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 ijac20109303
authors Meyboom, AnnaLisa
year 2011
title Heavy Design
source International Journal of Architectural Computing vol. 9 - no. 3, 251-258
summary Digital tools in architecture have a powerful capability that we have only begun to explore; the questions to ask of them are perhaps not what they can do but what should we use them for? To date, much of the work done in the area of computational design has been used as elaborate patterning - some have called it ‘ornament’. The significance of this ornament is not only pleasure but in its use of digital patterns to represent our current complex and digital age.This representation in itself is not problematic; however, what is problematic is the lack of other meaningful uses of the digital form-generating tools and their distance from a culture of making. The main failing of our use of digital design (algorithmic or not) in architecture to this point is its inability to translate smoothly from the digital world to the physical world. The main reasons for this difficulty in translation are gravity and inherent material properties. Working with gravity and its physical implications is generally considered the role of the structural engineer; as such, engineers have generally created digital tools in this area.The engineer's methodology analyses a structure based on complex structural analysis programming but in order to do this, a detailed description of the structure must already exist. This is not useful in preliminary stages of design. However, the generation of architecture within an environment, which already includes structural principles, may bring us one step closer to this transition of virtual to physical by including gravity in architectural generation while not diminishing the creative form-generating process. An approach has been proposed which responds with a concept of ‘heavy design’. This type of approach incorporates logics from other disciplines, primarily structural engineering, to inform design. The design process incorporates the structural behavior of a system into the architectural model. Engineering offers a mathematical interpretation of the physical world and this is inherently suited to algorithmic design because it is already in equation form. It can thus be programmed into the architectural form generational software. The variables used in the equations become the variables within the architectural design and this inherently brings the natural physical laws to the architecture through a numerical, algorithmic method. The design produced is not a singular answer but rather a responsive vocabulary of a structural system, which is then employed in design in differing conditions. The architecture produced is both function and ornament, having cultural interpretation but carrying out many engineering tasks: a true parametric architecture.
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100%; open Branko Kolarevic and Kevin Klinger (2008) Find in CUMINCAD Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture , Routledge: New York
100%; open Greg Lynn (1999) Find in CUMINCAD Animate Form , Princeton Architectural Press: New York. 15
100%; open Loos, A (1930) Find in CUMINCAD Ornament and Crime , Innsbruck, reprint Vienna
100%; open Mattheck, C. (2005) Find in CUMINCAD Biomechanics and Structural Optimization , Karlsruhe: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe Institute for Material Research. www.fzk.de/fzk/idcplg?IdcService=FZK&node=0849&lang=en
100%; open Michael Weinstock () Find in CUMINCAD Self Organization and the Structural Dynamics of Plants , AD Issue 76-2. 27
100%; open Nina Rappaport (2010) Find in CUMINCAD A Deeper Structural Theory , Architectural Design, July/August 2010, 128
100%; open Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman (2010) Find in CUMINCAD The New Structuralism , Architectural Design, July/August 2010, 23

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