Archive for June, 2009
Matsys was commissioned by SFMoMA to produce a wall installation for the upcoming exhibition Sensate: Bodies and Design. After many months of research and prototyping, production on the final wall began in early May and is nearly complete. At the moment, all of the panels have been cast and we are just waiting for them to fully dry. Check back soon for more images of the final installation.
Location: California College of the Arts, San Francisco
Description: FLUX: Architecture in a Parametric Landscape by CCA Architecture/MEDIAlab is an exhibition that focuses on the emerging field of advanced digital design. In the last two decades of architectural practice, new digital technologies have evolved from being simply representational tools invested in the depiction of existing models of architectural space to becoming significant performative machines that have transformed the ways in which we both conceive and configure space and material. These tools for design, simulation, and fabrication, have enabled the emergence of new digital diagrams and parametric landscapes—often emulating genetic and iterative dynamic evolutionary processes—that are not only radically changing the ways in which we integrate disparate types of information into the design process, but are also significantly altering the methodological strategies that we use for design, fabrication and construction. After the early digital explosion of the 1990’s, new forms of rigor and production have entered into the field of architecture, supporting the emergence of parametric and building information modeling and the enhanced use of computational geometry and scripting that together represent the second critical wave of digital design practices. That our current models of space are far more continuous, variant and complex, is specifically a result of the tools we are using to produce them, an inevitable byproduct of the ever-expanding capacities of digital computation and related fabrication technologies as these intersect with theoretical trajectories that long ago dismantled the social, functional and technological truths of the early part of this century.
The FLUX exhibition was generated in conjunction with this year’s CCA Architecture Lecture Series focused on the integration of digital practices and design, CCA MEDIAlab’s digital workshops and the International Smart Geometry conference held in San Francisco in the spring of 2009. The content of the exhibition is organized through a series of thematic categories each of which explores a set of spatial logics that have been transformed through advanced digital practices: Stacked Aggregates, Modular Assemblages, Pixelated Fields, Cellular Clusters, Serial Iterations, Woven Meshes, Material Systems, and Emergent Environments. In this exhibit, these themes are elaborated through the presentation of 50 built works and experimental architectural projects, and are expanded by analytical diagrams and 3D printed models generated by CCA architecture students.
The FLUX installation, developed by a team of CCA faculty and students, also explores the possibilities of parametric modeling and digital fabrication through the production of the exhibition armature. Produced using CCA’s new CNC router and advanced parametric modeling techniques, the undulating structure expands and contracts as its volume extends down the center of the long nave space. Through the use of parametric modeling and a series of custom designed scripts, the installation design can be quickly updated to address new design criteria. From the thickness of the ribs to the overall twisting geometry and perforated skins, the spatial form of the armature is controlled through a complex set of relationships defined by its formal, performative, and fabrication constraints.
Architect: CCA Architecture/MEDIAlab
Location: San Francisco, United States
Date: 2008 – 2009
The FLUX installation, developed over 6 months by a team of CCA faculty and students, explores the possibilities of parametric modeling and digital fabrication at CCA. Produced using CCA’s brand new CNC router and advanced parametric modeling techniques, the structure undulates in plan and section producing a sense of expansion and contraction in the long Nave space. Through the use of parametric modeling and a series of custom designed scripts, the installation design can be quickly updated to address new design criteria. From the thickness of the ribs to the overall twisting geometry and perforated skins, the geometry is controlled through a complex set of relationships between its formal, performative, and fabrication constraints.
