11 September 2012

The Symbiotic Office - Masters, Final Hand In

Office Interior - 3DS Max, Vray, After Effects, Photoshop

Seasonal Facade Study - 3DS Max, Vray, After Effects, Photoshop

Canary Wharf Link Bridges - 3DS Max, Vray, After Effects, Photoshop

Presentation Sheet - Diagrammatic analysis of Canary Wharf

23 August 2012

Final Crit - The Symbiotic Office

Portfolio Sheet - Non Hierarchal Form & Structural Development

Portfolio Sheet - Link Bridge, Inhabitable structure & Facade Treatment

With the final crit done, I have just over a week now to finalise the design of The Symbiotic Office building in Canary Wharf.  The process thus far has seen the development of a strategy/prototype for the design of an office building, and I need to iron out some of the details of my Canary Wharf based scheme...busy week ahead then.

25 July 2012

Concept Images

Below is some concept imagery of the non-hiearchal network that was established in the diagrammatic analysis shown of the previous post.  The ethereal network of office spaces span from existing buildings in a canopy that stretches above the roads and walkways.

It has been a while since I have modelled anything in 3DS Max so this was a good chance to get back into it and have a go at modelling a large scale city environment.

Concept Image 01 : Aerial View.  3DS Max, Vray, After Effects

Concept Image 02 : Non Hierarchal Network.  3DS Max, Vray, After Effects

19 July 2012

Masters In Architecture

After some time away from my blog (and it's temporary closure due to a problem with gmail), it is back and I will try to keep it up to date!  I am currently studying a Masters in Architecture, which is due to be completed in September.

I am continuing my research into London’s office culture and proposing a more in depth analysis of the office spaces of Canary Wharf.  In the digital age where the traditional place of work is a fluid concept, the project strives to highlight the importance of face-to-face interactions and to create an office space which not only boosts productivity, but one which the workers can enjoy.

Non Hierarchal Layout - 2D & 3D Algorithmic Arrangements

Internal & External Connectivity 

The Blog is Back

In recent weeks my Diploma work has been picked up on by a few websites who have run articles on The Symbiotic Office.  Thanks to these sites for taking an interest, it is great to be able to reach a wider audience and to see other people’s take on my work.  Below are some screen grabs of a few of the sites.

Dezeen  |  http://www.dezeen.com/2012/07/11/the-symbiotic-office-by-richard-black/

The Creators Project  |  http://thecreatorsproject.com/blog/would-this-flower-strewn-oasis-be-your-dream-office-environment

The Atlantic Cities  |  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/07/what-it-will-look-when-plants-take-over-london/2553/

Fast Company  |  http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680180/the-symbiotic-office-integrates-nature-and-work

16 May 2012

The Symbiotic Office

Above is the final film from my Diploma in Architecture.

Final scenes from my Diploma in Architecture project - 'The Symbiotic Office'.

In the vastness of office spaces such as those of Canary Wharf, it is imperative to achieve good design to alleviate potential negative issues associated with the spaces.  It is arguable that at present these vast, generic office spaces offer little in the way of individuality, nor do they cater to the individual’s needs.

The Symbiotic Office changes the way in which people use office spaces, creating relaxation zones where individuals can pause for thought, host meetings, eat their lunch or drink orchid tea.  Medicinal orchid extracts are used in the office pharmacy, offering relief from symptoms such as headaches, poor eyesight and stress.

18 April 2012

Final Crit & Animation Stills

I’ve spent a lot of time modeling, rendering, analysing and re-rendering these last few weeks and hence I haven’t loaded much work.  Final crit done and dusted however and I have a bit more time on my hands, for a few days at least.

Above are a series of stills from the short animated film I produced for the crit.  There is some re-editing and some more scenes that I want to add for the final hand in so I will spend the next few weeks working into this before I post the final edit.

23 March 2012


Office Interior from Rich Black on Vimeo.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted any work on here so I thought I would bring it up to date.  Above is my most recent animated shot of the scheme.  It shows the interior of an office space in Canary Wharf in transition between generic open plan office to semi-chaotic Orchid Farm. 

In the last few days I have been drawing a section through an existing office building (based on One Canada Square) at scale 1:20 to examine the existing fabric of the building and explore ways of imposing a new scheme on the building.  This is a work in progress and will evolve as my scheme resolves itself but I thought it worthwhile posting the progress.

