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2020 | Book

Impact: Design With All Senses

Proceedings of the Design Modelling Symposium, Berlin 2019

Editors: Prof. Dr. Christoph Gengnagel, Olivier Baverel, Prof. Dr. Jane Burry, Prof. Dr. Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Prof. Dr. Stefan Weinzierl

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


About this book

This book reflects and expands on the current trend in the building industry to understand, simulate and ultimately design buildings by taking into consideration the interlinked elements and forces that act on them. Shifting away from the traditional focus, which was exclusively on building tasks, this approach presents new challenges in all areas of the industry, from material and structural to the urban scale. The book presents contributions including research papers and case studies, providing a comprehensive overview of the field as well as perspectives from related disciplines, such as computer science.

The chapter authors were invited speakers at the 7th Symposium “Impact: Design With All Senses”, which took place at the University of the Arts in Berlin in September 2019.

Table of Contents

Correction to: Impact: Design With All Senses

In the original version of the book, the following belated corrections have been Incorporated:

Christoph Gengnagel, Olivier Baverel, Jane Burry, Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Stefan Weinzierl

Area A: Multi-physics Modelling – New Simulations Methods and Technologies

Geometric Degrees of Freedom and Non-conventional Spatial Structural Forms

This paper expands on the Geometric Degrees of Freedom (GDoF) in the context of geometry-based structural form finding and emphasizes its importance in finding non-conventional architectural structures in three-dimensional space. Using GDoF allows a designer to find various iterations of a network, each representing a unique design within the state of equilibrium and explore the non-conventional solutions particularly for funicular polyhedrons of 3D graphic statics. The paper briefly explains a method to find the GDoF of a given network consisting of closed polygons in 2D or 3D and applies the same method in finding the GDoF of reciprocal polyhedral diagrams of 3D graphic statics and expands on their non-trivial geometric transformations with their planarity constraints. The paper goes beyond the GDoF and provides a method to parameterize all the members of a network by assigning weights to all edges in a network to control the design properties of the solutions. For instance, a synclastic, compression-only shell can turn into an anticlastic compression-and-tension combined shell with the same magnitude of internal forces and external loads reciprocal to the same force distribution/diagram (Fig. 1). Using this technique in the context of 3D graphic statics allows a designer to find non-conventional spatial structural solutions with both compression and tension members with planar faces for architectural/structural design purposes.

Masoud Akbarzadeh, Márton Hablicsek
An Interactive Structural Optimization of Space Frame Structures Using Machine Learning

The conventional methods used for structural optimization are handled by iterative simulation and evaluation runs, that are developed specifically for each problem, these processes can become computationally expensive very quickly. This work describes an approach to optimization of free form space structures, using Finite Element Analysis and Machine Learning, to overcome long computation periods.As Hajela and Berke also state, approaching a structural problem as a single optimization problem results in a large dimensionality problem that can be cumbersome to solve by heuristic methods that are commonly used for the optimization of complex problems. Subsampling the problem into smaller independent parts can ease the problem-solving process. Through the use of artificial neural networks, the solutions can be obtained in parallel [1].Through their modularity, space frames can be decomposed into sub-structures that share the same topology, and the complex problem can be simplified into independent modules. A supervised learning algorithm (in this case Back Propagation) is trained on a set of optimized modules to execute an optimal geometry for each structural node in parallel on a given load.The trained ANN can be applied to any spaceframe structure regardless of their topology, size or complexity. This strategy shifts the optimization procedure from being a problem-specific process to domain-specific process, where within the same domain different problems can be solved. Thus the procedure becomes more sustainable.

Zeynep Aksöz, Clemens Preisinger
Application of Human-Machine Design Processes to Tensile Structures

Tensile structures represent a structural challenge for engineers where design modeling and calculations interact through complex processes. The use of linear processes to design and calculate such complex structures remains slow and inefficient. The aim of this research is to develop an interactive digital design tool that generates various typologies of tensile structures and to propose optimized design solutions adapted to local, semi-local and global objectives.

Klaas De Rycke, Louis Bergis, Robert Vierlinger, Ludovic Regnault, Alessio Mazzucchi, Sascha Bohnenberger
Spatial Developable Meshes
Mouldless Bent Wood and Seam Winding for Spatial Structures

Meshes/Discrete geometry representations, which are predominant in computer graphics and animation industries, have recently found increased application in architectural design problems. The paper presents the authors’ current research in developable spatial structures and highlights the benefits of using mesh representations in the generation of the so called architectural geometry and integration with the contemporary digital fabrication pipelines. The main contributions of the paper are: 1. extension to the geometrical procedure presented in [37] for modeling user guided developable spatial structures; 2. creation of a mesh based computational design to manufacture tool-chain which are amenable to various materialisation and modes of fabrication; 3. demonstration and documentation of the fabrication detailing and assembly to produce a prototype utilising mouldless wood bending of modular interlocking developable strips coupled with seam winding. The paper also describes the current status of the authors’ efforts in the development of a custom software add-in to the Mesh Modeling Environment (MME) of Autodesk® Maya to demonstrate the said benefits.

Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth, Leo Bieling, Shajay Bhooshan
Adaptive Reuse of Architectural Heritage

How can we, through the use of digital technologies, create qualitative and sustainable transformations of our architectural heritage? This project of reference spans across the fields of architectural heritage, digital design and fabrication, and circular economy. As both an interdisciplinary, research-oriented demonstration project and a built project, it has a built-in outreach through a number of external partners involved.The paper describes the architectural investigations and solutions developed in the intersection between architectural heritage, digital registration processes and parametric construction and fabrication systems. The method presented, establishes a design workflow that relates detailed information of existing conditions with production constraints. A key aspect of this novel method is the emphasis on modular principles, which, together with the integration of digital technologies, allows the construction costs to be minimized. This makes restoration of historic buildings that holds high cultural and architectural value, but low economic value, a viable alternative to demolition.The paper describes how we, using digital technology, can tailor materials into bespoke building components with a clear notion of materiality in architectural transformation projects. The paper addresses the reuse of architectural heritage through digital technologies and investigates a design pipeline for the manufacturing of bespoke building components with the capability to adapt to an existing building fabric.

Jan Buthke, Niels Martin Larsen, Simon Ostenfeld Pedersen, Charlotte Bundgaard
Robotic Landscapes: Designing Formation Processes for Large Scale Autonomous Earth Moving

The technological advances in robotic construction equipment for large scale earth moving is revolutionizing how we think and act on terrain. With the development of HEAP, a full scale autonomous walking excavator by the Robotic Systems Lab of Professor Marco Hutter within the NCCR Digital Fabrication ETH Zurich [1], we will be able to shape large-scale natural granular material like sand, soil and gravel with unprecedented geometrical complexity according to a precise digital blueprint. The robotic platform enables feedback loops between the physical reality, the existing terrain and the proposed computational design, creating new potential for dynamic landscapes that can change over time. The ability to search, recognize and manipulate locally found materials allows us to rethink the design of the built environment to be economically and environmentally regenerative. In order to explore new applications and design methods for autonomous earth moving, a series of design studio has been implemented at the ETH Zurich as a collaboration between Professor Christophe Girot Chair of Landscape Architecture and Gramazio Kohler Research Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication. This article discusses the developed methods and techniques, as well as the experimental implementation within these studios. Rather than focusing on designing with explicit shapes or geometry, the students were encouraged to explore the making of form through a procedural understanding of robotic movements, computational design and granular material interaction.

Ilmar Hurkxkens, Ammar Mirjan, Fabio Gramazio, Mathias Kohler, Christophe Girot
A Parametric Framework for Solar Tensile Structures
Bridging the Gap Between Conception and Construction

This paper presents a design framework that bridges the divide between creative design-practice and real-word construction. We outline how physical form-finding becomes the core of a tight parametric setup, via digital dynamic relaxation. Even though very specific, this computational method aids creative design exploration, while simultaneously considering relevant constraints for construction and fabrication of a novel sun-sail structure.The proof of concept is embedded in our broader field of experimentation into lightweight and tensile organic photovoltaic (OPV) structures. The demonstrator presented (Fig. 1) is the result of an academic education and research project, intended for the development and prototypical realization of such an innovative typology combining solar shading with energy production. Fig. 1. The Solar Spline prototype: passive shading and solar energy harvesting. First, we discuss the de facto gap between design conception and real-world construction. Usually this is a serious interface problem for implementing both, methods of creative design practice and fabrication constraints within a single computational model. Second, we introduce our own concept, titled ‘Loose Fit’ that is based on the notion of the information master builder (Kolarevic 2003) with the aim to increase accessibility of computational design methods. Lastly, we demonstrate through our case study, how a tight design brief based on form-finding methods and analysis of tension structures, allowed relaxing a set of other constraints. Thus, bridging the gap between creative design and construction.

