Powerhouse Company Weaves a Walkable Red Loop of Wisdom

An undulating walking trail has been created by the Rotterdam based architecture studio Powerhouse Company as part of the development plan in Chengdu, China. This informal icon, also known as the Loop of Wisdom twists, twirls, curls, folds and follows the lush green terrain, winding and lacing through a vivid park promoting healthy relationships in an aesthetic balance.

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The striking red structure embodies a timeless architectural concept, resonating as a fluidic motion in a spectacular stance. The organic form is a gentle invitation elegantly taking a circular shape that adheres to the topographical geometry. Two programs are entitled to this single structure. The design of a continuous ring that loops about an archetypal and universal form which is organic and enigmatic is an instant eye-catcher. The rise and fall of the curves integrate spaces for the program while being envisioned as a roof observing stunning views.

This icon invokes exploration into its designed spaces ushering a union of architecture and nature. The surrounding spaces respect the traditional Chinese crafts while allowing refreshing public spaces to sit, relax and reflect.

The colour red was chosen to engender a striking contrast with the lush green vegetation. The walkable material is made using rubber asphalt, the same used by athletes to make it comfortable for runners as an Olympic size running track and as a walker’s platform

The circle loops about 600 metres, rising 25 metres above the ground offering enticing and panoramic views. The structures beneath the flying trail act as sales pavilion and reception block for the new Unis Chip City development in Chengdu’s Tianfu New District. The studio’s founder Nanne de Ru wanted to expose an exploratory space that transforms to act as a beacon for the people.

The loop’s intriguing elegance influences with the landscape and parametric form, echoing a simplistic composition in a complex structure. The interior spaces are complemented by wooden ceilings. Within the two buildings, full-height windows have been installed into the exhibition and office spaces with refreshing views of the park

Powerhouse Company has envisioned a future scenario to become part of the project’s more comprehensive development that includes housing, office blocks, shopping malls and schools. Upon completion, the reception block will be converted into a library and a sports centre for an adjacent school to the building.

The Loop of Wisdom is sure to act in harmony with its context forming a single red ribbon weaving the two centres in one freestanding structure. Visitors are allowed here to attend technology and cultural events while reviving in its ambience and spatial experience. Chengdu being the capital city of southwest China, aims to seek a regional growth by amplifying the sustainable development goals along with inviting innovative masterplan strategies.

The future of this looping red band is riveting as it enrols to an enormous fusion on the foundation of people, nature and technology.

Location: Chengdu, China
Architects: Powerhouse Company
Area: 5000m2
Status: Under Construction
Photographer: Jonathan Leijonhufvud Architectural Photography

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An Immersive Wine Experience by CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS

Taste the magical blends of wine, deeply rooted in traditions, infused with the rich and varied heritage of Lahofer Winery designed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS nestled in the Moravian countryside.

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“Wine is bottled poetry”, these are words by the prolific writer Robert Louis Stevenson.

The story of wine is deeply engraved into our history, from religious ceremonies, to trade and health and bonding relationships, this celebrated drink has made its mark around the globe. The design of a winery calls for attention. The Lahofer Winery, nestled in the Moravian countryside brings about a longstanding wine tradition and contemporary wine-making to its glory and grace. A structure immersed itself into the landscape, envisaged as a wine-making facility, an administrative base, a visitor’s center, and an adjoining tasting room in subtle symbiosis encircling enticing views and vines.

Located in the Czech Republic, CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS have sparked an intriguing dialogue surrounding the landscape, reflecting on modern wine-making. The design weaves together three distinct interconnected structures emulating the archetypal wine cellars of the region, where the vault of the Winery rests on a grid of arched beams.

The architects Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof preserve the essence and integrity of the design and its surroundings. The design ushers the legacy of the Winery grounded to cultural heritage with bowing respects to the natural environment. The waveforms of the undulating roof synchronize with the landscape deriving from the topography and architectural tradition. Evoking the characteristic arched wine cellars, a colonnade of vaulted beams frame the interior environment as its curves and drapes along with the exterior shell, with the smooth rise and fall of the walkable roof acting as an inclined open-air amphitheater and cultural venue. The volume of the building is light, as it humbly rests on the fertile soil, along with three diverse spaces connected below, each attributed with various functions integrated within.

Towering the concave roof, space unfolds into a vast cellar, embracing the archetypal Czech wineries expressed by exposed rib construction. The interesting angles of the ceiling make way to compose independently designed concrete arches set at a distance determined by the vine rows. The viewer’s gaze travels through the grapevines along with the rise of each module from a vine row, running across space in perfect visual symmetry.

The visitor center, enclosed in a glass façade, facing south, invokes plenty of light as the windows act as concealed separation from the exterior vine rows. The center invites for an ambient experience with nature, blending with the ornate cellar chiseled in wood, concrete, and glass.

A large-scale mural painting tampered, irregular, and sparse stroked, ranging from earthy reds and blacks, browns and beiges, invoke the soil variations and weightlessness covering the entire ceiling. Czech contemporary artist Patrik Hábl seemingly dashes his brushes from the ground, leaving timeless markings on the walls.

Extending from the form, it stretches to two production halls of distinct heights. The first lower hall holds wine-making production and employee facilities. In contrast, the second allows for operations that require lower temperatures, such as the winepress, the cellar, and the wine store. The varying levels emulating the terrain allow for the alignment of corresponding functional exterior courtyards, one serving the operational area centralizing logistic and production presses, the other holding the arena extending to enriching views of the landscape.

The rhythmic vines add to the open space emerging from the amphitheater investing the boundless roof overlooking a horizon nurtured by its history. The Lahofer Winery does go beyond being a production site into addressing the local culture, serving as a communal space dedicated to cultural events, including local grape harvest celebrations and theatre performances. This place is a hub for connecting the community with visitors of the region and wine connoisseurs.

The Lahofer Winery is a profound reflection of the balance between nature and built forms. A sound and moving journey that stretches about the dazzling landscape, with the slow rise of the curves as an open invitation welcoming you to experience, appreciate the history, and imbibe the wine and its traditions.

