Sunday, April 30, 2006

Consensus web filter

Thanks to the Kevin Kelly website. I found this link especially interesting. Remember we talked about this before? A consensus web filter. Here is the article that explains how the algorithms work.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

On prototypes, part V

Archinect gallery of some prototypes by Herzog&Meuron for this project in Manhattan.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Folding Architecture

These people are searching for new forms in a more traditional way. But it's also interesting to see the approach they are making and their task on deciphering the paperfold algorithm as a morphogenic mechanism.
Understanding and developing the paperfold algorithm transgresses the singularity of the object spawning a series of similar but varying artefacts.

On prototypes, part IV

The projects page of the Responsive Environments Group at MIT's Media Lab.
They work on stuff like this.

On a related note, I also like this idea.

"The tools for managing paradox are still undeveloped"

From this illuminating article by Kevin Kelly.

Also available here.

K. Kelly's whole site is worth checking, he even makes some of his books available, and there is this nice section dealing with cool tools.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

photovoltaic interlude

Almost all prototypical research in the field of energy generation takes place outside the design world. Of course, it is more confortable to consider projects like Holographic Solar and spherical cells as exclusively technical endeavors (as if design could afford to remain detached from technique).

Could projects like these and these, promoted by, yes, the military, channel different attitudes from design's agencies and actors?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

more from the eth caad string

design to production by Fabian Scheurer and Christoph Schindler

evolutive design?

Frank Gehry viewed by "the Simpsoms"
(Nuno, I think this is the video that JFrazer showed you.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

JFrazer making wine glasses

Interactive Evolutionary Design in a Hierarchical way
prelude for the design inteligence program

complex matters

very interesting proposals by two students of the UCL (Hanna and Mahdavi)
complex matters
remember our prototypical façade?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Semantic terrains

Another beautiful example of mapping. this time by creating a geographical explanation.
Remedial landscapes by e-tag

Saturday, April 22, 2006

say hello to the first generation of sdk prototypes

Generated after some of the models developed by Irma
metacrilat laser cutted

Nuno, It brings back that first conversation at your house about Difference and Repetition

Friday, April 21, 2006

On prototypes, part III

Some relevant projects, that may just focus on specific construction techniques, or focus on more complex processes:

Algorithmic Brick Wall - ETHZ

Aegis Hyposurface

loop and Openloop

kinetic systems - MIT

Static! projects - Interactive Institute

transstudio shows a lot of products (that seem more prototypical than finished)

and I guess that the work of Usman Haque could be considered prototypical. But then again, it will be part of our effort to try to define what such could be...

On prototypes, part II

Some research institutions that specifically work with/on prototypes:

Interactive Institute


Innovation Lab

Hyperbody Research Group (at TU Delft)


On prototypes, part I

It might be helpful to start a series on the prototyping theme.
Both the theoretical aspects, existing research institutions and relevant realizations should be considered. And as with everything, further suggestions will be added.

I'll start with recycling a text I've written a few months ago:

Prototypes, studios, the construction industry

Prototypes have emerged as multivalent pathways of exploration in recent academic experiments and achievements. They seem to be envisioned as “machines that could be used only once” (J. Bragança de Miranda), therefore never perfect, resisting idealization. As a machine, a prototype performs. It actively embodies the technical contingencies that coalesce into its fabrication. That is, the constitutive difference between the prototype, and other design media that involve making, is in the former’s implied concoction of disparate procedures and techniques (electronic and otherwise) into something that distinguishes itself by what it does.

(the full text is, for the moment, at a temporary blog for all thick, indigestible or obscure theoretical texts that don´t fit here)

Hanna et al's publications

Whenever you have some free time available, it is well worth checking the publications page of Shean Hanna's site.

(Carlos, if you can, don't miss the one on creativity, and the ones on stereolithography.)

scripting resources

This is the start of an on-going, updatable, list of on-line resources regarding parametric-geometric scripting.
Initially, it will focus mostly on rhino and processing. Other programs will be included according to each and everyone's interests.

Yimei has already mentioned the reconstructivism people. This is a site that seems to be in line with sites like and design tooling.
Some scripts are made available on these sites, but the descriptions of the processes seem to be more complete, at least from a first approach point-of-view.

materialsystems has a few scripts, the keeps going strong and there's still hope of seeing these guys' scripts one day...

The Rhino site has this page , and this MIT resource still seems quite helpful (I wonder if there are other MIT pages).