Timo Carl, Markus Schein
Mesh-Based Design to Fabrication Workflows for Funicular Structures: A Case Study

Funicular shells have found large interest amongst architectural designers for their advantageous structural properties allowing them to cover large spans through the use of relatively weak and readily-available materials.Although the properties of funicular structures are well-known and their efficiency well documented, the interdependencies of the multiple constraints present in real-world projects, from form-finding and rationalization to fabrication and assembly, mean that the realization of these structures remains a challenge.This paper presents a unified design-to-fabrication workflow for funicular structures that adopts the Half-Edge (HE) mesh data structure throughout the entire design process from early-stage design to robotic fabrication.The research contributes advancements in the fast early-stage design exploration of structure- and fabrication-aware proposals as well as the generation of voussoir geometry through mesh segmentation to the rationalization and documentation of geometric information for manufacturing and assembly.The advancements are presented through the description of a case study, a proof-of-concept funicular vault manufactured using the Robotic Hot Wire Cutting (RHWC) method.

Tommaso Casucci, Ryan Hughes, Jens Pedersen, David Reeves, Vishu Bhooshan, Shajay Bhooshan
HYDRA Distributed Multi-Objective Optimization for Designers

Architectural design problems can be quite involved, as there is a plethora of – usually conflicting – criteria that one has to address in order to find an optimal, performative solution. Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) techniques can thus prove very useful, as they provide solution spaces which can traverse the different trade-offs of convoluted design options. Nevertheless, they are not widely used as (a) they are computationally expensive and (b) the resulting solution space can be proven difficult to visualize and navigate, particularly when dealing with higher dimensional spaces. This paper will present a system, which merges bespoke multi-objective optimization with a parametric CAD system, enhanced by supercomputing, into a single, coherent workflow, in order to address the above issues. The system architecture ensures optimal use of existing compute resources and enables massive performance speed-up, allowing for fast review and delivery cycles. The application aims to provide architects, designers and engineers with a better understanding of the design space, aiding the decision-making process by procuring tangible data from different objectives and finally providing fit (and sometimes unforeseen) solutions to a design problem. This is primarily achieved by a graphical interface of easy to navigate solution spaces of design options, derived from their respective Pareto fronts, in the form of a web-based interactive dashboard. Since understanding high-dimensionality data is a difficult task, multivariate analysis techniques were implemented to post-process the data before displaying it to end users. Visual Data Mining (VDM) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques were incorporated to facilitate knowledge discovery and exploration of large sets of design options at an early design stage. The system is demonstrated and assessed on an applied design case study of a master-planning project, where the benefits of the process are more evident, especially due to its complexity and size.

Marcin Kosicki, Marios Tsiliakos, Martha Tsigkari
Simulating Natural Ventilation in Early Stage Design: Combining an Occupant Behavior Model with an Airflow Network Approach

Air-conditioning is a major factor in energy consumption worldwide. Populous developing countries located in the tropics are projected to soon experience a staggering increase in the use of such systems, suggesting a future need for architects to design buildings that exploit natural means of temperature regulation. In this paper, we present a novel workflow to enable the simulation of natural ventilation in early stage architectural design. We draw on two recent advances in research: a stochastic model of occupants’ window opening behavior, coupled with the Airflow Network module in EnergyPlus to simulate inter-zone airflow. As a case study, we model several spatial configurations, identify metrics to analyze these and observe how design changes impact the building performance. Though the Airflow Network is a simplified model, it saves valuable computation time in comparison to CFD modelling, while the use of data-driven occupant behavior models can be expected to increase the accuracy of model results. We suggest that this multi-model approach allows a tangible engagement with the effects of natural ventilation in the design process, and suggest methods to foster insights during the design process.

Max Marschall, Jane Burry, Farhang Tahmasebi
Numerical Sculpting: Volumetric Modelling Tools for In Place Spatial Additive Manufacturing

This paper presents a novel application of volumetric modelling (VM) for the design of fabrication-informed three-dimensional deposition paths for in place spatial additive manufacturing (AM). VM offers modelling techniques for designing with great geometric flexibility using numeric data, as well as for managing fabrication constraints. To address the challenges and new design possibilities presented by in place spatial AM, we propose a set of tools to design deposition paths with embedded fabrication constraints, as well as methods to combine VM with curve and surface geometry to generate production data. As a case study, we implement this toolset to create wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) connections of standard elements. A comparison of virtual and physical results is presented to validate the approach. Finally, we discuss potentials and limitations of using VM tools for fabrication-aware design of in place spatial AM.

Ioanna Mitropoulou, Inés Ariza, Mathias Bernhard, Benjamin Dillenburger, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler
Behavioral Form Finding: A Multi Agent Systems Framework for Environmental Aware Form Finding of Shell Structures

This work focuses on the application of Multi Agent Systems Framework for form finding shell structures by incorporating environmental parameters. Within the developed MAS approach the steering of form beyond purely form found shapes is explored by introducing behaviours which relate to the orientation of the site and the corresponding solar path. The aim is to extend traditional form finding by introducing MAS approach which enables the development of agent based models that integrate physical forces such as gravity and tension with virtual ones that relate to different design objectives. Though the use of heuristic functions the behaviour is coupled with the energy and daylight analysis in order to obtain more control over its impact. The framework is evaluated in an experimental design which uses an existing thin concrete shell design by H. Isler as a benchmark. Using the same boundary conditions as the existing shell, the proposed methodology is applied in order to generate design alternatives with improved environmental performance.

Evangelos Pantazis, David J. Gerber
Digital Prototyping – Modelling Concepts for a Generative Computer Based-Design of Complex Tensile Structures

Due to developments and progress in the realms of digital design processes and automated manufacturing techniques, the complexity of structures has been increasing. The ability to easily generate variants and integrate optimisation processes is an important aspect of such complex systems, particularly in the early project stages. For the purpose of early modelling and optimisation, the engineer must make reasonable assumptions and simplifications in a manner that the model is easy to handle in terms of design parameters and computation time, but simultaneously remains robust in terms of accurate calculation. The research presented in this contribution investigates general strategies for modelling and analysis of complex hybrid lightweight structures in this context. Furthermore, the represented research tests the application of the established modelling concepts on a complex tensile structure. The focus lies on the possibilities of structural design and development with parametric design methods using form finding and optimisation processes.

Marie Paschke, Stefan Neuhäuser, Klaas De Rycke, Christoph Gengnagel
Voxel Harvest: Multi-sensory Design of a Biomedical Device from Image-Based Inputs

This paper introduces a multi-sensory design tool and collaborative workflow for bitmap 3D printing. The tool allows for the synthesis of functional microstructures and textures for products. By harmonizing different material and anatomical image data sets, the multi-model workflow fosters new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration at the concept generation stage. The primary contribution of this research is a simplified system of voxel-based, generative algorithms for 3D printing. A case study applies the tool and workflow in the context of bio-medical device design.

Sayjel Vijay Patel, Nathan Kiatkulpiboone
RESONATOR—An Iterative Approach for Designing Acoustically-Driven Morphologies

The paper presents an iterative approach for finding spatial morphologies from timber plates based on room acoustic criteria. A genetic evolutionary algorithm is used to explore different design solutions. Additional algorithms are created and used to evaluate acoustic performance, for creating a spatial envelope and in the digital fabrication process.In acoustic design, there is a gap between design environments used by architects for design exploration and those used by sound engineers for performance analysis. The research explores a decision-making process which combines a workflow for the generation of intricate and complex alternative designs with an exploration of their acoustic behaviour and fabrication constraints. The method allows the user to define design parameters, set acoustic performance objectives, and then simulate the acoustic behaviour of several spatial iterations of a design strategy. In order to validate the proposed framework, an experimental case study of a teaching space is explored and evaluated as a proof-of-concept. Project limitations and future research steps are then discussed.

