Design Research » Praxis »


Some facade studies as early sketches of an architectural project; all of them are utilizing the similar Grasshopper approach. My favourite “Graph Mapper” generates the overall gridal deformation, then some of them are drawing geometry for membrane, while others are generated to be realized from sheet metal. Hopefully one or two of these could be further studied: I hope I’ll be able to improve these sketches and publish their definitions soon.


Parametric variations of the folding chair, inspired from the “Rising Chair”, designed by Robert van Embricqs, was a good exercise for me to study Grasshopper again. After several different solutions, I’ve found the shortest one I think. This definition could work alone without any Rhino data, the overall size (width, length) of the plate, number of longitudinal cuts are all calculated within the definition. Without using any physical engines for complex rigid folding simulations, this is solved quickly just by applying simple right triangle equations. There are three other parameters that control the shape […]


200.000 words of “Ebru” placed according to the Contour Vectors of her image. “Firefly” is used to extract the vectors, however it takes 2 minutes to recalculate the graph. “Human” tools  is used to bake the texts with their color information. This is the limit of my Rhinoceros installation, way too insufficent to express what it is intended for.


This is a bitmap reading exercise in Grasshopper. After Firefly, it became much easier to define inputs other than number sliders, but bitmap component was always an alternative. Here is the Grasshopper definition that creates predefined holes on a surface based on an image file: [GHX: 0.9.0056] This will be built as a building facade; I’m very curious about the final look, I’ll post the photos of the building when it is finished. The VB component manages the decisions regarding the grayscale value and circle radii. Edit: Here is the result of […]


The story of Atatürk Cultural Center (in Turkish: Atatürk Kültür Merkezi – AKM) is dated back to 1930’s. The first project was commissioned to Auguste Perret, who started the construction in late 30’s. However, war and financial problems caused the construction to be halted. The project continued in the early 1950’s with major updates and extensions. Faruk Akçer and Rüknettin Güney were responsible for this second version. This version is partially built until 1960, the coup d’etat. The last AKM version was to be designed by Hayati Tabanlıoğlu, who studied […]


This month became a retrospective for myself. This was my first animation, prepared for CAAD Graduate course of Ahmet Turan Köksal in 2002. It was a funny inspiration from SDF-1 of Robotech. Model of the terminal is in fact, my graduation project at YTU Faculty of Architecture in 2001. It was a bus terminal project for İstanbul modeled in AutocadR14. I mirrored it with ground plane to create the space station. Other spaceships and grape-like houses are done with Rhinoceros 3.0 (again, they were my first modeling experiences). And they are put together in […]


This is a simple tool resembling John Hejduk and colleagues’ famous design exercise “The Nine-Square Grid”. The tool was developed in 2009 using MaxScript. Here is a phrase from our eCAADe 2009 paper titled: “Role of Studio Exercises in Digital Design Education: Case Study of the Nine-Square Grid”; The nine-square grid is one of the most common kit-of-parts exercises in design studios since more than 50 years. To explain briefly, the ninesquare grid exercise is based on the transformation of a nine-square grid into a series of alternatives, using a pre-defined kit-of-parts and a set […]


It was 2008, eCAADe Presentation at Antwerp together with Birgül Çolakoğlu and Serkan Uysal. The work presented in this paper, is an example of student work developed in Introduction to Computational Design  graduate course titled “Designing the Design”  at Yildiz Technical University. The course focuses on the use of algorithms as design tools, rather than coding experiments. The course runs parallel to shape grammar course, in which basic concepts of computation is thought through visual design exercises. The shape grammar course teaches rule based logic, algorithmic thinking and formal approach […]


This is the set of all Julia Sets (studied here). Here is a simple explanation without math. According to this website: The Mandelbrot set, named after Benoit Mandelbrot, is a fractal. Fractals are objects that display self-similarity at various scales. Magnifying a fractal reveals small-scale details similar to the large-scale characteristics. Although the Mandelbrot set is self-similar at magnified scales, the small scale details are not identical to the whole. In fact, the Mandelbrot set is infinitely complex. Yet the process of generating it is based on an extremely simple equation involving complex numbers. […]


I’m completely stuck with fractals nowadays, especially famous Mandelbrot and Julia sets. Here is my first definition which estimates Julia sets. There are lots of applets about this fractal calculations on the internet because the computational method is very simple, (and generally people love them because of this dilemma between simplicity, chaos and infinity). It is the iteration of a single function over and over again and placing points on the complex plane (not the cartesian plane). Here, it was my first recall of complex numbers, now I’m happy I’ll […]


