Digital Revolution in 1990s:The arrival of interactive animation software – previously only used inHollywood’s movie industry or by car manufacturers – caused a dramaticchange in the design and discourse of architecture.Animation software – Alias and SoftimageAlias was founded in 1983, and created an easy-to-use software package toproduce realistic 3-D video animation for the advertising industry andpostproduction houses. It used NURBS (non-uniform rational basis spline)technology producing uniquely smooth lines or surfaces. By 1989, many cars,like those of BMW, Honda and Volvo, were being designed by Alias.Softimage was founded in 1986 by the film-maker Daniel Langlois, who wanted Radial array of GenerativeComponentsto create animated movies. This 3-D animation software was used to createanimation for feature films such as Jurassic Park, Titanic, The Matrix and StarWars, or for games like Super Mario 64, Tekken, Virtual Fighter, Wave Raceand NBA Live.MicroStation Generative ComponentsMicroStation was originally developed by Bentley Systems in the 1980s for theengineering and architecture fields: it was first used primarily for creatingconstruction drawings, but developed quickly adding advanced modelling andrendering features. GenerativeComponents is the parametric plug-in used byarchitects and engineers to automate design processes and acceleratedesign iterations.Source:Information from Wikipediahttp://www.bentley.com/en-US/Products/MicroStation Assembly detail
Greg Lynn: Calculus-Based FormDuring the early 1990s most of the architectural forms movedaway from the fragmented, polygonal and rectilinear towardsthe smooth, continuous and curvilinear. It was the time whenGreg Lynn, had just established his architectural firm FORM(1992) and became one of the advocates of this dramaticchange.Lynn has written extensively on his design philosophies, firstpublishing the book "Animate Form" in 1999, funded in part bythe Graham Foundation. Lynns New York Presbyterian Churchin Queens, New York (1999) is an early project which usedvector-based animation software in its design conception.He has focused on the impact of calculus-based software andcomputer supported modes of production on architectural form. Model of Presbyterian Church, 1999Source:Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn, Architectural Design.Richard Lacayo, You Could Call Him Mr. Softee. Innovators, Time 100: TheNext Wave. July 17, 2000.
‘I have always tried to get out of the process-driven bubble withinwhich I found myself. I regret to say it hasn’t really worked, as I stillstruggle to situate my work outside of the 1980s theoretical model ofjustifying shapes by processes of analytic transformation.’‘It is always more interesting to begin with an inventory of whatmachines want to do to us before we start asking what we desirefrom the machines.’Greg Lynn, Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn, Architectural Design.
Greg Lynn: Similarities with Peter EisenmanGregg Lynn inherited the obsession with form from his teacherand mentor Peter Eisenman, who since the early 1970s hadworked mostly on process-driven explorations of form.Despite many similarities, Lynn’s FORM tried to depart fromEisenman’s modes of enquiry. Eisenman believes in the powerof architectures autonomous ideology or interiority, Lynnexplores form as a result of external forces. Forces that wereimpossible to calculate or represent before the use ofcomputers.Second important difference between Eisenman and Lynnsusage of computers is the way that Lynn continues to use themachine until the final form is complete, instead of just theinitial abstracted diagram. However, they share interest in thevector and the philosopjies of Deleuze and Foucault. Eisenman Process: Competition IIT CampusSource:Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn, Architectural Design.http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1450681 10/8/2007
Greg Lynn’s PerspectiveANIMATE FORM:Animation - the evolution of a form and its shaping forces.Virtuality - to abstract scheme that has the possibility of becoming actualized, often in a variety of possible configurations.Animate design is defined by the co-presence of Motion and Force at the moment of formal conception.Cartesian fixed point coordinates vs. Vector based interactionsTerminologies:Virtual ForceDifferential variationsActive Abstract SpaceDynamical Flows
Design Space: Static vs. DynamicVector Forces in Design of Sailboat Hull
Previous Architectural Experiments:Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command (1948), Space, Tiem and Architecture (1941)- Superposition of a sequence of frames produces memory in the form of spatio-temporal simultaneity.Colin Rowe, Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal (1963) - phenomenal transparency is the tracing orimprinting of a deeper formal space on a surface.Kenneth Frampton’s description of Charles Gwathmey’s early work as “rotational” - used to describe themovement between superimposed, formal moments.The term, “trace” in the last twenty years - as a graphical notation of time and motion in architecture Boccioni, Umberto Dynamism of a Soccer Player - 1913 Fig 3, p.12 Animate Form
Superimposed snap-shots of motion imply time as a phenomenal movement between frames or moments
Modeling of Architecture in a conceptual field:Stasis is a concept which has been intimately linked with architecture in 5 important ways;1)permanence , 2) usefulness, 3) typology, 4) procession, 5) verticalityHowever, each of these assumptions can be transformed once the virtual space in whicharchitecture is conceptualized is mobilized with both time and force.Orientation vs. Vertical:Multiple interacting structural pressures from many directions (wind, uplifts, earthquakes,other non-vertical conditions)A reconceptualization of ground and verticality in light of complex of vectors and movementswould open up possibilities for structure and support that take into account orientations otherthan the simple vertical.Theories of gravity:Stasis - the ordering system through the unchanging constant force of a ground point,discreteness, timelessness, fixity.Stability - the ordering of motion into rhythmic phases, multiplicity, change, development.Descartes: create a steady-state equation where he eliminated time and force to calculateprecise position.Leibniz: determined that a position is space can only be calculated as a vectoral flow.If architecture is to approach this more complex concept of gravity, itsdesign technologies should also incorporate factors of time and motion.
N-body Problem and the Invention of Differential Calculus:The n-body problem is the problem of finding, given the initial positions, masses,and velocities of n bodies, their subsequent motions. (Wikipedia)It was proved that no discrete solution for such a problem could exist.Duration and sequence are integral to the spatial relationships being calculated.The method by which these problems can be calculated is through a mathematicsthat is sequential and continuous: thus the invention by both Newton and Leibnizof differential Calculus.
N-body problem integration: one star, one heavy planet, one light planet with a satellite by Jean-Francois Colonna.
Computer as a conceptual and organizational tool:Creative capacity of computers to facilitate genetic design – Karl ChuGenetic Space – Karl ChuComputer as a petGenetic processes should not be equated with either intelligence or nature.Computer is not nature. It makes shapes that are open to deformation and inflection, thoseshapes are not organic.Like a pet, computer does not behave with human intelligence.
Use of Computers in Design Process: Major Consequences - A shift from Cartesian coordinates to Topological surfaces defined by U and V vector coordinates -The predominance of deformation and transformation techniques available in a time- based system of flexible surfaces 3 fundamental properties of organization in a computer : Topology_Time_Parameters Topology is characterized by flexible surfaces composed of splines. Splines are vectors defined with direction. A similar curve described using spline geometry, in whichEach section of the composite curve is defined by a fixed radius. the radii are replaced by control vertices with weights andThe connection between radial curve segments occurs at points handles through which the curved spline flows.of tangency that are defined by a line connecting the radii.
1. A three-degree spline, where the curvature and inflection is determined by a sequence of positions of three points along themotion of flow of the spline. 2. A seven-degree spline, smoother than the three degree spline 3. A two-degree spline,determined by a sequence of positions between only two points. Appears to be a poly-line.1. A superimposed series of splines sharing the same control vertices with different degrees of influences; a two-, three-, four-,five-, six-, and seven-degree spline curves. 2. The splines showing the distributed effect of a change in one control vertex acrossthe length of the spline. 3. A spline surface, or mesh, constructed out of groups of splines whose control vertices are connectedacross one another. The splines are grouped into U and V directions, where the control vertices of the U direction splines passthrough the control vertices of the V direction splines.
