inFORMed Verticality

Dubai. Jan 30 - Feb. 3, 2015

For Workshop Portfolio refer to:


// Abstract
Vertical structures have rapidly evolved to define Dubai skyline over the last two decades. Their sheer scale, visual prominence, and symbolic potential have rendered them a speculative enterprise, economically, technologically and architecturally. Despite their close relationship to other building typologies, vertical structures have created a provocative and unique range of urban spaces; a speculative terrain of vertical extension. Their design is often calibrated to urban forces and building technologies. A representative of urbanity, of density and of modernity, vertical structures present a unique challenge to architects and architecture. However the emergence of the new verticality was at large confined to modernist style of repetitive vertical stack of floors, thus producing undifferentiated, unrelated, retro style vertical structures that dominate Dubai skyline.

InFORMed Verticality is an advanced Grasshopper workshop aims to explore ‘data embodiment strategies’ to inform the generation of vertical digital morphologies through the integration of specific set of conditions and rules. We will be exploring data processing methodologies of self-organizing processes to generate digital systems using advanced mesh modeling techniques and assess their application in the development of differentiated complex systems of vertical structures; starting with a simple formation and moving into more complex ones. The aim is to teach participants algorithmic design methodologies through the integration of selected information and data articulation to generate spatial and architectural vertical formations.

In addition to introducing participants to the principles of self-organizing systems and advanced iso-meshing techniques tailored to the generation of new typologies of vertical structures, the workshop will also introduce participants to techniques and methodologies of 3d printing. On the last day, we will conclude the workshop with the generation of 3d printed models of each group. 

// Methodology
We will spend the first three days exploring the tools and working on selected techniques of self-organizing systems such as Cellular Automata voxelization [Conway’s Game of Life], then we will apply the learned techniques to develop rule-based growth system of vertical structures. System differentiation will be achieved in response to the selected growth techniques and applied force-fields. On the third day we will introduce participants to the techniques and methodologies to prepare their model for the 3d Printer. We will learn how to prepare the Gh/Rhino file and set the relevant parameters of the model to be ready for 3d printing. We will also explore the potential and limitations of the current 3d printing technology.

// Design Exercise
In the afternoon of the third day, participants will be divided into groups to develop their own concept. The groups will explore natural systems as a reference for their growth behavior, and will investigate their potential in relation to their design. The design intent will be guided away from the production of a single outcome, with a deeper focus on the process of generation and adaptation. As these processes are behavioral at their core, they allow information to organize into a coherent system able to produce heterogeneous spatial outcomes of increasing complexity from simple sets of basic rules. This systematic variety expands the design space; moving away from the repetitive stack of orthogonal floors of the modernist scheme towards new potential forms of correlation between behavior-based spatial systems and vertical growth.

In addition to the technical part, the workshop will also include lectures on the subject by Andrea Graziano, and Zayad Motlib. 

//  Daily schedule

.:. day 01
. introductory lecture
. data flow: data tree & pathmapping
. mesh syntax & construction
. mesh tessellation and subdivision tools [Lunchbox & Weaverbird]
. geometry instantiation - mesh powercopy
. mesh deformations: attractors and vector fields techniques
. informing geometries using vertex color

.:. day 02
. mesh topological analysis
. marching cubes & isomesh/isosurface
. isomesh of vectors field
. adaptive mesh tessellation
. bundling technique [Nudibranch]
. Cellular Automata voxelization [Conway’s Game of Life]

.:. day 03
. particles growth system
. 3D print basics and how to prepare files to be printed
. Groups Concept selection + 3D print session

.:. day 04
. tutored design studio + 3D print session

.:. day 05
. tutored design studio + 3D print session

. final presentation
. certificate ceremony

// Software & skills:
Basic modeling skill in Rhino, and medium to advanced level in Grasshopper are required. Participants should bring their own laptop with pre-installed software (software download links will be given after subscription).

// Tutors:
Andrea Graziano- Co-de-iT (GH & design tutor).
Zayad Motlib - d-NAT (GH & design tutor).

// Venue:
The workshop will be held at:

. Maraya Art Center
Al qasba, Sharjah

// Calendar & Timetable:
The workshop will have the following timetable:

Jan 30, 14:00 -21:00 lesson + tutoring
All other days: 09:00 -18:00 lesson + tutoring
In the afternoon session of the fifth day, we will have a presentation and a crit review for all the developed projects.

// Application:
To register please e-mail:

// Organized by:
This workshop is organized as a collaboration between d-NAT and Co-de-iT.

 // Note: 
Participants who are qualified to apply for this workshop should have either passed one of our previous workshops, or should enrol in the beginners workshop Re-parameterized 0.3.