02 December 2009

Results: Complex Geometry and Parametric Design worshop at SIGraDi 2009

After three days of lectures and exercises, Gonçalo Castro Henriques and I focused the workshop Complex Geometry and Parametric Design with Grasshopper on the production of projects for a covering at the patio of the School of Architecture. The requirements were to generate complex skins or structures just with developable components, so that they would be buildable with 2D CNC technology.

We had the honor of presenting the workshop projects to an audience of prominent academics and professionals. Here are some images of the projects:

‘Estrutura Planificada’, by Bruno Carnevalli, Flavia Biccas and Marcelo Oliveira.

05 October 2009

Connections: Designplaygrounds

Rodrigo Medina is a young designer who experiments and teaches object design, experimental architecture, interactive and generative art. In his site Designplaygrounds and on his blog, he publishes his work developed on RhinoScript, Grasshopper, Processing, among others. It is also interesting to follow his Facebook page and Twitter, where he posts updated relevant links.

I had the opportunity of meeting him personally when I invited him to lecture in the digital fabrication course at ESARQ.

Thanks to Rodrigo for reference me in his sites.

01 October 2009

RhinoScript consulting for fabrication at ESARQ

On March, taking advantage of my stay in Barcelona, I made some RhinoScript consultancies in Affonso Orciuoli’s course about digital fabrication in the Biodigital Architecture Master program at ESARQ. They also had Pablo Baquero and Daniel Wunsch as collaborators. Some contents are posted on the blog CadCam Architectural Approaches.

Thanks to Affonso for inviting me to his course and to Pablo for inviting to the blog.

30 September 2009

Radiolarian Pavilion paper to be published on IJAC

I’m pleased to announce that an academic paper on my participation in the Radiolarian pavilion project developed in RhinoScript at ESARQ - UIC has been accepted for publication in the next issue of the International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), which is going to be Volume 7, Issue 04, November 2009.

23 September 2009

Radiolarian Egg Pavilion

This is my contribution, done on March for an ongoing research project for a pavilion to hold a sculpture at the Barcelona campus of UIC, where the ESARQ is.

Like the other Radiolarian project, it’s conceived and directed by Alberto T. Estevez, head of the Genetic Architectures research line. It consists of an ovoid-shaped structure also designed as an interpretation of bone structures of Radiolarians. Its design develops a series of irregular hexagonal cells that are repeated in a tessellation of a surface and generate volumes that, following the logic of bone structures, are thickened at nodes forming spikes and leaving rounded holes.

The non-standard geometry outcomes from programming and modeling methods using RhinoScript and the Rhino3DE’s Math Plug-in.

22 September 2009

Connections: Martin B. Henriksen

Martin B. Henriksen was a remarkable student of the Biodigital Architecture Master program at ESARQ – UIC. He made BioDigital Studies, a process blog for showing projects and images of his studies there.

12 August 2009

ShiftArray function

All Grasshopper enthusiasts that have follow the software development from earlier stages know the Shift Example, a case-study of the Shift List component (animation copyrighted by Robert McNeel & Associates).

While doing a research project in RhinoScript, I suddenly faced the need for a function like that one in my algorithm and a migration of tools wasn't so viable, so I developed a ShiftArray function that does exactly that in RhinoScript. You just have to input the array for arrList and a shifting factor (as an integer) for s.

08 August 2009

Algorithmic Digital-Biomimetic workshop at ESARQ

On March, 2009, I taught along with Dennis Dollens, a workshop on biomimetic strategies of design through algorithmic techniques for the production of architectural design ideas, in the Biodigital Architecture Master program at ESARQ - UIC, Barcelona.

07 August 2009

RhinoScript lecture at ETSAB

On December, 2008, I did a lecture on NURBS modeling and algorithmic design with RhinoScript as part of a series of lectures from Affonso Orciuoli on digital technologies in architectural design and fabrication in Borja Ferrater's course of Diseño Parametrizado, part of the Proyectos XXI Master program at ETSAB – UPC, Barcelona.

Thanks to Affonso for inviting me to lecture there.

22 July 2009

Workshop: Design Paramétrico como Estratégia Avançada de Projeto - UP

Registrations are now open for the workshop: Design Paramétrico como Estratégia Avançada de Projeto that I will teach, with the coordination of Prof. Gisele Pinna, from August, 31st to September, 4th, 2009 at Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil.

