juyeonk – Looking Outwards – 03



Title: Computational Design Of Metallophone Contact Sounds

Creator: Gaurav Bharaj, David I.W. Levin, James Tompkin, Yun Fei, Hanspeter Pfister, Wojciech Matusik, Changxi Zheng

Year of Creation: 2015

Link to the project: http://cfg.mit.edu/content/computational-design-metallophone-contact-sounds


This project is intended to explore the manufacturing process of metallophones of various shapes and sizes. Previously, professionally designed metallophones came only in the shapes of bars, and the collaborative team from Harvard, MIT and Columbia tried to come up with a way to produce metallophones of not only unique appearances but sounds as well. They invented an algorithm to deform and perforate metals of random shapes to optimize the sounds that they produced when struck. They believed the new method would enable non-professionals to make their own, unique metallophones as well.

Doing so requires an extensive exploration of the energy landscape. They first mapped the sound spectrum that the metal piece produced and compared it to the desired sound spectrum that they wanted the metal piece to produce. Then using the algorithm that allows the isotropic scaling of the metal piece in relation to the desired change in the sound spectrum and through the repeated process of discretization and instantiation, the team could produce a new piece of metal with an ideal sound spectrum. Using the same method, they could also have multiple tones and chords produced from a single metal piece.





sntong-Looking Outwards-03-Computational Fabrication

Evaporative Folding by Jeana Ripple (project architect), Ryan Lewandowski and Hossein Haj-Harriri + Mehdi Sadaat (consultant) uses computational techniques to customize the production of aluminum modules that creates an effective facade for evaporative cooling for houses in hot and dry climates. By optimizing material properties and manufacturing processes for aluminum, the team was able to generate an effective “cooling” facade that is durable, mold-resistant and can also act as an passive solar heat gain element during the night. The computational processes in the project is used to determine location, size of holes that are then CNC into the aluminium panels to create the perforation pattern suited for the house in the specific location.

It is inspiring to see the possible elegant solutions that computational processes are allowing architects and engineers to address environmental issues. Not only the project is successful in demonstrating what computational fabrication can do for the construction industry, it also shows that architects can design smarter buildings that are more energy efficient.

(image source: http://ripplearchitecture.com/Evaporative-Skin)

Looking Outward 3


The Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart construct a research pavilion every year since 2010. The one that I admire the most, however, is not the latest and most complicated one, but the 2012 one. In November 2012 ICD and ITKE have completed a research pavilion that is entirely robotically fabricated from carbon and glass fibre composites. What I admire is that “the research focused on the material and morphological principles of arthropods’ exoskeletons as a source of exploration for a new composite construction paradigm in architecture”. When I was watching the Vimeo video that records the procedure of the model making. I feel that robots and computing really take a big part in the future architecture. I am an architecture major student, so I am really curious about the future trend of buildings. This pavilion makes me feel very excited because using robots are actually helping architects to build a bigger dream. When using robots, your models can be in a much larger scale in a higher level of precision and elaboration. It can reduce the amount of labor and improve the efficiency. Also, it can human’s thoughts into In the video, they also show that they are using Grasshopper, a plug-in, in Rhino to control the robots. I am now taking the Grasshopper course which makes me more excited about this. We also need to learn about coding, python, in grasshopper to write programs to make a model. I think this project really gives me the direction, inspiring me what grasshopper and robots can do to achieve your dream, and guides me to go further and further with technology. .

ENwandu-Looking Outwards-03-Silk Pavilion

Silk Pavilion – MIT Media Lab

Director of Project – Neri Oxman

Team Members: Markus Kayser, Jorge Duro-Royo, Jared Lauks

Final View; Combined efforts of digital (CNC MIill) and biological (Silk worms) fabrications.
Silk worms doing there thing; weaving upon the primary structure
Primary structure fabricated by CNC mill, informed by the motion of the silk worms.






The silk pavilion is a very intriguing (slightly disgusting) project, not simply because of its computational fabrication, but its connection to biology. The research carried out by the group focused on the integration of computational form finding techniques with biologically inspired formations. Inspired by the way silk worms weave delicate cocoons, the pavilion was created using a base of robot-woven threads wrapping a steel frame. Ultimately, the structure was completed by unleashing 6500 live silkworms onto the primary structure. Before the primary structure was built, the team involved with the project delved into some painstaking research, into the silkworm’s interaction with their environment, and methods of weaving their cocoons. This involved observing them in a variety of 3D spaces under different ambient conditions to utilizing motion tracking equipment to examine the construction process. The patterns computed by tracking the silk worms directly influenced the path the CNC mill would take when fabricated the primary structure. The pavilion’s overall geometry was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches, providing various degrees of density

I really admire this project, because of the bio-mimicry involved. The project is one that truly encompasses the ideas of information technology and biology. We see the geometric frames used, alongside a technologically interpreted natural process. Both species involved with the project have a voice, but its intriguing how seamless they are. The researchers’ eve observed that the “blind instinct of the silk worm is sometimes almost machine-like”. I see projects like this becoming influential in a conversation about what art, architecture, and design can become in the future, by considering how natural order, and processes can inform our design decisions.