Section 1:20

Canary Wharf Site Visit

Form Finding Diagrams

23 February 2012

Mini Presentation and Concept Graphics

After a short break to Edinburgh to see the Parliament and the Pandas, it is straight back into 3DS Max with some concept imagery.  I have been developing a series of models to experiment with form and materiality.  The two included here stem from the concept sections that I drew last week.

The external image requires some further development however I plan to animate the internal shot to show the transformation of generic office space into internal garden as my symbiotic structure establishes itself.  My plan for the next two weeks is to develop further concept imagery as well as storyboard my animation and head to London with an SLR to gather footage of existing office buildings.  Oh, and I have an essay to write for the Masters course just to liven things up.

19 February 2012

Scheme Redesign

Over the past week I have been redeveloping my scheme.  It has become apparent to me that the project lacks a certain depth; so I have spent some time analysing my work to date and drafting new ideas.  Over recent weeks, the architecture itself has been moving forward as has the programme; however I feel that as the scheme has developed, the location of the site has become negligible.  In order therefore to improve the project as a whole, I feel that I need to shake things up a bit.  After a few days of sketching out numerous revisions and new concepts, I have decided upon a new direction for the building: 

The site is to move to London.  The building has a symbiotic relationship with the high-rise office buildings of London, working in conjunction with the existing structures.  The Orchid Farm delivers the mass customisation of products to the public whilst providing internal gardens and break-out spaces within the offices.

Concept Section

Materiality Study 1

Materiality Study 2

8 February 2012

Orchid Library Video

By January I had decided that the design of my building needed to evolve.  After a series of programmatic diagrams and exploratory models, I decided to start designing individual spaces rather than the building as a whole; with a view to these spaces eventually coming together as one.

One of the spaces that I decided to explore was the orchid library; a back catalogue of the factory’s product ranges.  The video below mixes 3D animation and 2.5D animation together and is my first real use of the camera’s depth of field.

Orchid Library Design from Rich Black on Vimeo.

6 February 2012

Orchids of Canvey Drawings

Design Through Animation

I used the Christmas break to experiment with designing through animation, amongst other things.  Rather than a traditional architectural design process, I modeled spaces purely for the animations so that they exist within an augmented reality.  Individual models are built, rendered then edited in AE / Premiere.

Pollination Tower Development from Rich Black on Vimeo.


I discovered a 3DS Max plugin called Krakatoa; a particle rendering plugin that works particularly well when run in conjunction with FumeFX.  I used the calm after the December crit to learn the software in anticipation of using it in future animations.

Pollen Cloud Test from Rich Black on Vimeo.

December Crit

By the interim crit in December I had developed the basics of a scheme in Canvey Island that was based in the town’s Easterly marshlands.  The choice of location was based on local wind data that I calculated.  The marshlands are the windiest point of Canvey Island and the idea was that the South Easterly winds would spread the parasitic orchid plants throughout the town.  The industrial nature of the structure is in contrast to the organic plants.

After a couple of months of investigating wind through drawings, models and diagrams; I arrived at a programme.  The building is to be an orchid farm, mass producing orchids on an industrial scale through abiotic pollination (wind).  ‘Factories’ that encompass principles of both mass production and demand production will deliver a product that is semi customised based on a pre-determined series of parameters.  Consumers will get a choice of limited variety that can be delivered at high speed.

The Orchid Farm represents the mass delivery of a highly ornate product.  Consumers can visit the structure and chose from an array of flowers and teas.  ‘Vending machines’ act as the store worker taking orders and payments and mechanically delivering products.

5 February 2012

Wind Tower Development Video

Wind Tower Development from Rich Black on Vimeo.

A Moving Architecture

The design of a moving structure in Canvey Island was the first real design statement of the year.  I wanted to design a structure that would capture the movement of the winds, create internal spaces and potentially harness the wind power for energy.

Wind Drawings

Our tutors prescribed to us two potential sites for the year ahead, Orford Ness and Canvey Island.  After a long weekend and a cold trip to Essex, Canvey Island was my preferred option.

The concept I initially decided to explore was the influence of wind in architecture.  Drawing on ideas of peoples growing dependency on wind power and predicted future trends, the idea of how wind can be incorporated into design was an attractive one to me.  My initial point of call was a series of drawings of the wind to explore different methods of representation.

I am studying the AAD (Advanced Architectural Design) course at Oxford Brookes University in my sixth, and final year.  The first project given to us in September was to do a series of collages in studio.  It all seemed a bit primary school to me at the time but on reflection it was quite a good way to develop some vaguely architectural spaces.  Below is one of the collages I created from a pile of torn up magazines and images.