The Parametric Design strategy will be based on the use of the software Grasshopper, the new generative modeling environment for Rhino that is revolutionizing the world of architecture and design.

designparametrico-up.blogspot.com (in Portuguese and Spanish)
www.up.edu.br (in Portuguese)

Já estão abertas as inscrições para o workshop Design Paramétrico como Estratégia Avançada de Projeto que vou ministrar, com a coordenação da Profa. Gisele Pinna, de 31 de agosto a 4 de setembro de 2009 na Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, PR, Brasil.

A estratégia de Design Paramétrico estará baseada no uso do software Grasshopper, o novo entorno de modelagem generativa para Rhino que está revolucionando o mundo da arquitetura e o design.


Ya están abiertas las inscripciones para el taller Diseño Paramétrico como Estrategia Avanzada de Proyectos que voy a impartir, con la coordinación de la Prof. Gisele Pinna, del 31 de agosto al 4 de septiembre de 2009 en la Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brasil.

La estrategia de Diseño Paramétrico estará basada en el uso del software Grasshopper, el nuevo entorno de modelado generativo para Rhino que está revolucionando el mundo de la arquitectura y el diseño.

www.up.edu.br (en portugués)

17 July 2009

Phyllotaxis Tower

This is an idea for a skyscraper based on spiral phyllotaxis, like the sunflower system, that exhibits spiral pods always in Fibonacci numbers.

10 July 2009

Monocoque from single list definitions

This is a simple example of a monocoque generated from points on a surface. With just a few components, sixteen points are inputted to draw an interpolated curve on the surface. This was done before the implementation of data-trees in Grasshopper, so, from a single list of points a zigzag curve is drawn. In order to have two directions to work structurally, the sixteen points are inputted once again, resembling the other order needed.

In general, single list have been seen as a limitation when working with surface sub-parameters, but in this case I was taking advantage of them to get this aesthetic output.

Honeycomb script published in aU

On April, 2009, in number 181 of Brazilian aU Magazine, Affonso Orciuoli published the article: TI aplicada à arquitetura: o antes e o depois (IT applied in architecture: before and after), in which he exposes the uses of scripting, parametric modeling and digital fabrication in architecture. He mentions some experiences like our Tooling workshop or the Radiolarian Walls project and shows one of my experiments: the Honeycomb script. This is a simplification of Andrew Kudless’ script that I’ve originally prepared for teaching RhinoScript. Here is shown in a mid stage. Recent versions have improved efficiency making a more elegant code.

Thanks to Affonso for inviting me to collaborate in his article.

Em abril de 2009, no numero 181 da brasileira Revista aU, Affonso Orciuoli publicou o artigo: TI aplicada à arquitetura: o antes e o depois, no cual ele expõe os usos do Scripting, a modelagem paramétrica e a fabricação digital na arquitetura. Ele menciona algumas experiencias como o nosso Tooling workshop ou o projeto das paredes radiolárias e mostra um dos meus experimentos: o script do Honeycomb. Este é uma simplificação do script do Andrew Kudless, que preparei originalmente para dar aula de RhinoScript. Aqui mostra-se numa etapa média. Versões recentes têm uma eficiência melhorada, providenciando um código mais elegante.

Obrigado ao Affonso por invitar-me a colaborar no seu artigo.

07 July 2009

Inside Staircase example

One of the most known examples David Rutten is used to show when is presenting Grasshopper is the Staircase example, because is relatively simple to assemble, it's amazing to see the fast-and-easy interactive feedback of parameter changes and, at the end, it's a parametric architectural element. But when teaching Grasshopper, I rather to follow the same constructive approach to generative design —from points, to curves to surfaces— that I've used in RhinoScript, and the Staircase is a good example to introduce Orientation. Therefore, I use it as a fourth or fifth example.

And for not repeating the exact definition that everyone can find on internet, here is another example (with more components, but still simple), in which four points are inputted from the modeling environment to construct a control point (instead of interpolated) curve with degree 2, not used as axial but as an external border generative curve, so that the location of input points can also respond to external parameters like surrounding spaces of a building.

