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quarta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2011

Dare to parasite ExperiMaking - WORKSHOP

Teacher Liss C. Werner (Studio Master Cybernetic/Design)

Group 1: surveys

- How the parasites are using its site?
- Which site is more attractive to the parasite?

Group 2: analysis ( collect data)

Parameters ( they will be measured in a degree scale from 0 to 10)
- Moviments (circulation)
- Activity
- Natural Light
- Communication interation
- Flexibility of the objects in the space
- Level of obstruction
- Volume of space
- Porosity

12 Spaces's Categories: Hallways, Studios, Seminars, Offices, Bathrooms, Auditorium, Coffee machine's space, stairs, dean's offices, exhibition spaces, rest spaces (smooking, bench), big space (hall).


How to transfer excel into grasshopper:

Group 3: digitalization of parasite/ host behavior

All the students: constructions drawings / making

Design Development History

1. Preliminary research was performed to discover the general biology and physical characteristics of parasites.

2. We determined the parameters relative to the qualities of the space. These parameters considered the environmental needs of parasitic organisms.

3. Building 08 spaces were categorized based on their programmatic uses. The spaces were evaluated based on the parameters chosen.

4. Evaluations to produce values ranging from 1 – 10 (10 being high) for each parameter were performed by groups of two for each space. The results are relative to each analysis group.

5. Averages were taken of all the parameters to find Building 08’s strengths.

6. The strongest parameters were identified. The parasite’s characteristics were designed based on the building’s strengths, and how the parasite will feed off these. Building 08 has a large amount of natural light in almost every space.

7. The building’s greatest weakness was chosen as the lack of private space for individual conversations. This need led to the design parameters.

8. The Design Parameters were established.

Design Parameters for the Parasite

1. Needs light, reacts to movement.

2. Complex form creates obstruction, causing a new path of movement.

3. Needs ability to touch moving people.

Consider: The parasite should be simple in materiality (Physical Design)

The resulting form should produce an intimate/private space.

9. Finalize the parasite form, including component design.

10. Construct parasite, through use of construction drawings.


Quartz, Steven R. and Sejnowski, Terrence J. "The Neural Basis of Cognitive Development: A Constructivist Manifesto." Cognitive Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. 2010.

Essay Summary
- The representation of data as stored in an organism’s brain is a system based on units that grows more complex as more data is stored. A system of parts grows into a network of information.

-Information about an organism’s surrounding environment is stored in its brain through neural encoding. The coding is representational of the contained data.

- Cognitive learning – An organism learns about its environment during its lifetime, rather than already knowing everything about its surroundings from birth. It stores information in its brain that it learns through exploration. As more data is stored, the information network becomes more complex. As the network increases in a complex nature, the question remains: What is the effect of allowing a system to add structure as it grows?

(Short Version)
- Data is stored as units of information.

- The units are connected as a network.

- As more units are added, connections increase. The network becomes more complex.

- The network develops a structural appearance based on the connections.

- What is the appearance of the network’s structure? Is it based on the network becoming more regularized, or is it the pattern of the units?

Protevi, John. "Deluze and Wexler: Thinking Brain, Body, and Affect in Social Context." Cognitive Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. 2010.

- The traditional approach to understanding cognitive learning is considering the brain to be a type of computer with information that runs on programs within the computer system. This method views cognitive development as being restrained by rule systems based on the "software." But in the new approach to understanding cognitive development, cognitive learning is seen as a network that grows through the strength and number of connections between information.

Short Version
- Brains are not computers that have software installed that run based on prescribed rules.

- Information is stored as a network within the brain.

