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High-Performance Facade Panels

 

The project is a three-year collaboration between the LID, DIALOG architects and Ferguson Corporation to develop high-performance façade panels with a specific focus on using them for retrofitting the Castell Building located in downtown Calgary. The first year was focused on analyzing the envelope and developing a generative, form-finding design and fabrication workflow. The generative process is focused on integrating thermal and digital fabrication parameters to generate high-performance, customized façade panels for retrofitting. In addition to solar energy-based performance metrics, the developed workflow incorporates geometric parameters constituting the form and an evaluation system for multi-material façade panels. Fabrication parameters that consider planarity, compound curvature, member length, connection nodes and materiality for robotic fabrication are also included in the simulation . The compression steel nodes are fabricated by our partner Ferguson Corporation. Machinic operations such as robotic glulam bending and milling are part of the fabrication process developed at LID. An ad-hoc bending machine based on electric linear actuators was digitally and physically developed. The design to fabrication workflow was tested by fabricating a 1:1 façade prototype during the summer of 2021.

CREDITS:

Principal Investigator Alicia Nahmad

Graduate Research Assistants Matt Walker, JoLynn Yen, Youness Youssefi

Partners DIALOG Architects Ferguson Corporation

Funding Agency MITACS Accelerate

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Mediated Drawings


During the summer of 2021 The Laboratory for Integrative Design presented an interactive week-long exhibition: Mediated Drawings. The performance launched on July 12th at the City Building Design Lab in Downtown Calgary inviting the public to engage with an interactive platform mixing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and industrial robotic arms. Bridging the divide between human spatial experience and digital perspectives, Mediated Drawings is a platform that speculates how robots and AI can augment and democratize artistic agency in creative processes. Mediated Drawings aim to introduce digital perspectives into human narratives. Participants engage with a robotically embodied Artificial Intelligence through the Mediated Drawings App. The AI reimagines Calgary corners based on semantic input from the participants. Everyone was invited to engage with different corners of Calgary – art, architecture, urban and green spaces. Participants were prompted to assign emotional meaning to these spaces. Images are imbued with emotional sense from a human perspective. An alternative machine intelligence generates original representations of these places, infused with the emotional meaning assigned by the humans. The machine intelligence then physically produces the line drawings of these speculative spaces through Freddie our robotic arm. Mediated drawings use OpenaAI CLIP to modify the learner weights of a styleGAN model based on the prompts that the public selects. It then uses canny edges to detect the lines that are drawn in the windows of the City Building Design Lab by Freddie the robot Freddie’s drawing performances were presented online and in person at the City Building Design Lab from the City Hall C-Train platform: July 12th to July 16th, 2020. A gallery of finished works was presented at the City Hall train platform for the remainder of the summer.

CREDITS:

Principal Investigator Alicia Nahmad

LID Collaborators Guy Gardner

Graduate Research Assistants Sam Baril, Carter McHugh, Anagha Patil

Funding Agency SSHRC Connection

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Log-A-Rythm

 

 

 

Log-A-Rythm In 2021, LID co-director Alicia Nahmad got shortlisted for the Tallin Biennale 2022. Our proposal responds to the topic of Slow Building by connecting the topics of mindful automation, participatory craft-making and appreciation of human-based physical processes. Our proposal explores techniques related to the longstanding Estonian traditions of log-house construction and joinery. Traditional materials and fabrication methods have been investigated, augmented and put to reinterpreted uses.
The pavilion takes the form of a doubly curved form-found structure. The fluid nature of the form aims to combine state-of-the-art computational design and automation technologies with traditional fabrication techniques. The design takes advantage of the heritage and sustainability of green log wood to create the structure. Logs of varying diameters of Estoniant timber are packed to achieve the curved geometry. The logs are stacked in such a way as to achieve a duality of textures – a smooth exterior in contrast with the rich texture on the other.

The proposal uses lashing as a joinery strategy to avoid unsustainable milling and a robotic enabled lathe to shape the logs for packing .

Two woven mesh patterns of ropes, with a variable offset, are used to lash and tension the logs. Along with the varying log lengths, this increases the bending capacity where bending moments are highest.
Our inhabitable structure could be dismantled in legacy mode giving each visitor a log to keep and make into a stool, table or post-process into a wood product.
It was an honour to be named one of the finalists out of 119 entries

CREDITS:
Design Alicia Nahmad, Andy Watts, Vishu Bhooshan
Structure Summum Engineering
Team Anagha Patil, Mauricio Villagra

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Spatial Curved Timber Laminas


This summer the Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID) collaborated with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation & Design Research Group (ZHACODE) to deliver two 5-day design to fabrication workshops in the context of the international conferences ‘Digital Futures 2021’ (28th June – 2nd of July) and ‘CAAD Futures 2021’ (12th – 15th of July). The workshops were an exploration on innovative Timber Tectonics. As part of the workshops a full-scale prototype was built at LID. The prototype has a bounding box of 2.5 x 25. x 3m. It was form-found using 3D graphic statics and built with an ad-hoc design and fabricated bending machine based on linear actuators and curved glulam laminas. The prototype ‘Spatial Curved Timber Laminas’ works as a proof of concept of the graphic statics structure form found by ZHACODE and the corresponding fabrication techniques developed at the LID. Everyone is invited to visit the collaborative prototype Spatial Curved Timber Laminas at the LID.

