Iteration in Grasshopper (Without scripting)

Originally posted on Heumann Design/Tech:

Lately I have been experimenting with iteration in Grasshopper. Iteration is often thought to be synonymous with the computer programming concept of a loop, but while the concepts are related, the definition of iteration I will use requires that the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration. A loop can simply be a way to apply the same operation to a list of elements (much like processing multiple values with a component in grasshopper), but it is an iterative loop if the results from one step are used in the calculation of the next step (something grasshopper does not directly do.)

This concept is also tightly linked with the concept of recursion. Simply stated, the definition of a recursive function includes the function itself. Fractals are among the canonical examples of recursion in mathematics and programming. Because recursion in programming describes a very…

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Loops and recursions in parametric modelling

I have come across this problem already twice in this month and by looking at this fascinating post on Andrew Heumann’s blog (and over 10,000 downloads of the GH plug-in Hoopsnake, for which I am sorry if I accidentally misinterpret in this post) it seems to make quite an interesting case.

What are loops?

It happens when you are trying to use some function or component, for example array. When you are taking data from it and establish relations with other functions or components and bring this data back to it, then you have a loop. A loop of data, which most of programs can’t apperenty work out.

At this point I should mention again, that if Hoopsnake actually did not have in purpose to deal with this issue, but just create “repetitions” of components let me know in comments. Anyway I am not going to write vastly about it anyway, because the best solution seems to lay somewhere else.

And namely, what I have firstly found out on Andrew’s blog, the best solution is instead of bringing data to the previosuly used function, simply copy it as a new one. Data can so flow and the loop is smoothly “omitted”.

Some examples

The first time it happened to me was when trying to trim a hexagonal pattern in Grasshopper, by using some of its information from and back to it.



The second time was when creating a set of stairs controlled by its slope’s angle in Revit Family Editor. However in the latter example the error was at least more evident, while all the parameters and all the formulas were arranged in a schedule and the already used ones were grayed out.


Great thing to learn and personally, so far the issue, which has brought the closest, as I have ever got before, to technical programming problems. I regret not describing both situations in GH and Revit closer, especially, becasue I have had already the images prepared, but.. well, time constraints are slowly bringing me into a loop.

Flux of architecture

With this post, intended to be primarily titled “Has anyone noticed the conspiracy behind BIM software?” it is more than a pleasure to announce the comeback of daanico in the thresholds of cyber-landscape.

After quite (quite) a while spent in the studio, all the assignments, trips (which after all should not be seen pejorative) and projects are finally over, so one loses all the excuses to slink away from the ever-exciting journey of architectural journalism.

Shift GH

And what a better way to reactivate the machine, if not through a disruptive revolution of its system? Who might find a possibly better way than shifting focus from the previous phenomenologically-based experiencing architecture into its technological and social analysis. Exactly these subjects devoured my last year, which otherwise can be stated (on one breath) as ProcessingRhinoGrasshopperRevitDynamo + plugins, plugins and plugins.

I is for Information

The most disruptive of them all be BIM, with emphaisis on “I” and the idea of unifing the whole building process and all its hard-working phases of technicians, architects, engineers and contractors into a one gigantic platform. To draw this idea more precisely I will re-write what I have put down on a paper after a one long Sunday spent in Revit Family Editor:

  • “We will come up with a single program that will be used by everyone designing, engineering or managing the building process (…) from the highest skyscrapers to the daily products.
  • We will have a single library of manufacturers’ data on every building component and we will be able to download it, process it and upload it back.
  • We will create system of scripts and algorithms so intelligent that it will always find the best solution in any part of the world.”

… and architects become Information Workers and Design will ultimately lose its arbitrariness for ever-logical system of zeros and ones – NOT? Maybe…


Given development of Dynamo strongly underway, scripting and coding will surely become standard in most of architecture schools. Forgetting about artistic, phenomenological character of design – NOT!

The two must come together, must collaborate, to create the Fallingwater effect, which gives design its flux and its drama, and ultimately determines its real value.

Central and sequential composition in architecture on the examples of Renaissnce and Modernism Villas.

Architectural compositions can be divided into two categories:

  • based on a centre, leading us around
  • based on a sequence, leading us through

They give buildings different circulations schemes and make people experience architecture differently. However, they both present a certain idea, which creates in their visitors a sense of order and aquires their trust.

On this daanico, I am going to juxtapose two famous edifices, which present effective use of central composition. I am going to present as well, the main features they employed, in order to accentuate their architectural compositions.

Where the idea came from?

Both archtiects were strongly influanced by the Parthenon on Acropolis. This perfect example of Classic Architecture has a bunch of features, which will be visible in both examples I am going to draw on.

  • it stands on the top of a hill, which accentuates building’s central position
  • what additionally gives it a magnificent view over the site
  • its volume and plan are easily comprehendable
  • order attained through geometry and proportions

The examples

Both examples have engraved firmly into archtiectural history, so I will present them only briefly:

  • Villa Rotonda, built in 1655 by Andrea Palladio
  • Villa Savoye, built in 1931 by Le Corbusier

The sense of geometry

Andrea Palladio’s and the movement conceived from his name, proclaimed using harmonical proportions and geometry in architecture. He valued buildings that were of rigid order and that could strike its visitors with specific sense of geometry. In villa Rotonda he aquired this quality through mathematics and calculated rooms’ dimensions’ ratio, which further responded to the overall ratio of the villa.

Moreover, the concept came from the Greeks’ studies on musical harmonies and proportions between intervals. This integration of matehmatics and art, Palladio tried to translate onto his architecture.

