Category Archives: Philip Serif

Philip Serif

Group 7 Presentation

Group 7 Sou Fujimoto


Architectural project – Sou Fujimoto, Final Wooden House

Concept –  Primitive Instincts

Theoretical Framework – Primitive Future

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Digital Logics / T6


 Digital Logics

Patrik Schumacher – Parametricism – A New Global Style

Yokohama Ferry Terminal – FOA Architects

Parametricism is introduced by Patrik Schumacher as a fresh approach to design with digital tools, where the ‘tools’ actually morph into a fully-fledged style, well suited to large scale urban planning as well as interior design.

According to Schumacher, this avant-garde style closes the transitional gap between the modernist/postmodernist, deconstructivist/minimalist era and present day, fulfilling most necessities due to its relevance in all scales. Its adaptability is also highlighted by its morphological nature and therefore superior capacity to articulate programmatic complexity.

Due to the increasing demands of the socio-economic state nowadays, ‘retooling’ was a necessary step. The increasing demand can be addressed by a rich panoply of parametric techniques: animation, simulation, form-finding tools, parametric modeling and scripting.

With this palette of techniques architects across the world strive to solve systematically connected problems. The over and above aesthetic recognisability as well as the wide spread, long term consistency of shared design ambitions and problems could justify the enunciation of a ‘style’.

A further aspect of parametricism as a style are its ‘heuristics’, as Schumacher describes them. Positive and negative heuristics dictate the rules with which parametricism as a style is to be approached.  Avoidance of linear shapes (squares, triangles, etc) is key as well as pursuing paths of research, guiding principles and preferred techniques  (parametric), which allow the work to fast forward in one direction.

Therefore the deep relationality is able to further coordinate pragmatic concerns and articulate them with all their rich differentiations and relevant associations. Even though the increased relational and digital logics aid in complex tasks, the new ‘style’ fails to live up to its full potential. Schumacher is reacting to the present state of things in the form of binary ideas, however he is not exploring further, or even attempting to envision a future, rather preferring to develop parametricism as a reaction to current situations.

The envisioning of the Yokohama terminal in its existent form was almost impossible with analogue techniques. The ease of execution would have been greatly increased through parametric techniques.

The interconnection of public spaces, structure and the existing pier can be viewed as a complex relational problem, possibly solved by digital relation tools. Great emphasis was put on the interrelation of these aspects, creating smooth topological transformation. Even without computational techniques the continuity between its different levels as well as the existing elements was overcome elegantly.

Though parametric techniques were not used exclusively, seismic activity was analyzed, monitored and relayed into the design using parametric means, ensuring horizontal and vertical forces are absorbed, as well as overall structural correspondence.

The execution of the Yokohama terminal highlights the associativity between part to whole, articulating the interconnecting elements in an elegant simplified manner. However the potential for greater efficiency of implementation as well as heightened speed at which such a project could have been completed remains open. No doubt parametric techniques would have aided the design hugely.

I am interested in the potential parametricism has in the future when certain design constraints and possibilities which have not been discovered or explored yet, may surface. It is also interesting to ponder whether parametricsm in such cases would truly evolve into a style or remain more of a design tool.


Case Study: Yokohama Ferry Terminal

Case Text: Parametricism ‘A New Global Style’, by Patrik Schumacher

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Relational Logics / T6


Subliminal Matters

The Wall House, designed by FAR (Frohn & Rojas), exhibits several relationships between multiple aspects seen in nature. Through the connections forged by the transitional interactive concept of the design the visitor is drawn into this artificially created ‘natural environment’.

Recreating the aspect of nature seen in the design has multiple stages. Beginning with the exterior; the materials suggest lightness and transparency, easing the visitor into the shelter. Crossing the loosely defined threshold between the exterior ‘skin’ and into the main house the visitor finds her/himself in the more open ‘public’ space. Most of the interactive activity happens here, in the presence of the slight increase in material density. The most intimate areas (toilet, bedroom) furthest in are enclosed completely by the surrounding building, including much heavier/rougher materials (concrete).

The staging of the separate ‘layers’ of the building, much like Fujimotos ‘gradation’, allude to a common natural occurrence, a cave (Fujimoto, 2008, p. 130). As one would stroll into a cave one would pass through the mouth, the lightest area, through the intermediate space, less light, to the darkest and most sequestered part at the rear; all of these aspects being embodied materialistically and visually.

The almost direct connections evident between the natural precedent and manmade entity induce a subconscious, almost primal instinct, aiding in facilitating a comfortable and relaxing space.

By utilizing atmospheric relational qualities the architects have been able to raise a modern space, which functions on instinctual principles. The materiality (lightness to heaviness, fabric to concrete), suggests a juxtaposition of isolation from the natural surroundings, through the synthetic execution of the interior, and the close ties the design shares with its naturally occurring precedent (the cave). The blurred ties promote similarity yet at the same time separation.


In my eyes Relational Logics aims to bring forth an interconnection of qualities experienced in architecture. Emphasis on the human senses promotes natural and almost spiritual connections between subject and subjected. The combination of multiple evocative methods; material, smell, light and sound, to name a few, bring across the space created in a multitude of incorporative lines of relation. However I do also believe that environments with such amounts of thought put into them may not always be necessary or even realistic.


The subconscious relations we make and have with architecture are interesting to ponder. While acknowledging the immediate surroundings our primary senses pick up, we may yet be unaware of potential other influences forming around us or even forming us. I hope to delve further into the subliminal, and the unseen influences acting upon us.


Case Study: Wall House by FAR Architects

Study Text: Primitive Future by Sou Fujimoto

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