CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id acadia08_072
authors Frumar, Jerome
year 2008
title An Energy Centric Approach to Architecture: Abstracting the material to co-rationalize design and performance
source Silicon + Skin: Biological Processes and Computation, [Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) / ISBN 978-0-9789463-4-0] Minneapolis 16-19 October 2008, 72-81
summary This paper begins by exploring matter as an aggregated system of energy transactions and modulations. With this in mind, it examines the notion of energy driven form finding as a design methodology that can simultaneously negotiate physical, environmental and fabrication considerations. The digital workspace enables this notion of form finding to re-establish itself in the world of architecture through a range of analytic tools that algorithmically encode real world physics. Simulating the spatial and energetic characteristics of reality enables virtual “form generation models that recognize the laws of physics and are able to create ‘minimum’ surfaces for compression, bending [and] tension” (Cook 2004). The language of energy, common in engineering and materials science, enables a renewed trans-disciplinary dialogue that addresses significant historic disjunctions such as the professional divide between architects and engineers. Design becomes a science of exploring abstracted energy states to discover a suitable resonance with which to tune the built environment. ¶ A case study of one particular method of energy driven form finding is presented. Bi-directional Evolutionary Structural Optimization (BESO) is a generative engineering technique developed at RMIT University. It appropriates natural growth strategies to determine optimum forms that respond to structural criteria by reorganizing their topology. This dynamic topology response enables structural optimization to become an integrated component of design exploration. A sequence of investigations illustrates the flexibility and trans-disciplinary benefits of this approach. Using BESO as a tool for design rather than purely for structural optimization fuses the creative approach of the architect with the pragmatic approach of the engineer, enabling outcomes that neither profession could develop in isolation. The BESO case study alludes to future design processes that will facilitate a coherent unfolding of design logic comparable to morphogenesis.
keywords Energy; Form-Finding; Morphogenesis; Optimization; Structure
series ACADIA
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