Author Archives: Anders Rustin

Fabric as Form and Function – Anders Rustin

P2C – Anders Rustin

Performance-driven design has been the primary focus of our projects this semester. Neri Oxman said that ‘performance driven design views design as more than a purely aesthetic pursuit but as a holistic  process that drives tangible environmental, economic, and social benefits through innovation and creativity.’ Performance driven design is not the robbing of the creative iterations, but a means to more and more complex iterations. Where our previous designs have had aesthetic or superfluous design reasoning, computational design gives an incredible driver to our process. A way to forecast design and the environment based on what we know, and the algorithms we instruct the program to use.

I tried to keep this idea in mind while I was creating my designs this entire quarter. When working on project one, I thought about fabric design not as a limitation but a new way to become creative. Fabric is smooth, collapsable, stretchy, and flowing. So why not create drivers that help facilitate this behavior? I designed a large sweeping wall that was filled with numerous hexagon windows in which fabric could be stretched to block or allow sunlight into the southern facade of my hotel building. This creates a welcoming and special space (which came from my design ideas, not necessarily from the program itself) inbetween the building and the wall itself. I noticed during design that while computational design is often seen as non-organic, algorithms applied to the design can actually produce very organic, nature-logical designs and iterations for increased beauty and functionality.

This concept came into play a lot in my second project, where we began iterations of city generation based on grids, zones, and the environment. I realized that I could use this design method to produce a mountain-esq city profile to mimic and complement the real mountain right next door. I was able to implement a traditional chinese symbol, the yin-yang, into my design to help generate zones and streets that follow along the curves of the overlaid symbols.

Within the Data Driven Trasmutation paper, it is stated that ‘ Traditional method [of design] is deficient because: (1) the method may include simplified assumptions based on rules-of-thumb that may be inaccurate; and (2) the method may not provide performance measurement/evaluation of a certain design solution. This seems to imply that traditional design has no place within computational performance, but the data driven process actually helps augment and assist the traditional design processes. This can easily be seen in Zaha Hadid’s project ‘Edifici Torre Espiral.’ The original design is simply a group of curves swirling in and out, but through computational assistance and evaluation an entire logical, beautiful building is produced that still has the same feeling and design intent of the sketches that created it.

While not always being a main driver, in an industry dominated by 3D modeling, it is essential to use data-driven design to evaluate and enhance your building designs. With it, designs are tighter, more coherent, realistic, and yet still fantastical. Computation design can take architecture design away from the ‘build a box’ process and into new forms of structure and egress.

Data Driven Transmutation
City Generator: GIS Driven Genetic Evolution in Urban Simulation
Performance Driven Design

P2_B – Anders Rustin – Mountain City

P2 – City Generator Tests – Anders Rustin

P1E – Anders Rustin – Schematic Design

Final Schematic Binder

A continuation of the ‘Evolve’ concept where shifting grids and mesh create an ever-adapting resort environment.

Link to dropbox:

Anders Rustin_Project 1_C


‘A dynamic system along the riverfront, using the collapsable nature of a mesh to create views out or shading.’

P1_Anders Rustin_Hajj Terminal: King Abdulaziz International Airport

The King Abdulaziz International Airport is the busiest airport in Saudi Arabia, located about 12 miles (19km) north of the city of Jeddah. This airport was started in 1974 and completed in 1980, opening the next year, and has been in operation ever since. The airport is in a very important place within its holy land as a typical stop for the pilgrimages to Mecca each year, which brings one part of the airport to the forefront of attention: the Hajj Terminal.

With the lead architect being Gordon Wildermuth working with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, about 100 acres of the airport are covered underneath the designed tents of this terminal, enough to house at least 80,000 people. This allows for the airport to handle the huge influx of people that come for their pilgrimage to Mecca. The Jeddah Hajj Terminal is unique: it’s only active during the “hajj,” a religiously mandated pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims. During that six-week period, it’s one of the busiest airport terminals in the world.

The Hajj Terminal is made of 210 open-air, white teflon-coated fiberglass tents. In 1981, when the airport opened, this was the world’s largest scale fiberglass tent open-air structure. The white tents allow diffuse light to enter into the terminal while reflecting heat up and away from the building. The conical shape of the tent’s tops created a significant chimney effect that keeps temperatures down without heavy energy use. When the desert reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the tent stays at around 80. This is achieved with absolutely no air conditioning, although some mechanical air circulation does exist.

The architect is quoted saying “Due to the large volume of space required to properly house the support area functions, it was decided to condition enclosed spaces and to develop a shaded ‘village’ for the remainder of the area. A number of alternative roof systems were investigated. This resulted in a long span, lightweight structure with translucent materials that could adequately respond to the overal environmental needs of such space.”

Under each module, areas and facilities are located to accommodate for sleeping, rest and food services and preparation. Washing and toilet facilities are provided. An open air market is also provided. While a formal arrangement is made to provide for all of these facilities, the volume of the Haj produces its own pattern. The shaded area becomes truly a support facility. Activities form their own pattern in the space.

You can see a full architects report here: