Thesis: a Microbrewery of Design
Considering the IDEO axium “it is not the chair” – IDEO was asked to redesign a chair for a major railine, but found that the problem was not the chair, but the path thier client took to the seat.
My experience has been that when defining space, “it is not the building” - when I think of the creation of a building, I dont think of connection details. I think of the connections made between people, partnerships and synergistic relationships; of empathetic meaning, environmental concern, value production and symbiotic relationships.
In order to examine this relationship, I want to reduce the scale of the object, so that I can make, explore meaning, and connect with more people in a shorter amount of time. I want to explore the system of making empathetic creations made and distributed to other people.
To this end I propose a design microbrewery. This would be a place where objects were made, objects whose buyers would be designers, fitting existing solutions to their tastes, needs, and individuality.
I believe such a place would have several profound effects:
When I think of architectural design, I can not stop thinking about huge parking lots, and sprawl. Our american lifestyle has become so dependant on automotive transportation that if we do not build the space for our cars, then our buildings fail, or create hazardous conditions for people using the space. New Urbanism is an example of movement that looks to thwart this epedemic and return the scale of the american city so that it can be enjoyed by people. one of the major problems is that there is no urban capcity to support retail shops, because they are simply to expensive to be practical for everyday people. If the scale of a unit of production can be reduced then perhaps this can become practical.
Other considerations have been to create urban agriculture, to reduce the supply and distribution chain footprint that takes place to get grain from the field to the grocery store. There have been several studies that have shown that urban agriculture builds community, increases health and reduces the environmental footprint of food production. My goal is to pursue a concept of urban manufacturing, where the supply and distribution chain of material objects is reduced to enhance urban life in all the same ways. My belief is that if both of these problems are solved, then human needs can be met in american environments without ever needing a truck or car to function in daily life.
Empathetic value, Phenomenology are quinticential value that is described when describing how to make buildings into ‘A’rchitecture. At the scale of ‘F’urniture, I want to create a system for envolving the user in the ‘P’rocess of design. The contemporary Industrial design discussion has been the value of empathetic connection to everyday objects. I believe the next step in creating empathetic connection to our objects and to our spaces is to involve the client in the design of the things they use.
Strategy: To investigate the system of architecture, which produces meaningful objects, through coordination, planning and seeking purpose collabratively, while working at a smaller and more affordable scale.
Tactics: I plan to build tools that will empower others to create and modify there own spaces within parametricly controlled rulesets so that there will be a great beauty in the objects created, as well as a great diversity within subsets.
Here I finished the concept; what if you could:
Take a roughback and various scraps of stone
Scan the surfaces
and then apply a texture pattern to the surface via a preconfigured script?
I took a random pattern, and then applied several logical systems based in grasshopper to find out if I could generate a system that would look amazing over an entire facade, while using pieces that would be to small or two mis-shaped (waste pieces) to be used in traditional masonry construction.
It worked surprisingly well. at this point I will look to this texture generation for covering entire facades, but I don’t know if it would work only with stone. These elliot foam panels are quite rigid. I believe they could be used for formwork on large scale applications with the same intentions.
Two articles. tooling for the imagination, and retooling were side by side in this issue. together they tell an even more complex narrative. The first reading talks about CAD software in the advance and leap forward it is from the days of the eraser; second is a retooling, stepping away from software that simply allows you to draw, to software that allows you to fluidly communicate your intentions. REVIT, Bently, and similar software packages are significant only because they have redefined the question. the question that CAD answered is, “how can you reduce the amount of time associated with correcting drafting errors?” the question answered by these new software packages is, “how can I better communicate and realize my ideas with my clients and my design team?” Retooling is an apt title, because the question of what a CAD software package should be is being reexamined. I believe this is a good change, because it feels like it is empowering the architect to manage the data, instead of simply generating it. It frees the designer to have more thorough discussions about intent, possibility and research because one allows the machine to take care of the more mundane details. First ‘the machine’ liberated wood, and now the architect, could Chinese slave laborers be next?
