Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Parametric Barrier

The approach of this project has to do with a specific event which has been affecting Mexico City recently. The government of the city, instead of funding public transport, decided to develop a second floor on top of an already saturated artery, to give way to cars. This intervention caused several problems, that where certainly not planned before, but this project tries to solve one of these problems. When this highway was planned it was meant to create a ring around the city, the bad planning of the city lead to the growth of the city beyond this never completed boundary, so it became an interior freeway. The buildings which are constructed along this freeway were never prepared to have any sound proof element beyond certain heights, because this second floor was never planned before.

This problem aroused a lot of questions, and the possibilities of creating a model with associative software, which could develop an adequate barrier for any given situation was a perfect opportunity to solve the problem. I would be able to select any given section of this freeway, and create a model which could protect any building within a distance of the freeway, adding parameters like the width of the freeway, its height relation with a specific building, the height of this building, the maximum height of the vehicles allowed in this highway, and the distance between the building and the highway which could be used as guidelines to create a 3d barrier covered with components that would dissipate the sound waves. The Outcome of applying such parameters gives a shape which can adapt to any given repetition as to be used as a basic structure for the barrier. When lofting these shapes we are able to create a surface which protects any given building in any section of a highway, and which can vary if the input parameters such as the building height, the height of the highway, the overall size of the road, the maximum height of the vehicles, or the distance from the building move. The overall size of the barrier is given by another parameter the receptor requires 160 degrees perpendicular to the highway to protect it from any noise, so this parameter related to the distance from the receptor to the highway gives the length of the barrier.

The video shows the different levels of the associative files, first the basic triangulated component, which can be directed to the viewer, second the set of ten components as a main component to apply to the barrier’s surface, next the actual barrier component with the embedded components to apply to the site, arranging four different sections of the triangular components, to break the noise waves with the different angles, and to direct sections of advertisement to the viewer.

On the other hand the budget could be covered by applying a pixilated image to the components of the barrier which can be controlled within a safe distance from the driver on the other side of the road, as to provide a surface for publicity, which could cover the barrier’s expenses, and help regulate advertising campaigns.

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008 Thesis
Author: Rodrigo Langarica Avila

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Green Facade

The idea was to produce a model in different scales based in two basic elements, 60 meters of plastic hose, and water. So we worked in a 1:1 scale in a green facade.
The system works with a single flow of water, just fill the tubing from the top and the water will start running throughout the whole facade. (Both sides have different pressures, by adjusting the top valves you can regulate the amount of water depending on the time of the year and the plants).

Once you have decide in which cell you want to have plants, just need to feel the cells with the seeds and the nutritive layer which will depend on the kind of plants. The plants will start growing and you can water them as often as needed, having the option also to empty the whole system by opening the bottom exit.

Here you can see a slide show of the process:

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008 Smaq Workshop
Tutors: SMAQ Sabine Müller - Andreas Quednau

Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos - Monika Szawiola - Erik Thorson

Parametric Shield

The purpose of this project was to get our hands in parametric design, the assignment was to create a customized parametric object based on a measurement taken of each student in the class.

We developed a shield made out of components which adapted to the size of the triangle created between the shoulders and the center of gravity of each one of us, the model was made in paper.

Visit www.moblyng.com to make your own!
After the input of the particular user’s data, he can play with the shape relating to his or hers particular shield. After several approaches we found a component which could adapt to any surface without loosing its structural capabilities.
In this way we could manipulate the top solid file and prepare everything for fabrication.

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008 Parametric Design

Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany
Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Ismini Koronidi

The Chip

The point was an introduction to embedded technology into architctural design. Our assigment was to develop electronic panels with chips which take movement as an input and light as an output, and then design an installation to demonstrate this behavior.

For this, we first developed our panels and decided on the behaviour of light (output). We programmed our microcontrollers for taking movement as input and fastly blinking light 10 times,keeping the light for 10 seconds and decreasing amount of light slowly. After this,we designed little boxes having panels inside and one side covered with translucent material.
The resulting idea was that when you moved inside a designated area, marked with floor sensors you could see that different boxes creating different effects on the floor/wall.

