We are inviting speakers to respond the theme of agency.
Agency is no longer confined to the human sphere.
What happens when we begin to consider agency in spatial, material, program or machine terms?
How are the boundaries of research and practice tested – and reinvented?
Dr Dagmar Reinhardt
Dr Lian Loke
Shown as part of the Powerhouse Sydney Design Festival 2014, 16 – 24 August 2014, the SmartStructuresLab2014 investigates the complex geometries of hypar surfaces. This studio was led by Dr Dagmar Reinhardt from the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, in collaboration with Eduardo De Oliviera Barata, UFOSydney, Rob Beson, AR_MA, and Alexander Jung, reinhardt_jung|architecture and design.
Departing from engineering precedents as a springboard for design, this lab rethinks the legacy of Frei Otto, Eladio Dieste, Buckminster Fuller, and Felix Candela, and tests the boundaries of interdisciplinary design strategies. While behaviours of form and structure can be embedded in material computation through self-forming systems such as catenary chains or tensile membranes, in current computational design, the control over rule-based designs with a mathematical logic become possible. The lab reveals an approach to engineering architecture in process; as a dialogue between analogue design models, computational design series, engineered analysis and optimisations, 1:1 plywood prototypes, 1:20 skeleton structures and a multiplicity of 3D printed form studies.
SmartStructuresLab2014 employed for the architectural design process a wide suite of software in order to derive design iterations, and to optimize the spatial and structural performance. As a central component, we shared a workshop session on karamba (www.karamba3d.com) by Clemens Preisinger, Matthew Tam and Sascha Bohnenberger (of Bollinger-Grohmann-Schneider (Frankfurt, Vienna, Melbourne\ www.bollinger-grohmann.com). Through structural analysis and simulation software fully-embedded in the parametric environment of Grasshopper (one of the plug-ins for the 3D modeling tool Rhino/McNeel Rhinoceros), we thus explored fully integrated, design iterations, structural behaviour and material affordances. As a consequence, the architecture design models on display combine parameterized geometry, finite element calculations and optimized algorithms.
Body and structure relationships were tested in the collaboration with ArtinThreads and creative director Ashley Lim (www.artinthreads.com), in a one-night-only multi-interdisciplinary installation and fashion show at the brandX space in April 2014, where 1:1 prototypes came to life as occupied by dancers and audience.