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Desigining Digitally: Ornament or Advancing Architecture

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Title:
Desigining Digitally: Ornament or Advancing Architecture
Creator:
Kokenge, Samantha N
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
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University of Florida
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English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Architectural education ( jstor )
Art galleries ( jstor )
Computer aided design ( jstor )
Computer technology ( jstor )
Graphic ornaments ( jstor )
Grasshoppers ( jstor )
Museums ( jstor )
Personal computers ( jstor )
Software ( jstor )
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Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Architecture

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Abstract:
The word ornament is often used in association with architecture. Its value in use in architecture has been at the forefront of architectural debates throughout history. Its role in architecture changes with each new era. The twenty-first century has seen a large growth in computer-aided designs, fabricated constructions, and parametric fa,ades around the world. Computer-aided design software allows for new creative possibilities and can calculate irregular geometries quickly and more accurately. Computers have become an essential design tool for architects and design students. New technological advances in design software are developed to make designing more complexities with ease. Through simple algorithms however, many designs quickly become symmetrical and repetitive, that can appear as a new type of ornamentation. ( en )

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University of Florida
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Copyright [thesis author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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! DESIGNING DIGITALLY: ORNAMENT OR ADVANCING ARCHITECTURE By: Samantha Kokenge An Undergraduate Honors Thesis Presented to the School of Architecture and the Honors Program at the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Design in Architecture with High or Highest Honors. University of Florida 2016

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2 2016 Samantha Kokenge

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3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for Professor Bradley Walters, my advisor and design professor. Without his help, this thesis would not be possible. I extend a special appreciation to Professor Lee Su Huang, my professor for Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture and Design Studio 7, who opened my eyes to new possibilities with computer-aided design tools and simulations. I would like to acknowledge Professor Michael Kuenstle, my Design Studio 6 professor, who also helped me advance my digital design skills. I would also like to thank my project partners, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher, whose contributions are greatly appreciated.

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................. .................................. 5 ORNAMENTATION IN ARCHITECTURE ......................................................... .................................................. .......................6 THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGNS IN ARCHITECTURE .......................................................................... ...........8 DIGITAL D!COR ............................................................................................................................ .............................. 10 PARAMETRICISM .......................................................................................................................... ................................11 THE DIGITAL DESIGN PROCESS ...................................................... ................................................. ...............................1 2 CONCLUSION ............................................................... ............................... ..................................... ........................... 17 FIGURE REFERENCE ................................................................................................................ ............................... .......18 WORKS CITED ........................................................................... ................................................................................ .20

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5 ABSTRACT Abstract of Undergraduate Honors Thesis Presented to the School of Architecture and the Honors Program at the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Design in Architecture with High or Highest Honors. DESIGNING DIGITALLY: ORNAMENT OR ADVANCING ARCHITECTURE By Samantha Kokenge April 2016 Thesis Advisor: Bradley Walters Departmental Honors Coordinator: Mark McGlothlin Major: Architecture The word ornament is often used in association with architecture. Its value in use in architecture has been at the forefront of architectural debates throughout history. Its role in architecture changes with each new era. The twenty-first century has seen a large growth in computer-aided designs, fabricated constructions, and parametric fa"ades around the world. Computer -aided design software allows for new creative possibilities and can calculate irregular geometries quickly and more accurately. Computers have become an essential design tool for architects and design students. New technological advances in design software are developed to make designing more complexities with ease. Through simple algorithms however, many designs quickly become symmetrical and repetitive, that can appear as a new type of ornamentation.

