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    Tower Generation Script

    By Mark Bearak
    Nov 19, '07 12:33 PM EST


    • misterTT

      Pretty awesome guys seem to be alot farther along in Francois' scenario than we were last year in his studio, but maybe that's just the few people whose work is well documented on the blog.

      Do you know when you final review is? I'd love to ditch work and check it out!

      Nov 20, 07 8:31 am

      Wow. That thing has an FAR of like 2.5.

      Nov 20, 07 12:22 pm

      is scripting the new everything?

      Nov 20, 07 10:29 pm

      shya, it can make towers out of bras

      Nov 21, 07 1:38 am

      my boss is about 70, and he almost shit in his pants when i showed him this, then he looked at me like i was on crack and walked out of my cubicle

      Nov 21, 07 8:35 am

      cool. i hope one day i get to work in a cubicle, and then make fun of other people's work.

      Nov 21, 07 9:40 am

      actually my cubicle is quite comfortable, and yes fortunately I do have the right to have an opinion

      and yes i do find the above work to be scary

      sorry, just the way i see it, no need for you to insult me and where i work, this is the way i choose to live my life, and feed my family

      you know nothing about me so why dont you just relax, this is a forum for opinions

      Nov 21, 07 10:16 am

      youre so heroic by the way

      Nov 21, 07 10:16 am

      uhh....perhaps you should take your issues (and jealousy of mark's work) to a therapist or something.....

      Nov 21, 07 11:17 am

      wow, youre a real prick, happy thanksgiving

      Nov 21, 07 1:38 pm

      i think, just based on the reaction you displayed, that you clearly have some issues.
      but, thank you for the holiday wishes, and i hope you, your family, and your cubicle have a happy thanksgiving as well.

      Nov 21, 07 1:56 pm

      listen you pompous ass, I do have issues, thanks for pointing that out gambino

      Nov 21, 07 2:06 pm

      I didn't point out the issues you did. (i.e; your previous posts)

      Nov 21, 07 2:17 pm

      ah, grown men.

      Nov 21, 07 3:19 pm

      yeah, but it's a lot of fun to give cubicle guy a hard time. especially because his 70 year old boss (who, apparently is the authority on architecture) didn't like Mark's work. PLUS, it's too easy, look how bad he looses it. I hope he gets his issues figured out soon....

      Nov 21, 07 3:31 pm
      Luis Fraguada

      Mark, I was excited to see how many comments are on this posting. Sorry they are a bit off topic. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that I have been following the work of the studio here and on the blog. I am equally impressed and inspired by the work you are all doing...equally impressed at how you diffuse the information on the blog. Keep up the good work...I can't wait to see the final animation!

      Nov 21, 07 3:44 pm

      On this day before Thanksgiving, can't we all just sit back and appreciate exactly what it is that Mark has given us: eye candy?

      Nov 21, 07 3:45 pm

      are those holes big enough for airplanes to fly through?

      Nov 21, 07 7:47 pm

      Am glad to see stuff like coming out of Francois' studio. We were pretty frustrated with the studio when he was at Penn. Probably helps that he's narrowed the focus a bit.

      Nov 21, 07 8:45 pm
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      for those who can see beyond the eye candy, mark is well on his way to making himself a million bucks before 30 as an architect...or he could just flutter off into academia...

      that is some sweet shit, you realize all you would have to do to make that constructable is find out what the limitations of the materials are and the constraints of the fabricator, plug that into you script, standardize panels...and well you'd be Gehry Technologies...

      so in ode to your tower scripting here's what i did 6 years ago for another crazy french man at Kansas...was doing it in QBASIC and importing it into MAX do this in MAYA right?

      asied get your 70 year old boss, my images are so basic, his intellect may understand it...
      i had a 70 year old boss who had no visual skills and said architecture was about drafting essentially and some other bullshit, i'd give him copy after copy of ENR talking about the future...but hey, meaning is subjective isn't it. the future will just roll over the old guys and the less intelligent.

