T5a – Parametric Design

Having come to grips with 3D modelling program Rhinoceros over the bank holiday weekend, I have started to practice using the script writing plug-in Grasshopper. This uses script to help generate 3D forms, within which, parameters can be changed which affects the generated form. Below are three parametric towers, modelled through Grasshopper into Rhinoceros. I have altered the parameters in the script and the differences between the three include height, rotations and distance between ‘floors’:

Although a quick form-generating exercise, it is clear that this method could offer unexpected design solutions that could inform future projects.

T5a Technology Report

From the initial outline concept of Crystals, further research in this area has led me to discover and learn more about the atomic structure of crystals in general. Crystals are composed of ‘perfect’ structures known as Lattices. Structural diagrams of the atoms could be likened to architectural structural diagrams.

Atomic diagram of Sodium Chloride. The crystal’s lattice is very structured and symmetrical.

What has been very eye-opening for me is what happens when the atoms do not appear in their ordered position; the structure of the crystal responds and defects/impurities become evident within the matter. Within the physical build-up of the matter there can be either missing or additional atoms; in each case the structure changes. The atoms have a ‘field of influence’ – and when a parameter changes, the matter responds accordingly.

My investigations have led to me to another area of architectural research that I am really excited to investigate further: Parametric Design.

T5a Technology Investigative Report

The starting point for my investigative report is going to based around the concept of Crystals. I have selected this area of research as Crystallography interests and intrigues me: there is a mythical, magical and enchanting quality to crystals and I feel that research into this area may provide theory concepts that could be linked to architectural practice. 

As an initial starting point, I believe there could be multiple potential paths. After studying the Turner Contemporary and its ‘crystalline’ appearance I could chose to focus on the aesthetic link between crystals and architecture. Or as I develop my research into this area I could be taken down a different route. I am excited for what I might discover…

D4 – Site Selection

With the intention of exploring the concepts of ‘time’ and ‘place’ through architecture in this academic year, the site was crucial in ensuring that I can develop a scheme that responds to this theme. I have chosen the grounds of St. Botolph’s Priory in Colchester, highlighted in green below and located south of the ancient walled Roman city.

I have carried out initial site documentation and research, the next step is to develop my project brief and define the user group for a more focused approach to the project.