1. A spline surface that begins as a twisted mobius band and is stretched and joined aloing itsedges to form a self intersecting surface. Enclosed volumes are trapped within the surface byboth the joining and intersecting operations.From Stephen Barr, Experiments in Topology (New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1964)2. A transformation of a ring into a cup through the flexibility of a single surface.From Stephen Barr. Experiments in Topology (New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1964)
Topology: Two Linked Principles1. the immanent curvatures that result from the combinatorial logic of differential equtaions2. the mathmatical cause of that curvatureBecause topological entities are based on vectors, they are capable of systematicallyincorporating time and motion into their shape as inflection.Curvilinearity (contrast to Linearity)Curvilinearity is a more sophisticated and complex form of organization than linearity in two regards;1. it integrates multiple rather than single entities2. It is capable of expressing vectorial attributes, and therefore time and motion.These transformations can be linearly morphed or they can involve nonlinear interactions through dynamics. Example of curvature by the situation of a Frisbee chased by a running dog.
Analyzing time, movement and transformation:D’Arcy Tompson’s analysisScottish zoolologist Sir D’Arcy Tompson analyzed variations in the morphology of animals using deformablegrids, which yielded curvilinear lines due to changes in form.Thompson was one of the first scientists to notate gradient forces (such as temperature) through deformation,inflections, and curvature. Study of the transformation of crustacean carapaces through the deformation of a flexible grid or ‘rubber mat’ by D’Arcy Thompson.
Thompsons illustration of the transformation of Argyropelecus olfersi into Sternoptyxdiaphana by applying a 70° shear mapping
Analyzing time, movement and transformation: Etienne-Jules Marey ‘s Study Marey pioneered the study of curvature as the notation of both force and time. Marey was one of the first morphologists to move from the study of form in inert Cartesian space, devoid of force and motion, to the study of rhythms, movements, pulses, and flows and their effects on form. Marey produced “phase portraits” by describing time as a continuous curvilinear flow.Marey used pneumatic triggers to the joints of animals to Marey would connect curved lines through these points totrigger camera exposures in rhythmic sequence. In this describe a curvilinear continuity across the snapshots.way, the rhythm of photographic instances weresequenced to the movement of the animal.
Flying pelican captured by Marey around 1882. He found a way to record several phasesof movements in one photo
Evolutionary TheoriesThe idea of Fitness Landscape:Francis Galton described evolution in terms of fitness landscape; whereby a surface represents an externalenvironment across which a faceted sphere rolled. The faceted sphere represents an organism with its owninternal constraints, and the landscape represents its potential pathways of development. Sketch of a fitness landscape by C.O. Wilke, 2001 In this schema, the object has actual force and motion, where the landscape has virtual force and motion stored in its slopes.
Other topological landscapeIsomorphic polysurfaces (blobs) skeletons (inverse kinematics networks)_warps_forces_ particles.Spline entities are intensively influenced by their context due to the fact that they are defined by hangingweights, gravity and force. The weights of one spline surface can effect those of another spline surface.These resulting structures are called blobs.Blob ( = Isomorphic polysurface, meta-clay, metal ball)an alternative example of a topological surface exhibiting landscape characteristics.Blob’s fusionWhen two or more blob objects are proximate, they will Mutually redefine their respective surfaces basedon their particular gravitational properties or Actually fuse into one contiguous surface. Disconnected primitives used to compose an Isomorphic polysurface with primitives isomorphic polysurface. fused into a single surface.
Design Application: Rather than an entity being shaped only by its own internal definition, these topological surfaces are inflected by the field in which they are modeled. If an entity is moved in space, its shape might change based on the position within gradient space even though the definition of the entity remains constant.Greg Lynn, Embryological House, 1999The Embryological House is a series of one-of-a-kind houses that are customised by Greg Lynn FORM for individualclients. The houses are adaptable to a full range of sites and climates.
