The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL B-Pro Show 2019
Exploring the B-Pro Show 2018
4 Introduction FrĂŠdĂŠric Migayrou, Andrew Porter, Bob Sheil 8 10 12
Design Computation Lab Material Architecture Lab Urban Morphogenesis Lab
16 Architectural Design MArch 18 RC1 Additive Architecture 28 RC2 Architectural Product(ion) 34 RC3 Living Architecture 44 RC4 Automated Housing 58 RC5&6 Synthetic 76 RC7 Bio-Digital Fabrication 84 RC8 Towards a Non-Discrete Architecture 90 RC9 Augmented Craftsmanship
102 Urban Design MArch 104 RC12 Videogame Urbanism 114 RC14 Machine Learning Urbanism: Cities Beyond Cognition 126 RC15 Cross-Scale Design 132 RC16 The Inhuman City 142 RC17 Large City Architecture Research: When Numbers Dwell 154 RC18 Fab/Media Urbanism 168 Architectural Computation MSc/MRes 182 Bio-Integrated Design MArch/MSc 187 Our Programmes 188 Short Courses 189 Open Crits 190 Public Lectures 192 Events & Exhibitions 193 Alumni 194 Staff, Visitors & Consultants
Introduction Professor Frédéric Migayrou Chair, Bartlett Professor of Architecture Director of B-Pro
Deputy Director of B-Pro B-Pro, or Bartlett Prospective, is a suite of graduate programmes devoted to advanced experimentation in computational architecture, design and urban environments. Architectural Design MArch explores the most advanced experimental research in design and fabrication. Urban Design MArch takes critical approaches towards creative urban and landscape design, defining creative strategies for global cities and communities. Our Architectural Computation MSc and MRes programmes engage with and advance the main technologies by which tomorrow’s architecture will be designed and constructed. From this year, they are joined by our innovative Bio-Integrated Design Master’s degrees which respond to the impact of biotechnology, computation and climate change on the built environment. The B-Pro programmes welcome a diverse international student cohort, offering highly structured access to the realisation of research, and to the production of new schemes in architecture and urbanism. Throughout the year, we host seminars, workshops and lectures, such as the Prospectives lecture series, to share ideas and promote collaboration and discussion. Architectural Design, directed by Gilles Retsin, is organised around research clusters driven by their respective tutors, including two labs – Design Computation Lab and Material Architecture Lab – to explore specific speculative domains of application. The latest technologies – robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), computer numerical controlled (CNC) fabrication, 3D printing, supercomputing, simulation, generative design, interactivity, advanced algorithms, extensive material prototyping, biotechnologies, links to material science – and their many applications, are researched in great depth. The exploration of supercomputing and generative platforms also forms a core part of our innovative approach to conception and fabrication, 4
enabled by exceptional digital production facilities. With extensive use of AI and of simulation in virtual reality, the degree offers access to new fields for experimental research and generative design. Urban Design, directed by Roberto Bottazzi, looks at creative approaches towards environments and cities at all scales, in particular innovative computational design, biotechnologies, AI and digital approaches to networks and territories. The research clusters and the programme’s lab, Urban Morphogenesis Lab, develop alternative proposals based on new morphological concepts and protocols, which reflect how cities are complex, dynamic living systems. Critical environmental and ecological questions are viewed through an interdisciplinary lens, acknowledging the dispersed and often paradoxical nature of contemporary urbanism. Through contextual case studies and interventions, students address the challenges involved in resolving complex issues facing populations, public space, building typologies and land use. Led by Professor Marcos Cruz of The Bartlett and Dr Brenda Parker of UCL Biochemical Engineering, our new BioIntegrated Design Master’s programmes access the latest in biotechnology and advanced fabrication. Students work collaboratively in the lab, studio and workshop to develop novel products and environments, in the context of critical issues of climate change and sustainability. The solutions these teams are producing hold the potential to be shaped into world-changing environmental and social innovations. Work has already been widely exhibited, featuring in recent exhibitions including La Fabrique du Vivant, Centre Pompidou (2019); Future Build, London (2019); Nature, Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial (2019); New Forms of Practice, Arup (2019), and London Design Festival (2018). Projects carried out by students on our Architectural Computation programmes, directed by Manuel Jiménez Garcia, challenge the boundaries of what architectural computation can achieve. Projects explore computational methods for automated construction, augmented reality (AR)
applications for the built environment, and use AI for space navigation and pattern generation. The work of this group demonstrates the possibility of becoming truly fluent in computational language, opening up new domains for research. We were honoured to be recognised for our work in computation in 2017, when B-Pro received the ACADIA Innovative Academic Programme Award of Excellence. The award, presented by international colleagues, celebrates our consistent contributions to the field of architectural computing. The Bartlett International Lecture Series – with numerous speakers, architects, historians and theoreticians, sponsored by Fletcher Priest Architects – continues to present new opportunities for students to encounter fresh takes on emerging research. Our B-Pro programmes have been further enhanced through collaboration with a new Architecture & Digital Theory MRes, co-directed by Professor Frédéric Migayrou and Professor Mario Carpo, dedicated to the theory, history and criticism of digital design and fabrication. We also look forward to supporting PhD research in this exciting arena. Students are now benefitting from the opportunities for computational research and fabrication offered by our vast new studio and workshop space at Here East in London’s Olympic Park. B-Pro, entirely devoted to creative design, is becoming even more of a nexus of stimulating exchanges between history and theory, design and technology. Through a shared vision of creative architecture, B-Pro is an opportunity for students to participate in a new community and to affirm the singularity of their individual talents. These programmes are not only an open door to advanced architectural practice but also form a base from which each student can define their particular approach and architectural philosophy, in order to seek a position in the professional world. This year’s B-Pro Show and accompanying book are testament to the depth, quality and intensity of The Bartlett’s creative vision and those who guide it. As ever, they also showcase the commitment, passion and ingenuity of our dedicated students.
Professor Bob Sheil Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture Our B-Pro programmes are immensely important to the school, and this importance is growing. They are important because they are melting pots, where embryonic experimentation meets rigorous research and theoretical contextualisation. They are important because they have introduced a new stream of staff into the school who are contributing to our overall research and teaching culture. They are also important, of course, as they attract talented applicants from all over the world who seek out the culture to experiment that our school is renowned for and thrives on. It is a privilege to be a witness to their progression and as time goes by, the immense success of graduates who are establishing inspiring new forms of practice in every corner of the globe. In his last year as Dean we also wish to offer our sincere thanks to Alan Penn for leading the search to appoint Frédéric Migayrou as Chair of School in 2011, and for supporting his radical vision for B-Pro, and subsequent transformations of the school.
Urban Design MArch at the B-Pro Show 2018
Design Computation Lab Lab Directors: Mollie Claypool, Manuel Jiménez Garcia, Gilles Retsin, Vicente Soler Affiliated with Architectural Design MArch Research Cluster 4
Design Computation Lab develops design methods for the utilisation of computational technologies in architectural design, fabrication and assembly. Despite the use of computers to calculate enormous amounts of complexity, the way we build is still analogue, and our increasing computational power is used in a representational way. The term ‘digital fabrication’ is misleading as well: 3D printing is an analogue process, similar to the way the CNC mill automates an artisanal action. Increased computational power is, therefore, used for pure representation or shape generation, rather than generating an alternative to the way we have traditionally approached physical production. We believe architecture should be wholly digital – from the scale of the micron and particle to the brick, beam and building – both as a design process and as a physical artefact. Thinking about architecture in a digital way means that we have to consider every element, part or particle as a bit of data that can be computed. Parts take on the properties of a ‘bit’, becoming serialised, standardised and embedded with a simple rule: 0 or 1 (or, connected or not connected). The emphasis on the part as a unit reintroduces the age-old disciplinary notion of part-to-whole relationships, embodying a fundamental shift in architecture and design thinking that is unique to our research and projects, and aims to close gaps between the way we design, fabricate and assemble objects, buildings and even infrastructure. This enables us, as architects and designers, to think evocatively and creatively about the way in which we engage with other disciplines, industries and professions, including robotics, construction, computer science, manufacturing, policymaking and the material sciences. Design Computation Lab is affiliated with Architectural Design MArch Research Cluster 4. We have cross-faculty partnerships with the UCL Institute for Digital Innovation in the Built Environment and The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management’s Strategic Project Management MSc.
‘Mickey Matter Chair’, 2016, by Pooja Gosavi, Hyein Lee, Panagiota Spyropoulou, Pratiksha Renake 8
Material Architecture Lab Lab Directors: Guan Lee, Daniel Widrig Affiliated with Architectural Design MArch Research Clusters 5 & 6
Our research starts by asking questions about materials through design, both digitally and manually. With the prevalence of digital tools, the capabilities of industrial production have migrated from factory floors to smaller-scale workshops, laboratories and research facilities. Coupled with advances in material science at a microscopic scale, and availability of specialist tools to customise materials, the prospect of a new kind of architecture is now imminent. Despite advances in technology, the cost of digital fabrication is high, whilst change in the construction industry is slow. Digitally driven fabrication is deterministic by nature: everything made has to be modelled digitally, without the element of chance. In Material Architecture Lab, we encourage making without preconceptions, allowing the characteristics of the material and fabrication techniques to inform and enrich the outcome. In order to be experimental with processes of making, we look closely at existing crafts and manufacturing techniques with the aim of adding to existing knowledge when possible, learning from it at the very least. Exploring the potential of material design requires setting aside established ideas of not only how something should be constructed but also how materials should appear or behave. New materials in architecture emerge rarely, but their impact is considerable. The fabric of our cities and landscapes is a testament to what prevails and endures. Traditional materials can be refashioned by altering the way they are processed or utilised. Material behaviour changes with quantity; performance differs depending on a structure’s size and on the environment in which it is constructed; and visual impact varies with distance. Our method of enquiry is hands-on, set firmly in the realms of empirical testing of matter and fabrication on an architectural scale. The development of material science goes hand-in-hand with technological shifts. As a research laboratory, our interest in material is mediated through not only experimentation with the latest in digital design and fabrication but also applicability, tested in the construction industry through live projects. Our methodology prioritises a hybrid of fabrication techniques, favouring customised systems; the design of processes as well as products; and use of digitally controlled machining and semi-automated processes. Our experiments are grounded in cyclical processes of making prototypes, with rigorous and iterative refinements. The lab’s work is as much about traditional making as it is about computation and digital technology. ‘Coire Chair’, 2017, coconut fibre, bio-plastic, by Weiting Lu, Jin Meng, Andi Shalahuddin, Yeonhak Sung, Baiqiao Zhao 10
Urban Morphogenesis Lab Lab Director: Claudia Pasquero Affiliated with Urban Design MArch Research Cluster 16
Urban Morphogenesis Lab’s projects have been developed through both teaching-based research – focused on the application of bio-artificial intelligence in the design realm – and practice-based research – focused on the application of photosynthetic architecture in the built environment. Both consider design as plural, collective and mutable. Our technological evolution – in the form of synthetic biology, as well as AI – is creating scenarios where traditional dichotomies, such as natural/artificial, material/digital and human/non-human are superseded. If we look at satellite views of cities, we realise that it is difficult to differentiate the natural from the artificial. From this perspective, global cities – despite being large artificial systems, often depicted as the antithesis of nature – are complex synthetic organisms that often develop patterns that recall radical natural formations. This view is in contrast with the model of the city that we inherited from modernity, where zones are clearly defined and morphologically demarcated. In this context, areas of production, or treatment of waste, have traditionally been located out of the city centre, preventing possible contamination of the living quarter but also removing the byproducts of urbanisation from our sight and, at a fundamental level, our consciousness. Today, we have a sanitised vision of the world, where bacteria and microorganisms are commonly considered dangerous; we talk about ‘re-greening’ cities and ‘re-naturalising’ forests, as if such processes could lead to the reestablishment of an equilibrium, but most natural and artificial systems are nonlinear and composed of billions of interlocking feedback loops. Destruction, death, decay, digestion and dissolution are some of the most critical and fundamental processes of nature. These processes often take part in the dark and generate strange odours. They trigger in us atavistic fears of contagion and constitute the dark side of ecology that we erase from our consciousness, which is crucial to the functioning of ecosystems. Micro-organisms have exceptional properties, discovered in labs, that make them capable of turning what we consider pollution or waste into nutrients and raw materials; they are the missing link in redefining ‘urban metabolism’. In this vision, fungi, bacteria, spiders, machines and all other forms of intelligence become bio-citizens alongside human beings, and contribute to a sophisticated form of collective intelligence supporting the growth of a morphogenetic city. This idea is key to the work of the lab, which in the past year has exhibited projects internationally, as well as lecturing and publishing research. ‘CityCurtain PhotoSynthEtica’, a project by ecoLogicStudio with the Urban Morphogenesis Lab at The Bartlett, UCL and the Synthetic Landscape Lab at Innsbruck University, produced for Helsinki Fashion Week 2019. Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo 12
Participating in work by Urban Design MArch Research Cluster 12 at the B-Pro Show 2018
Architectural Design MArch
Architectural Design MArch Programme Director: Gilles Retsin
Architectural Design at The Bartlett is invested in the frontiers of advanced architecture and design and its convergence with science and technology. Composed of an international staff of experts and students, this programme is designed to deliver diverse yet focused strands of speculative research, emphasising the key role computation plays within complex design synthesis. Design is increasingly recognised as a crucial agency for uncovering complex patterns and relations: this has never been more important. Historically, the most successful architecture has managed to capture cultural conditions, utilise technological advancements, and answer to the pressures and constraints of materials, economics, ecology and politics. This synthesis is now being accelerated by the introduction of computation and the ever-evolving landscape of production. Architectural Design students are introduced to advanced coding, fabrication and robotic skills, aimed at computational and technological fluency. Simultaneously, they are taught about the theoretical frameworks which underpin their enquiries. Students are part of a vibrant urban and professional community, enriching the process of learning and opportunities for networking. Placing advanced design at its core, the Architectural Design programme devotes a high proportion of its time to studio-based design enquiry, culminating in a major project and thesis. The programme is organised into research clusters, each with their own agendas, underpinned by the shared resources of technical tutorials, theoretical lectures and seminars. The latest approaches to robotics and AI, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, supercomputing, simulation, generative design, interactivity, extensive material prototyping and links to material science are explored. Students engage critically with new developments in technology, which are rapidly changing the landscape of architecture, its social and economic role, and its effectiveness in industry applications. Students are introduced to theoretical concepts through lectures and introductory design projects, supported by computational and robotics skillbuilding workshops. Throughout the year, students work in small teams or individually, according to the methodology of each research cluster, amplifying their focus and individual talents in the context of complex design research and project development. Projects are continuously evaluated via tutorials, with regular design reviews by external critics. Alongside our cutting-edge research, we host public lectures and seminars throughout the year. â€˜NoMAS: Aggregations Analysis Catalogueâ€™, 2019 by Athina Athiana, Ming Liu, Evangelia Despoina Triantafylla, RC3 16
Federico Borello, Igor Pantic, Martina Rosati
Additive manufacturing is going mainstream, expanding in scale and application across industries. 3D printing allows for the production of highly detailed, mass-customised outputs with improved material performance – including a reduction in the weight and volume of structures coupled with an increase in strength – that yield new aesthetic possibilities. Whilst increasingly relevant to the architecture industry, this technology does, however, face indisputable material constraints and large-scale limitations which hamper its growth. Whilst printing with architectural materials is rapidly developing, it is either limited in its geometric output due to limitations of layered deposition and material properties, such as concrete and clay, or is extremely time-consuming and expensive, such as metal printing. Although rich in detail and geometric output, filament or polylactic acid (PLA) printing is, on its own, limited in wider architectural application due to its materiality. This year, building on previous research into robotic 3D printing conducted within the cluster, students aimed to challenge the current state of the industry by exploring design, computation and digital manufacturing with a focus on robotic 3D printing and its application at an architectural scale. By coupling additive manufacturing with a second material system, boundless opportunities opened up in terms of geometry, materiality and size. Printed matter was studied not only as final product but also as a mould or substrate for a secondary material system. Divided into four teams, students explored two distinct research trajectories. ‘Sub-C’ and ‘iLLoy’ explored the use of spatial PLA printing as a substrate for a secondary material system, the former exploring the material limitations of clay for spatial geometries of varying porosities, whilst the latter explored casting techniques using slurry cast moulds produced using the printed material. ‘Mased&Diffused’, meanwhile, explored hybrid solutions for soft casting, where stitching of the fabric is replaced with printed matter as constraint; and ‘AdaptaBlues’ developed a method for printing on adjustable fabric moulds. In parallel to this, the students developed highly adaptable design systems, which are linked to fabrication processes and environmental datasets. This year, we developed fabrication, material and computational systems that were tested in a series of design challenges across multiple scales, from product design to prototypal architectural applications. Traditionally, the cluster promotes principles of computational virtuosity, whereby students become fluent with computational tools and adaptive to multiple software and programming environments. An analogue approach is applied to building expertise in robotic technology and material computation, with the aim of producing full-scale prototypes.