      Nov 21, 07 11:51 pm

      k doran, you should actually check out vito acconci's WTC proposal.. he actually designed it for planes to be able to fly through the holes..

      Nov 22, 07 11:08 am

      I'm well aware D.Wills of Vito's foray into 'architecture'.....
      Is thing in Dubai or just a Mental Ray environment?
      Do they teach photoshop at GSAAP?
      As for 'million buck before 30' :
      I guess an entire generation of AA + Columbia grads are due to take over the scene next month?
      Come on.

      Nov 22, 07 9:10 pm

      Everyone who seems to like this project agrees that this is "pretty awesome stuff" and "some sweet shit", but I'd like to know more about what the objectives are. Is it the accomplishment of generating the form itself that makes it succesfull or is it accomplishing something performatively or programatically? I'm intruiged by the process and form but would like to know more about it.

      Nov 22, 07 10:03 pm
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      the problem with the generation of AA and Colubmia grads is they all believe in architecture like religion and would never sale their soul to make money with all that scripting they learned...its beyond them probably.

      you know making a program that could translate a zoning study into CD's in seconds...

      aldous, form to me is like fashion, so what is good about Mark's work here is the performance of his script, which could lead to a method for extremly quick CD production for any shape. technique is important here, i wouldn't bother looking for some kind of meaning behind the form.

      Nov 23, 07 5:22 pm
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      or maybe i meant making money with scripting is beneath them.

      Nov 23, 07 5:24 pm
      Mark Bearak

      The comments above are all quite interesting. Even though I do not believe in the cubicle lifestyle I agree that paying bills are (somewhat) important. I think it was "Office Space" that told me that cubicles are detrimental to creativity, but I'm not sure since I have never sat in a cubicle. I think of our profession as an endurance test, I am conscious of the fact that I have goals and that everything is simply a give and take to accomplish certain things. Picking up where metamechanic left off, I've shown the project to some family members over the holiday and it is pretty hard to validate my work.

      Here is my opinion on the situation:
      My undergraduate degree was fairly traditional, yes I can hand draft a section of a Corbusian Villa with ink on mylar. In graduate school I am really looking to broaden my horizons, (if I'm not moving forwards I'm going backwards) These types of projects are not only meant to stretch my abilities to generate geometry. They are meant to be an avenue of exploring my scenario that breaks the means of conventional modeling.

      Genetic sequencing may not be the cure to our architectural ills, but it is a powerful tool that allows me to generate and sift through massive amounts of information in a short amount of time. I think there are people who measure a projects worth by the struggle that was associated with it, how many times have you heard "I haven't slept in three nights..." I measure my projects by their fitness; in other words how much information I can review in a given amount of time. High productivity = fitness.

      These projects represent fitness.

      Nov 23, 07 8:26 pm
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      speaking of fitness, do you ever use genetic algorithms? or algorithms that "learn" the quicket method for calculations?

      Nov 24, 07 8:28 am

      I'm clearly out of shape.

      Nov 24, 07 5:09 pm


      can you say something about in what service is this production?

      i am not interested in any notion of "meaning" in the form generated nor in the technique of generation. i am however interested in the intended consequences or the unintended consequences of this direction of production.

      i am fairly familiar with work of this type as it is produced at the AA, Columbia and UPenn. i think a great deal of it is fascinating and fairly sophisticated. it follow methodologies that take time to become familiar with and therefore there is a lot of up-front time spent on the techniques and methods.

      my concerns or maybe i should say my withholding of complete support lies in the degree to which the work most often stops right at this point of being satisfied with its physicality or obviousness as an idea. what i often miss, and what i would be interested to hear about, is the consequential nature of the work - what does it do? what does it provide that is beyond/different/transformative to the norms of building or of architectural production.

      so, i guess what i am asking, is could you describe not what you did or even how you did it, but what did it produce? what spatial relationships were constructed that didn't exist before? what organisational possibilities emerged that couldn't have been thought of or achieved before?

      and what is the scale of this particular piece - a 100m tower? the leg of a chair? a single column?

      based on your blog and other posts, i am assuming it is the tower project, but at what point does the "problem" of a tower come back into the project? and how does this direction deal with that issue?

      if the "fitness profile" of your work is it's efficient productive rate, then to what means is this production directed? what criteria do you use to "sift" through the massive amounts of information you are producing?

      i am asking these questions because i am interested in the work.

