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Advanced Parametric Modeling: Aggregated Assemblies Mahon[Klokis] - ARCH 583/662 - Weston 461 - Summer 2010

"The study of complex systems is bringing new vitality to many areas of science where a more typical reductionist strategy has fallen short. Complex systems is therefore often used as a broad term encompassing a research approach to problems in many diverse disciplines including neuroscience, meteorology, physics, computer science, artificial life, evolutionary computation, economics, earthquake prediction, heart cell synchronization, immune systems, reaction-diffusion systems, epilepsy and enquiries into the nature of living cells themselves." - Wikipedia

Introduction While architecture is undeniably the product of a complex system (society), it too often relies on established hierarchical structures for the sake of form/functionality. In Aggregated Assemblies we aim to establish something more open and embryonic, a complex system of objects with the ability to communicate through computation and modular logic. This will allow component parts to grow into larger assemblies that will aggregate into any number of forms.

Specifically in this seminar we will introduce principles of emergence, flocking, evolutionary [genetic] algorithms, cellular automata, fractals, and l-systems as a design methodology that can be used as an engine to drive the creation of dynamic and novel forms. Taking advantage of these techniques allows the students to create a non-linear algorithmic workflow that relies on novel rule sets and component logic in order to “grow” complex systems. These complex systems will generate 4-Dimensional (forms with embedded historical process) forms that will answer the traditional goals of architectural form [space, structure, etc…].

Seminar Methodology Central to the investigations undertaken in this seminar will be intense use of the computer. Specifically the use of software which allows for custom user defined code will generate and effect 3-Dimensional geometric systems. No previous knowledge of these software packages is necessary, however working knowledge of the software packages already available (Rhino, AutoCAD, Revit,

Adobe, etc

) to the students will be expected. Students will also be expected to

have access to their own machines where the software (Grasshopper, & Processing) being taught in the seminar is accessible. note: Grasshopper & Processing

are both free downloads for students

The course will begin with an introduction to Rhinoceros 3D as it will be the primary modeling tool for representation of the definitions and code generated in the course. As the students advance in their understanding of adaptive

Advanced Parametric Modeling: Aggregated Assemblies Mahon[Klokis] - ARCH 583/662 - Weston 461 - Summer 2010

components, complex systems theory and information theory, introductions to algorithmic modeling thru the use of Grasshopper and scripting thru the use of Processing will be introduced. Specific libraries of definitions and code already prepared will be used for the development of projects.

Seminar Pedagogy

Work in the seminar will be both individual and team-based. This approach will allow students to work in an open-source environment where code and process is not proprietary but shared to enhance the work of the class. Within this framework, the seminar will include both analogue and digital modeling assignments as well as lectures, tutorials, and presentations.

As the objective of the course is very ambitious attendance will be mandatory. If a class must be missed notification must be given to the instructors at least 24 hours in advance. Individual instruction of missed material may be possible; however no guarantee to receive the instruction in time to complete course work can be given.

to receive the instru ction in time to co mplete course work can be given. The

The Morning Line - Aranda/Lasch + Arup AGU

Advanced Parametric Modeling: Aggregated Assemblies Mahon[Klokis] - ARCH 583/662 - Weston 461 - Summer 2010

Course Room Weston 461

Course Website


80% Coursework

- 20% Component Design

- 20% Complex System Design

- 40% Aggregated Assembly 15% Reading Responses 05% Class Participation

Required Readings A reader for the course will be distributed with excerpts and essays from:

Manuel DeLanda, Aranda/Lasch, Neil Leach, Stephen Wolfram, Kevin Kelly, Francois Roche, and many others This reading component will be conducted alongside the seminar course in which students will be required to write short responses to the texts which will be focused on contemporary the discourse of parametric modeling, emergence theory, and component [complex] systems

Suggested References

- Algorithms for Visual Design using the Processing Language, Kostas Terzidis

- Grasshopper Primer: 2 nd Edition, Andrew Payne and Rajaa Issa

- Rhinoscript 101 , David Rutten