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trabajamos para ella ! - Binary space partitions
Binary space partitions 
Monday, April 14, 2008, 07:46 PM - Maya.c++.api., optimizations, utilities
Posted by Administrator

Image:David M. Mount and Sunil Arya;

Images from simplistic implementation of the Octree algorithm in Maya. Primarily as an exercise to understand its API and class derivation within it.

"Binary space partitioning (BSP) is a method for recursively subdividing a space into convex sets by hyperplanes. This subdivision gives rise to a representation of the scene by means of a tree data structure known as a BSP tree."

Wikipedia Accessed Aug 2007

"An octree is a tree data structure in which each internal node has up to eight children. Octrees are most often used to partition a three dimensional space by recursively subdividing it into eight octants."

wikipedia Accessed Aug 2007

Approximate Nearest Neighbour
"Computing exact nearest neighbors in dimensions much higher than 8 seems to be a very difficult task. Few methods seem to be significantly better than a brute-force computation of all distances. However, it has been shown that by computing nearest neighbors approximately, it is possible to achieve significantly faster running times (on the order of 10's to 100's) often with a relatively small actual errors. ...."

David M. Mount and Sunil Arya

Even accounting for the amateur nature of our attempt, it would appear that the above holds true in 3 dimensions as well ie. an octree algorithm provides a significant advantage over brute calculation of distances only when the point distribution is sparse, point sets are large (above 50000) and some tolerances are allowed in terms of measurement.

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coffee break 
Monday, April 14, 2008, 07:06 PM - programming interests
Posted by Administrator

inspiration:image from wired magazine and article on Visualizing Viruses: click for more (c)Image: Alex Dragulescu

playtime with some openGL lines: 'visualizing fields'

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Sad comparison heightens the need to get an handle on basic openGL routines including bezier curves drawing (notice segmentation), alpha blending (notice flat alpha), lighting (notice lack of) et al. goes to prove art is not independent of technique.much to learn. end of coffee break.!

glPointSize(sz);glBegin( GL_POINTS );
glBegin( GL_LINE_STRIP );glLineWidth(sz);
//glEnable ( GL_LINE_STIPPLE_PATTERN); //glLineStipple(2,0x0B25);

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surface space 
Monday, March 31, 2008, 03:38 PM - Geometry, Differentiation
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By now ancient sketch script a single NURBS with 3 dimensional components. It translates the world space coordinates of the component object into the moving-space defined by the ortho-normal vectors of the surface.

[Accessed May 2006]
Frenet Vectors.
"A Frenet frame is a moving reference frame of n orthonormal vectors which are used to describe a curve locally at each point. It is the main tool in the differential geometric treatment of curves as it is far easier and more natural to describe local properties (e.g. curvature, torsion) in terms of a local reference system than using a global one like the Euclidean coordinates..."

[Accessed May 2006]
surface analogue to Frenet frame on a curve
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of swarms and family 
Monday, March 31, 2008, 01:12 PM - Differentiation
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swarms and distribution of intelligence: decentralised decision making

“That war (vietnam) also proved the self-defeating nature of centralization: the more
one tries to achieve total certainty, the greater the increase in the information flow
needed to run the operation, and therefore the more uncertain the final results. Far
from solving the problem, computers ended up compounding it by producing their
own endless streams of information.” …

De landa, M. War in the Age of Intelligent Machine, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990)
p. 79

self similarity and difference

Architecture as an assembly of design components implicitly suggests ‘self-similarity’ and ‘difference’ amongst the parts of the system. Particulars or aspects of this similarity and difference could be multitude. Nonetheless, our research aims to ‘appose’ and /or articulate the notion with other issues that deserve to be discussed. In recent ‘parametric’ systems of design and of codification of design for construction, this aspect of similarity and difference, have tended to be manifested in the production of ‘homeo-morphic’ geometries such as ‘adaptive (to curvature) tiling’ patterns, structural skins etc. Alternatively, there have been systems, like those in robotics , that concentrated on production of non-topological difference and on aspects of ‘family’ and ‘individual’ on the basis of ‘attributes’ such as constituent parts , specific task-capacities, transformation pathways etc.

Images and videos show attempts to combine the position & directional relations betweens 'objects in a swarm' and the morphological self-similarity of 'objects in a family', towards developing an formal language of at urban scale. This apart from more weathered concerns of architecture and urbanism including discourses on performance fitness, spatial perception and experience, socio-cultural implications etc.