Christian Schmidts, Sven Pfeiffer, Omid Kokabi
Encoding Architectural Designs as Iso-surface Tilesets for Participatory Sculpting of Massing Models

Developing participatory computational design systems for a wider professional community of architects is a key enabler to explore the benefits of massively-collaborative creative design search and discovery. In this paper we formulate three principles to increase the creative control of non-expert users when developing participatory computational design systems. We present an overview of four existing strategies for encoding design content into digital modeling environments and introduce a fifth one, assisted sculpting, that uses iso-surfacing and constraint-solving. Finally, we describe our technical implementation of an assisted sculpting digital environment with potential applications in creating massing models and schematic designs.

Anton Savov, Roger Winkler, Oliver Tessmann
Becoming Structure

Design strategies based on emergent material effects share as a common characteristic a kind of “untidiness” or inherent vagueness which cannot be entirely controlled but rather predicted in computational approximations [9]. This paper discusses the relation of global geometry (pre-defined/top-down) and local material effects evolving from material properties and fabrication methods (emergent/bottom-up). Furthermore, it describes the correlation of geometry, aesthetics, material performance, structural ability and fabrication strategy within the project, the development of the design and fabrication strategy, the experimentation and testing of the method within a design studio as well as the physical prototyping through robotics.

Kristina Schinegger, Stefan Rutzinger, Johannes Ladinig, Meizi Li
Computational Bamboo: Digital and Vernacular Design Principles for the Construction of a Temporary Bending-Active Structure

Active bending is calling for a paradigm shift in the way structures are designed and built. It is in this context that natural materials, like bamboo, can play a significant role in the development of more sustainable and economical material practices in architecture. Here, we present the results of a two-weeks workshop held in Quito, Ecuador, that lead to the design and construction of a bending-active demonstrator entirely built with natural materials. The structure was designed by using a highly intuitive numerically form-finding approach and materialized by only employed locally processed bamboo materials and natural jute cords. This implies not only a more sustainable construction practice derived from the usage of these materials and the lack of complex formworks and high-end machinery but also a more environmentally friendly deconstruction stage where all materials constituting the structure can be recycled. The presented study serves to strategically showcase what is suggested to be called a digital vernacular approach for the design of bending-active systems.

Seiichi Suzuki, Evy L. M. Slabbinck, Jan Knippers
Walking Assembly: A Method for Craneless Tilt-Up Construction

The mysterious knowledge surrounding the transportation and placement of megaliths used by ancient societies eludes contemporary building practices. The construction of massive elements in architecture, particularly tilt-up construction, is largely dominated by reliance on external structures and mechanisms such as cranes and tilting tables. This reliance has irreducible implications on costs and access to the potentials of massive construction. This paper taps into the potentials of innovative concrete technologies and ancient methods of transportation and assembly of megalithic architecture to inform contemporary practice by embedding intelligence into building elements to assemble without the aid of external lifting. The paper describes the development of massive concrete prototypes that walk and assemble with ease. It outlines the use of concrete densities and recursive solver computation in the design process to ensure the safe and stable movement of the massive elements. The computation surrounds two key geometries—the form of the element and the center of mass (COM). The forms of the elements are constrained by the need to rotate for transportation, to rest for stabilization, and to interlock for assembly. The solver leverages the potentials of varying densities of concrete to drive the geometric COM to a new target position, thus ensuring the calculated movements. This multi-variable calculation is verified with three built prototypes that test different assembly approaches. The resulting artifacts range from self-assembly to incredibly massive solid cast concrete elements that can walk and assemble effortlessly. The introduction of innovative concrete technologies was fundamental to enable versatility in geometrical design and achieve the target performance from the displacement of the COM. The success of these prototypes points to the possibility where computation, coupled with novel concrete technologies, can expand the reach of, for example, tilt-up wall construction and reconsider the potential of mass in rapid and responsive deployable systems.

Tyler Swingle, Davide Zampini, Brandon Clifford
Necessary Tension
A Dual-Evaluation Generative Design Method for Tension Net Structures

The nature of design tools is related to the social relationships they serve. This paper speculates on the emergence of a new professional configuration - the synthesis of architect and engineer - and on the nature of new computational tools and methods that will be required to support such a reconfiguration. Extending previous work that established a framework for the application of Machine Learning (ML) to Generative Architectural Design (GAD), we present here an approach that employs two distinct evaluators: The first stands in for the engineer, and quantifies structural performance; The second stands in for the architect, and assesses candidate designs based on qualitative factors, an evaluation that is made possible by employing a neural net. This new framework is demonstrated through an investigation into tension nets and their structurally derived forms. Since such a tool allows for these evaluators to be employed in combination or in isolation, the resulting solution sets can illuminate both synthetic solutions and each of the two desires independently - a capacity that implies value not only as an optimization tool, but also as a tool for exploration and education.

Matt Turlock, Kyle Steinfeld

Area B: Mixed Reality Design – Spatial Explorations in Virtual and Augmented Realities

Pop-Up Factory: Mixed Reality Installation for the MakeCity Festival 2018 in Berlin

This paper explores a novel integrated and collaborative approach to design and fabrication enabled by Mixed Reality. To this effect, an interactive workflow has been developed and demonstrated in the creation of a temporary installation.In a bespoke fabrication process, the design is controlled and altered by users in holographic space through a custom holographic interface. The changes in the design are live streamed to the CAD-environment. Here a bespoke pipeline translates the aggregation information into robotic machine code. A robot, placed in the same room as the installation, enables on-site/on-demand fabrication. The holographic interface is aimed at promoting collaboration and the inclusion of non-professionals in the design, fabrication and assembly of an architectural installation. Through the use of augmented reality goggles (Microsoft HoloLens) the proposed design is layered in-situ and on the partially constructed structure. This enables the participants to gain better understanding of the impact of design variations by giving them the freedom to alter the design of the installation in real-time with interactive, in-context, preview of the design.

Giovanni Betti, Saqib Aziz, Gili Ron
Design Modelling with Next Generation Parametric System

This paper discusses the latest developments, abilities and two real world use cases from practice of a next generation parametric system developed by the authors and their colleagues which uses a no-code approach (visual programming) to modelling and configuration to express design logic and the related processes to control the design, engineering and production to build the next generation of parametric models, Building Information Models and Digital Twins. This technology can be easily adopted by architects, engineers and designers without access to specialised design systems to build self-service automated processes, (online) configurators, Digital Twins (parametric BIM) informed by physical measurements (sensors) and other types of design feedback, systems for optimisation and exploration and 3D visualisation. The user can build her own application which is tailored to the requirements and preferences of the user which helps the user to support her own processes. This system utilises a cloud-native approach to harness the advantages of cloud technology, such as scalability, accessibility, availability and low initial investments. This means that the system can handle data and models larger than a single machine, process faster than single machine systems, is accessible from anywhere in the world through a web browser and is always available to deliver data to which is crucial for sensor-data delivery and Internet of Things scenarios.

Maarten Mathot, Babette Hohrath, Anke Rolvink, Jeroen Coenders
Project DisCo: Choreographing Discrete Building Blocks in Virtual Reality

Current excursions within architectural research are exploring the potential of discrete design strategies at different scales. Starting with the introduction of the Great Invention Kit (GIK) and the subsequent development of reversible 3D printing processes based on “digital materials” at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms [1] similar concepts of additive manufacturing have recently entered the field of architecture. This development hints at the potential for new reversible fabrication methods [2], as well as new ways to define architectural shapes as bottom-up syntactical aggregations of modular building blocks.Within this emerging field of “Discrete Architecture”, Gilles Retsin showcases prototypical architectural designs with his Diamond House among other projects [3], also focusing on the possibilities for robotic assembly, while José Sanchez explores techniques borrowed from game-design to define loose assemblies based on their specific “topological diagrams” [4].This paper introduces Project DisCo (Discrete Choreography), an application to integrate bottom-up aggregation of modular building blocks and intuitive spatial design into Virtual Reality (VR). The work presented here builds on Sanchez’s approach to discrete interactive design within gaming environments, though it is neither based on a sequential placement of individual parts, nor does it utilize static vector fields. In contrast, it allows the designer to choreograph large amounts of building blocks interactively through physics simulations as a means of form generation.

