Tag: parametric design

Architecture and Technology, drivers for innovation, lecture 3/12 2008

Posted by on December 4, 2008

Background image parametric variations in the PARCEL project

Background image PARCEL parametric variations

As part of the education for engineers focusing on component design,  I talked on the topic of Architecture and Technology at the University of Jönköping. The lecture was divided in two parts. In the firs half, I presented Swedish and international references of work in the field of parametric design as well as industrial production and Building Information Modeling. In the second half, I presented two Krets projects, and my own continued research based on these projects, as part of my licientiate thesis. Later the same day, I had another presentation for Design students from Jönköping and Växjö, at the office of Vandalorum in Värnamo.

Mark Burry lecture at the Stockholm Architectural Museum 20081127

Posted by on November 28, 2008

The image Mark himself considers the most important; parallel work in physical and digital media, and strong collaboration between engineers and architects.

The image Mark himself considers the most important; parallel work in physical and digital media, and strong collaboration between engineers and architects.

Mark Burry lectured on Gaudi as part of the current Sagrada Familia exhibition at the museum (also curated by  him). As always, Mark´s lecture was packed with so many interesting issues of the Sagrada Familia development, from Gaudi´s times to now. The work is certainly very relevant today, as digital tools recreate the previously unseen models of Gaudi, and production of stone is advancing through 7 axis robots (5+2). The visual material presented by Mark communicates the potential pf parametric geometries in a very legible way, of course with a focus on the very particular geometries of the cathedral. They are now moving into a part of the project that has been described very little by Gaudi, but the principles of geometry have been set to the extents that the design work can be innovative yet conceptually follow his ideas.

As this lecture coincided with the Patterns lecture the day before, we had the opportunity to meet for dinner afterwards as a SA / Arkitekturmuseet joint thing, which provided the opportunity for in depth discussions also on the more social and political aspects of the Sagrada Familia project.

AA Diploma Unit 16 Adaptive Ecologies 1; Composite Materialities, 2008 – 2009

Posted by on October 25, 2008

Seminar with Robert AIsh at Scheiwiller Svensson Architects as part of Dip16 Stockholm study trip

Dip16 visiting Robert Aish seminar in Stockholm. Photo courtesy of Robert Aish

Dip16 is examining current tendencies in spatial production dictated by developments in material science, digital manufacturing, processes of industrial production and economics as well as new organizational models and methods of procurement. This is directly aimed at deploying architecture as a customized consumer object as the premise for the production and realization of a frivolous space arising from a new environmentally conscious ecology of construction.

We will question the building industry’s short sighted view of the balance between quality, longevity, economy and environmental impact and investigate alternate economical systems in order to found an agile and adaptive framework for a an innovative and sustainable architecture exploiting key concepts such as parametric design, digital fabrication, localized production and ultimately mass customization.

The act of building is our planet’s largest polluting agent. In our view innovation in technology, material science, fabrication techniques and production methods is offering the only novel way of producing space capable of reducing waste, the carbon footprint and our dependency on fossil fuels without having to entirely rely on reductive models of optimization and performance. Dip16 will be researching this new ecology of industrialized building and looking for new solutions based on industrialized production deploying processes and procurement routes provided by NGOs and Open Source communities.

We are searching for an architecture of composites in which spatial quality, material performance, the design of fabrication processes as well as production processes are balanced means in the production of a highly site and context specific architecture with an inherit capacity for redeployment and re-adaptation.

Dip 16 will revisit traditional building concepts such as blocks, slabs, post and beams, shells, frames, tents and fibres as well as ecologies of fabrication and production through history. In the search for composite conditions we will investigate basic building taxonomy through means of fabrication such as milling, folding, laminating, sewing, stacking, interlocking, hanging, injection moulding, compositing, extrusion, weaving, bundling etc. Spatially and programmatically this will entail various degrees of articulation from the standardized low tech component to the highly articulated formal element, avoiding self similar repetition in favour for the diversity of the composite.