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meta-language and notation 
Saturday, March 15, 2008, 07:16 PM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
This post is to acknowledge the influence on current work by ideas fostered directly under tutelage, and in association with Vasili Stroumpakos, Theodore Spyropolous, and James Warton. This inflection includes a critical area in design research: that of diagramming information towards the resolution of the 'data-cloud' that holds an architectural solution within.

notation systems: symbols and manipulation;

Marvin Minsky, pioneering extensive research in cognitive science, and evolution of intelligence, explicates that fundamental to the evolution of intelligence and problem solving capacities, is the need for a system of representation:

“All problem-solvers, intelligent or not, are subject to the same ultimate constraints–limitations on space, time, and materials. In order for animals to evolve powerful ways to deal with such constraints, they must have ways to represent the situations they face, and they must have processes for manipulating those representations.”

Marvin Minsky: Communication with Alien Intelligence, Published in Extraterrestrials: Science and Alien Intelligence (Edward Regis, Ed.)Cambridge University Press 1985.

Extending the argument to the domain of ‘design-research’, it could be argued that symbols (notation) and operations (manipulations) are embedded within the ‘performative’ capacities and constraints of the selected tool (s) of design. They produce results, which extend beyond the level of affect and alter the sensibilities of the designer. They manifest themselves as shifts or variations in the organizational relationships and formal possibilities accessible to the designer. Further, symbol systems form an integral aid in ‘procedural thought’ argued for earlier, for any ‘problem-solving’ has to make creative leaps in the face of incomplete information regarding the problem. This because a notational system can be articulated at varying degrees of figural representation as well as describe immaterial substance, and the designer must construct or clarify the components to be examined. The use of notation is not only intended to make recognizable what was potentially unseen, rather to place emphasis on the components or elements of decided significance. In essence then, symbol-systems can aid the process of ‘pattern recognition’ within a ‘search’ for a ‘solution space’. The point here being that, these notations or symbols give data cognitive recognition, which down the path of ‘heuristic learning’ yield unique results based on their the selection . The research has to then clarify and codify its findings and discoveries to fuel its own pursuit further.

images and video relate to aforementioned 'diagramming' in so called non-CAD platforms, including Flash, maxMSP,external hardware and their digital controllers etc.

James warton,AADRL, Manifold-04.06 deomostrating a prototype of software controlled, piston driven 'arms'.

Photograph from FaceBreeder installation by Vasilis Stroumpakos and Theodore Spyropolous at AA School,London. Production Assistants included members from team Manifold, Reploy, YME etc.For more see facebreeeder.com

A software 'map'/feed back loop between Maya, maxMSP, Flash, and external hardware including iCube-X midi-digitiser, pneumatic pistons and solenoid controlled compressor.

a info-map of 26 drl team projects ('03-'05,'04-'06) and their various studies leading to a thesis candidacy proposal.This effort was in collaboration with vasilis stroumpakos.

a info-map of 105 drl team projects as part of the AADRL TEN exhibition. The production team included Kostas Grigoriadis,Peter Sovinc,Suryansh Chandra,Pier Andrea Angius, & Matei denes.
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Cells, demi-regular tessellation et al. 
Sunday, March 9, 2008, 04:17 PM - Geometry, Tessellations
Posted by Administrator
video is in realtime
Shows the execution of MEL prototype of dividing the included area of a given input curve into smaller cells.

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collection of recent code-sketches on areas of research interest including demi-regular tessellation, Cell division etc.

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co | de is official 
Saturday, March 1, 2008, 04:26 AM - Research
Posted by Administrator
mailer for yesterday's event.

Last evening was the first public presentation of the computation and design group(co|de)at Zaha Hadid Architects. This group is an effort towards formulating a research unit within the office to address the following issues, and concerns.

Following are the objectives of the research group:

_Extend toolkit addressing recurring challenges in the office
_Application specific support-base: Maya, Rhino
_Information Pool - tool documentation, code library, training.
_Project specific toolkit extension
_Production pipeline
data-exchange between applications, porting/transposing methods
between platforms.

official email:
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Command line computers: Maya.Qhull.surface evolver.tetgen.isosurf. 
Monday, February 25, 2008, 07:41 AM - Geometry, Tessellations
Posted by Administrator

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Analytical computation, as an instrument to generate geometry and evaluate its ‘performance’, is inherently dependent on ‘meshes’ or node based geometry. The attempt on this short-term research was to understand the functioning of node-based geometry, text-based polygon file formats, types including Delaunay , Voronoi, half-space intersections, convex hulls etc.

In view of the lack of access to Maya's internal triangulation engines, the research concentrated on wrting simple translators to access external, command-line executables such as qhull,tetgen and surface evolver.Tetgen has so far proved to be most useful, in that it can be compiled into either an executable or a dll. ie. supports both standard MEL 'system' calls and c++ api calls from within Maya plugins. Further, tetgen also supports constrained delaunay triangulation.

Although resulting triangulated meshes do not support regular poly-modelling workflows, they provide interest as reference objects.They are also useful in geometric problem solving, eg: prim's algorithm.
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Data-cloud and Teleology in research. 
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 04:59 PM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
“…the reason to make art (and to write) is to understand, rather than because one already understands, (exploration not explication)…”

Brett Staulbaum, Database Logic(s) and Landscape Art ,
accessed December 2004.

