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Last week I have tutored one group during the Polish Students of Architecture Association (OSSA) Workshops. The subject of this year’s edition was ‘Warsaw Fatamorgana’. My group’s assignment was to create a 3d device that would serve as a the design ideas exchange platform, the tool that would enhance designers’ communication. The outcome of our work is a low resolution 3D DISPLAY [ 3D DATP ], which can be filled with any content, such as projection of different design possibilities, site analysis, location ambience.

The group was working under the auspices of ASK (Architecture for the Society of Knowledge) Program – The warkshop was co-tutored by Mikołaj Molenda, who provided the know-how for the installation.

The following moovie shows just a preview of the final work presented on 29th of October at Warsaw University of Technology during the closing of OSSA Workshop.

Last weekend I have been attending a 3-day workshop organised by German Architecture Association in Berlin. The wokshop was organised on the occasion of an Walter-Henn-Award (integrational polish-genrman diploma competition). My diploma project has won a second prize (first distinction – admitted for the first time).

Workshop presentations and Award Ceremony:

As a part of my master thesis on MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation, a library PGCode3D for Processing was created that analyses 3d geometry and outputs G-Code file for a 2,5 or 3 axis CNC milling machine fabrication. It is based on depth buffer analysis and uses genetic algorithm for tool path optimisation, however a basic algorithm incorporated in the library already outputs resonable tool trajectory.

In order to get the library to work you need to specify up to two tool diameters – for roughiing and finishing phases, output file name and material thickness (if not specified the whole model will be exported as one file not as part files if needed). There is also a function for altering the default parameters of spindle speed, feed rate, layer maximum thickness and offser above material.

More detailed description comming soon. Here is the link were you can download the library with some sample codes, but it has not yet been tested much, so any bugs and suggestions are welcome.

You can test output path in any CNC simmulation software. I used Predator Virtual CNC and CNCSimulator.

Sample code:

import PGCode3D.*;
G_code_export gc;

void setup()
size(200, 200, P3D);
// both P3D and OpenGL are supported
gc = new G_code_export (this,6,3,”cnc_code_nowe”,200);
//T01 – 6mm, T02 – 3mm, material thickness – 20 cm

void draw()

ortho(); // use ortho for the cprrect geometry to be exported
translate(width/2, height/2);

translate(width/2, height/2,-height/2);

gc.print_data(); //println the model data
// 5-offset above material, 3000 – spindle speed, 150 – feed rate, 3 – layer thickness
gc.optimise_path(1000); //optimise throughout 1000 generation
gc.export(); //will println “generated” when the view analysis is completed and “file written” for the complete export

My Master Thesis at Warsaw University of Technology 2009 – Orizaba Research and Rescue Center in Mexico. Download final presentation pdf file from: Orizaba_Observatory

The project discusses aspects of designing architecture in extreme locations, in relation to natural environment. Contextual factors, such as building localization at high altitude above sea level, building within National Park area and climatic and geological conditions had influenced building’s form creation and functional decisions. Orizaba, due to its location, geological characteristics and eruptive history, constitute a real danger for surrounding areas being in 30-50 kilometers radius from the crater, as well as people and animals living in this zone. Approximately 750 thousand of people live in 40 kilometer radius from the volcano, mainly in cities of Orizaba and Cordoba. Orizaba is a stratovolcano, being regarded very dangerous and is an active volcano. In case of eruption event two million of people might become endangered, if take into account the inhabitants of Veracruz city. Currently only seismologic measurements are taken by two stations: National Center for Preventing Disasters (CENAPRED – Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres) at UNAM and since 2006 by FI-BUAP seismologic station own by Sierra Negra Consortium. There is a lack of coordinated monitoring of volcano activity, which explains the need of creating a permanent observatory.
The building is located on the peak of dormant volcano Sierra Negra on the height of 4520 meters above sea level, in a safe area in case of eruption. The building is situated on Sierra Negra north slope to enable visual connection with Orizaba, located 3.6 km to north – east. The need for constant monitoring devices supervision by at least two workers, suggest the necessity for five people to work in the Observatory simultaneously. Educational and information activities are the additional functions of volcano observatories, which resulted in placing a conference room and exhibition space in the building. Because of the location uniqueness, serviced accommodation is available in the building.
An important aspect of the design is the use of green energy and minimalisation of building’s impact on the environment, which are the criterions for gaining a research center location permission and a building permission in National Park area. From available energy sources the wind energy was used by placing small wind turbine on the volcano peak. Solar energy is used for producing electricity in photovoltaic panels on north-west façade and for heating water by solar panels placed on the roof. Water is acquired by collecting rain water from the roof. It is also stored and cleaned by reversed osmosis.
Referring to architectural theories, the project relates to critical regionalism, organic and evolutionary architecture. Critical regionalism (due to Kenneth Frampton) reveals in building’s small scale, its form derived strictly from the location and climate properties, usage of green energy and individual formal and structural solutions.

