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Digital Matter Studio – Research Trip to Copenhagen

The students and Tutors of the Digital Matters Research Studio have gone to Copenhagen to partake in a Workshop organised in collaboration CITA from the 3rd to the 7th of March.

The professors and tutors leading the 4 groups of students, both from CITA and IaaC, are: Prof. Christoph Gengnagel (UDK), Julien Nembrini (UDK), Mette Ramsgard Thomsen (CITA), Paul Nicholas (CITA), Martin Tamke (CITA), Anders Deleuran (CITA) , Areti Markopoulou (IaaC), Alexandre Dubor (IaaC) and Moritz Begle (IaaC).

The workshop is developed to investigate a further an understanding of material systems as being based on discreet energetic systems that negotiate flows of energy. The forces and emerging behaviour of the system are understood and simulated as well as used in a designerly way.

The investigation is centred on how materials and their properties can be modeled, chosen and programmed to influence a material system in a target oriented way.

The overarching concepts and computational techniques are exemplified and investigated in a structural system that negotiates the forces from programmed bending active elements and a tensile surface with variable geometry.

The IaaC students and tutors arrived in Copenhagen on Saturday, and started off their stay with a bicycle tour visiting the VM Houses, 8 taller, VM Mountain, Hotel by 3XN, as well as Christiania.

They then went to CITA where an introduction to the workshop, including the design task and diverse materials to be investigated. The students were then divided into their working groups, and started developing their specific tasks towards the creation of their first models.

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This week the Research Studio 3 DIGITAL MATTER – INTELLIGENT CONSTRUCTIONS partook in the Adaptive Self-Parametrisation workshop, in parallel with CITA. The workshop was held by David Stasiuk –  digitalization of the physical models for the self parametrization -, Henrik Leander Evers – 3D scanning expert -, as well as the RS3 studio directors: Areti Markopoulou with Mette Ramsgaard Thompsen – CITA -  and tutor Alexandre Dubor.

The parametric model is limited by the need for defining all parameters at the start of the design process. This is contrary to the nature of design as a process of discovery. As any designer knows, the design space is dynamic changing as new information is discovered, understood and synthesised.

This workshop investigated the creating of self parametrisising models. Models that learn their parameters during the design process. By merging crafts based material knowledge with computational strategies for generative design, the workshop asked the students to think about how evolutionary systems can be implemented as conceptual as well as practical design tools. Taking point of departure in the building of a vault we want to create a design system that explores the breadth of a design space so as to understand how a network of single arches performs together and how they can be constructed.

The workshop was undertaken in sequence a parallel workshops between IAAC and CITA.  Read More »

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Today, we are facing a change in paradigm in the field of Architecture. Information Era Technologies and their impacts on architecture are drastically changing, and their relationship calls for new or adapted concepts, where physical space seamlessly intertwines with digital content, and where the language of electronic connections tie in with that of physical connections.

We are consequently moving towards a different form of “habitats”, where architecture is not merely inhabited, but becomes technologically integrated, interactive and evolutional. If computers were once the size of buildings, buildings are now becoming computers, both performative, on I/O Communication protocols, and programmable, at material-molecule nanoscale, or even operational thanks to self-learning genetic algorithms.

The methodology of Intelligent Constructions is based on two main paths.

On one hand, Intelligent constructions tackles questions regarding Material Intelligence. Smart materials such as shape-memory materials, piezoelectric, thermoelectric or bio-materials able to adjust their properties to different environmental conditions, allow to programme buildings at a nanoscale, and open up a series of applications on an architectural scale and industrial applications. Furthermore, new composite materials that present preset combinations of mechanical properties or multi-functional properties of non-homogeneous materials in shape and composition across a wide range of scales bring forth the exploration of a shift in design culture, taking us to a new level of material awareness. Material Intelligence in combination with Artificial and Computational Intelligence, simulations, sensors, actuators, as well as with bio-mimetic innovations provide revolutionary ideas on growth, adaptability, repair, sensitivity, replication and energy savings in architecture.

Should we continue constructing rigid and fixed structures?

Or can buildings begin to think?


This brings us to the second path investigated through Intelligent Constructions, that of Digital Fabrication. In design, architecture and many other disciplines, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) fabrication equipment has given designers unprecedented means for executing formally challenging projects directly from the computer. Digital fabrication gives us the potential and the ability to design and fabricate building components with varied properties of density, translucency, elasticity and much more. Though, until now, Digital Fabrication tools are used by the designers to materialize their design by accessing materials as a library of consistent and physically homogeneous properties.

The Intelligent Constructions research line wishes to explore how Digital Fabrication goes beyond assigning material properties into rigid construction components. The group works with digital content, information and fabrication for the generation of new techniques generating the production of non-rigid, responsive and multi-functional material and construction systems. Hence generating an architecture that is not just mimicking the living but is roaring into life.

The method of investigation follows a rigorously experimental approach and progresses in complexity from small scale material sampling to the production of 1:1 scale architectural components and prototypes.

moritz begle otf

Partner Institution:

CITA- Center for Information,

Technology and Architecture

in Copenhagen

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