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parametric details?

awaiting_deletion

our capacity to design and visualize complex geometry is far, far ahead of our ability to manipulate matter - archanonymous

I very much second this quote, and curt and miles that does sound depressing and def. kills what I do a for a living, putting materials together in details....and tectonics a moot point.....with performance in mind you angle in on engineering, but so far many of Marc's example show something else.

Driveway urbanism: Archinect Sessions One-to-One #3 with Jenna Didier, founder of Materials & Applications  btw I had no idea what this podcast would be about, but very much in our theme 75% into (heard it today, was posted 2 days after thread and no I don't work or have any connection to Archinect at that level) must be something in the ether...

Marc and Ivory - on a particular job that had the budget, we had an issue with regard to getting a size of glass for a type of glass.  it seemed stupid we couldn't get this glass in North America, but apparently outside of Germany no one had a machine that could make this type of glass at a certain size.  Come to find out, you have to have advanced machines to make even more advanced machines, and that type of technology just doesn't exist here on certain trades....an older architect also told me he had seen something like laser cutting and 3d prototyping back in the 70's in Stuttgard, DE.....

 

no_form thanks for link.....

so why don't we use 3D printing to make better tools to make better details?

Nov 24, 15 7:57 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Marc are your links are real interesting, keep'em coming
 

Nov 24, 15 7:59 pm  · 
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No, it's an analog. I'm well aware that he leverages materials against one another to explore outcomes and performance. 

Nov 24, 15 8:42 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

just ordered a bunch of books.......

marc the analog to digital and back is what I actually get excited about.  i'm pretty good at digital and as archanonymous points out our brains are way ahead of our hands and therefore in many ways the computer stuff gets boring.

Nov 24, 15 9:22 pm  · 
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Olaf said "so why don't we use 3D printing to make better tools to make better details?

agreed. Robert Aish at Autodesk has a clear positions regarding this. 

"Tools transmit advantage from the tool maker to the tool user. Tools give possibilities, from these possibilities we discover advantages, advantages become a convenience, and convenience can too easily become a convention. Some tools, or the way some tools are used, make certain forms or processes ‘convenient’ and this can have a deeply conservative influence on design. There are alternative strategies. One is to make design tools that are more abstract and general. These more abstract tools may not be so convenient to use: they may not provide predictable or convenient ‘ready-made’ solutions. They may require a deeper understanding on the part of the designer. But in so doing these tools free the designer from convention and thereby encourage exploration, and this brings us to another paradox."

I omitted the first and last sentence, which refer to software development, but it's all applicable.

In addition, Andrew Witt at FOG (?) and the GSD researches tools and technology in architecture. He makes the argument that tools and tool fabrication are part of architectural practice.

Nov 24, 15 10:12 pm  · 
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ivorykeyboard

if the tools truly catch up with the computational methods, we're going to reach an architectural singularity where garbage-in garbage-out will finally come to physical reality. The constraints of fabrication have very much kept the craft and finesse of technical expertise crucial. It would be a much larger leap than the push in the last decade or so towards lightweight and self supporting composite materials like ETFE... Greg Lynn's post-tectonics world.

I see autonomous construction for repetitive tasks (like what Gramazio Kohler is up to with drones) as a step towards this end - additive manufacturing is just one piece of the equation. Winsun/Gensler/ThorntoTomasetti are wrapping up an interesting project that uses a recycled GFRG, concrete and fiber-reinforced plastic mixture- the structure is inclusive in the print

Nov 25, 15 12:08 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

its been educational. keep it coming. (marc, ivory) and Miles what about traditional Japannese joinery?

Nov 25, 15 7:10 am  · 
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Absolutely parametric. Modular but variable to the specific condition including the variable nature of the material itself.

Nov 25, 15 9:41 am  · 
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JLC-1

that is beautiful; and then you find this, advanced architectural designer? http://archinect.com/jobs/entry/141840601/advanced-architectural-designer

somehow they believe their work is "advanced design"?

