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05 DECEMBER 2013

How calculus is changing architecture

"So, working with Bentley and MicroStation, we've written a custom piece of software that networks all of the components together into these chunks of information, so that if we change any element along the length of the building, not only does that change distribute through each one of the trusses, but each one of the trusses then distributes that information down the length of the entire facade of the building. So it's a single calculation for every single component of the building that we're adding onto. So, it's tens of millions of calculations just to design one connection between a piece of structural steel and another piece of structural steel. But what it gives us is a harmonic and synthesized relationship of all these components, one to another.

This idea has, kind of, brought me into doing some product design, and it's because design firms that have connections to architects, like, I'm working with Vitra, which is a furniture company, and Alessi, which is a houseware company. They saw this actually solving a problem: this ability to differentiate components but keep them synthetic. So, not to pick on BMW, or to celebrate them, but take BMW as an example. They have to, in 2005, have a distinct identity for all their models of cars. So, the 300 series, or whatever their newest car is, the 100 series that's coming out, has to look like the 700 series, at the other end of their product line, so they need a distinct, coherent identity, which is BMW. At the same time, there's a person paying 30,000 dollars for a 300–series car, and a person paying 70,000 dollars for a 700 series, and that person paying more than double doesn't want their car to look too much like the bottom–of–the–market car. So they have to also discriminate between these products. So, as manufacturing starts to allow more design options, this problem gets exacerbated, of the whole and the parts."

(Greg Lynn, February 2005)

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TAGS

2005abnormalityalgorithmalgorithmic architecture • Antonio Gaudi • architecture • beautiful architecture • beauty • Bentley Motors • BMW • bridge • bubble diagram • buildingcalculation • calculus • Chris Williams • Christopher Wren • computational aestheticscontinuous series • curvature • custom software • dais • digital fabricationdigital toolsdimensions • Frei Otto • furniture • generic form • genetic evolutiongothic • Greg Bateson • Greg Lynn • harmonic • houseware • human-scale understandingideal form • intricacies of scale • Mannheim Concert Hall • manufacturingmathematics • MicroStation • model of beauty • model of nature • modular architecture • monstrosity • mutation • natural form • Norman Foster • parabola • part-whole thinking • physiological development • product designproduct differentiationproportions • Robert Maillart • structural abstractionstructural forcesstructural formstructuresymmetrysynthesised relationship • teratology • vertebrae • Vitra • vocabulary of form • William Bateson

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 MARCH 2012

Rob Bryanton: Imagining the 10th Dimension

"Since the extra dimensions beyond spacetime that physicists talk about are all spatial dimensions (or 'space–like' as some prefer to say), thinking about how the simplest spatial dimensions relate one to another gives us tools for imagining the more complex ones. The key to remember with all this is that each additional spatial dimension is at 'right angles' to the one before: so each new dimension allows an observer to see 'around the corner' in a way that was unattainable from the previous dimension. This time, let's work through the dimensions with that idea in mind."

(Rob Bryanton, October 2009)

Rob Bryanton (2006). "Imagining the Tenth Dimension: A New Way of Thinking About Time and Space", Trafford Publishing.

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TAGS

10th dimension • 20065th dimensionabstractionanimated presentationcausalitycausally relatedconceptual metaphorconceptualisationcontemporaneous • cosmological horizon • dimensionality • dimensionsEdwin A. Abbott • enfolded symmetry • flat spacefree will • Gevin Giorbran • god • granularity • hologramHugh Everett • hyperspace • in perspective • infinity • information space • Kurt Godel • lineline in spaceMany Worlds Interpretationmathematics • Michael Shermer • multiple dimensions • multiverse • objective reality • omni-directional • omniverse • organising pattern • parallel universeperspectivephysics • planck length • planepointprobabilistic outcomes • probability space • quantum mechanics • quantum physics • quantum wave function • Rob Bryanton • science • Sean Carroll • space • space-like • space-time • spatial dimension • spatial dimensions • string theorytime • two-dimensional plane • universevisual representations of mathematical conceptsvisual scientific representationszero

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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