- Connections between the information are strengthened and grow in number, rather than replicating data in a pattern.
Research by Chelsea

Emergence; from "emergence and evolution" by Chris Lucas

Structural Organization
-Darwin's 'Natural Selection' neglects self-organising aspects of physical systems and behaviour (teleology)
-Chemical systems often organize into complex forms
-examples include viruses, protein folding and microtubules
-Form can be an integral aspect of a system, not 'selected for' by external forces
-Organisms make choices; do not behave passively under environmental selection
-Gravity and electromagnetic forces both can act from outside a system (fields) and within (interconnections)
-Selection does not select 'for' a characteristic, only 'against' a disadvantageous one
-All 'successful' adaptations avoid selection; as do any good, bad or indifferent changes that don't have 'selective' relevance to any particular 'culling' process
Emergent Properties of Form
-There is a linear or near-linear correspondence between gene and morphology; a continuum of possible expression, so that all intermediate variations will be possible (the environment also affects the parameters)
-Genes are not 'optimized' by selection; only the phenotype is directly affected
-Genetic makeup relies on codons, units of 3 base pairs coding for amino acids [61 codons possible yet only 20 amino acids are produced]
-Genetic variation does not guarantee any phenotypic variation on which selection may then act; may be long periods of stasis when nothing happens (exploration of what are called neutral networks), before a mutation occurs that actually causes a phenotypic effect
Regulatory Networks
-Genes; two main forms: expression + regulatory
-Expressive (or structural) genes create the cell
-Regulatory genes create 'high level' control process for the cell
-Represent regulatory genes by a system of logic gates; epistatic (nonlinear) interactions between genes can then be seen as interconnections between their regulatory mechanisms
- Cannot predict outcome from studying only fine details
- Examples include cellular metabolism, ant colonies, organism development, snowflakes
- Open-ended' evolution appears outside our current experience or that of the system
- Cannot easily apply a 'fitness function' since the 'function' is initially unknown (and may not even exist) and is highly context dependent
-Following of goals in evolution, behavior and its relationship to genes
-Humans/animals/plants are active agents and not just passive ones
-Emergent properties allow for such a downward causation scientifically, and it proves to be philosophically incoherent to deny our own causality as humans
-Clear parallels between human self-organizing behaviours (cultural norms) and those of 'lesser' animals, both affect their evolutionary dynamics by their behaviours, in ways that do not seem random.

Research by Kate

Lebbeus Woods
- co-founder of the Research Institute for Experimental Architecture and professor in the Cooper Union School of Architecture:
* was born in Michigan, 1940, and and have concentrated his works in experimental and theorical practices since 1976.
* had always combined the works of architects and artists, even as using social and scientifical themes.

The line of his thoughts:

- Single question: What is the place of a person – any individual – in the complex ever- changing landscape of the world? And have no fixed or universal answer.
- Explore the phenomena of change in material and spatial terms.
- Work within already strong sites in order to expose these sites’ latent dynamism and the forces hidden within their stability leading to inevitable transformation.

The aim is not to disturb the stability, but to provide strategies for adaptation when transformation occurs. Even more, they celebrate change and the energies driving it, at the essence of existence.

For him, currently, exists an absence of criticism of works and ideas, except in term of efficacy, and that, in the time of critical changes, it is not good enough.

Parasites in 1992 – Bosnia War - The question of how theory relates to practice

A brief history: The genocide carried out by Bosnian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims in the war raged on its soil from 1992 to 1995 - after the end of Cold War (1990) and sequentially the breakup of Yugoslavia - was the worst in Europe since the Holocaust. The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Sarajevo - was under blockade and military siege by the Bosnian Serb army, whose thought was to humiliate the people in the city, to punish the city for its cosmopolitan character and traditions. During this time the people suffered without normal supplies of food or water, electricity, gas, or heat, and telephone links. It was almost completely cut off from the outside world.

"As much as anything, the siege was a terrorist act, a war on diversity and urbanity, an attack on the very idea of city. Thankfully—because of the strong spirit of its people—the terrorists ultimately failed." LW

In November of 1993 he made an exhibition in Sarajevo expecting to help architects in there start thinking about the role of the architecture both during and after the siege. "I was able to see first-hand what the people were enduring and many damaged buildings."

After that, he was requested to design many projects in there.
"Architecture, as a social and primarily constructive act, could heal the wounds, by creating entirely new types of space in the city. These would be what I had called ‘freespaces,’ spaces without predetermined programs of use, but whose strong forms demanded the invention of new programs corresponding to the new, post-war conditions." LW

His final hypothesis:

- 90% of the damaged buildings would be restored to their normal pre-war forms and uses, as most people want to return to their old ways of living
- 10% should be freespaces, for those who did not want to go back, but forward.