Jan Philipp Drude, Andrea Rossi, Mirco Becker
Constructing Belief: Using Bayesian Belief Networks to Measure and Manage Uncertainty in Digital Design

A Bayesian Belief Network is a diagrammatic way to reason probabilistically and understand causal inference in complex systems. We propose using Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN) in the early stages of design projects to highlight components with high risk of failure. Identifying these components of high risk can inform how resources should be best used on costly modelling tasks. In addition, high risk components may impose functional modelling requirements, which in turn will inform the design of flexible systems for critical areas. This approach has the potential to significantly reduce risk by focusing and informing modelling efforts, which in turn increases the chance of success of the project and lowers costs for all stakeholders involved.Using a prototype software application developed to quickly create BBNs and calculate a final probability value of a specific outcome (the “work product”), we test different project scenarios collected through three interviews with industry professionals. In each case, we identify an aspect of the project that changed during the course of the project with far reaching implications. By adjusting the values and structure of these networks we formulate specific functional requirements for digital models and in some cases, the associated construction systems. We find that these requirements would have increased the overall value of their respective projects by directly addressing the areas of strong influence and uncertainty identified in the BBN.

Daniel Hambleton, Elissa Ross
Holographic Construction

We present a method for generating holographic construction information from parametric models. Holographic models replace 2D drawings and templates with unambiguous, contextual, shared and interactive design information. We show that our method enabled a team of expert bricklayers to complete a section of wall in a fraction of expected construction time and within typical tolerances, measured through comparative analysis of digital models to 3D point cloud scans of as built conditions.

Gwyllim Jahn, Cameron Newnham, Nick van den Berg, Melissa Iraheta, Jackson Wells
Make the Invisible Microclimate Visible: Mixed Reality (MR) Applications for Architecture and Built Environment

The human experience or sense of space is significantly affected by our skins’ sensory interaction with the localised atmospheric conditions or microclimates that our bodies encounter. Design of a pleasant environment for inhabitants requires a better understanding of microclimates and the many complex phenomena in their formations and subsequent alterations. Yet, attaining a comprehensive understanding of microclimatic formations is challenging due to the multiplicity and invisibility of the parameters involved, whether complicated environmental factors or multi-sensory human input and perception. For such a chaotic situation, computer simulation software packages of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) often remain imprecise and foreign, lacking the multi-senory experiential dimension of architectural space. This lack of personal sensory experience and connectivity to the simulated environment with existing simulation software packages can be bridged by utilising mixed reality (MR) techniques for visualisation.In this paper we detail the design of a 1:1 scale inhabitable interactive climate chamber to introduce an innovative application of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in the context of environmental performance analysis. The main aim of the project is to explore practical ways of bridging the existing gap between prediction and reality, between qualitative and quantitative assessment of human comfort. A framework for experimental studies, presented in this paper, offers an immersive approach to studying microclimates within a physical domain, amplified through the digitisation of, otherwise invisible, microclimatic data.

Mehrnoush Latifi, Jane Burry, Daniel Prohasky
Topological Interlocking Assemblies Experiment

Today’s environment redefines temporality in architecture. New technologies and computational design give engineers and architects keys to rethink building process. We decided to reshape reversible structure by revisiting Topological Interlocking Assemblies for architectural constructions. Starting from a theoretical research, the first part explains the current available knowledge and experiences about Topological Interlocking Assemblies. The second part highlights our experimental work: a full-scale prototype pavilion based into hexagonal pattern developed on a complex shape. Recent topological interlocking references are frozen by non-reversible system edges. This prototype goes beyond and tackles the idea of removable structure using X-joint theory edges modules. They encircle the whole set and absorb structure lateral thrusts. The emphasis is placed on the computational design process, the digital machining procedure and then the assembly phase. To conclude, the paper discusses our findings, reflections and possible follow-ups.

Alice Pfeiffer, Florian Lesellier, Matthieu Tournier
Bodily Design Processes in Immersive Virtual Environments

Many of the sensory experiences of space, which were rather assigned to the realm of the visual, originate in other modes of perception and are integrated into the human understanding of its surroundings. Computer Aided Architectural Design tools meanwhile focus on a design work only under visual terms. With the help of Virtual Reality, among others, spatio-temporal and proprioceptive perceptual aspects can be integrated into these processes. This paper undertakes a rapprochement between visual arts, cultural theory, engineering and technology development. Design with all senses is here understood as an attempt to integrate embodied knowledge and bodily interaction into digital design applications for artists, architects and engineers.

Robert Patz, Monika Grzymala, Christoph Gengnagel
Repetitive Structures

This paper presents a theoretical framework of repetitive structures and illustrates its potential for the design and construction of strained gridshells.Throughout the history of architecture, the use of repetitive building parts has been a key goal to simplify fabrication, ease construction, and save costs and time. This may be achieved by laying identical bricks or using identical ball joints, dividing a sphere into congruent triangles or rationalizing a curved façade to only use planar glass panels. In any case, using repetitive parts inevitably effects the overall shape and layout of a structure.In geometry the term “repetitive” is used to describe congruent elements, such as nodes, edges or faces, within a network, while an architectural structure aims at identical building parts to achieve repetition. These two perceptions do not always coincide: In practice, adjustable joints, tolerances or deformation allow the use of repetitive parts, even for geometrically variable elements.The following paper combines insights from differential geometry and building construction to create a holistic theory of “repetitive structures” considering both the geometric and constructive parameters. This theory offers more than an analysis of existing structures. Through computational design we can systematically investigate the morphology of repetitive networks, define parametric relationships, identify fundamental principles of form and deduce parameter combinations for future designs.

Eike Schling, Rainer Barthel
Design Loop: Calibration of a Simulation of Productive Congestion Through Real-World Data for Generative Design Frameworks

This paper extends the applicability of generative design for space planning frameworks for ongoing and guided post-occupancy modifications. It involves the comparison of a graph-based productive-congestion simulation with empirical data and the use of a metaheuristic search algorithm to calibrate and fine-tune simulation parameters for greater accuracy. This methodology is demonstrated through a real-world generative designed case-study and the post-occupancy collection and processing of movement data through custom computer vision workflows.

Lorenzo Villaggi, James Stoddart, Pan Zhang, Alex Tessier, David Benjamin
From Informed Parametric Design to Fabrication: The Complex Reinforced Concrete Shell of the Railway Station Stuttgart 21

As part of one of Germany biggest infrastructure projects in the 21st century, a new underground train station is currently under construction in the heart of Stuttgart. The station’s freeform geometry coupled with high requirements regarding the execution quality necessitated the development of a number of highly sophisticated digital tools. These tools are presented in the following paper.

Frederic Waimer, Torsten Noack, Angelika Schmid, Roland Bechmann
Design for Long-Span Core-Less Wound, Structural Composite Building Elements

The aim of this research is to showcase processes and methodologies for the design and development of long-span, core-less wound structural building elements for architectural applications. Departing from established, iterative design methods and a linear digital toolchain, integrative design strategies incorporate parameters like material and fabrication constraints, structural performance and architectural design from the very beginning, establishing feedback loops. This approach seems particularly promising with the architectural application of high performance, long-span fibre components in mind, given their vast range of different and often antagonistic requirements. Building upon previous research in the realm of fibre composites conducted at the Institute for Computational Design (ICD), novel strategies and methods for the design and development of long-span fibre composite components are discussed, based on the 2019 BUGA fibre pavilion, a full scale glass and carbon fibre structure developed for the Bundesgartenschau - a garden fair in Heilbronn, Germany.Rather than going deep into the technicalities of the project, the authors strive to provide an overview of the design process on the fibre component level, explicating design strategies and exposing the mutual, multidirectional flow of information across different disciplines.

Christoph Zechmeister, Serban Bodea, Niccolo Dambrosio, Achim Menges

Area C: Regenerative Design – New Materials, Fabrication and Assembly Methods

Design and Structural Modelling of Surface-Active Timber Structures Made from Curved CLT - Urbach Tower, Remstal Gartenschau 2019

Recent advancements in structural engineering, computational design, and digital fabrication, as well as a growing awareness for sustainable construction, have led to a renaissance of structural timber in architecture. Its favourable elastic properties allow bending of timber for use in free-form curved beam structures. Such complex geometries necessitate a high degree of prefabrication enabled by the machinability of timber and established digital fabrication methods. In parallel, cross-laminated timber (CLT) offers high dimensional stability and biaxial load-bearing behaviour; however, it has predominantly found use in standardised, rectilinear geometries. Only recently, has curved CLT drawn interest in the building industry as it provides advantageous structural performance due to its inherent curvature in combination with surface-active typologies. These properties add to the formal and structural potential for the design of slender and lightweight structures. Further, curved plates structures made from CLT offer high structural performance and present an alternative for free-form structures typically constructed from less sustainable building materials.This research presents an integrated design and modelling framework for the use of single curved CLT components in multi-component, surface-active structures. The inherent geometric complexity of curved parts leads to a challenge on three interdependent levels: 1. Global design and interplay of components. 2. Curvature and material build-up of components. 3. Adaptive connection strategies for structural connections of multiple curved components. Architectural requirements, structural feedback and fabrication constraints inform these interdependencies. Thus, a sophisticated process is shown that integrates the parametric adaption of the design parameters. The modelling approach and construction system were validated through the design and construction of a 14 m tall tower structure serving as landmark and hiking shelter.

Lotte Aldinger, Simon Bechert, Dylan Wood, Jan Knippers, Achim Menges
Mediating Irregularity: Towards a Design Method for Spatial Structures Utilizing Naturally Grown Forked Branches

Computational methods enable the use of the complexity of material logics as generative parameter in an experimental form finding process for space defining structures. Examples are the fibrous structure and growing patterns of trees, which result in wood offering a vast spectrum of principles that have the potential to inform and define complex architectural configurations. Based on such assumptions, this paper presents an exploration of the relationship of material and space by utilizing naturally-grown forked branches as discrete y-shaped elements in a spatial aggregation with the aim of forming an architectural environment.

Lukas Allner, Daniela Kroehnert, Andrea Rossi
Living Weaves – Steps Towards the Persistent Modelling of Bio-Hybrid Architectural Systems

In this paper, we present a novel, speculative design approach for a bio-hybrid architectural system. The Living Weaves system seeks to harness the material accumulation capacity of climbing plants and steer this growth into an interlaced configuration with a diagrid scaffold to produce a structural Kagome weave. The concept is described through a speculative design proposal, and its feasibility is investigated in two ways; the development of an autonomous steering system to achieve interlacing of living plants with a diagrid scaffold, and an analytical design method for determining structurally advantageous plant growth routes in target geometries. Together, these two investigations represent steps towards a persistent modelling approach, which, we argue, is essential for exploiting the novel characteristics of living bio-hybrid architectures.

Phil Ayres, Emil Fabritius Buchwald, Sebastian Gatz, Soraya Bornaz
Continuous Timber Fibre Placement
Towards the Design and Robotic Fabrication of High-Resolution Timber Structures

Advances in Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques have expanded the possibilities to fabricate unique shapes, offering various advantages over traditional manufacturing techniques concerning material efficiency, product customisation and process control. AM using organic materials such as wood has been introduced by the combination with polymers to produce 3D printing filaments. These filaments use ground wood and therefore eliminate long fibres of naturally grown timber, losing its inherent material qualities such as anisotropy and structural performance. This research investigates strategies for a novel AM process using continuous solid wood to fabricate high-resolution material-efficient timber structures based on topology optimization. We examined this novel AM process in three work packages: material production, robotic fibre placement process and a design method through topology optimisation. The developed robotic fabrication process enables the deployment and extrusion of a novel material: a continuous solid wood filament made of willow withies. This process allows for a high degree of geometric freedom to assemble timber to create homogeneous structures at high resolution, providing the aesthetics and structural advantages of wood on a micro scale and therefore giving entirely new possibilities for timber construction.

Mohamed Dawod, Arjen Deetman, Zuardin Akbar, Jannis Heise, Stefan Böhm, Heike Klussmann, Philipp Eversmann
Prestressed Membranes as Formwork for Material Efficient Hollow Concrete Building Elements

This paper presents a procedure for the production of individualized form-active, hollow concrete building elements through a rotational casting technique (Rotoforming), computational design and robot-aided fabrication. To rotoform an object, a small quantity of liquid material is cast into a mould that is then slowly rotated so that the material disperses along the mould surface. The material adheres to the formwork; an inner cavity emerges. This research exploits the significantly reduced hydrostatic pressure of the low amount of liquid material to unlock a new range of lightweight hyperelastic membranes as concrete formwork. The research yields a novel material system that consumes significantly less formwork material and less concrete. The research furthermore explores the morphological, visual and tactile performance provided by the minimal surfaces that emerge through prestressing (and not tailoring) the membranes as a concrete formwork (see Fig. 1). Fig. 1. Rotoformed hollow concrete demonstrators for columns, beam, nodes, panels Fig. 2. Demonstrator of a space frame structure with rotoformed nodes (Dimensions: 1.4 * 1.4 * 2.3 m). Fig. 3. The morphological categories of emerging forms and the building element typologies. Fig. 4. Top left: falsework made from 3d printed nodes and aluminum profiles. Top middle: adaptable spherical falsework. Top right: precise robotic placement of tension rods. Bottom right: Falsework for columns with changing cross section. Bottom middle: box with rasterized faces for the adaptable placement of tension elements. The prestressed membrane is placed in a rock and roll rotomoulding machine. Bottom right: frame with two layers of prestressed membranes for the production of hollow panels.

Oliver Tessmann, Samim Mehdizadeh
Sustainable Thin-Shell 3D Printed Formwork for Concrete

With the growth in popularity of 3D printing technologies, machinery is getting cheaper, while the variety of available materials is growing larger. However, 3D printing strategies for realizing architecture are still in their infancy. Direct 3D printing of building components is a very challenging task, as most printing technologies are, until now, not able to address the demanding requirements of architectural components, including scale or structural capacity.The conventional way of creating formwork for non-standard, concrete components is very labour intensive and until today, can be more than 50% of the cost of casting concrete. This research addresses this very topic by proposing a sustainable, 3D printed formwork for casting concrete, combining the advancements of computation and digital fabrication with the traditional way of constructing large concrete components.It aims in the creation of dissolvable, 3D printed formwork that can be simply washed away after the curing process of concrete, using only water and no additional chemical solvent. Introducing such a process, it enables to create bespoke, full-scale structural components, without compromising the complexity of form or surface quality.

Matthias Leschok, Benjamin Dillenburger
Continuous Robotic Spatial 3D Printing of Topologically Irregular Space Frames

Spatial 3D printing via robotic extrusion can offer advantages over conventional layered additive manufacturing, both in speed and strength. However, spatial 3D printing comes with its own challenges such as collision avoidance and sequencing. Overcoming these issues means that a topological path finding problem must also be addressed.Prior examples of spatially printed space frames, although sometimes forming curved surfaces, have been made up of repeating units arranged in regular grids. This consistent topology ensures simple path planning and sequencing but offers limited scope for geometric freedom and structural optimisation.For structural reasons it can be advantageous to locally vary the density and topology of a space frame in response to the stress distribution. This generally leads to space frames with an irregular topology which makes efficient sequencing for printing purposes difficult. In contrast to previous work, our novel method allows for topological variation while still ensuring printing in a continuous path is possible. As a proof of concept, we successfully printed a two-metre tall prototype that demonstrates the efficacy of our method.

