WebSensitiveSQUARE II – Architecture for a Dynamic Shape

IN/ARCH – Master’s course of Digital Architecture:

project in collaboration with Oscar Gutiérrez / tutors: Maria Luisa Palumbo, Amleto Picerno, Vincenzo Mazza,
Stefano Salvatore, Filippo Macelloni – 2nd part of the main Master’s project. #webss

marketIn the first module we have developed a design strategy which applied has given us an accurate model of how Piazza Campo dei Fiori might be enriched and transformed. That model , however , although derived by a rigorous logic , is only a polygon mesh made ​​of nothing but a list of points in 3D coordinates. Furthermore, the particular agent from which it was derived is a source of data in continuous variation which then adds a 4th dimension to the model , thus also considering the dimension of time . In fact, the mesh obtained in the first module was the result of data that we have called “Web Impact” but which were the measurement of various activities evolving as the check-Ins on Foursquare or the likes on Facebook pages. As a result our model is a shape that changes continuously.
To bettere represent materially such a large scale dynamic model we chose to build it with discrete elements
free to move each one along just the vertical axis. And, in order to have a functional element for the real needs of the square we chose the umbrella element.

gridFor many reasons we took the kind of umbrella with inverted slope instead of the conventional one. After that we did further projetc area analyzes to determine the distribution of these umbrellas, which did not have to be necessarily regulare and homogeneous. So the resulting grid was one seted by the people flow along the square and the entry/exit axis of the shops around it. We can used this planar grid as a basement for drawing the meshes that we already know how to obtain (look the first module ).


simulationWe aim to have not only a web driven structure but also something sensitive to physical changes under the immediate vicinity. As a physical parameter we chose to measure the volume of noises produced closely to the umbrella and trasform them in a different color temperature of light. In this case warm lights like candles could be the response to a quiet atmosphere and low voices. On the contrary, cold lights could be the response to loud voice and big noise made from more people.

At the end of the design process, after using a lot of different algorithms to make all the analyzes and proves
we need, we ran a simulation of one real day while transforming data to umbrellas movement and colors.


simulation took 18 real hours of a day
and through 5 different algorithms gave out
what we need to render 18 
seconds of video,
the last part of the project video.

For the complete relation of this part you can download the pdf below
WEBSS 2nd part

And for the previous one you can download this other pdf
WEBSS 1st part


Or watch it also through the IN/ARCH channel



– Daniel Shiffman –


This is a very special book for both the content and how it is distibuted.

You can learn Processing in a very light way by reading these pages as thay have the power to capture everyone. It’s not written for nerds, on contrary, it is a book for every one, mostly creatives and open mind people who want to bring their job/projects/hobbies on a more fine level by coding their ideas without a great effort. Start learning Processing!

This is not only a book, it’s a project generated from Magic Book Project and supported from KickStarter. It has it’s own website where you can read it online, watch the example files used inside the book working directly on  your browser or also download them. And at the end you can choose if you want to buy a printed copy with a low cost price or just the ebook for an open offer. Read it for free here.

“How can we capture the unpredictable evolutionary and emergent properties of nature in software? How can understanding the mathematical principles behind our physical world help us to create digital worlds? This book focuses on a range of programming strategies and techniques behind computer simulations of natural systems, from elementary concepts in mathematics and physics to more advanced algorithms that enable sophisticated visual results. Readers will progress from building a basic physics engine to creating intelligent moving objects and complex systems, setting the foundation for further experiments in generative design. Subjects covered include forces, trigonometry, fractals, cellular automata, self-organization, and genetic algorithms. The book’s examples are written in Processing, an open-source language and development environment built on top of the Java programming language. On the book’s website, the examples run in the browser via Processing’s JavaScript mode.”

Daniel Shiffman is a Assistant Arts Professor at ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program). The Nature of Code is only one of his  courses that he has taught. You can also have a view to his video-lessons here.



Islamic Patterned Wall

Digital Fabrication Lab

Islamic Patterned Wall

This was a laboratory of fabrication very usefull for understanding how to comunicate with the different machines and how to prepare the algorithms and files for them. The project itself was nothing special, just an islamic pattern made of 2 kinds of polygons that was distributed over a double curved surface. The regular pattern was enriched from a parametrical control of each polygon over it.

1175523_637744666257239_1907832032_nmCFS5plYJgeG0zdH1dOQiLAThe first step we did was to link the polygons parameters to an external Photoresistor (a sensor of the light) through the Arduino board. So that we could manage the virtual model inside our Rhino viewport by changing the light in our room. Simply the virtual model was animated from the physical changes we created around the photoresistor.

