Wave Breaker

The “Wave-breaker” project challenges conventional architectural drafting methods as it is a land-art and landscape installation. The project narrates the story of seemingly abandoned industrial artifacts (the concrete precast wave-breakers) in a desert landscape.

Architectural drawings, such as design sketches, plans, sections, axonometrics and perspectives, underwent a dramatic shift since the advent of computer aided design (CAD) tools. While most CAD tools reproduce conventional drafting methods, they tend to be reductive in their programmatic rigidity. Users are forced into a linear and predefined design process and often frustrated by the lack of haptic feedback. The structural complexity of CAD programs often obscures the underlying generative methods. Boundaries of drafting software are expanded by introducing scripting and coding. The expression of data (text and numbers) inside the drawing aims to re-introduce the haptic quality of conventional drawing. A procedural approach of layering graphic elements and data with a constant visual update empowers the designer/programmer to harness the computational power of CAD applications. 

The “Wave-breaker” project challenges conventional architectural drafting methods as it is a land-art and landscape installation. The project narrates the story of seemingly abandoned industrial artifacts (the concrete precast wave-breakers) in a desert landscape. It combines the technical precision of construction documents with the poetry and fragility of landscape drawings. Plan nor section suffice, rather a map of layers of information – landscape, artifacts, data – form the new digital environment. The underlying code regulates distribution, arrangement and rotation of the objects. 

Institution: aurel VR
Contributors: Aurel von Richthofen 
with Carlos Ramos da Silva and Sergei Mikhailenko

Year: 2011

generative matrix - parameters encoded on location
field distribution - 1D gradient
1D gradient - eye level
2D gradient - eye level
close up on the etching
related: 

Crossing The Line Conference

Aurel speaks at the American University of Dubai on the conference "Crossing the Line - Drawing in the Middle East". The Architectural drawings, such as design sketches, plans, sections, axonometrics and perspectives, underwent a dramatic shift since the advent of CAD tools.

Splügen Rest Stop

Splügen is a landscape project located in the Upper Rhine Valley in Switzerland using parametrically designed “fins” to engage the river and manipulate the fluvial landscape. The Upper Rhine Valley is characterized by its pristine alpine ecology, yet, contrasted with a mayor highway connecting Germany and Italy running through it.

Subway Sorter

The design-research leading to Subway Sorter is rooted in an ongoing interest in the representation of traffic – here in the form of public underground transportation – as a means of spatial-temporal mapping of the city. Starting from the subway system of Manhattan, this comparative study models several metropolis’ of the 21 century.

Parametric Urban Design Model / Qurm

Within the research project, we developed tools and methods to map these environmental, cultural and programmatic parameters into a cohesive urban design mechanism. This mechanism can be adapted and applied to any site in Oman or the Gulf region from the scale of a few houses to larger mixed use developments.

Portfolio 2009-2013

This portfolio collects three lines of investigation explored simultaneously and mutually re-enforcing the work produced by aurelVR during 2009-2013: Research, Teaching and Practice. Research on urbanization in Oman and the Gulf marks a new field of investigation of design processes and spatial organization beyond form. Teaching expands in the same direction using digital tools to support design and research. The design part, finally, collects various projects done with aurelVR in Berlin and Oman.

@ Sultan Qabous University

Aurel von Richthofen lectures at Sultan Qaboos University on the topic of "parametric design beyond form". Kind invitation of Alya Abdul Sattar Yaqoob Al-Hashim to the Dept. of Civil Engineering and Architecture. The lecture is structured around three aspects of parametric design: design that can accommodate different parameters, design that computes and design beyond form.