Nov 25, 15 10:33 am  · 
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archanonymous

My vision of parametricism is more like what Amazon is doing with logistics... square boxes in square buildings, but orchestrating things at a much larger/ more far-reaching scale than simply form... it is about organization and working within existing constraints.

 

Also consider that "parametricism" does not mean computation... Gaudi's work was parametric, and linked with physical forces.

Coordinating parametric workflows with physical and material properties is, I think, what Ivorykeyboard is getting at when saying that an instantaneous digital-physical transition will just result in "garbage in/garbage out," whereas currently, it requires some expertise to translate the digital to physical, providing self-limiting constraints on the process.

 

Matsys does really good physical/material computation stuff.

 

 

This project - Catenary Pottery Printer - is in the same vein as well.

Nov 25, 15 12:05 pm  · 
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ivorykeyboard

@archanon, yes exactly. Also, parametric or algorithmic methods can certainly be analog like Gaudi's chain models. Also comes to mind is Alberti's perspective machine and the notational systems he developed. From Mario Carpo's fantastic book, The Alphabet and the Algorithm

“Alberti tried to counter the failings of analog images by digitizing them, in the etymological sense: replacing pictures with a list of numbers and a set of computation instructions, or algorithms, designed to convert a visual image into a digital file and then recreate a copy of the original picture when needed."

 

Nov 25, 15 4:09 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

archanon and ivory, just finished LoG 35 and two essays (one part of a book actually - The Stack) is exactly what you two noted......with that said i also almost ordered the alphabet book last night, now i will..........after reading Brattons text I to am reading parametricism as archanon is - logistics, and not really as architecture full-on.........so for now the monolithic material performance represents logisitic's architectural tectonics? (thanks Miles, nice stuff)

Nov 25, 15 6:43 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

so far the only thing I understand in Schumacher's Autopoiesis is its an apication of Lumann's social theories (almost metaphorically) to architecture

Nov 25, 15 6:52 pm  · 
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Olaf, if you have academic access the Carpo book is may be available electronically. Also look at Antoine Picon's book about digital culture in architecture. 

@archanon, ivory and Miles, great analog examples to balance out the more digitally driven examples provided by Zania and yourselves. Further to the discussion about analog vs. digital, in

Olaf, if you have academic access the Carpo book is may be available electronically. Also look at Antoine Picon's book about digital culture in architecture. 

@archanon,  ivory and Miles, great analog examples to balance out the more digitally driven example provide by Zania and. Further to the discussion about analog vs. digital, it's a question of resolution with respect to the model vs. the reality. How honest is the process of making a "drawing" it to  actual construction? The desire would be for resolution to be 1:1 in a digital environment, making the plastic model desirable. Arguably, the more you rely upon the machine to provide you with these answers, the more inaccurate you model gets due to uncertainties that cannot be anticipated.

mind it's a question of resolution with respect to the model vs. the reality- how honest is the process of making a "digital drawing" to the actual construction?

The desire would be for resolution to be 1:1 in a digital environment, making the plastic model desirable. Arguably, the more you rely upon the machine to provide you with these answers, the more inaccurate you model gets due to uncertainties that cannot be anticipated. These are the moments when analog processes are to embraced to tease out those uncertainties. 

But I'm getting nervous about the idea that parametrics are not a new idea, and that's just the tools that are being used to explore them that are novel. This could suggest that medieval architecture and the (relatively clumsy, but expressive) use of buttresses to counteract forces could indeed be a form of condional logic that is based on experimentation. This could be seen as heresy by some, and those who agree could be burned at the stake (preferably one made with Japanese or Amish joinery).

Nov 25, 15 7:28 pm  · 
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making the plastic model desirable

A very tall order. I've been using some plastics in my latest work (not architecture) and suffering through every second of it. Can't stand the stuff but begrudgingly accept that it is the only efficient way to achieve what I'm trying to do. I absolutely hate every other aspect of it.

Now you've got me wondering if the new stuff could be called parametric. LOL

Nov 25, 15 8:48 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

marc I know you don't drink (or at least you have expressed that) but dude  you sound like too much BBQ! repeat and repeat and then ramble? I do that on a 6 pack night!