After that we focused on the shape of the wall and we created an algorithm that could better show the dimension of the different pannels over that specific surface. The aim of this design step was not to check out the best pattern but just to understand how to distribute the matrix of pannels, each one with a triangular border. It was a form-finding exercise together with a way to better show only the pannels border without their pattern. All this should have been compatible with the 3d printing of the shape, by finding a good balance between small volume (cheaper to print) and minimal precision priting. Thats why we choosed to model the shape with small pyramids for each pannel instead of drawing the borders with cutting lines. The pyramids made like this, exalts the shadows of the shape by better showing it even with a low level of precision, so the model could have been very small. In this case we printed a 100x40x20mm model with a variable thickness between 1mm to 2.5mm. In such a small and low cost model the special shape of the pyramids helps to distinguish one by one 120 pannels per side.

3d print

And for last we left the nice job to prepare an algorithm that could draw in 2d each pannel with all his construction parts, give them a name from a map and distribute them inside a bigger regular pannel with the minimum empty spaces waste, the Nesting process.

vinyl cutter

This is a totally new algorithm from that of the 3d modeling of the shape.So we could prepare the file for two rectangular pannels of 70x50cm, ready to be cut from the Vinyl Cutter KNK. The last one is a machine that moves in two axes a tip where you can mount whatever you want (a pen, a small cutter like a bistoury).

We found a final shape by putting together all the parameters that gave us the other design steps and gave this shape as an input for the last cutting algorithms. The time of a coffe the machine finished the cutting process and we passed all the night for assembling all the 120 pannels with a stapler. The morning of the next day this was the result of the Islamic patterned wall under the sun light of Rome.



WORKSHOP Algorithmic Design and Bio-Morphologies Lab

10/06/13 – 14/06/13

Final presentation of  the 5-days workshop hold by Marcella del Signore, “EXPLORING BIO–MIMICRY”


The workshop focused on the study of systems of parametric growth and evolution, such as L-systems, cellular automata, self-organisation and other genetic algorithms. The concept of nature and evolutionary systems was developed through dynamic simulations using Maya.

In particular, the project took as reference the strawberry skin and simulate it with a self-supporting structure built with only interlocking joints.

WebSensitiveSQUARE I – Mapping&Design strategy

IN/ARCH – Master’s course of Digital Architecture:

project in collaboration with Oscar Gutiérrez / tutors: Maria Luisa PalumboAmleto Picerno and Fernando Rial – 1st part of the main Master’s project.  #webss


For the area of Campo dei Fiori we want to test a design method where the final shape comes out from some project-area’s data, carefully chosen and processed. The purpose is to minimize the subjective choices of the designer but since these choices can not be totally obmited it will be impossible to have the same final shape each time that we repeat the process of gathering / processing data. Anyway this shape will still be closer to a universal form compared to those obtained through traditional technologies of design.

The method can be described in three main steps:

1) Context analysis and extrapolation of the most suitable numerical data.
2) Translation of the data in a shape through an appropriate strategy.
3) Transformation of the initial shape on a stressed one to better respond to a real environment.

With the aim to make the method as more subjective as possible:
impatto rete 02a- We can make a list of all the different data types (agents) that we think are related to Campo dei Fiori. After we can connect with each other all those agents which could somehow have a direct logical onnection, and finally we make a ranking of the most related agents (those with most direct connections). We take the top 3 of the ranking and we call them Ag1, Ag2 and Ag3.

valutation parametersb-From the data we want to get a shape, but since the data comes from different agents also their translation strategies (St) must take account of this. Therefore we have prepared three different strategies: St1 translates data tooken from a map outside the perimeters of construction, St2 translates data that can be found exactly on the perimeter, while St3 translates data located within the perimeter.
c-To transform the shape thus obtained in a stressed one there could be many combinations of forces, without counting the fact that each kind of forces is the same a variable that changes the final result according to it’s intensity. But to generalize even this step we can consider 3 different sets of forces with a different complexity:
Fr1 where the forces are made of only one type, Fr2 where the resultant comes out from 2 different types of forces and Fr3 where the type of forces are made of three different types.

impatto rete 03

Doing like this we will have 3 different agents (Ag1, Ag2 and Ag3) to which apply 3 different strategies of translation in a shape (St1, St2 and St3) and then to stress with 3 different complexity sets of forces (Fr1, Fr2 and Fr3). It follows that the possible combinations are 3x3x3 = 27.

A combination can be Ag3/St1/Fr3 or Ag2/St1/Fr2 and so on. From all those 27 combinations we need to pursue only one of them and so, for this purpose, we can analyze and give a score to each combination according to some yardsticks that can be:
P0. Facility of data measurement
P1. Unicity of processing data to have a shape
P2. Compatibility of the data with a buildible shape.

… And other such criteria.

