Project Details: Glitch, computational design simulating architectural growth process, April, 2015
Key Role: Individual studio project. Master of Architecture, UniSA.
Rotterdam is my city of focus. Through research I found a Cultural divide in education, health and leisure functions between the North and South of the River Nieuwe Maas. I also found a unique cultural richness to both that needed to be expressed.
My goal was to connect the functions of North and South to create a space for expression and connection between the two. I needed a growth model that could take the contexts of North and South to represent them in an spatially abstract way. For this I looked to the generative process of cellular automata.
Cellular automata is the computational method which simulates the process of growth by describing a complex system by simple individual rules. There are many sets of rules you can design into the cellular automata and after testing many kinds, which some failed, petering out and others grew out of control. I settled on the classic rule set described by mathematician John Conway as the "game of life." Normally a 2d construct I used processing applications to impose the rules onto a three dimensional space and once placed on a timeline an emergence of form can be observed.
Once I had the rules in place I needed to develop the "seed,” “the orthogonal grid,” solid and void. For this I aimed to extract data out of the contexts both static and dynamic.The static data is a simple translation of topographical spatial relationships monitored by the "seed." It rationalises the divisions in topography into an orthogonal grid while retaining the relationship data.
It then rationalises the more dynamic functions each context has to offer. Based on a trade/export model the seed can start to send signals of these functions across the cellular automata in order to find its place within. It exports unique interests towards the opposing side as an expression of the unique culture from which it originated.
Overtime we will start to observe connections of interest propagate across the divide.
We realise cascades of terraced outdoor spaces where one can get an overview of the diversity of interests and functions the north and south share with one another. Transitional spaces like the promenades and bike ways.
It becomes a micro ecology of North and South Rotterdam.
A glitch in the city’s fabric.