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More Clouds

January 5, 2010

All right, it’s a New Year, and time to get back to work!

My S.O. says that the best posts are ones with pictures, so I’m going to revisit my “Cloud Computing” post from October with an image of the coolest cloud formation I have ever come across.

Mammatus clouds over Macerata, Italy

Mammatus clouds over Macerata, Italy

The formation is called “Mammatus”, named after (according to the Wikipedia Page Here) their visual similarity to breasts apparently.  They form underneath a stronger cloud formation known as the “Anvil Cloud”.

None of which is important, its just that they are completely amazing and a perfect example of the beauty of gnarly computation in nature.  I have only seen them this once,  shown here behind the bell tower of San Giovanni in Macerata, Italy.  The formation did not last long and I was caught without my camera.  I dashed to the architecture studio to retrieve it but unfortunately the formation had largely dispersed by then.  A much much better photo of the same event taken by Chad Kirkpatrick can be seen on his Witness to Beauty site.  Chad, also a UO Architecture Alumni now living and working in London, was a reviewer for the final presentation during the Macerata program.

December began with an excellent trip to Seattle, where I visited Dan Belcher at LMN Architects (where he provides very practical and solid design computation services) and attended two Master’s Thesis presentations at the UW courtesy of Professor Brian Johnson there.  Randolf Fritz presented his work on augmenting the Radiance open source rendering software with an interface to allow easier addition of light fixture sources, and Chih-Pin Hsiao presented two fun human-t0-3D model interface techniques; the first of which labeled cardboard model pieces such that an imaging camera could track the assembly of the 3D physical model and construct, in parallel, the virtual model in Sketchup; and the second wherein a locating marker “object” (it looked much like a Dreidel) was placed on the surface of a 2D plan extracted from a 3D Sketchup model, and the model would place it’s point of view at the same location as the marker.  It was a very interesting way of orienting your viewpoint quickly within a built space.

Returning home to my own computer, I constructed a lovely parametric model of Per Luigi Nervi’s Palazzetto dello Sport from the 1960 Rome Olympics.  I found it an interesting exploration of what the term “parameter” means in geometric design.  Here is a teaser image, more details to come.

Palazzetto dello Sport, Interior View

Palazzetto dello Sport, Interior View

A Happy New Year to all!

– Brian –

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Stubbseter permalink
    January 12, 2010 11:05 pm

    Wild. I know Randolf Fritz. Small world!

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