CREDITS:

Design ZHA CODE : Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth SAPL LID : Alicia Nahmad

Fabrication Design ZHA CODE : Taizhong Chen, Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth SAPL LID : Alicia Nahmad

Fabrication & Assembly SAPL LID: Matt Walker, Youness Yousefi, Jo-Lynn Yen, Anagha Patil, Guy Gardner, Alicia Nahmad

Documentation SAPL : Matt Walker, Youness Yousefi, Jo-Lynn Yen, Anagha Patil, Alicia Nahmad ZHA CODE : Taizhong Chen, Henry Louth, Vishu Bhooshan

With Support from ZHA CODE : Jianfei Chu, Edward Meyers, Philip SInger AA: Jean Nicola Dackiw

Student Participants CAAD Futures Sania Halim, Soubhi Jabal, Elisabeth Kathryn, Aria Sanei, Hussein Hamed, Mansur Arevalo Kishan Prajapati, Jayanaveenaa Periyasamy, Mirian Maia, Diego Pinochet

Digital Futures Zebing Xu, Anuj Mittal, Anagha Patil, Deebak Tamilmani, James Lo, Emi Shiraishi, Mauricio Villagra D.,Gaurav Janendra, Yuerao Chen, M. Arkan Haqqi, Juan Antonio Brito

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Red Deer Public Water Project

Date: 2019
Client: The City of Red Deer
Principal Investigators: Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: n/a
Project Team: Madisen Killingsworth, Darryl Pollock
Funding Agencies: n/a
Status: Proposal

The aim of the Red Deer Public Water Project was to act as an innovative appendage and drinking fountain for the public that also highlighted the importance of providing access to drinkable water for all. This project took the idea of an all-inclusive water fountain and ran with it – designing a fountain inclusive of humans, animals, and plants. The fountain design used the theme of water as a community connector on a conceptual and practical level, with a parametric form driven by an image of water molecules. The large- scale 3d printed fountain shell would attach to an existing fire hydrant and would provide height relevant basins from which humans, birds, and dogs could drink. The installation would also form insets for potted plants that would be misted by the hydrant water. A truly all-inclusive drinking solution.

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Livewire

Date: 2019
Client: Makespace
Principal Investigators: Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: Withheld
Project Team: Guy Gardner, Kim Tse,
Charlene Karl, Karan Sharma, Christopher Green
Funding Agencies: Makespace
Status: Built

The Livewire project was completed in order to provide customized, innovative seating solutions for an event hosted by Makespace for an Inventures Canada conference. The final result emerged from an iterative digital process which explored a range of possible design outcomes resulting from various combinations of ruled-surface-based toolpaths. These toolpaths were executed by an ABB IRB 2600 industrial robot fitted with a custom hot-wire cutting tool. The tool consists of an aluminum armature or “bow” holding a thin, electrically heated nichrome wire under tension.

Traditionally, customization and automation have been seen as mutually exclusive approaches to production. Livewire incorporates industrial robotics to build a vocabulary of customized formal and surface effects used in the production of furniture for the private event. This vocabulary incorporates the limits and constraints of the robotic positioning and tooling and can therefore be applicable for future experimentation. Demonstrated is an approach to developing a catalogue of surface grammars that can be quickly deployed for use in the production of objects and surfaces in EPS foam. In this instance, the work demonstrates how a design brief for event seating can be creatively reinterpreted into a series of unique sculptural objects using generative scripts and automated construction processes. The approach outlined above leverages a rapidly deployable technique, readily available materials, and high levels of customization towards a workflow which can be easily adapted for future use. This workflow allows the designer to incorporate the interactions between tooling and material for aesthetic and performative effect while eliminating the need for construction drawings.

Further research will involve investigating how this process can be leveraged for use with other materials through the development of molds for casting material such as concrete, or adaptation to other forms of end-of-arm robotic tooling such as bandsaws. This research will continue to investigate the potential for customized surfaces and emergent material effects, as well as how the vocabulary of surface textures developed through these initial tests could allow for a range of technical and ornamental functions related to aesthetic, acoustic, and environmental performance.