Daniel Piker, Richard Maddock
Assessing the Environmental Viability of 3D Concrete Printing Technology

The ongoing development of digital design and fabrication techniques has explicitly changed the way architecture is thought, designed and produced. 3D Concrete Printing Technology personifies best the long-lasting pursuit of non-standard production in architecture. A recently established tendency of systematic recourse to optimization algorithms for formal design fashioned a general belief into the sustainable character of those forms as well as the potential of digital technologies in field of environmental performance of construction sector.This paper presents a case study of environmental evaluation of a generic building system redesigned for mortar 3D Printing technology. The life cycle assessment of construction phase of a system has been performed and the sensitivity study has been effectuated. The results show that the contribution of robotic 3D printing system to the overall result is fairly significant and, in some figures, can even exceed the one of the materials.

Kateryna Kuzmenko, Nadja Gaudillière, Adélaïde Feraille, Justin Dirrenberger, Olivier Baverel
Sensibilities of Artificial Intelligence
An Examination of Architecture in a Post-human Design Ecology

The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate a methodology of design which interrogates aspects of Artificial Intelligence and it’s abilities to develop novel sensibilities. The presented project, The Church of AI (Fig. 1), discusses the design technique itself as well as the underlying aspects of aesthetic, ethic and existence. The project started in the course Architectural Automations. An Advanced Design Studio of PennDesign [1], with the focus on the transforming potential of Artificial Intelligence and automation in architecture. The results of the studio addressed aspects of autonomous behavior in construction (Performative Machine [2]), the changed relationship to creative practice (Golden Playhouse [3]) and Worship & AI (Church of AI [4]). The later was selected as a topic for this paper as it demonstrates in a provocative fashion the multitude of lenses of observation for a problem like Artificial Intelligence and Architecture. Not only as a toolset to optimize very specific elements of architecture such as floorplan, material consumption and structure, but rather to emphasize architectures ability to serve as a cultural marker and place of worship. In that extent it proposes a position that radically challenges the idea of computational methodologies as tools of expedience and efficiency and rather embraces the possibility to use it as a tool of communication between the human mindset and an, as to this date, alien intelligence. Alien in the sense of defamiliarization or estrangement [5]. Following intense conversations in the studio about the nature of AI, and its possible impact on architecture the project The Church of AI started speculating about the various possible aesthetic conversations possible through the use of AI. Of course, AI is a generalist term that includes a wide range of approaches and ideas. In order to make progress within the frame of one semester a more specific approach was needed. The main question was wither an AI could create a novel sensibility based on specific datasets, and how human intervention could steer the results. Exploring possibilities for a Human/AI collaboration. Fig. 1. The Project Church of AI by Marianna Sanche & Leete Jane Wang – University of Pennsylvania 2018

Matias Del Campo, Sandra Manninger, Leete Jane Wang, Marianne Sanche
Large Scale Curved Folding Mechanisms

Curved Folding as a method to generate structures with bent plates is a widely used design strategy in many fields. Even though the digital approaches in curved folding and active bending are constantly evolving, the materialization of these structures in a larger scale is the current bottleneck. This is obvious for materials that are not foldable due to their material behavior as e.g. wood. Therefore, we introduce a method with the aim to simplify the construction of large curved folded structures from wooden sheet material.Compared to folding systems with straight fold lines, curved fold lines allow for the reduction of folds as well as the number of assembled pieces. In the current process folded structures are assembled from cut pieces to a “folded configuration” [1]. This strategy applied to structures with curved fold lines requires, that the individual parts need to be bent before they can be connected. This makes the assembly process a very complex one [2].In this paper, the authors will describe a method to develop foldable structures from wooden boards. The focus lies on the development of foldable systems with curved fold lines in combination with sheet material. The use of curved fold lines causes bending of the sheet material adding the advantages of active bending [3] to the system. The authors will also show the constraints of the concept of digital paper and the limited sheet size of timber sheet material. In the presented approach, the authors describe the fabrication of complex folding mechanisms assembled from CNC milled parts in flat state, connected with a fabric hinge and folded to a stable three-dimensional configuration.

Rupert Maleczek, Gabriel Stern, Astrid Metzler, Clemens Preisinger
Modelling Workflows for More-than-Human Design: Prosthetic Habitats for the Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)

Anthropogenic degradation of the environment is pervasive and expanding. Human construction activities destroy or damage habitats of nonhuman lifeforms. In many cases, artificial replacement habitats become necessary. However, designing for the needs and preferences of nonhuman lifeforms is challenging. Established workflows for this type of designing do not exist. This paper hypothesises that a multi-scale modelling approach can support inclusive, more-than-human design. The case-study project tests this approach by applying computational modelling to the design of prosthetic habitats for the powerful owl (Ninox strenua). The proposed approach simulates owls’ perception of the city based on scientific evidence. The tools include algorithmic mapping, 3D-scanning, generative modelling, digital fabrication and augmented-reality assembly. Outcomes establish techniques for urban-scale planning, site selection, tree-scale fitting, and nest-scale form-making. The findings demonstrate that computational modelling can (1) inform more-than-human design and (2) guide scientific data collection for more inclusive ecosystem management.

Stanislav Roudavski, Dan Parker
Constructing A Sense of Taste

Designing for multisensory experiences has the potential to activate the intelligence of the body and allow us to explore and understand the world in new and unique ways. Often time’s architecture and building interiors are only designed for the visual, but when the visual is mingled with touch, taste and smell, a more complex and personal experience can be crafted through interactions with the user. This paper will discuss how taste can literally be applied to the built environment through digital modeling, 3D printing and the use of novel, edible materials that have the potential to season and flavor buildings and interiors to enrich and improve daily life regardless of ones visual abilities. Taste, which is the distinctive or essential flavor of something, can create new sensations and experiences because with taste and smell we are able to contemplate not only the object itself but also without exception the experience of it [1]. We can use our sense of taste to perceive and distinguish between the sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a substance or a space. Taste can also evoke strong emotions, it can satisfy us and it can bring us great pleasure or displeasure and it can also evoke memories and associations, it’s sensual but it also has aesthetic potential. Different tastes can alter or enhance, what was once plain can be created again with seasoning or spiced up to be different, stronger, better. Taste is something that we acquire through personal experience, we learn about preferences and how to perceive differences.In the examples described in this paper, the Coffee Coffee Pot and Coffee Coffee Cup, the Utah Tea Set, and The Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities taste has literally been used to season the built environment by 3D printing with waste materials generated by coffee, tea, and wine production. The Saltygloo project is fabricated using local salt harvested from evaporation ponds. These materials are abundant, inexpensive, and readily available in almost every region of the world. What’s more, 3D-printed objects made of these materials have unique textural and aromatic properties that emerge from their material origins and transform the way we experience an object or a space.

Virginia San Fratello
Intuitive Protocols: Hybrid Processes for Large Scale Robotic Fabrication

This paper is an investigation into the conception, testing and implementation of an advanced and bespoke workflow.By hybridising a diverse set of technologies and processes, an innovative fabrication strategy was developed that combines large scale glue-laminated timber frames with a robotic band-saw application.The design strategy was driven by a fundamental preoccupation with exploring the relationship between drawing and making. Therefore the project regards the intuitive design processes as the main driver and looked to apply digital tools lightly, aiming to precisely embed them within established timber fabrication processes. This workflow was tested through the design and fabrication of a timber skeleton that provides the structural system for the library building at Hooke Park and acts as an articulated armature supporting the library’s envelope and accommodates its internal workings.Through the production of the sculptural skeleton, the project challenges conventions of existing methodologies and ultimately aims to bring about a morphologic innovation in timber construction.

Emmanuel Vercruysse
Modelling Workflow for Segmented Timber Shells Using Wood-Wood Connections

This paper presents a modelling method based on planarization for double-curved segmented timber shell made from quad polygons and assembled by wood-wood connections. The inspiration is taken from timber dome structures [1, 2], where solid timber walls were built from planks, connected side by side. Furthermore, the research is based on a collaboration with a local timber company located in a mountain area. In this context, timber has a low economic value because the price no longer covers the harvesting costs [3]. Therefore, there is a need to explore the available timber stock (round wood, beam elements and planks) to transform it locally. The geometry modelling workflow is split into three parts: surface discretization, joint modelling and fabrication. Firstly, projection-based solver is applied to the planarization of volumetric blocks. Secondly, the joint geometry is computed according to the insertion vector and a tool-path is generated using G-Code [4] to guide the 4.5 Axis CNC machining. As proof of concept, two prototypes were built, one from planks and another from round-woods. The choice of material influenced the segmentation of the timber shell. Finger and Tenon-mortise joinery techniques have been chosen for their simple modelization and fast cutting time. Their placement follows as closely as possible fiber orientation of wood. Even if both study cases share the same discretization method, the first prototype from timber plates takes advantage of lightweight structures, while the second explores a heavy solid round-wood structural system.

