Monthly Archives: October 2016

Assignment 5: Image Manipulations


Image manipulation sequence. Original image manipulated using a technique of mirroring. Image by PALLALINK

Algorithms are sets of rules that produce outputs within the governing logics of the system they deployed – simply put, algorithms are recipes. In this assignment you will create a series of non-deterministic outputs by developing a strategy (algorithm) for the procedural distortion and manipulation of an image. The strategy will be a series of common commands (such as mirror, scale, rotate, crop, etc.) that will be applied to your image in three different software: Photoshop, Illustrator and Rhino.


Step 1. Select an image. The image can be relatively simple. Contrast is helpful as are geometric elements like lines, distinct color/tonal regions, or clear geometries.

Step 2. Develop an image distortion/manipulation strategy. This strategy should rely on simple manipulation techniques such as, mirror, rotate, skew, stretch, scale, move/translate, etc. Your strategy should be a minimum of 5 techniques.

Step 3. Describe the strategy as Pseudo-code. Pseudo-code is a way of outlining a set of procedures in shorthand without the need to understand coding languages. An example pseudo-code might be written as:

Select Image Region > Rotate 30 degrees Around Center Point > Mirror Along X Axis > Scale 15% Along the Y Axis > Mirror Along Z Axis > Rotate 17 degrees Around Lower Left Corner > Crop

Supplement your pseudo-code with diagrams that illustrate each step.

Step 4. In Photoshop, import your selected image and apply your image distortion/manipulation strategy. Refer to Deliverables for a description of the required outputs.

Step 5. In Illustrator, import your selected image and convert the raster image into vectors using the live trace command (note: this command it will be covered in tutorial on Wednesday) Export the vector lines from Illustrator as a DWG file for use in Step 7.

Step 6. In Illustrator, apply your image distortion/manipulation strategy to the vector lines. Refer to Deliverables for a description of the required outputs.

Step 7. In Rhino, import the unmodified vector lines from Step 5. Apply your image distortion/manipulation strategy to these lines. Refer to Deliverables for a description of the required outputs.


  • A graphic describing your pseudo-code;
  • From Photoshop: Sequence of images illustrating the distortion/manipulation produced through the implementation of your strategy.
  • From Illustrator: Sequence of vector drawings illustrating the distortion/manipulation produced through the implementation of your strategy.
  • From Rhino: Sequence of line drawings illustrating the distortion/manipulation produced through the implementation of your strategy.
  • One composite image or drawing that situates your final output(s) within an “appropriate” urban context. This requires a critical evaluation of your outputs to determine how it might operate within an urban environment. Does your output operate as a building, a landscape, infrastructure or something else? The imaged output should not operate as a stand-alone object, such as a piece of furniture, a painting in a gallery, or a wall application, but as a part of a larger system. Critically address how adjacencies between your output and its context might constrain and intersect it.
  • Compose all deliverables onto one 20” X 30” board.


Automate your distortion/manipulation strategy by creating actions in Photoshop and Illustrator and a macro in Rhino (the steps for doing this will be covered in Wednesday’s tutorial). Recursively deploy your image distortion/manipulation strategy. Run the action/macro 3X, 5X and 10X on your input image in all three software (Photoshop, Illustrator and Rhino) and compose these additional outputs on a second 20” X 30” board. Write a short paragraph that critically evaluates the use of automation with respect to your image manipulation strategy. Comment on how you might augment your strategy given the opportunities afforded through automation.


Post all deliverables to your blog by Noon on Sunday October 23, 2016.

 Recommended Reading

Gage, Mark Foster. “Project Mayhem: Architecture in the Age of Dissensus,” Fulcrum: The AA’s Weekly Free Sheet, 18 (2011)

Johnson, Jason Scott; Vermillion, Joshua. “Exercises for Volumes and Aggregate Assemblies,” Digital Design Exercise for Architecture Students. Routledge, New York, NY (2016)


Image Manipulation Sequence: Bahar Khonsari


Assignment #4


Introduction: Understanding a site requires a rigorous approach to documentation, analysis and communication. Many of the forces that will impact your site are not static. Weather conditions, movements of people, sounds, smells and the various micro-climates that exist before you begin designing, should be understood before you begin to develop a design strategy for the site. In this assignment you will produce a series of three dimensional maps/diagrams that communicate time based information about your chosen site. You will do this through first documenting the site by recording time based information about that site, followed by a process for converting that information into digital and ultimately physical models.


  1. Using recording devices and notes document this site at various times of the day for set intervals of time. (For example you might record a video for 10 minutes at 3 or 4 different times of day)
  2. Choose a time based factor for documentation and using Photoshop/Illustrator tag the information in the frames of the recording. (for example if you choose sound you might record sound readings at various positions on the site)
  3. Develop a diagram/map that condenses a large time frame into a single image.
  4. Translate the image into a 3-dimensional diagrammatic model of the site. This model should retain some of the physical characteristics of the site while integrating the immaterial aspects of the site.
  5. Create a physical model of the site that materializes the information you have gathered of the site. The model does not need to be to an exact scale but should maintain the general proportions of the site.


  • Diagrams that describes the process of documenting the site and making the model.
  • The resulting model.

Post all images (of both the diagrams and model) to the blog and bring your models to class for review on Monday October 17th.