what am i doing?

Intro: The contemporary problem that I believe this studio addresses is the proliferation of architectural production that relies exclusively on digital techniques (at the expense of analog and physical techniques).  While digital techniques are tremendously powerful in terms of generating and managing geometric complexity, as a design tool they are actually operating at a very low spatial and material resolution.  Additionally, the mode of transcribing the virtual design into physical reality during the design process relies on increasingly frictionless techniques. When looking at building systems that bridge the gap between digital design and physical fabrication, grid shell systems appear to lend themselves to each. The grid shell systems, connecting both digital design technology as well as fabrication methodology lends itself to not only macro scale projects, but also to micro. It is in this variety of scale/material I find the most interesting I would enjoy to focus my research.

Case study:

Macro: Looking at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, by Thomas Herzog, the “super canopy comprised of 10 modular elements, each one measuring 40m x 40m, at a height of 20m above ground level. The elements are timber double-curved lattice shells, each supported on a central structure. The roof shells cantilever out on all sides looking like giant whale tails. The robust canopy is a demonstration of a tree reborn from the forest to the structure. The columns represent the simple vertical structure of the tree, and the filigree lattice shells represent the tree canopy. The timber lattice allows daylight to penetrate below, just as it does in the forest.”

Micro:

table..ran.out.of.time.

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One Response to what am i doing?

  1. dwidlowski says:

    Well put Juan. While Rhino+Grasshopper are quite powerful digital applications adept at making and managing the “geometric complexity”, it is extremely important to remember that they are only tools, and therefore have appropriate uses. The “canvas” of Grasshopper is drastically different than a blank sheet of trace paper, and any Grasshopper script should begin with a clear intent and understanding of the problem.

    Luckily, these problems have been outlined for us.

    Perhaps an interesting way to explore the fabrication methodology would be for our group to quickly model a simple gridshell model in Rhino, and fabricate it at the micro scale. While not necessarily linking it parametrically yet, a certain level of understanding can be attained from the process of digitally crafting and physically building a gridshell model, developing our dexterity in both.

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