Perhaps the best precedent for the unfolding of curved space is evident in the concept ofFrederick Keisler’s "endlessness" along with Adolf Loos’s concept of the "raumplan" The Endless House is called the ‘endless’ because all ends meet, and meet continuously... It is endless like human body..Theory of Raumplan – Continuous flowof spaces and spatial structure of plan
Reference from philosophy and Biology:Henry Bergson:This relationship between a force and the object which stores that force in itsform is reminiscent of the insight made by Henri Bergson in his book, Matter and Memory,in which he argues for a nondialectical understanding of the relationship betweensubstance and energy.Bergson argued that;Matter could not be separated from the historical process of itsbecomingLynne Margulis:Margulis formulated the evolutionary hypothesis that micro-organisms evolve theircomplexity by incorporating simpler organisms into larger multiplicities thatbecome capable of reproduction as a singularity.
Work of Hans jenny: in the 1950s and 1960s is undoubtably the best example of the study of how oscillating, fluctuating, gradient fields of forces can produce not only patterns but forms. Jenny argues that in the case of "the vibrational field it can be shown that every part is, in the true sense, implicated in the whole.“ He gave these structures the name "cymatics" meaning the "characteristic phenomenology of vibrational effects and wave phenomenon with typical structural patterns and dynamics."Sand Patterns (left) Sound Frequencies (right) after Hans Jenny
Video – Hans Jenny‘The creative manipulation of a flow of parameters in time’- Lynn
Concept of ‘abstract machine’ and ‘concrete assemblages’"A diagram is a map, or rather several superimposed maps."(Gilles Deleuze, Foucault, p.44)‘The abstract machine is like the cause of the concrete assemblages thatexecute its relations; and these relations take place not above but within thevery tissue of the assemblages they produce.’(Gilles Deleuze, Foucault, p. 37)
Etienne-Louis Boullee’s Cenotaph to Newton, is both an abstract model and a sign.it represents the movements and organization of a centered and harmonically regulateduniverse, is a concrete assemblage.it is a diagram for centralized harmonic regulation, like a compass, it is an abstractmachine.
The effects of abstract machines trigger the formation ofconcrete assemblages when their virtual diagrammaticrelationships are actualized as a technical possibility…In order to bring these technologies into a discipline that isdefined as the site of translation from the virtual into theconcrete, it is necessary that we first interrogate their abstractstructure. Without a detailed understanding of their performanceas diagrams and organizational techniques it is impossible tobegin a discussion of their translation into architectural form.Lynn, Greg. “Animate form”. Animate form. New York: PrincetonArchitectural Press: 1999. 40-41
Greg Lynn, Kleiburg housing project, Bijlmermeer, theNetherlands, 2006For the existing 500-unit social housing block, built in theearly 1970s on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Lynn’s designproposes a diversity in both social and architecturalarrangement through the reduction of public space, thedivision of the block into manageable neighbourhoods of10 units, and the design of unit neighbourhoods withdistinct identities. A series of more than 150 parametricallydesigned, uniquely shaped vertical steel trusses organisesthe building through a semitransparent stainless-steelfabric cladding.
Greg Lynn, Slavin House, Venice, California, due for completion 2007The Slavin House has been developed using MicroStation software. The house folds inside and outside rooms into asingular porous environment that occupies the entire triangular site. A single-storey occupiable structural truss defines themass of the house, composed of only two continuous extruded and radially bent steel tubes, braided and looped throughone another, which function simultaneously as horizontal and vertical members: beams and piloti. Each element of thehouse does more than one thing at a time: material and surface continuities make volumes both voids and solids, insideand outside, continuous fillets and radial tangents enable the curvilinear basket structure to both support and create hollowcourts. This flowing continuity of upper and lower levels, of roof and ground, and of voided hollow structural baskets andmass, engenders a new kind of porous domestic space that folds together indoor and outdoor spaces, structural frame,void lightwells, solid figures, a translucent bounding envelope and an undulating ground plane into a suspended mixture.