Project Information:-

Architects: CHYBIK + KRISTOF
Area: 3842 m²
Location: Dobšice, Czech Republic
Year: 2019
Photographs: Alex shoots buildings, Laurian Ghinitoiu

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Digitally Fabricated Bricks for Recalling the Israel’s Fallen

Building up spaces that provide opportunities for raising the consciousness of a nation’s history has been a fragile concept for designers. Creating memorials that reflect a variety of poetic or concrete expressions have helped prevent the loss of the traces of wars over a long period of time. Going one step further from such sites designed so far, the integration of contemporary building technologies for Israel’s National Memorial Hall reveals new possibilities to juxtapose the past and the present.

Excavated at the top of the Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, a.k.a. Mount of Remembrance, the monumental structure allows the tragedies left behind by the war to be experienced from a personal and collective perspective. Kimmel Eshkolot Architects aimed at the integration of the building into the landscape with a walkable surface for visitors, the design practice of this project was chosen by the Israeli Ministry of Defence. The stepped dome with an opening at the centre is totally made up of an uninterrupted stone texture and offers an environment to observe where history took place.

The essence of the design is to connect the building with the outside, using daylight as an architectural element that flows through the commemorative wall in the form of a vortex funnel, symbolizing the eternal flame. This porous “Wall of Names”, which is the most vital part of this project, was created with minimum overlapping of custom-made bricks on which the names and deaths of war soldiers were engraved. Ultimately, the light that enters from the oculus not only illuminates the building but also emphasizes this sculptural monument.

Approximately 23,000 lightweight building materials were manufactured by implementing computerized methods for the construction of this 250-meter long spiralling wall of mesh. To comply with the building regulations for the structural security, many physical models in real scale were tested at ROB Technologies of ETH Zurich, Ackerstein Industries and Merkava.

These original bricks were developed with the idea of ​​using concrete as the base material in combination with steel to allow pre-cut joints for quick and simple connections. In the end, it was decided to make it all from aluminium to reduce the structural loads and to apply CNC cut for a feasible solution. Each product was also marked to determine their spot on this disordered sculpture.

Despite its dynamic interior, the memorial displays a modest design behaviour from outside by using one type of material throughout its composition. Thus, the focus of the entire project topography was transferred to the monumental cemetery. In contrast, this embedded design inside the main building was transformed into a respectable place away from the noise of the city for the Israeli security forces who lost their lives in the war. Getting closer to the undulating wall of memories, one cannot escape looking up to the sky.

ARCHITECT: Kimmel Eshkolot Architects

COLLABORATING ARCHITECT: Kalush Chechick Architects

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Haim & Yehiel Steinberg Structural Engineering


LIGHTING DESIGN: Amir Brenner Lighting Design


CLIENT: Ministry of Defence of Israel

YEAR: 2017


LOCATION: Jerusalem, Israel

AREA: 5000 m²

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The Misty Oasys by Mask Architects: Under the Mushroom Canopies

International architecture and design firm Mask Architects have been chosen as one of the ten winning designs for the Cool Abu Dhabi Challenge competition, in envisioning palm-like futuristic structures sprouting from the ground, mimicking the shape of a mushroom. The competition is a significant step to confront climate change and engender a more green environment and incorporate sustainable solutions to retaliate against the heat island effect in warm places like Abu Dhabi.

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This global challenge has received over 300 entries from 67 countries. ‘The Artificial Breathing Palm Modular Structure System’ was the striking proposal by Mask Architects. The firm’s design philosophy and approach for creating a ‘Magnetic Field Design Strategy and Particular Distribution Curve flaunt well in their vision of these canopy structures as they bend, bevel, and bow in stark beauty. From a bird’s eye view, it resembles a triangular form with curved corners of each in multiple sizes floating amidst the greens.

The idea of fusion between nature and architecture is quite an issue that needs innovative thinking, purposeful clarity, and smart perspectives. ‘The Oasys’ as the firm calls is literally an oasis in the middle of the city, designed for the residents of Abu Dhabi to relax, refresh and relish outdoor spaces without sensing the heat. ‘The Oasys’ system is composed of a network of gridded stations and hubs performing as islands of harbor and refuge. A rectangular piece of the site is allocated to be the first location, which will serve as the central hub that can be used as a resting place, for social activities, social programs, and communal gatherings. This integration of activities promises for the collective good and community’s growth. The spaces beneath adheres to serve multiple amenities like temporary pop-ups, sitting areas, cafes, exhibitions, sports, and much more.

Each elemental palm module is designed to spray mist through nozzles that underlay beneath each flap, and the roof surface of each structure collects solar energy through inbuilt solar panels. These structures stand to define a sculptural essence while acting as a barrier from regional and environmental issues such as heat, UV rays, noise, wind, and sand storms. Overall, these elements control the atmosphere within to keep it comfortable, tranquil, and cool. The structural foundations are pinned to each plot of land marked for cooling, and they house the water storage and other vital types of equipment. Green landscaping and large trees encircle the canopies that relax and ease the sound pollution and wind entering into the spaces. This blend of technology and nature embosom an eco-friendly space, heralding an efficient green image to the city.

The future of ‘The Oasys’ by Mask Architects is visualized to connect as multiple networks strewn around the cities, weaving the canopy hubs in a perfect symbiosis. The modular design of the system enables each element to be precisely adjusted and scaled. This mechanism allows for an easy replication to inculcate grouped palm structures in any scale of space. The vein-like flutes about the structure light up at night, sparkling a playful delight into the spaces it hugs beneath its wings.

‘The Oasys’ is a soaring take on rethinking public spaces and how it affects the public bubble, how the spaces are going to be socially active, and what functions encourage a fresh ambiance, life, and mood into these zones.

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Design Crossing New Dimensions: Computational Design: NEXT 2.0

A stimulating discussion. Mind-blowing graphical lectures!