06 July 2009

'Ocurt' assignments: undergraduate advice at ESARQ

During academic year 2008-2009, Professor Antonio Sanmartín and T.A. Marc Camallonga invited me to do an advice in their last year Architectural Projects class, in the undergraduate program at ESARQ – UIC.

Although they don’t consider themselves up to date in matters of digital technologies in architecture, they have a very interesting approach to encourage students to design algorithmically and, by doing so, evolving beyond XXth century. They begin by studying parameters to create variables from site and context, and also from a very different income: literature. They chose a novel and distributed it, one chapter per student, to generate a diagram from it (in the very Eisenman style!).

My contribution began doing a short lecture on algorithmic design and giving what they called the ‘Ocurt’ assignment: to take the diagram and site variables and develop a complex surface out of them by an algorithmic strategy. Remembering Karl Chu’s reconsideration of Eisenman, I taught them a strategy of synthesizing data and mapping it on a base shape, based on Chu’s morphogenetic approach that he teaches in the Master by an analogic algorithmic strategy (without programming).

In a more advanced stage, I was called for a second 'Ocurt' assignment: a digital fabrication plan. After suggesting some reference reading on the subject, a CAD/CAM strategy was applied to the developed architectural element, so that it could be fabricated in the CNC machine of the school. Some cases required basic training in rationalization of complex surfaces with PanelingTools.

The image shows some student projects at different stages. Photos by Marc Camallonga.

Thanks to Alberto T. Estévez for recommending me to Antonio Sanmartín for this class.

10 June 2009

Radiolarian Ceiling

Continuing my collaboration in the Radiolarian Walls project, I presented an alternative design for the ceilings, which served as the starting point for the continuation of that part of the project by other colleagues in the research line.

Also, I did some advice to these colleagues, suggested modeling strategies and developed some scripts to generate different patterns of holes for the roof.

Vertical Milling problem

In some moment in the Radiolarian Walls project, I came out with a zigzag joint solution to the continuity issue in the wall tessellation. That implies that we no longer leave the original boundaries of the provided material for the finished panels, but we had to mill in a vertical way to get our custom borders.

As part of planning for machining, I developed a series of simulations in which we could visualize a problem in this cases that require vertical cuts. The study showed that depending on the depth of cut, the head of the tool may collide with the material, breaking it. It also showed that in cases of milling a surface with a certain slope, the milling itself provided enough space for the movement of the tool head (that’s the reason why it hadn’t happened before). Thanks to this, we could foresee the purchase of a longer tool.

Radiolarian Walls project

This is a project conceived and directed by Alberto T. Estévez within the Genetic Architectures research line at ESARQ. Is an opportunity to get research ideas to the real world, addressing a client of Estévez who requested the interiors of a therapy and treatment office in Barcelona.

The project consists of a system of dry-walls and ceilings designed as an interpretation of radiolarians bone structures. This project develops a series of hexagonal cells that repeats as a tessellation throughout a plane and, following a bone structure logic, generates volumes that get thicker at nodes, forming spikes and leaving circular holes. From the modeling point of view, this is done from a grid of hexagons, each with a circle inscribed in its center. The size of the circles corresponds to another system for increasing diameters that define it.

My work began when, due to a rethink on the size of wall panels, I had to set another hexagonal grid, and therefore, recalculate the diameter of circles. After, I rebuild the methodology of modeling from the new circles and hexagons, so that they could contain spikes and holes in a single NURBS surface per cell. Once the new methodology was solved, I implemented it in RhinoScript, creating an automated tool for modeling complex surfaces that form each cell of that panel.

As part of the script, forms are generated oriented for machining a Polystyrene foam panel in the three-axis milling machine, one side at a time.

30 May 2009

Incremental Random Surface script

Once I get to introduce arrays and loops to work with points, I’m used to introduce nested arrays and loops to follow the constructive geometry logic of going to the next level: curves. And since is pretty obvious by itself, I go one more step to surfaces. The key concept to understand here is that a curve needs an array of points —which are arrays of numbers, so is an array of arrays— and a surface needs an array of curves —an array of arrays of arrays!