More about association musical harmonies and architecture, you can find on daanico about Rasmussen’s book “Experiencing Architecture”.

The same rigid order can be seen in villa Savoye. Golden ration was something, what Le Corbusier believed almost blindly. Therefore, basing on its ratio he created “Modulor“, which complemented his edifices with appropriate human-scale.

The sense of three dimensionality

Crucial is the location of the three edifices. A slightly curved hill with big areas of grass allow visitors to look at the buildings from all sides.

Parthenon came up with this solution due to the fact the tample gathered people around itself, not inside. So the place to locate people came logically from utilitarian needs.

However, in Villa Rotonda and Villa Savoye this feature was put to a completely different level. The lawn inviting guests to walk around the building accentuates their three dimensionality. It’s a firm architectural quality, which used to be overlooked by many generations of architects whose buidlings could be seen merely from their facades.

The sequence and the dominant

It makes an impression the buildings must have a centre, or some kind of compositional dominant inside. Villa Rotonda’s bedrooms are all arranged around the centre, circular hall, which is accentuated additionally by the dome above.

Villa Savoye has its ramp, which is a pivotal element of Le Corbusier’s ‘promenade architecturale’. It works like a spine linking the floors of the villa together.

Parallelly, there is also a concept of the sequence in architecture. The idea which gives the visitors a completely different experience and makes them circulate in the building in a different manner. Old Romanesque, Gothic or Baroque churches have mastered this technique throughout the history to its best.

Nowadays, it can be seen as well in shopping malls, inside which people are being to far extent controlled, in order to persuade them to spending money on the things.

The architectural composition hasn’t changed much in the history. Although, technology goes further allowing us to build structures higher, and of bigger span and size, architecture will be always summerizable to its basic principles.

Fallingwater contradictory

There is a significant difference between architecture and art.

There is a boundry between architecture and painting, architecture and sculpture. Nonetheless, there has been a number of generations of architects who tried to transform their buildings into something alike big sculptures.

Results, however have never turned out effective.





The problem of the relation between architecture and art have been previously mentioned on daanico covering Rasmussen’s book “Experiencing Architecture”‘s first chapter. But this time I will refer instead to the architect of my recent research, Le Corbusier.

Architecture works with its very own qualities. Although, on surface it may look like a sculpture, that have generous textural effects, these will  be always mere emulations of art, because architecutre will always be devoted to functions.

Texture and colour are only the ways of highlighting these functions. Changing architecture into sculpture ridicule it rather than refine it.

Three Reminders to Frank Lloyd Wright

In Le Corbusier’s famous book,”Toward an Archtiecture“, the author points out the pivotal qualities of architecture. Volume and plan are crucial, he writes. They give the sense of habitability, human-scale, and makes you certain that the structure is made for real people.

           The precise translation of Le Corbusier's ideas radiates with tranquility and logic.

However, what Frank Lloyd Wright does is turning the whole order upside-down. His well-known Fallingwater is a ‘house’, which consists of a bunch of slabs, giving no sense of volume, plan, order. It is an expressionistic statement, which allegedly follows the chaotic order of nature around, but losing somewhere the order of architecture.

The programme misses the reality

A shocking truth is that compared with villa Savoye, which is a building that realizes all Le Corbusier’s points made in “Toward an Architecture” it turns out to be much more habitable. Athough its expressionistic form it accommodates people much better than Le Corbusier’s villa.

The contradictory

Built in similar time by the both world-famous, modernist architects villa Savoye and Fallingwater present two contradictory standpoints. Calm and rapid, tranquil and expressionistic, just like Renaissance and Baroque, or Academics and Impressionists these two are the ambivalence, which have been concerning humankind since the beginning of time.

The first starchitect, The examination of the efficiency of Le Corbusier’s buildings

The place Le Corbusier holds in architectural history is indisputable. The artistic hero, genius, provocative, revolutionary and not concerned about historical responsibility. However, let’s remember that every legend has its other side and there are some everyday, dull issues, from which every ‘starchitect’ has to be examined.

Let’s take under a magnifying glass the architect’s most famous realization villa Savoye. Have the building which actually employed all Le Corbsusier’s “5 Points of Modern Architecture” provided its inhabitants with healthy living conditions?

The Issues

Let our references be the letters from Mme Savoye to the architect and Sbriglio’s book “Le Corbusier: La Villa Savoye, The Villa Savoye”. Going through these two it becomes clear that the villa faced a number of technical issues. The flat roof was leaking, the daylights atop were causing lots of noise during heavy weather (especially the one over the bathroom), and even the horizontal windows were in fact losing big amounts of heat making the villa feel very cold and damp.

Who is arbitrary after all?

One might ask oneself why such problems came up, especially at the time Le Corbusier already had a number of realizations on his account. Was it because the architect was too concerned with his reputation and putting too little focus on the real dimension of his buildings?

At this point, it also should be said that Le Corbusier was not the only one who started to use industrial elements in architecture at that time. For example, simultaneously to him, in Europe functioned the organization called Bauhaus in Dessau that worked as a coherent school gathering creative and ambitious students from around the world.

After all, two heads are better than one, and the fact of working within an environment that constantly examaines and critiques the work turns up much more efficient than a one person working alone. Nonetheless, the matter of popularity is sneaky. None of Bauhaus students have been remembered as vividly in the archtiectural history and history in general as Le Corbusier, after all.


Misfits’s Architecture blog, <>

Sbriglio, Jacques. Le Corbusier: La Villa Savoye, The Villa Savoye. Paris: Fondation Le Corbusier; Basel: Birkhäuser, 1999