Miles, when Marc talks about plastics, he means a more moholgy-nagy approach.\

Nov 26, 15 1:24 am  · 
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no_form
Buttresses are neo form finding. Wasn't that discussed by Lynn or one of those big boys in an essay?

Is a 3D digital model drawing? With the ability to 3D print the parts and then assemble them. You get much quicker feedback. Is it more honest?
Nov 26, 15 1:37 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

feedback.  no_form, let's talk honest here?

Nov 26, 15 1:39 am  · 
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I confess, I have been "turkey pre-gaming" these past few days... 

Nov 26, 15 9:46 am  · 
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All design process is (or should be) plastic. Which of course completely undermines Shoemuncher's singular approach. 

You can model a boat on a computer but you can't sail your computer across a body of water. It's all a vast illusion. It's like watching a 60 minute nature program and thinking you know all about elephants.

Nov 26, 15 10:41 am  · 
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archiwutm8

Have you tried sailing a computer? Let's make it happen.

Nov 26, 15 10:53 am  · 
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archanonymous

It was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I am shocked (shocked and appalled) that the line of French philosophy and thought from Deleuze to Bernard Cache to Eisenman (of all people, yes, Eisenman) to Greg Lynn and other modern practitioners is no longer taught widely alongside so-called "parametric" / digital fabrication curricula. 

 

Marc, I recommended Bernard Cache's book of compiled essays, Projectiles earlier, I will do so again. There is an essay in there (essay is called Objectile) that addresses exactly this, "The desire would be for resolution to be 1:1 in a digital environment, making the plastic model desirable. Arguably, the more you rely upon the machine to provide you with these answers, the more inaccurate you model gets due to uncertainties that cannot be anticipated."

He talks about how we operate at what Deleuze calls the "actualization of the virtual" and the "realization of the possible." - how, with the rise of computation, these have become pairings of algorithm and engram/ duration and frequency. Of course, because we are talking French philosophy, he uses the most complex and convoluted writing possible to convey his ideas, but worth investigating. Apologies in advance (especially to Miles who I know hates this kind of stuff), but here is an excerpt:

"Possiblities press to become realities, subject only to the rules of economic optimisation as calculated by the invisible hand of the market, which, as an added bonus, promises to select only the best of all possible worlds. However this overlooks the fact that there are algorithms that cannot be determined.... This is the irreducible uncomputable. On the other hand, the possible cannot become real without becoming corporeal, without incarnating itself in a membrane and undergoing a change in its nature...

To be sure, computation allows us to design forms as modulations of abstract surfaces whose frequency and membrane remain indeterminate for a time...But in order to move from these virtual possibilities to actual realities, we... replace the electronic control that activates the pixels on our video screen with a digital command router that manufactures any material"

He goes on like this for many pages, but you get the idea. 

 

Miles something for you from the same text (Cache quoting Kandinsky):

""As these means of expression are developed further into the future... Mathematical expression will here become essential... There is, however the danger that mathematical expression will lag behind emotional experience and limit it. Formulas are like glue, or like a 'fly paper' to which the careless fall prey. A formula is also a leather arm-chair which holds the occupant firmly in its warm embrace." Written in 1923."

 

Olaf - I just ordered Schumacher's Autopoiesis books... if only so I can give them a thorough debunking. If have read excerpts and heard him lecture and never once has he grounded his work in this (and so much other) thought that has already been done on the topics of computation, algorithms, and parametricism in architecture, much of it when he was still shittin' yella (as my grandfather might say)

 

Ivorykeyboard, the above is why I was so surprised to hear Eisenman say that he 'doesn't understand' the work of Zaha and the like at that lecture... he has probably forgotten more about it than Schumacher even knows, he clearly just doesn't care for it. 

I would say we are about 50-100 years too early to truly implement the kind of architecture Schumacher is talking about (based on what little I have read) nor do we live in a utopian (or distopian - ahem, China, Kazahkstan) paradise where we can ignore social, political, and economic issues just so we can build nice architecture.