Student Teams AdaptaBlues Jiaqi Shi, Xufeng Tao, Yiwen Wu iLLoy Manuela Dangond Castilla, Georgios Drakontaeidis, Yuan Huang, Nidhi Rathi Mazed&Diffused Deyan Quan, Ying Sun, Chen Xiang, Mengke Zhang Sub-C Xinglu He, Aleksandra Jelisejeva, Jiakang Li, Wenxuan Lin Theory Tutors Lisa Cumming, Clara Jaschke Skills Tutors Alvaro Lopez, Stamatios Psarras Partners Nagami Design, London Sculpture Workshop, The Crucible Foundry, Bluematchbox Consultants Marielena Papandreou, Vicente Soler
1.1 SubC This reseach project questions the current state of clay printing methods, layer by layer, using plastic lattices as substrate for clay deposition. A wide range of complex geometries can be explored, overcoming individual material limitations. During the firing of clay pieces, the filament melts out, leaving continuous internal channels that allow for potential casting of metal as reinforcement. 1.2 AdaptaBlues This project investigates tensile structures as flexible formwork for robotic 3D-printing applications. Traditional formwork strategies are replaced with highly adaptable and lightweight fabric surfaces, which can be quickly assembled and deployed. Logics of assembly and surface decomposition are explored to achieve larger architectural prototypes. 1.3â€“1.7 SubC 1.3 Robotic 3D printing. Fabrication of lattice structure via six-axis robotic arm with custom end effector. 1.4 Prototype close-up. The 3D-printed lattice is covered with a mix of earthenware clay and paper mesh. The material is applied in layers, then sanded and fired. The finishing is achieved through a few layers of glaze. 1.5 Digital workflow. Stress-line computation of input geometry, density variation based on structural analysis results, lattice and supports generation to ensure printability and overall structural stability. 1.6 Prototype of a pavilion at 1:1 scale. 1.7 Digital studies on patterns, bundles, densities, lines and thickness that allow for gradual transition from solid surfaces to lattice/porous structures. 1.8â€“1.10 iLLoy This project investigates contemporary cutting-edge methods of production like robotic 3D printing in combination with the traditional crafting method of metal casting, with the intention of questioning the current state of metal 3D printing technology and its applications. Ceramic slurry moulds are created around 3D-printed components, and used to cast metal after plastic has melted. Metal elements are revealed after the ceramic moulds are removed. 1.8 Final metal elements after the full process of 3D printing, casting and firing. 1.9 Custom application used to explore quickly designed options by configuring assembly and element types. The final assembly is prepared for export to the robotic arm for 3D printing. 1.10 Detail of a prototype. Metal components are combined with off-the-shelf timber pieces to save material and efficiently create architectural elements such as stairs, columns and walls. 1.11â€“1.14 Mazed&Diffused This project investigates contemporary soft cast with a different take on using fabric formwork by replacing seams with a 3D-printed mould. The patterns are the result of a series of digital studies based on reaction diffusion informed by structural and material utilisation logics. This approach facilitates the creation of concrete surfaces and panels rich in texture and density, where material is distributed unevenly due to the constraints of 3D printing. 1.11 Physical prototype of a wall section with 3D-printed mould on hotwire cut formwork. 1.12 Design proposal of prototypical architectural element higlighting a potential application at human scale. 1.13 Computational workflow. A custom reaction diffusion algorithm is run on a base geometry influenced by maps, which drives growth ratios, speed and directionality. The resulting pattern is contoured to extract the toolpath information to send to the robot for manufacturing. 1.14 Detail of digital model of surface.
Architectural Product(ion) RC2 Stefan Bassing
Research Cluster 2 focuses on the utilisation of industrial manufacturing techniques for the development of architectural products. The creation of architecture can be defined as a series of micro projects dealing with the aspects of a building, made possible by a large team of experts, with a huge collaborative effort. Each new building is a prototype dealing with a unique context, spatial programme and construction principles. This prototype is only proven following its completion, once it is occupied by the user. The manageable scale of industrial design enables the designer to fully comprehend the holistic object and to define and control all aspects of the product. Through rounds of intense prototyping at 1:1 scale, mistakes are obvious and results can be quickly evaluated as success or failure. With digital tools at hand and access to new forms of automated manufacturing, the role of the architect extends into that of the designer, engineer and entrepreneur. The individual is empowered to build their own production line to create new breeds of products suitable for architectural application. Over the course of the year, students have developed a sensibility for how design and geometric development are driven by materiality, manufacturing constraints and fabrication sequences; hacking into existing industrial manufacturing techniques and developing their own. They learned how process becomes an important driver in delivering data from the design file to the machine, establishing a direct relationship between digital input and physical output. New objects evolved in the form of architectural prototypes, designed at human scale, considering haptic qualities, lightness and strength, performance, assembly and reconfigurability. ‘Pentocasting’ developed a manufacturing technology working with textile moulds, steam and expanding polystyrene beads. The resulting parts have many surface qualities, are fast to produce and are highly customisable. Translating their digital model into a 2D cutting pattern, the students operated autonomously: requiring only their computer, software, sewing machine and custom steamer for production and they were open for business. ‘Crease’ looked into industrial skinning methods using vacuumforming over custom moulds, produced using robotic hotwire and blade-cutting. The previously soft and brittle foam is sealed during the forming process, creating the strong composite of a foam core and polymer skin. Geometry and part-to-whole relationships all derive from these two processes, creating structural strands and aperture, which transition into lightweight skins that incorporate soundabsorbing structural patterns.
Student Teams Crease Fatima Almathal, Aliis Mehide, Shixin Lou, Ziyue Yang Pentocasting Guan Bohua, Chen Jiang, Pablo Maldonado, Tianlin Wang Theory Tutor Clara Jaschke Skills Tutors Adam Holloway, Alvaro Lopez, Marielena Papandreou Critics Paul Bart, Niamh Grace, James Green
2.1–2.5 Pentocasting A manufacturing technology working with textile moulds, steam and expanding polystyrene beads. The resulting parts carry great surface qualities, are fast to produce and are highly customisable. 2.1 Fabrication set-up: The fabric mould filled with polystyrene beads is suspended inside a custom frame. Using additional metal strips, the frame sets up a hole matrix from where threaded bars with washers on their ends are connected to the fabric mould. This allows for the precise allocation of anchor and connection points. The dimensions of the steaming box depict the size of the building components. The students gradually increased the dimensions of their steaming machine. They were limited only by logistics and moving their machine around during the fabrication process. The largest machine built reached half the size of the school’s elevator at 1.8 x 1 x 1 metres. These dimensions can potentially increase further within an industrial manufacturing setting. 2.2 Physical prototype. The material constraints of working with non-flexible textiles drove the design development. The fabric moulds of each component are stitched together from a series of flat sheets, creating networks of tubular sections to form surfaces. The perforations on the surfaces are a result of clamping the textile moulds. This purposefully reduces material, making the parts lighter, and allows light to fall through the structure. 2.3 Digital workflow. The students developed custom tools to unroll their digital models into 2D cutting patterns. The workflow follows a sequence of selecting the input mesh to create a graph, setting-up face numbers to generate an edge weight value. This allows for a choice of faces from which to begin the unrolling process. Strips are selected according to edge weight, setting up combinations of faces to unroll, and generating 2D cutting patterns. 2.4 ‘Physical prototype, texture. The use of polystyrene beads allows for the mixture of granules in varying colours. During the steaming process, the material builds up into a thick layer which hardens, and as a result the components remain partially hollow. When expanding, the material takes on the texture of the textile mould. Material gradients from white to black highlight structural transitions but can also indicate programmatic zoning.2.5 Architectural chunk. The prototype explores the structural transition of a vertical column into a horizontal slab, developing a vocabulary blending between structural strands and perforated surfaces. The ‘chunk’ is split into two parts for fabrication, dictated by the machine size. Pulled out anchor points are traces of the manufacturing process, indicating where the mould was held-up to avoid deformation during the steaming process. These are also the points where components are connected to each other with a ‘push-fit’ connection. 2.6–2.9 Crease This project looks at industrial skinning methods. In particular, the students explored vacuum forming over custom moulds produced by robotic hotwire and blade cutting. Robotic foam-cutting was utilised to cut down on fabrication time and cost, aiming for efficiency in the production of parts with complex geometry. 2.6 Parts. The ceiling components are assembled from a puzzle of multiple parts. The cutting set-up for the robot works in a part-to-tool process, where the foam block is glued onto the robot and moves to the first and second tool, which are in a fixed position. Large parts are robotically cut using a hotwire, and in a second process the ceiling surfaces are patterned utilising a finer custom blade which ‘scoops’ out the pattern. Parts are then glued together and receive a plaster coat. Sanded down, the coat provides a smoother surface finish, but more importantly protects the foam from the extreme heat inside the bed of the vacuum forming machine, preventing it from melting. Wooden 30
boards are inserted to support the foam part during the forming process, at the same time providing surface area for the heated soft polymer to be sucked onto. 2.7 Pattern. By blade cutting and a process of scooping, the surface receives a fine pattern. Scooping out smaller pockets of material has proven to avoid leaving debris of molten foam during the cutting process, which would otherwise glue back onto the mould, impacting on the quality of surface finish in this area. Generated patterns are aiming for the design of gradient conditions, working with parameters provided by the fabrication process, carving deeper into the material or just scratching the surface of the part. 2.8 Skinning. The soft foam is skinned with a layer of polymer by an industrial vacuum forming machine. During the year, the students had to familiarise themselves with the manufacturing process. Key to the manufacture of a successful part was understanding machine set-ups, such as using the temperature to control material behaviour of the heated polymer. 2.9 Architectural chunk. The novel manufacturing process allows for the development of architectural components where strands and apertures blend into surfaces carrying performative patterns. Through the creases in the pattern, the resulting surface deformation adds strength to the three-millimetre polymer sheet. The same material strength-enhancing principle can be found in the production of suitcases. Furthermore, the pattern cavities absorb and disperse sound, making the ceiling components suitable for applications in public spaces. A single component is the maximum width of the bed of the vacuum-forming machine: 1.2 x 1.5 metres. This allows for large parts that can be aggregated into a sheltering canopy.
Octavian Gheorghiu, Tyson Hosmer, David Reeves
The role of the architect here, I think, is not so much to design a building or city as to catalyse them; to act that they may evolve. That is the secret of the great architect. 1 Research Cluster 3 interrogates the notion of ‘Living Architecture’ as a coupling of living systems with the assembly and formation of architecture. Our research focuses on developing autonomous architectures with situated and embodied agency, facilitated variation and AI. Buildings have enormous costs and energy consumption, and a huge potential for errors over the many years that they take to build. They can become obsolete before they are even completed, with linear lifecycles consisting of raw material extraction, manufacturing, construction, operation, demolition and disposal. This leads to layered, overly constrained buildings, inflexible to future change, expensive to construct and laborious to assemble. Rather than optimising individual segments of this unsustainable lifecycle, the cluster reappraises it holistically, studying and instrumentalising the underlying properties in living systems that enable their extraordinary scalable efficiencies through autonomous adaptive construction. The cluster develops experimental design models embedded with the ability to self-organise, assess and improve using machinelearning methods. We seek to embed local adaptability directly into the design process by training models to learn to adjust and reconfigure to unforeseen and changing socio-economic needs and environmental conditions. This year, the research agenda was developed through four design projects for new forms of robotically reconfigured housing and deployable habitation with continuous building lifecycles. Considering the world’s increasing digitally nomadic population and short- and long-term fluctuations of socio-economic requirements, the teams proposed solutions for building systems coupled with economic models, which are mobile, easily deployable, scalable and adaptive. Each project utilised a set of simple parts that could be robotically reconfigured and connected into larger complex assemblies. A direct link was maintained between simple geometric element data, degrees of freedom and assembly strategies. Students developed methods of analysis for multiple performance objectives, such as structural performance, spatial connectivity, density and other quantitative metrics. Using machine-learning models, including reinforcement learning, genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks, the design models were trained within their own constraints to improve at mobility, adaptation and assembly to negotiate between these objectives and generate robust spatial configurations.
Student Teams Adaptive Tensegrity Siyu Chi, Jiachen Lei, Shiyu Kan, Meng-Yi Lin Infinity House Bangrui Chen, Rui Ren, Liyuan Shen, Xiaowei Wang NoMAS Athina Athiana, Ming Liu, Evangelia Despoina Triantafylla Spatial Sort Zheng Chen, Jun Du, Hua Li, Xueqian Tao Machine Learning Tutor Panagiotis Tigas Technical Assistant Ziming He Theory Tutor Jordi Vivaldi Piera Skills Tutors Ziming He, Octavian Gheorghiu, Panagiotis Tigas Critics Shajay Bhooshan, Andy Bow, Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange, Mario Carpo, Peter Cook, Benjamin Dillenburger, Jelle Feringa, Ludger Hovestadt, Theo Lalis, Frédéric Migayrou Philippe Morel, Luciana Parisi, Andrew Porter, Yael Reisner, Patrik Schumacher, Bob Sheil, Valentina Soana, Martha Tsigkari, Mike Weinstock, Lei Zheng
1. Gordon Pask in John Frazer, Evolutionary Architecture. (London: Architectural Association and John Frazer), 1995 35
3.1 NoMAS A platform that generates housing communities for digital nomads. Rather than owning land, the nomad owns a digital footprint, with NoMAS offering potential places around the world for communities of nomads to live for periods of time. The project developed a custom ‘wave function collapse algorithm’ utilising a large catalogue of prefabricated spatial units. The algorithm generates valid connected spatial assembles through constraints. The algorithm was then trained using deep reinforcement learning to negotiate the competing multi-objective spatial requirements and desires of multiple users, NoMAS and the physical environment. The project developed prefabricated composite monocoque components that are durable, lightweight, easily shipped, assembled and reconfigured on site. A rendered image shows a large housing assembly generated using the custom wave function collapse algorithm. 3.2–3.7 Adaptive Tensegrity This project researched autonomous robotic tensegrity structures trained using deep reinforcement learning. Deep reinforcement learning policies were developed for the tensegrity structures to self-erect without prestressed elements, to self-balance, reconfigure their shape and move from one location to another. After studying a wide range of tensegrity topologies, a system of ‘A’ and ‘B’ units was derived from tetrahedral mesh. A generative design model was developed using signed distance functions for generating tetrahedral mesh spatial structures converted to tensegrity. Iterative static and robotic prototypes were developed and tested for self-erection and reconfiguration. 3.2 Deployment scenario. The visual aims to capture the transient nature of the project, imagining a temporary structure for a pop-up market which transforms a small plaza in a city environment. 3.3 Generative design: images and diagrams illustrating the custom generative design tool developed for generating form using signed distance functions converted to robotic tensegrity. 3.4 The image shows a series of iterative training sequences for deep reinforcement learning. Five units erect themselves from the ground. 3.5 A nonlinear tensegrity structure physical prototype. 3.6 A nonlinear tensegrity structure physical prototype developed using generative design tools. 3.7 A robotic tensegrity prototype testing various degrees of movement, exploring the capacity to perform local adaptations that lead to global change of the system. 3.8–3.10 NoMAS 3.8 Prefabricated coconut-fibre composite monocoque prototype, in which components are bolted together in 1:2 scale. 3.9 Aggregations analysis catalogue. Using a custom wave function collapse algorithm, trained using machine learning to perform on various levels, the project is able to create large aggregations that respond to various requests, both input by the users and demanded by the system. The aggregations are analysed for multiple competing criteria – build volume, connectivity, structural performance and space typology – in order to inform the machine learning process, allowing the system to create aggregations that have a bigger degree of intelligence. 3.10 Deployment scenario. In order to showcase the adaptive nature of the project, various scenarios have been tested, ranging from smaller aggregation, such as a small village community by the sea to large aggregation in big cities. 3.11–3.13 Spatial Sort An autonomous, reconfigurable housing system which reorganises simple spatial units in a continuous adaptive lifecycle. The system’s components include steel structural rails bolted together, modular robots fitted to the rail system and foldable spatial units transported by the robots. A scalable set of simple spatial units were developed that can be connected and disconnected and folded into a box for robotic transportation. Units can be assembled to 36
create a range of spatial types for living, working and socialising, and the building is designed as an autonomous machine for spatial sorting based on its changing occupancy and needs. A custom wave function collapse algorithm was developed for generating multi-scalar housing clusters, working spaces and public social spaces. The research developed a custom A* algorithm to find effective dynamic sequences of shifting units and used it to train an artificial neural network to learn efficient patterns of reconfiguration. 3.11 Housing cluster assemblies. A sample of the hundreds of housing clusters generated by the custom wave function collapse algorithm. 3.12 Project unit diagram. The proposal features units that can be combined in large clusters to form communities with a circular lifecycle, which are in a continuous adaptive process. The project is adaptive because of a simple fold mechanism that enables the units to become smaller and to move on a frame that grows or shrinks dependent on the community’s needs. 3.13 Deployment scenario. The project tested various scenarios to showcase the flexibility of the system to adapt to local conditions and create compelling formations of internal and external spaces, forming 3D connected spaces. 3.14–3.17 Infinity House An autonomous robotic house which is scalable, mobile and adaptive, utilising the principles of movement in an infinity cube. Cubic spatial units are connected by robotic hinges to reconfigure and connect in sequences. Interior and exterior walls can be folded up or down to generate a large range of spatial typologies with varied degrees of privacy and openness. The project explores a range of housing scales and types, achieved using the infinity cube system with different configurations of robotic hinge locations. Analytical methods were developed to quantify each state of the building for multiple objectives, such as optimal daylighting, structural stability and spatial needs. Deep reinforcement learning was used to train a simulation model for mobility and reconfiguration sequences as the objectives of the building and its users change. 3.14 Unit movement. The project reimagines the infinity cube as a human-sized structure that can be reconfigured using choreographed motion between a number of units in order to create meaningful spaces and larger communities. 3.15 One-unit detail, showing the robotic mechanisms of the Infinity House hidden within the outer frame. 3.16 Robotic prototype. One of a series of robotic prototypes developed to test the mobility constraints and connectivity of the Infinity House units. 3.17 Deployment scenario. A speculation of the nature of living in the Infinity House.
