procedural pavilions

This is a case study for procedurally generating pavilion sculptures. The process involves algorithmically creating a set of instructions for manipulating geometry in a series. In this case, a series of rotations and transformations are carried out initially on a base primitive shape. The primitive is rotated, mirrored, reflected, stretched, arrayed, and combined in various different ways. This set of modifications accumulate over time to create a final fractal-like form. And given enough variables to control, this allows for a system to generate a large number of forms that are similar yet different upon closer inspection. Additional work is done by hand in order to create a more handcrafted approach that addresses the quality and uniqueness of the selected design.

Created by Ryan Cook with LuxMea. Prototypes printed on Formlabs Form 2, Markforged Mark Two, Stratasys Connex3 Objet 260, and HP Jet Fusion 580. Curated in Unreal Engine. 2019. LuxMea: Jean Yang, Edward Broeders, Ryan Cook, Steven Avis, Vahid Esraghi, Xiao Su.

One critique of procedural generation is that it can result in something where it becomes difficult to meaningfully differentiate the final variations which have been created. This is mostly a quantity over quality problem where the degree of difference between each iteration may become more difficult to discern from each other as more iterations are made.

These issues were addressed in the later stage workflows for the pavilions. For the particular pavilion showcased below, procedural generation is only used as the starting off point. Once the best form was generated and chosen, additional steps were carried out to add more complexity to the design. In this case, the legs and base of the design were further massaged and sculpted by hand to add a unique final touch to the overall form. Using a larger set of control variables also helped to ensure that the final design would have a handcrafted feel to it.

Color and materiality were also explored procedurally. In the below example, color is used to create a dizzying fractal-like effect for another pavilion iteration. The overall pattern of color in the later stages of this design is dependant on how the original object or base primitive is colored and textured at the start.