Thin Film Interference

This is the very firs experiment I did in DS10, October 2012. Even if I was unable to find an architectural application, i still find the interference colour patterns to be beautiful images, so I’m posting them here, hoping they will inspire someone else.

Thin-film interference occurs when incident light waves reflected by the upper and lower boundaries of a thin film interfere with one another to form a new wave. Check out the wikepedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin-film_interference

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Thin Film Interference Pattern

Objectivism, Ecology, Ecosystems, Cybernetics, Feedback loops, Californian Ideology, Systems Theory…etc…

Three great BBC documentary films by Adam Curtis which help to understand our unit’s agenda: From Ayn Rand and Buckminster Fuller and the birth of the Californian Ideology, Ecology, Eco-Systems, Systems Theory and Cybernetics to George Price, Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene, see how the concept of “network” and “nature” has evolved as an ideology through modern times.

Grasshopper
Diagram of the Grasslands Experiment by George Van Dyne, showing how nature is interlinked as a system.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a series of film about how humans have been colonized by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realize it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. It claims that computers have failed to liberate us and instead havedistorted and simplified our view of the world around us.

1. Love and Power. This is the story of the dream that rose up in the 1990s that computers could create a new kind of stable world. They would bring about a new kind global capitalism free of all risk and without the boom and bust of the past. They would also abolish political power and create a new kind of democracy through the Internet where millions of individuals would be connected as nodes in cybernetic systems – without hierarchy.

https://vimeo.com/38724174

2. The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts. This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components – cogs – in a system.

https://vimeo.com/73536828

3. The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey. This episode looks at why we humans find this machine vision so beguiling. The film argues it is because all political dreams of changing the world for the better seem to have failed – so we have retreated into machine-fantasies that say we have no control over our actions because they excuse our failure.

https://vimeo.com/73561591

Adam Curtis is a documentary film maker, whose work includes The Power of Nightmares,The Century of the SelfThe Mayfair SetPandora’s BoxThe Trap and The Living Dead.

 

The Nature of Code on Grasshopper

After posting about the book explaining basic concepts of computational design, The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman, I thought it would be helpful to convert all the example into Grasshopper files. Well here you go: Jake Hebbert has done it on youtube, exciting tutorials using python for Grasshopper. Here are couple example of tutorials extracted from Jake’s youtube channel:

Walker:

Walker02:

Bouncing Balls:

Gravity between movers:

The Nature of Code

Here is the book that I kept mentionning in the tutorial: The Nature of Code by Daniel Schiffman

The Nature of CodeThe book explains many algorithm that attempt to reproduce natural systems (including swarms and fractals) using Processing, the java-based scripting interface.

You can download the book and make a donation or buy the hard copy. Try some examples, register to the Processing forum and to StackOverflow.com. Ask for help on the Processing IRC Channel.

For some example, you will need to need to download the Toxiclibs library and you might want to use the Eclipse IDE to speed up your workflow. You can also follow the great Plethora-Project.com tutorials by Jose Sanchez.

Urban Aquaponics, Internet and Food

“My garden is sending tweets!” Eric Maundu

Just came across this amazing video in which Eric Maundu talks about his start-up “Kijani Grows” (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food using cheap technology including arduino boards. Toby and I often talk about “closed loop systems”, this is a great example of one.

“The land in West Oakland where Eric Maundu is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there’s not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn’t use soil. Instead he’s growing plants using fish and circulating water. It’s called aquaponics- a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming). It’s been hailed as the future of farming: it uses less water (up to 90% less than traditional gardening), doesn’t attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish). Aquaponics has become popular in recent years among urban gardeners and DIY tinkerers, but Maundu- who is trained in industrial robotics- has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. Using sensors (to detect water level, pH and temperature), microprocessors (mostly the open-source Arduino microcontroller), relay cards, clouds and social media networks (Twitter and Facebook), Maundu has programmed his gardens to tweet when there’s a problem (e.g. not enough water) or when there’s news (e.g. an over-abundance of food to share).
Maundu himself ran from agriculture in his native Kenya- where he saw it as a struggle for land, water and resources. This changed when he realized he could farm without soil and with little water via aquaponics and that he could apply his robotics background to farming. Today he runs Kijani Grows (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food and attempts to explore new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. Maundu believes that by putting gardens online, especially in places like West Oakland (where his solar-powered gardens are totally off the grid), it’s the only way to make sure that farming remains viable to the next generation of urban youth.”

ECOVATIVE GROWN MATERIALS


Ecovative are a New York based research group who are growing a new material using fungi. The process uses an organic aggregate, such as seed husk or other agricultural / industrial by products, as its base. This aggregate is mixed with mycelium fungi and packed into a former to give it the desired geometry. Being a loose aggregate it will fill any former created. The mixture is then left for several days, over which time the fungi grows into a microscopic web of fibres which bond the aggregate into a solid mass. This growth requires no water, light or petrochemical inputs. Every cubic inch of material contains a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibres. At the end of the process, they put the materials through a dehydration and heat treating process to stop the growth. This final process ensures that there will never be any spores or allergen concerns.
The company are currently exploring applications of the material in multiple industries from packaging and consumer products to architecture and automotive manufacture. They are also looking for potential partners with which to develop aspects of the material further.

More info: http://www.ecovativedesign.com/

Waste = Food (Cradle to Cradle)

Below is an inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough:

 

Summary of the C2C approach:

“Rather than seeing materials as a waste management problem, as in the cradle-to-grave system, cradle-to-cradle design is based on the closed-loop nutrient cycles of nature, in which there is no waste. Just like nature, the cradle-to-cradle design seeks, from the start, to create buildings, communities and systems that generate wholly positive effects on human and environmental health. Not less waste and fewer negative effects, but more positive effects of regeneration, seed, growth, plant, product, “upcycle” and/or seed, growth, plant, product etc etc. One organism’s waste is food for another, and nutrients and energy flow perpetually in closed-loop cycles of growth, decay and rebirth. Waste equals food.

This is not just wishful thinking or “concept” design. The cradle-to-cradle philosophy is driving a growing movement devoted to developing safe materials, products, supply chains and manufacturing processes throughout architecture and industry. It is being adopted by some of the world’s most influential corporations, including Ford Motor Group, Nike and Herman Miller Furniture. Even densely populated China is looking at development and the impact of the rapidly growing population on housing development.”

via designindustry

Above: Nike Considered Design, made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Herman Miller Mira Chair based on the C2C protocol

Above: The Ford Model U and its compostable body parts. Made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Ford Motor Company River Rouge production plant (Michigan, USA)

Above:  Ferrer Research & Development Center, Barcelona; a.k.a. “The Butterfly Building” by William McDonough + Partners

Above Cradle to Cradle certification

Above: William McDonough (Architect) and Michael Braungart (Chemist)

More on Cradle to Cradle:
-Link to the book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Wikipedia article
Cradle to Cradle Community
Cradle to Cradle Facebook Page
Interview of McDonough

For more documentaries, go to http://documentaryheaven.com/
via Rory O’Grady from A Beautiful Planet