At the start of the year, coupled with Grasshopper training we will be looking at lattices as a granular spatial organising principle. From molecular systems to quasi-crystals, nature organizes itself through space efficient, resilient and complex arrangements.
Brief 01: 3D Lattices/ Urban Crystallography & Self-Sufficient Bio-Machines: At the start of the year, coupled with Grasshopper training we will be looking at lattices as a granular spatial organising principle. From molecular systems to quasi-crystals, nature organizes itself through space efficient, resilient and complex arrangements. We would like to start the year with a study of all these three-dimensional systems as an exercise to understand the many ways structures can be arranged in space. Using timber struts and nodes, or surfaces and hinges, whether defining space packing volumes or porous three dimensional grid shells, the modularity of the systems allows us to work at all scales. However for the first brief we expect you to design and build a self-sufficient small scale bio-machine interacting with the given sites. Like a tree absorbing carbon whilst creating timber and fruits, your architectural system will be a blend of technology and nature in the urban context.
Brief 02: Eco-Parametric Urban Infrastructures to combat climate change Nature does not make waste, everything is reused and feeds back into the system. DS10 will learn from this by applying the principles of permaculture, regenerative agriculture and renewable energy generation to propose Eco-Parametric Urban Infrastructures. You will design and test large scale infrastructures tightly interwoven into and above the urban fabric of London’s train tracks which immersively integrate nature into the city using your 3D lattices as a reference. We are seeking new architectural ideas which address energy needs in the age of the circular economy. Your mixed use infrastructure will create energy and deal with its waste to close the loop whilst helping people live better and healthier lives and create an economy in the process. Proposals may include self sufficient communities and economies, cradle to cradle business ideas, inhabited bridges forging connections between different sides of the tracks and structures which actively contribute to the area such as carbon capture devices, solar collectors, pollution scrubbers etc,
Site: The underused spaces over the existing railway tracks of central London will form the foundations for exciting large scale mixed use structures, creating new connections and a new hyper dense and hyper sustainable urban fabric.
Output: Rather than a traditional paper portfolio we will focus on digital representation techniques such as animations, high quality digital renders which explain the process of your work.You will become a member of the WeWantToLearn.net community (1.7 million viewers) sharing your research and studio submissions to inspire and contribute to the wider design community. Blog posts will form part of your portfolio submission.
Here we are – we have reached the middle of the academic year at the University of Westminster. Time to assess and appreciate our students portfolios and hard work during a lively “interim cross-marking” with our colleagues. Here are couple examples of the most remarkable portfolios in our Diploma Studio 10. Very excited to start our new brief03 on future cities. We will soon announce the three winners in our studio which will get the opportunity to build installations at the new headquarters of Buro Happold and students will soon post their Burning Man proposals on this blog. Oh and we are also going to our unit trip to Copenhagen next week!! Pictures by Toby Burgess.
The investigation started by the examination of stalagmites and stalactites as a naturally growing system. Water carrying dissolved calcite is deposed gradually, creating layers of crystalissed mineral formations. This research resulted to the study of the geometry of crystal growth and the testing of mineral deposition in general.
Experimenting with mineral deposition under different principles and mapping the results of each imprint was followed by the creation of a manually controlled 3D printer of minerals.
Testing with different saturated solutions, crystal growth techniques and observing changes based on drop point and drop techniques of minerals, light, temperature and consistency of solutions led to the idea of creating a clever glass panel that follows the rules of crystallisation and can transform based on environmental changes.
These panels can be used for the creation of a structure that is adaptable in extreme environmental changes of warm and cold temperature, such as those experienced in the Black Rock Dessert of Nevada where the Burning Man Festival is located.
Below are couple pictures of our first cross-crit yesterday. We would like to thank the critiques, Kester Rattenbury, Lawrence Lek, Andrei Martin, Daniel Piker, Jack Munro and Adam Holloway for their helpful comments. Great work, keep it up guys!
Above: Marilu Valente showing her potato starch elastic columns
This is a Thesis project by Barbara Weinzierl which looks into Quasicrystals and their potential application within architecture. She has experimented taking the penrose tiling and raising it into a 3D geometry, analyzing its pattern morphology and the different combinations of rhomb found. One of the things I found most interesting is the potential of fractal patterning as shown below, this opens up great possibilies for the designer to play with scale. I think this could be particularly appropriate for burning man as the warm baby girls were saying that scale can be difficult to gauge in the desert. She explores their use in a single layered system as well as multidimensional crystals, creating some really interesting models.
You can read some of her research paper by following this link to her facebook page. She has also had an article published in the Swedish design magazine “Arkitekten” this month.