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6 ORNAMENTATION IN ARCHITECTURE The architectural debate of ornamentation has returned to the forefront of design discussions due to current developments in parametric models, computer-aided designs, and digital fabrication. Ornamentation is defined something that ornaments; embellishment; the act or process of ornamenting; the state of being ornamented. Per this definition, ornamentation is a word associated with decoration and garnish. Likewise, decoration is defined as a thing used to make something look more attractive but usually having no practical purpose. Ornaments are added to existing objects to provide decoration, or to make the original more elaborate, more aesthetically pleasing. Because these are extra additions, whose only significance is to enhance whatever it is covering up, architects debate its value in architecture. Modernist architects, Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier, argue against the additions and believe that embellishments had been used on buildings previously as a distraction from the inevitable flaws of handcraftsmanship. In Ornament and Crime, Loos explains his sheer dissatisfaction of ornamentation when he says, !Ornament represents wasted labor and ruined material."1 Loos is not alone with his opinion of ornamented architecture in the twentieth century. Le Corbusier states in his book, The Decorative Art of Today, that ornamentation is !suited to simple races, peasants and savages."2 He continues, !Harmony and proportion incite the intellectual faculties and arrest the man of culture."2 Le Corbusier#s strong word choice exemplifies his utter repulsion with building embellishments. Building garnishes that Loos and Le Corbusier were so irritated by can be found on architecture since antiquity and into the Renaissance. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans are only a few examples of cultures whose architecture, especially for their places of religious worship, stands with embellishments both on the interior and exterior. For example, the Greek temples because more of more of monuments to the gods because of the amount of statues of their gods and goddesses they place in, on, and around their places of worship. A perfect example of this can be seen in Figure 1, shows the south porch of the Erechtheion, which is supported by six female, presumably maiden, figures, known as the Caryatids. The only purpose of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !1!Loos, Adolf. Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays. Print. 1908.!2!Le Corbusier. The Decorative Art of Today. Print. 1925.

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7 carving these marble columns into figures is to symbolically honor the legendary King Kekrops of Athens, who#s grave is beneath the porch. The twenty-first century, thus far, has seen a large growth in computer-aided designs, fabricated constructions, and parametric fa"ades. Technology improves every day and with it, design innovations are being implemented into today#s projects. Within the past ten years, three -dimensional printers have become not only normal to see in architectural studios, but essential to certain offices# design processes. Many are creating building envelope s with patterned apertures or folds that can easily become repetitive, geometric, and decorative. Some digitally fabricated fa"ades seem to only be a new type of embellishment, and not changing one#s experience of the spaces. In Peter Carl#s Ornament and Time, he explains that the attacks on ornament, like those of Loos and Le Corbusier, often came with an attempt to explore the original ideas behind the garnishes that cover many ancient traditional buildings.3 The result was that those aspects of design typically reserved for ornament came to encompass entire constructs.3 Modern design principles in comparison to that of previous eras, are less dense with embellishments. This is largely because of Loos and Le Corbusier#s influences on architecture and respe cted negative arguments of ornament. However, more contemporary projects have evidence of a possible revival of ornamentation through computer-aided designs. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !3 Carl, Peter. 1992. "Ornament and Time: A Prolegomena ". AA Fi les 22. 60. Figure 1: L.F. Cassas, The Erechtheion from the Southwest

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8 THE INTRODUCTION OF COMPUTERAIDED DESIGNS IN ARCHITECTURE Traditionally, drawing is at the core of the architectural design process. It is a necessary skill for designers to explore and communicate their ideas in a physical form. The ability to think and see three dimensionally is essential for architects. The drawn concepts are used not only to illustrate the architect#s vision, but also to test its capabilities. Before the projects can be built, they need to be tested to evaluate its performance against realistic and environmental factors. As Furja$n analyzes in Jorn Utzon#s drawings for Sydney Opera House, precise drawings are used to detect the structural soundness, acoustic conditions, and necessary thermal conditions of the building before construction begins. !From 1957 to 1961, Utzon and Arup (the engineer) struggled to find a feasible structural solution, while simultaneously experimenting with shape modifications intended to make the analysis and constructions problems more tractable."4 They were !forced to rely on laboriously handmade drawings and scale models" to explore the visual effect s of the Opera House.4 Combining practical, mathematically accurate structures with appealing aesthetics, without any technologic help is a difficult task. Utzon#s detailed hand drawn longitudinal section and cross sections of the famous opera house can be seen below in Figures 2 and 3. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !4 Furja $n, Helene. 2007. Design/research: Notes on a Manifesto Journal of Architectural Education (1984 ) 61 (1). Taylor & Francis, Ltd.: 62 % 68. Figure 2: Jorn Utzon, Section of Sydney Oper a House

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9 However, just three decades later, Frank Gehry#s, similarly complex curvatures, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was designed and tested faster with the help of digital models. !The complexity of these analyses no longer presented a difficulty either: the available algorithms had improved enormously in versatility and scientific accuracy since Utzon#s day, and the computer power needed to execute them had become abundant and inexpensive."5 Initially Gehry used shee ts of paper rolled and taped together by hand to generate the free forms. He then used computer software to translate his physical concept model into a digital replica, to later become a built reality. Gehry#s design embodies an intense search for new forms that tested the limits of technology and conventional construction of the time. It can be seen in Figure 4. There is a similarity between Utzon and Gehry#s curved designs, even though they were created decades apart and with different tools. The computer helped Gehry generate formal and spatial complexities with a luxury of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !5 Mitchell, William J.. 1999. A Tale of Two Cities: Architecture and the Digital Revolution ". Science 285 (5429). American Association for the Advancement of Science: 839 % 41. Figure 3: Jorn Utzon, Cross section in large hall showing overhead doors open and closed.