Due to Frank Lloyd Wright, organic architecture should naturally result from its context. Attempt of this kind of approach to form creation was made in this project. Wright also believed that architectural forms should not be direct copies of organic shapes, but the form should stem from biological processes’ reinterpretation. This attitude was meant to lead to architecture more integrated with its surroundings and users. Nowadays this ideas are core to theories based on evolutionary processes. Genetic architecture, similarly to organic architecture, is based on coadjuvancy of structure’s components or process’s elements leading to the final form creation. Darwinian principles were incorporated in the designing process by using evolutionary algorithms. So called “breeding forms” procedure enables analysis of a big amount of possible solutions in order to select the best object that fulfills beforehand specified criteria.
In order to reflect biological processes in the process of form finding, a Voronoi diagram, which is a mathematical model of packing space commonly found in nature, was implemented. Using this method, a structure with minimal external skin area to volume ratio was created. Aspects of evolutionary architecture were included in the project by creating optimization software based on genetic algorithm, written in Processing Programming Language. The program was used for analyzing and modifying the structure designed with Voronoi diagram. Building’s form was build using spring-particles system, similar to the one used by Antonio Gaudi to design Sagrada Familia’s vaults. Particle-spring system’s properties enable designing structurally efficient structures, because the springs under inverted gravity forces tend to place themselves in such a way, that only compression forces are present in the elements. More than 30 thousand of, so called, individuals were analyzed and by gradual improvement of forms’ parameters the structure was optimized under fabrication and transport conditions. In the optimized form, the number of different lengths elements were reduced from over a hundred to only ten, with minimal changes to the initial form.

Designed and build during f2f continuum workshop in Barcelona 11-16.05.2009 by: Sahar Darvishani, Giacomo Destefanis, Agata Guzik, Giorgos Kokolakis, Spyros Margetis, Jean-Emmanuel Marie, Stephan Pircher, Thibault Romany, Harikishnan Sashidharan , Marilena Skavara

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Particle-spring system optimisation software using genetic algorithm. Developed at MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation. More information at

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Rewriting Watanabe’s Iidabashi Web Frame software in Processing.

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Video done by Sahar Darvishani-Fikouhi.

Installation made in collaboration with Sahar Darvishani-Fikouhi and Eleanor Lakin during the Physical Computing Workshop at Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment (UCL) with The Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop (Unit 14) from 12th to 16th Jan 2009, as a part of Digital Space and Society Module on MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation Program. Organised by Ruairi Glynn with the help of Ava Fatah – Shieck, Nick Weldin,Gonzalo Garcia-Perate, Przemek Jawoski, Martin Kaftan, Richard Roberts and Stephen Gage.

The project was inspired by one of Seven Dwarfs – Sleepy. The installation was based using Arduino Decimila Board and Processing – swaying movemet of hammock was captured and analyzed by simple potentiometer connected to arduino, webcam image was captured and transformed by processing. Input from potentiometer influenced the image blur. RFID card reader was used to personalize “dreams” by translating the card number into RGB colour, which was added to image with the blur. The processed image was projected onto the screan above hammock as a simulation of falling asleep and starting to dream.

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Final presentation movie for Computing for Emergent Architecture Module at Adaptive Architecture and Computation, Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL. Coursework theme: Marionette Thearte. The Marionette is a floating object that detects the outline of webcam image and adjusts its rest position to it.More on:

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more about "floating marionette on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

Between the 27th and 29th of November 2008 Students from the Bartlett School
of Architecture MSc AAC and EngD VEIV programmes will be presenting a
‘Marionette’ themed performance titled “Gravity, Pendulums, & Collisions” on
the ‘BIX’ Media Facade of Peter Cook & Colin Fournier’s Kunsthaus, Graz
Gallery, in Austria. As part of the Computing For Emergent Architecture
module run by Ruairi Glynn and Alasdair Turner, interactive virtual
marionettes have been built by the students in Processing, constructing a
series of acts to be broadcast out over the city and internet.

The performance can be viewed online here (best viewed at