Now, regarding processing and the like, this Yale resource seems quite good, as well as this MIT one, and we already mentioned

Anymore suggestions?

some more algorithms

musical toys
one of them uses the "game of life" to generate tunes (life forms)
and many others in linked through soundtoys

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Here are some preliminary images from rhino scripting. With an auto generator of sdkie algorithm, there are multiple solutions with any predefined parameter surface, from orthogonal grid to deformed and rotated curves. Magnitude of curvature/waviness is a matter of overall scale and could be adjusted by a specified factor.

sdkie_one perspective

sdkie_one elev

sdkie_two perspective

sdkie_three on two


Monday, April 17, 2006

back to it

I have had some time to think about the process, after discussing in detail with Nuno and David last week. Here are some thoughts on our subject.

At this point we have three main research lines that have to come together some time during the process:

Pattern Formation. Needs to be developed within the frame of genetic algorithms through rhino-script or other friendly scripting software. The starting point being the sdkies series, but moving quickly into crossbreeding and mutation. Ultimately we would need our own software to recognize the patterns from intuition.

Mapping, based on the information visualization technology, to be able to filter the patterns according to various variable requirements. This is a critical issue. It represent the breaking point of the current approach to design (is about choice in chance). We need to visualize lineages and extremes in each range. First step “Memeping”. For this it is critical to be very good friends with arrays (who would have said it)

Prototyping, which has to be taken from now on as the goal instead of as the instrument. We need to understand the current state of the prototyping industries, and its potential. Who is prototyping, what, materials, shortcomings, etc…

I think we can organize a second attack to the three issues in the next month in order to have a coherent body of work for the starting point of the media lab proposal. I suggest the following organization.

YiMei, you could take a look at the prototyping world
David, you should keep working in the mapping tool
I will continue with rhino scripting.
Nuno and Pepe will keep feeding us info.

Everybody should keep doing what they are doing in any case, since this is going great.

Nuno suggested to divide the blog into thematic blogs as the info becomes denser, or to try a wiki-site, any suggestions?

At one point soon I am going to finally open the web site so we have a face while we keep this as a nice and healthy brain.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The concept of the design is based on cellular automata. It creates a self organised growing mesh where the designer is able to directly interfere with the running design by changing parameters and positions of the structural nodes. A computer simulation model was programmed in Java, using 3D API to visualize the design state in three dimensions. The resulting mesh is fl exible and manipulable, allowing it to adapt not only to the user defi ned parameters but also to contextual elements.

And here is the final product.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

People Projects and Patterns

some how I had missed this site during the Oslo brainstorming
which seems to be lounched by stanford u. through this WikiWikiWeb

Flight patterns

Beautiful information visualization on flight patterns
by Aaron Koblin

he teaches at UCLA and has some of his lectures on virtual form available

Spatial Interface Conference

It was fun.
Lots and lots of information, ideas, projects, ramblings, good and scary stuff, and even a few deliciously grumpy diatribes.

difficult to highlight the most relevant, but here goes:

first, check out Beau Lotto. "Abstracting systems, such as the brain, from ecology is meaningless."

at SIAL they seem to be touching on almost everything;

in this unit, films are the context, in every sense, of architectural projects;

Pete Silver set some robots roaming free;

John Frazer said everything must go. including him, apparently to here.
more on this later...
he spoke about some really mind-boggling issues. one was this: construction with no drawings, no specifications, just a fully parametric, ultra-detailed 3d model;

Ian Borden: how the car is the most technically intense interface in the everyday, and its interior the most adjustable of all architectures;

Jason Bruges & Co have some good work;

Dr Watson, D. Greene and Jon Goodbun were also good; and it ended really good, with a high-octane pataphysic-inspired, delirious and intricate presentation by this guy.

Computational Information Design

A very interesting disertation by Ben Fry under John Maeda at MIT

Really the problem being no longer to generate form but to filter it (Darwing like) for survivor

COOL new york art radio

WPS1 Art Radio is the Internet station of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate, featuring an MP3 stream of music, talk, and historical recordings and a free on-demand archive of over 1200 programs.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Offf: Post-Digital Creation Culture

EXTEND: Advanced Processing Workshop
Led by Casey Reas, Ben Fry, Marius Watz and Zachary Lieberman
Barcelona, HANGAR 8 - 12 May

OFFF Barcelona:
Ben Fry & Casey Reas
/ Bigspaceship / Bradley Grosh [GMUNK] / Chuck Anderson / Erik Natzke / Folkert Gorter / Granatta / Group94 / Jonathan Harris / Kyle Cooper / Marcos Weskamp / Marius Watz / Nando Costa / Rob Chiu / Santiago Moebio / Scott Hansen (ISO50) / Supperstudio / Syrup / Vince Frost / Waskman / WeWorkForThem / Wig-01 / Zach Lieberman & Golan Levin / Ze Frank /

Barcelona, CCCB 12-13-14 May 2006

A project by OFFF and HANGAR part of OFFF 2006

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hernan Diaz Alonso

I finally got around to make some contribution. Another guy working on scripts and algorithms and he just won the MOMA PS1 young architects competition. Don't forget to check out his website xefirotarch.