We will spring from the past years’ open exploration of parametric and computational techniques in the search for a more contextual and integrated mode of design, in which the rationality sought for in the industry, can meet formal, analytical and procedural experimentation across a range of seamlessly integrated scales managed via a building information model (BIM).

dip16.net is the blog for AA Diploma 16 taught by Jonas Lundberg, Andrew Yau, Jonas Runberger and Thomas Tong at the Architectural Association, London.

Architecture InFormation / Articulations, 2007 – 2008

Posted by on October 25, 2008

Project by Petra Lindfors, Robert Volz and Henric Wernefeldt

The AIF Articulations studio focused on the design, modulation and construction of new modes of transparencies and visibilities and their affects (with plural emphasis). What are transparency, visibility and semi-visibility today? What are their gradients? How do they grow and adapt to site and program and what aesthetic strategies do they produce? As a case for this endeavour the studio deals with the design of a series of independent media production buildings, where an interesting reciprocal relationship between technology and the material is active. This was paralleled by a rigorous investment and research into digital design, digital fabrication and industrialized production.

The Architecture InFormation studio had a continuous research agenda that re-considers the history of systems and components in post- war 20th century architecture and further re-examines the implications of a cellular or componental approach in contemporary architectural design practice and aesthetic discourse.

KTH School of Architecture 4th year design studio, 2007 – 2008
Examiner: Ulrika Karlsson
Tutors: Ulrika Karlsson and Jonas Runberger

Architecture InFormation / Device InFormation, 2006 – 2007

Posted by on July 25, 2007

The Device InFormation studio operated at the scale of the interior and the membrane of a building, looking for proposals that brings about very specific effects, while a being applicable to different environments. The proposals should in this way be considered design systems, addressing issues of design, production and performance. These design systems should make use of parametric principles on different levels, primarily considering the effect of spatial conditions, while implicating structural, organizational and production aspects. The formal effects should suggest functions and programs rather than be defined of them.

The AIF Device InFormation studio was the first semester of three in the AIF studio 2006-2007, run by Jonas Runberger assisted by Thomas Wingate. It was followed by the AIF Cell Tales and the AIF Architecture and Mass Media studios, run by Ulrika Karlsson and Erik Hökby.

The Architecture InFormation studio has a continuous research agenda that re-considers the history of systems and components in post- war 20th century architecture and further re-examines the implications of a cellular or componental approach in contemporary architectural design practice and aesthetic discourse.

KTH School of Architecture 4th year design studio, 2006 – 2007
Examiner: Ulrika Karlsson
Tutors: Jonas Runberger and Thomas Wingate
www.krets.org/aif1.php.

SplineGraft design project, 2006

Posted by on November 1, 2006

SplineGraft structural rack

The SplineGraft project sets up a reactive environment in which sound dampening panels are continuously reshaped by a network of actuating devices, triggered by user movement. The panels are grafted into an existing environment, supported by structural racks allowing a range of different configurations. SplineGraft can be set in different overall shapes independent of its behavior. The different parts are grafted onto each other; the profiled polyurethane panels are articulated by the configuration of the structural racks. The texture of this primary form is reshaped in real time by the control system integrated in the structural racks; a continuous form finding process with emergent patterning effects. In return, the spline ridges of the panels disperse these transformations horizontally.

Structure
The supporting structural racks are assembled from cnc-milled clear acrylic units, each integrating the actuating mechanisms, milled tracks for cabling and etched nickel brass conduits for inter-unit connectivity. The angle between each structural component can be set in five different positions, allowing the rack to be set at a convex or concave configuration, while maintaining conductive links between each part. Each rack of five units is controlled by a micro controller, steering the integrated actuators in the form of dual shape memory alloy wires. The central intelligence of each rack communicates with neighboring racks through radio.

SplineGraft behavior
The behaviour of the SplineGraft is controlled by a genetic algorithm; a computer program that simulates and compresses the geologically slow processes of natural selection to nanoseconds of computational time, in order to evolve solutions to specific problems. The Spline Graft algorithm is in this way trying to emit patterns of movement which stimulate occupation of the space it has been grafted in to. The matching of sensor readings and motor reactions in an apparently intentional way by the Spline Graft, transforms architecture into a cybernetic agent involved in the making and production of space.

