Relational Urbanism conducted a Grashopper workshop in GSD Harvard commencing 23rd March 2011. The workshop consisted in the exploration of typologies emerging from a systemic approach of scripted organisations linked to site ecologies, altogether with further logics of distributed intervention across the site. It was incorporated within the Flux City brief outlined by Chris Reed as part of the first year Masters programme in the Landscape Architecture course in GSD, Harvard.

The workshop lasted one week, during which the students were introduced to the use of computing logics in 3D design (Grasshopper) for the definition of individual building blocks in catalogue based arrangement, distorted grid distribution and basic database controlled environments. Teaching was carried out by Eduardo Rico, Enriqueta Llabres, with coding support from Brendon Carlin.

Images from the projects below refer to the student production within the workshop. Students belong to the GSD1212 Landscape Architecture Design IV program, coordinated by Chris Reed and tutored by Miho Mazereeuw, David Mah and Gary Hildebrand

The work deals with the infilling of a series of bands of land separated by a series of semi parallel channels crossing a peninsula. experiments elongated branching systems as a basic structure for organizing mixed use developments. The  linear bands of development are scripted so that growing levels show a different behavior in terms of weaving and tapering, generating a combined system of canals, built fabric and open spaces.

In this project, the definition of the block is generated depending on the direction of stormwater water collected internally and delivered to the shortest edge. An artificial topography which incorporates stormwater treatment and public space serves as the basis for the larger scale distribution of components and a linear building organisation. The scripted definition generated a basic network arrangement forming the basis of water collection system, as well as generated the multi layered programme according to height distribution and position.
Topography definition in relationship with water movement

Height field of artificial topography

Test distribution

Relationship between blocks and to stormwater harvesting 
landscape layers Infrastructure / landscape / channels

Overall arrangement

The project explores formal organisations of blocks distributed along a corridor intersected by a set of parallel canals. The premise of the exploration is the introduction three different typologies  fixed width of  20m which orients themselves perpendicular to the main road alignment.  The scripting component detects the plots generated by the intersection of the a set of perpendicular frames and a family of offsets aligned with the canals. A nodal field with three different intensities controlled by a boolean pattern organizes the void-fill overall distribution which grows with a decreasing density, ranging from three stories to a low level slab.

The project explored mechanisms of excavation and earthworks compensation whithin blocks in order to generate an artificial topography and water system which would simultaneously format a rich ground ecology and help control the built mass. The typology adapts to the groundworks and breaks down into further suybdivisions as the density becomes higher.

The typology responds to the needs toprovide sunlight to areas between buildings, while allowing wind blow in the prevailng summer direction. The block was generated buy a set of blocks with varyinng spacing according to their orientation. The work then tries to search for different patterns of block sizing and arrangement, to end with a series of scenarios and possible outomces for a combined building and site ecology.