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?

Cut panel geometry Video

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.

July 22, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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reading 3 2005 Blueprints response

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?

July 22, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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Reading response immaterial-ultramaterial

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.


July 22, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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Limestone Panel defenition


I would like to share with everyone the file, definition I used as of Our meeting on monday.

Limestone Panel (rhino)

Grasshopper File ( reduced from a Fabrication tutorial)

Look for incremental updates to this post.

If you want to explore this as well, I recommend finding and downloading weaverbird, which is a mesh & surface analysis tool for Grasshopper.

and get the example file here:

good stuff!

July 12, 2011
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Pattern making part 3

Nothing but flowers

additional divisions of my logic created flowers.

More to follow.


July 11, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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Indiana Limestone

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.

( – interactive wood blocks. — inspiration – potential geometry subdivision methods ( imagine an entire facade!)

Please let me know what  you think!

July 9, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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CNC clay

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.

July 7, 2011
Featured, general, Research, Work In Progress
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Pattern Making 2

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.

(Gray-scott Java Applet)

(Turing Java applet)

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.



July 7, 2011
Featured, general, Research, Work In Progress
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Pattern Making

Here are my favorite Objects in Nature:


Pattern Recipe

For a given Surface

Set Color 1

Set Color 2

Find the distance between two curves on the surface , and break the geometry to create cells.

For the distance between 2 points, blend the colors at gradient that falls off after 40% of the distance

change curve locations and repeat to attract mate.

Tree leaves

Pattern recipe


define edges

Create Crack, with offset limits

diminish limit of offset with each redundant crack

begin cracking until maximum cell size = limit

Eat Carbon.

Soap Bubbles

create bubble


If more than 1 bubbles touch,

move each bubble 1/2 the distance of the intersection,

& flatten surface at the intersection, so that bubble mantains volume.

if bubble cannot maintain volume, ‘POP!’


I have found Many of the scripts already being developed here:

July 5, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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Tooling around

Aranda Lasch

Tooling – a response to an excerpt from the book.

“A problem well defined is a problem half-solved.”

Tooling is an interesting read. From my perspective – it searches for the same vain of truth that FLW searched for in ‘the art and craft of the machine’. That is that when a craft is put to the machine, it is up to the artist to determine the inputs and understand the desired output.

The Computer Science world refers to this as “Garbage in, Garbage out’. If you create a simple beautiful well defined recipe, you’ll get good food.  If you make a recipe that is hideous, and ‘bake’ it, you might set your (kitchen?) on fire.

Tools of the machine that are covered:

Packing – nest each component close together

Blending – go from one to the other in a gradient of steps

Cracking – find the line between the centroid and the greatest distance to create disruption

Tiling –  connect each point and bisect with a line until individual cells are established.

These patterns all have a ‘recipe’ as they all occur in different instances, buildings, models, animals & plants. The new technology can only read the recipe. It is up to us to determine an aesthetic, hone the craft and make something worth making.

This portion of the text makes no prescription. There is nothing that should be done, only what can be done. The more I read about CNC tech, the more I wonder:

Is this a device that will create beauty & allow us to use our technology to create great diversity, and reconnect with the laws of the natural world?
Is this new technology like many others, in that it will serve only the elite & further enhance the separation between rich and the poor?

Like all similar questions, be they posed by William Morris, Luddites, or myself the fear is irrational.   The intention (recipe) is not dictated by the machine.  The fear we have lies within a single individuals empowerment, and continuously greater responsibility to wield it appropriately.

July 5, 2011
general, Research, Work In Progress
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