Director of Architecture: Ila Berman
Project Coordinator and Director of the MEDIAlab: Andrew Kudless
Installation Design: Kory Bieg, Andre Caradec, Andrew Kudless, Ila Berman
Exhibition Curation: Andrew Kudless with Ila Berman and Marc Fornes
Graphic Design Assistants: Jessica Gibson, Andy Payne, Melissa Spooner
Parametric Design Consultant: Andy Payne
Installation Team: Laurice der Bedrossian, Yoon Choi, Stephanie Close, Loi Dinh, David Garcia, Jessica Gibson, John Hobart-Culleton, Charlotte Hofstetter, Madaline Honig, Wayne Lin, Sandra Lopez, Mariko Low, Jen Melendez, Michelle Mucker, Andrew Peters, Jason Rhein, Ocean Rogoff, Angela Todorova, Dianne de la Torre, Michael Victoria, Olesya Yefimov
Graphic Design, Modeling and Scripting Team: Olutobi Adamolekun, Lynn Bayer, Ripon DeLeon, Anthony Diaz, Alexa Getting, Jessica Gibson, Noah Greer, Benjamin Harth, Madeline Honig, Elizabeth Jackson, Pouya Khakpour, Anna Leach, Ryan Lee, Charles Ma, David Manzanares Garcia, Ariane Mates, Andy Payne, Harsha Pelimuhandiram, Michael Perkins, Javier Rodriguez, Ricardo Ruiz, Melissa Spooner, Jessica Stuenkel, Vladimir Vlad, Duncan Young
Sponsors: SolidThinking, K Bieg Design, SUM Arch, Vogue Graphics
CNC Fabrication Support: Ryan Buyssens, Jo Slota
Consultation: Chris Chalmers, Andrew Sparks
Description: In Frank Herbert’s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel” and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.
Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.
Sietch Nevada projects waterbanking as the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life. Inverting the stereotypical Southwest urban patterns of dispersed programs open to the sky, the Sietch is a dense, underground community. A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. The caverns brim with dense, urban life: an underground Venice. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.
Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Benjamin Barragan (Model)
Location: Jardins de Metis, Canada
Description: Resonant Field is a self-organizing incubator for local ecologies, and a super soil generator. The Field celebrates the life of the garden and it’s ecological context, seen and unseen, by appealing to all of the senses. It will evolve and change through time, providing a visceral panorama of experience. The Field embodies and celebrates the natural cycles of life and death, growth and decomposition.
The Field will be composed of the gardens pure constituent parts: soil, sand, manure, organic debris, etc. Each material constituent will be randomly piled in the allotted space, approximately 10m by 30m, varying in height from 1m to 3m. The field of material cones will then be hydro-seeded with a mix of native seeds, selected from the many ecologies that surround the site: woodland, meadow, grassland, and ripairian.
A sequence of varied compost core-areas will be established within the field of material piles, which will receive constant material generated by the Redford Garden campus and beyond. A gravel pathway system will connect the composting cores. Native species will become established, through a process of facilitated succession, and will express themselves according to the varied slopes and exposures of the Resonant Field. The field will become a generator of biomass and a seed bank. Fauna will feast on the nectar, seeds, and nuts which will be spread to revegetate the local ecologies with native species. Upon the projects completion, plant materials can be harvested and redistributed, and the entire garden will be mixed and piled to provide fertile substrate for future gardens and ecologies, extending it’s life in the form of future fruits and flowers.
Credits: Joint submission by Andrew Kudless (Matsys) and David Fletcher (Fletcher Studio)
Description: Matsys was asked to submit quick sketch designs for temporary window installation in a London department store. Several windows were considered with potential designs for each. The design for the corner window explored self-organizing branching structures through the use of elastic cords and free nodes. The structure’s shape would be determined by the location of the upper and lower constraints and the self-organization of the individual members.
Projects Featured: Honeycomb Morphologies
Description: Another great issue of AD from two of my professors at the AA: Michael Hensel and Achim Menges. My work is included in an article by Michael called “Performance-Oriented Design: Precursors and Potentials”.
Location: San Francisco
Description: Matsys was hired as a computational geometry consultant by SUM Arch on this residential project to help create tools to design a stair railing. Using a series of user-generated guidelines, the script builds a irregular cellular pattern of apertures on the railing. Based on a field of attractors, the apertures rotate in the plane of the railing causing the entire railing to open towards certain views as a person walks up or down the stair. Dozens of script iterations were explored before the final design was achieved.