The method used here is inspired from a topic at the Rhino Python 101 Primer. This is a funny method on the recursive operation that creates tree-like shapes composed of arcs. These arcs are constructed by using Arc SED method, that requires start and end points and a vector that is tangent to the arc (at the start point). Therefore, overall look of a chain of these constructions create a smooth look, as all of ths arcs are tangent to previous ones. However, such constructions cannot be simulated (or at […]


This was an interesting topic of design computing class. Geometric constructions based on strict relationships are becoming exciting in parametric modeling environments. I think muqarnas includes such a relationship. There is a basic method of modeling this shape, introduced by Mete Tüneri. His solution to a simple muqarnas object includes a surface with six reference points on it, with two boolean differences (one cylinder and one box) create the component. In Grasshopper, I tried to simulate his process by adding real-time parameters such as number of rows and row height. […]


At the initial design phase of an apartment project in İstanbul, Nilüfer Kozikoğlu (TUŞPA Architecture) has offered me a job I haven’t done in Grasshopper before. This definition includes a sketch of a possible apartment renewal, analyzing and optimizing data from the contractor’s and property owners’ perspective. It also checks if the proposed solution is appropriate according to the building regulations for that area. In Turkish, KAKS means the maximum total floor area / land area, and TAKS means building base area / land area. All data input are parametric, […]


Design of Chinese lattices, used in windows and doors especially in 19th century, called in short “ice-ray” is one of the classic studies that are used to express shape grammars, algorithmic design; maybe the roots of computational design at all. They are introduced analytically by Daniel Sheets Dye, and explained by George Stiny, based on parametric shape grammars approach. He explained shape rules and the abstract machine that produces these subdivisions. I was especially interested in Shape Grammars when I was a graduate student, also I coded a Shape Grammars […]


This was a design competition of a precast concrete roof system. My design proposal was a modular and variable structure for İstanbul’s old bus station, converted to art galleries. However, this project was developed purely by hand-sketches, I’m planning to create an envelope of alternatives by creating a parametric model. Each module is proposed to be converted differently in order to meet various functions such as single or double module galleries, shopping and restaurant, and a theater also. The varying functions can be realized by roof designs. Only the initial […]


This was a couple of months ago, Nilüfer Kozikoğlu (TUŞPA Architecture) has offered a design for a competition, the new TV Tower in İstanbul. Her design intention was mainly focused on the spatial qualities of the observation decks and the visual interpretations on the overall shape of the tower. Interesting part of this project was the experience of a collaborative design process. Nilüfer sketched her design ideas in Rhinoceros, and I tried to implement those ideas within Grasshopper to understand and calculate her intentions. I sometimes offered some geometric solutions such […]


Inspired from the works of Andrew F. Scott, (here especially) I decided to create a parametric Moebius surface model used as a foundation for various sculpture projects and educational exercises as well. The most challenging part of this problem was to create a single surface (not a Brep) in order to process it easier later on. Here is the result of this work as Grasshopper definition [2012_01_18-mobius] Please be patient for above animation if it loads slowly. Construction process of the model starts with a 3D ellipse, divided into equal […]


This was an interesting challenge for me to find out if an architect can use Visual Programming Languages (VPL’s) also for graphical purposes? Now, I would say “not exactly” because this definition took much time than I expected. The aim was to create an algorithm for a business card design that has variable outputs. Each card should be different, but without using any randomization. This is achieved with a definition you can check here: [2012_01_10-cards] and Rhino file here [3DM:2012_01_10-cards] to take inputs such as your name and e-mail address. This project […]


The cellular canopy is an anonymous tutorial on history recording capability of Rhino. I’ve been using a “pedagogical” version of this tutorial as an educational tool on the introduction to Grasshopper and Parametric Modeling for architects. Interesting thing with such exercises is they quickly attract students’ attention to the process of designing, in other words “designing the design process”; one of the first things we should emphasize in courses of design computing. Here, we plan and develop a 3d model that uses regular flow on surface command. However, while we […]


It was two years ago, I decided to attended a design contest using Grasshopper. Of course the jury didn’t know that the design solution I created was a result of a parametric model developed in Grasshopper. From the report; Yıldız Technical University Davutpaşa Campus Entrance Design Contest [Awarded Honorable Mention] Starting point of this project was the conception of “entrance” as a design problem related with whole project area, rather than a single “gate”. Designed form spans across the project area and changes shape to meet several conditions such as […]