Praxis, a journal for architectural writing and building featured the story of the de Young Museum in a their ninth issue. The in depth article by Alayna Fraser describes the design process in great detail. The 17-page story begins with the architect's 1999 commission to de Young Museum in Golden Gate park, and how various processes of translation provided the concept for the project.
"They began with a photograph of a tree canopy, digitally manipulated it to abstract the image into a pattern, and then mapped the pattern onto the copper panels as perforations and dimples. The articulation of the surface became a way to incorporate the natural by reproducing the effect of the tree canopy's light and shadow.
...The images presented here, in roughly chronological order, tell the story of the processes behind the design, fabrication, and installation of the de Young Museum's copper skin. What unfolds is a process of translation through which an initial concept, first captured in a two-dimensional image, becomes a 3-dimensional building surface."
Read the full story, Translation: de Young Museum and the Walker Art Center by Herzog & de Meuron, by Alayna Fraser in Praxis.