Scripted Tower [Creative Coding For Responsive Environments]
Claudia Van Velthooven - 2016
This thesis is based on investigating computational design methodologies for the generation of responsive environments, exploring the opportunities that creative coding and parametric based design approaches can offer architects of the 21st century. It is highly research focused with a test-case design formulated as an outcome of this research.
Architecture has always evolved with history to remain a manifestation and reflection of society and the materials/tools available to the architects at the time. Today, technological advancements and computational techniques have redefined the agency of design methodologies and manifested a paradigmatic shift to the context and practice of architecture. Computationally mediated form finding techniques have rapidly evolved over the past twenty years and continue to advance the possibilities to generate new building forms and complex, responsive, and adaptive geometries. It is undeniable that within the last decade, digital technologies have begun to initiate a paramount ensemble of affordance that are reconfiguring design and design thinking. This research invites the possibilities of creative-code-based design systems, as this approach becomes more widely taken up and more confidently embedded into the design process by architects and designers across the globe. Scripting/coding is typically seen primarily as a productivity tool compared to its potential to assist design exploration however, the power of computationally mediated design does not lie in computer aided design (CAD) based work flows, but in the possibility to engage with algorithmic design processes that unite design with the computer; the difference between computerisation (CAD) and computation (scripting).
This research investigates the potentials of a computational design methodology that integrates creative coding techniques for early-stage design approach. There are endless ways to utilise code-based processes for design; to begin, this research focuses on exploring a few common techniques, leading into a novel, innovative code that is context specific and locally and globally responsive. The nature of code is inherently open-source with digital files easily transferable and shared online. This poses prevalent current concerns surrounding topics of authorship, and generates speculations of how this may affect/contribute to the wider profession and the future of the architectural profession - another discourse addressed in this research.
The outcome of this research process is tested through a system for a responsive tower design. The tower is highly speculative and is primarily concerned/focused on the innovative design process and, accordingly, the potentials for creative-code-based generative design in architecture. The tower is context specific to Wellington, embedding local wind data and immediate environmental conditions into the code, employing an emergent/generative design that could not have been prior conceived-of with the human mind alone.
Developing on Carpo’s quote (page 10) further, this thesis builds upon this concept that there is meaning in employing digital design methodologies in such a way that allow for design developments which are unique, original, meaningful, and only possible because of the digital tools currently available to architects of the 21st century