FINAL guande wu

Trey V Meyer_Final Presentation_Fragmentation

“Fragmentation” studies the implimentation of parametric thinking in design as a strategy for deriving from.  The goal of the exercise was to create an adaptable system flexible enough to be executed at a variety of scales (i.e. urban scale, building scale, & human scale).  The project combined computer simulation with the human elements of identifying input data and overlaying the resulting products.  The info-graphic above relates the process of generating a template to be used as a form driver on any given site.  Ideal circulation paths were merged together through a Newton attractive force simulation before being segmented into points, or social hubs, along the paths.  These points were then used to create a fragmented surface using the Rhino+GH tool, Voronoi.  The system of Voronoi’s fragmentation is affordable to be used in urban planning, site development, and facade treatment.  The system was then to be applicable to foster innovative strategies for fabric in architecture.  I identified two uses of fabric: fabric for living and fabric for monument.



Otto d-Rive


P2C_Trey V Meyer

Computational Adaption:  “The Importance of the Human Element”

The processes of parametric design as a form driver can only be as effective as the designer’s understanding and ability to create correlations between the input data generating the final product.  I believe simulations focusing on varying parameters could then be overlayed and combined to create results responding to multiple social, economical, etc. factors.  The capability to generate large quantities of solutions through computational methods allows for the opportunity of the human element through evaluation and deciphering of these solutions by the designer.  What data is input to parametric simulation, how the data effects the rules determined by the designer, and how results focusing on different socio-economic factors are fused together are all examples of the ‘human element’ dictating the results of computational design.  Professor, Ming Tang, speaks of this topic in his 2007 ACSA essay:

“We don’t believe this constraint can be overcome by the growth of artificial intelligence in the near future. It is still necessary for City Generator to rely on the evaluation from human, and more importantly, the creativity of human.” (City Generator: GIS Driven Genetic Evolution in Urban Simulation, Ming Tang)

I believe this statement is stressing the role of the designer to understand the processes of computational adaption, evaluating the results without losing the creative element in the judgment and decision making.  This lends itself to the idea that parametricism’s successfulness lies in the utilization of the proper parameters being identified, then implemented in order to create a desired finish product.  With this being said, one must not lose sight that the goal of computer aided design as a tool used to generate form is based on creating a set of rules that can be modified to adjusted to respond to varying factors.

The premise of Parametricism is that all urban and architectural elements must be parametrically malleable. Instead of assembling rigid and hermetic geometric figures  – like all previous architectural styles –  Parametricism brings malleable components into a dynamical play of mutual responsiveness as well as contextual adaptation” (“The Parametric City”, 
Patrik Schumacher)

“This thesis is a comparison of some of the main “parametric” software and a study of the implications of the new approach that Patrick Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects) calls Parametricism, defining it as the new architectural style after modernism. The way that it is changing Urban Design, in particular, is analyzed through three projects that belong to deeply different realities, reaching  interesting reflections on how the architect should use at the best the new technologies in his hands.”

My strategy in the developing a simulation as a system of fragmentation was intended to be affordable to a variety of scales and functions.  I used a system that subdivided surfaces with the input data being represented and quantified in the form of points and lines, thus a point -> line -> surface work flow concept.  The Voronoi script allowed for this computational adaptivity along with a large quantity of solutions based on the parameters being identified such as circulation, solar factors, gathering hubs, etc.  The script could then be run with the various input factors, creating ideal results for those variables.

The final results of the simulations can only be reviewed in regard to how successful the designer was in determining the malleable factors generating the form.  With the Voronoi simulation offering the opportunity to function on a variety of scales, one may begin to create a fluid language ranging from the human to the urban scale.  With the results being created with similar processes, it becomes the designer’s role to dictate how the different scales of simulation may begin to relate.  Along with connecting results of different scales, the designer must also evaluate the ideal solutions based on varying input data within the same scale may begin to integrate in the most reasonable manner.  The relationship between computational adaption in the architectural and urban landscape can therefore be scrutinized based on the effectiveness of the ‘human element’ as the designer must determine the parameters, evaluate the results, and integrate the solutions with complimentary simulations and contextual factors.

Voronoi Simulation of Site, Circulation, & Gathering Hubs Generative Studies Fragmenting the Surface and Demonstrating Line -> Point -> Surface Concept


P2C – Jacob Klapper

Frei Otto is an architect who decided to experiment with a new urban form and in a way pioneered parametric design. In his study he determined the urban landscape was made up of settlements and the paths connecting them. Otto wool-thread experiment was to find the ideal solution that might form when all the paths to all the points are forced to merge together. The resulting paths from the experiment reduce the overall length of the path system but leaving enough paths to give each point a relatively direct route to each other point. This simulation can provide divisions for a parametrically designed city and creates an endless amount of flexibility to the divisions as the simulation can be run multiple times to produce a different pattern as there is not one ideal solution. It can also adapt across time as the points used to calculate the paths change. If the simulation is run again it will reflect these changes as opposed to a traditional city grid that is static and unchanging.

