Engineering Design Tropisms
This workshop is a collaboration between the Angewandte Architecture Challenge and the AA Visiting Schools, a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the latest ideas that are taught at the two world-renowned institutions.
With growing interest in algorithmic design, and increasing sophistication of generative design strategies applied in the field of architecture, the question of authorship is becoming an inseparable part of the discussion. While writing custom software tools for CAD software is becoming more and more common within the industry, it is however mostly used as a problem-solving device at certain phases of the project. Our interests lie in the use of algorithms as an integral part of the design process.
The summer school workshop will conduct a research into rule-based design systems, which examine modes of interaction between the designer (human) and the logical constraints of algorithms (machines) in the process of design, creating virtual design ecologies, which challenge the conventional notion of authorship. A set of programmed behaviors and rules form Computational Design Engines, which are used to design and digitally grow series of architectural systems. With this in mind, we are creating a loop system between the input parameters (design decisions and environmental conditions), computational systems and ‘built’ space – a recursive process which results in architectural/computational tropism.
The city of Vienna with its rich historic heritage and dynamic contemporary architectural design landscape will be used as an extended urban laboratory to research and experiment with digital design applications
The goal is to engineer specific design scenarios using digital technologies, digital design pedagogy and full-scale digital fabrication strategies. The formation process is not following predetermined design patterns, but is building up an intelligence of its own and is capable of evaluating situations and making decisions that deal with its surroundings and its current evolutionary state. Special interest will be devoted towards developing and researching a true digital design process and pedagogy, resulting from the negotiation between the designer and algorithms, and subsequently leading to unexpected geometrical and spatial outcomes.
The workshop is planned as an intensive 9 day studio-based course. During the workshop, we will be using multiple platforms for computational/algorithmic design – with focus on scripting in Processing/JAVA and Python, introduction to 3D modeling techniques in Maya and Rhino/Grasshopper/Karamba as well as robotic construction. The goal is to introduce students to techniques and methodologies of algorithmic design and procedural modeling, through the use and customization of pre-made scripts and enable them for further individual work.
During the first stage of the workshop, students will be introduced to the mentioned tools through series of intensive ‘tooling-up’ sessions, as the basis for the investigation of generative design concepts and methodologies. In parallel to this, students will be developing initial concepts of project specific design engines and computational ecologies, their input parameters (environmental inputs, user input etc.) and possible design outcomes. These concepts will be further developed in the second stage of the workshop, responding to studio brief, producing the results in form of videos of simulations, series of renders and robotic construction for a full scale artifact.
Prominent features of the workshop
– The course will be taught by tutors from the leading design research programs from the AA, and the University of Applied Arts Vienna ‘Die Angewandte’, and other professionals from the field of architecture and computational design.
– During the workshop, series of evening lectures will be held by tutors and invited lecturers alongside studio-based design tutorials, reviews & seminars.
– Students will gain knowledge and understanding of algorithmic design strategies, and their application in the field of design.
– In addition to hands-on tutorials in computational tools, the school will also focus on the discussion on history of computation in architecture, computational design theories and general application of digital tools in the industry of architecture.
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