And what not to swivel and excite you to learn and explore the parameters beyond your visions. Computational Design Next 2.0 was a massive opportunity that was a spellbinding time-jump to understand parametricism and computation in design. Illustrated by curved code lines and connections that frame behind the futuristic forms that twist and twirl and stretch and fold into avant-garde shapes and sizes. Many times it was a wonder to watch, and ponder about what goes on behind this whole drama? How has humankind evolved to create such natural and emotionally satisfying sculptural art forms? Where does it blend between nature and design? When to start questioning, it’s endless… some even loops in the mind, forming a concocted thought. Register to watch the videos by clicking here.

Taking forward from the first iteration of Computational Design NEXT, that heralded in June 2020; Computational Design NEXT 2.0 pushes the boundaries to mark itself as an extraordinary feat covering fabulous artists, designers, and architects. Computational Design NEXT 2.0 is a collaborative initiative by Parametric Architecture with rat[LAB] EDUCATION, Design Morphine, and A>T. The whole event was like ‘the ending explained’ videos for movies that flip our minds. The wonderful collaborators and special guests deserve an outstanding ovation for their incredible effort over the two days, taking all of us on an exciting journey with pure energy and spirit. Let’s not forget the next visionaries of our planet, the vibrant folks-participants who imbibed each and everything being discussed and questioned, and displayed sheer enthusiasm for the parametric and computational embodiments.

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Computational Design Next 2.0 is an online interactive conference with global frontiers was a two-day program that was live on the 26th and 27th of September, 2020 on a worldwide scale, that engraved a platform for comprehensive online learning focusing on computational design and its various facets of emerging technology. The splendorous panelists Hamid Hassenzadeh (Founder & Editor in Chief, Parametric Architecture), Sushant Verma (Co-Founder & Design Head, rat[LAB] Studio), Arturo Tedeschi (Founder Architect & Computational Designer, A>T), and Michael Pryor (Design Director & Computational Designer, Design Morphine), headed the event as master hosts, inspiring us at every moment, showing and guiding through their presentations as well as the special invitees.

Day 1:
When Hamid Hassanzadeh, Founder of PA tuned online and came into our visual screens; he sparked an electrifying flame for two days, along with him, the wonderful three hosts Sushant, Michael and Arturo welcomed everyone for a fantastic show.

A fun and informal session began with our charming hosts breaking the ice introducing and welcoming every renowned expert speaker and participant with honor and integrity for Computational Design Next 2.0 The live tutorials and mentorship that surfed and voyaged across the two days were each remarkable and extraordinary in its own magical ways. The conference initiated with the hosts’ presenting various informative topics of the parametric world.
‘Crossing Disciplines: in an interdisciplinary world’ lectured by Arturo Tedeschi, indeed struck quite an opening with an expanded thought he brought the idea of why collaboration is essential to designers, consultants, and structural configurators. The evolution of design from history has elevated into a persona called ‘Fluidity’ in computational design. Technology is growing along with the tools being updated every day.

He enlightened on understanding semantics and emotional response, where technique forms part of the bigger picture. He even showcased an array of small-scale objects to large-scale stadiums and bridges that were analyzed and designed in collaboration, invoking inspiration from movies and imagination to form archetypes. One of his prolific works was the showcase of ‘Horizon Lamp’ designed in partnership with Michael, its charming outlook reflected on the feelings of the human mind integrated with the algorithmic tools and models that birthed the sensual and alluring nylon-like white lamp. The illustrious hand-made curves and complexity overwhelm the viewers, giving a contrasting look to it while it’s on and off. The design concept blends on channeling and diffusing light by combining tradition, technology, craft, and computation that ushers the magnificence of the lamp; bringing a new species into the limelight.

Sushant Verma began on a warm note, introducing his prolific journey that took to establishing his computational studio. He has generated and fabricated furniture, wall cladding systems, waffling systems, exhibition spaces; explored and executed façade projects with hexagonal typology, shell structures, large-scale towers, and stadiums. Some of his works, such as the twisting twirling light in Dubai, second-skin texture exhibition space in Japan, 3D printed geometry on tall towers, amongst many are a fascinating array of parametric projects. One of his exemplary works that stands out is the temple that integrated the sacramentary and traditional science of Vaasthu with computational analysis using a peculiar factor of numerology of number 11, where the forms hendecagon becomes the basic structure.

Another work is a mosque designed with the typology of semi-arched columns reinterpreting the elements of Islamic architecture. He has also worked on an iconic cricket stadium project that was developed in grasshopper using python. It is a rational and modular structure with subtle gestures, lifting and dipping the roof to create the smooth wavering façade flowing to form a guideline that implores a visual path for visitors. Rat lab education programs are looking into educating these methodologies that are hybrid in-studio and online, thus uplifting the exposure to computational design, and getting students to explore and interact with a machine-oriented design. These experimental studios unleash creativity. Scalable Tectonics: Speculative Futures is another engaging 16-hour workshop build on the ethos of theory and making something on software expressing what you see and what you feel. Future fantasy scenarios such as settlements on the moon and the mars were explored with much enthusiasm in a post-apocalyptic and post-epidemic scene as the background concepts.

Product design has enabled humankind to resonate in high-performance unifying geometry and simulation. Justin Hattendorf is the cofounder of nTopology, based in New York, brought a new vision into producing high-performing functional designs, transforming 3D data into fine-tuned models. He is an architect turned product designer, who has gained knowledge in coding and then founded nTopology in 2015. Today his company comes out with industrial designs, jewelry, fashion, footwear, products, and gears in various scales. His presentation titled’ Design without Boundaries’ was an inspiring take, with the showcase of creative techniques he has worked from microscopic scales to the façade of a building. Along with his wonderful team, Justin designed the UI and UX within nTopology software. nTopology aims to empower engineers to create incredible products. Its core technology is built on an unbreakable geometry, using field-driven design and versatile workflows. The software stands to save a massive amount of time with faster computation and running speeds and stellar performance. Implicit representation is their core idea to go beyond boundaries to solidify the whole object. Compared to legacy tools, nTop performs on much simpler equations building a robust model for union and intersections, going from solid to porous in just a few easy clicks. He has shown us the flexible ways of using software building almost anything to perfection. The integration of technology in various factors such as structural optimization, architected materials, and digital foam, design for additive manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and industrial design is sumptuous. Even in the medical field, there is an enormous aid brought by nTopology on bones, skulls, spines, and prosthetics. They have even made an efficient COVID-19 swab which was printed and tested in action, thus proving useful in these strange times.