Architect: (definition)- Material appropriators
While being immersed in learning code, writing scripts, and designing objects this semester, this definition struck me. the reading, immaterial, ultramaterial includes a round table discussion that leads to this point- architects are material appropriators. we research, we invent, but ultimately we make applications. It is likely that as I learn Python, I will never invent code or push parameters past the advances of the people that wrote the code. However, I may be able to do something with the code beyond its original intentions. I think that is the role of the architect; to push an object beyond its original intentions to create new potential solutions. Mori also brings this up when talking with ‘scogin’. in order to enhance the texture on the facade of a buiding they used off-cuts (roughbacks) from a granite company to create a textured feel. they took waste, and celebrated its core qualities. This is the path of innovative thinking, and I believe it is what makes working with in the profession interesting.
Nothing but flowers
additional divisions of my logic created flowers.
More to follow.
I have completed several tests to understand how grasshopper works. The ultimate goal is to create a software that anyone can interact with, and a computer script that makes all of the artifacts tangible.
I have made several tests, and here are the best itterations:
For any 2d line, create a vessel:
This test helped me develop my skills and realize how difficult it was to move through a parametric model, and the rigor it takes to know what you want to see happen, how you can make it happen, and what changes need to be made, against what is easy to do.
Test 2 was a test to create a vase with offset curves.
this vessel had walls with dynamic widths, so that deep and shallow shapes could be made.
This test allowed me to begin to see what I could really do. once I understand the order of operations I would create in modeling space, I can achieve the same thing through a script. the unique part of the script was that I can capitalize ion diminishing returns. I can create inputs, and generate minute change in the input, and it has paramteric effects that when stacked together, can make a beautiful shape.
Ultimately these are both failures, as they are not yet responsive enough, but they have shown me how, with the right knowledge, the software can be intuitive enough to allow someone ‘uninitiated’ to use.
I also found this link, showing how others have done similar research.
At the end of this struggle, I found a script which I should be able to easily addapt to my purposes
It was used to design a tower, but it lays out a very direct path for what to get under control, and how to manipulate what you have. It creates a framework for how to use the software.
Gasoline- was once a waste product. It was thrown away, skimmed off the top of crude oil. Refinement and applications of it was an innovation.
It is my aspiration that a similar process is at a precipice with cut stone, and I intend to explore the possibilities.
Whenever limestone is processed, there are two waste pieces, the ‘roughbacks’ the faces on either side of the stone that are so uneven they can not be used for traditional construction.
What if the roughbacks could become part of the pattern, of the nature of the building facade, the capitol or the connection to earth, what if the small underscaled pieces used as possible?
Here is my initial reaction:
the stone could be cut to look like ‘hyposurface. Large chunks could be used, but smaller ones could be categoriezed and used to make individual triangular panels.
the surface could be scanned in, then triangles could be ‘best fit’ into the individual panels. this could be used to mesh a building faceade with systems like hyposurface, complex window geometries, to create a building rhythm that flows across a building facade.
The shape of the panel would be broken into triangles so that a ordering system could be established, but the triangles themselves could be designed be convex or concave to make patterns, catch the sun, or even create images.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZysu9QcceM) – interactive wood blocks. — inspiration
http://www.livearchitecture.net/archives/4883 – potential geometry subdivision methods ( imagine an entire facade!)
Please let me know what you think!
I used a pattern developed for another project, as a test file for CNC routing in clay, as a proof of concept.
Future improvements would be quickly attained by getting a sharper bit, and fine tuning the Mill speed.
More to come.
I decided to look at cuttlefish, and consider the patterns that make up there skin surface, and the skin surface of many animals. Two scientists already reviewed and have previously described these shapes. The two men are Gray Scott and Turing.
Example – turing model at set reaction time. (Below)
The reaction pattern itself can be recreated and describe color patterns on giraffes, other fish, and zebras as well.
Ultimately the formulas were to complex to examine in a short time frame, so I decided to examine it at a smaller scale.
I designed a component that would link with itself.
Then I made it read the location of an attractor point.
I defined the distance to a random point, and used that to determine the size of the opening in the model.
The opening would then create a 1-0, black white scale, and across the surface, create a gradiant that would mimic the surface of an animal.
Unfortunately, complex definitions in grasshopper require a deeper understanding of parameter trees than I currently have. For the short term, I left the connector system out, and examined the patterning algorythm.
After I overcame several difficulties in Grasshopper I began cutting the material.