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Design Computation Lab
Manuel Jiménez Garcia, Gilles Retsin, Vicente Soler
This year’s research focused on automated housing, platforms and discrete architectural systems. Architects have often focused on the formal or stylistic potential of computational tools, ignoring the economic and social consequences of the digital. The notion of automation is proposed as a historic parallel to mechanisation and modernism. That automation is itself a compelling alternative to the notions of digital fabrication or digital design prompts larger questions. The cluster explored how the tech industry is starting to reconfigure the housing market by establishing platforms. Students analysed existing systems for automating construction, whilst also analysing new modes of domesticity and living, such as shared housing, cooperative housing and co-living. From a technical perspective, the cluster continued to research discrete architectural systems, looking at the potential of programmable materials, prefabrication and modularity. Unlike the modernist approach to prefabricated housing using highly repetitive types, these new, accelerated housing construction systems make use of generic, pixel-like building blocks, which establish large-scale functional features through their iterative recombination. These building blocks aim to establish a short production chain, with the potential to be automated. ‘MOBO’ is a platform for shared housing based on a mobile, gantry-like robot and cross-laminated timber box construction. The robot is composed of modular axes, so that its body plan can be adapted to each task. Basic learning processes enable it to evolve a wide variety of task-optimised gantry robots. These smaller, versatile robots enable MOBO to construct on sites that are otherwise unfeasible. ‘ALIS’ (Automated Living System) combines principles of automated storage with housing. When the inhabitant is not at home, robots store her belongings away, enabling others to occupy the space and thus enabling the double use of spaces and offsetting costs. The team developed a series of algorithms that are able to generate high-density, generic housing blocks which can be quickly reconfigured. ‘Twistbot’ is based on a simple discrete-construction robot and timber brick with the same geometry. The team developed advanced simulations using a variety of machine learning techniques to programme the assembly process. ‘Printcast’ uses 3D-printed modular formwork for concrete casting. The formwork consists of a limited number of patterns and joint moments which can then be recombined into functional architectural conditions. A series of detailed floor slabs was developed. ‘Co-Hood’ developed a library of simple, mass-produced, interlocking parts, resulting in an ornamental and highly intricate architecture. A series of algorithms resolves an initial massing into complex patterns of interlocking elements which can then be sent to a Hololens for assembly.
Student Teams ALIS Estefania Barrios, Joana Correia, Evgenia Krassakopoulou, Akhmet Khakimov, Kevin Saey Co-Hood Zhang Chen, Hanyu Zeng, Ningxin Zheng, Benshun Zhu MOBO Keshia Lim, Nadia Saki, Chuan Tian, Po-Fu Yang, Mengmeng Zhao Printcast Shuobin Hu, Xiaoyu Huang, Yanbing Sun, Chaojie Yang Twistbot Shuting Guo, Junming Huo, Jiangwen Fu, Jiaqi Wu Theory Tutor Mollie Claypool Skills Tutor Vicente Soler Critics Shajay Bhooshan, Peter Cook, Benjamin Dillenburger, Jelle Feringa, Theo Lallis, Areti Markopoulou, Philippe Morel, Yael Reisner, Patrik Schumacher Sponsors Metsa Wood, Nagami, Stora-Enso, Swan Housing Group
4.1 ALIS A series of towers generated using the wavefunction collapse algorithm. A small sample is discretised and then propagated on a larger scale, maintaining its base features. 4.2 Printcast Diagrams showing the generation of re-combinable sets of formwork elements. An initial massing is generated, which analyses structural behaviour. Subsequently, repetitive formwork elements are populated, aligned and dimensioned to the direction and amount of stress. 4.3 Co-Hood Sets of voxels are arranged into combinations of interlocking elements, resulting in highly detailed yet serialised assemblies, which in principle do not need any binding material in order to be combined. 4.4–4.9 ALIS 4.4 Two industrial robots are programmed to collaboratively assemble a timber box from CNCmilled components. These timber boxes form the base of the ALIS construction system. 4.5–4.6 The ALIS robot is a distributed robot inspired by Amazon’s KIVA warehouse storage robots. The robot can travel both horizontally and vertically, transporting building and storage elements and people. The robot dissolves traditional hierarchies, such as centralised elevator shafts, enabling the creation of a building that is non-hierarchical, with sponge-like assembly. 4.7–4.9 The proposed housing platform has significant architectural consequences. Distributed storage robots continuously reprogramme spaces by moving storage units. Space is separated from function, completely uncoupling the persistent modernist form-function relationship. Algorithmically, what is computed is no longer an optimum but a ‘perfect generic’ that can accommodate any function at any time. An automated building management algorithm continuously computes space allocation and repartitions the building programme. 4.10–4.12 MOBO MOBO’s platform is based on modular, distributed robots assembled out of single-axis actuators. Using learning algorithms, the bodyplan or topology of the robots is evolved in response to a specific assembly task. Path-planning is developed where the robots organise cross-laminated timber (CLT) building blocks whilst using deposited parts as walkable paths to climb up the building. The use of larger cranes is avoided, enabling new, intricate kinds of assembly to take place and difficult or extreme sites to become inhabitable. MOBO’s robot was physically tested in multiple iterations, from plywood prototypes to 3D-printed and steel bodies. 4.13–4.15 Simple CLT boxes form the base for MOBO’s construction system. The building blocks can be picked up by the mobile robot and contain channels for utilities. The entire building is assembled from these box-like elements, with windows, staircases, shelves and appliances plugged into them. 4.16 Overview of the robot-assembly relationship, where a robot bodyplan evolves in parallel with the assembled structures. 4.17–4.19 Printcast 3D printing has, previously, largely focused on continuous formal differentiation within one printed object, but can also be understood as a technique that allows for differentiation over time and across multiple objects. Printcast is situated in this context, where a limited set of 3D-printed formwork elements can be recombined into multiple different conditions. The formwork always forms a closed continuous channel, which can then be cast in concrete. The 3D-printed material works as a composite in combination with the concrete. 4.20–4.22 Co-Hood A library of base elements are programmed within a voxel space, assembled into interlocking structures. The elements can be cheaply prefabricated in a variety of materials and then assembled using mixed reality. Multiple people can assemble elements in parallel, receiving instructions 46
directly from a computer. Students explored different languages and patterns for the assemblies, which are then ultimately tested on a larger collective housing block. The designs depicted here are separate units. 4.23–4.27 Twistbot This project continues research into distributed robots and building blocks, developed in parallel. 4.23–4.25 The Twistbot is based on a simple geometry consisting of two voxels which can twist laterally. A minimal number of actuators allow the robot to develop movement on three axes, using already assembled blocks as a base environment. Robots can collaboratively execute tasks. Diverse machine learning techniques were explored to effectively control the robots behaviour and generate larger-scale features. 4.26–4.27 The resulting architectural speculations are characterised by the repeating box-like elements. These develop specific patterns, some more rectilinear, others more volumetric. Public and private areas of the building are articulated with different patterns. The Twistbot is proposed as part of a platform for housing with a high frequency of programmatic change, between student accommodation and a youth hostel.
Material Architecture Lab
Guan Lee, Daniel Widrig with Adam Holloway, Barry Wark
Material Architecture Lab’s design research methodology prioritises a hybrid of fabrication techniques, favouring customised systems, design processes, digitally-controlled machining and semi-automated processes. We encourage students to be adventurous in questioning established modes of production. The nature of our experimentation is grounded in cyclical processes of making, with rigorous and iterative refinements of prototypes of products or processes. This year, we identified ‘synthetic’ as an additional concept, alongside our core interest: the development of design aesthetics through material explorations. From an early stage in the design process, we encourage students to identify an intelligible language of making, whether digital, manual or a hybrid of the two. The emphasis is on the nature of materiality and less on the material’s ‘natural’ behaviour. Systems of production inform all the projects on some level, particularly the characteristics of the material employed. We navigate design processes, looking for the unfamiliar, unnatural and distinctly manufactured. Whatever the digital future holds, whenever the ubiquity of automation looms, one cannot help but suspect that the human element of design, particularly in architecture, will not completely disappear. One can engage with digital modelling software computationally or manually, or can reject all digital tools and design and make by hand. How can we be specific about working ‘in between’? The students’ work is as much about traditional making as it is digital technology. They handle materials physically and also through numeric means. The goal is to lay out new possibilities for design across material, process and system in a consistent and meticulous manner. This year’s brief asked students to be experimental, explore design logic through algorithm or material feedback, make with hand-operated tools together with digital code-driven productions, and combine laborious manual work with logical automation where outcome is not predetermined but is a consistent crossbreeding of approaches. Their designs are on one hand procedural and systematic, on the other textural and indecipherable. They have produced tests and prototypes that have potential as objects, furniture or architecture. For each useful outcome there are numerous failures that are not featured here but are crucial to the work of the lab; fragments and artefacts signify our way of working. Iterative design processes are generative by nature. This collection of new projects has been grown synthetically, making references to experimentation that came before, weaving together knowledge from across generations of designs with often unanticipated outcomes, to challenge further developments.
Student Teams Additive Subtraction Changjian Jia, Hiroyuki Iwashita, Wang Jiachen, Lu Yu Blob Wall Ziwei Chen, Xinqian Wu, Mengxu Zhao Blown Up Youssef Abdelrahman, Anna-Maria Hini, Melissa Marchi Rumich, Mridula Shiva Shankar Smart Cord Shuchen Liu, Yanran Tu, Qianren Wang, Feiran Xu, Yu Zhu Soft Core 2 Yilin Cao, Li Li, Jingyu Liu, Peiru Sun, Yilin Tang Solid Ink Sara Alanezi, Mateo Cely, Andrea Guiatti, Ecenur Sezgin SML Daoyuan Chen, Pei Chen, Su Dong, Zhuoya Li Theory Tutors Ruby Law, Jeremy Lecomte Sponsors Grymsdyke Farm
5&6.1 SML This project builds on ongoing research into upcycling plastic waste into smart construction components. The components are made of recycled ABS and are injection-moulded into a set of two component typologies. The flexibility and adaptability of the system was tested at full size in a number of large-scale pavilions throughout the year, exhibited in London and Paris. 5&6.2 Additive Subtraction This research explores the potential of recycled sand in the creation of translucent shell structures. As is the case with many structures made from panels, one of the biggest challenges is to create considered seams and joints. The project derives a folded topology that at once disguises the seams and simultaneously gives the thin shell more strength. 5&6.3–5&6.6 Smart Cord is derived from traditional handcrafts and explores weaving, braiding and knitting techniques in the creation of new architectural aesthetics. The research develops a singular component which can be stretched, bent and joined into continuously differentiated conditions. The design creates a striking balance between the structural grid and the soft piped strands that embellish it. This system allows for a deep, spatial ornament which would be difficult and expensive to achieve through commonly utilised digital fabrication techniques. 5&6.7–5&6.10 Blob Wall This project explores a spatial component system derived from a universal ball-andsocket joint and speculates on the articulation of a freeform architectural assembly system. Beginning with a review of different fabrication methods for developing spheroidal geometry – casting, printing and dripping materials – the project develops a spatial language of freeform movement and connection. This language is deployed as a set of large-scale 3D-printed prototypes, which explore the freedom of expression in a universal ball-and-socket joint. Each piece of the system connects to several other pieces within a freely orientable connection, resulting in structures with many degrees of freedom and limitless combinations. The freeform, continuous nature of the component connections requires a digital assembly system. This is explored through the physical coordination of notches and grooves and the AR overlay coordination in the manual assembly and rotation of the blocks. 5&6.11–5&6.18 Solid Ink A fabrication methodology exploring the use of recycled sand as an aggregate and support material for robotic injection and 3D printing. This fabrication process aims to improve the field of 3D printing by exploiting the ubiquity of sand as a building material. Recycled foundry sand is, nowadays, stocked in landfills – over 500,000 tonnes per year, just in the UK. This sand, full of heavy metals and mixed with binder, produces a perfect combination in terms of strength and line definition. Taking advantage of the curing time of different binders, this robotic fabrication process digitally controls the structural and material properties of the printed objects through an optimisation of toolpath, speed and flow rates, allowing for the production of intricate and variegated complex geometry. 5&6.19–5&6.23 Blown Up This project explores new forms of glass within architecture, beyond its prevalent use as a uniform sheet material. Inherent in the material quality of glass is its ability to deform light, creating surprising and beautiful transparency, shadows and optical illusions. Glass blowing is the oldest fabrication technique used in its production and is utilised in the project to create surprising and unplanned localised conditions. The glass is held in an angular frame which is designed and optimised using digital algorithms. The steel frame pinches and allows the glass to expand 60
its desired location, defined through prototyping and digital simulations. 5&6.24–5&6.30 Additive Subtraction The panels – CNC-cut formwork made from low cost foam – are manufactured by 7axis. The foam is coated in several layers of sand and binder. Once set, the foam is removed, and the shell is ready to be assembled. Due to the cutting direction of the robotic tool, the space takes on a duality between inside and out, which one can appreciate as they move around and through the structure. 5&6.31–5&6.36 Soft Core 2 This project is a continuation of ongoing research into the creation of architectural objects and spaces made from soft materials which become structural having been sprayed with a finishing coat. Soft Core 2 is developed with the ambition to introduce larger spatial zones to the prototypes using tensile surfaces, a softer interface for the inhabitants and a combination of sprayed and unsprayed conditions. The research is developed by prototyping and 3D-digital modelling for the optimisation and blending of the languages of structure, surface and soft upholstery. 5&6.37–5&6.41 SML The geometry has been developed into a standardised voxel that can connect with itself at three different scales – 2:1,1:1 and 1:2 – which allows the component system to fill any volume shape and spatial or structural articulation at a smaller or larger scale.
Research Cluster 7 considers how advances in computation, biotechnology and engineering are affecting architecture. We explore new modes of bio-design workflows and digital fabrication methods, utilising advances in the field of synthetic biology, biotechnology, genetic engineering and material sciences, and investigate how these subjects are evolving towards an ever-increasing multidisciplinary approach to the design of future cities. This year, students explored novel approaches to a new paradigm of bio-robotic fabrication and biomanufacturing. Their work pursued architectural approaches using computational methods and principles of biology for simulation and bio-robotic fabrication, to create building prototypes that look to provide radical solutions to pressing issues. Computation and digital simulations, including complex selfgenerative and procedural growth algorithms, were developed alongside sustainable material exploration and bio-digital fabrication. Topics included bio-augmented design, healthy infrastructure, novel architectural tectonics and large-scale fabrication. Students worked individually, gaining intense training in computational skills, fabrication methodologies and laboratory protocols. They then developed individual areas of interest within group projects that explored how these subjects can lead to hybrid and biologically intelligent technologies and materially driven forms for our contemporary built environment. ‘Sweet CoRncrete’ explores a novel material for architectural design. CoRncrete is a sustainable biomaterial proposed as an alternative to concrete, where the raw ingredient (starch) can be grown rather than mined. Sand and water mixed with corn starch can be poured into moulds and hardened in a few minutes in a microwave to produce a strong material, similar in strength to bricks, that can become discrete units for architectural applications. The group exploited computational tools and digital fabrication using 3D-printed moulds to propose architectures based on geometric perfect-packing logics, following a biomaterial-led approach to design. The cheap, easy and quick fabrication process offers multiple architectural applications and the potential for community participation in design. ‘AntiMatter’ exploits novel robotic extrusion fabrication methods to fabricate thin shell structures using living and semiliving materials. Differential growth algorithms were developed, driven by structural and environmental datasets, and applied as robotic toolpaths onto curved surfaces or in a freeform approach within a support gel body, through liquid printing of hydrogels containing living organisms. Photosynthetic organisms were chosen for data modelling and site-specific locations and orientations were selected in order to define growth niches within the shell structures.