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10 ease that Utzon was not as lucky to have. Although the Guggenheim in Bilbao lacks the levels of symmetry and repetition that many other contemporary buildings have, its attempted organic form brings about an ornamented appearance still. It has a deliberate complexity and formal chaotic appearance to it that is simplified with the digital age. DIGITAL D#$COR An imagined design is able to come alive with ease using design software. The more lavish the ornamentation, the more vigorously the architect#s ideas need to be expressed. A design idea is more easily manifested in a building, which is simple in form that one that it disguised with ornament. Architectural ornamentation is attractive only as far as it expresses an idea with great clearness. !The difference between computer and drawing is that drawing gives you what you know. What the computer does, if you take the drawing put it in the computer, it begins to open up other possibilities that you didn#t know."6 As technology continues to advance even further, it will allow the !architectural object to escape the bounds of an autonomous formalism, redefining space as an intelligent landscape % or ecology % of interaction and immersion and buildings as adaptive networked organizations."7 Therefore, it is important for artists and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !6 Liu, Yudong. Defining Digital Architecture: 2001 Far East International Digital Architectural Design Award. Basel: Birkha &user, 2002. Page 7.!7 Furja $n, Helene. 2007. De sign/research: Notes on a Manifesto Journal of Architectural Education (1984 ) 61 (1). Taylor & Francis, Ltd.: 62 % 68. Figure 4: Frank Gehry, computer aided, pre fabricated, complex geometries alive in the Guggenheim Museum

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11 architects to learn to use the computer and its software as another medium for their work. Once they understand its capabilities, they can explore and test them. In The Creative and Cognitive Conference series, artists revealed that they now have more creative opportunities that would not have been available without a computer. They say that computer-aided design liberates designers and gives them new ways of envisioning their work.8 However, Lawson reminds us: !The computer program must offer new possibilities, rather than simply aping existing ones."5 More importantly, he adds, !The program must be in the hands of an artist who can be creative in the medium."5 Computers can help creativity because they are quicker and more accurate with calculations than humans, but creativity, at its core, needs a physical, human touch to make it aesthetically appealing. As aforementioned, the importance of drawings must not be forgotten in the design process. PARAMETRICISM Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid#s Director of Architecture, coined the term !parametrics," an avantgarde style of architecture that relies on programs, algorithms, and computers to manipulate equations for design purposes. !Parametricism implies that all elements of the design become parametrically variable and mutually adaptive"9 According to Schumacher, parametricism is capable of reproducing and maintaining itself, and where all the elements are interlinked and an outside influence that changes one alters all the others.3 Differentiation and correlation are the key compositional values. The aim is to build up more spatial complexity while maintaining a clear relationship between spaces. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !8 Lawson, Bryan. 2002. CAD and Creativity: Does the Computer Really Help?" Leonardo 35 (3). The MIT Press: 327 % 331. 9 Schumacher, Pa trik. Patrik Schumacher on parametricism % Let the style wars begin. "" May 2010. Web. http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/

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12 THE DIG ITAL DESIGN PROCESS In Spring 2015, in the Advanced Topics of Digital Architecture class, taught by Professor Lee Su Huang, a semester-long group project required students to analyze an existing digitally fabricated structure and create a model of it using a fabrication method. In a group, consisting of Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher, was assigned the Arboskin, seen in Figure 5, designed and constructed by students and professors from Figure 5: Stuttgart University professors and students, Arboskin Stuttgart University#s Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design in Stuttgart, Germany. It is a freeform fa"ade that wraps around the exterior of a university lecture hall. It was designed to test a new bioplastic material#s structural integrity. In order to understand how the structure of the Arboskin was constructed, it first must be analyzed and sketched. These analytical sketches can be seen below in Figures 6-8. Figure 6: author and group partners, Analytical sketch of pyramid apertures.

