Student Lan Yi Kang, 2nd prize, Parametric Modelling Design Ideas Competition 2013 organized by Singapore Institute of Architects [Tutor - Dr. Joseph Lim]

Sun path, study shadow patterns and brightness levels from daylight are simulated to design space as a sequence of volumes brought together in light. Site response, climate filtering envelopes and interior space are positioned as diurnal responses to conditions of daylight. Sun paths and cultural responses are site specific in developing an external envelope responding to rain sun wind and heat.

The studio explores the void to investigate space, scale, movement and experience to generate scalable geometries suggesting screen and spatial compositions, as an outcome of Boolean and parametric processes. The studio attempts to find the specification of the variable space from which multiple designs emerge before optimizing singular design solutions.

Starting from a cuboid volume (15x15x15m), pockets of void may be formed within the volume with surfaces or solids. Whilst the interior pockets vary in size (scale), they are interconnected in different ways to re-interpret overlapping chambers, atriums and clerestories.

It investigates generic sections with a wide range of scale, light quality and intensity. For e.g. spaces that are extremely bright at particular sections of the entire cuboid, can be shielded by external walls which limit the amount of light passing through. The outer surface of the cuboid is further tessellated to mediate/filter light, heat, rain, and wind and into a self–supporting material network.

The geometric configuration of the volumes and surface material are informed by daylight and energy studies. The simulation processes guide form-making and materials are specified according to visual qualities enabled by reflectance and thermal transmittance values. The structural configuration will be a separate loop to modify the form.

Five types of studies on light, ventilation, rain penetration, heat and structure are used to generate options before refining them into optimal configurations. Studio tools include Rhino, Grasshopper, Radiance, Realflow and 3D printed study models.

Form follows light
Credits: Lan Yikang (Photo by Chris Cheng)