Nov 26, 15 11:13 am  · 
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Archanon,

Thanks for the tip. I will check it out. I'm going to use an excerpt from one of your quotes above to respond to your lament about the lack of philosophy in computational teaching.

"Formulas are like glue, or like a 'fly paper' to which the careless fall prey."  Or fab monkeys don't need to think, they just need to produce. 

I also honestly think that it's a matter of the amount of content you can jamb down a students throat. Undergraduate students are being told that computation is the key to their futures actively (grasshopper) and passively (Revit)- making it wildly popular. Add the steep curve if you've never really programmed and other time constraints, and suddenly a lot of valuable content get thrown out the window.

Nov 26, 15 1:21 pm  · 
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Among the reasons I don't take parametricism seriously is the Peter Popoff quality of the act.

Don't dismiss economics as a driving force behind the manifesto. Members of the same small exclusive group (Pritzker) are ferociously competing for every major commission.

Nov 26, 15 2:13 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

archanon most excellent post and I was not aware that the base history of 'parametricism' is being erased from education. Schumacher notes his influences and from where some of this parametricism developed, very briefly in Autopoiesis, but what makes his theory different, angling for logistics, is reference to I believe Hillier(?) on post occupany studies etc....but in short all this history is something that has not been captured and holistically incorporated into a full theory and we are so blessed to have Schumacher do this for us. (imagine Miles stating last sentence).......I get the impression so far that only Schumacher thinks he has tried to make a comprehensive body of thought on this subject, which may be true, but he appears to be intending on using Niklas Luhmann's works as a mode or method (or who knows, copy paste understudy) to do this. it would be as if I went out and used Immanual Kant to catergorize Post-Modernism.....which yes the likes of Eisenman did mainly with Derridas thought......no_form notes feedback, not only did Greg Lynn work for Eisenman he put various technologies to work to make this new "style" to happen. between him and Bernard Cache the base history was born out of Feedback......Schumacher is so far in the virtual that its hard to see any connection to matter, so far.....so eliminating this base history from "parametrics" seems to make Schumacher's thought really 'fantastic'......Note Bernard Cache attended Deleuze lectures and built stuff like Miles might, Schumacher I believed studied Philosophy and mainly Luhmann but builds like most architects, via paper, so this could also explain the disconnect, the only FEEDBACK are other intellectuals. virtual vs virtual and not virtual to material - see archanon's post above.

Nov 26, 15 3:36 pm  · 
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Benjamin21

It is an experiment I found here while unsuccessfully trying to find another example that is a more complete thought. That said, here are two more examples that are truly engineered with performance in mind.

Nov 26, 15 11:55 pm  · 
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good details

I'm having trouble finding it but there was a fantastic video I watched of Mark West giving a talk on his concrete casting techniques. I found it extremely inspiring and insightful.  I believe it was a lecture titled "Heavy Light - Finding Biomimetic Construction"

Nov 29, 15 10:28 pm  · 
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Zaria, there are a couple "versions," but here is the mit version

Nov 29, 15 11:18 pm  · 
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Edit- zenza

Nov 29, 15 11:19 pm  · 
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late to the party but great thread. archanonymous's post on page 1 reminded me of this regarding the Matter Battle

Nov 29, 15 11:28 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

archanonymous read first two (2) essays of "Projectiles" including "Plea for Euclid", which is a very interesting essay within the history of computers and parametrics, would definetly recommend to understand Bernard Cache's writing, especially  "Earth Moves", and a more hands on understanding of the beginnings of "Parametrics" in architecture.

it also appears guest editor for next Log issue is Greg Lynn

checking out links above...

Dec 3, 15 10:18 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

and one main point that is interesting about "Plea for Euclid" - in 1999 it sounded like architects were already trying to go outside Euclid's geometry in computer design, when in fact Euclid's geometry was more than enough from computer to fabrication....so why at the outset try for non-euclidean geometry, if it isn't necessary or really applicable?

Dec 3, 15 10:21 pm  · 
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I have the Cache readings on request/hold. Right now I'm trying to find some time to delve into "The Politics of Parametricism," but can't seem to get the time to do more than damage the cover of the book in my bag.