      Nov 25, 07 12:47 pm

      i'm not interested in the work but i want to hear the answers to dlb's questions...

      Nov 25, 07 5:18 pm
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      mark if its cool with you i am going to answer some of dlb's questions from my perspective, i know you didn't ask dlb, but this is a forum albeit a blog as well...

      "what organisational possibilities" - see Cecil Balmonds book "Informal", specific projects "Arnhem Interchange" & "Chemnitz" stadium

      see books "Complexity" by M. Mitchell, "Exploring Complexity" Prigogine & Nicolis, "Creative Evolution" by Bergson, on emergence of new organizations through complex formlua that is nature, etc...

      dlb - where you're headed is straight for form, space, and program...personally, the tower in general has been exhausted in those 3 areas, what's left if anything is the detailin, sustainability, econimics, and construction time.

      as i read mark's post above he has created "fit" methods for quickly resolving the first 3 (form, space, and program) guess is you'll argue mark's criteria is wrong, etc... and throw the whole methology out the window as just some new fad...which is such a jury crit trick.

      i would like to know criteria as well, since that is the crux of the arguement right?

      Nov 25, 07 7:32 pm

      metamechanic, how is that a jury crit trick? There's no question that this is a beautiful form, but I'm not sure how it addresses things like program and cost. If you could house the same program (whatever it is) in a building a tenth the size and a twentieth the cost (which you can), why would you not do that? Or, more appropriately, how would you convince your client not to? To say that the methodology involved in generating this form is based on a pretty skewed set of assumptions and concerns seems like a pretty valid argument.

      Nov 25, 07 8:18 pm
      Mark Bearak

      Tower Growth Animation:

      Nov 25, 07 10:57 pm

      i hate animations...
      why does it have to stop?
      can it not get really, really tall?
      i can't help but imagine Wilford Brimley crawling up into one of those things.

      Nov 26, 07 12:57 am

      Haven't read all of the comments above but did review the studio's website and the entire class's work. First off with that jury these will all recieve lavish praise. Perhaps Francois should mix things up and bring in someone like Christopher Alexander to see how he would react (is he still alive?).

      I know that this is school and these are fun and exploratory design studios but what I am missing here is how this work engages the world outside of the world in which it was created. These creations (which I all seem pretty similar to me and similar to the professors own work) could be nothing more then sketches from the design team at ILM working on the fourth Spider Man movie. There was one proposal that showed how these things would look in a landscape and, gasp, even put people into the sectional renderings.

      Until you guys at Columbia can figure out a cost effective way to bend steel tubes into complex shapes then join it to another twisty tube (with a compound miter cut) then you will be onto something. I worked on an Obra project and we couldn't do it efficiently with wood and two dimensional curves joining.

      Nov 26, 07 6:19 pm

      Most stuff seems to be designed to be constructed by 3D-printing - and even so, these faulty birdnests would crumble (except - if they would be spun of dried pasta - and not inhabited by anyone hungry) - but in enjoying projects like these, material, gravity and tectonic logic can't really play a part - the proposals themselves are so far beyond anything anyone has ever described "feasible", that bitching about buildability is quite beside the point.

