I gave a seminar and run a workshop* titled “Design through Systems Thinking Informed by Materials” at the Istanbul Technical University, Graduate School of Architecture as a part of the course Computer Application in Architecture.
The proposed approach aims to create a method based on systems thinking by referencing nature in order to generate a fundamental base of computational design. Students should explore design through material systems in a holistic manner. By integrating systems thinking to the design process, in which the rules and relationship among system elements are defined at the beginning of the design process, most efficient solutions are generated by the system itself. Students are asked to test this method on a façade solution.
Image Credit: Gabriele Macri (Ootheca of trunculariopsis trunculus)
*Special thanks to Ass.Prof. Yüksel Demir (PhD) and Res. Ass. Sema Alaçam for the invitation.
Advanced computer aided design (CAD) techniques liberated architectural form, by enabling architectural designer to generate complex forms, such as freeform surfaces. In today’s common architectural practices, computational tools, associated with performance analysis and evaluation, are undertaken during a later stage of the design process, following the form generation. ParaMaterial aims to discuss how material can be integrated into a system in which architectural geometry, material and structural performance are interdependent to increase efficiency by identifying critical procedures towards manufacturing of complex forms in architecture. Mathematically driven surfaces are explored of which geometrical attributes can be altered parametrically. Because buildings are designed to withstand various complex loading conditions, simulations are undertaken for surfaces via Finite Element Method (FEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis tools to investigate how material informs architectural geometry in respond to the static and dynamic loading conditions.
The use of mathematics in computational design process enables from simple to highly complex geometries with control parameters. Numerous different types of mathematically driven surfaces such as sphere, torus, cylinder, catalan, moebius strip, klein surface, catenoid helicoids, henneberg, elliptic paraboloid, enneper and many more can be structured in parametric systems by assigning their respective mathematical curve functions.
(a) Surface curvature analyses are undertaken to identify problem areas by running gaussian and mean tools. (b) The double-curved surface is subdivided into components where quadrilateral panels are assigned to the points on divisions of the x and y directions (U-V curves).
Different stiffness values (S= 125 to 4000) for the springs are tested. Following the selection of the solution with S=1000, the geometry is adjusted by shifting one corner to break the symmetry and generate large spans.
The Multipurpose Hall Project is located in Istanbul. The intent is to provide a new cultural hub for the city. What ParaMaterial interested to explore is the relationships between material, performance & form and interpret this decades’ paradigm of Parametricism.
The building responds entirely to the geometry of the site which is irregular and also to programmatic requirements of the project brief. The design of the hall, as a continuous volume, and the facade are generated via computational design tools.
The hall which accommodates 1000 seats is designed for various activities including concerts, theatre and dance performances. The building includes additionally side facilities such as an exhibition hall, educational centre, cafes, management and technical facilities and carparks. The volume of the hall becomes the main design element which is also the structural backbone of the building.
MATERIAL SYSTEMS // WOOD AS ANISOTROPIC MATERIAL
Material systems are able to inform the architectural design process along with computational design tools. In this approach, the concepts of material, performance and form are inter-dependent and equally important, unlike the common architectural design process. In this project, material systems are the main driver of the design system.
Anisotropy is a material’s directional dependence of a physical property. Wood is a anisotropic material of which properties vary based on the directions of natural fibers of the wood. It has the ability to bend in parallel to its fibers. Because of this particular material property, it is feasible to clad the Multipurpose Hall which has a curvilinear geometry with wood strips. The steel frame system is used as the structural system.
In order to extent the concept of continuity driven from the fluid geometry of the interior, steel panels with gradient effect is applied to the facade. The panels can rotate along their pivots to increase/decrease the visibility on the facade based on programmatic distribution.