In the previous exploration we observed the spatial and form giving possibilities of the four bar linkage when combined with the servo motor.
The first test was a planar study of space and allows a reading in plan and in section along a flat plane. When we bring in ideas of tectonics and thickness, we can easily extrude up and allow our architectural judgement to build on from this point.
The second test was a study in multiple dimensions and axis. Attempting to assign material qualities was a challenge and therefore this direction seemed like a viable path to further explore.
I decided to move the project forward by testing the idea of the four bar linkage across varying planes through simple paper models.
Each of these tests brought about questions of stability, connection points, anchor points, material qualities, thickness, how it meets the ground etc. Potential for the use of colour, thickness and additional elements that extend out from the four bars themselves can be observed. Although a prototype could be developed exploring a solution for such possibilities, I have not been able to push this study to that extent.
Project 3 and 4 has been a sort of research project into robotics, motorised movement and the exploration of what this other world of mobility can offer architecture. No end result as such was assigned throughout the process and I feel that that has allowed me to really understand the possibilities of these tools. I have hit many walls and found myself immersed in frustrations over what architectural meaning this project presents but overall, it has been incredibly fun and challenging taking an alternative approach to architectural design.
As we moved onto task 2, I started analysing forms of the linkages and combining two sets to test the spatial properties they exhibited.
The rotation of the linkages needed to exhibit some form or motion and resulting change that would offer a variation in form and surface and space, as in the previous study of the kaleidocycle.
The servo was mounted to a clear acrylic frame and I began to run tests of forms using the basic principle of the four bar linkage.
As observed from the tests above, the spatial study extended only to planar elements. I began incorporating rotation and folds to allow for movement in 3 dimensions and multiple axis for each linkage. Both sets of studies provide grounds for further exploration but I will need to be more intentional in the variation of parameters of the subject.
Project 04 saw a move to material prototyping and developing a methodology for building three dimensional forms. I looked into Frei Ottos fabric tensile structures as well as engineer Vladimir Shukhovs steel tensile structures as precedent.
Keeping the automated robotic theme running I also decided to incorporate a servo motor into my design process. This brought a moving element to the prototyping and prompted the research into the umbrella mechanism and three/ four point linkages.
I also explored the Kaleidocycle (flexagon) which are models of linked tetrahedra which turn through their centres. I wanted to incorporate these methods for materials that, through their connection, could change form and produce multiple spatial environments.
Moving on from the last pin-up I needed a better management strategy for the site data. When the robot reads and responds to the site it needs to be at a scale that the data is useable and realistic for the architectural design to be implemented. Providing a grid system allowed a reading of the entire terrain in greater detail where each grid tile can be blown up and analysed. Consideration was also taken for the dimensions of a manageable testing area for repeated demonstrations and data collection. Below are two possible methods of grid reading of the site. The maps were sampled at 1:500 scale with the second method of grid division.
The robot has a narrow range of testing limited to its line and ultrasonic sensors. This provides a linear path of testing at 1cm intervals on the sample map which would be every 50metres in real life. This gives a dimension and scale to any output that will be collected. In the simulation drawings, the robot is to respond to the changes in height at any level changes, changes at the highest and lowest areas. The output is a full 360 rotation of the robot leaving circles as the response. The robot is allowed to respond to its generated data again and draw diagonal lines at a 45 degree angle at every circle. This then gives a criss cross of linear data that the building system of precast members could be assembled upon.
The robot allows for direct feedback for the design strategy proposal. In oder to fully apply this method of working I formulated a strategy for the summer camp as an initial system of production, construction and form to allow for freedom in testing.
I took the soviet architectural town planning in 1930 by E. May as precedent. The linear markings on the site appears to respond to the context yet also offer an abstract notation of the program of development. The summer camp proposal for Malmon will be about setting up a grid that will be the groundwork for precast members that can easily be assembled and disassembled. Concepts of sustainability and impermanence are suggested.
To obtain an output from the robot I 3D printed a set of arms/ pen holders to obtain a line drawing from the site analysis. While the robot scans the site, It would produce a line drawing as a data output. The implementation was dictated by the robots sensors, size and my coding capabilities. I did not achieve an outcome that could be presented or represented the idea. For the final task in this project I will work towards focusing on what data I want as an output and a much simpler application of the robots abilities.
Studio 9_Project 3_Task 2: Occupations and Interventions.
To occupy the site I began by collecting and analysing site data for Malmön. The program QGIS for editing and analysing geospatial information was used to extract the vector information; topography, population and marine geology. A colour png map provided the basis for extracting the 3D terrain data using a python script and into Rhino, with initial topography analysis through flow diagrams in grasshopper. A photographic study was also carried out and compiled into a booklet.
The intervention aspect was based heavily on ABM research – agent based models. An agent is aware of its surroundings and its abilities. When acting in a collective manner they exhibit swarm intelligence, the collective behaviour of decentralised self-organised systems. This means each member autonomously offers its abilities in order to study an overall system. The members, or agents, self-coordinates without a leader and cooperate in solidarity resulting in a self-healing system. This allows members to be added or removed dynamically as the agents will recalibrate in a constant feedback loop.
‘Boids’ by Craig Reynolds was the grounds for my research into swarms and flocking behaviours for computer simulations. His theory is a basic flocking model consisting of three steering behaviours; separation, alignment and cohesion. Ant colonies that organise using pheromone and visibility factors were also part of the initial studies.
I would like to base project 3 on the collection of site data using agents and subsequently allowing the agents to alter the collected data in order to intervene and implement the summer camp design on Malmön. To engage with this theory in the material dimension, I decided give form to the agent as a mini Arduino robot name Mö. This allows for real-time feedback with the tests I run for the agent simulation on site. Giving robotics agent behaviours has its own research and theory basis. Although Craig Reynolds theory of Boids is a great foundation, I also studied vehicle behaviour and coding in ‘Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology’ by Valentino Braitenberg. Processing and Arduino will be the main programming softwares, with C and Java as scripting languages. The Nature of Code on youtube and Github, as well as Studio 09’s own processing tutorials have been great learning platforms for this.
The 9 projects below were collected as precedents for project 3.
These plans and sections are a representation of two strings of thought; i. an exploration of form and approaches to setting; ii. city making and sequential building. The first set of projects play with ideas of control, vistas and the act of an icon in the landscape. They tackle form and building materials in an experimental manner using the environment and new technology as key tools. A simple question of building up or down and along the terrain is also brought to question. The second string of thought is concerned with city making and sequential building with studies of the layout of the city of Pompeii, the Acropolis of Athens and futuristic plug-in cities.
Drawing from the research and testing throughout project_01 and _02, I began to compile and implement the system I created in order to give architectural form to the space filling curve that is the dragon curve. The path and control points of the test M1 from project one inform the grid along which both the walls and roof structure are set, thereby enforcing a direct correlation between section and plan. Altering parameters such as thickness, scale and spacing of the walls and roof, with respect to desired lighting, movement, material etc. can easily be navigated as the structure and form are resolved thanks to the connection in plan and section
To begin the process of thickening the section within the project, I traced the path of the generated curve to identify four instances; 1, 2, 3, 4. Grouping the repetition of these instances, three distinct spatial conditions with aspect to the program were identified: exhibition – a, b, c; structure – column; circulation – corridor/ buffer spaces. Working in parallel with the roof structure, the control points and the path of the curvature is used as the defining grid for the roof. An instance of the curve geometry was used to generate the profile for the roof.
Each of the identified groups hold a combination of spatial characteristics such as flat, concave and convex surfaces. Without giving a set program to these, there is an opportunity to play with volume and the relationship to the ground and roof to provide a series of spaces with unique architectural qualities and views.
Adding thickness to the sections brings about the question of materiality. Keeping the idea of reflectivity and blending in the landscape, a sheet metal finish along the length of the exterior would enforce the sense of continuity. An exposed brick interior could be offset with sheet metal panels to provide different experiences of the space. The sectional model/ drawings, at a scale of 1:50 explore the spatial and tectonic characteristics of the roof and curve such as light, movement, thick and thin.
The final presentation for project_01 brought about the exploration of light and materiality through the medium of models. Working through sketches, I began exploring the roof grid and it’s correlation to the curved plan with an experimental approach to how their relationship is articulated in the physical form.
I worked through three card models using the laser cutter to achieve the curvatures of the dragon code, investigating the materiality of the curves, the spacing and placement of the roof.
The flow of movement through the building was a direct response to the location on site. Using the pond as a feature and arrival point, the Konsthall starts as a bench into a curved wall that sinks down into the ground and leads you back up into the waterfront.
The challenge of using the curved walls as a guide without the roof structure deterring from the spatial experience was a balance difficult to navigate. The design needs to be explored at multiple locations within the curvature, based on site variations and the specific spatial qualities created at each chosen point. How the spaces are occupied, what potential it holds for exhibition purposes etc.