Category Archives: Yanna Haddad

Yanna Haddad

Final presentations_Growth and Form

Framework- D’arcy Thompson on growth and form

Concept – Transformation, growth, forces and deformation

Architectural work- Embryological House by Greg Lynn

Click the link below for the video of the final presentation:

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DIGITAL LOGICS – “On Growth and Form”

 “On Growth and Form” by D’Arcy Wentworth Thomson

skull transformation

In Thomson’s book “On Growth and Form”, he looks at the way natural living things, such as vegetation and animals, and why they take the form they do by growing and changing. While at first the forms are described with words, they later are represented with mathematical and graphical drawings. Thomson admits that the mathematical analysis has its limitations since one cannot simply draw anything. However, it does have an advantage in a way we can manipulate shapes and discover new things; he places a grid and then deforms it consistently in one particular pattern, the result is a new species. Nevertheless not everything can be transformed to anything; a vertebral animal cannot be transformed to a mammal. His study of form is called “morphology”. The form goes from a static to dynamic state with the influence of forces on them. While looking at the shape we can recognize the force that transformed it, which can be for example Gravity. By understanding the form transformation vs. the forces, we can see a similarity with DeLanda in the evolution process from young to older. Thomson discuses the concept of average since the process of transformation allows you to get only an approximate result; one can get mathematical forms for shapes in general, but not for a specific case – “Keep the type in mind & leave the single cases, with all its accidents, alone”. In “On Growth and Form”, there is also the idea of Newton which says that “Nature delights in transformation”. The book is mostly about questioning and comparing the form, growth and Cartesian coordinates. According to Thomson, comparison of related forms allows us to understand better the transformation and deformation that if we saw the form alone. His method was to use Cartesian coordinates, and it can be used to study missing parts of an animal or the missing steps of the evolution process. Thomson describes Listing’s point of view of seeing a topological similarity in mammals where in the science of typology any form can be changed to any form. This concept comes behind the fact that if you breakdown different forms, we will end up with similar basic geometric shapes. However Thomson did not study this perspective. All of his experiments are limited since they are in 2D, where everything in the grid changes but keeps the same relation. His study can be applied on a 3D grid but there will be difficulty in correlating one plane into different one. Moreover, even in his 2D process, we can notice that his transformation from the initial drawing to the obtained result is not always very accurate and sometimes raises doubts about certain coordinate’s displacement; Nevertheless we should keep in mind the book was written in a time where computer analysis and parametric still did not exist, making his work an impressing read. We can notice that Thomson applied the same method as Albert Durer did on human face, but for animals.

In my personal research, I would like to experiment and apply Thomson’s theories since he was descriptive rather than experimental in his book. It is clear that he was aware of that when he said: “This book of mine has little need of preface, for indeed it is ‘all preface’ from beginning to end”. It would be to apply the study to all shapes in our daily life to follow their process and see what forces and changes they have been affected by to become transformed to what they are.

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Relational Logics – T1

Relational Logics - T1

Case study:                    Studio House. F451 Arqu itectura

Critical reading:        Bernard Rudofsky, “Conditioned Outdoor Room”

The Studio House was built in 2012-2013 in Gijon, Spain by the architecture firm “F451 Arquitectura”. It is composed of four independent but unified units which are the guest apartment, the atelier, the garage and the house. By merging the different functions, the architects ensured that the spaces would have a double orientation, light and ventilation thus highlighting the energy efficiency of the construction. The center exterior covered space serves as a climate regulator and it is the place where programs can relate together. As well, another consideration taken in the design process was the integration of the studio house with the landscape; while some might argue that the “Studio House” is enclosed and has no relation to the outside since there are no obvious views of the surrounding nature, i believe the relation is successful and it is mostly apparent by the way the guest house roof emerges from the landscape. It is not necessary to draw an obvious connection to nature, it is rather the feeling we have while experiencing the spaces inside the house, weather we are under the landscape or above it. Moreover, we notice that this change in the relationship of the construction with the ground varies according to the plan which consists of two different typologies; the modern house and the industrial warehouse.

The “Conditioned Outdoor Room” was written in 1955. The main point of the author Bernard Rudofsky is that the contemporary garden remains unoccupied and is considered-that is if there is one- as a transition space between the house and the street, while the domestic gardens of the past where a private habitable place considered as an outdoor living room which was a luxury to have. In a world where people try to control the climate and nature in every possible way, where maybe permanent underground and indoor life is a possibility, Rudofsky clarifies that the climate is not just the air we breathe, but it is the color of our skin, our mood, our energy… Despite the numerous efforts men has put into trying to control the climate, they never surpassed the indoors, which according to Rudosfsky seems as a failure. His solution is much simpler; “it is but a question of making oneself at home out of doors.” thus his belief in the need of a garden, “an object of excessive care”. This necessity is the result of people’s need to behave as if they are in their living room, yet they get added beauties such as the fresh air, the light, the smell of nature, the sun, the wind etc. Rudosfky gave as example of the perfect outdoors Guinea, which has a very good climate, and Pompeii which is a “spa for neutralizing the acidity of sour minds”. The gardens are created by the spaces enclosed by walls, which Rudofsky sees as “space on a human scale”, an invention that was not credited enough.

The “Conditioned Outdoor Room” and the “Studio House” can be compared on different levels. We notice the main common point in both texts involves the approach and sensitivity to nature. In the “Studio House”, the double orientation is the result of the way the architect placed the walls, showing a sort of positional relations since proximity is very important to create this angle between the walls. In the “Conditioned Outdoor Room”, we see a similar relation when Rudofsky gives importance to the wall positioning and the space it creates; the garden. As well, we can somehow relate to the metaphorical relations in both texts. In the “Studio House”, we notice a metaphorical geographical and landscape relation rather than the typical branching system relation. The guest house emerges from the ground to branch into two different spaces; the house and the atelier. In the “Conditioned Outdoor Room”, the garden is considered as an outdoor living room, which is part of the house composed of several rooms, where each branch represents a room. All interrelate together.

The possible topic for my personal research could be related to the environmental relations discussed in advanced architecture theory class. While being energy sufficient, I believe that the functions distributed on different levels can create interesting spaces and emphasize the transition from one room to another giving importance to even the simplest functions such as the laundry room. I envision an interesting combination with a disturbing relation; with the vertical gradient of the functions on different levels, the gradient can also become a horizontal one where the transition between a room and the street becomes blurry without clear borders, where the indoor becomes the outdoor and vice versa.

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