Computational designer and developing architect, Zeynep Topal took over the eyes of the design world through her page ZETZDEZIGN in over a year and a half with her spectacular works on conceptual parametric architecture explored and expanded across various design software. She embarked with a bright charm telling and showing the workings of the Houdini software, based on a set of thumb rules used to build models through computer graphics and wired synapses. She played with the forms in Volume trials, POP network, and L systems, creating generative designs through codes. She finally arrived at an exemplary model portraying flexuous curves as an art-like figure in an electrifying dance. ‘The Algorithmic Beauty of the Plants’ is one of her recommended books to learn about the subsets of L systems. The blobs and flutes of her design were super-expressive and fluidic, as she sculpted the form from her own creative visions.

Augmented architectural objects are the new frontier in visualizations. iheartblob is an award-winning mixed reality design studio founded by Shaun, Sasha, and Ben James. Their work enchants on the crises of thoughts, investing through the various levels of interpretation.

“Architecture willfully ignores the hyperstimulation that comes from its post-digital surroundings-chaotic, messy, and erratic-terminology it does not wish to acknowledge.”

What the real world architecture ignores, is brought in the form of pixel network to understand them as augmented objects, some even tied to physical spaces. Strange and speculative designs use AI to blend with data and items to form coherence of the material and the digital world. They describe it as an animalistic architectural dance, performed in an impossible space with the physical and digital augmentation bringing an immersive experience. Architectural models can be seen as a game to interact and play through our smartphones.

This transforms the way the real world architecture is perceived, imagine at the site: when the building can be viewed in parts and segregated sections digitally. This new feat will liberate architecture from its historical constraints and its disciplinary shackles, reconfiguring physical space usage in myriad ways. How about if you can leave a fragment of thought or memory in the physical space? Can we see three-dimension on phones and digital devices that even enable us to interact? Newer perspectives of space exploration were made by iheartblob on these questions, which are becoming their features. They are bringing the experience of VR to create more emotional experiences and perceptions of time, memory, and sense of place.

Architecture is not plans or sections.
Architecture is real-time interactive applications.
Architecture is not printed or static vignettes.
Architecture is ephemeral, viral social media posts.
Architecture is not static orthographic projections.
Architecture is immersive hybrid design environments.
This new visual language is architecture.

Michail Desyllas is an architect and an entrepreneur, he has been beginning working with Zaha Hadid Architects and later co-founded his firm called AiBuild. This place designs high-performance products and computational design manufacturing. He has worked on various high-level projects, that are advancing its boundaries and mechanics. He usually works in teams with motivated people on experimenting with innovative ideas, and he keeps himself updated with the art that channels his creative flow. Autonomous, Connected & Additive were the keywords of his striking presentation. In which, Factory of Future was an exciting vision to envision a world of robotic intelligence in factories, that maximizes efficiency and functionality. Their technology is connected and synced through the cloud and weaved algorithmically using generative developments. Most of their experiments are on the concept of lattice structures that are much light and strong, even good in fault detection. The AiCell version 3 being the latest is a robotic arm that builds integrated models working on the composites and plastics as core materials. Every small scale model to large scale factorial works gets crafted in his company. Daedalus pavilion is one of his structural marvels, curving and bending to evoke an elated feeling to its viewers and many others like Puddle chair, stem 45, bottle top, and thallus. Michail believes in working, experimenting, and performing on small scales to advance the technology forward, involving mechanics and robotics to design intricate functional designer products.

‘One tool, Many Outputs’ was the title of Michael Pryor’s presentation. He approached in style, giving a thoughtful take on the idea of what’s happening with the software companies and the big brands, how they are looking for computational designers and architects, such as Apple, Coca Cola and so on. One of the best space planning solutions was created initially by wework in their workspace prototypes. Then Finch 3D brought in an intuitive new level of computational space planning, that has proven to be very efficient and time-saving. ZHA designs in forms that vary between various zone bubbles and color patterns. Michael talked about his transition from architecture to Nike, which is simple as the core of design and the theories followed remain the same. From tattoos to a car to games and facades all carry the same core logic of design. His points were to raise these issues and stir fresh ideas and transform the vision to build and conceive a new, evolved future.

‘We are moving towards a new stage where the complexity is hidden. How neat, clean, optimal, fast, and creative can you be?’ asked Michael in the end.

The idea of education and how its physical reality and online platforms are teaching us in a great many ways about what was teaching and what can be done in the future. Hamid, Sushant, Michael, and Arturo discussed in great deal modern-day education and the rise of online platforms, its advantages, and disadvantages. In a pandemic time like this, It is truly a boon for all of us to meet under one circle; the online world, and learn from each other and discuss thought-breaking ideas to chart a new hopeful world.

Day 2:
Arturo, Sushant, and Michael began their collaborative workshop sharing a bunch of software like Grasshopper, Rhino, Pufferfish, BowlBuilder, Ladybug, Millipede, and so on. The computational stadium design was a toolkit development project for designing a stadium they envisioned, especially for the workshop. Soccer is a sport that has seen bringing countries together, joining hands, and marking major milestones in history. To begin with, Sushant started with the basic parameters of designing a stadium, using sightlines and seating arrangements, and going through its profile configurations. Gates and gangways and C value must be assessed and carefully determined, as they were the major plot points in the design. Sushant intricately explained the work behind making the angles using the essential tools in depth. And then, he handed it to Arturo who worked on designing the skin of the whole stadium model. Arturo showed the idea of branching and interpolation, which was diagrammatically explained in simple tree diagrams. Michael’s magic added the cherry on top of the cake, with finely crafted and designed panels, tested and oriented to the geometry according to the analysis shown by the heat radiation. Michael added the grasshopper links and strings mapping down to follow some numbers, along with the geometry of the panels that morphed and brought the oval figure to its full life. The shuffling, transfer of files, and various techniques displayed by these master creators, in sound collaboration with each other brought the design of the soccer stadium in magnificence. Taking cues from Next 1.0, this translated into showcasing a collaborative workflow for designers.

