Parametric Architecture and Rapid Prototypes: THE EMBODIMENTS

THE EMBODIMENTS are six 3d printed objects, representing fragments of interior or exterior organic building skins. I conceived them entirely in the digital space, using a carefully-selected toolset, containing five different computer-aided design techniques: animation, free-form modeling, generative modeling, parametric modeling and rapid prototyping.

Parametric NURBS curve surface3d print_1

THE EMBODIMENTS’ designs arised from my interests which span across the visual arts, design and engineering. Taking these disciplines as a point of departure, I carried out artistic experiments engaging the new technologies. Despite the highly rational character of these technologies, I managed to apply them to a highly intuitive design process, which enabled me to go along creative paths impossible in traditional design.

Parametric mesh triangular 3d print_1

Parametric mesh triangular 3d print_2


+ + +  The shapes of these three material artifacts stem from a dynamic series of creative processes, which I carried out in the digital space. My first creative act in that space was the formation of a cloud of oscillating particles, which were disturbed by the action of five animated forces. The behavior of particles as the time passed was frozen in a series of computer animation frames. Using a spatial arrangement of particles from one of these frames, I constructed a free-flowing, gently undulated surface. I then molded and trimmed this surface by means of intuitive, manual procedures in digital space. In the next creation step, I augmented the surface with ornamental elements, which gave shape to three richly-decorated, ethereal building skins. Finally, these virtual skins were  materialized into tangible physical objects using 3d printing technology […] + + +

Parametric NURBS curve surface3d print_2


+ + +  These three material artifacts also originate from a dynamic process of particle animation, which I carried out in the digital space. This time, however, one of the particle clouds was turned into a surface not through a manual modeling process, but rather a mathematical one. I used a computer algorithm to generate the very first surface outline with a mosaic structure. I then refined this tessellated surface by means of intuitive modeling interventions in digital space. In the next steps of creation, I employed a series of different computer algorithms again, to embed the decorative elements within the surface. These operations gave shape to three ornamental, celestial building skins, which gained a geometric and jagged character. Eventually, I embodied these virtual skins as physical objects through the computer-driven medium of 3d printing […] + + +

I showcased my artifacts in the exhibition THE EMBODIMENTS: Transitions from ethereal digitality to tangible materiality, curated by the international AHA! Art & Science Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. I immersed each 3d printed object in an intriguing light & shadow environment of its exhibition capsule, which I designed for the needs of showcasing. By looking inside these capsules, the viewers of the exhibition had a unique chance to personally experience the expressive, richly-decorated forms, conceived through a fruitful synergy of human creativity and advanced technology.

AHA A3 embodiments Embodiments exhibition 3d prints AHA schedule updated 2

Embodiments exhibition 3d prints

The Strong Research Environment ‘Architecture in the Making’ at Chalmers Architecture.
AHA Festival organizers, with special thanks to: Peter Christensson, Anna Maria Orru & Andrej Slavik.
A-Workshop at Chalmers Architecture: Peter Lindblom & Tabita Nilsson.
Everyone who gave their inputs to this research & exhibition.


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

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

The algorithmically-generated 3D constructs — potentials for Architecture and Interior Design

Here, a simple algorithm – based on the associative interaction between a NURBS curve and a gradually-modulated polygon system – produces a highly-differentiated structure which could become an acoustic, sound-dispersing ceiling or wall.

The algorithmically-generated 2D constructs — potentials for Architecture and Interior Design

Parameter-driven, mathematically-defined structures generated via algorithmic modeling present interesting esthetic features.

The algorithms for those structures are simple: scaling and rotating triangles is just enough to produce complexity which would be difficult to achieve manually.