The parametric wall by Gramazio & Kohler: IronPython and RhinoScript codes

Aalborg University, Fall semester 2010: I was coordinating the Master’s subject “Formfindings” when I introduced programming using the “parametric wall”. Through a single consistent system of elements and interrelations, designers could rapidly explore a multitude of spatial configurations in what Lars Spuybroek defined ‘the architecture of variation’.

Basic concepts of interpreted programming languages were also presented. I prepared two scripts in order to generate the parametric wall. The first was written in Rhinoscript, the second in IronPython.

Click here to download the codes, and feel free to play.

Three main functions were implemented in order to add geometrical variations to a basic wall system. The first referred to the curvature of a NURBS surface in order to move and rotate the original brick positions. The second used the RGB values of a TIF image. The third proposed a mathematical function. Refer to the slides below for further details.


Slide 1: Parametric definition of a brick

Parametric wall image1


Slide 2: Parametric definition of number of courses and bricks

Parametric wall image2


Slide 3: Overview of potential variations

Parametric wall image3


Slide 4: Wall variation through a mathematical function

Parametric wall image4


Slide 5: Wall variation through a NURBS surface

Parametric wall image5


Slide 6: Wall variation through an image

Parametric wall image6

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  1. Giovanni

    really an impressive work! I wonder if you’ve considered also the weight of each and every brick in order to determine a free-form configuration, which is able to stand as well. In other words, do you enforce equilibrium condition on the wall?
    Anyway, it is always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  2. Hi Giovanni,
    unfortunately, I did not consider such a condition. This was conceived as an exercise for students in order to see how the parametric wall can be done in RhinoScript and Ironpython languages. In this way, it can generate geometries which cannot be built.
    Many thanks,

  3. jacobo

    Hi Alberto,
    Would you consider to relocate the files? Seems like the links are broken,
    Thank you in advance for sharing the code!

  4. Hi Jacobo,
    I’ve just fixed the link. My website has recently been redesigned from scratch. I might have missed some links in the process!
    Thanks for letting me know.

  5. jacobo

    Wow, there’s a lot of code and a lot of work there.
    Thank you very much, Alberto.

  6. marsel

    Dear Alberto,
    i am very interested in your method of work which produces a great variation of brick patterns. however, the download link does not work so I was wondering if there is a possibility to find your scripts.
    Thank you in advance,

  7. GroWider

    Love your work. Do you have more of this?
    If yes, then kindly provide a link.

    • Thank you. This exercise was prepared for a Master’s subject that I taught in 2010/2011. Unfortunately, I haven’t developed more stuff like this for teaching purposes.

  8. Geom Onaxis

    Hi Alberto,
    it’s great work you did, thanks a lot for sharing.
    I have some issues regarding this code-
    1. In RVB, Am not getting RhPicture plugin in food4Rhino.
    2. In python code, the load image function is missing.
    As a result can’t test the code with image.
    Could you help me in this regard?

    • Thank you. I haven’t looked at that code in at least 10 years! There might be some plugins that are outdated, such as the RhPicture Plugin. But I’m not able at this stage to offer support on the codes I share.

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