KianWee Thesis proposal

This thesis project aims to apply computational modeling and simulation techniques in the process of architectural design. However, the interoperability between the modeling and simulation tools post a great obstacle for architects to fully utilize the potential the tools can provide, thus the bridging of the two computational techniques becomes an essential part of the thesis project. The use of scripting to couple the two different computational techniques will be investigated and a framework will be constructed as part of the thesis project. In order to do so, the author needs to attain a certain level of understanding of the tools employed, especially the simulation tools, and to be able to manipulate the framework with computer scripting skill which in this case the scripting language Python will be used.

The purpose of constructing the framework is to facilitate a more analytical approach towards architectural design.  Specifically focusing on a design approach referred to as Iterative Virtual Prototyping (IVP). It is a cyclical process of design modification, simulation and the feedback of results.

IVP cyclical process

IVP cyclical process

The IVP process goes through a generative phase (the bigger loop) and then a predictive phase (the smaller loop). In the generative phase main parameters are setup to generate a genotype of the project and in the predictive phase a series of phenotypes will be evaluated and optimized. If the phenotypes do not meet objectives of the optimization, the cycle for the generation of genotype repeats and thus the cyclical process.

Thesis proposal: Issue and Scope

This thesis project will narrow down and focus its scope on the issue of public housing in Singapore. According to an initial research done by my fellow course mates in NUS (Erik Studio) to house a population of 6.5 million in a single storey housing typology Singapore will require 248.3 sq km of land out of the total land area of 710.2 sq km, with four storey housing typology it will require 62.075 sq km. This opens up an opportunity to propose a new low-rise housing typology to provide alternative choices to the existing high-rise living to middle income groups or even lower income groups. The IVP process will be employed to the design process to provide a climatic viable, self-sustainable and suitable environment.

IVP diagram for the thesis project

IVP diagram for the thesis project

overall diagram of IVP process

overall diagram of IVP process

Land needed for single storey housing (courtesy of Erik studio)

Land needed for single storey housing (courtesy of Erik thesis studio)

Courtesy of Erik thesis studio

Land needed for 4 storey housing (Courtesy of Erik thesis studio)

Land needed for 280m (spore tallest building) high housing (courtesy of Erik studio)

Land needed for 280m (spore tallest building) high housing (courtesy of Erik thesis studio)

To design a new low-rise housing typology, the author will study the old kampong settlement. Drawing lessons from the well celebrated climatic responsiveness and the kampong spirit of the vernacular settlement. To plan by learning from the unplanned vernacular. The reintroduction of low-rise housing typology will enable a chance of translating these factors into modern living.

The current status of the project is still in the stage of constructing the design framework and researching on the issue and brief. The author is currently collecting data on the existing lifestyle of HDB housing and researching on kampong settlement. Simultaneously, acquiring computational skills of tools highlighted for the design framework.

Thesis proposal: Tools

Houdini: An animation modeling tool with strong parametric capabilities. It is a procedural software in which one could easily trace back his steps in the modeling process and make parametric changes to the model.

Space Syntax: An analytical tool that conducts analyse of the configuration of spatial relationship. It could be use on urban and building scale studies.

Ecotect: A solar analysis tool that is capable of conducting solar insolation studies and simple daylighting analysis. When coupled with Radiance it can calculate precise daylighting and artificial lighting analysis.

EnergyPlus: A whole energy simulation program that could report on the energy exchange within a building. Thus quantify the energy performance of a building design.

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