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.
Without anything specific in mind, I started out by researching the camp typology in a broad sense, collecting examples spanning from military camps to inca ruins. The collection of precedents is therefore quite diverse, not (yet, at least) neatly categorized by any specific parameters. However, a few different patterns emerge, such as strict, square grid compositions or more rounded landscape excavations.
The terraced landscapes in Moray and Dalhalla in combination with Pablo’s Python script to modify the heightmap image file inspired me to experiment with programming a script that modifies the heightmap to create a posterized, lower resolution version of the image that in turn could generate a terraced landscape in Rhino. I am not yet sure whether this type of terraforming is what I want to work with moving forward in the project, but at least I had fun writing my first few lines of code.
At present, my area of interest for the camp project is related to participatory and/or emergent design, where the participants of the camp are the ones designing/building/influencing the camp in some way. Instead of ending up with a finished ”project” showing a final end result for what the camp will look like, it might be interesting to work towards a more speculative, ”simulated” result, showing a possible outcome of a process, perhaps happening over a longer period of time. An idea on how take this vague and overly ambitious idea forward is to analyze settlements that have emerged organically without architects to identify the rules and patterns of the configurations. I am also planning on looking more at the specifics of the site, as well as gathering more references on participatory and emergent design processes.
To develop my original generated Python plan into a 3D structure, I began by analysing sectional and spatial conditions. Dividing the plan into three key sections I identified the key spaces. The structure of the section followed the original generated curve which remained consistent throughout the building. The big difference occurred internally when the interior sections interacted with the outer frame. I looked at the key intersections and adapted these in section so the language internally was consistent with the external.
Looking at these sectional pieces further I listed out all the varying arrangements of the sections to develop a list of modules which when orientated according to the generated plan could begin to form the undulating structure of the building.
When modelling the structure I found the column intersection could be used as a basepoint to generate both the interior and the exterior framework for the gallery. By referring back to my original grid, each section of the building was dictated by the number of columns in a corner of a square. With this information I was able to split the building into 5 modules which could be repeated and orientated in the grid to form any building configuration generated by the code.
Using the 3 types of sectional modules listed previously, the individual columns could be adapted on a secondary level. With the new structural modules remaining consistent, the interior spaces can be generated by varying the type of supports that span form the columns, using different modular sections to suit separate spaces. This system can be used to combine the exterior, interior, and structure of the generated building.
Undulating roof & column intersections:
Combining these systems together I was able to create an example structure for housing the art gallery:
The last part of the project has been about developing the structure. Since the system in itself only generates a very basic diagram, the possibilities for translating it into architecture seems endless, but at the same time I wanted to stay true to the underlying system. The first idea of using domes was too diagrammatic and a constraining system.
Instead, the offset circles are joined and filleted to form the general shape of the exterior walls. That shape then lays the groundwork for the shell structure, extruding it vertical to shape walls and offsetting them inwards to create a sloped roof, naturally shaping openings around the Glades beneath. The structure consists of a primary, vertical structure, and bands of secondary outlines, visible both externally and internally.
This project has forced me to analyze my own design process, and pushed me outside my comfort zone. It has also been an interesting struggle between me and the system, by being so smitten with the possibilities of the tools we have investigated, and then realizing that I need to take back the power and tame my own system. Writing a Python program from scratch defined this project because of all the possibilities it created, and the challenge to extinguish a simple form to be translated into architecture.
After reaching a set shape and logic of spatiality, the goal was to work this relationship between floor and ceiling with architectural accuracy and detail. The different levels had to be closely linked but entirely different when it came to their ambience and purpose. Another interesting development was the solving of the structure, metal rings linked by beams which sit like a Victorian dress on four walls and ten columns (six of them at the center of the project).
Everything was rescaled and redesigned to have greater comfort when walking, better options when pausing and resting, and to maximize the space possibly used for infrastructures and additional controlled exhibition areas.
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