Inside Smart Geometry : Expanding the Architectural Possibilities of Computational Design

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-22
  • Publisher: Wiley

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Smartgeometry (SG) has had an enormous influence on the emerging architectural community interested in exploring creative computational methods for the design of buildings. An informal international network of practitioners and researchers, the group meets annually to experiment with new technologies and collaborate to develop digital design techniques. SG was founded in 2001 by London-based architects and friends Hugh Whitehead (Foster + Partners), J Parrish (Aecom) and Lars Hesselgren (PLP). At the time there were little in the way of parametric tools for architecture. SG was founded to encourage development, discussion and experimentation relating to new digital design environments that could be driven by design intent rather than based on construction specifications. The need for new ways of design thinking led to the parallel development of software GenerativeComponents which was tested in the early years of the annual workshops. In response to the needs of designers, the ecology of these design environments has diversified to include multiple software platforms, as well as innovative fabrication techniques and interactive environments. SG calls for a re-consideration of the design process, where the creation of computational mechanisms become an integral part of designing not a task done prior to or separate from the process. From pencil to algorithm, the tools that architects use directly influence their creative process. New design tools and new design environments therefore mean a requisite re-thinking of what architecture is, and can be. Inside Smartgeometry examines and contextualizes the work of the SG community: the digital spaces, prototypes, and buildings designed using bespoke tools created in response to architectural ideas. From interactive crowd-sourcing tools to responsive agent-based systems to complex digitally fabricated structures, this book explores more than a decade of advances that have influenced both the practice of architecture and the theory that drives it. SG has grown from a handful of experts to an international network of designers who are helping to define design environments of the future. Founded by digital pioneers it creates the algorithmic designers of the future. This book can be seen as a retroactive manifesto for SG, celebrating the varied approaches to computational design explored by forward thinking practitioners and researchers. Through twenty-three original texts including reflections by the founders, and texts by Robert Aish, Martin Bechthold, Rob Woodbury, Chris Williams and Mark Burry, the book offers a critical state of the art of computational design for architecture. SG has been relevant to many international design and engineering offices and the book includes chapters by practitioners from offices such as Foster + Partners, Grimshaw, SOM, Design2Production, CASE, and Populous.

Author Biography

Brady Peters is an architect. A PhD fellow at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) in Denmark he was previously an Associate Partner at Foster + Partners and a key member of the Specialist Modelling Group. He has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Ghent, the University of Nottingham, and has been a tutor at all Smartgeometry conferences since 2005. He is the co-editor with Xavier De Kestelier of Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought, Architectural Design (AD) (March/April 2013).

Terri Peters is an architect, and writer. A PhD Fellow at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark she researches architectural approaches to sustainable building transformation. Since 2003, she has written more than 200 published articles spanning architecture, sustainability, art, urbanism, technology and culture. She lectures internationally and sits on the jury of various design award panels and competitions. She is the editor of Experimental Green Strategies: Redefining Ecological Design Research, Architectural Design (AD) (November/December 2011).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Brett Steele

Introduction by Brady Peters and Terri Peters

1 The Origins of Smartgeometry by Hugh Whitehead, Lars Hesselgren and J Parrish

2 First Build Your Tools by Robert Aish

3 Parametric Evolution by Branko Kolarevic

4 Matrix Architecture by Jenny E Sabin

5 Metrics of Human Experience by Roly Hudson and Michael Westlake

6 Interacting with the Model by Neil Katz, with Bess Krietemeyer and Tobias Schwinn

7 Responsive Design: Towards an Ecology of Objects and People by Andre Chaszar, Anton Savov, Peter Liebsch and Sascha Bohnenberger

8 Design Flow and Tool Flux by Robert Woodbury

9 The Sound of Smartgeometry by Brady Peters

10 Design Exploration and Steering of Design by Axel Kilian

11 Geometry: How Smart Do You Have To Be? by Chris Williams

12 GenerativeComponents and Smartgeometry: Situated Software Development by Volker Mueller and Makai Smith

13 From Descriptive Geometry to Smartgeometry: First Steps towards Digital Architecture by Mark Burry

14 Exploring Human–Computer Interaction in Design Process by Flora Salim and Przemek Jaworski

15 Designing Intelligence: DIY Robotics for Responsive Environments by Nick Puckett

16 Encoding Design by Fabian Scheurer

17 Working Prototypes, Creating Knowledge by Shane Burger and Xavier De Kestelier

18 Mind the Gap: Stories of Exchange by CASE

19 Designing Robotic Assemblies by Tobias Bonwetsch

20 The Practice of Smartgeometry by Hugh Whitehead

21 Digital Crafting: Performative Thinking for Material Design by Mette Ramsgard Thomsen and Martin Tamke

22 Design Robotics: New Strategies for Material System Research by Martin Bechthold

Contributor Biographies

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