Design Crossing New Dimensions: Computational Design: NEXT 2.0

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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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