Sagrada Familia © wikipedia / Zaha Hadid Architects 'Thallus' © luke hayes

Topology optimization & generative design

At this year’s CONVERGE, a conference exploring the intersection of design and technology, I was deeply impressed and inspired by the almost TED-like talks on the subject.

We started with a fascinating peak in the kitchen of ZHA CoDe, the computational design research group at Zaha Hadid architects.
The organic lace of ‘Thallus’, an experimental sculpture made by a single continuous extruded strip, showed the potential of robotic 3D printing and computational geometry generation.
I really have to get started with Grasshopper again…

Continuing with the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous basilica in Barcelona, the concept of topology optimization and how it was achieved in pre-computer times was just as awe-inspiring.
Optimizing a form regarding to its own weight and force distribution resulted in almost organically grown structures. Ultra-thin columns transform the cupola into a light and airy canopy, void of side beams or any other conventional support structures.
Once the logic behind the unusual design became clear, it wasn’t anymore just exuberant decoration to me but a rather clever approach to structural analysis.

These are just two examples of a series of great talks at CONVERGE 2017.
What impressed me most was the quite aesthetic impact of topology optimization and the fascinating opportunities of generative design.

Looking forward to implementing these insights and inspiration to my upcoming projects!


image credits: Sagrada Familia © wikipedia / Zaha Hadid Architects ‘Thallus’ © luke hayes

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