Parametric Architecture: The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion is a result of an exploratory architectural experiment, whose aim was to check if it is possible to realize a full-scale architectural object with a complex geometry, exclusively with the aid of advanced digital techniques and technologies, without resorting to the traditional design methods and tools. The built structure of the Voronoi Pavilion proves that it is possible to carry out such a process and succeed – not only on the computer screen, but also in real space.

Voronoi Pavilion_MorfotacticLabBlog_1

In the name of our Pavilion, the mysterious Voronoi stands for the name of a mathematician Georgy Voronoy, who is the author of an algorithm which optimally divides a surface into polygonal regions, based on a set of points distributed in space. This algorithm is used in the design of our Pavilion to generate the ornamentation of its skin panels, with the Voronoi cells represented in the form of polygonal perforations of the panels.

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion illustrates the tremendous potential hidden behind the contemporary 3d modeling, computational optimization, and digital fabrication techniques. Its unique form is only seemingly arbitrary and free – in reality, it was conceived as an effect of an extremely structured, rationalized design process, strongly rooted within the algorithmic way of thinking about architectural geometry.

Voronoi Pavilion_MorfotacticLabBlog_2

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion is an effect of a joint research and education collaboration, between Margaret Zboinska from MORFOTACTIC ® (as a researcher at the Department of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), and Jan Cudzik, Kalina Juchnevic, Robert Juchnevic (doctoral students at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland) and Kacper Radziszewski (master’s level student at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland). This is our second collaboration, in which we organized and led the 3rd edition of a research workshop – Parametric Architecture III, in which 20 students from the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland, took part in the design workshop and in the assembly process of the Voronoi Cupola Pavilion.

The Voronoi Cupola Pavilion was demonstrated at two official exhibitions: at the biggest Polish summer design festival Gdynia Design Days 2014, and in an exhibition housed by the Nanotechnology Center at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. The link to our exhibition at Gdynia Design Days 2014, titled: Between the digital and material worlds: The Voronoi Operation, can be found on the offical website of GDD Festival here.

The Pavilion was also featured on the front cover of the Gdansk University of Technology Magazine (downloadable here), and in the article on the Gdansk University of Technology website here.

Voronoi Pavilion_Gdynia Design Days  Voronoi Pavilion_TU Gdansk magazine  Voronoi Pavilion_TU Gdansk website


Invitation to Architectural Installation Exhibition: Voronoi Cupola Pavilion

You are all welcome to an Exhibition resulting from a series of 4 Research Workshops: Parametric Architecture, 3rd Edition, which I co-led with my friends. The exhibition takes place in the main hall of the Nanotechnology Center at Gdansk University of Technology, Poland.

In the exhibition you can see an architectural installation: a full-scale Voronoi Cupola Pavilion, together with its mockup model and exhibition panels presenting some snapshots from its realization process. More information on the design, fabrication and building of the Pavilion coming in the next post.

To see the Facebook event related to the exhibition, see this link (in Polish).

To see an article (in Polish) about the Exhibition on the official website of Gdansk University of Technology, see this link.

The photo in the Exhibition Invitation Poster below gives a sneak preview of one of the Voronoi Cupola Pavilion’s perforated panels, cut out with a CNC mill, following the path of the Voronoi cell distribution.

The Pavilion will also be presented at the biggest summertime design event in Poland: Gdynia Design Days 2014. More info can be found here.

Parametric Pavilion Exhibition

Parametric Architecture: The Cardboard Box Installation

The main aim of the research workshop Parametric Architecture II, during which we built the Cardboard Box Installation, was to investigate the possibility of putting together a large-scale 3d structure made from cardboard. The structure was meant to be realized using the simplest possible means and materials. As a result of an advanced digital 3d modeling process, using the associative parametric modeling software Grasshopper, and after more than 16 hours of intensive mounting work, we used the total amount of 398 cardboard boxes, connected with over 1500 zip fasteners, to finally produce our large-scale 6 by 6-meter structure.

The research workshop Parametric Architecture II, to which Margaret Zboinska of MORFOTACTIC ® was invited as a researcher from the Department of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, took place between 10th and 12th of May 2013 at Gdansk University of Technology (Gdansk, Poland). The workshop was organized by our parametric design friends, doctoral and master’s students at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology: Jakub Bladowski,  Jan Cudzik, Robert Juchnevic and Kacper Radziszewski, accompanied by the KNPP / FROZEN BROCCOLI Student Group from the Faculty of Architecture at Gdansk University of Technology (for more info, please look here and here). Eight architecture students took part in the introductory Grasshopper workshop and in the assembly of the whole structure.

This cardboard box installation was exhibited at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics at Gdansk University of Technology (Gdansk, Poland) in the summer of 2013.

Here are the renderings of our structure designed in Grasshopper (renders and photos by MORFOTACTIC LAB ® Margaret Zboinska):

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

Here is the realized Cardboard Box Installation:

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

And here are some snapshots from the Structure’s assembly process:

Parametric Cardboard Box Architectural Installation

The Cardboard Box Installation was also featured in an article written for the Polish architecture Portal (a link to the article can be found here).

Parametric Cardboard Box

ARDUINO: a Micro-controller with a Mega-potential

MORFOTACTIC ® took part in a Media Lab Gdansk (Poland) workshop on constructing electronic devices. Those devices can be controlled by Arduino – an Open-Source hardware, in the form of a programmable board. This technology can be potentially utilized for multidisciplinary purposes, fusing electronics with artistic/architectural design. For example, we can use Arduino to program the behavior of Interactive Installations, equipped with sensors picking up stimuli from the environment, and actuators responding to those physically.

During the workshop at Media Lab Gdansk we tested the capabilities of Arduino to process digital and analogue signals and transform them into hardware responses (LEDs blinking, speakers jingling and stepper motors rotating), and learned to program the boards with the use of a Processing language-based IDE.

The following photos were taken by Margaret of MORFOTACTIC ®, during the MediaLab Workshop.