Outside the Box
NCF DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE DESIGN ASSOCIATION & STUDIO
Outside the Box | A Design Computing Public Presentation
On Thursday April 11th, I represented NCF studio giving the DMG “Outside the Box” talk. The purpose of this talk was to provide a brief introduction of the largest computational design platform in China which I co-founded in 2009. Before being registered as a company, NCF started from an internet forum (www.ncf-china.com), a forum for architecture students and professional architects and designers. By the end of 2012, the NCF Forum had over 40,000 members and viewed over 3,000,000 times.
In the past 4 years, NCF sought to popularize the use of algorithm and parametric design in Chinese design firms and universities by providing design firms with technical support and professional training, holding workshops and courses with universities, producing teaching materials.
In 2011, NCF was invited to support a project called Dalian International Conference Center. In China, the policy requires that the design process for one project needs to be finished by different design firms for the different stages of the process. In 2009 COOP HIMMELB(L)AU finished the schematic Design of the project, then Dalian Architecture Design Institution(DADI) started the design development and working drawings phase. DADI is a traditional design firm and has no digital technical team to support it, so they didn’t know how hand such a big scale, complex project. As a third-party consultant, NCF played an important role in the design and construction process. The biggest challenge is that there are over 100,000 aluminum plates that need to be assembled together, and only hundreds of them are in the same size, others are totally different. Within the 6 months, NCF team work together with the other departments in the firm to rebuild a parametric model, integrate the project documents, and train DADI staffs. By the end of 2012, Dalian International Conference Center finished its construction process. As a new landmark of Dalian, it will open to the public this spring.
As a consultant office and an academic team, NCF not only provide technical support to the design firms, but also share our experiences from real projects with architecture students. We have successfully held several digital workshops in different universities. Although NCF focus on the digital technical, we still tell students do not be limited by computers, and encourage them to engage in the physical world thinking about the method that can make their design come true. In the summer of 2012, Hunan University Digital Architecture Lab (D.A.L) and NCF organized a digital workshop for current students. The purpose of the workshop is to provide students opportunities to practice ways in which they can make their concept design be a reality.
As the first institution focusing on the digital design technical in China, one of the most important missions of NCF is to popularize the application of algorithm and parametric design in the country and spread the right value of computational design. So we spend lots of energy on working on producing different kind of tutorials and providing digital technical courses to public. By the end of 2012, we’ve made 8 versions of Grasshopper, Rhino, Maya E-books, over 1000 minutes video tutorials; translated over 500 pages of tutorials from English to Chinese and published two books which have been recognized as the national university’s textbook.
I am proud that I can be a partner of such a wonderful team so that we can work together and learn from each other. In the past 4 years, from a group of young architecture students to a skilled and professional team, each of us is growing up with NCF. With strong expectations and a humble heart, I’m sure that NCF will lead us to bring a new future to the Chinese architecture industry.
All other images source: NCF DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE DESIGN ASSOCIATION & STUDIO. Read more at: www.ncf-china.com
Written by Teng Teng, MSc Arch, Design Computing Candidate