To set this level of nested arrays with loops, you have to nest the loop as well. The simplest example to understand this in RhinoScript is presented here. I’m using x and y as iteration variables, so the relation with the point arrays and the geometrical output is more clear. For the z component, I’m using the pseudo random function (Rnd) in order to get a differentiated output without adding more lines of code.

A student once told me that it looks like a tsunami and remembering it I did this second image, with 21 iterations in x and 51 in y dimension. Notice that Rnd has no specified seed, so it’ll generate a different surface every time it runs. The script:

Call IncrementalRndSrf()
Sub IncrementalRndSrf()
    Dim Pts(20)
    Dim Crvs(50)
    Dim x, y
    For y = 0 To 50
        For x = 0 To 20
            Pts(x) = Array(x, y, Rnd*x)
        Crvs(y) = Rhino.AddCurve(Pts)
    Call Rhino.AddLoftSrf(Crvs)
End Sub

28 May 2009

Connections: MAG-DA.EU

I’ve had the opportunity to teach in the Design, Image and Architecture (DIA) and in the Design, Environment and Architecture (DEA) postgraduate programs at ELISAVA. Together, DIA and DEA form the Masters in Design and Architecture, all directed by Ignasi Pérez Arnal. Recently they’ve being building MAG-DA.EU – the digital magazine of the Design and Architecture Master program, edited by Carlos Sant’Ana.

Thanks to Ignasi and Carlos for publishing my professor profile in MAG-DA.EU.

Tooling workshop at ELISAVA

On November, 2008, Affonso Orciuoli organized a ‘Tooling’ workshop: digital tools for design and fabrication in the Design, Image and Architecture postgraduate program at ELISAVA. I was part of the staff along with Maruan Halabi, Juan Pablo Quintero and Affonso. Maruan taught NURBS modeling with Rhino, Affonso and Juan Pablo worked on CAD/CAM strategies and fabrication with RhinoCAM and MEDIO’s machine, and I introduced PanelingTools and RhinoScript to bring more advanced tools to the range of strategies.

The first image is the panel of fabricated pieces from all projects. Secondly, project ‘Orchideae’, by Carlos Briceño, Leila Pablo González, Helena Bayona, Osian Abreu and Daniela Martínez; milled on a Krion board. The last one is a zoom on the piece from project ‘Bioro’, by Africa Arreola, Arturo Rodríguez, Gabriela Velarde, Daniel Gómez, Laia Feixas and Rita Rodrigues; based on the Simple Spiral script, milled on high density polyurethane resin. Original photos by MEDIO.

I have to recognize the effort of Juan Pablo and María León at MEDIO in finding material providers, working extra hours in their machine and publishing everything in the blog.

22 May 2009

Simple Spiral script

In page 37 of David Rutten’s RhinoScript101 there’s a PointSpiral script as an example to understand point coordinates as arrays of three numbers, once you’ve got loops and an introduction to arrays. Since I usually have a short period of time to introduce this, I’m used to present a simplified example to address an introduction to both issues, with the argument that in this scripting strategies (constructive geometry methods, and further, generative design); points are, by far, the most representative use of arrays and one of the most common needs for incremental loops in those algorithms.

In the image is also interesting that, since we’re creating separated elements, it seems to be six spirals instead of just one, because distances from points in consecutive iterations are larger than distances from other spins of the spiral. The script goes:

Call SimpleSpiral()
Sub SimpleSpiral()
    Dim Pts(2)
    Dim i
    For i = 0 To 49
        Pts(0) = i * Sin(i)
        Pts(1) = i * Cos(i)
        Pts(2) = 0
        Call Rhino.AddPoint(Pts)
End Sub

Connections: MEDIO Design

MEDIO is an atelier for design and production of spaces and objects based in Barcelona, directed by architects Juan Pablo Quintero and María León. They have a large CNC machine with which they develop products under their own philosophy of Playful Rationality; they give consulting and digital fabrication services for architecture, design and communications; and they organize workshops.

Thanks to Juan Pablo and María for reference me in the blog of the workshop we did together.

MEDIO es un estudio-taller de “diseño y producción de espacios y objetos” radicado en Barcelona, dirigido por los arquitectos Juan Pablo Quintero y María León. Disponen de una gran máquina de CNC con la que desarrollan productos bajo su propia filosofía de Racionalidad lúdica; dan servicio de consultoría y fabricación digital para la arquitectura, el diseño y la comunicación; y organizan talleres de formación.