Student Teams AntiMatter Yang Gao, Joy Georgi, Wanqiu He, Jingwen Zhu Sweet CoRncrete Danyang Li, Mariana Madriz-Bonilla, Andrew Metzler, Hegen Wu Theory Tutors Luis Hernan, Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa, Freya Wigzell Skills Tutors Thomas Bagnolli, Thomas Helzle, Javier Ruiz Critics Thomas Helzle, Luis Hernan, Carolina Ramirez-Figueroa
7.1-7.7 AntiMatter 7.1 BioScaffold gel printing. Biocompatible scaffolds for phototropic bacteria growth are produced using a robotically-controlled, freeform, rapid liquid-printing technique. The gel body acts as both a support medium for the extruded bacterial matrix to be applied in a freeform, 3D state and also acts as a moisture and nutrient supply for bacterial survival before material hardening and removal from the gel body. 7.2 Exposure pavillion. An urban proposal offering urban dwellers exposure to photosynthetic micro-organisms in dense, non-green areas. The double-layer shell is formed using robotic hotwire-cutting to create quick, cheap, curved formwork upon which varying different polmer mixes are robotically extruded on to the curved formwork towards a non-repeating aesthetic. Differential growth scripts, driven by both structural and solar radiation data of the chosen site in London, drive the aesthetic and act as direct toolpaths for the fabrication. 7.3 Curved shell fabrication. Robotic extrusion fabrication of structural shell on to hotwire-cut curved formwork. 7.4 Shell prototype. Prototype test combining structural and non-structural, biocompatible zones. 7.5 BioScaffold gel printing. Differential growth toolpaths are fabricated using a rapid liquid printing technique. 7.6 BioScaffold gel-printed tests at 1:1 scale. 7.7 AntiMatter arch, 1:1 proof-of-concept prototype, completed after date of publication. 7.8–7.12 Sweet CoRncrete 7.8 CoRncrete silicone mould. CoRncrete components fabricated using a thin shell silicone mould system and structural plaster shuttering, shown here being removed from a flexible silicone mould skin. The units are produced via 3D-printed positive base geometries for the mould; the 3D-printed unit is then painted on with silicone mixture to form an inverse mould. Moulds are then cooked in the microwave for curing and eventual hardening. 7.9 CoRncrete table. The table is comprised of 29 aggregated units – stemming from four component typologies. Tables can be reconfigured based on number of users and the required component types for desired structural longevity. 7.10 CoRncrete plug-in wall. The wall consists of 58 units and one CNC-milled back panel. Connections were made between the back panel and the units with 3D-printed connection pieces. Each unit can be taken off and replaced; the system allows for a variety of configurations and functions. 7.11 CoRncrete façade or window concept. The window is made of a combination of CoRncrete aggregations and shortest path branching logic. The branching is made of steel tubes that help support the units, acting as scaffolding for the entire structure. 7.12 CoRncrete façade proposal.
Towards a Non-Discrete Architecture
The impending assimilation of graded materiality in architecture promises a fundamental change in how buildings are constructed and points towards a future where tectonic construction will be superseded by the seamless topology of multi-material space. In anticipation of this, Research Cluster 8 explores new procedures of designing and building with material gradients, eschewing component-based assembly and the standard paradigm of mechanical connectivity. The collaging of discrete building parts is a fundamentally messy, wasteful and unnecessarily complex building practice that has remained unchanged for centuries, and has yet to catch up with more advanced forms of contemporary materiality. Architecture typically absorbs technological and material developments with a lag of a few years, sometimes even decades; for example, carbon fibre composites were invented as far back as the 1960s, utilised in space shuttles in the early 1980s and used by architects in the late 1990s. In fields adjacent to architecture, such as aerospace, the practice of fusing materials together on visible scales was instigated as far back as the 1970s, with the fabrication of functionally graded ceramic and steel parts that combined the structural properties of metal with the insulating qualities of ceramic in hypersonic space-planes. Today, there is widespread research and development in applying this material technology in commercial aviation and beyond. Utilising multi-materiality in architecture as a near-future building technique can result in continuously varied constructs that are akin to the seamlessness of biological and natural formations, as opposed to the current practice of messy tectonic assemblages and the artificiality of nuts and bolts. For instance, the fabrication of a window unit requiring the coordination of numerous manufacturing and contracting trades can be replaced by the singular secretion of a variably continuous multi-material, consisting of transparenttranslucent-opaque and structural-insulating-effectual sub-materials. Working towards this integration, we initially experimented with physical fusion, researching the chemical compatibility of various substances and fabricating functionally graded material samples. In the subsequent stages, we drew from these initial studies and used optimisation routines to design and build large-scale segments of building envelopes, rethinking this component-based element through the use of gradients. This type of building system is associated with a myriad of problems that mainly have to do with low environmental sustainability, redundancies and inefficiencies in the componentry supply chains and onsite installation, as well as operational inadequacy and potential failure of the panelling after it has been installed. The resulting outputs are building envelopes that are more than just a collection of individual parts, signifying and initiating a new type of architecture that has finally caught up with the future.
Student Teams In-Situ Robotic Fabrication of Faรงades Shuyi Chen, Jie Song, Kaijie Yu Structural Optical Envelopes Mincen Dong, Yize Liu, Yuchen Wang, Yuanming Zhao Theory Tutor William Huang Partners Matthew Lloyd-Winder, Winderlightbox
8.1 Structural Optical Envelopes This project’s aim is to rethink the typically weak correlation between structure and skin in buildings, by merging glass and metal through the use of functionally graded materials. This, in effect, allows one to think of the envelope as a structurally continuous condition without discrete parts, in which previous depth of plan limitations have given way to a theoretically infinite topology of variably translucent structural glass. In addition, customising the structural material density within the glass allows for more targeted and economic material use, whilst the targeted programming of translucency enables diverse internal lighting conditions. In this image, a segment of the envelope is materialised with topologically optimised slumped glass that is infused with metal powder. The metal adds to the structural integrity of the glass, whilst its denser subdivisions add to its capacity to take larger loads, as well as providing a mechanism for filtering light. 8.2–8.4 In-Situ Robotic Fabrication of Façades This project is a rethink of the envelope of the Seagram building in New York. It initially forms a critique of its use of homogeneous curtain wall-panelling, non-structural decorative materials, its lack of varied shading elements that result in excessive material use, and the creation of binary internal lighting conditions of either sunlit or shaded areas. In response, it counter-proposes a multi-material skin that is continuous, without discrete parts that changes its material composition to adapt to structural and lighting considerations. More specifically, it aims to achieve a non-heterogeneous material distribution through topological optimisation routines by using more material where it is structurally needed and less in structurally inert areas. In addition, it makes use of the optical variation offered by clear and translucent plastics in the multi-material 3D printing palette, and in effect achieves a highly diverse pattern of direct, shaded and variably diffused lighting conditions. 8.2–8.3 Unrolled elevation studies of the topologically optimised multi-material façade designs. Image-tracing routines are used to convert the gradient colouration resulting from the topological optimisation into sub-material segments that, in turn, correspond with available materials in the multi-material 3D printing palette. Gradation takes place from VeroClear to rigid materials. The test multi-material 3D print at the bottom consists of flexible areas (black) that gradate into transparent acrylic (clear). 8.4 A multi-material test print of part of the unrolled elevation in 8.3. The undulations of the surface are derived from topological optimisations of the whole façade and provide structural rigidity, whilst the sub-material distribution also corresponds to loading conditions, with flexible materials used in areas with the largest deflection due to wind loads. 8.5–8.9 Structural Optical Envelopes. 8.5–8.6 Metal and glass fusion slumping test samples. Different firing and annealing timings and temperatures are tested for evaluating the degree of deformation of the glass, change of colour in the metal and of the formation of translucent regions within the glass layers. 8.7 The envisaged space is a fully glazed catenary structure, infused with metal in regions where reinforcing is required due to structural loads. The distribution of metal is derived through primary, secondary and tertiary topological optimisations of the whole structure. In addition, glass frit layers of variable depth are embedded in the glass topology, in cellular regions formed by the optimisation. Varying the amount of frit allows for control of the opacity, translucency and transparency of the whole skin and corresponds to a solar radiation analysis that showed areas of high and low sun exposure. 8.8 Topological optimisation study of a building envelope segment. 86
The optimisation is performed recursively to initially generate the primary structure, and then secondary and tertiary sub-structural divisions. 8.9 Glass slump test of part of the digital optimisation study. The colour of metal embedded in the glass changes in response to the amount of oxygen that it comes in contact with during slumping.
Soomeen Hahm, Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez
Over the past decade, we have witnessed rapid advancements in automated construction at both practical and theoretical levels. This is a consequence of the increasing sophistication of digital fabrication technologies, such as robotics and 3D printing. Technologies can, however, be limited when it comes to dealing with delicate and complex crafting processes. Although digital fabrication processes have become widely accessible and utilised across industries in recent times, there are still a number of fabrication techniques which rely on human labour due to the complex nature of their procedures and the delicacy of materials. With this in mind, we need to ask whether full automation is the ultimate goal or whether the role of humans in the architectural construction chain needs to be reconsidered as automation is more widely adopted. In Research Cluster 9, we propose rethinking the roles that humans, machines and computers have in construction, occupying the territory between the purely automated, exclusively robotic and highly crafted processes that require human labour. We propose an alternative to reducing construction to the fully automated assembly of simplified or discretised building parts, instead appreciating the physical properties of materials and the nature of crafting processes. We can do this by augmenting human designers and builders, enhancing labour and craftsmanship using technologies such as AR and AI, wearable machines, and computer vision. This way, designers and builders will be able to draw from computer accuracy, unlimited memory, the speed of data processing and mechanical or robotic precision, whilst benefitting from human intuition and decision-making. The cluster showcases three unique projects based on this research agenda. The research proposes a design-to-construction workflow pursued and enabled by augmented humans using AR devices. Workflows are tested on three prototypical inhabitable structures that are applicable to future projects. The research aims to bridge the gap between purely automated construction processes on one hand and craft-based, material-driven but labour-intensive processes on the other.
Student Teams BrickChain Ignatius Christianto, Changshu Dong, I Gede Eka, Di Zhu DiFusion Ruoxi Lyu, Danping Meng, Siwei Qin, Minzhe Song, Teng Wang MindCraft Hongyu Pan, Lemeng Ran, Pengcheng Zhai, Huilin Zhang Theory Tutors Abel Maciel Skills Tutors Octavian Gheorghiu, Vicente Soler Partners Fologram
9.1–9.7 DifFusion This project started from an interest in traditional blacksmithing craft techniques. Handcrafted delicacy and beauty is something to be learned, understood and transformed to suit today’s computational paradigm. The project uses generative computational methods to generate and control complex forms, which can then be crafted using blacksmithing techniques and augmented fabrication methods. 9.1 A student uses an AR interface to assist in the fabrication of a metal structure. 9.2 A user-friendly AR interface designed to show different assembly parts. 9.3 1:1-scale prototype tested as a chair. The chair is designed and formed through generative computational methods, which can only be produced through an augmented assembly process due to its complexity. 9.4 Close-up of a physical prototype showing two types of parts: twisted joints and bent tube segments. 9.5–9.6 Twisting metal bars is a traditional blacksmith’s technique, which was the main inspiration for this project. The team were interested in transforming this traditional crafting method into a modern structure by utilising the latest technology and computational tools – in this case by using AR technology. 9.7 A design proposal for a bridge to demonstrate the complexity in form. The use of material does not necessarily involve high-tech machines, such as 3D printers or robot arms. 9.8–9.13 MindCraft This project is inspired by traditional steam timber-bending techniques. Whilst traditional methods are constrained by the fixed mould, the team invented an adjustable moulding machine to flexibly form and bend the steamed timbers. This allows the entire system to deal with further complexity in formation. 9.8 Physical prototype made out of steam-bent timber. 9.9–9.10 Adjusting the flexible moulding machine invented by the project team. This mould can adapt to rather complex building parts. 9.11–12 Illustration of how a timber piece that is part of a larger structure is moulded on this adjustable machine. 9.13 Demonstration of the entire process together with designed user interface. 9.14–9.18 BrickChain This project is based on ceramic brick and wooden stick assembly. The simplicity of the geometry in the system allows the assembly logic to be digital and complex. The main computational logic is applied in generating digital assemblies by utilising machine-learning processes to generate structures that are adaptable to different environmental, physical and user-related factors. Secondly, this project focused on developing real-time computer recognition processes by introducing a motion-capture system. The project team also designed patterns on the component to suit both human and computer recognition. 9.14 The entire component assembly process is recognised by computer vision through the OptiTrack motion-tracking system. An AR device then returns iteratively generated realtime information reacting to the changes in the physical reality. 9.15 Each physical component is required to be applied using sensors on its surface that are recognised by the motion-capture system. The unique patterns are designed to be recognised by both computer vision and human builders, to become a synthetic labelling system that is integrated into the design. 9.16 Slip-cast mould and resulting brick. The moulds consist of smaller parts that are easily assembled and produce different types of component clusters using the same moulds. 9.17 1:1 physical prototypes. 9.18 Large-scale design proposal.
Urban Design MArch at the B-Pro Show 2018
Urban Design MArch
Urban Design MArch Programme Director: Roberto Bottazzi
Urban Design at The Bartlett is a Master’s degree dedicated to the analysis and design of emergent issues in the design of global cities. Students consider cities as privileged vantage points from which to investigate and speculate on the most pressing contemporary conditions, such as the conflation of digital and physical domains, climate change and ever-expanding urbanisation. The main drivers of the design investigations are the research clusters – small groups of students working closely with dedicated tutors. Each cluster responds to a unique research agenda and brief to develop their sophisticated design proposals. Within their clusters, students are able to investigate a particular set of urban concerns, and are also introduced to advanced computational methods to analyse and generate new urban programmes and morphologies. Each cluster acts as an incubator for new spatial ideas in which design and digital technology merge, to give rise to new modes of inhabiting and experiencing urban environments. The range of topics covered by the different clusters spans from the impact of big data and machine-learning algorithms for design, to bio-computing, advanced algorithmic thinking and large-scale architecture, the role of masscustomisation in urbanism, design of landscape infrastructures and speculations on how urban environments may be altered and experienced through gaming environments. Within each cluster, a lively and creative conversation is promoted through tutorials, workshops, lectures, debates and exchanges, providing each student with access to new ideas and methodologies which they can expand upon with their final project and thesis. The variety and richness of the research agendas pursued by students is underpinned by an integral interest in the role that digital technologies play in shaping our urban environment. The B-Pro lecture series, Prospectives, and dedicated open seminars – this year on mereology and the politics of the digital – support students in their research. We are especially grateful to Andy Bow, Senior Partner and Deputy Head of Studio at Foster+Partners, for introducing the students to the work of Foster+Partners and hosting a workshop for the whole cohort on the urban challenges confronted in his daily practice. Urban Design MArch is affiliated with the Urban Morphogenesis Lab.
‘Data-Augmented Public Space’ by Visual Dislocation: Piyush Prajapati, Xi Wang, Lingzhao Wei, Han Wu, RC14 102
Luke Caspar Pearson, Sandra Youkhana
Research Cluster 12 pursues urban design concepts using videogame technologies. We explore and challenge the media through which urban design is practiced and communicated, using games as an alternative model of computation that allow us to speak about real conditions through a language of popular technology. Much digital discourse in architecture focuses on innovations in computer science and fabrication. Videogames, however, use computers to bring together code, visual culture and narrative-driven experiences. They combine complex simulations, responsive systems and representational protocols taken from the history of architectural drawing, film and painting. They put the computational in conversation with the symbolic and visual in a way that no other medium does. Students collaborate with architects, game developers, authors, planners, schools and museums to understand how videogames can contribute to the design of our cities. Videogames allow us to make information perceptible and legible to new audiences, reflecting Marshall McLuhan’s observation that games are ‘extensions… of our social selves’.1 The bizarre, improbable and often humorous nature of game worlds allows us to build fictional environments that speculate on the future of our cities and question the design process using computation. We leverage the aesthetic contradictions and inherent weirdness of games to push at the edges of what cities are and what they could be, whilst tracing new paths through play. This year, we addressed the idea of ‘utopia’ in reality and game spaces. Videogame space has been described as ‘allegorithmic’ by Wark and Galloway: a combination of algorithm (computational instruction) and allegory (a story with a hidden meaning).2 Writing in the 1970s, Andrea Branzi remarked ‘nowadays the only possible utopia is quantitative’, by which he meant the future of the city was in the exchange and movement of data. 3 Today, our quantitative utopias are videogame spaces entirely made up of encoded relationships between objects, inhabitants and the world around them. To test these ideas, the cluster travelled to Tokyo – a city reinventing itself for the 2020 Olympic Games. Tokyo was the site for many speculative urban projects of the past, such as Kenzo Tange’s URTRAN system, which combined data analysis with image archiving to produce humanmachine systems for urbanism, and was a predecessor to modern interactive game environments. Japan’s economy has also been increasingly predicated on the export of its identity, including forms of culture consumed by what Hiroki Azuma calls ‘database animals’ – such as fans of anime figures who devour characters as a collection of aesthetically pleasing objects rather than as parts of a greater narrative.4 In this context, students made games that explore secret typologies, develop new visual languages, create alternative ways of seeing and propose new tools for public engagement.
Students Zehua Dong, MingHao Guan, Lilia Guerrero Ruiz, Wenshuang Li, Yu Qi, Ye Tian, Jiaxin Wang, Jiali Wu, Jiawei Xu, Ziyi Yang, Tianyuan Yao, Fangyu Zhou, Qinqing Zou Theory Tutor Gareth Damian Martin Skills Tutor Zhan Gurskis Thanks to Hiromi Fujii of itslab and the Tokyo Bartlett Built Environment Club; Ryoji Fujimura at Fujimura Lab, Tokyo University of the Arts for hosting our studio in Tokyo; Samsung; Strelka Institute; ZHAW Zurich; RIBA and Subotron Vienna for inviting us to talk about Videogame Urbanism, and to our critics throughout the year.
1. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (Cambridge MA & London: The MIT Press), 1994 2. McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press), 2009 3. Andrea Branzi, No-Stop City: Archizoom Associati (Orléans: HYX), 2006 4. Hiroki Azuma, Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 2009 105
12.1 Yu Qi, Ziyi Yang, ‘Kintsugi City’. This game generates an urban experience of Tokyo that unravels both the protocols of Japanese art and the visual principles of Gestalt. Tokyo’s granular landscape defies typical urban logic and calls for new means to engage with and shape the future of the city. In this context, Kintsugi City presents a landscape of objects to be reconfigured around specific human viewpoints, shaping a new virtual urbanism. Players work through four different views, attempting to assemble a constellation of objects into the visual order of a perspectival scene. Each of these objects seen in 2D is manipulated in 3D, producing a block of urban space that is constantly shifting in relation to how it is viewed by the human eye. The game suggests that digital imaging technologies for cities could develop from non-Western visual traditions. 12.2 Lilia Guerrero Ruiz, Jiawei Xu, Qinqing Zou ‘On the Edge of Law’. Whilst Tokyo can be seen as a city without an overriding order to its urban fabric, it in fact possesses a complex set of zoning laws, within which experimental architecture emerges. From setbacks and nisshōken (sunlight rights), local districts are able to shape their own guidelines for new development within the city. On the Edge of Law proposes a new mechanism for public engagement with these rules. The game presents a series of tools for players to create and manipulate buildings around local programmatic needs whilst satisfying zoning criteria. Crowd-sourced creativity is seen as a key tool for the future of Tokyo, using game mechanisms as a way of opening up conversations to new audiences and providing means for architectural experimentation. 12.3–12.4 MingHao Guan, Tianyuan Yao ‘Kaomoji City’. This project explores a generative system produced by the visual languages of otaku (nerd) subcultures in Japan. Kaomoji are a form of visual emotional expression, similar to an emoji but comprised of multiple characters from keyboards. They are commonly used in internet communities as a private language. In Kaomoji City, this secret set of symbols and meanings is used to generate urbanism through means of a conversation. Designed for two players, each protagonist must send messages to one another using kaomoji, responding in turn. A symbolic, visual conversation is, thus, encoded into an urban form, where the buildings themselves reflect not only the individual characters that make up kaomoji, but the overriding emotional signification that each expression creates. 12.5–12.6 MingHao Guan, Tianyuan Yao ‘Subculture City’. One of Japan’s primary exports is its culture, particularly the otaku world of anime, manga and videogames, which it is internationally famous for. Tokyo itself has been the setting for many such fictions and has become a synecdoche for future fantasies. Subculture City draws from governmental projects such as ‘Cool Japan’ that seek to leverage Japanese talents in fiction and fantasy as a tool of soft power. This competitive, local-multiplayer game pits players against one another to colonise districts of Tokyo into the form of various different subcultures grown and adopted by Japanese otaku society. As two players compete to turn space towards their particular subcultural outlook, an emergent city is produced embodying the strategies and moves made. 12.7–12.9 Ziyi Yang ‘Quantitative/Qualitative: Urban Shrine’. Tokyo is home to numerous urban shrines, each of which slots into the city whilst also upholding an invisible boundary, marking it as a sacred space. This boundary is constituted as much through individual and collective ritual as it is through built matter. Urban Shrine is a game that takes the player through a world that unfolds as one performs shrine rituals, before 106
transposing these actions onto the city at large. These precise and repetitive actions reflect the movements of the player as they operate the game. 12.10–12.12 Yu Qi, Ziyi Yang ‘Superflat’. This game explores an urban morphology inspired by traditional Japanese art and its reading of the landscape. By comparing this to modern Japanese art movements such as Takashi Murakami’s Superflat, the game constructs an urban journey that reflects the implied space of the painting. Players move through the districts of Tokyo enmeshed into one huge urban block but experienced as a journey through multidimensional realms. Spaces, colours and textures blend together to disorientate the player as they negotiate between multiple perspectives of this seemingly Superflat world. 12.13 Fangyu Zhou ‘Quantitative/Qualitative: Love Hotel’. One urban typology ubiquitous to Tokyo is the love hotel. The history of these hotels is tied to a lack of domestic space yet they have morphed into various different sub-types of building commonly seen across the city. These run from Disney-esque castles to slick, automated modernist structures, catering to multiple interests. As players wander through a recreation of Shibuya’s famous Dogenzaka (Love Hotel Hill), they can choose different personality types that cause the hotels around them to transform, reflect and manifest their desires. 12.14 Lilia Guerrero Ruiz, Jiawei Xu, Qinqing Zou ‘Lost Tokyo Island’. As Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games, significant portions of the city are being renewed, often at great cost to the local population and culture. The project comprises a compendium of buildings, objects and cultural aspects lost to the new Olympic developments, and proposes that a virtual environment can become a form of preservation. The game offers the player the opportunity to visit numerous threatened sites within the city, preserving their fabric through different means and using them as tools to reconstruct a new district in Tokyo Bay. 12.15 Wenshuang Li, Jiaxin Wang, Jiali Wu ‘Metabolist Madness’. In this game, the logics of Metabolist architecture are combined with the mechanisms of popular ‘casual’ games such as Candy Crush, where the inexorable drip of objectives and renewal keeps the player engaged for as long as possible. Players must keep their Metabolist city constantly renewed by adding, replacing and combining new structures, otherwise it will degrade and fail. 12.16 Wenshuang Li ‘Quantitative/Qualitative: Pachinko’. This game uses the famous Shibuya crossing as the basis for exploring pachinko, the gambling games so dominant across Japan. Turning commuters into pachinko balls that cascade through the city, the player can attempt to guide citizens to victory by reaching the JR Station, watching as each ball leaves a trail through the urban mass. 12.17 Zehua Dong, Ye Tian, Fangyu Zhou ‘Plug-in Tokyo’. Tokyo is a city built atop a city, where different districts can be at once hyper-modern and historically preserved. This game pits the player against the inexorable march of time and history. Players work to construct a vertical city that connects the different points of a district’s history before projecting off into the future. Move too slowly and history freezes, producing architectural anachronisms where the virtual urbanism breaks from historical morphology. The urban blocks the player places congregate into new vertical typologies, constructed by the player’s decision making and a randomised generative system. Each version of Tokyo’s history constructed in the game subsequently follows a trajectory through the player’s success as individual units assemble into urban pathways.
Machine Learning Urbanism: Cities Beyond Cognition
Roberto Bottazzi, Tasos Varoudis Research Cluster 14 explores the role of algorithms in mining, analysing, visualising and designing with very large datasets to conceive innovative urban environments. Such research no longer relies solely on sensing and gathering technologies but also on learning algorithms to categorise data and extract patterns in an unsupervised manner, known as machine learning. These techniques allow students to expand the remits of design and consider factors including scale, timeframe and connections that fall outside the purview of our perceptual abilities and design methods. The speed and scale of transformations such as climate change and rapid urbanisation call for a conceptual approach that employs design methods that are able to capitalise on technological development to conjure up new ideas. These observations can be profound for urban design, as preconceived notions of type, programme, site, representation and inhabitation are reassessed to give rise to more complex, fluid and open urban proposals. The cluster’s aim is to expand the conversation about automated algorithmic procedures to foreground what is at stake in their application to design, what kind of spatiality they could engender, and what we imagine to be the possible relations between society, space and computational technologies. Design is, here, mainly understood as a problem of distribution: the task of the designer could be said to be that of organising and managing a series of objects, bodies and data within a physical territory, moving between mathematics and the space of the city. Defined as such, the design process establishes a common platform with statistical methods through which to transfer techniques and share theoretical preoccupations. This year, students started a new line of research into public spaces – all located in London – to speculate on how the built environment, data and learning algorithms can shape public experience. Five projects looked at different aspects of public space in London: urban navigation and visual connectivity were investigated by ‘Visual Dislocation’, proposing a series of digitally augmented public spaces in West London. The control of the acoustic landscape through computational simulations was the theme of ‘Low-Fi City’, redesigning the public spaces around King’s Cross. ‘City Mountain’, meanwhile, employed learning algorithms as a disruptive force for a multifaceted, high-density, mixed-programme complex in the otherwise mono-functional Canary Wharf. Finally, ‘Sinking Cities’ and ‘BioFlow’ worked with data to provide new public spaces for areas threatened by rising sea levels.
Student Teams BioFlow Siyu Xiang, Bin Zhang, Yue Zhang City Mountain Mengyuan Li, Xingwen Qu, Tong Song, Xingyu Zhao Lo-Fi City Nefeli Georgantzi, Shucheng Guo, Jiazhen Lu, Jingzhou Wang Sinking Cities Lakshmi Sivakumar, Yili Zhao Visual Dislocation Piyush Prajapati, Xi Wang, Lingzhao Wei, Han Wu Theory Tutor Annarita Papeschi Skills Tutors Alican Inal, Anna Kampani, Petros Koutsolampros, Vassilis Papalexopoulos Critics Stefania Boccaletti, Darryl Chen, Klaas De Rycke, Zachary Flucker, Andreas Kolfe, Enriqueta Llabres-Valls, Frédéric Migayrou, Claudia Pasquero, Andrew Porter
14.1–14.6 Visual Dislocation 14.1 GPS impressions in London. The area analysed is divided into over 40,000 squares, which are colour-coded according to the mean amount of time spent by pedestrians in each. The map shows the difference in time between entering and exiting each square, and was part of research on how to computationally analyse the spatial perception of pedestrians. 14.2 Automated massing options. The project employs neural networks and genetic algorithms to redesign public spaces by making direct use of data on movement and perception. This series of massing studies utilises trained datasets to evolve an abstract composition of objects whose size and position adjusts with every iteration. The aim is to rethink the configuration of the public realm to enhance its experience. 14.3 Neural network visualisation of some of the outputs generated by a neural network trained on London’s spatial data. Specifically, the sets employed here describe the height of buildings, the visual porosity of the public realm and the dominant colour of the built landscape as recorded by citizens on social media. The neural network begins to ‘learn’ about spatial characteristics of the city and use them as criteria for the evaluation of the different design options. Visual Dislocation aims to redefine the experience and design of public spaces in the age of learning algorithms. 14.4, 14.6 Augmented public space. Renderings of some of the designs for public spaces resulting from the combination of machine learning and genetic algorithms. The complexity and granularity of the data gathered calls for a fragmented, discontinuous, formal language able to capture nuances and variations in the data set. For this reason, a simple voxel was chosen as the basic element whose geometry morphs to adapt to different conditions and functions, and whose materiality and colour varies to alter perception and use. 14.5 By scraping visual material on London from social media, a neural network is trained to detect objects in the city and learn its prevailing spatial characteristics. Each image is segmented and analysed to detect the objects within it; the knowledge accumulated is used in the project to test new design solutions. 14.7–14.11 Lo-Fi City This project designs an acoustic experience of London by proposing an alternative public space running through King’s Cross. The algorithms developed to conceive this space were based on an initial series of computational simulations in which existing or proposed geometries were tested. 14.7 One of the tests on the entire area of the project. 14.8 The final design consists of a folded surface that lifts up to take pedestrians on an elevated pathway, thickens to form actual buildings and bends to provide acoustically controlled public spaces. This large sculptural piece is obtained by linking algorithms testing sound to other automatically generated folded geometries. As for other projects this year, the aim is not so much to use these methods to increase efficiency and control but rather to explore spatial conditions which may not be achievable through analogue methods. Learning algorithms are not utilised to normalise design but rather to elicit a more complex, open interaction between the two. 14.9 A sectional study showing two different paths that allow the public to stroll through the project either in a sunk, almost ‘geological’ space, or along an elevated one which offers different views of the site. 14.10 An elevated walkaway through King’s Cross based on data analysis and computational simulations, through which materials and programmes are distributed in order to effect the use of the public space and its acoustic qualities. 14.11 A sunken path and performing spaces. A specific system of panels and horizontal elements clads the building in order to dissipate sound whilst allowing sufficient ventilation and sunlight penetration. 116
14.12–14.16 City Mountain 14.12 Formal experiments developed to directly design with data. These exercises were called ‘re-writing’ to both acknowledge their origin in the field of computational linguistics and use of substitutions in order to turn numbers into forms. This exercise constitutes the beginning of the proposal in which a complex, disruptive formation of simple boxes is used to house a series of urban programmes. 14.13–14.14 Located in Canary Wharf, the project aims to challenge the homogeneous landscape of towers that is quickly filling the area. The thesis is to use learning algorithms not to reinforce this worrying pattern of urbanisation but rather to disrupt it by inserting a large, dense and horizontal object containing the public programmes the area is lacking. 14.15 A series of diagrams showing the design process in which further constraints are layered upon the initial configurations in order to absorb further parameters to become more specific, fine-grain and diverse in its configuration. 14.16 This design was based on an extensive analysis of more than 20 types of data describing both the physical and social qualities of London. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used to operate a meaningful reduction of the data sets and direct the proposal towards a more specific aim or issue. The emphasis is not so much on efficiency but rather on teasing out complex, latent conditions for design. 14.17–14.19 Sinking Cities This project uses data and learning algorithms to examine how urban design can react to the rising water levels of the River Thames. The project focuses on Canvey Island, which experts say will one day be underwater. Rather than stubbornly protecting the town with higher walls, the proposal displaces part of the population within the area currently occupied by the oil refinery. The thesis is manifold: to reduce the population on site; to start accepting the new, dramatic environmental changes; and to move towards a post-oil economy. A series of structures were designed to protect part of the new community and also provide inhabitable spaces. 14.20–14.22 BioFlow This project combines a plant to recycle plastic in the River Thames with the need to rethink a long-term strategy against flooding. The Thames Barrier may not be able to withstand the rising water levels caused by climate change, which puts most of the areas surrounding City Airport at risk. By creating a simple element made of recycled plastic, this project proposes a series of public parks on the north bank of the river to be used as ‘nets’ to catch plastic and provide public spaces for the surrounding housing estates. The project merges physical and digital simulations to test the structure’s ability to trap objects, as well as its potential to operate as a barrier against flooding.
The majority of large cities are directly interfacing with dynamic hydrological systems â€“ many at a drastically amplified and accelerated rate and frequency. Research Cluster 15 investigates and addresses urgent and relevant questions associated with the rapidly evolving relationship between the built environment and intensified climate dynamics, including rising seawater, new forms of energy and food production, and complex population dynamics. The cluster engages in comprehensive architectural, urban and territorial design work, developing, testing and fine-tuning a selection of specific computational design techniques, a repertoire of generative and analytic data and matter-based methods for design, decisionmaking, and scalable and transferable application. This includes multi-objective simulations, deep learning and embedding of computation, and actuation capacity within the architectural structure and urban tissue. Students envision, prototype, design and produce scalable and transferable architectural, urban and territorial projects with the capacity to adapt, develop and evolve. Our rigorous experimental design interest is focused on crossscale design. This approach expands the design range to engage with multi-objective, complex questions, conditions and contexts that utilise nonlinear, scale-specific relations. â€˜Cross-scale relationsâ€™ are processes at one spatial or temporal scale interacting with processes at another, resulting in nonlinear dynamics. These interactions affect, alter or promote the relationship between process and pattern across scales. For example, small-scale processes can influence a broad spatial extent, a long time period or large-scale conditions that interact with small-scale processes to curate complex system dynamics. This year, the focus was on development of novel interfaces between the built environment and the water system. We engaged with architectural, urban and landscape design work, by developing and fine tuning a selection of project-specific design techniques, a repertoire of generative, computational, data and matter-based methods for design, materialisation and industrial production. Our approach introduces a radical shift, substituting the design and production of finite state outputs with dynamic multi-scale and multi-objective structures and systems. These have the capacity for not only direct adaptive responsiveness but also developmental capacity during the lifecycle, through partial reconfiguration based on continuous, additive, substitutional, metamorphic and subtractive processes that offer evolutionary potential over the course of multiple developmental generations. The approach redefines the traditional separation between the design process, construction and lifecycle, promoting autonomous behavioural design controls by establishing a relationship between encoded behaviours and contextual fluctuation.
Students Yi Guo, Zhuoyu Han, Binyue Hu, Peerapol Jirawattanaek, Yu Mao, Mario Santaniello, Yudou Wang Theory Tutor Tomaz Pipan Skills Tutor Ana Abram
15.1 Peerapol Jirawattanaek, Mario Santaniello ‘Agglomeration Process’. An example of 3D structures, their logically assembled form and multiple geometric size repetitions. The assembled process of the material adapts to environmental scenarios. 15.2–15.4 Yi Guo, Binyue Hu 15.2–15.3 A ‘channel’ structure developed in a certain direction, depth and thickness, which leads a dynamic flowing process indicated by the blue line. The dynamic system interacts with water when embedded in the hydrological environment. With time, the structure could lead the water and organise the sediments, creating a landscape infrastructure system with a new landform. 15.4 Physical model showing how the ‘weave’ structure combines with the channel. The prototype has multi-directional porosity and certain material transition. 15.5–15.6 Peerapol Jirawattanaek, Mario Santaniello ‘Physical Simulations and Sedimentation Flow’. In physical experiments, we started to test how the forms and shapes can generate feedback in a different manner. As different shapes were introduced into simulations, sedimentation patterns revealed that the water current was divided into various directions, affecting the force of the water and the behaviour of the sediments. 15.7 Zhuoyu Han, Yu Mao, Yuduo Wang This design applies a more flexible land strategy, focusing on the establishment of multiple dynamic systems from the microscopic to the macroscopic architectural scale through the study of density and porosity, so as to provide risk prevention for fluvial and coastal floods happening in inner lagoons at the ocean’s side. In terms of the largest city scale, this methodology proposes a systematic design language for building cities. Through a series of simulations, units were designed that when combined with local terrain continue their interactive relationship with water. The establishment of a ‘transition zone for urban landscape’ focuses on forms and materials that can be combined to become a natural habitat. Meanwhile, large territorial strategies are considered in a particular timescale as the environment is ever-changing. 15.8–15.10 Peerapol Jirawattanaek, Mario Santaniello 15.8–15.9 ‘3D Print Assembled Process’. This research discusses how the basic elements can be assembled into larger units to serve a different function. A study of the assembled form proposes a sense of logic on the study of 3D platforms in nature, and the repetition of homogenous forms adapting to context. The design in this research proposes that homogenous geometry will deliver a morphogenic system for better logical organisation. 15.10 ‘Behaviour Observation’. Digital simulations were conducted to observe the interaction between the objects and the environmental forces that contribute to the large territorial design. The digital simulations provided five different scenarios, alongside their topography, to visualise dynamic flow in a tangible manner.
