Well, its been a while since the last time a saw something that amazing/impressive.
The images following are from the work of Michael Hansmeyer-(Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural form. He is currently based in the CAAD group at ETH’s architecture department in Zurich. He holds an MBA degree from Insead Fontainebleau as well as a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. He previously worked with McKinsey & Company, J.P. Morgan, and at Herzog & de Meuron architects.)
A small text description about his approach//
What method, what system, does an architect use to design a building? How are programmatic needs and context – with their degrees of freedom and constraints – translated into architectural design?
Regardless of their complexity, the tasks and decisions involved can be formalized as an algorithm. As such, algorithms provide a framework for articulating and defining both input data and procedures. This formalization can promote structure and coherency, while systemically maintaining full traceability of all input.
In recent years, algorithms in architecture have been able to transcend their role as frameworks of formalization and abstraction. This has been made possible in a large part by the integration of scripting languages into CAD programs. Algorithms’ output can now be directly visualized, and through digital fabrication methods this output can be built.
This opens up a new role for algorithms as a design tool. As such, they provide the benefits of depth and breadth. On the one hand, their computational power can address processes with a scale and complexity that precludes a manual approach. On the other hand, algorithms can generate endless permutations of a scheme. A slight tweaking of either the input or the process leads to an instant adaptation of output. When combined with an evaluative function, they can be used to recursively optimize output on both a functional and aesthetic level.
Yet beyond this, a computational approach to architecture enables the generation of the previously unseen. Forms that can longer be conceived of through traditional methods become possible. New realms open up.
The projects presented seek to explore algorithms and computation as a generative design tool, and to merge these with existing design processes to produce a new architectural form.
A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.
The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.
While the mean diameter of the column is 50cm, the circumference as measured by the cutting path can reach up to 8 meters due to jaggedness and frequent reversals of curvature. The initial prototype uses 1mm grey board. Tests using ABS, wood, as well as metal are under way.
further images/infos pay a visit to his website (+)