Simulated SplineGraft panel

Simulated SplineGraft panel

SplineGraft materials
CNC-milled acrylic structural components with integrated wiring, machined polyurethane foam, etched nickel brass conductors, IR Movement Sensor, custom made PCB Cards, AVR Atmega8 Microcontrollers, Radio Modules, diverse electronic components, Flexinol® shape memory alloy actuators with protective Teflon tubes.

Credits
SplineGraft was developed by Krets partners Pablo Miranda and Jonas Runberger.
Electronic hardware developed in collaboration with Åsmund Gamlesæter.
Supporting development Team: Nick Flygt, Emma Sander, Sanna Söderhäll and Sandra Westin.
The SplineGraft project development was supported by AKAD, Vitra Design Stiftung and the Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation.

Informed Modularity, 2005 – 2006

Posted by on July 25, 2006

Presentations by visting studio AA Dip16

The Informed Modularity 4th year track 5 aimed to reconsider the history of the component or module in post- war 20th century architecture and to further re-examine the implications of a componential approach in contemporary architectural design practice. This includes the modularisation of skill and expertise, industrial production and construction systems as well as business models in post-war architecture. Central for Post-war architecture were processes of modularisation that resulted in programmatic and material organisations of mass-production and standardisation. Today there is a renewed interest in the component as an architectural approach. Standardisation is today replaced by an interest in mass customization and in the possibility for components to be systematically or parametrically differentiated or modulated in order to generate spatial, programmatic, infrastructural and material configurations that respond to local conditions and desires.

part 1 was the Crash Course called The construction of Swedish identity: rethinking the Kurbits and the filling of surface. The work focused on the construction of identity/identities and its relationships to the ornamental and the decorative through a small urban program. Further the work concentrated on an architectural cellular strategy with a rigor in structural, programmatic and material applications. The crash course was run by Ulrika Karlsson.

Project by Andrew Martin, Alessandra Pantuso and Sanna Söderhäll

Project by Andrew Martin, Alessandra Pantuso and Sanna Söderhäll

part 2 was an architecture studio in the second trimester of the year where the students was looking at identity/identities in relation to living and housing of the future. Looking back at experiments of the last century; including the work of Jean Prouvé, the Californian Case Study Houses program from 1945-1962, Archigram and the Metabolists of the 1960s, a wide range of projects addressing technology and its social and cultural ramifications can be identified. With contemporary issues of industrialization such as Lean Production and mass customization as a departure point, the studio projected ideas further, using advances in technology and new modes of living to explore future issues of housing development. The studio also conducted a study trip to London visitng practices such as AKT, KPF and Aedas, as well as took part in workshops with Architectural Association Diploma Unit 16.

KTH School of Architecture design studio 2005 – 2006
Examiner: Ulrika Karlsson
Tutors: Pablo Miranda and Jonas Runberger

www.arch.kth.se/informedmodularity.

PARCEL design project, 2004

Posted by on November 1, 2004

With PARCEL Krets suggests new ways of establishing relations between the material, audiovisual and digital techniques that are increasingly forming the environments around us. The project considers off-the-shelf technologies normally used in the packaging industry and consumer electronics as integral parts of an architectural design.

Punched plastic sheets equipped with computational intelligence through microprocessors, printed circuits, and a variation of sensors, lighting and speakers, are folded into volumes. When combined they form a wall-paneling system integrating information technology and infrastructure as well as illumination and sound. The folded sheets create depth from surface and respond to the color scheme of the Stockholm Concert Hall. The rendering of the color shifts as a result of the inherent curvature in the pieces and the integrated light.

