Learning how architects and fabricators can rework traditional Japanese joinery for new types of physical structures, through computational design and systems of aggregation.
15 Week UVA Architecture Research Studio (2019)
Role: Architectural Designer
Team: Andrew Spears (Fabrication) and Sarah Miller (Fabrication)
Featured in Publication: Matter Aggregation
Before applying computational design, a basic understanding of various typologies of joints was needed, with research focusing on how 4 different joints were built.
These joints were then recreated and prepped for stochastic aggregation in Grasshopper, a plugin for Rhino 3D
Taking the basic traditional Japanese joinery, iterations on foundational aggregations could be generated to give a sense of how these joints can come together.
After testing and iterating, the process of refining traditional joinery began, simplifying traditional joints for smoother computation
Applying to a Test Site
Diagramming and understanding Shanghai Art Park
Taking the base geometry of the building, generated through site analysis, and applying aggregation through the Ameba Plugin.
Architectural renderings of the actual building, as well as prototyped at two different scales.
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 use and build with 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 valuable thought starter nonetheless.
To learn more, this case study sits within greater research that was published in the book Matter Aggregation, available on Amazon.