      What's interesting here, is the goal - what could it have been? The lack of any sense of structure or materiality take away the finer grain that projects aimed at the real world have out of necessity - whether they are interesting or not - leaving these designs resembling flows and flutterings, rendered to look like biological/chemical constructs and processes (or like the image of these). Why? no interaction with the invisible world is offered, even after the complete turning-down of the material realm. a final revelation comes from reading and the brief:

      anyone, who can write the lines:
      "The studio is targeted by the hypothesis of transforming the “social contract” confronted to the mass media culture biotope _ and to define the morphologies of (n)certainties (biotopes) 2.0.
      (n)certainties (biotopes) 2.0 is an unknown urbanism fragment described by the following text.
      The research is to define the shape, the social organization, even the smelling of this unpredictable and polymorph city."

      deserves a medal - if he/she has stood up in front of a class filled with students, paying for their education through their noses (or the family nose), and read the whole statement aloud. After giving the medal, he should be asked to explain, as an encore, "what the fuck he thinks he's doing?"

      The reading/seeing list is quite nice, though all over the place, inconsistent and certainly made in an hour just to show what a man of erudition and funny whims the instructor is (I'm sure Darren "Daren" Aronofsky, JL "Godart" Godard and Lars von "Trears" Trier would all agree).

      I'd suggest some further reading: Frankfurt's "Bullshit" comes first to mind, but I'm sure there are other useful titles out there.

      Nov 28, 07 4:43 am
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio
      jury crit trick - determine project irrelevant, bad, stupid, failure creating a criteria that renders rationally the aforementioned project irrelevant, bad, stupid, and a failure

      criteria = classism = therefore all modernist projects fail
      criteria = modernism = there all classic projects fail

      or have christopher alexander show up, who in my opinion wrote the most retared book ever on architecture....
      Nov 28, 07 8:38 am

      Fine, but we all need preexisting criteria in order to speak critically about anything. Any form of criticism compares a specific instance against a category, whether real or imagined. It views an object through a lens. Good criticism uses the object to reevaluate the lens, and a good project forces the critic to do so. Anyone who is going to categorically dismiss a modernist project because he's a classicist, or vice versa, is not a good critic. I've never actually witnessed this happen, either, and think it's a bit of a cop-out to dismiss criticism (especially before the fact) because of an alleged bias.

      Nov 28, 07 10:42 am

      So... what would the intention and context (=criteria) of the projects be here?

      When the brief is as random as here, it creates a foundation on which building is quite hard - without just letting fine-tuned mathematical functions work out their behavioural patterns.

      The only reason for something like this to happen, is an instructor hypnotized by the instant beauty of things generated "automatically" or through serendipitious collisions.

      I just don't see much worth in that, concerning our lives as citizens and beings in the world.

      You can't really thwart the criteria of a bunch of projects in order to bash them, if they don't have any criteria they are built on in the first place.

      Nov 29, 07 2:23 am

      mark: i assume the link to your animation is a response to asking for the criteria of your methods or the consequences of your production. i can't see that it does either.
      "the snake - iteration 2" is interesting (like the others) but in the context of just viewing one more animation, it doesn't give me a clue as to what you think is relevant or informative in the project.

      metamechanic: your are right, i didn't ask you to answer the questions addressed to mark and you didn't answer them anyway. i also don't need you giving your spin on my questions, as i know exactly what i was asking.

      as for it being a "jury crit trick", you'll have to keep guessing, since you missed the point entirely.

      what i would be interested in, is to be made aware of the 'logic' of the design, so that i can critique on its own terms, not on any pre-existing ones that I or anyone else in the forum might have. i would want to know what Mark himself is setting up as his points of judgment or evaluation, so that i can try and look at the work from within his operations. by what categories of architectural production does he wish us to assess or review the work.

      or if it is only a circumstance of showing what has been going on for the last few weeks (months), a documentation of process; then so be it. we just look at it and then move on.

      Nov 29, 07 6:26 am
      Sir Arthur Braagadocio

      at this point it'd be great if absence of criteria were the criteria...

      Nov 29, 07 5:59 pm

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