The combination with the highest score will be the winner for Campo dei Fiori and the project will have a shape given by the study of that particular agent, turned into a shape according to that particular strategy and stressed under that set of forces.

web impact

For the complete relation of this part you can download the pdf below

WEBSS 1st part

NEW TECTONICS – Towards a New Theory of Digital Architecture: 7th Feidad Award

– Yu Tung Liu & Chor-Kheng Lim –

new tectonics

The digital tectonics studies noticed the dramatic change of traditional architectural construction in association with digital technology. Today a more systematic framework of new new tectonics combining digital and classic elements and processes is needed to explore the digital theory in architecture. Some critical phenomena of digital tectonics have emerged to reveal the dynamics of motion, information, generation and fabrication, in a preliminary theory of new tectonics, seven classic and four digital factors form a whole and interact with each other. However, in this new era of architecture, we would regard this research as a springboard for questions rather than answers. How were the new digital tectonic elements derived from the old classic elements? How do the old factors work together with the new?  Do the new factor really differ from the old? Or have the new, containing the same concepts as the olds, just been spun in a different superficial way? How does tectonic thinking change over time?

Another intention of this book is to examine the relationship between tectonics and the design process. Design precesses incorporate design methods and thinking. Given that architectural tectonics is moving away from the classic and the predigital and into the digital stage, how do the standard design processes change? What new methods can be developed? How has our design thinking in human cognitive systems, rangign from knowledge, memory, reasoning, visual-spatial media, and stylistic-creative insights, shifted, merged, and evolved due to the new environment humans face?

YU-TUNG LIU  received Doctor of Design from Harvard in association with MIT. He is Vice Pressident of Asia University, the founding professor of Graduate Institute of Architecture at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan, Principal of AleppoZONE and the chairman of the international Review Committee of the Feidad Award since 2000. He is the author and editor of Distinguishing Digital Architecture, Glocalization: New Taiwan Architecture 2000-2005, Demonstrating Digital Architecture, Diversifying Digital Architecture, Developing Digital Architecture, Defining Digital Architecture, and Restructuring Shapes: Design cognition and computation.

CHOR-KHENG LIM received Ph.D from Graduate Institute of Architecture NCTU, Taiwan. SHe is Assistance Professor at Yuan Ze University and NCTU, as well as the chief designer of AleppoZONE. Her research focuses on free-form architectural design, CAD/CAM fabrication and digital design media. Her research result have been published in the journal of Design Studies, and conferences such as CAADRIA, ACADIA and eCAADe

In a new architectural domain, joints just don’t matter. Surfaces have no thickness, and they can be fitted together with mathematical precision. You don’t need nails, screws, or glue. There is no need to accomodate changes of material. Furthermore, there is no weather to keep out. In short, there is no room for ingenuity in the details, the gameis entirely one of the space and surface….Electronics now ruel. The Architectural profession can face this new condition as an increasingly irrelevant, resistant rump-insisting on materiality and practicing a nostalgic modernist revivalism while potential clients vote with their feet. Theorists can take solace in Heidegger, and construct loftily disdainful texts about all things technological. But is more productive, and certainly a lot more fun, simply to retire the exhausted dogma of architectural composition and construction as our world is rewired.

William J.Mitchell

ISBN 978-3-7643-8691-7

If you are in Milan you can find this book inside the Biblioteca Centrale di Architettura del Politecnico di Milano at this collocation:  BCA 720.285 FEA

SCRIPTING CULTURES – Architectural design and programming


scripting culturesWith scripting, computer programming becomes integral to the digital design process. It provides unique opportunities for innovation, enabling designers to customise the software around their own predilections and modes of working. It liberates designers by automating many routine aspects and repetitive activities of the design process, freeing them up to spend more time on design thinking. Software that is modified through scripting offers a range of speculations that are not possible using the software only as the manifacturers intended it to be used. There are also significant economic benefits to automating routines and coupling them with emerging digital fabrication technologies, as time is saved at the front-end and new file-to-factory protocols can be taken advantage of. Most significantly perhaps, scripting as a computing program overlay enables the tool user (designer) to become the new tool maker (software engineer). Though scripting is not new to design, it is only recently that it has started to be regarded as integral to the designer’s skill set rather than a technical speciality. Many designers are now aware of its potential, but remain hesitant. This book treats scripting not only as a technical challenge, requiring clear description, guidance and training, but also, and more crucially, answers the question as to why designers should script in the first place, and what the cultural and theoretical implications are.

This book:

-Investigates the application of scripting for productivity, experimentation and design speculation.

-Offers detailed exploration of the scripting of Gaudi’s final realised design for the Sagrada Familia, leading to file-to-factory digital fabrication.

