This installation reflects a collaborative, research-led design project, aiming to explore the potential offered by incorporating parametric generative tools and performative lighting simulation software in architectural design and fabrication. It was designed in the collaborative design studio framework of the Digital Integrated Design Program. During the intense 12-week schedule, student teams were asked to explore and apply generative parametric tools, such as Rhino and Grasshopper, in order to design and construct a small pavilion with a theme of their choice. In addition, each team was asked to optimize their design proposal by embedding environmental software plug-ins in their design process; thereby aiming to re-inform their parametric models and set performance targets. Finally, each team proposed a file on factory fabrication technique following all constraints of a limited, predetermined budget. The most convincing and consistent proposal was then chosen for fabrication. The finalized project serves as verification of the effectiveness of the design system and teaching methods used.
The Deceptive Landscape pavilion was conceived as an algorithmic patterning field, controlled by a set of point attractors, determined by paths of the users’ trajectories. A generative design tool, able to associate the visitors’ movement path trajectories to variable degrees of the field's density was developed. Its aim was to achieve different zones of light intensity, as well as visibility-visual deformation; hence, deception. The tool uses a Grasshopper script based on the "c-cluster" grid and the "pt-Point Attractors" components. The visitors’ walking path trajectory, as defined by the designer, acts as the main parameter of deformation allowing the grid to transform its density, size, and height as well as the diameter of the units forming it. Consequently, various iterations associated to different path scenarios can be explored.
In order to materialize the field and achieve different degrees of light intensity, visibility, and visual deformation, the team decided to use transparent, acrylic tubes. Through their cylindrical shape, radius, material property, and arrangement (i.e. variable density and height), they appear to disrupt the visitor vision, visibility, and perception while walking or standing on the pavilion. The 3D installation could act as a visual filter that blurs or distorts people and objects in it or behind it. The accumulation of all lighting and visual effects was expected to produce visual and spatial deception.
Project Credits: Supervisor and Project Manager: Asterios Agkathidis Design Team: Zhang Yidan, Ye Zhou, Wu Xiaoyun Fabrication and technical assistance: Stuart Carroll, Michael Baldwin, Stephen Bretland, Aleksandar Kokai Photography: Daniel Davies