Petras Vestartas, Nicolas Rogeau, Julien Gamerro, Yves Weinand
Designing Compression-Only Arch Structures Using Robotic Equilibrium Assembly

This research is an extension of the work from our previous study on robotic equilibrium assembly. We found that architectural assembly methods have been under researched in design modelling. Instead, more attention has been paid to advanced fabrication processes, wherein complex components are produced but often manually assembled using scaffolds, lift machines, and installation tools. This design-to-production model unfortunately wastes an extensive amount of natural resources and labour. In a previous paper, we mentioned that the material efficiency of compression-only structures has been offset using scaffolds to position components and counter out-of-equilibrium forces. In contrast, we demonstrated that advances in robotic assembly and fabrication have enabled the structural end of an unfinished compression-only arch to be maintained in equilibrium without the use of conventional scaffolds. In this paper, we further demonstrate the applications of this assembly method with new experiment results, wherein a multi-branched compression-only arch structure was designed and constructed without using scaffolds. We want to also explain the implications of this design strategy to our larger built environment by demonstrating the increased flexibility of regenerating a design during construction, the reduced resource use with such a robotic scaffold system, and how we understand the balance between technological footprint and resource saving.

Kaicong Wu, Axel Kilian

Area D: Designing Human Spaces – Intervention and Participation

SandBOX - An Intuitive Conceptual Design System

We describe the development and use of a new conceptual design system, called SandBOX, which combines a range of intuitive interfaces with real-time analysis, thus enabling a wide variety of users to develop performative concept designs. We show how this interactive design platform can overcome some of the limitations of current physical model-based design processes, whilst retaining many of their advantages.

Stamatios Psarras, Marcin Kosicki, Khaled El-Ashry, Sherif Tarabishy, Martha Tsigkari, Adam Davis, Francis Aish
HENN Workplace Analytics

In this paper we present an experimental methodology for the evaluation and comparison of indoor workplace qualities. We investigate how factors such as the overall available spatial connectivity and visual perception in conjunction with environmental variables such as natural daylight affect the face-to-face communication potential in office spaces. We visualize these findings through various interactive graphical maps. Subsequently we conclude our finding by offering a multi-category profiling of the probed spaces, highlighting potential spatial zones for the various modes of communication that we further explore in this paper.

Giovanni Betti, Saqib Aziz, Gili Ron
Agent-Based Semiology for Simulation and Prediction of Contemporary Spatial Occupation Patterns

Agent-based semiology is a powerful simulation and prediction environment for pedestrian simulation that allows for accurate balancing of complexity. Here, we describe a framework to simulate increasing behavioural interactivity between agents via agent-based modeling, together with a statistical approach to make the results amenable to a quantitative and automated analysis. That approach borrows ideas from crowd simulation and spatial statistics, notably fitting of Poisson processes, and computer graphics. The described process can simply be thought of as that of approaching an observed pattern by an overlay or additive mixture of grey-scale images each of which are distance transforms of physical objects. Thus, we describe the observed pattern in terms of interactions of spatial features which are akin to traditional BIM tags. We thus arrive at a remarkably concise prediction of the simulation outcome. The benefits of this simulation speedup is, on the one hand, to allow for higher optimization throughput, and on the other hand, to provide designers with quantitative feedback about the impact of their design on the simulation outcome.

Mathias Fuchs, Robert Neumayr
Humanizing Architectural Automation: A Case Study in Office Layouts

Despite a long history of research into intelligent algorithms for performing architectural layout tasks, automation has yet to achieve broad adoption in real-world architectural practice. This paper describes an approach to developing practical and useful automated software tools for designers, demonstrated through the case study of an application for streamlining the layout of private offices in a collaborative workplace. The approach described emphasizes involving designers in preparatory research for development, to ensure that automated tools work well with designers’ existing workflows and align with their conceptual models of the layout process.

Andrew Heumann, Daniel Davis
Robo-Stim: Modes of Human Robot Collaboration for Design Exploration

Augmented and virtual reality in combination with robotics offers unique design opportunities centered around novel human machine collaboration. The coordination of these tools allows for unique modes of collaborative design, sensory stimulation and strategic deception. In this paper, we outline the components and calibration of a collaborative environment which coordinates industrial robotics, mobile augmented reality, and virtual reality. This technical setup allows for multiple modes of experimentation, encouraging reflection on the larger domain of human-robotic collaboration. As such, this work facilitates the definition of four discrete modes of robotic collaboration: Stop-Gap Collaboration, Manual-Assist Collaboration, Creative Collaboration, and Environmental Collaboration. Stop-Gap Collaboration uses humans to bridge technical gaps in automated systems. Manual-Assist Collaboration uses digital tools to augment the human execution of technical tasks. Creative Collaboration prioritizes creative expression, while Environmental Collaboration considers humans as agents in occupied and continuously evolving robotic environments. As robotics gains prominence in design and manufacturing, it becomes increasingly important to examine the role of human beings in partially automated workflows—prioritizing creativity and environmental adaptivity in design applications.

Ryan Luke Johns, Jeffrey Anderson, Axel Kilian
A Reconfigurable Modular Swarm Robotic System for ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilisation) Autonomous 3D Printing in Extreme Environments

Implementation of Robotics and Automation has revolutionised the Manufacturing Industry, generating unprecedented levels of efficiency, boosted productivity and lower levels of risks. As automation begins to seamlessly integrate and embed in various home applications, uptake in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) Industry has been slow, only limited to off site fabrication. With this in mind, the departure point of the research investigation then lies in the identification of opportunities for on-site applications of robotics in construction. The paper proposes a new method of construction based on concepts of reusability and reconfigurability, re-envisioning operational life cycles in conventional, industry practices. An evaluation of industry and academic precedents of robotic applications presented an opportunity to propose a new conceptual framework for a reconfigurable, modular robotic swarm system that is comprised of an interchangeable “toolkit of parts”. Application of the framework was first developed for NASA’s 3D Printing Habitat Centennial Challenge, which manifested as an ecosystem of robotic assemblies that dynamically adapts to complete a multitude of tasks in the construction of a 3D Printed Shell Structure. The case study application was selected due to the extreme operational requirements such as size and logistical challenges, multiple levels of redundancies and adoption of “In-Situ Resource utilisation” [1] principles.

Jonathan Irawan, Xavier De Kestelier, Nikolaos Argyros, Ben Lewis, Sam Gregson
A Smart Material System for Real-Time Urban Flow Data Collection Toward Responsive Environments and Informed Decision Making in Urban Spaces

