This study was divided into two parts: digital design and digital fabrication. First, various three-dimensional units were drawn using computer programs and placed into different plane and three-dimensional lattices to explore “archi-textile” through the complicated surfaces produced through rotation, mirror, replication and transformation. Moreover, an experiment was conducted in which various materials were used to produce surfaces with different patterns.
In terms of digital design manipulation, new digital design software and tools enable us to design in a more efficient way. Accordingly, Rhinoceros and Grasshopper were used for design manipulations, and a set of design methods developed by digital design tools were sorted out through different experiments. In this study, design manipulations were divided into four stages: stacking, weaving, organization and organics, which is an approach to classifying manipulations from the top down, thereby to design a series of M-Walls. The design manipulations of M-Walls consisted of six series of manipulations and simulations which were categorized according to spatial complexity and difficulty in drawing.
As to digital fabrication, units’ manufacture methods were taken into account in wall surface’s digital design. Also, an attempt was made to break through past digital fabrication, hoping that more possibilities in manufacturing ways could be created. Efforts were made to meet the two requirements of mass production and the generation of surface-patterns through the making of utensils and the experiments of materials. Concerning the making of units, different experiments were conducted on the material properties to produce special pattern and space in a natural way.
Through a top-to-down parametric manipulation based on different drawing methods and fabrications, a more clear discussion on unit details’ composition and structure was made possible to further highlight the possibilities in the changes of units’ textures and properties. Different from the past spatial imagination which focused on the manipulation of either overall appearance or subjective space, this study began with the drawing and composition of the most fundamental units to explore how those basic units can be arranged to form structures, further to produce more interesting patterns. Furthermore, how the change of units’ parameters can be integrated with material properties were also explored. Lastly, it is hoped that the results of this study can help bring more breakthroughs and possibilities to the digital design relating to the creation of spatial ambiences.