“Evolutionary Computational Stuctural Ornaments”

    7th International Conference on Computational Mechanics for Spatial Structures IASS-IACM
    Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo


    Computation has completely changed the way designs are processed into building construction but it has also raised a series of fundamental issues in computational geometry. The present paper discusses a series of case studies from pattern formation through the population of planar components on elliptical and hyperbolic surfaces. Based on related theories, we will introduce three different and novel strategies (see section 3) that interlacing one another may help building the future of design thinking. The logics of 2D Voronoi diagrams, pattern formation and folding structures have already been defined. The fundamental proposed here is to interlace them in order to solve a major issue: tessellate a 3D form out of planar components. As a result, this ongoing research is focused on creating live conditions for mathematical form finding and self-organizing systemsin order to design a generative logic that holds together 4D planar ornaments with complex freeform design.

    Calderon E.R. (2012) ‘Evolutionary Computational Structural Ornaments’ in the 7th IASS-IACM [Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Computational Mechanics for Spatial Structures] Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo 2-4 April 2012, pp. 315-321

    “Sewing Timber Panels: an Innovative digitally supported joint system for self-supported timber plate structures”

    17th CAADRIA, Hindustan University
    Chennai, India


    This paper focuses on the joint system of flat panels as parts of a freeform building. This topic is a key area of the ongoing founded research project, in which we investigate nonstandard shapes, realized with standard building materials, namely cross-laminated timber (CLT). We use different discretization algorithms to overlay arbitrary freeform surfaces with ornaments consisting of polygonal flat panels.  We investigate a series of ornaments and their discretization results on different surfaces.In this paper, we will present and discuss a new timber-to-timber joint system that we developed exclusively for this project. We discuss the results of the load tests that we performed recently and we take a look at the construction dependent requirements of the joint system concerning the tolerances and the geometry and also, how these constraints inform the digital process.
    As we will discuss throughout the paper, in earlier publications we described the form finding process and the geometrical guidelines for the discretization of a desired freeform building using ornamental flat patterns. This paper moves one step further as the digital becomes physical and it is closely related to building construction and the computational design outset.

    [Full paper]

    Schimek H., Calderon E.R., Wilsche A., (2012) ‘Sewing Timber Panels: An innovative digitally supported joint system for self-supported timber plate structures’ in CAADRIA 2012 [Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia] Chennai (India) 25-28 April 2012, pp.

    “Ornamental Discretization of Free-form Surfaces: developing digital tools to integrate design rationalization with the form finding process”

    (Best Paper Prize)

    17th CAADRIA, Hindustan University
    Chennai, India

    The adoption of digital planning methods has given rise to an unprecedented formal freedom in architectural design. Free-form shapes enjoy considerable popularity in architectural production today. However, these shapes prove to be notoriously hard to fabricate. This paper reports on an ongoing research project investigating the approximation of continuous double-curved surfaces by discrete meshes consisting solely of planar facets, which can be constructed efficiently by using standardized, mass-produced building materials. We introduce our geometrical approach, which is based on the intersection of tangent planes to the surface, and present the digital tools we conceived to integrate the processes of design rationalization and form-finding.

    [Full paper]

    Manahl M., Schimek H., Calderon E.R., Wilsche A., (2012) ‘Ornamental Discretization of Free-form Surfaces: Developing digital tools to integrate design rationalization with the form finding process’ in CAADRIA 2012 [Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia] Chennai (India) 25-28 April 2012, pp.

    “Seeking Performative Beauty”

    31st ACADIA Conference 2011
    Banff Centre, (Alberta) Canada


    With digital design and fabrication becoming ever more common in architectural design, the computational geometry topic of discretizing freeform surfaces into flat panels has become a common challenge. At the present, most approaches to the issue of preserving a 2D-tessellation on a freeform surface are focused on optimizing the shape of the structure by approximating geometric “equally-sized” flat patterns. In doing so, these strategies treat the approximation of the desired shape as the primary goal, leaving aside the aesthetical aspect of the paneling, which can be seen as having an ornamental quality. In contrast to these common strategies, the project presented in this paper pursues a more holistic approach that tries to integrate aesthetical as well as structural issues by using more complex as well as more performative patterns for the discretization. In the present paper, we present algorithmic strategies that were designed to integrate from the aesthetics of an exposed timber structure, through analysis of structural loading feedbacks to a detailed level of the physical joint system, as part of the fundamental early design decisions. The consequence of the overall negotiations relies fully on their physical integration through computational design. The present paper discusses both the algorithmic techniques and the joint systems through a series of case studies. At the end of the paper we provide an overview to upcoming tasks including the production of a major structure.

    [Full paper]

    Ruffo Calderon, Emmanuel; Schimek, H; Wiltsche, Albert (2011) ‘Seeking Performative Beauty’ in ACADIA 11: Integration through Computation [Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA)] [ISBN 978-1-6136-4595-6) Banff (Alberta) 13-16 October 2011, pp 300-307

    “Towards Controlling Differentiation for Enhancing Architectural Design: Morphogenetic Computational Design for Nonstandard Geometries”

    5th Design Principles and Practices
    Sapienza University of Rome, Italy


    The present paper discusses through the pattern formation and organization of flat ornaments applied into nonstandard geometries, a series of strategies that negotiate between morphogenetic processes and topological structures, the integration of aesthetical control where differentiation is a means for pattern formation in architectural design. The case studies presented here explore the relationship between the logics of natural forms with strategies based in computational algorithmic design. This ongoing founded research project discusses the pattern formation of 4D flat structures, which based on the control of morphogenetic processes may consequently produce differentiation. Aside from the latter, the emerging components should approximate the desired complex curvature of a surface; moreover the approach becomes significant when the formed pattern evolves into flat ornaments by controlling the aesthetic output of the ornament and the component’s differentiation throughout a nonstandard geometry.