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Float

Date: 2019
Client: Edmonton Valley Zoo
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $3, 500
Designer: Danielle Kim
Fabrication Team: Guy Gardner, Danielle Kim,
Joy Olagoke, Kim Tse, Zachary Ward, Xuefei Wang
Funding Agencies: Edmonton Valley Zoo / City of Edmonton
Status: Built

Float is an installation that was proposed for the Edmonton Zoo’s Festival of Light. It is an otherworldly experience that makes use of environmentally friendly materials and energy-efficient lighting methods. The installation is an immersive field of swaying, jellyfish-like lamps that are 3D-printed with glow-in-the dark biodegradable plastic. The network of organic forms was parametrically generated and is suspended from above and is illuminated by motion activated LED lights that flicker on and off while visitors wander around this labyrinth of strange, glowing creatures.

The installation of Float is meant to be easily deploy-able and disassembled, and will require minimal maintenance during the festival. Glow in the dark materials and motion activated LED’s eliminate the need for timers or switches. If an LED loses power, it can be easily replaced as the lights are removable and fit snugly in the lamps.

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Textura

Date: 2019
Client: Edmonton Valley Zoo
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $3, 500
Designer: Christopher Green
Fabrication Team: Zainab Ahmad, Guy Gardner, Bhrugurajsinh Gohil,
Andeep Mummareddy, Inder Pabla, Karan Sharma, Kim Tse
Funding Agencies: Edmonton Valley Zoo / City of Edmonton
Status: Built

TEXTURA, focuses on bridging the natural phenomena of light and texture through a playful structure that invites all ages to wander through. Edmonton, being the northernmost city in North America with a population over a million, has the opportunity to witness the northern lights at select times. Therefore, the light component of the installation emulates the mesmerizing washes of colour that occur in the sky by using LED Lighting. The second component abstracts the many textures that occur in nature as a way of engaging different sensory experiences such as touch and sight.

Whether it’s the shell of an armadillo or the grassy context that surrounds it, the assortment of textural panels can spark intrigue and curiosity for all. Ultimately, the installation celebrates the advances of technology and fabrication by exploring themes of nature.

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Meridiem

Date: 2019
Client: Edmonton Valley Zoo
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Guy Gardner
Project Budget: $3, 500
Designer: Darryl Pollock
Fabrication Team: Guy Gardner, Rutvi Gajjar, Anagha Patil,
Darryl Pollock, Ji Song Sun, Kim Tse,
Funding Agencies: Edmonton Valley Zoo / City of Edmonton
Status: Built

The Meridiem project was created for the winter Zoominesence festival of light hosted by the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The goal of the project was to create an interactive light installation which communicated a theme surrounding the environmental stewardship that the zoo strives for. In this, the project was designed using solely recyclable, recycled, and energy efficient materials – the main material being 3d extruded recycled plastics and bio plastics.

 

The design concept also speaks to this theme of environmentalism with the following statement:

Trees are integral to the worldwide ecosystem. Apart from aiding in flood prevention, purifying our air, filtering our water, and providing a buffer against climate change, trees are home to approximately 60,000 diverse species. Even with this knowledge, deforestation due to logging, agricultural plantations, and mining continues to be a problem. Orangutans, giant pandas, rhinos, and the Asian elephant are just a few of hundreds of endangered species due to deforestation. Removing trees thins the forest canopy which is meant to block sun rays. This disruption leads to extreme temperature swings that are harmful to plants and animals. Many animals, insects, and plants lose their habitats and may become endangered or go extinct. Without trees, climate change and species depletion become a serious reality.

Meridiem asks us to rediscover the beauty of trees and re-evaluate our relationship with them. The installation will consist of three flared columns which connect at the top to form a canopy for zoo goers to walk through. The canopy will is lit with colour-changing LEDs. Proximity sensors allow the lighting to shift in response to the movement of visitors around the installation. This symbolizes how human interaction can change our environment and signify how our presence makes an impact. This impact can be positive or negative, the choice is ours.

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Destination: Station

 

Date: 2018
Client:d.talks
Principal Investigator(s): Jason S. Johnson, Josh Taron
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team: Immanuel Arole, Kristen Forward, Charlene Karl, Danielle Kim,
Craig MacDonald, Sumaya Nasir,
Hayden Pattullo, Peter Tomanek
Funding Agencies: SSHRC
Status: Proposal

Calgary’s heavily-centralized workforce and sprawling city has been formative in the establishment of a notably reclusive and sedentary transit culture, which has significant repercussions to our mental, physical, and financial health. This culture has perpetuated itself through the design of our transit stations, which have become non-places centered purely on parking cars and moving people. The impending implementation of self-driving vehicles brings both threats and opportunities for the transit station as one of the last shared urban experiences.

 

 

Brentwood station currently represents the standard outer-city station typology: large amounts of parking, disconnected from its surrounding single family residential neighbourhood, with little community connection or after-hours use. Our vision of the 2050 transit hub uses Brentwood as a case study for the “station as destination” model, which leverages the capability of near-future autonomous vehicle technology to restructure train stations as spaces of social experience and enhanced intermodal efficiency.