Grasshopper Workshop 2021

Visual Programming Course for Architects & Designers

Day 1. Introduction and Basic Data Structures with The Twist by BIG

During the first day of the workshop, attendees were given a lecture on the relevance of computation in architecture. Terminologies such as algorithmic design, generative design, and parametric design were clarified. Special emphasis was given to the idea of “parametricism”, aiming to detach the objectives of this architectural style from the use of computational tools in architecture. Each lecture featured a real-time demonstration of the tool and the modeling of recognized buildings to spark attendees’ curiosity.

The introduction to Grasshopper was conducted with The Twist project, which served to introduce the use of various parameters, components, and basic geometries using lists.

Day 2. Data Trees with the 2010 UK Pavilion by Heatherwick Studio

During the second day of the workshop, attendees were given an in-depth explanation of interphase functions, types of parameters, and data management in Grasshopper, which was presented as the basic foundation for the swift use of the tool.

On the interphase side, the component bar and radial menu functions were thoroughly looked at. Various types of parameters were explained by testing their conversions and multi-data compatibilities.

Data trees and their behavior in Grasshopper were examined through exercises of incremental complexity. The UK Pavilion served as an example of the generation of articulate architectural geometries through bi-dimensional trees.

Day 3 - Computational Geometry with Little Island by Heatherwick Studio

On day 3 a lecture was given on curves, surfaces, meshes, and their applications in multiple fields such as architectural modeling, animation, and FEM analysis for engineering.

This was followed by an exercise where attendees learned how to evaluate and subdivide surfaces for populating patterns and meshes.

While intending to challenge the attendees to further develop their computational thinking, the Little Island project provided an intricate example of the population of a surface. The funneling platforms of the island follow a set of geometric conditions that require the use of a 3-dimensional data -tree, building on the lecture from day 2.

Day 4 - Simulation & Form Finding with Sphere Packing for Segmented Shells

For the last lecture, dynamic simulation was taught through the introduction of the Kangaroo 2 physics engine in Grasshopper.

During the initial part of the lecture, a set of introductory exercises were conducted to explain the data structure of the plugin, the solver parameters, and the processing of results. Sphere packing was introduced during the last exercise as a useful application of dynamic simulation in architecture for the panelization of segmented shells on double-curved surfaces.

A script containing the Tangential Intersection Method (O.D. Krieg, 2015) was given to the attendees for generating shell panels from points populated on a surface.

Mexico City, Mexico
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Salomón Nakash

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