Adding Matter

Learning how architects and fabricators can rework traditional Japanese joinery through computational design and systems of aggregation.

Context:
UVA Architecture Fall 2019 Research Studio

Duration:
12 Weeks

Role:
Architectural designer, Material fabricator

Team:
Andrew Spears (fabrication), Sarah Miller (fabrication)

01 Precedent
Understanding Japanese Joinery

Before applying computational design, a basic understanding of various typologies of joints was needed, with research focusing on how 4 different joints were built.

Working with grasshopper

These joints were then recreated and prepped for stochastic aggregation in Grasshopper, a plugin for Rhino 3D

02 Aggregation
Testing Stochastic Aggregation

Taking the basic traditional Japanese joinery, iterations on foundational aggregations could be generated to give a sense of how these joints can come together.

Choosing a Joint

After testing and iterating, the process of refining traditional joinery began, simplifying traditional joints for smoother computation

03 Application
Understanding Joint in Site

Test Site: Site: Shanghai Art Park

Structural Optimization

Taking the base geometry of the building, generated through site analysis, and applying aggregation through the Ameba Plugin.

04 Production
Rendering + Fabrication

Architectural renderings of the actual building, as well as prototyped at two different scales.

05 Reflection
Designing with wood 2.0

Natural materials are unpredictable, and of course computational design can only solve so much. However, the history behind Japanese joinery and the intersection between joinery and modern computation offered a new framework for a flexible system that could begin to look at how we can more efficiently build and use limited resources and materials.

As a look into a completely new typology of architectural thinking, it was a breath of fresh air to look at building practices beyond traditional BIM systems. While a lot of the proposed designs are probably unrealistic, it's a thought starter nonetheless.

Next Project: Stockholm 2042