Smart Geometry Copenhagen – Interacting with Cities

Przemek Jaworski was tutoring a 4-day workshop during Smart Geometry 2011 Copenhagen conference. Workshop was mainly focused on parametric and generative techniques in context of urban design, and multi-touch, multi-user collaboration. 6 tangible tables were built during the event, 4 of them powered by Kinect sensors, two by hacked PS3 cameras (for multitouch surfaces). Effects can be seen below:

SmartGeometry2011 – Interacting with Cities from Rafael Roa on Vimeo.

More information about the projects is here.

Grafik cover video

Very recently I was involved in writing Processing program, that was supposed to generate graphics for front cover of ‘Grafik’ magazine. Actually, the program was used on entire issue, producing vector fields from page context – images and text blocks, but most interesting part is dynamic flow.
In this collaboration with computational designer Jonathan Rabagliati, we overlayed particle system on top of generated vector field, creating network of ‘flows’, moving through page context. Some of the agents, in dense neighbourhoods start releasing ‘trails’ wandering through screen, omitting obstacles and trying to find their best way.

dynamic flow

Process is illustrated in this video :

result may be seen on the cover of June 2009 issue.

Phototropic growth


[EN] In this section I’d like to present results of my recent researches in domain of constructions that are ‘breed’ with use of artificial intelligence. Shown constructions have been created by programs simulating ‘virtual playground’, in which all real
world properties have been recreated (gravity and other external world circumstances influencing general shape of the construction). It mainly regards creating ‘phototropic’ growth, which develops object in direction of light source and opposite to this of gravitational force. Additionally few other rules have been implemented, for example constructions automatically
entwine already existing elements of virtual world (boxes), and constantly optimize themselves ; in cases where material and connections are placed disproportionally, nodes are moved to where more material is needed to transfer forces. Nodes keep nearly equal distances between, which makes construction consist of (almost) regular tetrahedrons. Usually after few
minutes of simulation ‘breed’ object may be exported to modeling program, then rendered or 3d printed.

[PL] W tej sekcji chciałbym zaprezentować rezultaty moich ostatnich poszukiwań w dziedzinie konstrukcji ‘hodowanych’ niejako przez użycie algorytmów sztucznej inteligencji. Przedstawione konstrukcje zostały stworzone przez programy
symulacyjne tworzšce ‘wirtualny œwiat’ w którym odtworzone zostały warunki podobne do tych naturalnych (grawitacja i zewnętrzne oddziaływania wpływajšce na kształt konstrukcji). Głównie chodzi tutaj o stworzenie wzrostu ‘fototropicznego’, czyli takiego, który rozwija obiekt w kierunku œwiatła i przeciwnym do grawitacji. Dodatkowo obowišzuje tutaj kilka innych reguł, na przykład konstrukcje automatycznie ‘oplatajš’ istniejšce elementy wirtualnego œwiata (kostki), oraz same optymizujš siebie – tzn. w przypadkach nieefektywnego rozmieszczenia węzłów, przenoszš je tam gdzie potrzeba więcej materiału do transferu sił. Węzły zachowujš zbliżone odległoœci od siebie, co powoduje, że konstrukcja składa się głównie z czworoœcianów zbliżonych do foremnych.
 Zazwyczaj po kilku minutach symulacji wyhodowany obiekt można wyeksportować do programu modelujšcego i wyrenderować bšdŸ wydrukować w trzech wymiarach.

above: screenshots from
animation, which can be downloaded here
[13megs], pdf file with entire dissertation project may be downloaded from here


page above explains some
intricacies of how object was grown, click to download 2000×1415 sheet


AAC Dissertation

Few words about my academic project. As a part of my dissertation work I am experimenting with various algorithms simulating growth of forms. Most if them are inspired by nature, some of them are just pure math, but most importantly they seem to produce quite interesting effects.

Constructions shown below have been generated in Generative Components, part of Bentley’s Microstation software. Currently I am developing processing application simulating ‘growth’ of construction elements, which will be interfaced with GC and rationalized (quad-based wiremesh construction will be covered with cell-like circular elements). 


Illustration of the concept (click to enlarge).

Latest developments

The same concept, different morphology. Some circles still dont align perfectly to the others… but doesn’t seem as a hard thing to do 🙂 

Structure in intended form will look more or less like this: