Detmold Students Show How to Make the Most of Nodes with Marionette

Posted by Rowena Winkler on 1/4/18 10:06 AM  |  4 min read time

In the 2017 summer semester, students of the Detmold School of Architecture and Interior Architecture developed an exciting project involving sunscreen possibilities for a building façade. The result is five designs created with Marionette, the algorithmic modeling tool natively available in Vectorworks.

Image © Jan Philipp Wotschke

Project Background: New Babylon

The concept behind the project, cleverly called “Shared Towers,” was first created in 2016 as part of a semester-long project developed by the Chair of CAD at Detmold. Teams totaling 240 students designed 16 high-rise buildings using the 
Project Sharing feature in Vectorworks. The premise was based on the principles of the work “New Babylon” by the Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys, and students were exposed to computer-aided design, planning, and presentation. No matter where they were located, the students could share their ideas and 3D models in real time, creating a direct network of all project partners involved in the planning and implementation process.

The Power of Marionette

For this new project, students were tasked with choosing different sun protection variants for shared towers. The overarching goal was to give a new creative effect to the building envelope using Vectorworks and Marionette as the central tools.

The project was part of a course titled “Networked Design,” which was taught by Markus Graf, architect and research associate of Prof. Hans Sachs, along with tutors Pascal Völz and Marius Hagen. The students were each given two floors of towers and were assigned to complement them creatively using parametric models.

Image © Detmold School of Architecture and Interior Architecture 

Notable Results Thanks to Marionette

In addition to the collaboration resulting from Project Sharing, the students used Marionette for algorithmic modeling. "The students got along amazingly well with Marionette. I think you can tell from the great results,” says Graf.

Project 1 (Nico Günnewich):

Nico Günnewich presented a design where the light transmission can be controlled by power through the use of switching glass, which is divided into a small, individually controllable grid. If the glass is energized, it is transparent; if the circuit is interrupted, the glass turns milky.

Image © Nico Günnewich +

Günnewich’s idea particularly impressed Graf. “His script includes about 500 nodes and the design can be implemented 1:1,” Graf explains. “The division of the glass surface into small panels, which are controlled by the grid, is a real novelty."

Image © Complete Marionette script by Nico Günnewich 

Image © Condensed Marionette script by Nico Günnewich

Project 2 (Kea Stockbrügger):

Kea Stockbrügger presented a design with small panels attached to the building façade. The panels can be opened or closed to regulate the sun.

Image © Kea Stockbrügger

This script could be created with minimal effort and is therefore a typical example of a sensible and simple script used,” comments Graf. “Without Marionette, one would have to place each panel at a different angle in extensive detail to simulate the desired random waveform display, which would take a lot of diligence and hard work.”   

Project 3 (Michael Niemann and Maximilian Pytlik):

Niemann and Pytlik created a design in which the influence of light is controlled by special shutters. Depending on the position of the sun, the individually curved, hinged modules rotate to provide optimum protection from the sun.

Image © Michael Niemann & Maximilian Pytlik

  Image © Marionette script by Michael Niemann & Maximilian Pytlik

Project 4 (Jan Philipp Wotschke):

Wotschke’s design included square panels that can open and close, similar to a blossom. The individual squares can be individually controlled and thus adapt to different irradiation angles.

Image © Jan Philipp Wotschke

Project 5 (Philipp Hengstenberg):

In Hengstenberg’s approach, each window has two triangular rolled sails. Using a motor-driven chain, the opening state of the sail can be regulated, allowing an individual pattern on the building façade to be created.

Image © Philipp Hengstenberg

"This is a good, viable solution,” says Graf. “The sail works as a furling sail in yachting.”

Interested in the 2016 “Shared Towers” projects?

Read More Here

Topics: Tech Tips and Workflows

Stay in the Know

What You'll Receive

We’re passionate about telling stories that inspire great design, so our blog subscribers regularly receive:

  • Tech tips to address your specific pain points and design goals
  • User success stories to drive your inspiration on the latest industry trends
  • Important company announcements

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts