Here’s a collection of concept sketches done in Processing for my ARCH 602 design studio. The studio’s been looking at how digital communication is effecting a sense of place, these sketches are the start of proposals for a dynamic, enhanced physical environment.
Sound & color Movement
Movement web created with several node systems that have varying size/ stroke weight dependent on their proximity to one another.
Conceptual adaptive city
Teal block representing digital realm, orange block representing physical realm. When conditions are just right, a tertiary space emerges (the noisy bubbles) which represents a zone between digital/physical.
I’m not 100% that I’ll be there yet, but will be posting on that when I know. Feel free to connect through @aw_4.
Last summer I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural semester of the European Graduate School’s Digital Design PhD program. The EGS is well known for it’s philosophy / media & communications program, which has featured instructors like Slavlov Zizek, Jean Baudrillard, and Paul Virilio- Manuel De Landa is not only a former instructor, but an alumnus as well. The Digital Design program featured the jaw-dropping lineup of Neil Leach, Ben Bratton, Achim Menges, Patrik Schumacher, John Frazier, & Alisa Andrasek- and is bringing them all back next summer. The second year lineup will include Philip Beesley, Mark Burry, Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden from Metahaven, Casey Reas, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter and François Roche- so obviously I’m stoked. They’ve also introduced an Architecture and Urbanism PhD, which will feature some of the names already mentioned along with Keller Easterling.
The program is not just unique for its faculty but also for its format- each class is three days with two three-hour lectures. Every night there is a presentation by one of the faculty that’s open to all of the programs, so it’s remarkably intense. The entire “semester” is packed into 3 weeks, but was more productive than some semesters I had in grad school. The program was completely catalytic for my own work, and I could not recommend it enough… and that’s before you get to the fact that it’s located in Saas-Fee, the “Pearl of the Swiss Alps.”
The EGS is starting to post the lectures from last summer, I’ll be posting them here as well as documenting my experience this summer. Feel free to hit me up with questions on the comments below.
Here’s some selections from last year’s ARCH 401 studio here at UNM. The studio description reads:
Infoam is a research-based investigation into the relationship between urban context and architecture. The studio examines relationships between urban behavior, big data and architectural design through the Innovate Albuquerque initiative. Infoam uses a data-based approach to demonstrate how architecture can affect local economy and support an urban agenda.
Starting by researching the city of Albuquerque as a whole, the students proposed urban strategies that were then supported by architectural interventions. A reference to the work of Peter Sloterdijk, the title Infoam is meant to suggest an architecture that is a connective tissue between our own individual spheres, a foam capable of providing urban conditions for the 21st century.
The first image is by David Maron. All following images are followed by the authors.
As I’ve written before, Meerkat is a really fantastic tool for importing GIS information into Grasshopper. Since many municipalities provide GIS information for free, GIS is an accurate and facile format for introducing geographic information to the GH environment. Meerkat can also be used to provide a framework to translate between geo-spatial and rhino-space coordinates, creating a facile way of mapping geographic locations within Grasshopper.
First, use the Import Shapefile module to prep your GIS files to be referenced by Meerkat. All this means is connecting a Boolean Toggle to the Import Shapefile module and double clicking it- which toggles it to true, activating the Meerkat interface.
Once Meerkat is launched, use the “Add Shape File” button to select the GIS shapefiles you’d like to work with. If this causes Rhino to crash, go into your Components Folder where the Meerkat files are located and unblock the Meerkat component and all of it’s .dll files. This interface is a fantastic attribute of Meerkat as it allows you to crop out any GIS info you don’t want. Use the rectangle at the top of the screen to select the region you’d like to use, then click Crop Shape File(s).
And nothing happens… at least that you can see. Meerkat has saved .mkgis files for you that you now need to reference with the Parse .mkgis module. Use a File Path module to select the correct path(s), and then plug that into the Parse .mkgis module. You may want to turn your Boolean Toggle to False, this will prevent you from launching Meerkat the next time you open your script.
You’ll notice that by default Meerkat positions the GIS information pretty far from the Rhino space origin. One trick to make the data more manageable is to center your data at 0,0.
Use the Area module to get the centroid of the Bounds in Point Space polyline. If you use the Vector 2pt module to calculate the vector between that centroid and a 0,0,0 point (created here by the Construct Point module set to default values), you can then use that vector to center the GIS geometry (Geometry per Shape) in Rhino space. From here you can just use a Polyline Module to create linework from the points.
These steps have created a basemap to work with, but now we need to start positioning geo-spatial coordinates. gHowl’s GEO -> XYZ module does this well, but we need to give it more information before it can run. Use the same vector information we used before to center the Bounds in Point Space polyline on 0,0,0. Explode the polyline, and use List Items modules to isolate the 0th and 2nd point of the polyline. These will become the P1_XYZ and P2_XYZ input of the GEO -> XYZ module.
From here, you need to massage the Bounds in Lat-Long output a little to feed it to the GEO -> XYZ module. The Bounds in Lat-Long output is essentially a string of text that needs to be broken in order to read as two points, use the Text Split module to break up the coordinates at the space. From here, use the List Item module again to isolate each point, then plug them into the GEO -> XYZ. Make sure you put the 0th point into P1_GEO and the 1st point into P2_GEO. Run whatever geo-spatial coordinates you’d like into the P input of the GEO -> XYZ, and you are mapping with Meerkat.
The GSAPP’s Cloud Lab released 50 people with EKG headsets into NYC’s DUMBO to try to measure neurological activity within the urban environment. The study mapped meditation dominant activity vs attention dominant activity to essentially map where people are blissing out and where people are focused. This project is fairly significant because this one of the first projects to use portable devices to understand how we engage with urban conditions.
Though EKG data is fairly limited, the implications of this workflow are huge- as devices that can control objects with our thoughts become more prevalent and mobile, ones that produce more sophisticated analysis of emotional response than EKG are coming as well. As the guys over at the Mind Research Network told me, we have the technology to precisely monitor emotion- it’s just not portable yet. Once these devices are mobile, these workflows that the Cloud Lab are proposing will produce a quantum leap in how we understand urban space.
Read more on the DUMBO Neural Cartography project here.
Hong Kong – Walking
Hong Kong – Cycling
Hong Kong – Running
Hong Kong – Vehicular Transport
Creators of the GH plugin Rabbit Morphocode have used Humanco Inc’s app Human to describe circulation patterns in 30 cities worldwide. The circulation is broken down by vehicle, giving interesting analysis about how people move through different metropolises. The imagery is remarkably beautiful and insightful… I would not have expected for Montreal to be #2 on this list for car traffic.
Edit: I incorrectly reported Human as having been created by Morphocode, it was created by Humanco Inc. Thanks @morphocode!