Interactive Robogami
Students at MIT have developed what they call “Interactive Robogami,” a project which allows users to 3D print motorized origami creations which can move, walk, or roll. The design consists of an easy-to-use user interface which allows participants to design a structure with features like legs and wheels, while the program calculates speed, direction, and timing of moving parts internally. Completed designs were then sent to the 3D printer for fabrication. Designs were printed as a flat bunch of pieces which are then assembled or “folded” into the desired shape to produce a functional object.
walking dragon
This project is very interesting to me because it combines many different technologies into a single experience. The Robogami consists of complex software, friendly user interface, digital fabrication, origami, and moving parts; this requires a large amount of thinking and collaboration. In addition, I am very interested in how this technology could be scaled up over time, possibly to the transportation or housing level in the far future. This project gives amazing design power to consumers which has never been available before – perhaps in the future users will be able to custom-design their own headphones, cars, or even homes, and have built-in interactive features automatically integrated into the design.

nahyunk1-Looking Outwards 03

The project that I’ve come up with is called Light Barrier by Kimchi and Chips.
The reason why I admire this project is because of its use of diverse mediums and the usage of algorithmic functions to create shapes that suspend in the air. The combination of light and water and the usage of mirrors to reflect the water that shine off through light seemed to be a challenging but very successful way of making an artwork so mystical and precisely calculated. The algorithm, which doesn’t seem so obvious at first, is the set of times in which the light, the mist, and the mirror goes into function all at once, thus creating the artwork of suspending shapes and vanishing altogether as a whole. The shape thereby forms with structure and doesn’t fall into pieces.


‘The artwork was performed at New Media Night Festival in Russia, 2014. Composed in a room full of mist with mirrors, as light appears in a series of repeated patterns, the artwork creates a series of structured shapes and vanishes as each set finishes in the algorithm’.


Parametric World Online

Parametric World is a tumblr blog created by artist Marta Krivosheek. The work she shares on this blog among other online platforms are of the technological, generative nature. [Pintrest|Generative Nature Blog|Twitter]. Parametric World collects works of multiple artists in similar fields and compiles them on this blog; with the organized posts and a big follower-base, this blog is easily discovered and helps artists find inspiration and introduces them to other artists’ work of the same nature through this platform. Many works have useful descriptions in the caption stating the technology used to create the piece.



here are some examples of the type of work that goes on Parametric World Tumblr. It is definitely a go-to blog for inspiration on generative art.

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Earlier this year (February to May), the Carnegie Museum of Art hosted a retrospective of Iris van Herpen’s fashion designs called Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion that featured clothes from 15 of her collections. She is credited to be the first designer to send a 3-D printed dress down the runway. Her dresses are meticulous and overwhelming in detail but she is able to create these intricate dresses through her process of integrating traditional craftsmanship with computers and digital fabrication. Although this particular merging is apparent in the majority of her collections, I think one the most note able collections to mention is Escapism. To me, this is the collection that mostly reads as fashion that merges with digital fabrication as well as meticulous craft. It was also one of her beginning collections to feature more than one 3-D printed dresses on the runway.

In Escapism, Herpen explores the concept of emptiness and how emptiness plays with form to create fantastical and grotesque feelings. Although I couldn’t find information on the particular algorithms used, I do know her process is collaborative as she works with architects like, Daniel Widrig, to 3-D print her desired designs. In this collection, they were able to create a lace-like structure that didn’t require a needle to construct the parts together. Together, they weaved into a coral-like, organic design. Most of the dresses in this collection remind me of the way sine waves move and billow together when programmed correctly.

Herpen became successful because of her unique melding of the two worlds; not just using the machine to replace the traditional process. In an interview with Vogue, she clarified that designing the dress is mostly hand crafted because of the inventive ways the designers need to create to sew the printed components together. In this way, her voice as a traditional artist is still prominent because she uses the machine to support her process, not become it.


Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion




Screenshot from MIT computation fabrication lab’s youtube video.

In looking through examples, I was curious to find work that had function outside of “being pretty” or “showing data”. As a peer expressed, “the most beautiful things are functional”. While this is a long contended perspective, I agree that with the power of generating from code/data, there is power to make very useful things. This multicopter from MIT’s fab-lab can vary it’s physical structure, such as wingspan, power, height, etc. to adjust to the user’s needs. This level of customizability gives users more control than simply choosing from a set list of specs.

From a practical standpoint, printing this using a 3D printer would be economically viable. Mass production using other materials may be tricky because of molds; however if 3D printers could print the molds themselves, I could see this concept used widely.


Bolbemit by Studio Nick Ervinck has a parasitic presence in the chapel, yet it somehow manages to be harmonious as well. This peculiar balance between the innovative and orthodox is what was most memorable and inspirational about this piece of work. While traditionally the ceilings of churches portray biblical scenes, the heavens and so forth, Ervinck challenges this norm through the installation of his modern ‘blob sculptures’. This computer-generated design further questions the rigidity and immobility of architectural structure; as an architecture student I appreciate his inquisitive challenging approach of work. From the almost topographic nature of the Bolbemit, it can be intuitively thought that there is a radial formula involved, with different variables so as to differentiate between the previous geometry. The questioning of the compatibility between virtual and actual space is a recurring theme in the work of Ervinck, and that is clearly reflected in this work as well.

Link | http://nickervinck.com/en/works/detail-2/bolbemit-2

Work | Nick Ervinck, 2014