Conference Paper: Peer Reviewed

Protocol of error: The design and construction of a bending-active gridshell from natural bamboo

by Crolla K. and Fingrut A.

ABSTRACT | This paper advocates alternative methods to overcome the impossibility of realising ‘perfect’ digital designs. It discusses Hong Kong’s 2015 ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion’ as a methodological case study for the design and construction of architecture from unprocessed natural bamboo. The paper critically evaluates protocols set up to deal with errors resulting from precise digital design systems merging with inconsistent natural resources and onsite craftsmanship. The paper starts with the geometric and tectonic description of the project, illustrating a complex and restrictive construction context. Bamboo’s unique growth pattern, structural build-up and suitability as a bending- active material are discussed and Cantonese bamboo scaffolding craftsmanship is addressed as a starting point for the project. The pa- per covers protocols, construction drawings and assembly methods developed to allow for the incorporation and of large building tolerances and dimensional variation of bamboo. The final as-built 3d scanned structure is compared with the original digital model. The pa- per concludes by discussing the necessity of computational architectural design to proactively operate within a field of real-world indeterminacy, to focus on the development of protocols that deal with imperfections, and to redirect design from the virtual world towards the latent opportunities of the physical.

KEYWORDS | Bamboo; Bending-Active Gridshell; Physics Simulation; Form-Finding; Indeterminacy

CITATION | Crolla, Kristof, and Fingrut Adam. “Protocol of error: The design and construction of a bending-active gridshell from natural bamboo”, in S. Chien, S. Choo, M. A. Schnabel, W. Nakapan, M. J. Kim, S. Roudavski (eds.), Proceedings of Living Systems and Micro-Utopias: Towards Continuous Designing – 21st International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), Melbourne, 2016, pp. 415 – 424