Dec 3, 15 10:24 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

marc that looks like an interesting read, will add that to me Alphabet order.....i commute 2-3 hours a day public transit so always time, especially when I don't feel like doing billable work during commute or kill time on Archinect ;) another benefit of not driving to work - edgamucation while in transit.

Dec 4, 15 7:25 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Miles this qoute is for you from Cache's essay "Towards a Non-Standard Mode of Production"------"Let's begin with form, since (why deny it?) this is where the 'fascination'lies. The use of CAD to generate surfaces that generally cannot be designed with a ruler or compass instils in architects an extraordinary feeling of power. This feeling of omnipotence may be inspired in the first instance by highly ergonomic programs such as Rhino, which make it easy to create surfaces so complex that one can bo longer be certain of their spatial coherence. What the man in the street doesn't know is that this ability - to delineate the control points of NURBS surface in order to generate a fluid surface - is now within the reach of any computer user after an apprenticeship of a mere half-hour; and that's how it should be." (2005). its followed by 'On the other hand'with regard to construction. that qoute sums up the last decade of form making in a nutshell.

Dec 4, 15 7:44 am  · 
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When people agree with me I sometimes worry that I might be wrong.

Not in this case.

Dec 4, 15 9:27 am  · 
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Somebody should take Shoemuncher on a tour of Saarinen's TWA Terminal. Not that it would make any difference, the guy is immune to everything except his own bullshit. He should really be in politics instead of architecture. Maybe Liberland is the beginning of his transition.

Dec 4, 15 9:40 am  · 
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archanonymous

Olaf,  Yes - read Earth Moves before Projectiles (and the essays collected therein) and I definitely had to re-read several times.

I like Cache because he doesn't reject parametricism, just outlines its boundaries and limitations. It is possible to be "parametric" or more specifically, generative, without talking about it in a totally overblown way. For French philosophy, I find his stuff very readable.

 

Here is a really nice reading from Marc Foster Gage about computation. Highly recommend.

Dec 4, 15 9:44 am  · 
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^ Good read.

Dec 4, 15 11:28 am  · 
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@Olaf,

Not sure if you have already listened to it, but the first episode of the second season of Archinect Sessions featured an interview with Cynthia Davidson of Log wherein they discussed (for a few moments) the Lynn edited LOG.

Dec 4, 15 3:50 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

nam i did hear that episode but didn't catch that.........nice article archanonymous.......Donna click on it, Bradley without a shirt on! ........I sat in a George Nakashima chair at a George Nakashima table today, fuckin'wonderful.........I like Cache as he seems well grounded in physical reality, in touch with the tools (computer) and absolutely understands the philosophy behind it all...........has Patrick Schumacher ever written an algorithm or script? curios. (have a few under my belt,free on 3dscriptspot or whatever website called - simple data to geometry import and Spirograph creator in 3dsMax, in Rhino i wrote a explosion script that transformed frames based on injected energy, fun but NOT architecure)

Dec 4, 15 6:31 pm  · 
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At last! Parametricism explained.

Dec 6, 15 8:09 pm  · 
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archanonymous

Miles, since semantics are important - you talking parametricism, computation, generative design, all three, or just what passes as "parametricism" in architectural academia? You seem intelligent enough to realize parametricism as presented by various elements in architectural discourse is not representative of everyone doing work in this area.

 

 

This may or may not be a slide I show to students in a particular lecture I have about computation and tools.

 

Dec 6, 15 10:59 pm  · 
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I refer you to Harry G. Frankfurt. 

Dec 7, 15 9:28 am  · 
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Is that a Synagogue by Ban?

Dec 7, 15 7:07 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

archanonymous this slide might work as well for students


 

Dec 8, 15 11:01 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

I started reading through "Material Computation" AD  edited by Achim Menges...first text made me wonder about "Emergence"

Wondering what "emergence" is in the context of parametricism and Architecture?

The Bernard Cache book was great archanonymous....

Jan 7, 16 8:51 pm  · 
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