DigiHYBIOS Mesh Relaxation

BETTER RESOLUTION: http://vimeo.com/33411827
A numerically calculated mesh was used to simulate a 'hypothetical space'. The script calculates the roof enclosure according to the HYBIOS material system and stops when the minimum span has been reached (red square).  Spatial and lighting needs are taken as driving parameters dictated by the program. Faces of the mesh are culled according to area (blue) (curvature of enclosure to create the light pixelation effect to create different lighting experiences. Currently our efforts are geared towards forming the spaces according to per formative criteria, such as channelling wind speed and pressure, and ventilation.


Lightwell Startegy

As part of a feedback loop system within the digital design realm, modeling the roof light well shafts became an important driver for generating gradations of light and spatial transition.

The physical prototypes created earlier reveal an interesting instance where pixelation of light is mapped on to the interior surfaces. That instance had to be controlled by parameters such as the force vector angle of rotation, pixelation by curvature and the resultant light spot and pixelation created.

The digital generations were rendered with similar lighting conditions. A variation in the cast light effect and location was noticed when the shafts were tilted at angles, and pixelated according to high or low curvature values.


A Program Generic to the System

The material exploration carried forth previously allowed us to create forms and spatial differentiation of distinctive qualities. The gradient of change in spatial fluidity, circulation and light qualities indicated the choosing of a public celebrated space. The ease of construction allowed for the process to be carried even in underprivileged countries. 

Our hubs of information exchange will be placed strategically in dark areas of our previous diagram. To connect the emerging professionals and creatives in those under-connected regions to the larger global network. The hubs will be placed specifically in areas where climate is warm and dry, to take advantage of the potential value of the light wells as air circulation vents.

Programs generic to the spatial qualities derived earlier in the process were listed, and the ones needed by the main purpose of a Creative Communication Hub were chosen to list the sub programs needed by each main program.

The 'sub programs' were then listed and packed into the main program spaces, their natural lighting needs differentiate between dark, diffused and well-lit spaces.

Light wells are placed according to the sub program needs and clustered according to needs of adjacency. the diffused light from different sized light wells was roughly simulated using charge and adjacency as the main parameters.


Morphogenetic Design Development

To ignite the birth of our design process, we started with the basic organisational structure of the voronoi grid. The intention was to devise a cellular division strategy that is based on points. Density of division is controlled by proximity of the points to each other and the number of points generated.

The separated pods give the flexibility of controlling program and circulation. A modular cell of average density was chosen to carry out more experiments. The cells were merged to form larger assemblies where connection bridges connect modular platforms.

 Experiments with different openings of the cell compartments were carried out to attempt different circulation directions.A membrane enclosure was introduced within the cell, where the density of restrain points was controlled by the grid cell edged.



With this post, we mark the end of the material experimentation for HYBrid BIOStructures. Our research resulted in a family of deviant and unique prototypes that made us understand the process better, and solve some of the problems we could encounter with such building method. Each generation within the family adopted benign features of its successors, to derive to the fittest design.

Aided with a catalogue of informative models, we plan to parametrically generate a system that follows the construction method, where programmatic function and spatial narrative is the main parameter. To devise an algorithmic solution to planning, that follows our material system and building logistics.


TS Diploma Lecture

Tuesday OCT 11 2011

Team HYBIOS of Emtech lecturing Technical Studies Diploma 4 class with Christina Doumpioti on the effect of force on matter, when used in form finding methods.


HYBIOS Team to Lecture to TS4 Diploma Class: FORM+MATTER

We look forward to lecturing as part of an introduction series for Christina Doumpioti's Diploma Technical Studies 4 at the AA. For more information check out the course's blog mAAterials at:



HYBIOS 4.0/ Modeling Construction Logistics

After working with the shell prototypes using building scale materials, the construction logistics started  to become clearer. It became apparent that we needed to push the material upwards and tension it down, instead of using the cubic frame we used before. 

We devised a construction system, similar to Mechano toys, where the components of the system could be adjusted for height and angle to create differentiated variable spaces.

The result of the interior finish turned out a bit rough, but the system works so far. The fabric sagged while drying, due to some faults in the design of the system. It was also hard to finish and cut some elements inside. We plan on fixing those problems while working out the next prototype.


AA School of Architecture Visiting School Paris 2011

Self-assembled Prêt-à-Porter will develop a new kind of skin operating as a responsive system to the contemporary needs of the human body, society and technology.
Confronting the currently existing ‘capitalism comfort zones’ in fashion industry (mass- distribution primarily) this studio seeks to engage self-assembled protocols as dynamic landscapes to generate architectonic surfaces.
Aided by handcrafted and software-generated physical modelling, the unit will experiment with form finding methods and prototyping in order to achieve a design proposal.