The post is part of on-going attempts to collate, evaluate, summate and formalize previous experience, education, and collaborations within the rapidly evolving realm of ‘architectural-computing’. This, in the hope of forging a better understating of current research objectives.

Tracing back current architectural discourse relating to ‘parametrics’ upto the explicit interest in D'Arcy_Thompson’s On growth and Form, John Fraser’s Evolutionary Architecture ,Greg lynn’s animate form, Delanda’s War in the Age of the Intelligent Machine , Marvin Minsky’s Artificial Intelligence, Simon Penny’s The Darwin Machine: Artificial Life and Interactive Art, Patrik Schumacher’s essay Responsive Environments – From Drawing to Scripting, various essays by Lev Manovich including image after the matrix , Craig Reynolds’ ‘Boids’, Cellular Automata, John Conway’s game of life, dynamic, non-linear and chaotic systems, Chuck Hoberman’s transformable designs et al , it would seem that current discourse did pass through a point of diverse interests. Evidently, interests ranged from material computation, artificial intelligence and robotics, kinetic, transformable & deployable architecture, data and information-diagramming & event-driven architecture, ‘emergent’ phenomena, etc. Providing an accessible platform for the exploration of such interests and the development of design, were ‘animation’ software packages and associated ‘scripting’ languages.

The images and videos below trace one example emanating from the nebulous yet potent cloud of discourse as a precursor to a more distilled interest in computational geometry and ‘parametrics’.

sketch (Maya Introduction workshop by Hernan Diaz Alonzo,aadrl 04-06. team included Adam Pollanias, Nuru Karim, Khuzema Hussain.) using Maya particle engine / soft bodies and path-based animation. 'Freezing' at successive time-stops and accruing resultants and remodeling.Generally leading to 'serial' units of form.

manifold:aadrl 04-06

kinetics: NURBS modelling in Rhino. animated in Maya. rigid aggregation of units, working with only translational and rotational degrees of freedom. discrete units in form.

manifold:aadrl 04-06.

manifold:aadrl 04-06.

Procedural animation: Following logically from kinematics studies was an interest in procedural animation.

‘Animation’ could be understood as change of specific parameters or characteristics across time. However, many of the animation ‘tools’ are inherently independent of time or ‘non-linear’. These then control the change of ‘parameters’ through a system of logical relations and numeric attributes. The aim is to appropriate various animation tools / techniques as ‘parametric’ design tools. Associated to this then is, the use of ‘logical’ constraints, controlling one /many attributes with another (driver and driven) , the use of ‘history’ or chain of dependence etc.

machinating ‘control rigs’ where all pre-defined logical relations remain consistent as the system is manipulated or re-evaluated.

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legacy and ossification within design processes 
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 10:25 AM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
The video and images relate to the design/research project of team Manifold as part of their graduate thesis at AADRL 2004-06;

click for more images and video

click for website

This post coincides with the tenth year anniversary of the AADRL, and the imminent event series including a exhibition,symposium, installation of 'experimental-pavilion' etc.

Of interest to our current work however, is the 'legacy' and ossification of over-arching design/research methodologies initiated and explored over successive periods of 16-month graduate theses projects.

Nested between successive 3 year research agendas, 'responsive environments' and 'parametric urbanism', the one year transitional agenda of 'create-space', provided moments of interest in this very process of negotiation. Investigations within the agenda were held in suspension between the previous agenda of kinetics, morpho-dynamics and algorithmic modeling [AADRL team: emerged](especially within polygon and subDivision geometry formats [AADRL team: noise]), data-driven architecture, localized systems and 'emergence' etc and the next agenda concentrating on and articulating computational geometry, 'parametric' design methods, scale-less networks etc. The agenda was interestingly also transitional in terms of platforms of investigative research, with teams using a myriad of platforms/software such Autodesk Maya, Mcneel rhinoceros, Autodesk 3dmax, Wolfram research Mathematica(AADRL team: y-me), cycling 74 maxMSP, proce55ing, luxology Modo, Adobe Flash, Bentley Generative Components, and associated plug-ins/modules such as syflex Cloth, NextLimit realFlow, 3dmax crowds, Presagis AI implant, Autodesk fluids,cloth,particles, & hair. The agenda also saw interesting confluence in terms of fabrications methods such the use of milling of high-density foam, casting of silicon moulds and fibreglass prototypes, steel milling and detailing, fibrous material and its use as material-computation[AADRL team:anti-fabric] etc.

The projects then, represent an point of inflexion in regard to design, fabrication, & evaluation methods, investigative platforms,and theoretical positions. The research projects are tangibly traceable to precedents, and as imprints in the projects the next agenda.

..post to be expanded into a articulated position on legacy and ossification within design methods.
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