P&A Lab’s Swarmy
P&A Lab (P-AND-A Lab) has creating a really interesting process, titled “Swarmy”, for generating particle dynamics with Processing and porting that information through gHowl into Grasshopper. If that sentence doesn’t make sense, that might actually be a good sign…
If you haven’t heard of Processing, it’s a really interesting programming language that handles design computation design workflows extremely well and then interacts with other environments really smoothly. While there are a lot of programs that can create interesting generative computations and analysis, Processing is gainly a lot of steam because of it’s ability to integrate with so many other platforms (websites, animations, 3D modeling programs) so easily.
gHowl is a great component for Grasshopper that lets Grasshopper receive information from other programs. This ability to take a live computation from Processing and use it to generate form is one of the really interesting components of P&A Lab’s investigation.
The other interesting thing about Swarmy is the use of Weaver Bird. Weaver Bird is another component for Grasshopper that allows the creation of very complex, precise subdivided meshes. These meshes are an interesting alternative to other 3D objects, like NURBS surfaces, because their digital structure is reflective of their curvature. NURBS surfaces are constructed as an interpolation between curves, and their structure is a homogenous UV grid between those datums. A subdivided mesh allows the number of divisions and shape of the divisions to be reflective of the curvature, creating a more precise and manipulatable 3D object.