generative scripting workshop.

From Mid-February through March, a "Generative Scripting" workshop was conducted at SCIarc. This was an intense study of two directives: (1) an aggressive tutorial of the scripting language Maya MEL, and (2) a brief history of computational theory and philosophy. Many topics were covered, including emergent systems programming, evolutionary design, cellular automata, optimizations, etc.

Participants were required to write their OWN CODES and no copying and pasting from online resources would be allowed. The work is outstanding, especially considering most individuals had no programming experience prior to the course.

Instructor: Nicholas Pisca





Participant A: David Kuelby

Self-organizing principles
What I think is fascinating about self-organizing systems is that they are able to adjust to external forces/constraints. Exposed to these external conditions, they organize themselves in exactly one way, the way that exposes them the least. The self-organization can happen on very different scales and levels, which many different driving forces. Typical examples are usually structural behaviors, and organizational behaviors. In order to illustrate my idea about self-organization, I would like to provide the following case studies:
A) Walled City, Kowloon/Hong Kong
The walled city operates on a large scale. It is a block that inhabited at its peak 32.000 people, which corresponds to a density of about 1.9M people per sqm (that is around 30 times denser than Manhattan). You can view it as a self-organizing principle because there were only very little edternal constraints (max. height and block) and absolutely no planning, and it developed over time. Individuals had to decide and negotiate about every step themselves.
B) Multihalle, Mannheim/Germany
The Multihalle is a shell construction. A wooden grid with flexible nodes, one lifted at the highest points and fixed at the building’s outline, establishes a form in which the wooden beams would only be exposed to axial compression. Thus, no columns are needed. The structure proves to be extremely robust and very light at the same time.
I am particularly interested in these systems because they seem to have built-in a certain type of intelligence that solves problems that might not be solved otherwise, and they produce an interesting complex organizational and/or formal output.


Participant B: David Wolfe

UN-CONGREGATED - - PDF - - Sample MEL Script

This system is based on the premise of congregation. The objects find the distance from them selves and another object. After their distance is established the object decides if it is too close to move away and if it is too far to re-congregate. After it moves if it is too close to another object it reevaluates its relationships and decides how to move again according to the rules of juxtaposition to another object.





Participant C: Yu Ping Hsieh

Generative Cheese Script - - PDF - - PDF - - Sample MEL Script

The Generative Cheese Script attempts to mimic the form of a solid being perforated by a group of spheres varying in size and scales. This form is reminicent of a natural pattern found in soap bubble clusters, dairy cheese, sponge cakes, etc, as a result of interactions between air pockets and solids. The resulting form creates interesting spatial volumns and gradation of transparencies that raise relevance to the form-finding discourse in architecture.


Participant D: Edward Kim

STEALTH GEOMETRY - - PDF - - Sample MEL Script

Using found angle of face normal against the sun angle, script adjusts each faces of the geometry to increase the angle between the sun's ray and the face normal. based on the law of optics known as 'Lambert's cosine Law' adjusted face is now less susceptable solar radiation absorpbsion.





Participants E: Elif Ensari + Randy Stogsdill

Granular Synthesis and Chaosynth - - PDF

Cellular automata are the simplest models of spatially distributed processes. A cellular automaton is a collection of cells on a grid of specified shape. The cells evolve through a number of changes, according to a set of rules based on the states of neighboring cells. Each cell on the grid is allowed to be in one of a few states. At the same time, each cell affects the state of its neighbors. Using this information each cell applies a simple rule to determine what state it will change to in the next generation. This same basic step, or cell sequence, occurs across the grid continuously. Some of the patterns produced by several simple cellular automata become visually elaborate when one graphs many generations of this evolving sequence.



Participant F: F Myles

phenomenon - - PDF

Are there aspects and / or orders to the universe as seen from the vantage of matter compared to antimatter. As you chart the stars and planets and asteroids with in areas of the cosmos can there be some rhythm and reason to the layout of space and how does this change relative to time…within certain parameters can we use computational generative scripting to begin to diagram the matter and antimatter massing using the cp-violation as a fundamental starting point.




Participant G: Owen Merrick

(un)Natural Systems Traffic - - PDF - - Sample MEL 1 - - Sample MEL 2

Each vehicle looks at the number of cars on the highway, and makes a decision about which route to
Each vehicles is a sphere. A single vehicle will choose a path and move toward its destination at the "speed
limit" or its individual "speed preference."
Trac jams: If a fast moving vehicle catches up to another vehicle, the two become a single sphere
(with twice the volume) and move at the speed of the slowest member of the group.
As more vehicles catch up to the group the blob grows.
Fast vehicles can "escape" out of the front of the blob, but at a limited rate.



Participant H: Sky Milner

Dynamic System Tracking Ball - - PDF

First, program a complex array of duplicates as they track a moving object.
Goal: Use scripted materials and lights to illustrate the connections between the duplicated objects.
Duplicated object is scaled and moved according to distance to the target.
It grows exponentially, with representational values at each instance.






Participant I: Benlloyd Goldstein

Musical C.A. Composition - - PDF

I'm interested in an automated mathematical growth system that can use the logic of cellular automata, but applied to the mathematical constraints of musical harmony grids.