A truncated icosahedron

Truncated_Icosahedron

Design, hack and build – I recently took part of the Garage48 Hardware and Arts hackathon in Tartu. H&A type of hackathons attract a diverse range of participants – artists, designers, electronics, mechatronics, software engineers, and marketeers – who team up and build a physical prototype during one hectic weekend. For those who have not tried it – it is generally much harder to build functioning devices than building a software demonstrator to a product idea as common in traditional software-only hackathons. Hardware is (often) hard indeed!

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Learning from old towns

Learning from old towns

Cities have been built and rebuilt over more than seven thousand years. But much of the knowledge of ancient city builders has been lost by now and learning from old towns made a mind-boggling exercise. Nevertheless, some of the embedded knowledge could possibly be restored.

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Folding roof parametrics

Folding roof structure

In this Grasshopper Rhino video tutorial you are going to learn parametric modeling of a folding roof structure. It uses origami folding technique and Kangaroo physics engine for creating a 3-dimensional geometry out of a flat sheet material.

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Generative housing model

generative housing model

The organic structure of medieval towns in Europe and Middle-East has always been something between mild inspiration and pathological fascination to me. The spatial experience in old towns often makes it feel like a very carefully crafted environment with each building fitting naturally between its neighbours and meeting the common requirements for access and light

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Constructive diagrams

Al Bahar twin towers
I recently wrote an article (to be published in October) about latest algorithms and digital design and construction methods in architecture. While my personal focus has mostly been on the former, I also wanted to discuss the use of algorithms in passing information from designers to manufacturers. I was lucky enough to have recently spoken to an old university course mate Abdulmajid Karanouh, who told me about his intriguing method of communicating design and construction intent. He had used this method to stay on top of the design and construction of Al Bahar twin towers in Abi Dhabi. What Abdulmajid came up with during the design and construction of the towers is something I would call a digital constructive diagram.

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Value of simplicity in design

When building generative design prototypes, I tend to either over-design solutions or do the quite opposite – not do enough design. From getting things done point of view both ways are perilous. Underestimating the benefits of planning and design does end up often in a dead end stuck in front of some unforeseen obstacle. But if I was asked to choose my side then I would be more cautious about doing too much work at the planning state. I would argue that the value of simplicity in planning and design is about being open to change.

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Modelling in parallel: from physical to digital and back again

When Martin Melioranski from 3D Lab asked me to conduct a parametric design workshop to 4th year architecture students at the Estonian Academy of Arts, we decided to change the usual approach of teaching parametrics using solely computerised tools. Instead, we wanted to introduce physical prototyping in parallel to digital modelling and asked participating students to build several paper and cardboard prototypes in parallel to using Grasshopper in Rhino 5.

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What is Generative Design?

Generative design is often mistakenly used to describe design processes involving any kind of computer programming or scripting. It almost seems that calling design generative is intended to obscure the used methods and make the outcome look and sound esoteric. In my opinion, this is exactly the opposite of what generative design should be about – being explicit.

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Getting going with Grasshopper in Rhino 5

Illustrative image of Grasshopper in Rhino 5

This tutorial is intended for students and professionals who wish to start learning Grasshopper in Rhino 5 but do not have the necessary software installed yet. You should stop reading this post if you already have Grasshopper  and Rhino 5 running on your machine.

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