Rafik Anadol is a media artist and director at Refik Anadol Studio based in Istanbul. He is a pioneer in aesthetic machine learning and creating interaction between humans and machines. He works along with a computerized mind as his collaborator. He works on site-specific projects, architecture, and audiovisual experiences in temporal and spatial dimensions. He sparkled into the workshop with a boom, sitting in his studio with a morning coffee and a bright smile. He began his lecture with a bow down to his Heroes, Teachers, and Mentors. ‘We are not who we are without the past’ says Refik. His journey starts from early findings to founding his studio and bringing machine intelligence into the picture. At the age of 8, fascinated by the movie Blade Runner, he was inspired to chase and grasp the ideas behind digital technology. As a hardcore gamer, he shared flashes of his interests ranging from graphics, motion design, and architectural photography that layered him with the bolt of confidence to take steps into the digital world.
‘In other words, architects along with artists can take the next logical step to consider the “invisible” space of electronic data flows as substance rather than just void – something that needs a structure, a politics and poetics’ – Poetics of Augmented Space, Lev Manovich.
He invoked light as a significant element of his work. Can projecting onto architecture, create ephemeral contemporary performance? Can architecture heal the public environment? His works decoded transmuting and evolving graphics on facades that intrigued the spatial experience in an aggrandized way. Also, at the same time, he addressed the negative pull of media devices on the lives of humans.
‘Design is a solution to a problem; art is a question to a problem’ – John Maeda.
What does it really mean to be a human in the 21st century? asks Refik, a thought-provoking question to bring awareness of our own self.
He shared a great deal about the language between humans, machines, and environments, the idea of melting between physical space and virtual reality. He usually works on the streets with wires and cables augmenting and plugging another reality into the real-world scenario.

‘Architecture is judged by the eyes that see, by the heads that turn, and the legs that walk. ‘Architecture is not a synchronic phenomenon but a successive one, made up of pictures adding themselves one to the other, following each other in time and space, like music’ – Le Corbusier.
At one point in time, Refik was driven by the dream that awakened on the Bilbao Museum by Frank Gehry. He installed ideas on a mock-up model that made him present it to his hero, Architect Gehry himself, who appreciated his idea of simulation on top of his masterpiece. His dream came true from many collaborations that helped him raise the curtains to a breath-taking show at Bilbao.
‘Information consists of differences that make a difference’ – Edward Tufte.
‘The specific function of art has been to show that art does not reside in material entities, but in relations between people and between people and the components of their environments’ – Jack Burnham
‘Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards’ -Soren Aabye Kierkegaard.

Every single day ‘data’ is being created the most tremendously. Parametric data sculptures were a marvelous vision of visualizing a new field, bringing to life a new version of public art. To transform the spatial experience and interact with the available space in public. Refik is currently working on how to visualize the signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 5G waves.
Is there a way to capture wind as data?
Wind direction, speed and gust, direction, and temperature, all packed into one bubble of a frame that sways and jitters across a canvas.
Can a machine simulate nature?
The ideas are fascinatingly fabulous when the thought of our space becomes something more, being more human.
‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite’ – William Blake.
The idea of visual walls all around gives us an otherworldly experience. The imagination of neuroscience is being extolled and diversified and updated to create better interaction with humans.
‘Like the invention of applied pigments, printing press, photography and computers, we believe machine intelligence is an innovation that will profoundly affect art.’ – Blaise Aguera Arcas.
Imagine a three-dimensional space with a million books and documents that can engulf us to invoke a new manner of future library experience.
Can we transcode our memories into three-dimensional space?
‘Imagination will often carry us to the worlds that never were, but without it, we go nowhere’ – Carl Sagan
Imagination is decadent when it stretches to discover more profound meaning. Machine hallucination is another beautiful concept breaking the idea of dreams from a machine and walking through the spaces and places it creates. Rafik’s work on capturing the city of New York was spellbinding; it was almost as if another entity is talking from a different dimension.
Inspiration and celebration are the only words needed to describe Refik and his magic.

Anouk Wipprecht is a Dutch fashion-tech designer and artist, and she sparkled with her stark presentation and charm. Her brilliance and ebullient imagination transformed the way humankind wears a dress and the sense of attire, evoking an evolutionary step transcending appearance to a futuristic style. Her studies began on designing over the human body in different space bubbles such as intimate, personal, social, and public space. Spider dress is one of her iconic designs that incorporates robotics to react by its sensors that detects people around and reacts with retractable claws as a mode of protection. The smoke dress is another interactive design, that spills smoke from a 3D printed costume, which was showcased and received well with much appreciation. Her fashion industry follows behavioral factors that are expressive and sensitive when integrated with robotics as an interface on how to read the social, playful, emotional signals structured around humankind. She discussed in detail prototyping, open-source, body signals, R&D, and collaborations. Light, technology, and innovation are bringing the idea of dressing and wearing into a creative aesthetic inspiration of tomorrow. She believes in DNA mixing with identity, imparting a new notion to our dressing style and our own self-perception. Body signals do take part in a significant role in impacting the design, as the dress will be in accord with each individual’s mannerism, receiving signs and responding to needs. A unicorn-shaped headset is another crucial piece of equipment that records the wearer’s observation. It is equipment to understand what is happening through a mohawk-shaped model placed along the center of our head, this also acts as a medical aid. Anouk has genuinely transformed the way humans look up to themselves, and how the new fashion models are going to transform the world with a new lens of expression.