Background
The PARCEL project emanated from an interest in a number of specific phenomena and readily available technologies:

1. The material cultures and fabrication principles of disposable articles and printed matter. The short-lived “throwaway” is easily produced and distributed and thus interesting in relation to a growing need for rethinking the use of plastics in architecture. Initial studies examined tectonics, modularity, detailing, recombination and assembly, looking at ways to deploy these at an architectural scale.

2. Cheaply produced electronics are increasingly infusing our environment with cellular intelligence. Computing power is becoming ubiquitous and readily available to such an extent that it takes on disposable qualities. Previously large and exclusive electronic devices are rapidly collapsing into cheap devices of the size of a pinhead. Electronic circuits can nowadays be printed onto almost any surface, making it possible to integrate microprocessors in products and environments ranging from household appliances to surveillance systems and clothing tags. They make up an invisible but nonetheless present and active part of our public and domestic spaces.

3. Equally important, but less apparent, is the software driving these integrated devices. Their code plays a potentially important role in scripting the interaction between individual and environment, as well as social interaction between individuals. Coding is becoming an act of design, where the scripting of behaviors is increasingly linked to the ambience of our environments.
Design Development

Design and material development within these three fields was done in parallel, covering four areas of investigations.

  • Material and production looked at key aspects of the disposable product including production and assembly, as well as a range of conductive materials including tape, glue and paint.
  • Within design and method the folded structure, as well as modularity, patterning and detailing, was developed.
  • Program and performance included algorithm development, user recombination and network communication protocols.
  • The presentation area includes internal testing of systems, as well as continuous documentation and presentation of the conglomeration of the different tracks.

The cellular principles of the programmed intelligence suggested a similar approach to the physical components. A system of partially folded units with specific curvatures and sets of folds was developed. The inherent curvatures provided structural stability as well as visual effect. The units retained qualities of the sheet, while achieving volumetric capacity. The name PARCEL originates from the way that the singular units are partially enclosed to be able to house electronics but not hiding them from view. Another connotation of parcel would be the act of distributing parts, to “parcel out.” The assembly principles of PARCEL explored the potential for a striated and non-uniform expression, in the way that the different parts could be recombined. The structural logics provided for a vertical positioning, suggesting the idea of a wall paneling system.
Production
The production patterns developed were used as master for the punch tool, setting cuts and fold lines, original for printed circuits and instruction for electronic components. In essence, the complete information for the production of one PARCEL unit was integrated in a single drawing. In this way the formal logics of the PARCEL prototypes were imported from printed matter and disposable articles, transferring their qualities to an interior scale.
Performance
The local digital conduits within the single PARCEL unit form a network with all other units when assembled into an installation, with physical connectors also closing the electric links. The physical and electronic architectures were both a cellular and parallel model, as opposed to traditional sequential computer processes.

The immaterial reactive characteristics of PARCEL are based on white noise, often used to control sound conditions in an environment. Surrounding sound is picked up locally through microphones to be dispersed to other units of the installation through the integrated network. During this transfer the sound signal is transformed by other inputs and emitted through loud speakers and LED lighting, establishing local environments. The interchangeable units of PARCEL, each with specific formal and operational characteristics allows dynamic recombination by users/visitors while the installation is in operation. The striated pattern of the complete installation can be reconfigured at will and the emergent behavior of the distributed intelligence in the local environments changes.
Conclusion
The transfer of strategies from other fields to an interior architectural scale introduces an oscillating ambiguity between graphic and spatial infrastructures. The multifunctional quality of the graphic pattern as instruction for production suggests an ornamental transition from graphic to electronic to spatial infrastructure. PARCEL blurs the relationship between model and building – in this case the wall, and prototype and product – in this case the wall paneling system, in its capacity to continuously react and interact electronically with its environment, as well as invite the visitor to recombine and transfigure the system.

Today’s individual and collective spaces are saturated with information networks and control mechanisms, ranging from automatic doors, to information displays and surveillance systems. The social protocols of such densely electronic material are very much dependent on the presence they have in a space. By appropriating these systems into the architectural design process, they become part of the overall design agenda, and can be articulated accordingly. An extension may lead to new models for social exchange in space, which can be compared to the spread of Internet communities over the past decade.