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13 Figure 7 (left) : author and group partners, Analytical sketch of arrangement of pyramids. Figure 8 (right): author and group partners, Sketch of curved plan of Arboskin Next, Rhinoceros and Grasshopper were used to digitally recreate the project. The curved surface with a hexagonal grid was designed with a simple Grasshopper script learned in class. There were numerous trials and errors to project the pyramids to the gridded surface. Another Grasshopper script was created th at allowed different input numbers that would in turn change the size and number of pyramids applied to the grid. The rendered model can be seen in Figure 9. The physical model was developed from a threedimensional printer because it was the fabrication method that would best represent the essential components of the original project. However, this did require some altering and adjusting to the digital model to create model dimensions that are possible at real scale, as well as finding alternative methods and materials to represent elements that need to be abstracted. Therefore, the varied apertures that appear in the original Arboskin were not replicated in the physical model because they were too small when scaled to accurately demonstrate. Although the model was not the full Figure 9: author and group partners, Rendered Arbo skin study model.

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14 project, it was a representative section of the project#s main characteristics and can be seen in Figure 10. A closer view of the printed fa"ade can be seen in Figure 11. In Professor Michael Kuenstle#s Design Studio 6, in Spring 2015, the class analyzed existing facades and found a common trend in designs with gradient components on a grid. The assignment was to develop a new wall fa"ade that filtered light using an individualized component on a specified grid. The fabricated wall would stand as the face for a coexisting studio project for an art gallery in Jacksonville, Fl. The art inside the gallery should have minimal direct lighting to help preserve the masterpieces. In a first attempt, the developed component is octagonal shaped front view, four elongated sides and four miniscule sides left for adhering to structural pieces. The long sides fold up towards the center, leaving a flat, thin panel, ending at the minute sides, at the highest level. Behind it, the component is mirrored. The tops and bottoms of the components in each column are at the same height, allowing for structural members to be fastened in the same place for each component. The desired gradient occurs from left to right, as the amount each column of compone nts folds open increases. Every other column is offset by half a component size, allowing for the tops of components in odd numbered columns to lock into the even numbered column components at the midpoint. This interlocking of columns blocks direct light from passing through the apertures, while still allowing diffused light to calmly enter. The first attempt, Figure 12, was built with an opaque material Figures 10 and 11 (left and above, respectively): author and group partners, Printed Arboskin study model.

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15 holding the octagonal pieces open, therefore, light had smaller and fewer apertures to pass through. The paper fa"ade study also proved to not be structural, as seen in Figure 12, as the columns curve inwards. The fa"ade is not straight because each octagonal component piece was cut the same size before assembled. As aforementioned, each column of component s was assembled with a different central opening, meaning that when the columns were assembled, because their central openings were increasing, the height of each component gradually growing shorter. This made the desired interlocking of columns to block direct light difficult to assemble properly. In the second attempt, seen in Figure 13, these oversights were addressed by appropriately scaling the size of the column of octagons to perfectly match the increasing openings. Figure 14 shows the rendered wall as the fa"ade of the Jacksonville Art Gallery, which highlights the gradual change in shadow length due to the changing components. Figure 12 (left): author, First fa!ade attempt. Figure 13 (right): author, Second fa!ade attempt. Figure 14 (below): a uthor, Rendered elevation showcasing lighting conditions of the fa!ade study.

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16 In Fall 2015, in Professor#s Lee Su Huang#s Design Studio 7, Grasshopper was used to assign locations and sizes of apertures on copper panels. The simple grasshopper script allowed rows and columns of the panel grid to be customized, as well as the minimum and maximum sizes of the holes to be cut. The outputs were also culled to allow for more randomization and conservation among the openings. A set of ten panels with the chosen varied apertures can be seen below in Figure 15. Figure 1 5 : author and Annelies Gielstra, Varied panels for New York City Block.

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17 CONC LUSION Today#s wave of ornamented buildings avoid the added-on look by being almost uniformly flat and taking a simple geometric form. Architecture as a decorative art is being revived with a beautiful combination of function and ornament. Although it is t oo early to argue that Loos# century-old rules on architectural ornament are being threatened with the technological advancements, it is also too soon to proclaim the digital fabrication is a modified version of the traditional ornamentation. As technology continues to advance everyday, it is important to note that the process of drawing is still central to the design process in architecture. Drawing is a universal language used to communicate architectural designs to clients, users and contractors. As learned from Frank Gehry#s design process for creating the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, computers can help bring more complex features to life, but the initial studies that developed the final form was created with human hands. While the technological advances in computer-aided design software allows for an easier creation of more complex geometries and parametrics, the decoration is still a slave to its structure. The possibility of designing custom decoration is easily accessible to the masses, creating new levels of ornamentation in architecture that compares with the Greeks. This urge to decorate must to be paired with the requirement to conserve.

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18 FIGURE REFERENCE 1. L.F. Cassas. The Erechtheion from the Southwest. 1786. By courtesy of the Benaki Museum. http://www.erechtheion.co.uk/images/pdf_publications/lesk_erechtheion_with_figs_sm.pdf. 2. Jorn Utzon. Section of Sydney Opera House. Hand drawing. Sydney, Australia. 1961. http://gallery.records.nsw.gov.au/index.php/galleries/sydn ey-opera-house/sydn ey-opera-house drawings/ 3. Jorn Utzon. Cross Sections in Large Hall Showing Overhead Doors Open and Closed. Hand drawn. Sydney, Australia. 1961. http://gallery.records.nsw.gov.au/index.php/galleries/sydn ey-operahouse/sydney -opera-house -drawings/ 4. Paul Raftery Frank Gehry#s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Fa"ade. Photograph. Bilbao, Spain. 1997. http://www.architecturalreview.com/1997-december -guggenheim-museum-byfrank-o-gehry -andassociates-bilbaospain/8603272.article 5. Roland Halbe. Stuttgart University#s Arboskin. Photograph. Stuttgart, Germany. 2013. http://www.dezeen.com/2013/11/09/arboskin -spiky-pavilion-with-facademade -from-bioplastics-byitke/ 6. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Analytical Sketch of Pyramids and Apertures. Hand drawn. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015. 7. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Analytical Sketch of Pyramids Arrangement in Hexagonal Grid. Hand drawn. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015. 8. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Analytical Sketch of Arboskin Plan. Hand drawn. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015. 9. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Arboskin Digital Study Model Render. Digitally rendered with Maxwell, edited with Photshop. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015. 10. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Arboskin Printed Study Model Render. 3-D printed. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015.

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19 11. Samantha Kokenge, Annelies Gielstra, Kevin Marblestone, and Chad Fisher. Detail of the Arboskin Printed Study Model Render. 3-D printed. Advanced Topics in Digital Architecture, Spring 2015. 12. Samantha Kokenge. First Fa"ade Study for Jacksonville Art Gallery. Watercolor paper. Design Studio 6, Spring 2015. 13. Samantha Kokenge. Second Fa"ade Study for Jacksonville Art Gallery. Watercolor paper and acetate. Design Studio 6, Spring 2015. 14. Samantha Kokenge. Rendered Fa"ade Elevation Study for Jacksonville Art Gallery. Digitally rendered with Maxwell, edited with Photoshop. Design Studio 6, Spring 2015. 15. Samantha Kokenge and Annelies Gielstra. Set of Ten Corrugated Metal Panels for New York City Block Project. Digitally rendered with Maxwell, edited on Photoshop. Design Studio 7, Fall 2015.

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20 WORKS CITED 1. Carl, Peter. 1992."Ornament and Time: A Prolegomena". AA Files 22. 60. 2. Furja$n, Helene. 2007. !Design/research: Notes on a Manifesto". Journal of Architectural Education (1984 -) 61 (1). Taylor & Francis, Ltd.: 62%68. 3. Lawson, Bryan. 2002. !CAD and Creativity: Does the Computer Really Help?". Leonardo 35 (3). The MIT Press: 327%331. 4. Le Corbusier. The Decorative Art of Today. Print. 1925. 5. Liu, Yudong. Defining Digital Architecture: 2001 Far East International Digital Architectural Design Award. Basel: Birkha&user, 2002. Page 7. 6. Loos, Adolf. Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays. Print. 1908. 7. Mitchell, William J.. 1999. !A Tale of Two Cities: Architecture and the Digital Revolution". Science 285 (5429). American Association for the Advancement of Science: 839%41. 8. Schumacher, Patrik. !Patrik Schumacher on parametricism % !Let the style wars begin."" May 2010. Web. http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/


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