Zaha Hadid Architect’s Kartal-Pendik Masterplan for Istanbul uses a technique similar to Frei Otto by using the Maya hair dynamic tool to create pathways for their site. Since the site sits between two existing urban fabrics, the major parameter driving the paths was incoming circulation from them. The resulting grid provides parcels of different size, which the architects then decided to use to drive building size, and major paths that would connect the two parts of the city in an ideal fashion.

Zaha Hadid Archiects, Kartal-Pendik Masterplan, Istanbul, Turkey, 2006

I used the idea of the path simulation to determine the best location for my hotel on the Cincinnati riverfront site. Major pathways were put through the site, connecting points people wanted to travel to. The resulting divisions provided parcels to choose from. The site I chose for the hotel was along two major pathways through the site allowing it to receive as much exposure it could from people passing through the site.

Otto’s simulation can tell us about the ideal street grid but it also had influence on the smaller scale of individual buildings. Manuel Delanda compares the way architects can find the ideal design of a building to evolution and breeding of species to get desired traits. The Galapagos function in Grasshopper for Rhino is one such genetic algorithm, which can be used to find the ideal form of the building based on several parameters. It slightly changes the form of the building to find a solution based on specified parameters and it will continue to test other arrangements and will always display the best solution discovered so far. Like the wool-thread simulation, the calculation can be run again to find a different yet completely valid result

In the case of the hotel a parameter can be put in to determine the size of the building based on its needs throughout time. The hotel might have a busy season where more guest rooms are required but then need to be removed when they are not needed. The number of guests can be a variable in the Galapagos calculation so it can recalculate the space to its proper size based on this. A module can also be developed for the building that can be scaled by the Galapagos function based on the purpose of the space. For example a public event space will require the module to be larger than a private office but each still uses the basic architectural element. I will then translate the modular component into the city scale. Such modules will also be scaled based on their use. Residential units will be smaller than institutional units but both would use the same initial module. This will give people a sense of the function of a building based on how large they perceive it.

The fabric structure is ideal for an adaptable and variable architecture as it is a material that is relatively easy to set up, take down, move, and form into the desired shape. The incorporation into the hotel allows for the possibility of expansion and introduction of spaces that were not initially conceived at the time of design in a quick and affordable way.


Patrik Schumacher, Parametricism – A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design

Manuel Delanda, “Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture”

It is widely spread, attempted and explored, at the meanwhile, criticized, but undeniable that contemporary architecture as other fields of humanity discourses like media, entertainment, advertisement, as well as science discourses, is dominated by computers and computation paradigm. While the notion of computerization was first step, digital modeling is now certainly v into the era of computation in the process of calculation and reasoning of information. Contemporary designers are dealing with “genetic algorithms” as an approach of potential new interpretation of architecture. According to Manuel Delanda, demonstrated in his lecture of “Deleuze and the use of the genetic algorithm in architecture”, “genetic algorithm” is simply a set of simulations and rules in evolution of processing data in the computer. While in conventional design systems, there are various parameters such as topography, programs, facilities, structures, circulations and so on, which are supposed to be considered during the design process. The Algorithmic, and Parametric design is thinking method of transferring all these information and factors into algorithms to generate a logically or mathematical best solution for the design.

As we can see and experienced this whole semester of accomplish what we have in our crazy little brain, I found that design, manipulation and control of geometry of complex objects is very much well-developed and incredible accessible for all designers with different aspects. But unlike the theorist, and thinkers, the design by itself is not what practical architects and designers looking for. It is the building, or the actual space is what makes most of architects devote their life for. We now have witnessed and experienced some of this amazing technological driven approach of architecture design. The question is how practical this kind of design could be. Is it possible to build these complicated, curvy, blobby objects without costing ten times of the price, which only applicable for signature architects like, Frank Ghery, Zaha Hadid and so forth. And what is the social value, aesthetic value, humanity value of this type of architecture besides the exciting form. Is it true we can call this type of architecture adaptive? How about places with deep religious belief and rich historical value? Or, this system of thinking is supposed to adopt historical and religious parameters into the simulation, thus no conflict should be pop up? How about if we interpret this technology thing as a means to create an architecture that adapts to its occupation, on the one side it could mean that design is embodied within our experiences of spaces, palces, and the components of design are transparently embedded within the environment; on the other hand it could be depicted as which “society and space are combined as a unitary entity, brought together through a knowledge and understanding of computation as applied to our presence in the world.”(which reconnect me to our experience of parametric urbanism, where the preexisting factors and artificial manipulations, as well as the our new, proposed parameters are all unioned as one and being processed in the computer through the computation platforms like maya and grasshopper.

It becomes very important to consider all environmental proterties and material effects in design, to develop material systems which have the potential to mediate environment. From what I experienced during the process of produce the work with my stubborn mind of reasoning and programing, I also found that this genetic algorithmic think may start from generating forms with interesting looks. As it goes to the urbanism, the analysis factors including human behavior, economical value and development, larger view of the city political values started to involved into my process of generating the form and pattern. At the same time, all these factors have given me feedbacks I was expecting and they criticized themselves during the process as well.


P2C_Andrew Campbell

Is Computational Adaptation and Parametric Urbanism Appropriate at the Human Scale?

Performance driven analysis and computational adaptation technologies have given today’s designers a completely new set of tools to work with.  With the application of products like Grasshopper, Maya and Ecotect, architects can consider and react to external environmental and social forces and then utilize them to control building form like never before.  The use of parametric modeling has been effectively applied to small-scale designs in the form of functional installations or as a building’s skin, responding to forces like sound, heat or light retention.  Large-scale adaptive projects are much more complicated and respond to more than a few variables.  This begs the question:  is parametric urbanism appropriate at the human scale or are parametrically designed sites arbitrarily conceived?

Adaptive Urban Fabric by Andrew Kudless  <>

Parametric urbanism has recently found itself under the spotlight of architects.  Spearheaded by designers like Zaha Hadid and Patrick Schumacher, this relatively new line of thinking attempts to incorporate demographics, cultural and human variables in one comprehensive and adaptive computational design.  Parametric design encompasses a simplified conditioning process that contrasts the complicated urban circumstances in the real world.  So should parametric adaptation determine an entire design or should project specifics be considered individually?

How important is human creativity in design?  And at what point should we get involved?  To simplify this idea we can think of getting involved in a parametric design at two separate points, at the start or at the end.  We can either start by designing a humanized form to then be enveloped by a parametric skin, or the form can be parametrically derived first and then humanized later.  Not many large projects today do a great job combining these principals in a way that is seamless, as if both humanism and parametric evolution were simultaneously considered.

Sketch by Andrew Campbell

My personal belief is that parametric urbanism is arbitrary at the human scale and can instead be better used to optimize smaller-scale aspects of human scaled designs.  For instance, the solar retention of a building’s skin is directly related to its environment, this includes surrounding buildings as well as geographical location.  A city with a roman grid layout is subject to a well-defined and conditioned environment, depending only on surrounding buildings and not orientation, but a parametrically arbitrated layout has the possibility to optimize solar retention for each individual building site without compromising its individuality.  However, designing from the top down might endanger the overall circulatory, transportation, electrical, or plumbing system.  These factors can be brought to consideration in the design process, but will they advance the design’s overall productivity or will they interfere with an otherwise unconsidered variable?  And can we possibly understand and optimize all variables associated with urbanism without them compromising each other?

As a species we’ve been building cities from the ground up for thousands of years, and it’s taken us this long to develop a city’s layout for optimum urban development.  Parametric urbanism challenges what we’ve learned through history in terms of what makes a productive city, which I believe is a good thing.  Not only can we use these challenges to better understand why we build the way we do, but we can also use them to optimize what we know already works, and improve on everything else.

For more information see:

Tang, Ming.  “Information Urbanism.”  April 24, 2011.  <>


Regina Stack – Project 2B

studio project 2b presentation

Project C

Adaptive architecture can play a large role in the development of the urban landscape.  The fabric structure of a building can be adaptive and react to various conditions of the natural and artificial world.  The fabric structure of Project 1 deals with the wind that is accelerated by the urban landscape and works visually to show the effects of the wind on the structure. The adaptively of the panels allows the conditions of the natural wind patterns to dictate the façade treatment pattern.  This approach can be used in many multiple facets of design with many different driving factors in any location.  For example, the way that sunlight, temperature, noise, or view affect the space can all serve as a driving force of architecture that adapts as a reaction. Fabric is what allows for the flexibility that leads to adaptive architecture.  Fabric structures can move, twist, open and close, and then return back to their original position in ways that traditional materials cannot.  By designating fabric structures in to an archetype, designer could make used of this material in order to accommodate the desire for a more adaptable architecture that reacts to its environment.

Through the development and use of fabric structures, evolutions in this type of building would continue to allow for more adaptability to the urban landscape.  The nCloth tool in AutoDesk Maya, allows for easy control of the fabric structure as well as presents the material in a realistic light that enables the user to experience real world reactions in a fabricated environment. Constraints act as pins that can simulate a pinned, hinged, or fixed connection. Also collisions allow real life interferences play out on the computer screen.  The nCloth also allows for the varying materials to be used and experimented with.  Fabric structures also allow for pre-engineered structures to be individually designed to suit the needs of the urban landscape.  Adaptive architectural uses allow the changing of the structure to respond to the desires of not only the environment, but also the people who inhabit the structure.  By reacting to the environment and the conditions of the urban landscape, the fabric structure can only be sustainable, but also positively affect the way the users of the building experience the building.  Through building flexibility and dynamic fabric structures, designers can provide the urban landscape with active and responsive buildings that not only interact with nature but also provide the best space for its occupants.