With PARCEL, Krets addresses the component level of architectural production, and the fact that the rational building industry of today is based on components with very specific geometry. There is a tendency for closed systems to be developed by individual actors based mainly on economic conditions and not integrating architectural quality. This limits the choices of innovative architectural design and shapes our environment in a profound way.

Urbantoys v.2 [Servo], 2003

Posted by on November 1, 2003

The Servo Urbantoys project diffuses the conventional roles of manufacturer, architect, designer and site visitor. The site is designed as an interface that provides tools for the design of architectural products, Urbantoys, via a series of manipulations of a digital model.

Operation
Urbantoys is a set of digitally instantiated products and instructions for their fabrication embedded in an interface intended for both viewing and extraction. Implicit in the word urban-toy is a fluctuation between an architectural scale and program and the scale of a toy or hand held object. It also connotes a digitally manipulable set of geometries, which are animated by the toy’s user and can be assembled computationally as a three-dimensional model or produced as a physical instantiation. The toy’s components are set in motion as a series of spatial parcels, which are activated by the user. The assembly of digital pieces is non-sequential proliferating into a series of models. The viewer is invited to act on a supplied catalogue of materials and infiltrate the design process. By submitting designs to and sampling designs from an online archive, the visitors’ designs are made available to other potential authors. Digitally catalogued urbantoys may be retrieved, fabricated and exhibited at a later event, turning the exhibition venue into a dynamic index of the design process as it is distributed among various agents. The interface also provides the possibility for the visitor to directly engage with a manufacturer by ordering a rapid prototype of the designed object.

Urbantoys v.2 was exhibited at the ReShape! exhibition curated by IASPIS at the Venice Biennale of the Arts in 2003. It is an upgraded version of the online design environment Urbantoys v.1 released in 2000 for the exhibition N2art curated by Peter Hagdahl. Part of a larger speculation on the incorporation of the user into design and production processes through the emergence of new interactive technologies, Urbantoys v.2 is an open-source interface through which outside authors customize a variety of generic design prototypes according to personal needs, interests, and constraints.

Physical installation
The temporary gallery space of the Reshape! show required a spatial setup for the digital design environment. A merged display wall, work place and light table operated as a platform for interaction, both literally in the digital design system, as well as through discussions between visitors.

Physical models of previous designs were displayed, and other components provided the context for the less informative digital interface. The Urbantoys v.2 featured a back-lit table connected to a wall, carrying models, and enabling visitors / users to gather around to handle the models and view product sheets of previous designs, providing a context for the digital browser.

The design environment allowed the visitor to move around in digital space, while manipulating the geometries in an intuitive manner. Simple instructions guided the user, indicating different potential transformations. The interface was connected to a separate database, allowing for the storage and retrieval of designs, names of authors and comments. This made possible the sampling of previous designs, to be altered and re-saved.

Development
The Urbantoys v.2 project used the Virtools game editor as a programming environment. The sampling of technology from other fields towards a new purpose requires the adaptation of techniques optimized for another agenda. This provides friction, but also opportunities.

During the Krets project development phase the software allowed for the sharing of behavioral scripts, enabling multiple developers to share the work on the prototype, which could also be continuously tested during the process. The Virtools-browser handled all interaction, providing behaviors to simple geometries resulting in a vast recombinatorial potential within the formative design concept.

Performance
The performative aspects of the project set up a new kind of relationship between designer, manufacturer and customer. The Urbantoys v.2 project explores the possibilities of using the gallery space as a platform for participatory design where the authorship of a set of environments is distributed and shared with the visitors. The visitor/ consumer of the piece is at the same time potentially a producer and author of designs that might be sampled by other visitors, as well as manufactured and exhibited at a later event. The audience involved in the consumption of the piece is at the same time the performers of a creative act. Krets, as authors and producers of the installation, will on the other hand act as consumers of the visitors saved designs when they are manufactured and exhibited.