    [Full paper]

    Calderon D., E. R. (2012) ‘Towards Controlling Differentiation for Enhancing Architectural Design: Morphogenetic Computational Design for Nonstandard Geometries’ in Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.617-628. Article Print (Spiral Bound). Article Electronic (PDF File; 2.126MB)

    “Algorithmic Processes and Evolutionary Architectural Design for Nonstandard Geometries”

    ALGODE International Symposium on Algorithmic Design for Architecture and Urban Design
    Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ), Tokyo, Japan


    The present paper reports an ongoing investigation about morphogenetic patterns. It discusses latent potentials for controlling esthetical planar ornaments where algorithmic design processes play an important role in enhancing architectural design. Through the use of dynamic user-control and evolutionary processes, the algorithms introduced in this paper, embed freeform design out of planar components. This investigation is intended to extend the synthesis that computational geometry algorithms imply for the key stages of design knowledge. In order to optimize an intended design towards the fabrication strategy and the construction techniques, an early digital architectural design should integrate the following concepts: building shape, intended design, rational material and structural systems, digital fabrication methods and construction criteria.
    The present paper focuses on explaining, through a series of ornamental experiments and related theory, the algorithmic potentialities and the user-criteria for empowering esthetical results. Overall, the aim of the project is to integrate the fore mentioned concepts in order to enhance design thinking. As a consequence, the foundation of this approach is to generate fundamental advances for computational geometry design as a field for exploration, experimentation and moreover for problem-solving digital and building issues, which lie at the core of design thinking.

    [Full paper]

    Calderon D., E. R. (2011) Algorithmic Processes and Evolutionary Architectural Design for Nonstandard Geometries in Digital Proceedings of the International Symposium on Algorithmic Design for Architecture and Urban Design (ALGODE), in Tokyo Japan 14-16 March 2011

    “Towards Morphogenetic Control of Nonstandard Surfaces for Designers”

    14th CAAD Futures 2011
    University of Liege, Belgium

    (Best Presentation Prize)


    The present paper discusses a novel computational design strategy for approximating architectural freeform geometry with discrete planar elements by using morphogenetic patterns. The investigation we report on is part of an ongoing research project, which is focused on the design of flat ornamental tessellations by using computational geometry for the discretization of nonstandard double curved forms. The significance of our approach lies in the fact that it allows the designer to progressively embrace the constructive constraints and their aesthetic potential already in the design stage and to follow them through to actual fabrication.

    [Full paper]

    Calderon, Dominguez, Emmanuel Ruffo, Hirschberg Urs (2011) ‘Towards a Morphogenetic Control of Free-Form Surfaces for Designers’ in Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures 2011 [Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures / ISBN 978-2-8745-6142-9] Liege (Belgium) 4-8 July 2011, pp. 165-180

    “Programming as an Evolutionary Concept for Architectural Design”

    Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design ASCAAD
    Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, College of Engineering, University of Bahrain, Manama BAHREIN 2009


    Logic and evolution in ontogenetic processes for Architectural design was the title for a summer program taught at the Escuela de Arquitectura of the Universidad Anahuac from June to July 2008 in the State of Mexico, Mexico. Every single result in architectural design follows logical steps enclosed in the design processes. These logical processes evolve through space-time sequences in order to generate a diversity of possible solutions. In Biology an ontogenetic process refers to the development of an individual organism, anatomical or behavioral feature from the earliest stage to maturity. Following this development criteria students were encouraged to understand the main logics of natural and physical systems through the aid of computer programming. These logics must be understood as tridimensional geometries digitally generated. Right from the beginning all processes generated during the explorations and investigations had to be visualized as integral design performances. The integral design system must embedded structure, function, form and material capacities through the aid of computer programming, digital fabrication technologies and material assembling techniques. It is important to note that final prototypes had to demonstrate the diversity of capacities of the whole system in order to automate the components in evolution.

    Calderon D., E. R. (2009) ‘Programming as an Evolutionary Concept for Architectural Design’ in ASCAAD Proceedings of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD), in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrein 11-12 May 2009.

    “Algoritmos Inteligentes en Arquitectura”

    CEFAD Centro de Formación y Actualización Docente
    Universidad Anáhuac México Norte 2009


    De antaño, los arquitectos diseñan edificios utilizando una serie de imágenes o bien generan conceptos utópicos que están relacionados con el edificio a diseñar (tipología). Los arquitectors continuamente piensan acerca del impacto social, politicos o económico que tiene un edificio gracias a las fomas estéticas que lo constituyen o por el sitio para el cual ha sido diseñado, es decir, barrio, distrito, ciudad o país. Los arquitectos, entonces, aplican y juegan con estas reglas sin seguir un proceso específico de investigación, que finalmente ayude a formular un concepto que esté relacionado extrínseca e intrínsecamente con la función del edificio, su relación con el contexto, su adaptación al medio ambiente, la relatividad de tiempo y espacio para el cual ha sido creado y su capacidad de evolucionar con el paso del tiempo.

    Calderon D., E. R. (2009) ‘Algoritmos Inteligentes en Arquitectura’ in CEFAD: Éxitos en la Docencia, Mejores Prácticas Docentes y Experiencias de Calidad en la Universidad Anáhuac, México 2009.