Included in the Gathering: Natural Media Toward a more expansive standard of botanical, graphical, ecosystemic and not least digital realism. Function and flow stand in for matter—qualities that are ultimately symptomatic of the electric and the electronic. The following essay sets out partial and preliminary thoughts on the burgeoning world of digital plant design, both as a nascent media industry and in more philosophical terms as a way of rethinking computational mediation of natural entities and processes. Although in some respects a critique of computer-generated plants as invasive simulacra proves valid, I also attempt to demonstrate their value as emblems of conflicting approaches to vital simulation—in most cases, digital plants remain largely static representational objects produced as if ex nihilo by design software, but in others, they are formulated from the start as changeable, process-driven, and susceptible to outside conditions. Increasingly ubiquitous, digital plants pose unique and edifying challenges to scholars of environmental media, artists, scientists, and general audiences, as well as the reigning narrow standard of graphical realism in computer simulation.

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Leach, N. Could working with computational algorithms as the primary generative material, however, have deeper, more far-reaching effects on the creative field? Here, Pia Ednie-Brown asserts that a new paradigm in composition is being articulated, as exemplified by the Invisibles installation, created by the New York-based practice biothing.

Ednie-Brown, P. Elegance unleashes a specific visual intelligence that can be achieved by refinement and precision of surface. Here, Mark Foster Gage investigates how elegance can be designed into a project.

Foster Gage, M. Artists had an excellent understanding of the generation principles of patterns long before mathematicians devoted deep studies to this subject.

A prominent example is furnished by Moorish architecture. In the 13th-century Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, we find all the essentially different types of pattern that can be formed by congruent tiles; the mathematical classification has only been achieved in the 20th century.

Contemporary architecture generates a stunning variety of new designs and spatial patterns, but architects do not always have the right tools at their disposal to realise such structures.

It is a challenging and exciting task for mathematicians to bridge the gap between design and construction and devise new fabrication-aware design tools for architectural application.

Garcia, M. It is an overview that takes in Ottoman palaces, Frederick Schinkel, Gottfried Semper, Mies van der Rohe, and a new generation of contemporary grand-scale structures, as well as the visionary. Here, Pia Ednie-Brown asserts that a new paradigm in composition is being articulated, as exemplified by the Invisibles installation, created by the New York-based practice biothing Ednie-Brown, P.

Here, co-founder Fabian Scheurer charts the relatively recent journey that architecture has taken from the regular to the irregular. He provides a comprehensive account of how this shift to curvilinear and complex forms has impacted on design and production methods, and the strengths and pitfalls of parametric design and CNC fabrication. Scheurer, F. Here, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler and Silvan Oesterle describe how the integration of fabrication-relevant decisions into encoded designs enables the control of complex interactions between material elements and facilitates the direct generation of machine data, as epitomised by their West Fest Pavilion project.

Gramazio, F. He explores this through the pioneering work of designtoproduction, a firm who have made it their business to realise complexity in architecture. Weinstock, M. Fabricating Complexity. Rosa, J. Such a distinction results in applications of remote sensing after the process of material fabrication.

Sensors are commonly perceived as electronic patches which initiate mechanical output with response to electrical input. This work seeks to establish a novel approach to the application of electronics in building skins, which prioritizes material selection, behavior, and fabrication technology in relation to the required task, over post- production sensor integration.

Rapid Craft is a designation for the incorporation of craft materialization knowledge within the framework of CNC processes of fabrication. A light-sensing inflatable skin system is developed as a working prototype, which demonstrates such an approach. Oxman, N. The New Structuralism: Design, Engineering and Architectural Technologies Architecture is in the process of a revolutionary transformation. There is now momentum for a revitalised involvement with sources in material practice and technologies.

This cultural evolution is pre-eminently expressed in the expanded collaborative relationships that have developed in the past decade between architects and structural engineers, relationships which have been responsible for the production, worldwide, of a series of iconic buildings.

The rise and technological empowerment of these methods can be seen as a historic development in the evolution of architectural engineering. Oxman, R.


A stalkers guide to Neil Leach

Neil Leach Digital Morphogenesis Taking its inspiration from biology, digital morphogenesis operates through a logic of optimisation. Monika Bilska and Marta Naganska, Environmental Ornamentation proposal, Hong Kong, The design of this tower was inspired by a biomimetic study of the Cactaceae family. This drove the form-finding logic for a double skin, which was populated on the facade through scripting according to an analysis of sun exposure during different times of the day and seasons of the year. Within contemporary architectural design, a significant shift in emphasis can be detected — a move away from an architecture based on purely visual concerns towards an architecture justified by its performance. Structural, constructional, economic, environmental and other parameters that were once secondary concerns have become primary — are now being embraced as positive inputs within the design process from the outset.


‘Swarm Tectonics’





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