Design we love – The Bone Wall


Tocci recently came across the design work of Joe MacDonald and we were dazzled by his research on parametric modeling. Joe MacDonald is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His seminars explore naturally occurring organizational systems and their influence on built ecologies, new materials, and construction assembly innovations.

Joe MacDonald is a founding principal of Urban A&O, a design firm based in New York City, specializing in parametric modeling and research. He regularly incorporates his academic research into practice at the scales of building, exhibitions, and product design. Four operating principles describe the philosophy of the firm’s work: material exploration; the use of emerging technologies to design and fabricate form; multi-disciplinary collaboration; and the cultivation of social interaction and education through design within the public realm. The theme of architecture as an opportunistic interface for technology and space–simultaneously physical and social–is central to their investigations into future building materials and construction methods.

Below is a piece he did called: The Bone Wall.

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Continuity and connectedness, two indicators of topological form, are intrinsic to nearly all digitally generated patterns. Through this experiment, MacDonald aimed to advance this definition, through architectural means, into a three-dimensional context. He uses advanced algorithmic/parametric software to extend the concept of pattern to a point where the basic element or cell incrementally changes in morphology over the course of its run. All 72 cells that make up the wall are based on one single generative configuration.

Text taken from the and



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