By the end, Hamid took over the show in style, acknowledging the future of humanity. He began sharing the journey of Parametric Architecture, which sprouted in 2016 with just 50 followers and has now reached 800K followers, becoming one of the best platforms to learn about computation and parametric designs. He began with the idea of what an algorithm is, the use of input to output map and data. He shared about electronic machines that work based on a set of rules that can interact and perform their function. ‘Human in itself is an algorithm’ says Hamid. There are two types, such as biochemical algorithms and electronic algorithms. When the first time an AI machine beat a human champion in chess, marked the rise of machine intelligence and its capabilities. Even music nowadays uses algorithms that scripts and sets pieces with a different understanding of their own working. Even in art, AI is producing artworks that are drawn by their self-learning. Stock markets are also seeing a radical change in the boom of integrating with codes and computerized intelligence. Every technology has transformed and is being evolved, from cars to mobiles on a massive scale—driving maps, smartwatches that record everything from our health to our mood swings to Amazon go, Alexa, and drones are becoming the new ways of buying, talking, and transferring data between humans and machines. Amazon’s beehive project is interesting concept art, as it shows how in the future drones are going to do the job of delivering parcels. Elon Musk’s idea of putting a link into the brain that will aid someone with disabilities and transform their life is also a massive step in the global rise of technological prowess. The path of PA has taken enormous momentum from the time Hamid began this journey. Now there are a lot of things happening, PA live interviews with famous architects where they share their ideas and vision. PA talks and PA sense are other branches of the platform integrating with the pioneers, unfurling their experience and works presented in audio recordings and videos. Hamid even shared a collection of thought-provoking books on parametric and computational designs that are the hot picks of the market.

Value every second of our lives to bring people and conceive knowledge, learn, share and grow together is what ParametricArchitecture has stood for and will stand for. The flair and finesse of Hamid and his outstanding amount of hard work and time do reflect in the events that orbit around PA. PA ACADEMY is the latest venture from PA bringing an exclusive platform to learn new software skills and other topics, a powerful space to learn.

Computational Design Next 2.0 was truly transformational; a profoundly enlightening experience. Register to watch the videos by clicking here. PA will be coming back with much more exciting things until then stay safe and stay healthy. CD Next 3.0 is on its way … Coming soon to your screens!

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Fabricating An Evolution of Design Using Robotic Technology

Designing for Robotic Fabrication was an awe-inspiring workshop that happened four days during the weekends on 3rd- 4th October 2020 and 11th – 12th October 2020 successively. A corroborating collaborative between PAACADEMY and AADRL on Robotic Technology in a global learning platform bestowed by ParametricArchitecture engrossed in fabulous ideas and sharing of knowledge with well-defined prowess, hurdling challenges, and thought-provoking discussions. You can watch the recorded videos by purchasing them from the link below:

Click here to register and access the recordings.

A simulation between man and Robotic Technology is the most significant invention the world has ever seen. Robots have stepped into our lives, encoding and constructing instruments that define our ecosystem. Introducing architectural geometry requires immense calculations and configurations that are quicker than the human brain to weave a complex web of performance, material quality, and aesthetics paving the way to become a magical solution to the world’s problems. The use of physics, angles, and lengths contrive an organism that playfully and functionally intrigues our minds, aiding to preserve novel spatial essence and engage in an organic fusion with us and nature.

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Hamid Hassanzadeh, the founder of PA initiated the event by an exciting prologue as he announced, introduced, and welcomed the professional tutors Shajay Bhooshan, Federico Borello, Leo Bieling, and Cesar Fragachan, where they gathered and took their stage in grand perceptions. Also, a big hand to all the exemplary students keeping their undivided attention as the workshop progressed.

The entire workshop was segregated into parts, where the initial day began with a Lecture by Shajay Bhooshan, followed by a presentation of what’s coming up with an introduction on ruled surfaces in Maya and Rhino. The next day took off with a review of initial design studies by the students followed by the display of the robotic arm-how it works and its constraints. After a week, the tutors and students met beginning with an interim review and an introduction to Nachi WebApp – to have a dialogue with the robot and then showcase the robotic hot wire cutting of their designed models and forms. The final day carried on with the student’s models being generated by the robot and reviewing their work along with an outlook and spirited discussion on Robotic Technology.

Shajay Bhoosan shared thought-provoking questions and ideas behind geometrical knowledge; the concept behind stereotomy; how robots have evolved over the years and how they have advanced in their processing efficiency and capabilities? Why storytelling and its production is essential? How can we tune the ideas of mathematics, physics, and technical knowledge to induce a change in the way we see the world? The functional benefit it invokes is highly useful and is a necessity that needs addressing. Architectural Geometry is scientific, exciting, and fun while being economical and productive at the same time being entrepreneur-friendly. It must infuse from our history and envisage an ecologically sustainable model that is also socially adaptable. This workshop on Robotic Technology presented a window into this world of massive possibilities.

Fredrico Borello, Leo Bieling, and Cesar Fragachan presented a sneak peek into the lineage of AADRL cumulative and collaborative, where they used to bring in people from multiple professions to work together, experiment, and challenge ideas by altering the known dimensions of the design world. They even shared their methods and styles practiced at Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with Shajay Bhoosan. Simulations, iterations, and diagrammatic ideas are intricately weaved to analyze why a certain space is used the most, how can we determine a language of organic design? Can design play according to the user’s needs at a community level? Robotic hot wire cutting can ensemble a translation of these design ideas and customize their unit in multiple ways, from furniture to structure or even the edifice of a building. They showed their stages of work behind building prototypes to test the variables from small-scale models to 1:1 typologies.

When we look to our past, we could take cues and references from master architects like Felix Candela, Antoni Gaudi, and many others, as they evoked an inspiration to transform their thoughts and evolve their concepts into a higher dimension. How robots analyze and create the curves, bends, and slashes following an inevitable transition and a definitive path? “Thallus” is one of their commended project that collaborated ZHCODE with AI Build + ODICO to create a sculpture that was 3D printed in integration with software by manipulation of a simple cylinder to form a complex geometry. They demonstrated how it was simulated and printed using specific constraints and the six-axis motion of the robotic arm. The translation is intuitively expressed along each part of its creation, while it was printed in smaller chunks that became the whole later upon confluence.
How do we breakdown a geometry without breaking the stability and quality of its final form? It’s essential to understand where the cuts develop and the seams are exposed in an aesthetic manner all the while keeping the model functionally stable. The team showed more of their works where all these different methods were tested, challenged, and derived from ideas to physical substances printed by the robotic arms.

