Agile X Elective Blog

Jake Jenkins

Friday Week 2

Today was a bit of a mad rush to the finish line.

With the clients meeting rescheduled to 2pm we had a bit less time than expected to get everything finalised.

The morning was spent tidying up grasshopper scripts and getting them set to be put in the powerpoint presentation, so I didn't actually get an opportunity to do any more work on developing the scripts further from yesterday.

Once all the scripts had been tidied and sent to Tim to create the presentation the focus moved to assembling the prototypes the material groups had begun to build. One prototype was quite a mess of cable-ties and mdf but it effectively illustrated the way the triangles can create the curving structure necessary.

The clients arrived and Tim kicked the presentation off as we were securing the last cable-ties to hold the prototype together. We went around the room, jumping from computer to computer to demonstrate how the various systems worked with and from each other to create the full picture.

I think the final presentation was quite successful, and probably a good reflection on the two weeks of work, where we managed to achieve a lot more than I initially thought we were going to. I look forward to working further on this project with a view toward the construction side of things in April!

Thursday Week 2

With only 2 days to go work moved onto developing the structural system itself.

Under Matt's guidance I started work on the script to generate the plates (fondly known as ugly plates) that hold the structure together.

This system was created off the back of the system with the individual triangles that William had created.
William's triangles, waffle panels.

I started by creating a circle at the point of each triangle on the inside and outside of the surface. The by using the intersection of the triangles and waffle panels I was able to define the slot that the waffle panels would slot into.
Finding waffle/ugly panel intersections.

The full system was then created with a series of extrusions and booleans, unfortunately it turns out booleans are very heavy components and the script became quite slow at this point.

Ugly plate script.
Waffle Panel Script
Booleans to create final result.
Resulting waffle system.

Wednesday Week 2

I found that using the weaverbird plugin I was able to create a proper tri-grid that delivered a far nicer result. From this I came up with the idea of developing a system that creates a system of hexagons and triangles. We had discussed the fact that triangle panels in flatter areas of the surface could be replaced with hexagons to reduce numbers of parts.

By measuring the curvature of the system I was able to create a cull pattern based on this to replace the triangles with hexagons where the curves were tighter.

Hex-tri on metaball surface.

Initially I measured this curvature using a module called surface curvature but it was quite a heavy and slow module. Matt suggested that it could actually be done by measuring the distance from the centrepoint of the hexagons to the original surface. Where that distance is greatest, it is then replaced with triangles to make those tighter curves.
Script testing curvature.

From here I passed this script onto the other material guys, so they could try to apply their scripts to it, to develop the individual panels.

Tuesday Week 2

Looking at the material side of thing now I experimented with putting a tri-grid onto the surface from yesterday. My first iteration was made by putting a square-grid onto the surface and then subdividing the squares into triangles. Unfortunately this doesn't give a very nice result, as it remains quite evident that it is a square based system.
Initial attempt at tri-grid. So evidently squares though unfortunately.
Script used to create the squares and subdivide them into triangles.
Culling the triangle panels to the desired areas.

Monday Week 2

Unfortunately I was unable to come to class Friday due to work commitments, so Monday became a bit of a catch-up day for me.

Jack had spent the last few days working on a system of responsive surfaces so I jumped on and helped him out with that. It turned out to be quite an interesting script, as it used a slope tool to detect the slope of the surface, and using a cull pattern, remove panels in areas too steep. Despite this being a quite cool feature, we instead decided to cull it based on attractor points.

Responsive Surfaces Script, Surface draped over user-defined curve, and culled based on attractor points along that curve.

Today really felt like a very unproductive day to be completely honest, as I felt like somewhere towards the end of week 1, our group, as the second immaterial group kind of collapsed. In retrospect I think we spent far too much of week 1 apart, working on individual things, whereas the other immaterial group spent the better part of the first week working as a group on one system.

Realistically, we had more systems that worked to an extent, but as they had committed most of their time to one system, their system was a bit more developed, and seemed to have more direction.

I feel like the western side of the room generally had a lot less direction, we didn't really communicate much with the material group adjacent to us, and I don't think that they really worked together as a group either, so came to suffer a similar lack of direction from us.

After some discussion with both Tim and David I feel the remainder of my time this week will be better spent working off the back of what the other immaterial group has developed, but working in a more materially minded role, to try to develop a construction system to realise their metaballs.

Thursday Week 1

With the new metaball script in hand we then began to work on a way to create something physical from this. By making a negative of these metaballs we were able to create a real, tangible representation of how these balls might form. This was done by creating a block to cut the form of the metaballs out of. Think of this like a series of balloons cast into a block of concrete, what we had created was what would be left once the balloons were popped and removed. Thinking about this materialistically I thought of an idea of using an array of CNC cut timber fins, which would make a physical representation of these metaball spaces.

Creating the array of panels for the metaballs to be subtracted from.
Resulting panels.
This is what we get after the subtraction.

At this stage I feel this system has progressed as far as it can, and is almost ready for fabrication if we decide to progress further with this concept. I will move onto starting work on a different system tomorrow (Thursday Week 1).

With a fairly complete system in hand I was feeling a lot more positive about our progress towards the Pavilion that once seemed to be so far away.

First 3 Days

Understanding the ideas and our roles. Immaterial Vs. Material.

Being in one of the immaterial groups we have worked out that our role is less about the design and more about creating a system that can create the "ghost" of the design. This system is then fed with information and decisions driven by the material groups, to develop this "ghost" into a design.

The first part of the process, being an immaterial group was to work out how we can create the 'Ghost' of a design. We explored tutorials on ExplodeBReps and Parametric Monkey to find things we thought would be useful in the creation of our system. Through these Rhino and Grasshopper tutorials we initially were able to create a series of scripts based primarily around metaballs linked to points, that creates some representation of space, we really weren't sure what it was we were creating at this point, and while the metaball "blobs" looked cool, they didn't really mean anything.

This is my first metaball script in Grasshopper. The inputs of the screen are a series of points determining the centrepoint of the metaballs.

and this is how they came out in Rhino.

After some discussion with the adjacent material group we were able to come to a few concepts that could use these metaballs to create something more tangible. By using points to represent places where people gather, or where certain focal points of the space are, these metaballs gather on these points, creating larger spaces at points of chaos where the most "stuff" happened.

Physically, the biggest problem with metaballs is that they don't generate a surface, they're actually just a series of 2D lines, stacked in the Z axis. No matter how much we tried to overcome this we couldn't work out a way to create a surface on these metaballs. Luckily, I found a freely available Grasshopper definition that creates solid metaballs.
Metaball script that saved this idea.

and this is how they appear in Rhino.

The rest of Wednesday was then spent on a client meeting, where we showed some of what we had made up until this point, and discussed ideas of what they want out of the space. The general consensus was that the focus should be on dividing the public from the private, creating some more effective wayfinding, and separating the stairs from the exhibition space.