critic: Peter TESTA.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Daniela ATENCIO, Rishabh KHURANA, & Ana ZAPATA: Computers can work in harmony to solve intensive problems systematically. Using parameterized 3-D software, they may facilitate the simulation, and even the control of materials in the physical world. . . .
In a world already filled with technological advances, where our ubiquitous gadgets know so much about ourselves, technology may maximize our quality of life, minimize resource consumption, and customize architecture to reflect our habits and desires. Today, technological innovations pave the way to a new generation of interactive architecture, creating spaces that will touch us where it matters the most: deep within our minds.
This design research project starts by manipulating, translating, and transcoding image-based pixels into representations of different resolutions, as generators of information and image in the definition of form—an “ontology of the image” freed from geometrization. The project was initiated with reference to the spatial matrix of Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto Dominion Centre (1963–69). Described by Philip Johnson as “the largest Mies in the world” the original project for two office towers and a single story-banking hall has subsequently been expanded into a number of buildings playing against each-other, working within the bounding box of one of four towers and within the original precinct defined by Mies.
This project is mainly based on the concept of image-driven information that can be converted into a tool path, and how that information can generate a workflow which leads to the development of a new form of fabrication (language). Our goal was to achieve a different kind of morphology that comes from different parameters, like an image, and different tool-path combinations. With the help of these constrains, we developed a certain kind of duality and mixed resolution in the whole form. We picked a photograph of the building displaying amazing reflections and qualities embedded within the site. We wanted an image that had aesthetic qualities as well as contextual meaning. In addition, we also found interest in the incorporation of the concept of multi-textured layers—this is where all the information for paths, speed, and materials are layered or encoded. Following this idea through many alterations, we developed a tool path where the extrusion follows its self-structured mandrel and the envelope, while it also plays with the site’s reflection.
Similarly, we worked on different options using distinctive image conditions and generated tool paths, exploring through robotic simulations various options and possibilities for extruding vertical, diagonal, and interlocking geometries. As a result of this research project, extrusions were generated with very particular and unusual qualities. One of the major findings was the diversity of resolutions in the same shape, wherein a variety of highly detailed textures and densities are both explicit and no longer Cartesian. These physical extrusions were subsequently brought back into the digital environment through 3-D scanning, obtaining a series of unconventional and complex geometries. During this process we explored parameters such as speed of the robot, speed of the extrusion, extrusion height, temperature, as well as material behaviors. Two features of this innovative, “dual” technique were tested: with the change in the speed of the robot (progressively reducing it), we found interesting corner conditions, textures, densities, and different resolutions.
An innovative premise of this research lies in generating an extrusion that is self-structured through the choreography of robotized tool paths that make possible manufacture of the building mandrel as well as its surface (and all its variations) with empiric results and ambiguous geometries. This technique makes the process attractive for technical uses as they take 3-D forms easily, thus distributing loads or stresses efficiently throughout the structure. This research project developed a hybrid expression of different techniques often used in architecture, redefining the definition of what we understand to be 3-D printing, evolving it into a six-axis extrusion method.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
DA, RK, & AZ: Phantom Geometry by Liz and Kyle von Hasseln.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
DA, RK, & AZ: Lisa Iwamoto, Digital Fabrications; Matilda McQuaid, Extreme Textiles; Ayesha Khanna, Hybrid Reality; Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of The Skin.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
DA, RK, & AZ: Skylar Tibbits, Sarah Bergbreiter, and Suzanne Lee.
Additional credits and links:
Devyn Weiser & Jake Newsum.