algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Photos by Tom Verebes
These images show a recent collaboration between Ocean CN, Crystal Design, and LaN for the Hong Kong - Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale 2009. LaN was asked to develop a custom user interface for an associative urban model in order to provide visitors to the biennale with the experience of designing their own city. Ocean CN designed the urban model in Grasshopper with urban parameters from ten different cities in China. LaN added a programmed user interface to run on top of the urban model in order to aid interaction with visitors to the exhibit.

Designed by Ocean CN: Ercument Gorgul, Felix Robbins, Andrew Tirta Atmadjaja, Tom Verebes, Richard Wang, Stephen Wang

In Collaboration with:
LaN | Live Architecture Network: Luis Fraguada
Crystal Design (London): Gao Yan

With Assistance from Li Bin, Crystal Cheung, Ariel Ip, Middle Wong
Sponsors: Crystal Design (Hong Kong, London); E-Grow International Trading Shanghai Co. Ltd. (Shanghai)

Text below by Tom Verebes

Parametric Pearl River Delta

This front-end user interface has been developed for visitors to this exhibition to 'design their own city', through the interaction with the parameters associated to a back-end computational environment, modeled in Rhinoceros and controlled parametrically with the Grasshopper plug-in.

As part of a comprehensive design research project on 11 major cities in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), OCEAN.CN has documented sets of urban and architectural information related to one city from all nine prefectures of Guangdong province, as well as the two Special Administrative Regions (SAR), Hong Kong and Macau. The spatial characteristics of these 11 cities were embedded into the computational model and linked to this interface. The design outcomes of this interface target a vast multiplicity of possible design schemes, related to the specific characteristics of the PDR cities from which the information driving the parameters was mined. This bottom-up approach to urbanism and architecture challenges the rapid urbanization of the PRD, concurrently shaped by top-down planning policies and processes, along with feral, profit-driven architectural production, often resulting in cacophonous collages of homogeneous, standardized, and generic buildings.

Associative design methods foresee the mass-customization of the city, articulated as coherent, yet heterogeneous and differentiated forms of systemic organization and expression. Individual buildings of an urban series can be specified to contextual, environmental, user/owner criteria, and other information. Through this interface and the mediation of dimensional information, a new approach to urban and architectural typology is developed in this project, one which assumes the world to be dynamic, multiplicitous and adaptable, rather than stable, fixed, and static.

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