Urban Morphogenesis Lab
The Inhuman City
Claudia Pasquero with Filippo Nassetti
The Inhuman City project aims to mobilise multiple forms of intelligence – human as well as non-human – to redefine the ‘urban’. We are now in the Anthropocene, yet we depend upon non-anthropocentric forms of intelligence to read and sustain our cities. The machines that allow us to compute changes in the global climate are contributing to these changes with their intense energy consumption; yet these computational processes promote new visual languages that reveal emerging territorial and urban narratives that are profoundly natural in their appearance. From within this contradictory framework we develop strategies to deal with change and transformation. This year’s projects are sited in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok. ‘Post-Human City’ is sited in the slums and proposes a morphogenetic city whose form is defined by the cybernetic interaction of matter, information and energy. Here, computational processes become cognitive ones, the large quantity of material and digital data present in contemporary cities manifests as a net that allows the development of thinking beyond the human mind. The cooperation of biological and artificial intelligence enables a synanthropic future; an urban scenario for a post-human world. ‘Entonomo City’ applies bio-computational tools to redesign Bangkok’s food infrastructure, which is hybridised with insects’ breeding spaces as well as food-consumption landscapes devoted to the cultivation of proteins, the increase of biodiversity and the creation of novel culinary experiences. The presence of insects as city agents and as computational engines is explored ambiguously and creatively in the project. The team developed the Arachnocomputer: a bio-computational tool interfacing Asian Fawn Tarantula behaviour, laser scanning, algorithms and digital data. It promotes an increase in biodiversity as well as novel culinary practices focused on the consumption of proteins from bacteria and insects bred in the city. ‘Ludic City’ deploys the intelligence of slime mould to uncover the hedonistic side of Bangkok. The city attracts millions of people to its festivals; these are not simply tourists but a new form of temporary citizen. Focusing on Bangkok’s water festival, the team proposes a dew-collection infrastructure, which reads the city morphology computationally and responds to it by growing urban cyber-fountains. Bangkok is a highly polluted city. Departing from this observation, ‘Physarum Morphological City’ applies the bio-computation of slime mould to the design of a distributed network of religious spaces. This acts as a substratum of human activities, as well as material support for the growth of organic micro-organisms, such as cyanobacteria and moss, which re-metabolise pollution by devouring and transforming carbon dioxide and particulate in the thick urban air.
Students Entonomo City Yumeng Sun, Hao Ye, Lixi Zhu Ludic City Yangyang Huang, Fengzhe Jiang, Qingyin Luo, Yundi Yang Physarum Morphological City Yingxiao Ji, Xiaomeng Kong, Shuang Wu, Qian Zhou Post-Human City Dong Guan, Kwan Wong Wang Theory Tutor Emmanouil Zaroukas Skills Tutors Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Filippo Nassetti, Alessandro Zomparelli Partners ecoLogicStudio, MHOX, Photosynthetica, Synthetic Landscape Lab at Innsbruck University Critics Richard Beckett, Roberto Bottazzi, Damiano Cerrone, Ilaria Di Carlo, Antonino Di Raimo, Zachary Flucker, Soomeen Hahm, Jakub Klaska, Frédéric Migayrou, Annarita Papeschi, Maj Plemenitas, Marco Poletto, Andrew Porter, Vincenzo Reale, Marco Vanucci
16.1 Entonomo City Meso-scale. The Entonomo City is in the Siam, Bangkok’s shopping district. The project focuses on the role of bio-artificial intelligence in architecture. ‘Arachno-computation’ allowed the team to transform city data about food production, food consumption and biodiversity into urban morphologies. The proposal promotes entomophagy (eating insects) and makes use of urban morphology as a medium to organise human and insect space in the city. Insects are considered the food of the future due to their high protein content; at the same time, their presence in urban contexts reflects improved ecology and biodiversity. The group identified three main human leisure activities – walking, eating and contemplating – associated with a set of four building prototypes dedicated to production, consumption and inhabitation. The prototypes are materialised by a set of redundant fibrous systems, 3D-printed across the cityscape, defining a synthetic layer over Siam, which is neither natural or artificial but both at the same time. The prototypes are identified by the morphology of their patterns and the numbers generating them, and are a form of abstract materialism: EC1 – consuming: 3,000 kg crickets, 5,000 kg grasshoppers, 1,500 humans, 2,500 fibrous assemblages; EC2 – living: 4,000 kg crickets, 5,000 grasshoppers, 2,000 humans, 3,000 fibrous assemblages; EC3 – producing: 3,000 kg crickets, 4,000 grasshoppers, 1,000 humans, 5,000 fibrous assemblages; EC4 – contemplating: 2,000 kg crickets, 3,000 grasshoppers, 500 humans, 4,500 fibrous assemblages. 16.2 Ludic City Macro-scale model. Using bio-computation and the intelligence of Physarum Polycephalum (slime mould), Ludic City re-describes and designs the behaviour and impact of tribes of contemporary urban nomads travelling every year to the city of Bangkok for the Songkran Festival. In June, a swarm of temporary urban dwellers suddenly populate the city of Bangkok, which is just one of the festivals that animate this urban context. By using social media data combined with bio-digital simulation, this project defines the city’s growth and shrinkage, both in its materiality and its ecology. It was recorded that 930,000 tourists travelled to the city during the festival in 2019. During the festival, it was estimated that approximately 186,000 people would consume between five and ten million litres of water. Traditional religious spaces (temples and palaces), public green spaces and markets are the main sites for the activities. Water is distributed in plastic bottles from water points. This design proposal envisions a parasitic, collective, distributed, mobile and fibrous structure that colonises the existing buildings, provides event spaces and acts as an architectural dew collector providing necessary water for the event. 16.3 Entonomo City Micro-scale. These drawings investigate the morphology of restaurants hosting insect growth in the context of the project site and brief. The proposed urban prototypes can be coded as: EC1 – Human: Fibre Number: 2100; Pipe Radium: 2; Density: 30%. Nonhuman: Fibre Number: 8700; Pipe Radium: 0.5; Density: 30%. EC2: Human: Fibre Number: 3150; Pipe Radium: 2; Density: 45%. Nonhuman: Fibre Number: 103050; Pipe Radium: 0.5; Density: 45%. EC3: Human: Fibre Number: 4200; Pipe Radium: 2; Density: 60%. Nonhuman: Fibre Number: 16800; Pipe Radium: 0.5; Density: 60%. EC4: Human: Fibre Number: 5600; Pipe Radium: 2; Density: 80%. Nonhuman: Fibre Number: 23200; Pipe Radium: 0.5; Density: 80%. 16.4 Post-Human City The arachnocomputer is a living computational system. In this project, the spider web becomes an integral part of a biological computer. It investigates the collaboration between human, artificial and bio-artificial forms of intelligence in developing a form of cognitive architecture for the Anthropocene. 134
The team produced a 3D printing substratum, which influenced spiders spinning on one side and incorporated data from the site on the other. Time-lapse recording techniques were then used to evaluate the spider’s spinning process and its interaction with substrate. The behavioural model shows how spiders moved and spun in the space. Framing the simulation within a specific time and scale, this experiment enabled the team to validate the role of the spider’s web as an extension of its cognitive system; opening up the conversation on the role of extended cognition in the design field. 16.5–16.7 Physarum Morphological City 16.5 Physarum computer. Departing from the observation that Physarum Polycephalum shows intelligence in creating distributed networks, this project establishes a collaboration with this form of non-human intelligence. The apparatus which enables this collaboration has been named ‘Physarum’. The Physarum computer works by collecting data and translating it into city morphologies. 16.6 Morphological computer. Minimal path-maps are the first output of Physarum computation in the process set up by this project. Pollution, carbon dioxide and oxygen networks are the input, whilst temples and other kinds of meditation spaces across the city are the programme, which will be transformed and augmented by photosynthetic activities. 16.7 Macro-scale. Physarum Morphological City growth is based on the bio-computation of slime mould. The project proposed to redesign the city temple, as well as other meditation activities, in the form of a distributed network acquiring photosynthetic properties in time. The emergent network is materially interwoven with the morphology of the existing city in a way that will make it impossible to distinguish between the two and pick them apart. The adopted material system is a fibrous assemblage with differentiated thicknesses corresponding to multiple biotic characteristics of the prototypes and populated by micro-organisms like algae, moss, grass and lichen, which have different capabilities in absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen (O2). These resilient materials are spatially reorganised according to the levels of greenhouse gas emissions across the urban landscape. In numbers, cyanobacteria absorbs 0.55 tonnes of CO2/day/m³; lichen absorbs 0.35 tons of CO2/day/m³; moss absorbs 0.16 tons of CO2/day/ m³; grass absorbs 0.000001 tons of CO2/day/m³. If we map the activities part of this proposal, we realise that when praying, each person will breathe out 2.57g/m³ of CO2; meditators exhale 1.285g/m³ of CO2; yoga practitioners exhale 1.1g/m³ of CO2; tai chi practitioners exhale 0.918g/m³ of CO2. The proposal acts as a spatial and material interface between this data, as well as between human and non-human life, with a trade of CO2 and O2 happening between the two systems.
Large City Architecture Research: When Numbers Dwell
Daniel Koehler, Rasa Navasaityte We as architects are faced with the incomprehensible challenge of constructing a city only with its buildings. Undoubtedly, however, a city is more than just its buildings. Cities gather our needs and desires, what we do, what we are and what we want to be. It is both a city’s buildings – like giant vessels – and the spaces in-between them that touch us and with which we ground ourselves. When we design a building, the city is always a part of it; the city becomes a building and is negotiated as a building. The city is measured, regulated and enclosed in particular parts of architecture: plots, partition walls, courtyards and windows. This idea opens up the possibility of articulating the city through the quantity of its parts – what we call ‘large city architecture’. When the city is increasingly understood as a quantitative accumulation, as the internet of things, then it is also necessary to develop a language that enables us to talk about it in numbers: as data, quantities, protocols and interfaces. Here, mereology becomes an important framework for the design of a building as part of a city. Departing from the individual, mereologies describe the overlaps between discrete entities that are considered as parts. Depending on composition only, architectural elements are torn away from comprehension and meaning – neither signifier nor signified – they do not exist as things but as gaps; as the endless parts and composition between things. The mereological project – an architecture of parts – might open the door to an architecture capable of partaking in a city where numbers dwell. Using active design – ‘research by architecture’ – we investigated the architectural capacities of sharing models at urban scales. The work can be seen as architectural science in pursuit of new forms of living for the future of the city. ‘The Comata’ introduces cooperative and shareable living spaces into a fully automated real estate market. Computed by the fusion of its parts only, buildings turn into decentralised autonomous organisations that offer a new spatial form coined as ‘codividuality’. ‘Slabrose’ questions high-rise typology, which results from the lengths and shafts of escape-route stairs, and finds that stairs not only compute escape routes but also the parts of that which is urban. Departing from the classical notion of the ‘enfilade’ (a passage of rooms), ‘Archilade’ composes subjective computations into a panorama and, ultimately, the spatial quality of a building. ‘Endlessscape’, meanwhile, combines the fragmented pieces of urban nature into an endless landscape to live in; and finally, ‘Multiyards’ reinterprets the urban notion of a courtyard as a distributive device to share and orient access and ownership.
Student Teams Archilade Mengshi Fu, Ren Wang, Chenyi Yao, Zhoayue Zhang Comata Anthony Alvidrez, Shivang Bansal, Hao-Chen Huang Endlessscape Yao Chen, Zhaofeng Chen MultiYards Ping Ju, Rong Liu, Jiachong Zhou Slabrose Dongxin Mei, Zhiyuan Wan, Peiwen Zhan, Chi Zhou Skills Tutors Sheghaf Abo Saleh Ziming He Hosts, Guests and Critics Alisa Andrasek, Vera Bühlmann, Roberto Bottazzi, Mario Carpo, Emmanuelle ChiapponePiriou, Keller Easterling, Peter Eisenman, Tyson Hosmer, Ludger Hovestadt, Frédéric Migayrou, Philippe Morel, Jordi Vivaldi Piera, Andrew Porter, Gilles Retsin, Indre Umbrasaite, Michael Young, Emmanouil Zaroukas
17.1 Endlessscape Departing from Frederick Kiesler’s idea of an endless city, this project focuses on spatial continuity from fragmented parts. In the concept of endlessness, cities no longer have boundaries, not only between rural areas and urban centres but the regions where human activities are no longer separated from natural areas. The name ‘endlessscape’, therefore, reflects how a landscape can be an endless structure with walkability and ecosystem in synchronisation. 17.2–17.5 Comata It is a small step from computing a building through a logistic data model to a building computing its data, programme, form or value. The project began with the question: What spatial qualities evolve when building parts organise their own estate? Seen as a decentralised, autonomous organisation, the house itself turns into an ecology of building parts. The overlapping of economic models with ecological thought offers the opportunity to develop not only new models of living through design but also environmental performative building typologies. Here, we propose the concept of ‘codividuality’, the fusion of parts through a decentralised autonomous organisation, offering spatial connectivity composed of parts. According to the reinterpretation of individualism, collectivism and codividuality, by the logic of parthood and composition, individuals could be defined as ones-in-whole; collectives as parts-in-whole. The merged term ‘codividuals’ could be translated into parts-within-parts. Based on this part-to-part relation, codividuals in the sense of composition will start with existing individuals and then join together in identified parts. Unlike the self-determination of individuals, the identity of parts contributed by participation forms a strong correlation in-between but preserves autonomy. Being codividual, each individualistic entity obtains the potential of state-transforming by sharing its identity with others. Since the involved entities fuse into new collectives, the compositing group will simultaneously change its form to share features; therefore, codividuality could be seen as ‘fusion’. Benefitting from the values of both individualism and collectivism, codividuality obtains individual autonomy and, on the other hand, encourages collective interaction. We explore how space can change from one state to another through the fusion of parts. The fusion of parts, in which two parts become a single new part and act as such, with the new part repeating this process, creates an infinite number of parts and special conditions. This form of fusion and the methodology behind it is what we are computing. We are not using the standard of existing computational methodologies, such as state machines, but computing through physical geometry and the fusion of parts. 17.6–17.10 Archilade Can machines compute a subject-oriented architecture? Here, we investigate the classical motif of the enfilade as a spatial form of organisation based on individual experiences. This type of building is referred to as ‘subject-oriented architecture’, and the form of architecture chosen here is enfilade space. This study mainly looks at the transitional status of architectural composition, of ‘less and more’ as a form of thinking by associating classical architectural theory with typical cases, contemporary architectural concept, technology, advanced analysis in computational method and digital architecture. From a macro perspective, less and more is a oneto-one correspondence to the concept of part-andwhole, in which ‘less’ is equivalent to ‘part’, and ‘more’ corresponds to ‘whole’. ‘More’ and ‘less’ share a specific and subtle relationship, indicating that parts and whole cannot simply be divided into two. Mixed-use buildings are intended to combine multiple functions into one complex architecture, however, how many more 144
programmes or less shapes do you need for a building to be plural? Shifting from objective to subjective, how many more or less people can dwell in this building? How many more or less needs relate to this arrangement? 17.11–17.12 Slabrose Based on an in-depth analysis of the regulations of high-rise typologies in China, this project turns constraints into aims for arrangements of building parts. In particular, residential high-rises can be seen as a direct application of legislative schemes. By implementing legislative demands on construction and habitation into distributive models of computation, buildings no longer have to be subordinated to the diagram of constraints but can simultaneously configure a plurality of requirements. As research, the project offers a simulation environment in which building parts automatically figure themselves according to requirements. In this way, architects can focus on design features to create urban qualities in the 3D space of a vertical residential structure. 17.13–17.14 MultiYards Public spaces play a vital role in the social and economic life of communities. Here, we project positive characters of traditional courtyard buildings into a contemporary architecture of shared living. The research studies show different scenarios of living based on built precedents. 17.15 Slabrose Adaptive Housing Proposal for Kowloon, Hong Kong. 17.16–17.19 Endlessscape The project combines interior and exterior spaces, mixing the functional areas in the whole design. There is no longer a single building in the city. Each space is not only architecture for human activities but also connection points for the urban area, which is similar to current city streets. To imitate the form of continuity, the fundamental idea of overlapping can be used in the design of essential elements. Sampling M.C. Escher’s drawings, the elements are staggered to ensure that each part connects to the next. 17.20 MultiYards By studying the relationship between private, shared and public spaces, and their common features, the city can be described through notions of ‘sharing’. Opposed to today’s urban planning principles based on boundaries and territories, this project offers possibilities to read a city through aspects of partaking and sharing. Thus, existing buildings and neighbourhoods can be understood through forms of sharing. Various ways of partaking can create either closed, open or semi-open spaces, which allow distributive strategies to be applied over time at an urban scale.
