Final Project :: Parasitic Form

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No site is neutral. The tabla rasa is a myth. Design which attempts to ingnore these truths is under constant onslaught by the forces that define a site. Structures defiant of the salient forces of a site erode as the nature of the site wash over it again and again.

Your task is to design a system that is capable of feeding off the energies present in a site. This act of design may be considered an act of violence that fundamentally alters the nature of the site forever. The system, however, must be dependent upon those forces. It too must be fueled by the same forces that define a site, but convert those forces to its own end. It must have its own nature. You will not directly design the artifact. You will design the relationships. You will design how the system consumes/behaves/expresses itself.

This act of design should not be entirely destructive. In its wake, it should be contributing to the site. It should be amplifying a positive or devouring a negative.

Explore transmutation of the forces.For our purposes, system models are portable. The source of the motivating energy does not necessarily define its destiny. Gravity can affect human motivation. Poltics can affect walls. Conflict can affect matter.

"Parasitic" should not be conflated with small.  Or bug shaped. The results can be object-like. Or a field.

The goal is to approach the computer as means for exploring design from a systems approach. Form follows rule. By adjusting the rules that lead to form, the outcome can be modified and used in a productive design setting. The final project should document the use and control of rules based systems to model relationships that lead to form.

The risk remains that the use of these systems leads to untempered formalism. With the goal of ‘architecture’ kept in sight, propose the use of a generative, rules based system for use in the development of a parasitic architectural form. This is not to say that the output from your work in processing will be architecture, but rather, is useful in the production of architecture. This usefulness can be related to formal properties you want to exploit, organizational tendencies, strategic positioning of research, etc.


• Exercise documentation: capture JPG’s at the pixel size of your processing applets for each of your sketches.

• Visual research: a visual document (photo, captured still, system diagram, etc) that you will use to document the intent of your project thesis.

• Thesis statement: 150 words (no more than one half page of text) that defines the attributes of one or more dynamic, emergent, self-organizing system etc, that you want to exploit in the process of architecture. This thesis should include your thoughts about how the system can be modified, hybridized, systematized, brought under control, etc to meet your stated goal for its use in architecture.

• Visual production: this can be an image, interactive applet, video, or 3D model, but should reflect the culmination of your research. In addition to the format of the actual product of your research, you should provide a documentation image of the final product. 1024x768 jpg.

• Final Processing Source Code: the PDE linked from the exported applet html file is fine.

Due Date

Your final material should be uploaded and the URL sent to me NO LATER THAN 9pm Sunday, Dec 19, 2010.

This is a hard deadline. Anywork submitted after that day and time will not be considered for your grade.

Send me the URL of the final materials when you have completed uploading. Create a folder for all your final materials. Place the applet folder within this folder (if you put your final materials inside the applet folder, I will not be able to see it. Double check that everything is posted correctly and visible before you send me the URL.)