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008
Digital Tools and Fabrication
Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany - Victor Viña
Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Rohan Khurana - Nazli Yucel - Maria Eftychi - Evangelia Vlachopoulou - Jordi Roses - Dorota Kabala

The Matrix

The objective was to get involved with rapid prototyping, using a 3d Printer, each individual was assigned a basic joint structure in a 6 x 6 x 6 cms area to produce a rapid prototyping model.

Inspired in chinese and african ivory carving, in which artists superpose solids by carving through the bone, the work made out of layers was a combination between open spheres and their interconnection with the main structure in a process of adding up instead of substracting material.

Masters Works

IaaC 2007-2008 Digital Tools and Fabrication

Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany

Author: Rodrigo Langarica Avila


This was our real first approach to scripting, the excuse for the script was to create a new roof for the institute. By using a Script that integrates a recursion among other several functions we developed a repetition of triangles capable to adapt to many kind of surfaces by creating subdivisions based on a first geometry.

We managed to propagate a series of irregular triangles in a surface but then we managed to show how a regular division could be done, by finding the integrating points of each triangle in a base of rectangle’s division.

By controlling a random normal extrusion line we obtained the extrusion of the rectangular division with very different heights.

By duplicating the function used in the rectangles extrusion, the triangles followed a normal line individual for each one of them with random heights; but going one step behind, instead of extruding the triangle's division, we created a scaled offset of the main triangles and then lofted the two geometries, creating the effect that we were looking for from the beginning.

The roof at the end did accomplish the effect we expected with the lights and shadows, and adapted to the roof of the Institute, with no limits to develop it in any given surface. You can control some parameters within the script, such as the limit of the random height of each pyramid and limit the smallest size you for the base triangles.

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008 Scripting
Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos

The Ripple

The idea for this project was to learn how to use a cnc - milling machine, and to prepare the files in rhinocam for such purpose.

An installation was to be made, an ondulating surface, divided into three large panels, and these divided into 9 separate panels to be used by each team.

We worked in the rhinocam file, with a specific curvature, and we created a surface with different tools and tool trajectories.

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008
Digital Tools and Fabrication
Marta Male-Alemany
Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Pipe

The purpose here was to produce a whole class installation in order to learn how to develop a substractive 2d numeric fabrication process, using the same length, and end to finish parameters, as well as the same material. We developed a model in rhino, unrolled it , marked it and laser cut it.

At the end the installation was mounted in the institute's entrance.

Masters Works

Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany

Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Dome

Continuing in the frame of the first studio, architectural production drawn by parametric and associative environments, the idea was to develop a project from conception to construction with a team of 20 people from 10 different countries, during a very intensive deadline of 7 weeks. The basis a Dome, the goal, to achieve a parametric model, full of components which could be self supported and fabricated. Including in the design the embbeding of technology as a reaction to the outside world. The studio divided itself into groups dedicated into specific tasks throughout the whol 7 weeks, making tryouts and designing specific parts of the whole dome and presentation:

  • Parametric modeling
  • Structure Analysis
  • Fabrication
  • Embedded Technologies
  • Video and Documentation
  • Curating

At the end we managed to create a presentation of a 1:1 Parametric Self suportted Dome made with white cardboard, with interacting leed illumination, and this is how the process looked:

Masters Works
IaaC 2007-2008 Development Studio in Digital Tectonics

Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany - Victor Viña Assistant: Shane Salisbury

Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos - Agata Kycia - Dorota Kabala - Eric Thorson - Francisca Aroso - Georgia Voudouri - Giorgos Machairas - Higinio Llames - Ismini Koronidi - Jordi Roses - Juergen Weiss - Krzsysztof Gornicki - Luis Odiaga - Marcelo de la Riba - Maria Eftychi - Monika Szawiola - Pete Booth - Verena Vogler

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Parametric House

The basis of the studio was to investigate the impact of digital technologies for the production of architecture, focused in the implementation of parametric design tools and digital fabrication equipment.

We had to study an existing house in order to find particular elements which affected it on order to apply the parametric tools to create a basic model which could respond to this elements.

Our choice was "Casa Tolo" by Portuguese architect Alvaro Leite Siza, because we wanted to create a parametric house which could adapt itself to any given topography as a basis. We know by experience that we do not live in a planar world, every site has a determined topography which affects the way we design, we know that there are several ways to attack this situation, you could ignore the topography and create a structure to solve a simple design, a response which often affects the whole environment, or you could take advantage of this topography to adapt your design to it.

Pictures of house by Images_ Fernando Guerra / FG+SG (http://www.ultimasreportagens.com/)
Images from
article by Carlos J Vial

Top Solid Model

Our idea was to develop an associative model capable of adapting itself to the changes of the site, by doing this we followed the idea of creating a prototype which can be used as many times as needed either for a housing development as mass customization, or in a single house project.

By taking control of its main components which will adapt parametrically once the volume is inserted in the topography, the project changes every time the site does. Once the presets are ready, the changes on the house can be made as well, since we can control dimensions, intersections, shapes and program.

  • The project had different control parameters, the first set was in a global scale, directly related to site and volumes.
  • The possibility to modify the site itself, topography.
  • The option to control the position of each block with a certain restraints (always connected to each other)within the site. So you could go uphill, downhill or to either side.
  • The chance to control the height of each element in order for them to stay connected through the topography.
  • You could change numerically the width of every element of the house, walls, slabs and ground slab.
  • The opening for windows on either side of the element, working with the intersection between each box.
  • The intersection between each box can also be changed numerically, by height or by the width of the staircase.
  • The possibility to work with different programs of the house depending on the topography, whether downhill, uphill, or both at the same time.
  • The automatic creation of the stairs needed to connect each element respecting the inclination and size of real regulations, this automatically gave the dimensions needed for each element to work with this staircase whether it goes up or down.(boxes length)

We created a series of models which represented some of the basic ways the project could work, all this models came directly from the parametric model, even the cutting plans changed when you changed the model, this was laser cut and put together showing the direct advantages of associative software linked to digital fabrication methods.

At the same time, we incorporated a program for each of this chosen configurations, and we ended up making a second set of parameters for one of this possibilites.

Here you can see a video of how the actual model works in Missler's Top Solid:

The second set of parameters worked in a different scale. The idea was to go further into the possibilites of parametric software in the detailing and actual construction of the house.
  • First we projected the topography lines directly to the outer surface of each box, in order to use them as a base for marking the surface, thinking of them as precast concrete elements.
  • These precast elements can be further developed in another software such as Rhino, in order to subdivide the surface and create a CAM file which could be used for molds of each element. Giving us the chance to subdivide the elements using the same carvings so you would not see the joints.
  • On the other hand we were able to control the subdivisions for the profiles of the windows, the size of this profiles, and the number of elements in which to divide the facade.

We went a little further also with the staircase, and you could control the size of each step, the width of the staircase, the with of each step, depending on material needs, and even the railings height, and with according also to the material wished to apply.

Here you can see a video of how this parameters work in Missler's Top Solid:

We created some models in the 3d rapid prototyping printer to show in scal how both the mold and the actual corner piece would work. And we developed the Rhinocam files of the mold considering the use of a 3 axis CNC-Milling Machine with foam.

Masters Works

IaaC 2007-2008
Research Studio in Digital Tectonics

Tutors: Marta Male-Alemany - Jose de Pedro Sousa
Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos

Quercus Ilex

This project was based on the idea of studying a tree from the Ciutadella park in Barcelona in all its levels. From there we delivered a project based on the specific characteristics of the tree, the Quercus Ilex. The result was a resting space which would eventually serve as a water collector to be placed in the areas of the park which where not prepared to collect water. The whole project was a reflection of the particular of our tree.

At first we created a 3D model of the tree with real dimensions, and then we studied the path of the bark and inverted it creating a network system that configures the surface. This pattern gave us the direction of the model, since the overall shape follows one of the real sections of the tree the pattern configures the walk able and joints surface.

In the end we presented a laser cut model as aid for the slides.

Masters Works

IaaC 2007-2008 Research Studio I

Tutors: Vicente Guallart - Marta Male-Alemany - Willy Muller

Authors: Rodrigo Langarica Avila - Mariana Paz Castellanos