The tutors explained the software’s such as Autodesk Maya and Rhino in creating simple geometric forms and then altering its variables to envisage a complex one. They professed on how this software communicates with each other and how the language is translated to the robot. From a simple cube to slicing out surfaces, scooping and extracting a final mesh was performed by the tutors. The idea of creating multiple configurations of the same form opens our minds to create various configurations and study all the ideas under certain constraints while observing their reactions. Grasshopper is another effective linking tool to interact with the models to alter each and every piece of the design according to requirements.

Mobius strip, Hyper paraboloids, and Twisted cylinders!
The design tactics showed the weaving of robots from horizontal surfaces to various angles and complex webs. The use of clay in 3D printing was stimulating to see how an earthen material can adhere to organic shapes and flexuous form; an interaction between the natural and artificial.
After the forms developed by these massive robots in 1:1 scale, there still remains a lot of work that goes into perfecting the shapes to achieve the smooth texture and quality. Guided workflows of hot wire cutting were shown and explained by the tutors, breaking the complexity into simple functional diagrams. The tilt and orientation of the model must be taken into account on how a robot can reach the path we have entered for it to physically recreate it. The augmentation is basically an understanding between the machine and the model’s shape that has to confluence and integrate seamlessly. Nachi simulator is an incredible software that runs in cognition with the robot. Later the tutors demonstrated the workings of the app.

The final week started with an exciting discussion of the works presented by the students. “Standing on the shoulders of giants” was one of the team’s presentation names that sparkled during the workshop. Each of the team’s forms and concepts stood apart in its complexity and presentation. The idea of chord strips and their flow was illustrated by Shajay, as he explained why it matters to form the crux of the structural framework for creating complex surfaces. The students shared an exciting array of designs developed through the use of Maya, Rhino, and Grasshopper.

“Form Follows Fabrication” Sebastian Conrad
Various modules were challenged, distressed, stretched and configured in a variety of ways taking cues and inspiration from famous architects. The interpretation translated their own designs evolving into mystifying shapes and forms.

The final day initiated with the fabrication of the models made by the students. The Nachi controller was intuitively diagnosed, arranged, configured, and composed with each of the students’ diagrams, and then transmitted to the robotic arm to print the models. They had to compose a trial and error method in order for the models to be printed. The tutors assessed and analyzed their work while teaching them how to find the clashes and missing frames, also clearing their doubts and coming to solutions over their visualizations. Long focused hours were treaded with the robotic arm where the tutors and students collaboratively engaged in a robust discussion and fun on robotic technology while crafting the models.

Designing for Robotic Fabrication workshop concluded with an extensive array of ideas shared, professed, computed, and translated between everyone who put in a great effort to bring forth a new revolution in the visualization of the robotic translated design. This is only the dawn of robotic technology, and every day it is getting updated and evolved to cope with more intriguing parameters of 3D printing. The exceptional tutors; Shajay Bhooshan, Federico Borello, Leo Bieling, and Cesar Fragachan will be coming back for another enthralling workshop in the coming months.
Until then, stay safe and stay tuned to PAACADEMY

Click here to register and access the recordings.

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Take A Stellar Trip Through The Wormhole Created By MAD Architects

MAD Architects

It is quite a dream beyond time and space, that is being visualized in the South China sea, in the form of whimsical waves echoing across an enticing landscape. Gleaming in enigmatic frames and curvaceous forms envisioned by Ma Yansong and his team at MAD Architects is the Wormhole Library; gearing up to open a new gateway of experience and interpretation of public library. Integrating multiple functions such as reading spaces, scenic seascapes, and open-air performance areas, the design conceptualizes on the fluidic and the fabulous, choreographing the drama on the coast in Haikou, Hainan Province in China.

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MAD Architects

As part of a government initiative, this project by MAD Architects will spark as the first completed pavilion to rejuvenate Haikou Bay. The vision of the masterplan is devised to enhance the use of public spaces along the coastline. The building revels on a thrilling “wormhole” shape, cast in white concrete using CNC and 3D printed models for accuracy and seamless swirls. Curved concrete structural elements fuse the ceiling, the ground, and the walls in a symbiotic relationship. These shapes suit themselves into the patterns that dive into the features of a wormhole; hatching the spirit of exploration, anticipation, and astonishment at every twist and turn of their creation.

MAD Architects

MAD Architects

The structure is designed by MAD Architects to respond efficiently to climatic changes. MEP systems are cranked into the concrete cavity, engendering a visual rhythm of form without hassles and breaks. Wherever the sun strikes hard, the roof cantilevers and stretches out to shade, this results in a sustainable and energy-saving configuration ensuring comfortable temperatures inside. The exterior corridor spaces have shaded spots for passers-by to stop and rest.

Curved sliding doors and retractable glass curtain walls stream unhindered air and promote ventilation along with sweeping panoramic views of the blue skies and the sparkling sea. The whole architecture breathes through elaborately carved holes, that are enveloped about the sculptural body. These holes garnish natural light into its interiors, invoking a hovering effect.

MAD Architects
MAD Architects

The entire structure will be slashed in two with a large covered foyer splitting the library and facilities block. The interior library space of 690 square meters can house about 10,000 books, redefining the reading experience. A café and terrace are also neatly stacked into the volume. The deck opens to melodious lashes and humbling sea breezes that kindle a refreshing ambiance. To enliven the public space around, the 300 square meters public rest area is equipped with bicycle parking, public bathrooms, and shower areas.

MAD Architects
MAD Architects

The wormhole pavilion is expected to open its doors in 2021. This sinuous library building will bend, bow and bloom in bold magnificence once it’s fully finished.
The mad magic is waiting to be revealed.