This paper presents the research of a smart material (graphene) based system for monitoring data of urban flows in the cities. Using the unique conductive properties of graphene, the material system developed, presents embedded capacity of sensing and actuation. The integrated sensing material system based on graphene composites, is developed in order to better understand how people move throughout cities without the use of speculative simulation software. The research explores the development of a system that can be applied throughout cities to the architectural surfaces which are in direct contact with people. The goal of such system, that has been developed in a unique collaboration of architects, material scientists and computer scientists, is to monitor pedestrian behaviour in real-time with a non-privacy invasive method (without identifying individuals) and by doing so to help tackle the upcoming change within urban spaces. This method differs from the currently available software that track either the geo-location of devices, or require the use of surveillance cameras with computer vision which directly tracks individuals based on face and body recognition [1]. On the one hand, these methods require great computational power to achieve their goal and on the other, as the systems target individuals, they are considered invasive, infringing the privacy of parties during the tracking process.The integrated sensing material system, presented, has been embedded in a series of floor tiles, prototyped in the laboratory. Different base materials of tiles, such as concrete, wood, clay and polymers have been tested, in which the graphene system can be embedded, extending its potential without compromising its sensing and actuating capabilities. Through the evaluation of the prototypes and the visions of its applications, we argue that next generation materials combined with design and embedded in city surface areas, can contribute in solutions for urban challenges that leap into unique interactions between individuals and the built environment. Next generation and smart materials such as the graphene composite system presented in the current research, opens up possibilities for introducing smart interfaces that are not merely digital but physical and embedded in the materiality of cities. The system developed can be integrated within a series of traditional materials creating architectural physical interfaces. The paper describes the detailed experiments of developing the graphene conductive tiles, as well as the experiments of joining the tiles together through the same graphene system and with no need of additional joinery systems.The paper concludes by presenting the data acquired by the graphene tile system and how, when supplied into analytical systems for machine learning, these data can train algorithms and become the basis of predictive modelling and analytics related with pedestrian flows and user spatial behavioural patterns. The absence of accurate, real-time information about individual’s spatial behaviour leaves designers and decision makers without a real space performance metric and may consequently lead to poor judgment and speculations in the processes of urban planning and design. The research argues that the graphene based sensing and actuating system can be used as a useful tool for informed decision making in urban planning. Analysing the flow of the people with machine learning algorithms provides insight to behaviour patterns that can be used to propose dynamically changing spaces. As graphene is a highly conductive material, its use in the material system is serving a double purpose. On the one hand, it contributes so that the material system performs as a sensor of human flows, when applied in public space flooring systems. On the other hand, it contributes to transform the system into an actuator, following informed actuations such as heating, or lighting.

Nikol Kirova, Areti Markopoulou, Hayder Mahdi, Shruti Jalodia
Supportless 3D Printing of Shells: Adaptation of Ancient Vaulting Techniques to Digital Fabrication

With the improvement of the 3D printing industry, the interest in additive manufacturing of large-scale structures (AMLS) is rapidly increasing. Recent attempts of seeking solutions for 3D printing of large-scale buildings is the embodiment of the transition from current construction systems to automated robotic manufacturing workflows. The usage of formwork plays a crucial role in accelerating the progress of AMLS implementation in construction industries. Investigations of large-scale 3D printing of concrete structures are mostly related to robotics, material rheology and mechanics. Additionally, design and construction strategies for AMLS must be investigated for applications in architecture. This paper discusses solutions for supportless 3D printing of large-scale compression shells. The aid of special vault geometry and robotic trajectory generation comes from reverse engineering of ancient brick-laying techniques from worldwide-recognised vaulting precedents lacking formwork. Finally, strategies for the generation of robotic printing tool-path to span boundaries with variety of configurations with no temporary support is yielded and tested with the simulation of 1:20 scale construction practice by a “3Doodler” Pro pen as extrusion head (child) and ABB IRB $$\_ $$ 120 six-axis arm (parent).

Mahan Motamedi, Robin Oval, Paul Carneau, Olivier Baverel
Discussing the Potential of BMS Data Mining to Extract Abnormal Building Behaviour Related to Occupants’ Usage

Through the use of a data-centric technique for analyzing Building Management System (BMS) data, the article discusses the shortcomings of current building data acquisition for capturing occupants’ behaviour. Applying machine learning to a real 3-years dataset, the potential of unsupervised learning for discriminating between normal daily patterns (motifs) and abnormal ones (discords) for automatic fault detection is outlined, as well as the difficulty to extract from typical BMS data meaningful insights about usage. Finally, the authors propose design guidelines to better monitor, e.g. acquire and analyze, building function together with building usage through digital means, identifying BMS data as a candidate vehicle for this purpose.

Julien Nembrini, Roberto Sánchez, Denis Lalanne
Multi-objective Parametric Massing Optimisation for a Sustainable and Healthy Urban Living Environment

The requirements for high performing buildings and their direct surroundings are often conflicting. These conflicting requirements can be navigated and building performance can be optimised by following the paradigm of data-driven massing design. This both requires the identification of key performance indicators and the quantification of the building’s performance with regards to these KPIs. Following this paradigm allows the designers to inspire, inform, and optimise a building’s geometry at concept stage, maximising the building performance subject to the design objectives. The benefits of this approach are demonstrated through the case study of the Smakkelaarspark development in Utrecht, setting a new benchmark for a sustainable and healthy urban living environment. Through this case study, it is demonstrated how multi-objective parametric massing optimisation provides a powerful toolkit for creating improved building designs in which several KPIs are analysed.

Rick Titulaer, Alexandros Christodoulou, Mathew Vola
Towards a Seat Search System for Hot-Desking
User Observation, Environment Sensing, and Discussion About User Interface

It has never been easier to precisely understand the environmental aspects of buildings, in terms of both simulation and post-occupancy measurements. However, fulfilling every user’s demand with building climate control is not easy for every office operator, especially for owners of existing buildings. In such cases, visualising the environment and letting users search and choose their seat can be a solution. To achieve this goal, we first conducted user research and environmental sensing. We found that every user’s preference is different, and that the stability of the environment may affect users’ evaluation of the space. Based on the results, we discussed the user input and visualisation method, both of which are key elements for a search user interface (UI). It is important to balance the psychological validity and ease of use for an environment search UI. Based on the discussion, we propose that the search UI should have an input for acceptable environmental indicator-range for seat search, while at the same time, visualising areas with an unstable environment with hatching.

Tsunoda Daisuke, Yamaoka Kaoru
Immersive Environments for Persistent Modelling and Generative Design Strategies in an Informal Settlement

This paper discusses the potential of a workflow that integrates parametric design and spatial computing, to create a persistent model, and address the gap between top-down and bottom-up design approaches for an informal settlement in Mumbai. The workflow involves the use of Fologram®, a Grasshopper® plugin for Rhinoceros®, which allows designers to work in a Mixed Reality (MR) environment through the Microsoft Hololens® eyewear and ubiquitous smart devices. While Immersive environments typically enable visualization of a design, we are interested in its possibilities as a tool to assist the locals, who often design and construct without the aid of designers. This practice is a good opportunity to examine the implementation of this technology. These tools allow the user to visualize a model at full scale and make edits, which permit an assessment of the design in real time before finalizing design decisions. In addition, the shared MR experience can be further integrated in the proposed community as a participatory design tool promoting recreational and educational experiences for local people and children. Discussions and investigations of the possibilities happen through an action research under an architectural studio setting. We have considered three types of decision making in the design process: “urban” scale, “building” scale and “detail component” scale. During the design process, Fologram® developers assisted through technical troubleshooting sessions in the form of video conference, e-mail, and workshop. The final objective is to demonstrate that these environments can be combined beyond a representational intent.

Emmanouil Vermisso, Mate Thitisawat, Rachel Salazar, Montiero Lamont
Immersive Exhibition as Expanded Cinema: Augmenting Multisensory Experiences Through Responsive Atmosphere

This paper presents a multisensorial approach in the design and fabrication of an installation for “SEE-ING: The Environmental Consciousness Project”- a curated exhibition that brings together a diverse group of ten architects, artists, designers, technologies, and theorists across the global to look at how the transformed notion of vision, visual, or the visible nowadays inspires creative practices in a number of areas. To respond to the exhibition theme, the design takes the act of seeing as an incentive which elicits associated senses and exposes matters of the unseen. With 14 TV monitors in the gallery displaying moving images on the floor and the walls along with printed media, the exhibition is designed to be a comprehensive visual representation of featured contributions, and meanwhile, stitches the ten unique projects into a choreographed seeing experience through spatial and technological strategies that provoke senses beyond sight. This installation builds durational interfaces between human and the environment by visualizing data through physical computing and ephemeral mediums in order to generate physical spaces that trigger visual, tactile, and audial perceptions. It transitions the design of the “seen” into the construction of the “experience”. Situated in a contemporary exhibition setting, the paper discusses the creation of an immersive responsive atmosphere and its role in inviting human participation and interaction in various formats.

Catty Dan Zhang
Impact: Design With All Senses
Prof. Dr. Christoph Gengnagel
Olivier Baverel
Prof. Dr. Jane Burry
Prof. Dr. Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen
Prof. Dr. Stefan Weinzierl
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