the multiplication of an object, with certain properties, produces a whole. On the other hand replication has been studied as the process of multiplying an object while altering its properties to produce a whole. Consequently, by varying those properties of the replicable objects, one is able to explore multiple design solutions within a generated family of results. As such replication was able to generate adaptable systems which corresponded to certain design requirements.
For the purposes and the tight schedule of the workshop, the information that drove replication has been assumed or logically approached. However, it seemed a common direction of all the participants that generating, receiving, and filtering the feeded information is a new frontier for Parametric Design.