Zachary Fluker, Enriqueta Llabres-Valls
Contemporary computer sciences and, more precisely, big data technologies for searching and information retrieval constitute a new paradigm in the history of the scientific method. This artificial form of thinking through trial, error and search derives from the anthropocentric cognitive method based on observation, hypothesis and experimental verification. This year, students in Research Cluster 18, aided by computational technologies, engaged with forms of intelligence alien to humans. The student cannot compete, in terms of power and speed, with computers that deal with a tremendous amount of data and calculus to simultaneously produce complex simulations of reality. The machines learn to act like humans, in terms of improving their learning autonomously in time, by taking advantage of information in the form of interactions and sensing of the real world. In the current scenario, algorithm thinking and the students’ intelligence are taking diverging routes and starting to operate in their own conceptual spaces. There is an increasing expansion and disanalogy in the way the two process and communicate the information they receive and produce knowledge with. This accelerated disanalogy creates an opportunity for the development of new design methodologies, based on a symbiotic relationship between human and machine thinking. Students tap into this opportunity, investigating how back-end computing infrastructure – a subordinate processor not directly accessed by the user, which performs a specialised function – and front-end computing infrastructure – a device or programme directly accessed by the user – can link digital fabrication and social media. Fab/Media Urbanism provides an opportunity for urban hacking: specifically, how to bridge the mass-customisation of user products to pursue a collective project. To quote Benjamin Bratton, the future ‘will have less to do with these students teaching machines how to think, than machines themselves demonstrating to students that thinking is a much broader and fuller range of phenomena than what we would have otherwise thought’. 1
Student Teams Agritecture Zheyu Sun, De Yu, Jingyun (Zoe) Zhao Autonomous Ecology Yuxiang Gao, Jialin Xu, Jianan Zhang, Yitian Zhang Generative Ecology Anqi Li, Timothy Suprapto, Fang Wu, Guyi Yi Search City Omar Elshazly, Lei Jiang, Maria Juliana Vargas Arce, De Zhang The Urban Fabric Natalia Bondareva Theory Tutor Ilaria Di Carlo Skills Tutors Dimitra Bra, Martyn Carter, Bernadette Devilat, Sheng-Yang Huang, Maria Paneta Partner Rhino CFD Critics Robetto Bottazzi, Frédéric Migayrou, Mohammed Makki, Andrew Porter, Milad Showkatbakhsh, Aiman Tabony
1. Benjamin H. Bratton, 2017 https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=nPV_ mGJiVII 155
18.1 Agritecture A vertical farming infrastructure embedded within the urban fabric and landscape to meet London’s future food requirements. Multiple programmes overlap, creating a dense cluster of inhabitable spaces mixed with autonomous zones of production. The proposal seeks to question our reprogrammable production systems and how they can evolve alongside human interaction. 18.2 Search City A network infrastructure that is reprogrammable to meet the needs and desires of contemporary digital nomads. Plugged into a site adjacent to Canary Wharf, the proposal offers a near-future scenario where web search protocols are brought into physical space and organised to produce clusters of knowledge and space-sharing. 18.3–18.5 Agritecture 18.3 The unit typology is easily decentralised so that these interrelated units can be constituted as a whole and are self-efficient, scattered throughout the city. Each unit structure is made from L-System fractal growth. It is vertically connected with a main supporting structure, and also a ring beam to hold them. They could be easily assembled with nodes and pipes. 18.4 The city is a complex evolutionary system, a system of systems, where land is the key catalyst of its own flexibility. How can we create a new catalyst in the urban block so that it can provide flexibility to perform as an evolutionary system? Agritecture, as the new pattern of agrarian urbanism, is a layered exoskeleton consisting of independent units, self-controlled and self-efficient, that can sense, learn and actuate. 18.5 The Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) could be considered a powerful generative tool to reprogramme agritecture blocks in order to meet the needs of humans and plants. After training, the GAN-based model can generate new layout schemes for each agritecture space unit, based on learning the existing cases quickly. 18.6–18.10 Autonomous Ecology 18.6 Plan model showing the layout of the layered 3D-printing factory. The stack of multiple programmes integrating automation and ecology creates a new landscape opposite Canary Wharf. The minimal surface section allows for urban voids that visually connect the different programmes. 18.7 Minimal surface modelling for capturing plastic waste in the River Thames. The endless pattern of digitally fabricated landscape components enters in collaboration with automated machines in charge of collecting plastic waste in the River Thames. 18.8 Ecology is commonly understood as a process of material exchange driven by nature. As digital technology, automation and fabrication develops, so too does an artificial way of exchanging material that will eventually change the way we understand the ecology. A new ecological pattern, an autonomous ecology, is implemented on the existing plastic waste pollution problem in the River Thames. Plan view showing the layered programmes that comprise the automated ecology: capturing plastic waste in the River Thames, processing it, then sending to the digital fabrication labs. 18.9–18.10 The project proposes a new artificial habitat that is interwoven into people’s daily routines. A coherence between human activities and ecosystem can be established. Mass-customisation is achieved through a decentralised system that can be modified to suit a particular individual’s needs, and immediately corresponds to habitation and the amount of time people spend outdoors. 18.11–18.14 Generative Ecology A digital structure that enables a new empathetic relationship between people and ecology, redefining every surface as a breathing organ that can be customised by human beings and natural systems. 18.12 A symbiotic system where humans 156
and other living organisms can communicate and benefit from each other. This distributed network can automatically give feedback on route customisation, based on personal health data and habitat distribution. 18.13 A layered datascape created by collecting human physical output, sensed plant and social media. This data is then translated into forms that promote physical interaction with the external environment. 18.14 A new form of material system emerges from augmenting the existing micro-structure using computer vision technologies. The image shows the current health of the plants using data from the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). 18.15–18.18 Search City 18.15 A spatial massing model. Evolutionary learning and machine-learning data generates and determines the spatial morphologies of SearchCity. 18.16 Evolutionary learning algorithms simulate and analyse environmental parameters. 18.17 Embedding behaviour through additive manufacturing. Embedding various components into a 3D print, exploring a behavioural paradigm to urbanism and shape-shifting morphologies. 18.18 Machine learning. Data from co-working locations – varying from area, density and proximity – is employed to train the machine, which learns how to produce alternative programme distributions.
The B-Pro Show 2018
Architectural Computation MSc/MRes
Architectural Computation MSc/MRes Programme Director: Manuel Jiménez Garcia
The Bartlett’s Architectural Computation MSc and MRes degrees engage and advance the main technologies by which tomorrow’s architecture will be designed and constructed. The programmes are designed to provide students with the depth of understanding needed to exploit computation fully in the context of design, research and industry. Students investigate computation as a technology driving fundamental shifts in industry and society, and – more radically – one that can change the way we produce and think. Students develop technical knowledge, such as computer coding, not only as a skill, but also as a framework for thought. This technical knowledge is supported by a broad theoretical understanding of the algorithms and philosophies of AI and related domains. Theory modules position the use of computation in the design process, ranging from analysis of space and structure, to using AI techniques to learn about design performance, and ultimately the role of computation in creativity. Practice modules allow students to develop their personal interests within a range of themes, including technologies of interaction, cybernetics, physics simulations, AI, automation and robotic manufacturing. A stream of skills-based modules teaches research skills and programming, guiding students through the multiple possibilities that computation offers. This year, students engaged with a wide range of digital media and tools to develop their projects through studio modules, workshops and lectures. The modules and thesis produced research projects that ranged from exploring computational methods for automated construction, AR applications for the built environment or optimisation applications, to developments of AI for space navigation and pattern generation. Students also participated in workshops in physical computing, robotics and machinehuman interaction. 168
Students Yusuf Algem, Chrysanthi Bekta, Konstantina Bikou, Giuseppe Bono, Kangdi Chen, Yiannis Chrysochou, Thomas Cooke, Serena Dosanjh, Efthymia Douroudi, Jakob Engstrom, Tryfon Foteinopoulos, Eleana Georgousi, Marco Juliani, Sarah Kabli, Andrew Kidd, Huey Ing Low, Jinge Ma, Mario Medina Vilela, Willian Mendes Soares Novais, Manuel Montoro Esteban, Noam Naveh, Paris Nikitidis, Sanoob Puthenpurackal Sanalkumar, Zehao Qin, Rida Quereshi, Ottavia Rispoli, Tanishk Saha, Vicente Sanchez Seoane, Justyna Szychowska, Athanasios Tsaravas, Eirini Tsomokou, Ruth Vella, Johan Wijesinghe, Junru Xiong, Pengyu Zhao Teaching Staff Kinda Al-Sayed, Shajay Bhooshan, Vishu Bhooshan, Tomasso Casucci, Khaled ElAshry, Ava Fatah gen Schieck, Sam Griffiths, Sean Hanna, Marcin Kosicki, Vasileios Papalexopoulos, Stamatios Psarras, Vicente Soler, Vlad Tenu, Martha Tsigkari
AC.1–AC.3 Tanishk Saha AC.1 ‘Cellular Growth’. These images depict 3D cellular automata, with the third dimension being time. The rule-sets were influenced in an attempt to create rough ‘decaying’ of structures and landscapes. The colours of the individual cells indicate the number of neighbouring cells present. AC.2–AC.3 ‘Cellular Growth 02’ Another form of 3D cellular automata. Every cell hosts information regarding its past states, its current ‘state’ is represented as colour, and the varying sizes of some cells denote their ‘health’ as they progress through their lifecycles. The cells cycle through birth, adolescence, adulthood, sickness, enhancement, and death. AC.4 Vicente Sanchez Seoane ‘Hexadron’. The materialisation of a flocking algorithm in which two different kinds of particles interact with each other, navigating across the environment without the restrictions of a voxel space to create singular patterns. AC.5 Junru Xiong ‘Discovering Urban Function Mix and Land Use in The City: A Study on Shanghai’. This study shows an example that employs the information entropy model to develop the spatial entropy and the regression model for quantitative evaluation of the mixed urban function using geographic and demographic data. AC.6 Manuel Montoro Esteban ‘Anemone’. Structure developed through the layering of a reaction-diffusion algorithm, in which the evolutional layers of the design are vertically stacked and coloured following the guiding growth function and distance to the generator point of the system. The smooth transition between similar layers and vertical expansion is parametrically controlled so that two different bodies are created, corresponding to the main structure and its supporting base. AC.7 Yiannis Chrysochou, Sanoob Puthenpurackal Sanalkumar ‘Tree-Like Spatial Structures’. This project focuses on the development of an interactive toolset for facilitating user-guided spatial structures as part of ZHCode studio. Starting from an initial geometry, the user can perform operations like chamfering, bevelling, extrusion and translation on selected faces to drive the corresponding geometry graph connecting the centre points of the faces. The resultant form is subjected to dynamic relaxation, subdivision, planarisation and detachment of edges, which explodes the geometry into developable strips. AC.8 Marco Juliani ‘3D Checkers’. A ‘perpetual motion’ machine where objects of different types (colours) erode from an initial primitive object and eventually coalesce into a collage-like object that is a result of the various ‘pulses’ a user provides to the system through the user interface. The ‘machine’ is in constant motion. The project aims to create an effect that resembles erosion whilst being confined to a discrete set of synthetic cells. AC.9 Rida Quereshi ‘Adaptive Dynamic Shell’. Canopy structure created through fractal recursion of Voronoi cells derived from a dynamic catenary structure to create a synchronised mesh surface acting as a maze-like labyrinth, moving and adapting in real time. AC.10 Mario Medina Vilela ‘Cellular Pavilion’. A structure resulting from the discretisation of an initial volume into a series of tubular geometries resembling its original shape. The algorithm finds and assigns a specific colour attribute which will function as a threshold in the next steps. In a rule-based order, tubular geometries are created to find structural continuity. AC.11 Kangdi Chen ‘Geometric Modelling of Planar Hexagonal Mesh for Multiple-Layer Structure’. This thesis explores the rationalisation of planar hexagonal panelling for multiple-layer structure, associating its geometric realisation with actual fabrication environment; this work analyses the P-hex tessellation in a multiple-layer structure under the restriction of the torsion-free node. 170
AC.12–AC.13 Paris Nikitidis ‘Polyhedral Packing Design Toolkit for 3D Graphic Statics Exploration.’A design toolkit used to manipulate force diagrams in polyhedral groups by applying different Conway operations and aggregation algorithms. Initial research was carried out into tetrahedral meshes and full-packed aggregations that form a cube. The grid placement is in 2x2, 4x4, 6x6 with Conway operations and face subdivision. The catalogue shows generated polyhedral diagrams and a reciprocal graph for insight static analysis. AC.14 Eleana Georgousi ‘Tetrahedron Aggregations’. A project exploring regular tetrahedra in which all four faces are equilateral triangles, and how they grow in 3D space. In geometry, tetrahedron packing is a problem of arranging identical regular tetrahedra throughout 3D space. Tetrahedra do not tesselate (fill space). This work explores different structures generated with a variety of constraints, following different orientations and alignments to avoid overlapping. AC.15 Athanasios Tsaravas ‘Developable Strips’. Developability is the set of properties that a surface should possess, to be made by smoothly bending flat pieces without stretching or shearing. This algorithm takes the field values with a given number of intervals and generates filled contour polygons within the upper and lower threshold values – the isobands. AC.16 Efthymia Douroudi, Eirini Tsomokou ‘Geometry Studies Based on Scalar-Function Fields’. Geometric modelling using function representation. Functions are visualised as scalar fields and implicit surfaces. AC.17 Sarah Kabli ‘The Sound of Our Bubble’. This project explores the idea of interacting and realising our surroundings and people around us through sound by creating a wearable device that helps us detect other’s interference with our ‘bubble’ of interpersonal space. The main purpose of the project is the detection of our surroundings and translating our distance to other people into sound, making us more aware of the people around us so we can protect our personal ‘bubble’. AC.18 Konstantina Bikou ‘The Selfie of Your Movement’. This interactive installation investigates the perception of full-body movement representation, which is an expression of embodied movement awareness. The specific visualisation methods were generated to transform the participants’ movements in order to explore how their own perception affects their further movement. AC.19–AC.20 Huey Ing Low ‘Mini Tape Monster’. A spinoff exercise during research into decentralised multi-agent control. Initially, a prototype was made, intended to be used for testing a decentralised control algorithm. Subsequently, it was repurposed into a generative drawing agent. AC.21 Johan Wijesinghe ‘Augmented Timber Assembly’. An exploration of how AR could be used for timber construction assembly. Using the Microsoft Hololens, the digital model is overlayed in physical space, indicating the position of each building block and its connections. The modularity of the timber blocks allows for interactivity between the model and the construction, as the parts can be placed in multiple positions and orientations. AC.22 Jinge Ma ‘AR Spider’. A mobile AR application to 3D model in physical space. Using a camera to detect planes in the physical realm, the user can set reference points to generate lines, surfaces and volumes. The application provides a new visual way for designers to create, modify and show their work.