Gracias a Juan Pablo y María por referenciarme en el Blog del curso que dimos juntos.

Connections: Affonso Orciuoli

Affonso Orciuoli is a professor and consultant on digital design, simulation and fabrication in architecture. At ESARQ, is coordinator or the Laboratory for Digital Architecture, that has a CNC machine; he also teaches at ELISAVA and other schools in Barcelona, both in undergraduate and postgraduate programs; he writes for important Brazilian magazines like aU or Vitruvius; and organizes workshops and events like EcoViaje a Brasil, which is now open for registrations for the next edition.

In his web site he has a list of links to the projects his involved with, other links he uses as ‘launcher’ for his regular navigation, and also offers interesting resources for drafting, modelling and rendering.

Thanks to Affonso for his support in various projects and experiences, and for reference me on his blog.

Update (June, 8, 2010):

Affonso Orciuoli is moving his site and online content to:

  • ORCIUOLI.net 
    Digital Architecture: Design And Fabrication

There’s also new info pages for his next events: EcoViaje a Brasil and the new Viagem de Estudos Arquitetônicos a Espanha.

Affonso Orciuoli es profesor y consultor de diseño, simulación y fabricación digital en arquitectura. En la ESARQ, es coordinador del Taller de Arquitectura Digital, que cuenta con una máquina de CNC; también enseña en la ELISAVA y en otras escuelas en Barcelona, tanto en pregrado como en postgrado; escribe para importantes revistas brasileñas como aU o Vitruvius; y organiza talleres y eventos como el EcoViaje a Brasil, cuya próxima edición ya está abierta a inscripciones.

En su sitio Web tiene una lista de vínculos a los proyectos en que está involucrado, otros que él usa de “lanzadera” para su navegación rutinaria, y también ofrece recursos interesantes para delineación, modelado y renderizado.

Gracias a Affonso por su apoyo en diferentes proyectos y experiencias, y por referenciarme en su Blog.

Actualización (8 de junio de 2010):

Affonso Orciuoli está mudando su sitio y contenido en línea para:

  • ORCIUOLI.net 
    Digital Architecture: Design And Fabrication

También hay nuevas páginas de información para sus próximos eventos: EcoViaje a Brasil y el nuevo Viagem de Estudos Arquitetônicos a Espanha.

17 May 2009

Happy Internet Day!

Reading ArquitecturaS, I leaned that today, May, 17th, is the World Information Society Day, also known as Internet Day. In general, is a day to promote new technologies and digital culture with events and discussions related to Internet.

Although is declared by the UN, oddly, I can’t find too much information about it. The Spanish Asociación de Usuarios de Internet is one of the most active associations on it. In the official site, they claim to broad to 23 countries… But anyway, if you have a web page, you’re part of a community or network, you're an enthusiastic reader, or feel related to Internet in any other way, this is your day. Happy Internet Day!

Leyendo ArquitecturaS, me enteré que hoy, 17 de mayo es el Día Mundial de la Sociedad de la Información, también conocido como el Día de Internet. En general, es un día para promover las nuevas tecnologías y la cultura digital con eventos y discusiones relacionadas con Internet.

Aunque está declarado por la ONU, extrañamente, no logro encontrar mucha información al respecto. La Asociación de Usuarios de Internet de España es una de las más activas en ello. En sitio oficial aclaman extenderse a 23 países… En todo caso, si tienes una página Web, formas parte de alguna comunidad o red, eres un lector entusiasta, o te sientes relacionado con la Internet de alguna otra manera, éste es tu día. ¡Feliz Día de Internet!

14 May 2009

RhinoScripting workshop at ELISAVA

On April, 2008, I taught, along with Carlos de la Barrera, a workshop named ‘Design by Scripting’ in the Design, Environment and Architecture postgraduate program at ELISAVA Escola de Disseny, Barcelona. We also had Ruther Paullo and Rita Patron as teaching assistants. The results where posted in g.d.e.s.

