Project  Curiosity

Procedural Architecture - Houdini

January 2020

This experiment looks at the powerful tool called Side FX Houdini which is used primarily in film/animation industry due to its ridiculously procedural nature. Though many processes of architecture require manual work, a lot of interest has recently developed in the softwares ability to create a truly procedural architecture with various built in solvers that can optimise the overall design. My exploration focuses on a non-linear form with attributes such as floor area, façade area and basic building parameters while keeping every aspect of the design modular and parametric. The following videos/gifs showcase few parameters I have isolated to have an object level control over the overall architectural design. Though I still fail to see how many manual inputs can be added (while keeping proceduralism) to architectural projects in Houdini or grasshopper I believe the software’s capability by far outweighs its limitations. Where as programs such as grasshopper and Rhino may excel in other things their limitations somewhat outweigh their capabilities. Due to underlying architecture of the softwares, Houdini is able to handle immense amount of data which grasshopper tends to struggles with. I will continue to test out more variations of architectural designs in Houdini and hopefully start implementing architectural detail oriented tools within Houdini.

External link to project > Procedural Architecture - Houdini
Procedural Architecture Houdini - Rahul Girish
These set of parameters controls forma and shape as well as amount of floors per section.
As the design is based upon curves and points alone curves the settings are simply changing starting point and ending points of the curves along with the amount of divisions within curves.

Procedural Architecture Houdini - Rahul Girish
These set of parameters promoted to top-level are facing ratio (which controls the ratio between glass and facing),
and ballistrade ratio (which controls the ratio between ballistrade and glass).

Procedural Architecture Houdini - Rahul Girish
These set of parameters focus on the basic floor area multiplier, floor height and the facade module width.

Procedural Architecture Houdini - Rahul Girish
Of course due to the procedural nature of the entire design/experiment there are 100s more parameters not promoted to high-level due to lack of time and lack of design constraint.
But Houdini serves as a brilliant tool for prototyping design ideas.

Though the subset extracts simple parameters, the goal was to explore the DNA that each iteration could be encoded with making it unique. Finally if need shall arise, a complete catalog can help isolate important iterations through a careful selection process through the encoded DNA.