Author Archives: 04 Diana Chan

New York, New York/Diana Chan, Megan Philibin

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We explored fabrication by first paneling regular triangles in a 10×10 grid on a lofted surface in Rhino.  Transferring the object into Maya allowed for manipulation of vertices for a varied triangular pattern that suggests movement for our building skin.  For fabrication, each triangle is unrolled which means that each laser cut strip folds into a single triangle.  Through our process, we discovered just how important it was important to keep all surfaces lying in one plane, or curved in one direction (when you can draw a line through one end of the surface to the other).


Sometimes we draw ambiguous curves and wish we knew the circle and its center that creates the curve.

Grasshopper’s OSC_CIRCLES button mathematically calculates the circle to a curve, given a surface and a point in Rhino.

The proper definition of an osculating circle of a curve at a given point P is the tangent circle
at point P that approaches the curve most tightly.  The center of the
osculating circle then lies on the inner normal line and its curvature is the same
as that of the given curve at the same point.

These geometries can then be lofted together to create a form; however, sometimes,
it’s just nice to know where the center of the tangent circle is to the curve that
we want to justify in our design.

-Diana Chan

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Arhur Azoulai and Melody Rees’s entry to suckerPUNCH Daily definitely looks like it was birthed out of computer-aided design.  Its fluid form appears to be an extension of the pedestrian and vehicular paths that lead to the main structure.  Particularly, “it is designed by simulating self-organizing biological systems where selective decision making is used to sculpt innate yet deliberate spatial relationships and formal qualities.”

Self-organization in biology, according to wiki, can involve pattern formation, the coordination of human movement, and the flocking behavior of fish and birds.

While, I still can’t tell you what Azoulai and Rees’s design strategy was exactly, their statement inspired a “deliberate” method to pattern making.  With parametric design as such a strong tool in generating forms, it’s difficult to find a purpose for every iteration.

In looking at this design, an argument can be made that the form is generated by the predicted and calculated movement of people.   Perhaps given the landscape at the belly of the building, and the surrounding existing buildings, data was polled to see where people would want to view the landscape.  By walking around it or through it?  Where would people want to view the surrounding structures?  At an elevated height or from below?  This was not the design strategy behind this building, but rather my interpretation of the designer’s statement and how it can inspire deliberate parametric design.

The entry was to house temporary pavilion spaces including but not limited to markets, shops, and time-share housing.  The idea was that temporary functions would keep the culture of Santurce in San Juan active on a site that openly drew the activity in with the technique of having the building morph out of the ground and its context.