This book is comprised of two parts, both of which explore
modular systems: Pipe-Z (PZ) and Truss-Z (TZ), respectively. It presents several
methods of creating PZ and TZ structures subjected to discrete optimization.
The algorithms presented employ graph-theoretic and heuristic methods. The
underlying idea of both systems is to create free-form structures using the
minimal number of types of modular elements. PZ is more conceptual, as it forms
single-branch mathematical knots with a single type of module. Conversely, TZ
is a skeletal system for creating free-form pedestrian ramps and ramp networks
among any number of terminals in space. In physical space, TZ uses two types of
modules that are mirror reflections of each other. The optimization criteria
discussed include: the minimal number of units, maximal adherence to the given
guide paths, etc.