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Project Olympus: The Next Giant Leap for Humankind

Project Olympus
Project Olympus in collaboration with BIG

Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), inventive construction start-up ICON and a sublime design firm SEArch+ have stepped forward to uncloak the big plan to imagine humanity’s home in another world with Project Olympus. Working with NASA, the collaboration seeks to develop a “space-based construction system that could support future exploration of the Moon”

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Project Olympus

It’s been 50 years since the first lunar landing, and many have entered the space race from SpaceX to Space Force, while dreams are getting bigger and bigger. We have always known that the future of humanity lies beyond our imaginations. From the moment humankind first laid eyes on the shining jewel, the Moon in the sky. It was an insatiable dream to reach out and touch down on our closest neighbour’s rocky surface. Stories, mysteries, secrets, divine scriptures and fantasies have strewn about the radiant rock, that glorifies its magnificence in the night sky.

Project Olympus has stirred minds and turned many heads. It is a research initiative that will investigate and conduct a modus operandi to 3D print structures on the Moon using the lunar dust as its prime material. The concept marks to envisage a medium to permanent habitation on the surface of the Moon. A small business innovation research grant funds the project through the U.S Air Force, of which 1.8 million comes from NASA. ICON’s founder Jason Ballard says that having to push boundaries of the technology will abet in accelerating its development on Earth.

Project Olympus

ICON has turned out to be a company from the future, already developing a wide range of innovative 3D printed structures on a massive scale. A mammoth machine named ‘Vulcan II’ can jet out a house in under 24 hours, and they are currently coiling out world’s first 3D printed community in Mexico. It’s long been a dream of the company to step into the realm of space and become the next frontier of the human race.

Enters Ingels, upon hearing the rumours of a company performing 3D printing in architectural scale. BIG has been on the lookout for ways to spill their magical touch in outer space. Ingels had an inception of the idea through a test-case Martian colony visualized in the deserts of Dubai. And it was after a visit to ICON’s Austin faculties and observing closely at Vulcan II spirited a partnership between them. The architect focused on two things – affordable housing and lunar habitat, two extremities, yet part of the same question.  

SEArch+, a New York architecture firm known for their research into extra-terrestrial structures got roped in to configure a plan on how to erect structures on the lunar surface using ICON’s technologies, without hauling materials back and forth.  

Project Olympus

The sparkling idea was to use the materials readily available on the Moon. Project Olympus will turn out to be an alchemical one. Regolith is a layer of unconsolidated solid material covering the surface of the Moon. It is a delicate grey powder that consists of minerals such as basalt and feldspar, which will behave like printing medium by melting or sintering it to a lava-like consistency.

The molten materials compose 3D printed vaulted structures reflecting a waffle network interlaced to form rigid exterior spines. Later, regolith gets poured onto these frames that would intentionally intake intense solar radiation that is 100 times stronger than on Earth and also helps in forming a firm skin that protects from the migrating mini meteorites that slap onto the Moon’s surface every year.

BIG has configured a masterplan for the architectural techniques that could imprint a small community with full-fledged roads, lunar vehicle garage stations, collecting facilities for lunar materials and comfortable human habitats with an ‘Earth Lounge’ where astronauts can gaze back at our blue home about 200,000 miles away. Ingels has imagined some structures to follow a gothic style due to factors like gravity and pressure. He said that ‘When you have 16% gravity you can jump to scale about 15-20 ft. and reach the top shelves’.

The scale and the imagination are magnanimous, to facilitate a lunar construction that is sustainable, achievable and aesthetically glamourous- it’s like the science fiction stories coming to life. Cooperation is what they are aiming to perform than to compete. The design and the spaces inside must speak of our advancement in becoming something more than an earthling.

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Tremendous Diagrids Shaping the Canopy Layer of Phoenix International Media Center

Phoenix International Media Center

A skewed annular footprint shapes the irregular volume of the Phoenix International Media Center in the capital city of China. Completed by BIAD-UFO, this remarkable building adds value to its location as an engineering tourist attraction while being close to the other buildings with architectonic values, such as CCTV Headquarters of the well-known architecture firm OMA.

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Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center

Uniting two separate buildings that serve as office and broadcasting units for Hong Kong media company under a single roof, an immersive diagonal shell construction is formed by applying the Möbius Strip in the third dimension. The structural system does not only stand for the engineering genius but also improves environmentally beneficial concepts by integrating water collection that naturally falls through these steel channels into the underground tanks for later use of landscaping elements within the 1.8-hectare site area of the edifice.

Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center

The façade belonging to this 55-meter-tall structure has a soft topography to protect from severe wind pressures in winter. Although this shape is evolved from the concept development phases, bringing it into the life required some computational thinking and complicated parametric codes.

Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center

The 3800 pieces of custom-designed glass panels fill the space between the diagrid structures. The office building located in the south part of the field is elevated higher than the media complex in the north. These features resulted in the maximum access of sunlight and air to the interior despite being a closed area. Having a double façade system also helps improve the acoustic conditions needed for the radio and television studios. The transparency of the shell creates an inviting effect for the people passing by the Chaoyang Park or near the center as well as an opportunity to see the surroundings for the visitors of the building.

Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center
Phoenix International Media Center

The building envelope is raised and snapped off the ground, generating strategically planned gates to direct visitors from busy ring roads and the city’s largest park. These special spots allow free entrance to the futuristic courtyard made for the actions of interactive arts.

Phoenix International Media Center

Another charm of the design is the indoor platforms of the Phoenix International Media Center, interconnecting ramps and stairs that act as circling bridges to link the office and studio segments. The use of fine wire rope supports and direct edge joints to polygonal columns provides the floating look of these architectural components. The executive chief architect of the project, Shao Weiping, mentions this television center as the unique broadcasting workplace with public access, taking advantage of these broad walking elements.

ARCHITECT:  BIAD UFo (Beijing Institute of Architecture Design, Un-Forbidden office)
PHOTOGRAPHS: Wu Jiming, Fu Xing, Hector Pei, Phoenix Center
CLIENT:  Phoenix Television
BIM CONSULTANT: Beijing BIMTechnologie Co.
CONSTRUCTION & EPC: Beijing Tianrun Construction Co.
BUILT AREA: 65,000 square meters 
YEAR: 2014

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