These freespaces, to be inhabited by those could invent new ways of space, opening to the future, are the main points of match "as the crucibles for the creation of new thinking and social-political forms, small and large. I believed then–and still do–that the cities and their people who have suffered the most difficult transitions in the contemporary world, in Sarajevo and elsewhere, have something important to teach us, who live comfortably in the illusion that we are immune to the demands radical changes of many kinds will impose on us, too."

Lebbeus Woods, Injection Parasite, Sarajevo, 1992-93

Research by Amanda
by Andrea & Matteo

The potential site: Foyer


The starting point are the dimensions of the room itself, that define the borders of the space of search of the algorithm

02_starting field

The starting volume is filled with a point cloud, that starts ad a regular field to get deformed in the next stages


The amount of movement detected in the room generates a series of vectors that displace randomly the initial point grid, creatina a more complex and articulated organization


The flexibility paramter, starting from the random modifications given by the movement, selects the amount of random and regular points to be used in the next stages: more flexibility generates a more random grid.


The activity displaces the point through repulsion, creating bigger spaces in the grid.


The interaction level is used to generate a proximity grid from the previous points, increasing the conncetions between them when the interaction level itself increases.

07_3D mapping

In order to define in space the field generated by the combination of the previous parameters, a series of secions in divverent directions is taken through the proximity diagram.

08_resulting fields

The resulting points are combined into two dimensiona diagrams through a meta-ball algorithm, in order to define different areas of potential for the parameters.

Field 1
Field 2

09_mesh points

The resulting meta-ball diagram is then subdivided into points, in ordero to generate the final mesh through iso-surfacing technique.


The final mesh is the expression of the complex interaction of the different parameters. This complex shape become the base field for the generation of the parasite, creating in some way a "naked flesh" of the host building itself.

Mesh of parameters

Discussions about the workshop:

Chelsea: As part of the research group, I read the two essays Liss wanted us to read. I now have a request to everyone designing the parasite that we'll build. Please consider what the essays were arguing... a system should not grow many units being multiplied. It should grow through the connections between the units strengthening. So what that means, is that I think instead of us producing 100 units that have 5 connections between each unit, we should produce 5 units with 20 connections between them. So, we have a small parasite, but it will be very strongly placed, and very hard to get rid of. I feel that if a parasite is hard to kill, that makes it a pretty successful parasite.

Sketch by Chelsea

Amanda: According to I read about the the Parasites in Lebbeus Woods, I interpreted that the architecture acts as "who" could heal the wounds, through the promotion of totally new spaces , the called 'freespaces' ("spaces without predetermined programs of use, but whose strong forms demanded the invention of new programs corresponding to the new, post-war conditions"). I believe this is another important parameter to consider. The mix between this conception and the data that will be generated by the Digital group might reveal the best freespaces to develop our parasites - these strong connections that had you talked about. Thereby, the spaces able to support the parasites must have conditions like the post-war ones, considering this relationship.

HazelI also think that aside from the strong/multiple connections, it should have a little bit of versatility in that the connections could be used to connect to most of the materials found in the building, making it easy to connect and hard to get rid of.

The design process

First sketch of the design by Andrew

*Failed because we didn't have ladders to fix it to the ceiling.

Coverage kinds Exploration, by Andrew


Material Exploration

By Andrea and Matteo

Emergence of a Solar Parasite

Members: Amanda Carvalho, Andrea Rossi, Alireza Rismanchian, Ali Farham, Andrew Mogylnyi, Chelsea Scrogham, Christine Baldwin, Ekta Pandey, Elmira Alandari, Farnaz Aq, Hazel Cruz, Kanin Manthanachart, Kate Albee, Lila Panahikazeim, Matteo Taramelli, Nikita Azarkhin, Urszula Edyko, Sam Amirebrahimi, Shyam Mehta & Tanya Zabvaska 

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