The Structure of L-System
MoMA PS1 Canopy Design

Po-Hung Chiu
A thesis submitted to the
Graduate School of the University of Cincinnati
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture
in the School of Architecture and Interior Design  of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

With continued digital technology development, computer has not only been seen as only the assistant as the tool, but also could be a medium of design development. This project by Po-Hung Chiu is a study of a methodology for the parametric design and fabrication of the bionic structure.

For centuries, architects have been inspired by natural forms and geometries. Their designs have been influenced by natural structures, proportions, colors, patterns and textures. In 1968, the biologist Aristid Lindenmayer proposed a string- rewriting algorithm which can model plants and their growth processes.

Since then, Lindenmayer Systems or L-systems have evolved and found many practical applications in the computer visualization area, such as generation of fractal diagram, realistic modeling and high quality visualization of organic forms.

More recently, remarkable advances have been made in architecture in the field of modeling and visualization. Specifically, the integration of scripting languages into CAD applications enables direct visualization of objects generated using algorithmic processes.

Therefore, L-system is ready to be a new tool for architects, and in the meantime architecture gain more opportunities to be designed with complex, organic or bionic ways by using parametric tools such as Rhino with Grasshopper.

However, how can the L-system apply to architectural design process through parametric tools? How to make L-system adapt to an architectural site?

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