-Features project and commentary from over 30 contemporary scripting leaders, encluding Evan Douglis, Marc Fornes, Sawako Kaijima, Achim Menges, Neri Oxman, Casey Reas and Hugh Whitehead of Foster + Partners

MARK BURRY – is professor of Innovation (Spatial Information Architecture) at RMIT in Melburne, Australia, where he is also Director of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory and Director of the Design Research Institute. He is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and founder member of the Advisory Board of Ghery Technologies in Los Angeles and has collaborated with leading international architecture and engineering practices. Burry is probably best known for his work on Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, where he is Executive Architect and Researcher, and has been working for thirty years on the completition of Gaudi’s vision through traditional hand drawing and modelling originally, moving latterly to computer-aided techniques.

ISBN 987-0-470-74641-7

If you are in Milan you can find this book inside the Biblioteca Centrale di Architettura del Politecnico di Milano at this collocation:  BCA 720.285 BURRM



emergent tecnologies and designEmergence – the process by which new and coherent structures, patterns and properties ’emerge’ from within complex systems.

Traditional Architectures starts from the premise that architectural structures are singular and fixed and, however integrated, are separate from their environment and context. Emergence requires that the oppsite is true – that those structures are complex energy and material systems that have lifespan, exist as part of an environment of other active systems, and develop in an evolutionary way.

This book, based on the authors’ internationally renowned Emergent Technologies and Design course at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, introduces a new approach to the practice of architecture. The authors use essays and projects to demonstrate the interrelationship of concepts such as emergence and self-organisation with the latest technologies in design, manufacturing and construction.

With projects from their course, and critiques and commentary from some of the world’s leading design theorists and practitioners, the authors of Emergent Technologies and Design have introduced a radical new way of understanding the way in which architecture is conceived, designed and produced.

ISBN 978-0-415-49343-7

If you are in Milan you can find this book inside the Biblioteca Centrale di Architettura del Politecnico di Milano at this collocation:  BCA 721 HENSM

Computational Design Thinking


– the first reader to provide an effective framework for computational thinking in design –

Computational design thinkingThe current transition from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to Computational Design is architecture represents a profound shift in design thinking and methods. Representation is being replaced by simulation, and the crafting of objects is moving towards the generation of integrated systems through designer-authored computational processes. While there is a particular history of such an approach in architecture, its relative newness requires the continued progression of a novel modes of design thinking for the architect of the 21th century. This AD Reader estabilishes a foundation for such thinking. It includes multifaceted reflections and speculations on the profound influence of computational paradigms on architecture. It presents relevant principles from the domains of mathematics and computer sciences, developmental and evolutionary biology, system science and philosophy, estabilishing a discourse for computational design thinking in architecture. Rather than a mere technical approach, the book discusses essential intellectual concepts that ate fundamental for both a discourse on computational design and its practice.

This anthology provides a unique collection of seminal texts by authors, who have introduced the seeds and key developments for a computational approach to design, thus playing a considerable role shaping the field. An important aspect of this book is the manner in which adjacent fields and historical texts are connected. The source of both original inspiration and scientific thought are presented alongside contemporary writings on the continually evolving computational design discourse. Emerging from the field of science, principally the subjects of morphogenesis, evolution and mathematics, selected texts provide a historical basis for a reconfigurated mindset of processes that generate, arrange and describe form. Juxtaposed against more contemporary statements regarding the influence of computation on design thinking, the book offers avenues for estabilishing novel thought processes for architecture, theoretically and practically.



Professor ACHIM MENGES is Director of the Institute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University. Currently he is also Visiting Professor in Architecture Harward University’s Graduate School of Design and Visiting Professor for the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London.

SEAN AHLQUIST is research associate at the Insitute for Computational Design at Stuttgart University. He also taught at the University of California Berkley and California College of the Arts and founded the design firm, Proces2. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London.

ISBN 978-0-470-66565-7

If you are in Milan you can find this book inside the Biblioteca Centrale di Architettura del Politecnico di Milano at this collocation:  BCA 720.2840285 COMDTE

WORKSHOP Material Systems & Generative Design Salvator J. Liotta+Taichi Kuma+Yuta Ito

20/05/2013 – 24/05/2013

IN/ARCH – Rome

Tutors: Salvator J. Liotta+Taichi Kuma+Yuta Ito

Element 4x3
The workshop focused on the consequences of applying generative design to the physical reality of construction. Rather than examining the more extreme aspects of form-finding, the workshop concentrated on the process of feedback between software and the characteristics of materials and considerations of context.
The use of parametric and generative design software promotes a tendency to seek impossible forms that ignore the characteristics of available materials, and the social, cultural and economic aspects of the contexts in which a project is to be realised.
On the contrary, the workshop required us to select a material to be studied and used to realise a project, from the outset. The workshop began with an element, similar to a seed that generated a structure and produced a realistic final architectural result.


Download my complete work from the pdf file below:
Some pictures during the workshop week:
workshop photo 1 workshop photo 4 workshop photo 2