WIT Press

Fluid (in)form And The Encoding Of Space


Free (open access)








1,186 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Maze, M. McGlothlin & K. Tanzer


The architect is faced with a multifaceted design problem when designing the roof, particularly where rain is concerned. The roof must be load bearing, supporting not only its own weight, but also that of any collecting water or snow. In an area with a severe rainy season such as Florida, this problem is magnified exponentially. This project addresses the nature of water as it interacts with a roof form by testing various roof designs and pitches, and helps educate the design students to the essential needs in the design of a roof system. Through the benefit of experience, an architect or educator can use intuition and experience to be able to point to a roof portion and say that water will collect here inappropriately. However, it is something completely different for the architect or student to be able to test their theory and see water actually collect on their architectural model and infiltrate their design through the use of computer animation. This paper outlines the experiment with rain simulation, presents the outcomes, and critiques the interdisciplinary relationship between disparate bodies of researchers and students involved. Keywords: digital modelling, computer simulation, design education, particle systems. 1 Premise \“My earliest childhood memories are related to a ranch my family owned near the village of Mazamitla. It was a pueblo with hills, formed by houses with tile roofs and immense eaves to shield passers-by from the heavy rains which fall in that area. Even the earth’s colour was interesting because it was red earth. In this village, the water distribution system consisted of great gutted logs, in the form of troughs, which ran on a support structure of tree forks, five meters high, above the roofs. The aqueduct crossed over the town, reaching the patios, where there were great stone fountains to receive the water. The patios outside the


digital modelling, computer simulation, design education, particle systems.