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.

3 February 2012

A bit late on the uptake, I have decided to create a blog to document my final year in Part II Architecture. I will use this space to post my work and influences throughout the remainder of the course.  Hopefully it will serve as a place of contemplation and development.  First though...to upload some backdated process work.