Assignment 2: Model Research & Construction
To realize many of our goals in this class, we're going to need lots
of different "models". We're inspired by existing structures and the
effectiveness of the technology that was used to design them. For
example, last year we lamented over the poor design of Kresge
auditorium whose geometric rather than structural shape was chosen
perhaps in part due to the lack of appropriate design tools. To
analyze this geometry with our new software we first needed an
appropriate digital model. A simple program was written to generate
meshes at different resolutions:
Similarly we'll need physical models to understand at a hands-on
level the design technology used by Gaudi, Isler and others. Physical
models allow us to compare and validate the digital design tools we
create. Last year we explored different materials and components that
could be used to create "construction kits" for structural design.
This is an individual assignment, but hopefully it will tie in closely
to your group work. The assignment is relatively open, and you should
choose a project which reflects your interests or strengths (such as
programming, AutoCAD, physical models, etc.)
- Create a parameterized, digital model of a specific architectural
structure that can be used in simulation. Or pick a generic class
of structures and create a family of digital models (e.g.,
trusses, arches, domes, vaults, buttresses, etc.) Useful
parameters might include the mesh resolution, topology, support
placement, dimensions, etc.
- Alternatively, for a specific architectural structure (or class of
structures) it may be more appropriate to create the model with a
commercial modeling package (AutoCAD, Rhino, etc.) Or you may be
able to gain access to an existing model of the structure and edit
the geometry to select an interesting portion of the model,
"cleanup" the connectivity, simplify unnecessary complexity, etc.
Consider how your model could connect to other components (if
- Explore physical modeling possibilities.
Week 1: Investigation, due Sunday October 24th @ midnight:
The first week you'll probably spend most of your time researching and
selecting the specific structure or class of structures you want to
model. Send us a brief email
describing your progress. Depending on your project, your email might
address these points:
- The history of the structure and the technology used in its
design. Include pointers to any references you consulted to learn
about the structure or class of structures.
- How you think the design and/or the design process would be
different if new technology was available.
- How you see this model being used within the workshop.
- How we can help you (pointers to background material, programming
Week 2: Implementation, due Sunday October 31st @ midnight
Make your model available (as appropriate) to the class. Be ready to
give a short presentation in class (< 5 minutes).