Parametric Architecture: Perceive | Act | Live (B.Arch Final Thesis)

“The interoperability between parametric software and its implementation through plugins, and Arduino hardware platform inspired me to design an architecture sensitive system, able to reverse the trend of traditional interaction man-architecture. Architecture can respond to a need, to a human stimulus, without requiring the direct will of the latter, a spontaneous interaction.In accordance with the theories of architecture as parametricist system of dynamic communications, systematic and adaptive variations I developed a real model able to give a concrete manifestation of these basic concepts, a model within which focuses idea, a ‘hypothesis for future development for the world of architecture and human-built environment. ”

The first step of the identification system consists of the design through parametric software of a correct digital model and its adaptability with the real world.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato)

Important element of the “digital” phase is the relationship of continuous feedback between the expressive potential of the software and realization constraints in the real world.

I decided to use as a virtual model based on a spheroidal geometry that can be changed along its axes of construction and capable of be easily reproduced in reality thanks of a plastic material able to meet the needs of elasticity but at the same time capable of imparting strength and rigidity to the model.The modeling of digital system is carried out through the construction of a Grasshopper algorithm that would allow me the management of each geometric component of the model, giving it a formal variability that can fill any subsequent changes to the model.The second modeling phase consisted in the application of an hexagonal grid above the curved surface previously produced, obtaining the future structure of the model, faithfully reproduced with the plastic modules during the construction phase of the physical model.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 2

The perfect manageability of the data flowing through the Grasshopper engine has allowed me to overcome obstacles in geometric modeling through the use of logical operations and with the ability to split the data into lists and work on them independently.

Here is the logical expression used to solve the problem.


1 X + Y> Z, then X + Y = K 2 X + Y <Z, then X + Y = H

The use of a logical operation of this type has allowed me to keep the desired result by splitting the data into two lists (1.2) with the same initial data (X + Y), but different results (K, H ) to vary the predetermined requirement constant (Z).

The final stage of the writing process of the algorithm has related to the application of a physical force to the digital model in order to obtain a dynamic geometry by means of a simulation in real time. Through the use of Kangaroo Physics I equipped with the digital model of an elasticity and a behavior similar to the Hooke’s spring, using the extremes of the model as static anchor points and the central body as a deformable component according to the parameters of elasticity, friction and length intrinsic in the spring system. The software works by exploiting the mesh geometry and deforming fibers generating a dynamic and adaptive element.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 1

The composition process of Firefly algorithm is based on a twofold interactive procedure between real and virtual model that can return an independent model from the behavioral point of view. The first process consists in reading the impulses (input) from outside via photoresistor able to perceive the light radiation transforming it into readable data by the Arduino platform. The refinement of these data and their scaling in a usable range allowed me to reuse as data input for the next process of writing.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 6

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 4

The second process consists precisely in the writing of data obtained previously on the Arduino board in order to trigger a behavioral reaction really dependent from the flowing data of the reading process.The efficient interaction between these two processes allows for a dual dynamic, both virtual and real, generating a real interactive model and a coherent digital geometry consistent with the model. The behavioral autonomy is the result of the overall process, an adaptive intelligent geometry able to adapt to stimuli according to criteria based on a parametric process, in which the interaction is the benchmark.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 5

The manufacture of a real model having structural elastic properties allowed me to digital modeling the components according to my formal needs and their subsequent prototyping through a system of three-dimensional printing able to give a product with an excellent degree of precision and rapid reproducibility.

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 3

Final Thesis Slideshow (trascinato) 7

Rapid prototyping is one of the fastest growing sectors in technology in recent years and identifies a new way of conceiving the prototype as an element of immediate consultation and use different techniques of production, from three-dimensional printing plastic (ABS, PLA), milling , to laser cutting.

The today advanced level of production of prototypes reached is about an open source approach to the design and construction of these instruments that allowed economic accessibility to technology through the use of an Arduino board and the possibility of a continuous implementetion / testing of technical properties.

One of the leading manufacturers in the field of open source is the three-dimensional printers MakerBot Industries whose MakerBot Thing-O-Matic is one of the products of the industry standard. The production system of the prototype is based the fusion of a plastic material (ABS) via a thermocouple and the deposition of the latter on a plate mobile or static. The overlapping of the material through multiple layers (layer) takes place following the suggested geometries from the file digitally modeled by the modeling software.

Tutor: Arch. Cesare Griffa

One response to “Parametric Architecture: Perceive | Act | Live (B.Arch Final Thesis)

  1. I really like what you are doing over there (Y)
    I am wondering, is there any options in the grasshopper with its plugins, to generate forms, or let’s say to affect on a form, from a recorded sounds…not music, but sounds like street sounds per-say?

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