Projects Featured: Branching Hypar, EOES
Description: Catalog for the 2008 Beijing Biennale curated by Neal Leach. Matsys’s work was included as one of the top 5 emerging firms on the West Coast.
Location: Berkeley Art Museum
Description: From artists such as Naum Gabo to architects such as Antoni Gaudi, Felix Candela, and Frei Otto, the geometric entity known as a hyperbolic paraboloid has emerged as something that is both formally evocative and easily constructible. Although composed of only straight lines, the hyperbolic paraboloid traces a complexly curved surface. For this installation, the central space of the Berkeley Art Museum is tied together with a series of HyPar surfaces that emerge from the upper levels and then bifurcate at each balcony, framing a series of video projections.
The installation was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Matrix, the contemporary art department of the Berkeley Art Museum. Although it was only commissioned for a one-night party on April 25, 2008, the curators of the museum decided to keep it up for a few months. The installation consists of around 15,000′ of nylon rope, 4 steel frames, 4 laser-cut acrylic column braces (affectionately knowns as the “armadillos”), and 4 amazing videos created by Chris Lael Larson of Natural Lighting in Portland.
Design and Fabrication
Andrew Kudless of Matsys
Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott of IwamotoScott
Joel Hirschfeld of Hirschfeld Fabrications
Motion Graphics Design
Chris Lael larson of Natural-Lighting.com
Location: New York
Description: Matsys provided computational design consulting for Cook + Fox on this project. The project was sited in the lobby of a fashion designer’s studio in a Manhattan tower. The design team needed tools to help them model, visualize, and fabricate their design. Matsys created several rhinoscripts that could be used by the design team to iteratively explore their design concept.
Projects Featured: P_Wall (2006), Honeycomb Morphologies
Description: Matsys is featured twice in this great issue of Praxis (Issue #9). First, Michael Weinstock wrote about the first version of P_Wall in his article “Surfaces of Self-Organization: Andrew Kudless’ Material Exploration”. At the end of the issue, the Honeycomb Morphologies project is included in a section on various surface techniques. The issue also includes work by CCA colleauges Thom Faulders, Andre Caradec and Craig Scott.
Location: New York
Description: Over the last 5 years there have been a large number of projects dealing with the population of components on a surface. To a large extent, most follow a simple UV (distorted grid) across a curved surface. Even most projects that do not appear to use a rectangular grid (like my very own Honeycomb projects) are still tied to the UV grid. This short research project explored a tiling system that does not use a regular UV grid as the underlying framework for the component population. Instead, the system works with a series of user-generated frames and recursive sub-divisions within that frame. The user sets how many generations of recursion as well as the number of subdivisions at each generation of recursion. The result is a highly non-uniform cellular pattern that still allows easy component population.
The script was further developed for the Sky Rail project.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Description: This table was designed for small video installation by Norah Zuniga Shaw. The table is made from roughly 200 individual folded paper cells. Using a variation of the rhino-qhull algorithm, each voronoi cell face is further triangulated to create a more rigid structure. The geometry of cells becomes increasingly irregular from bottom to top. The top of the table is covered with rear-projection fabric while the projection and audio equipment and computer are all contained at the bottom of the table.
Credits: Andrew Kudless and Ronnie Parsons
Projects Featured: Honeycomb Morphologies, Voronoi Morphologies, P_Wall (2006), C_Wall, Tulum Site Museum
Description: Catalog of the 2006 Beijing Architecture Biennale curated by Neal Leach.
Full Title: Endless Ocean Endless Sky Set Design
Location: Portland, OR
Description: This project was commissioned by emerging choreographer Tahni Holt for her performance Endless Ocean Endless Sky. The set was designed in response to several design criteria relating to both the evocation of the choreographic aesthetic and the limits of financial and logistical constraints. From the very beginning of the design phase, we were interested in creating a minimal set that could be built and transported easily that was also able to create an evocative and mutable space for both the performers and audience. Relying heavily on the work of Ant Farm and their inflatable constructions in the 1970’s, a small 20′x40′ space was made using standard polyethylene. Additional seams and creases were welded into the plastic in order to avoid the typical balloon aesthetic of inflatables. Rather, there was a desire for the installation to be able to evoke both things that were simultaneously heavy and light (massive icebergs floating in the sea, 747’s flying through the sky, etc.). A generative algorithm was developed that would allow a fragmented pattern of creases to emerge on the surface without having to laboriously transcribe a predefined pattern on to the surface.
Credits: Andrew Kudless with help from Ronnie Parsons and Chris Walker.
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Description: Although I have been interested in circle-packing for a few years and did physical tests exploring it earlier projects (1, 2), I had never actually worked on any packing scripts until this spring. One of my students in my Processing Matter seminar at OSU was interested in it and that got me started on helping her write a circle-packing script. It was a lot easier than I expected, or at least my version of it was. Here’s a much more sophisticated version by David Rutten.
The pseudocode of the script works like this:
Input: maximum radius of circles, number of circles to pack, boundary condition
- Find a random point within the boundary
- If any circles already exist, test if the point is within any of their boundries
- If not, find the distance between the point and the closest circle
- If the distance is greated than the maximum radius add a circle at that point with the maximum radius. This creates a new “root”
- If the distance is less than the maximum radius, add a circle at that point with the measured distance. This creates a new circle that is tangent with the closest circle. Draw a line between the new point and the centerpoint of the closest circle.
- Repeat steps 2-6 until the desired number of circles are created.
Credits: Andrew Kudless and Laura Rushfeldt
Location: v 1.0: Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
v 2.0: The Digital Exchange, Synthetic Environments Conference (ACADIA 2006), Louisville, Kentucky
Description: This project was originally conceived as an interactive audio environment for the Cell exhibition at OSU. Specifically, it was designed as a partner to the P_Wall (2006) wall installation. The goal of the project was to create an anxious atmosphere informed by the movement of the gallery visitors as well as the ambient sounds of the gallery. As the soft, sagging, undulating forms of P_Wall draw visitors into the space, Sykada begins to interact with visitor. A motion tracking system records the distance between the wall and the visitor and modifies a constantly updated audio feed from the space itself according to this distance. When the space is vacant, Sykada hums to itself, however human movement and sounds can cause it to enter a violent feedback cycle.
Credits: Andrew Kudless (concept), Ronnie Parsons and Brandon Zeeb (design, programming, and fabrication)
Note: V1 audio files are much louder, rougher, and violent than V2. These files are actual files recorded in the space. The site for V1 was a large concrete box and V2’s site was a small, metal shipping container. As the audio was based on the actual ambient recordings within the space, the space had a huge effect on the audio.
V1: Very Angry
Location: Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Size: 12′ x 4′ x 8′
Description: This project is the latest development in an ongoing area of research into cellular aggregate structures that has examined honeycomb and voronoi geometries and their ability to produce interesting structural, thermal, and visual performances. The voronoi algorithm is used in a wide range of fields including satellite navigation, animal habitat mapping, and urban planning as it can easily adapt to local contingent conditions. Within our research, it is used as a tool to facilitate the translation and materialization of data from particle-simulations and other point-based data. Through this operation, points are transformed into volumetric cells which can be unfolded, CNC cut, and reassembled into larger aggregates.
Credits: Andrew Kudless and Ivan Vukcevich with Ryan Palider, Zak Snider, Austin Poe, Camie Vacha, Cassie Matthys, Christopher Friend, Nicholas Cesare, Anthony Rodriguez, Mark Wendell, Joel Burke, Brandon Hendrick, Chung-tzu Yeh, Doug Stechschultze, Gene Shevchenko, Kyu Chun, Nick Munoz, and Sabrina Sierawski, and Ronnie Parsons