Computing Forms and Fields (NASA Building)
Computation can be used to optimize architecture with respect to environmental, graphic, logistical, and legal forces. Parametric, relational, and recursive structures allow the design of relationships rather than the design of things. But what are the implications of such a design process to the “hard core” of architecture? Are the formalisms at our discipline's foundation mutable? The design process has never been a liner proposition, but with a structure so explicitly open-ended, the end result tends to be most accurately characterized by the smoothly continuos language of animation. A “final” state would be arbitrary. In this project the contradiction between the desire to retain and capture the meaning inherent to variation with a need for a building to remain mostly fixed is confronted head on. Representationally, this work leans on traditional drawing conventions as a kind lens–a foreign domain that captures emergent relationships. Because this building was not designed in plan, section, or elevation, the highly intricate resolution of these drawings is itself a kind of research. When presented along side analytic animations and a comprehensive set of procedural diagrams, this project is both resolved test case for a parametric design process and a speculative proposition with respect to the relationship between design media and architectural meaning.