May 2012

I’ve worked a little more about the Solar Position definition i’ve started here. The definition uses Danel da Rocha’s beautiful solar position script and utilizes it with other components. It creates visual output for any given surface, divided into quads (with side faces of course) and coloring them according to their orientation to the sun. This time (file here: [GHX: 0.8.0066]) I added an occlusion part to calculate the surface’s own shadow. Now, solar calculation takes surfaces as obstacles and dispatches the occluded faces from visualization, leaving them grey. Of course it […]

I recently discovered Wordle, a visualization tool for websites. I’m very curious about the social network of design computing community. Trying to understand the trends, how the knowledge is spreading, and the role of different actors on this developing field of architectural design. First of all, I analyzed with all words within 103 posts until today (Click on the image for full size). Wordle can be visited by clicking here. Below is the’s wordle result. I suspect it’s rss feed might be showing limited time, but even this result […]

Here are two passages from Shamos’s dissertation thesis, where he is looking at history of geometry from perspective of a computer scientist. Egyptian and Greek geometry were masterpieces of applied mathematics. It is well established that the original motivation for tackling geometric problems was the need to tax lands accurately and fairly and to erect buildings (Eves, 72). As often happens, the mathematics that developed has permanence and significance that far transcends Pharaoh’s original revenue problem. It is a field in which intuition abounds and new discoveries are within the […]

RhinoNest is a plug-in for Rhino and a set of components for Grasshopper. I tested it using my old interlocking fabrication definition (here) and (here). I downloaded RhinoNest from this website and installed. However I sounded a little complicated at first sight. Then I found a sample definition (here) and modified it a little bit to meet my purposes. First of all, I added orientation components (grey group below) to align all sections to WorldXY plane. Then RhinoNest is integrated to the definition. After you set input parameters, just double click on the […]

I have come across several highschool topics I was afraid of. While I was searching for a geodesic dome definition in Grasshopper, it was quite surprising that I found an easier way of modeling an approximation of icosahedron, the famous platonic solid. Icosahedron was a research topic of this website at various posts before (here, here and here). In order to generate geodesic spheres, first I had to solve icosahedron. My first experiment was partially successfull. I knew, icosahedron’s points lie at regular pentagons which are pulled onto a sphere. […]

Yesterday, Kağan asked me about what isovist component in Grasshopper is and how it works? In fact, it is a long story, I said because once upon a time, I was curious about Space Syntax theory as my old friend Ela Çil introduced it to me. Here is an original definition of Michael Benedikt; The environment is defined as a collection of visible real surfaces in space. An isovist is the set of all points visible from a given vantage point in space and with respect to an environment. The […]

Creating and handling new types of grid configurations might be an important topic, as Grasshopper is not supporting them natively (yet). I tried to create some semi-regular tessellations based on regular grids. It is actually truncated versions of regular grids, but it slowly becomes interesting as I realized that I may further truncate emerging grids to create Level 2 and Level 3 grids with more an more complex tessellations. Here are two examples of Level 1, truncating regular tessellations of squares and hexagons. Then, I tested Level 2, further truncating […]

Not all of them, but when you get the idea, you’ll see there are lots of different alternatives in creating Fuller’s famous Geodesic Domes (Although in fact, he is not the inventor of it). I was playing with Platonic Solids in Rhino, and realized that “Pull” command is very useful in subdividing objects. Taking a regular Icosahedron (which is the most popular Geodesic dome starter), and dividing it, as Fuller’s notation, Class I-2V. This is the simplest form of a Geodesic subdivision, creating two kinds of struts (not all of […]

Playing with 2D Metaball component in Grasshopper, I was curious about why there is no 3D Metaball component… Then I realized that in fact, 2D Metaball component is just one section of a 3D Metaball computation. Thanks to the Dataflow environment, I was able to create a serie of planes and called a theater of points from “Shortest Path” post quickly. It was a simple but very promising work of Grasshopper. As always, this is only a part of the experiences I’ve been collecting for 4 years, in order to […]

Basic Design Studio at Bilgi University is coming to semester’s big final. Nowadays, students are trying to build their final projects. Oğuz and Gupse’s group has a truss structure with nearly 800 segments. They attempt to build it by taking length values from their own Rhino model by hand. And this itself had brought a difficulty, because one person of the group should be assigned only to do this measurement, reducing their workforce. They asked me if there is an easier way (of course they know there IS an easy […]

After the starting point of Galapagos, there came another attempt to utilize this beautiful addition of David Rutten. This time, I worked over a night to tell it what I want. The point was (or seemed to be) simple at first sight. I wanted several shapes (not one) to fit into an area,  as smallest as possible, but without overlaps. A bounding box and area components quickly gave me the first fitness value. The area of the bounding rectangle should be as small as possible. That is a sentence I […]

Galapagos was a great improvement, when it became available natively within Grasshopper. However I couldn’t find time to examine it until recently. This examination gave me a ideas on algorithmic thinking, tool making and tool using. The first experimentation shown below, (file here: [GHX: 0.8.0066]) tries to solve equilateral triangulation, based on Delaunay method. Galapagos has two different solvers, named “simulated annealing solver” and “evolutionary solver” shown respectively below. Both of them are trying to reach to a fitness value defined by the user. You may enter “Maximize”, “Minimize” or […]

Tetrahedron is a popular platonic solid for designers. We’ve explained how to draw them using equilateral triangles here before. Recently I’ve found (sorry, lost the web adress) a much quicker way of modeling a Tetrahedron using a cube. It’s very simple, just connecting the three opposite corners of the cube automatically makes them equal, resulting the four equal faces. Of course this time you’ll have to calculate the actual edge length, but if you use “box diagonal” command, you’ll also have opportunity to set the edge length of the tetrahedron. […]

…While it is true that every curve which can be described by a continuous motion should ve recognized in geometry, this does not mean that we should use at random the first one that we meet in the construction of a given problem. We should always choose with care the simplest curve that can be used in the solution of a problem, but it should be noted that the simplest means not merely the one most easily described, nor the one that leads to the easiest demonstration or construction of […]

Digging out with Grasshopper, Rhinoscript and Paneling Tools, everything seems to be more and more automated and fast. However my colleagues Mete, Benay and Elif reminded me that, we can always do much with those high-end architectural geometry tools; but we still have to understand and follow the roots, probably best described by the “manual ways”. Sometimes using these methods would be much more intuitive as they are SLOW enough for designers to think about what is going on there… Here is a good example we experimented with our undergraduate […]

After six months of operation, started to give me some clues about the social network of design computing on WWW. Here are the live statistics of this website. I’m also curious about how this network of knowledge and style are constructed and spread around the globe. In the past ten years, there are a number of new nodes on this network, emerged outside of institutional education. Although this website is concentrated on only one aspect of the contemporary design paradigm, maybe it will also start evolving and give much […]

Experimenting various plug-ins for solar calculations, I found Daniel Da Rocha‘s powerful implementation of solar position algorithm in It calculates the solar angle of any place and time. Although it’s written in old component, it still works great. I’m trying to create a fast and easy workflow to optimize Grasshopper models based on solar directions. This is done by projecting faces to the solar planes and checking how much of their area is included in that direction. After this check I added a color gradient to see the […]

Today, there are pedagogical and practical challenges on the use of algorithms in architectural design, as computer puts not only a physical but also a cognitive layer between designer and the subject. Formulation of this cognitive layer is becoming important, regarding which model of computing is used to connect designer with the subject. Is it a “designerly” search, or design exploration in a visual programming environment? As most of the researchers admit that visual programming environments are very effective in generating variations, but on the other hand, it dramatically changes the way […]