On a short period, we taught how to develop surfaces with potential to adapt to the environment. The first image of this post is from Fanny Flores, Arturo Leal, Aylin Suárez, Daniel Gómez and Eva Ferradás; an opened, pyramidal cell tissue. The second image is from Camilo Molano, Cesarina Medina, Delia Arce, Ivan Herrera, Mariam Sadedine; a system of hairy units on a closed surface, reusing my helicoidal curves growth algorithm.

Learning more scripting

I had the opportunity to be on an official RhinoScript workshop taught by David Rutten, as part of the events of a symposium on emergent architecture, at ESARQ – UIC, on April, 2008. I improved some skills and learned to work with recursion and meshes, among other things. David also gave us a demonstration of Grasshopper (then called Explicit History).

The image is from one challenge exercise I accomplished. From a given mesh and a base script, we had to do a proximity sensor that colors the mesh as another object gets closer to it.

08 May 2009

Helicoidal entity

Experimenting with vector growth, by mistake I assigned the same final vector to the whole field and I got this interesting outcome. Then, the rendering colors where just for having some deep effect for a desktop image. That’s other positive side of experimenting in a trial-and-error way.

Growing helicoidal curves on a surface

I was learning some vector operations for the Iterative Branching Systems project, and doing that I came out with this experiment to grow curves on a surface, like hairs on a skin.

After calculating an array of points on the given surface, on each point, the algorithm creates a vertical vector, and iteratibly scales a duplicate of it, rotate it and put it on top of the last one. Then, uses these vectors as control points to create a curve, which is used to construct cone-pipes with a modified version of the Andrew Kudless’ PipeAll script (with 0 end radius).

The first image shows helix growth, in the second, the vectors have a pseudo-random rotation, and in the last one, the array on the surface is also random.

07 May 2009

Connections: Pablo C. Herrera

I’m doing a series of connection posts, but this is special. This is a connection of connections!

Pablo C. Herrera has an enormous presence in blogosphere, in relation to digital technologies in architecture. I first knew him for his RhinoScripting workshops in Santiago and Lima and for the blog: Arquitectura y Programación. By that time he already had other blogs as well. When the audience for RhinoScript grew, he created two very specialized blogs: RhinoScripting Resources and RhinoScripting Workshops, written in English and Spanish. With this, we can have an idea of the extension and the actors of the RhinoScript scene.

Among other blogs, he also has: Arquitectura e Informática, Fabricación Digital, Arquitectura y Emergencia… mostly written in Spanish.

Thanks to Pablo for his references to myself in his blogs.

Estoy haciendo una serie de post de conexiones, pero este es especial. ¡Ésta es una conexión de conexiones!

Pablo C. Herrera tiene una enorme presencia en la Blogosfera, en relación con tecnologías digitales en arquitectura. Primero lo conocí por sus workshops de RhinoScript en Santiago y Lima, y por su blog: Arquitectura y Programación. Para aquel entonces él ya tenía otros blog también. Cuando la audiencia de RhinoScript creció, creó dos blog muy especializados: RhinoScripting Resources y RhinoScripting Workshops, escritos en inglés y en español. Con esto podemos tener una idea de la extensión y los protagonistas de la escena RhinoScript.

Entre otros blogs, él también tiene: Arquitectura e Informática, Fabricación Digital, Arquitectura y Emergencia… mayormente escritos en español.

Gracias a Pablo por sus referencias a mí en sus blogs.

03 May 2009

Connections: ArquitecturaS

ArquitecturaS es un Blog informativo entorno al “hecho constructivo con acento digital”. Su editor, Darío Álvarez, escribe e informa acerca de arquitectura, urbanismo, diseño, sustentabilidad y todo el mundo de la construcción, combinando temas académicos, profesionales y políticos en español.

Tiene una gran presencia en la Web: hay un grupo de Google, una causa en Facebook y hasta una causa en MySpace.

Gracias a Darío por sus referencias a mí a través del g.d.e.s.

ArquitecturaS is an informative blog about building concerns with a digital emphasis. Its editor, Darío Álvarez, writes and reports on architecture, urbanism, design, sustainability and the whole construction world combining academic, professional and politics subjects in Spanish.

It has a big presence on the web: there’s a Google group, a Facebook cause and even a MySpace cause.

Thanks to Darío for his references to myself thru g.d.e.s.