Credits
Servo was invited by IASPIS to participate in the Reshape! sideshow to the 50th Venice Biennale. Krets was commissioned by Servo to develop the Urbantoys v.2 responsive browser, a re-development of the Urbantoys v.1 browser (2000).

Urbantoys v.2
Project leader:
Ulrika Karlsson, Servo

Urbantoys v.2 Krets design team:
Daniel Norell and Jonas Runberger

Database design:
Oskar Scheiwiller More…

Navigation Organisation Narative (NON), 2001

Posted by on October 25, 2001

project by Matilda Eriksson, Milo Lavén and Hjalmar Mann

project by Matilda Eriksson, Milo Lavén and Hjalmar Mann

The six-week course acted on the friction between concepts and technology, and was looking for new ways to develop ideas, new worlds to explore and new problems to solve. Through the three linked concepts of Navigation, Organization and the Narrative, the course looked at ideas in related disciplines, the use and abuse of software and the development of new tools that address the architectural process.

The non course was set in two phases. During the first three weeks all 70 students worked on the same topic, while divided into text seminar groups in the three NON tracks, Navigation, Organisation and Narrative. During phase two the students selected to continue the pursuit of one of the tracks, either individually or in design teams.

During the two phases of the NON course, students were encouraged to work in different constellations, to explore new topics and transform ideas between different media. Although the second phase was divided into three different tracks, Navigation, Organisation and the Narrative, with different tutors and agendas, the projects were finally reassembled under ten different topics.

Different input was given throughout the 6 weeks, including numerous lectures and presentations, text seminars and intense workshops. All participating teachers brought in their own interests to provide a rich context for the overall course, and students were given access to all agendas, while choosing their own line of progress.

navigation outline (tutor Shaun Murray)
Consider work that operates in three or more spaces simultaneously, some narrative, some metaphorical. The research would embark on an architecture of shifting velocity and vector; they are objects that are reflexive, and inhabit vessels and spaces that are fast, slow, slippery or simply suddenly absent, but always fluid. We know that architecture is no longer a cold machine on a brutal planet. It’s the little things that drive us wild: small movements, tiny recalibrations, minute metricutations, digital differentiations and meddlesome menisci these and many other extreme phenomena silently undermine the prison of a naive reality; a naive reality in which other architects continue to plonk a plodding architecture for a preposterous posterity.

organisation outline (tutors Jonas Runberger, Daniel Norell and Pablo Miranda)
The isolated structure in different medias carries information to be used as guidance, interaction and control. Systems are always changing, barriers are formed, gates are opened and closed. The unexpected can happen. The planned does not take place. The Model becomes the probing platform for the unknown, the simulation becomes a tool. The adaptive landscape is put to the test. Through studies of interactive scenarioes on the borderline between Models and Tools, the potential in the generated was investigated, keeping in mind the importance of the underlying order, while being aware of the difference between the extarnal overview and the internal experience.

narrative outline (tutors Minna Henttu and Malin Zimm)
The Narrative is the oldest known method of bending space and mastering time. Language is a virus and we are contamined. Communication is a drug and we are addicted. The voice, the gesture, the game, the sign, the trace, the wall and the system are the vehicles for the narrative. Within this segment we handle the narrative as the engine of the project, disassemble its parts and learn about maintenance of this vehicle and manouvering ways of communication in harsh conditions (speechless, reckless, in darkness, in competition with other media, digitally). A passionated interface should form between the driver and the vehicle. The story could be the shortest way between idea and culture, between thought and mass movement, between knowledge and memory. It takes time and takes place, and may be passed down generations with only a drop of fuel in the tank.

general
Jonas Runberger was coordinator and administrator of the overall course, which was run within the Communications department of the School of Architecture, the Royal Institute of Technology, with Peter Ullstad as examinator. A team of assistants supported the course with technical expertise: Karin Arnberg, Roger Eriksson, Henrik Hansen, Fabian Lindén and Ulrika Wachtmeister

KTH School of Architecture crash course, 2001
More information and samples of student projects can be found at: www.hypersketch.com/non