Seminar + Workshop “Design through Systems Thinking Informed by Materials” . 01

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.


Invited to contribute to the United Nations Rio+20, India Program

Rio+20 is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Earth Summit 2012. As a part of Rio+20, India Program aims to reach a million citizens.

I was kindly invited to contribute in order to initiate some thoughts forward. My proposal is titled: ParaMaterial Topographies for the Built Environment.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) was being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236), and taken place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012.  Rio+20 is considered as an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for human.

Rio Earth Summit 2012 India Program is led by Indian Astrobiology Research Centre (IARC) in association Rio+20 – UNCSD to promote the objectives of UNCSD 2012. The program is a tool to achieve the One Million Rios commitment which is accepted and listed by United Nations Rio+20. The Rio+20 India Program aims to take Rio+20 goals to a million Indians by December 2012. IARC has officially committed to UNCSD that the message that comes out of Rio+20 will be taken to one million Indians by December 2012 – One Million Rios.

Architectural Geometry Informed by Static and Dynamic Loading Conditions. 03

The surface (F= sin (β)+ cos (μ)) is restrained on the ground and a vector force of 10 000 N in Z direction is applied to the peak point of the geometry. The maximum equivalent stress varies from 78373 PA to 83404 PA for different panelization methods by the use of steel as material.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is operated on the surface (F= sin (β)+ cos (μ)). The graphical display represents contours of static pressure, velocity vectors and path lines in given the boundary conditions. The wind flow is aligned with the velocity vectors.


Architectural Geometry Informed by Static and Dynamic Loading Conditions. 02

Different panelization options are generated via the code for the geometry with the assigned curve function:  F= sin (v)+cos (u). The script*  performed at RhinoScript platform. Because planar quadrilateral panels obtain advantage of having a lower node complexity and are feasible for manufacturing, planar quadrilateral panels are operated for the geometry. The code enables that the architectural designer can identify if the geometry contains any holes. If yes, then the shapes of them needs to be defined. The algorithm runs with the following procedural steps which the user needs to identify during the execution of the code:

  • Selecting the NURBS surface.
  • Defining the U and V values of the surface.
  • Specifying types of holes if exists any.
  • Introducing the shapes of the holes.
  • Defining the percentage of the holes within overall panels.
  • Deciding if the hole sizes vary or not.

*Special thanks to Fabio Mantuano.

Architectural Geometry Informed by Static and Dynamic Loading Conditions. 01

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.

Form Active Structures. 05

Finite Element Method analysis is undertaken for:  (a) Equivalent stress (b) Total deformation (c) Directional deformation (d) Shear stress

The video of total deformations can be watched in the following link:!/photo.php?v=10151103382082060

Mechanical properties of the structural steel.

Form Active Structures. 04

(a) A vector force of –10.000 N is applied  (b) By imposing the boundary conditions, it is critical to indicate the surfaces where the geometry sits on the ground, besides assigning the architectural material, structural steel.