Complex wood joineries have long been staples of Japanese architecture and construction, demonstrating an impressive and even artistic craft passed down through generations of Japanese carpenters and woodworkers. In recent times, with increasingly available resources and technology, these techniques have been further explored and made publicly accessible, be it through demonstrative gifs or downloadable fabricated joints.
In relation to these resources, Aryan Shahabian, a researcher at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna has developed an algorithm that generates over a billion distinct combinations of interlocking 3D objects, inspired by Japanese joineries. Both single joints and free forms are smoothly handled by the software, combined with endless resultant forms.
Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled a new experimental structure as part of Milan’s White In The City Exhibition during the city’s annual Salone del Mobile. Held at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the heart of Milan’s design district, the exhibition explored the contemporary use of white color in design and architecture across various locations in the city. Named the Thallus – after the Greek word for flora that is not differentiated into stem and leaves, the sculpture is the latest in ZHA’s investigations using 3D printing technology. Thallus continues Zaha Hadid Architects’ Computational Design (ZHA CoDe) group’s research into generating geometries through robotic-assisted design.
The objective of the program is to generate tangible prototypes and solutions along the theme of "DESIGN H(ij)ACK - When Art & Design Meet Public Space". Cross-disciplinary collaboration is a necessity, combined with strong knowledge integration from research, concepts, design, to execution, “DESIGN H(ij)ACK” encourages all participants to think differently, design efficiently, and work economically, mostly important: collectively.
A luminous tetrahedral mesh spanning 10 meters, (Ultra) Light Network is the latest 3D printed innovation achieved by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Professors Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, who were also behind this mesh pavilion last year. Displayed at this year’s iLight Marina Bay in Singapore, the interactive light sculpture is an exploration of how full-scale 3D printed components can create a system to “address not only structural requirements but also power transmission, and information communication within a seamless and continuous aesthetic.”
Suspended over its visitors, the display engages the public through responses to their movements below, controlled by over 50,000 distinct LED pixels and their parent algorithm. This is made possible through five Teensy microcontrollers, working in conjunction with three ultrasonic sensors at the base of the structure, resulting in a lively and illuminating experience.
Following the success of their highly intricate Arabesque Wall, Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer have once again achieved new levels of ornamental eye candy – this time, with a full-scale 3D printed grotto created from seven tons of sandstone. Commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the grotto is an example of how the spatial expression of computational technologies can make for remarkable architectural experiences.
“Digital Grotesque II is a testament to and celebration of a new kind of architecture that leaves behind traditional paradigms of rationalization and standardization and instead emphasizes the viewer’s perception, evoking marvel, curiosity and bewilderment,” state Dillenburger and Hansmeyer.
Zaha Hadid's projects are remarkable not only for her innovative way of handling tangible materials but also for her imagination regarding the medium of light. Her theories of fragmentation and fluidity are now well-known design techniques which enabled her form-finding. However, her advances in using light to render her architecture have often been neglected—even though they became an essential element in revealing and interpreting her architecture. The three-decade transition from minimal light lines at her early Vitra Fire Station to the world's tallest atrium at the Leeza SOHO skyscraper, which collects an abundance of daylight, shows the remarkable development of Zaha Hadid’s luminous legacy.
Of all its bells and whistles, the focal point of Herzog and de Meuron’s latest successful endeavor, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, is arguably the central auditorium, as explored in this new article by WIRED. An incredible example of the possibilities of parametric design, the hall is comprised of 10,000 individual acoustic panels that line the walls, ceilings, railings and balconies. Each of the panels consists of one million “cells” of varying dimensions, created to help define the sound within the space.
To raise awareness and built competency in using Computational design and BIM (Building Information Modeling) innovatively for Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) Open to all full-time students from a registered tertiary institution in their respective countries. $5000 - First Prize $3000 - Second Prize $2000 - Third Prize $800 - Merit
Far from the common dismissal of Margot Krasojevic’s work as (in her own words) “parametric futurist crap,” her work has always revolved around concepts of sustainability. As she explained to ArchDaily last year, she aims to focus on the ways that sustainable technology “will affect not just an architectural language but create a cross disciplinary dialogue and superimpose a typology in light of the ever-evolving technological era.” For the second project in a series of three proposals for the city of Belgrade Serbia, the architect is proposing a “Trolleybus Garden” that functions as a waiting shelter and park while simultaneously harnessing kinetic movement to produce electricity.
With their latest facade construction, Iranian architecture firm Sstudiomm explores the potential that brick can offer by utilizing parametric architecture. Instead of relying on unique construction elements for assembly on-site at a later date, in their new project (called, in full, "Negative Precision. On-Site Fabrication of a ParametricBrick Facade // A DIY for Architects") the firm considers how a simple mass-produced element like the brick can be assembled in unique ways by taking advantage of digital technology. While firms like Gramazio Kohler have already developed industrial methods of assembling brickwork following parametric designs, Sstudiomm aims for a more lo-fi approach, creating parametric brick walls using little more than the traditional construction methods found in Iran and a dose of ingenuity.
Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions an Architect to design a pavilion which will sit on its lawn, greeting the hundreds of thousands of people who will visit over the summer months. Temporary pavilions like this are an important chance for architects to test new ideas, and to communicate to the public what architecture is and could be.
Unless you’re in London, you may not get the opportunity to visit the pavilion physically, but thanks to the web we can take you there virtually.
These days, nearly every architect uses a computer. Whether it’s for 3D modeling, documentation or even creating a program spreadsheet, computers are well entrenched within the profession. Architects now need to know almost as much about software as they do about structures, building codes, and design.
As our tools become more powerful and sophisticated, we need to evolve and develop our working methods in order to stay competitive. I’ve written previously about how architects should learn to code. A lot of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the capabilities of off-the-shelf software. We need to tweak and customize our tools to work the way we work. Creating our own tools and software is one way to do this.
That said, the reality is that not everyone has the time or the inclination to learn how to code. It’s time-consuming and you’ve got projects to run, show drawings to review, and buildings to design. Fortunately there are new tools available that deliver the power of programming without the need for all that typing.
Enter computational design and visual programming.
Swept up in an age of digitization and computing, architecture has been deeply affected in the past decade by what some critics are calling “The Third Industrial Revolution.” With questions of craft and ethics being heavily present in the current architectural discourse, projects taking advantage of these new technologies are often criticized for their frivolous or indulgent nature. On the other hand, there has been an emergence of work that exemplifies the most optimistic of this “Third Industrial Revolution” – an architecture that appropriates new technology and computation for the collective good of our cities and people.
We’ve collected 7 of these projects, ranging from exemplars of engineering to craft and artistry; projects that 80 years after Le Corbusier’s modernist handbook hint at a further horizon – towards a newer architecture.
Founded in 1989, Asymptote Architecture is one of those rare practices that gained their initial notoriety despite the fact that in the early years of their practice most of their designs went unbuilt. As a result, only in the last decade or so have the practice's futuristic and parametric forms truly been tested as physical architecture, with projects such as the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi. In this installment of his “City of Ideas” column,Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Asymptote founders Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture about their inspirations, the creation of space and whether architecture can ever be thought of as solving problems.
Vladimir Belogolovsky:I noticed little arrows at your reception saying, “Administration” to the left, “Picabia” to the left, “Studio 2” to the left, “Duchamp” to the right…What are these things?
Hani Rashid: These are the names we have attributed to our meeting spaces using the names of the influences that are acting on us, our cultural ghosts. For example, the room we are now in is “Constant” referring to the great visionary Constant Nieuwenhuys but also a play on “constant” as a verb meaning something is always happening here. [Laughs.] And this naming system also serves to remind us that the work that we do here is not only about the “business” of designing buildings but more importantly, it has to do with the nature of our thinking and a shared passion in this office for developing new and insightful ideas.
The advent of parametricism has brought architects many new design capabilities; form finding, sun shading and visual texturing are just a few of the ways the technology has impacted structures. But perhaps its most noble function is its ability to optimize structure, especially through the folding of thin, rigid materials. This is the function that architect Tal Friedman has chosen to explore in his Origami Pavilion.
Craftsmanship is one of those topics which it seems almost everyone has a strong opinion. But while many lament the fact that traditional craft practices have been in decline since the industrial revolution, today a new generation of architects and designers have set about redefining and updating the notion of craft to include the most modern design and fabrication techniques around. In this article, originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "5 Ways Architects and Postdigital Artisans Are Modernizing Craftsmanship," Jeff Link explores some of the traits that connect these pioneers to the craftsmen and women of a bygone era.
Craftsmanship in the digital age is hard to define. For some, craftsmanship evokes a purity of style, a preference for the handmade over the machine. For others, it recalls the Craftsman architecture of early-20th-century homes: overhung gabled rooflines, wide sheltered porches, detailed handiwork, and an ineffable Norman Rockwell sense of bygone Americana.
But regardless of one’s intuitive understanding of the term, the notion of craftmanship is evolving. Increasingly, the age-old knowledge of woodcarvers, masons, and other craftspeople is embedded in an intelligent design process using geometric computer models and machine fabrication to develop new crafts and architectural métiers—from gravity-defying furniture assemblies to complex workflows for robotic automatons. These innovations have helped place architects alongside craftsmen at the center of a revival in “maker” culture, which, for example, is in vivid display in handmade marketplaces such as Folksy and Etsy.
So what exactly is digital craft? And what does it look like in the work of top designers? Here, innovative architects identify five things postdigital artisans are doing to transform craftsmanship.