During week 1 the workshop will commence by researching the possibility of integrating natural systems within contemporary design disciplines, fashion and architecture. Participants will examine biological systems found in nature, from sea flora and fauna, like sponges, to all common-structure vertebrates and reptiles. The aim of the initial research is to draw inspiration to mimic the local intelligence and structural systems of these creatures. 

During week 2 participants will be introduced to methods of creating feedback loops between their physical experiments and digital tools. Computation is used as means to facilitate multi-scalar design: from landscaped bodies and tectonics to experimental fashion design.

Fashion is a unique creative platform that must undergo onto mutationSelf-assembled Prêt-à-Porter Unit seeks to raise awareness within architectural education to avoid processes of ‘pop’aestheticisation and thereby, preventing the risk of anaesthetisation of our society.


HYBIOS 3.1/ Multi-Level Spatial Differentiation

With this HYBIOS, we tried introducing multiple heights by adding a new floor plate. The mesh was stretched from the top layer to the next one and from the mid layer to the lower one to support it upwards. Spatial differentiation of multiple levels starts to emerge, and scale relations of elements appears clearer. 


Slab Deflection Test/ Reinforcment Comparison

A deflection test was carried out for 6 different slabs with different reinforcement materials, to compare the structural integrity of different wall assembly options. Slab 00 started with no reinforcement, Slab 1.1 + 1.2 were reinforced with a concrete cloth and a metal mesh respectively. Slab 2.1 + 2.2 were reinforced with metal meshes of different porosities.

 Slab 3.0 was reinforced with BarChip fibre and a hexagonal mesh. The results clearly show that BarChip is an excellent material choice for the re-inforcement of shotcrete for the use on the freeform mesh. The BarChip  fibre reinforced slab broke at a weight of 247, which is amazingly stronger than any other reinforcement option we have tested.

Thank you to Elasto Plastic BarChip for sending in samples for us to test: http://www.elastoplastic.com/


Mesh Stretch/ Forming Experiment

We tested our method of forming on a different material system. This time using a thin, formable aluminum mesh.

The mesh was stretched on Lycra fabric and reinforced with strips of a stronger hexagonal mesh. The mesh combination was plastered with concrete using a trowel and smoothned with a layer of grout brushed into the surface.  

The forming process was successful, we achieved a satisfactory displacement measurement of about 400 mm on a small 1000x1000 mm piece. 


Concrete Testing/

We casted concrete slabs with different mix levels and reinforcement material. The slabs were weighed and tested for compressive loads. The intension is to compare CC concrete cloth to mesh reinforcement as potential materials for forming. 


More CC Testing/ Manipulating Form

We carried on more experiments with Concrete Cloth (CC). This time, we followed some of the logic of our form finding methods we used on the Hybios prototypes.

Some emergent properties of the materials informed the forming process. This time, a point was pushed from underneath rather than pulled. cuts were planned out strategically and pulled to create a symmetrical dome shape.

We also tried restraining points on a grid. The results were surprisingly satisfactory. The CC used this time was 8mm thick though.  We used the cuts to form orb like cells restrained by the frame we used for one of our very first experiments with plaster.


Fabric / Concrete Cloth Testing

The past two weeks we decided to get our hands dirty, and take a stab at material testing. 

We tested the fabric that we have been using to create the HYBIOS and several other fabrics, such as cotton and scrim. We used a meter to measure the weight devised from pulling, as well as the displacement threshold before the material would break. The materials were tested on a 1000x1000x1000 mm frame.

Concrete cloth was tested at 4 mm thickness. The maximum displacement was about 400 mm, after which the concrete cloth would break.

A curvature analysis and a displacement calculation were produced. We modeled the resultant form that was the result of pulling the Concrete Cloth at the center. The displacement calculation would help us in setting limits for the next analogue and digital experiments. ANSYS was used to create the displacement chart of an 8 mm  concrete shell with steel mesh reinforcement. 

The Material was hydrated and left to set completely for about 24 hours. 

Many problems were encountered, but the material successfully deformed using the pulling and tensioning method. We noticed that pushing the material up with a stick produced lesser deformed curvatures. Creases and ripping should be avoided.


AA/CCA Biodynamic Structures July 2011

Biodynamic Structures _ July 2011
San Francisco Visiting School
California College of the Arts
Monday 11 to Friday 22 July, 2011

HYBrid BIOStructures was presented at a workshop by Emtech at California College of the Arts.

"This ten-day intensive workshop, co-taught by the faculty of the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the AA and the faculty of Architecture and MEDIAlab at California College of the Arts, will explore active systems in nature, investigating biomimetic principles in order to analyze  design and fabricate prototypes that respond to electronic and environmental stimuli."

Cesar Martinez sent us these photos:

AA Emtech Tutors Christina Doumpioti & Evan Greenberg present HYBrid BIOStructures as part of their 'Material Tectonics' Section of the introduction Lectures.

Visit the official website: http://sanfrancisco.aaschool.ac.uk/