Architectural Design MArch at the B-Pro Show 2018
Bio-Integrated Design MArch/MSc
Bio-Integrated Design MArch/MSc Programme Directors: Marcos Cruz (The Bartlett School of Architecture), Brenda Parker (UCL Biochemical Engineering) Our Bio-Integrated Design (Bio-ID) programmes integrate biotechnology, advanced computation and fabrication in the context of climate change, to create a radically new and sustainable built environment. They take these life-changing phenomena as the foundation to explore sophisticated yet critical design solutions that will help to shape our future society. Taught collaboratively by two UCL departments, The Bartlett School of Architecture and Biochemical Engineering, Bio-ID proposes a new sense of materiality with emergent hybrid technologies that form innovative products and environments infused with natural and synthetic life. With two different Master’s programmes working in tandem – an MArch and MSc – each student’s work balances laboratory research, computational design and advanced fabrication. The programmes are hands-on, with intense studio and lab work the norm. The emphasis lies on the translation of phenomena observed at a microscopic level into an architecturally relevant scale. Nature plays a central role, beyond that of a model or inspiration; it is in itself the medium of a new multi-layered design approach that is biologically, materially and socially integrated. Bio-ID merges a wide range of expertise, from highend digital design to laboratory research in applied science. It combines design experimentation with scientific methodologies to create novel materials, systems and space. The programmes bring together a community of multidisciplinary practitioners. This year, they have attracted a diverse community of students, including architects, landscape architects, designers and artists studying the MArch and scientists and engineers studying the MSc. Work produced by Bio-ID students has been featured in recent exhibitions and related research by doctoral students has also gained international acclaim. Bio-Integrated Design projects in the lab, studio and gallery 182
Students Dali Alnaeb, Yandongxue Chen, Yara Gadah, Erh-Chia Hsu, Ziying Jin, Aurora Li, Yao Yao Meng, Erfan Pour Ahmad, Ian Thomas Robinson, Julián Rodríguez Jirau, Timothy Ryan, Shankar Saanthakumar, Jasmina Salam, Vivek George Sanu Tutors Nina Jotanovic, Shneel Malik, Javier Ruiz Laboratory Co-ordinator Anete Salmane Theory Tutors Paolo Bombelli, Will Goodall-Copestake, Gary Grant, Nina Jotanovic, Andreas Koerner, Zoe Laughlin, Ruby Law, Guan Lee, Christopher Leung, Anete Salmane, Mark Spencer, Maria Villefane, John Ward, Tom Wilkinson Critics Lena Asai, Matthew Barnett Howland, Bastian Beyer, Martyn Dade-Robertson, Andreas Koerner, Katia Larina, Ricardo de Ostos, Maj Plemenitas, Andrew Porter, Juan Roldan, Bob Sheil, Ram Shergill, Bill Watts, Oliver Wilton Partners UCL Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, UCL The Institute of Making, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey, IAAC Barcelona, University of Coimbra
Urban Design MArch at the B-Pro Show 2018
Our Programmes 187 Short Courses 188 Open Crits 189 Public Lectures 190 Events & Exhibitions 192 Alumni 193 Staff, Visitors & Consultants 194
Installing The Bartlett Summer Show, 2018 186
Our Programmes The Bartlett School of Architecture currently teaches undergraduate and graduate students across 25 programmes of study and one professional course, with a new integrated Master’s, Architecture MSci, opening for applications this autumn. Across the school’s portfolio of teaching, research and professional programmes, our rigorous, creative and innovative approach to architecture remains integral. You will find below a list of our current programmes, their duration when taken full time (typical for MPhil/PhDs) and the programme directors. Much more information, including details of forthcoming open days, is available on our website. Undergraduate Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1) Three-year programme, directed by Luke Pearson & Sara Shafiei Architecture MSci New five-year programme, directed by Sara Shafiei Architectural & Interdisciplinary Studies BSc Three or four-year programme, directed by Elizabeth Dow Engineering & Architectural Design MEng Four-year programme, directed by Luke Olsen Postgraduate Architecture MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2) Two-year programme, directed by Julia Backhaus & Marjan Colletti Architectural Computation MSc/MRes 12-month B-Pro programmes, directed by Manuel Jiménez Garcia Architectural Design MArch 12-month B-Pro programme, directed by Gilles Retsin Architectural History MA One-year programme, directed by Professor Peg Rawes Architecture & Digital Theory MRes One-year B-Pro programme, directed by Professor Mario Carpo & Professor Frédéric Migayrou Architecture & Historic Urban Environments MA One-year programme, directed by Dr Edward Denison
Bio-Integrated Design MSc/MArch Two-year B-Pro programmes, directed by Professor Marcos Cruz & Dr Brenda Parker (MSc only) Design for Manufacture MArch 15-month programme, directed by Dr Chris Leung Design for Performance & Interaction MArch 15-month programme, directed by Ruairi Glynn Landscape Architecture MA/MLA One (MA) and two-year (MLA) programmes, directed by Professor Laura Allen & Professor Mark Smout Situated Practice MA 15-month programme, directed by James O’Leary Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MSc/MRes One-year programmes, directed by Dr Kayvan Karimi Urban Design MArch 12-month B-Pro programme, directed by Roberto Bottazzi Advanced Architectural Research PG Cert Six-month programme, directed by Professor Stephen Gage Architectural Design MPhil/PhD Three to four-year programme, directed by Professor Jonathan Hill Architectural History & Theory MPhil/PhD Three to four-year programme, directed by Dr Ben Campkin Architectural Space & Computation MPhil/ PhD Three to four-year programme, directed by Dr Sean Hanna Architecture & Digital Theory MPhil/PhD Three to four-year programme, directed by Professor Mario Carpo & Professor Frédéric Migayrou Professional Professional Studies in Architecture, Part 3 (ARB/RIBA) 7, 12, 18 or 24-month course, directed by Professor Susan Ware
Short Courses The Bartlett School of Architecture welcomes hundreds of students from around the world to participate in summer short courses. We also run pop-up workshops locally and internationally, working closely with architectural institutions and practices. The Bartlett Summer School Our Summer School is ideal for students looking to bridge the gap between school and university, and bolster their understanding of architecture school. Taught through a series of tutorials and workshops over one, two or three weeks, the Summer School culminates in an open sharing session. Applications for 2020 will open in November 2019. A limited number of scholarships are available each year. The Bartlett Summer Studio Our Summer Studio is an academic and architectural adventure, enabling students to build their design skills and conceptual and critical thinking within a playful atmosphere of experimentation and fabrication. It is ideal for students already studying architecture or
At work in the B-made workshop 188
a related discipline, and is taught over three consecutive weeks. Applications for 2020 will open in November 2019. Pre-Master’s Certificate in Architecture Designed for applicants interested in applying to a Master’s Programme in Architecture at The Bartlett, the Pre-MArch prepares students for further study, developing a range of key skills alongside their English language skills. Beginning in January each year, the programme provides 15 hours’ teaching contact time on average per week by the Centre for Languages & International Education and additional tuition at The Bartlett, to develop research skills and critical thinking, understanding of the issues related to architecture and a small design portfolio. Applications for 2020 are currently open. Find out more Visit our website to find out more and to see this year’s pop-up workshops. Contact Bartlett.firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Crits The Open Crits are a chance for distinguished external critics to critique the work of our Architecture BSc Year 3 and Architecture MArch Year 5 students. Each year, the Open Crits generate fascinating exploratory dialogues, showcasing The Bartlett’s diversity at its best. Critics — Stephen Barrett, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners — Diann Bauer, Laboria Cuboniks — Nera Calvillo, Architectural Association — Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange, The Bartlett — Esther Choi — Nigel Coates — Peter Cook, CRAB Studio — Sarah Featherstone, Featherstone Young Architects — Stephen Gage, The Bartlett — Sarah Handelman, Drawing Matter — Simon Herron, University of Greenwich — Lucy Jones, UCA Canterbury — Ross Lovegrove
— — — —
Joe Morris, Morris+Company Vicky Richardson Eszter Steierhoffer, Design Museum Jane Wong, Architectural Association
Participating Students Jahba Anan, Yat Ning (Heidi) Au-Yeung, Daeyong Bae, Alexander Balgarnie, Arseniy Baryshnikov, Flavian Berar, Uday Berry, Theodosia Bosy Maury, Finbar Charleson, Imogen Dhesi, Patrick Dobson-Perez, George Entwistle, Charlotte Evans, Docho Georgiev, Egmontas Geras, Bijou Harding, Eleanor Harding, Yu-Wen (Yvonne) Huang, Paul Humphries, Kit Lee-Smith, Gaoqi Lou, Emily Mak, Owen Mellett, Jack Moreton, Carlota Nunez-Barranco Vallejo, Cameron Overy, Levent Ozruh, Carys Payne, Toby Preston, Joshua Richardson, Alessandro Rognoni, Naomi Rubbra, Malgorzata Rutkowska, Justine Shirley, George Stewart, Hsin-Fang Tsai, Arina Viazenkina, Dominic Walker, Benjamin Webster
Presenting at the Open Crits, 2019 189
Public Lectures The Bartlett International Lecture Series Attracting guests from across the capital, our International Lecture Series has featured over 500 distinguished speakers since its inception in 1996. Lectures in this series are open to the public and free to attend. Many of the lectures are recorded and made available to watch online. Speakers this year included: — Kai-Uwe Bergmann, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group — Jane Burry, Swinburne University of Technology — Izaskun Chinchilla, Izaskun Chinchilla Architects — Fenella Collingridge, Salter + Collingridge — Adrian Forty, The Bartlett — Hsinming Fung, Hodgetts + Fung — Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang — Manuelle Gautrand, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture — Stephen Graham, Newcastle University — Francine Houben, Mecanoo — Eva Jiřičná, Eva Jiřičná Architects — Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow — Hanif Kara, AKT II — Perry Kulper, University of Michigan — Jing Liu, SO-IL — Mariana Mazzucato, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose — Niall McLaughlin, The Bartlett School of Architecture — Kyle Miller, Syracuse University, New York — Tobias Nolte, Certain Measures — Alina Payne, Harvard University, Boston — Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu, China Academy of Art — Michael Webb, Archigram — Jenny Wu, Oyler Wu Collaborative The Bartlett International Lecture Series is generously supported by Fletcher Priest Architects.
Constructing Realities An informal event series at UCL at Here East, Constructing Realities welcomes a diverse range of speakers on themes of performance, interaction, design and manufacturing. This year’s speakers were: — Ramon Amaro, Goldsmiths, University of London — Stephanie Chaltiel, architect — Carole Collet, Central Saint Martins, UAL — Sonya Dyer, artist — Sasha Engelmann, Royal Holloway, University of London — Barbara Imhof, LIQUIFER Systems Group — Mitchell Joachim, Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology] — Martin Knight, Knight Architects — Zoe Laughlin, Institute of Making, UCL — Ho-Yin Ng, AL_A — Brenda Parker, The Bartlett — Pier Schneider, 1024 Architecture — Malkit Shoshan, FAST: Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory — Helene Steiner, Open Cell — Jol Thomson, artist — Chris Williamson, Weston Williamson + Partners — François Wunschel, 1024 Architecture Constructing Realities is generously supported by Populous.
Prospectives The Bartlett’s B-Pro history and theory lecture series offers a platform for presentation, discussion and theoretical reflection on the links between digital thought, architecture and urban design. This year’s speakers were: — Roberto Bottazzi, The Bartlett — Raoul Bunschoten, Technische Universität, Berlin — Silvio Carta, University of Hertfordshire — Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou — Mollie Claypool, The Bartlett — Keller Easterling, Yale University — Delfina Fantini van Ditmar, Royal College of Art — John Frazer, architect — Adam Greenfield, writer — Ludger Hoverstadt, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich — Giorgio Lando — Dan McQuillan, Goldsmiths, University of London — Frédéric Migayrou, The Bartlett — Euan Mills, Future Cities Catapult
— Luciana Parisi, Goldsmiths, University of London — Casey Rehm, Studio Kinch — David Rozas — Jose Sanchez, Plethora Project — Philip Steadman, UCL Energy Institute — Jordi Vivaldi Piera, Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia — Michael Young, Young & Ayata Situating Architecture Situating Architecture is an architectural history lecture series, affiliated with our renowned Architectural History MA and designed for both current students and members of the public alike. Recent speakers have included: — Roberto Bottazzi, The Bartlett — Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University — Eva Branscome, The Bartlett — Tim Brittain-Catlin, Kent School of Architecture — Paul Dobraszczyk, The Bartlett — Laurent Stald
Michael Webb delivering his International Lecture Series lecture 191
Events & Exhibitions The Bartlett plays host to a range of events throughout the year, ranging from PhD conferences to workshops and hackathons. This year we hosted EUGIC, an international conference focused on greening cities, and Innoskate, a day-long celebration of skateboarding with specially designed obstacles, workshops and skate-related talks. In addition, a vibrant programme of exhibitions runs throughout the year at 22 Gordon Street. These include displays of student, staff and alumni projects, as well as work by invited guests. As well as our major Summer and B-Pro exhibitions, in winter 2018 we staged our first Fifteen show, celebrating fifteen months of innovative work by graduating Design for Manufacture, Design for Performance & Interaction and Situated Practice Master’s students.
Family Day at The Bartlett Summer Show, 2018 192
Kiosk is a permanent micro-exhibition space in the front window of the school, exclusively displaying student and staff projects at street level. Kiosk exhibitions this year have included: — Bartlett Ceramics curated by teaching fellow Dan Wilkinson — The Diplomatic Bags by student Theo Jones — EMO by students Jung-Tu, Ping-Chieh Hsieh and Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn — Future Hoxton by teaching fellow Bill Hodgson and Jan Kattein Architects — Focus E15 Victory Village by student Emily Martin
Alumni The Bartlett’s diverse and vibrant alumni play a vital role in the life of the school, as staff, visiting lecturers, mentors, sponsors, donors and participants. Every year we organise several alumni events, including the R&V Dinner, founded by and for alumni as the ‘Rogues and Vagabonds’ over 60 years ago. The event offers great food, an interesting venue, thought-provoking speakers and a chance to catch up with friends. This year’s dinner took place at 22 Gordon Street, with guest speakers including Professor Sir Peter Cook and prizewinning alumna Sonia Magdziarz. The dinner is chaired by Paul Monaghan, Director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
All Bartlett School of Architecture alumni are invited to join UCL’s Alumni Online Community to keep in touch with the school and receive benefits including special discounts, UCL’s Portico magazine and more. Registered alumni have access to: — Thousands of e-journals available through UCL Library — A global network of old and new friends in the worldwide alumni community — Free mentoring and the opportunity to become a mentor yourself — Jobs boards for the exclusive alumni community aoc.ucl.ac.uk/alumni
Other events for alumni include a lively Spring Social which this year was held on the rooftop at Derwent London’s White Collar Factory. We also invite alumni to join us for drinks and guided tours of the The Bartlett Summer Show at an exclusive Alumni Late.
Alumna Sonia Magdziarz presenting at the R&V Dinner 193
Staff, Visitors & Consultants A Thomas Abbs Ana Abram Vasilija Abramovic Phoebe Adler Visiting Prof Robert Aish Prof Laura Allen Dimitris Argyros Azadeh Asgharzadeh Zaferani Abigail Ashton Edwina Attlee B Julia Backhaus Kirsty Badenoch Edward Baggs Tim Barwell Stefan Bassing Paul Bavister Richard Beckett Ruth Bernatek Shajay Bhooshan Vishu Bhooshan Jan Birksted Prof Peter Bishop Isaïe Bloch William Bondin Prof Iain Borden Federico Borello Daniel Bosia Roberto Bottazzi Visiting Prof Andy Bow Matthew Bowles Dr Eva Branscome Pascal Bronner Alastair Browning Giulio Brugnaro Tom Budd Bim Burton Matthew Butcher C Joel Cady Thomas Callan Blanche Cameron William Victor Camilleri Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange 194
Dr Ben Campkin Alice Carman Dr Brent Carnell Prof Mario Carpo Martyn Carter Dan Carter Ricardo Carvalho De Ostos Tomasso Casucci Dr Megha Chand Inglis Frosso Charalambous Prof Nat Chard Po-Nien Chen Laura Cherry Prof Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno Sandra Ciampone Ed Clark Mollie Claypool Jason Coe Prof Marjan Colletti Emeritus Prof Sir Peter Cook Marc-Olivier Coppens Hannah Corlett Miranda Critchley Prof Marcos Cruz Lisa Cumming D Gareth Damian Martin Satyajit Das James Daykin Klaas de Rycke Luca Dellatorre Dr Edward Denison Pradeep Devadass Max Dewdney Dr Ashley Dhanani Ilaria di Carlo David Di Duca Simon Dickens Visiting Prof Elizabeth Diller Paul Dobraszczyk Oliver Domeisen Elizabeth Dow Tom Dyckhoff
E Sari Easton Gary Edwards David Edwards Ruth Evison Vanessa Eyles F Pani Fanai-Danesh Ava Fatah gen. Schieck Donat Fatet Timothy Fielder Lucy Flanders Alex Flood Zachary Fluker Emeritus Prof Adrian Forty Emeritus Prof Colin Fournier Prof Murray Fraser Daisy Froud Maria Fulford G Emeritus Prof Stephen Gage Leo Garbutt Laura Gaskell Audrey Gbato Christopher Gerard Egmontas Geras Alexis Germanos Octavian Gheorghiu Dr Stelios Giamarelos Pedro Gil Emer Girling Dr Ruairi Glynn Alicia GonzalezLafita Perez Dr Jon Goodbun Dr Polly Gould Niamh Grace Stefana Gradinariu Marta Granda Nistal Kevin Green Emmy Green James Green Sienna Griffin-Shaw Dr Sam Griffiths Dr Kostas Grigoriadis Peter Guillery Seth Guy
H Soomeen Hahm James Hampton Tamsin Hanke Dr Sean Hanna Dr Penelope Haralambidou Visiting Prof Itsuko Hasegawa Emeritus Prof Christine Hawley Robert Haworth Ben Hayes Jose Hernandez Hernandez Colin Herperger Simon Herron Parker Heyl Prof Jonathan Hill Prof Bill Hillier Thomas Hillier Mark Hines Bill Hodgson Tom Holberton Adam Holloway Tyson Hosmer Oliver Houchell William Huang Dr Anne Hultzsch Vincent Huyghe Johan Hybschmann I Jessica In Anderson Inge Susanne Isa Cannon Ivers J Jeroen Janssen Clara Jaschke Will Jefferies Manuel Jiménez Garcia Steve Johnson Helen Jones Nina Jotanovic K Jon Kaminsky Dr Kayvan Karimi Dr Jan Kattein Anja Kempa
Jonathan Kendall Tom Kendall Maren Klasing Jakub Klaska Fergus Knox Maria Knutsson-Hall Daniel Kohler Kimon Krenz Dirk Krolikowski Dragana Krsic Sir Banister Fletcher Visiting Prof Perry Kulper Diony Kypraiou L Chee-Kit Lai Elie Lakin Stephen Law Ruby Law Jeremy Lecomte Roberto Ledda Dr Guan Lee Stefan Lengen Dr Chris Leung Sarah Lever Visiting Prof Amanda Levette Ifigeneia Liangi Prof CJ Lim Enriqueta Llabres-Valls Alvaro Lopez Tim Lucas Genevieve Lum Sian Lunt Samantha Lynch M Abel Maciel Nazila Maghzian Alexandru Malaescu Shneel Malik Prof Yeoryia Manolopoulou Jonny Martin Emma-Kate Matthews Claire McAndrew Hugh McEwen Prof Niall McLaughlin Dr Clare Melhuish Visiting Prof Jeremy Melvin Prof Josep Miás Bartlett Prof Frédéric Migayrou
Sarah Milne Ana Monrabal-Cook N Tetsuro Nagata Elliott Nash Filippo Nassetti Rasa Navasaityte Jack Newton Chi Nguyen Justin Nicholls O James O’Leary Andy O’Reilly Luke Olsen Visiting Prof Raf Orlowski Alan Outten P Yael Padan Igor Pantic Marie-Eleni Papandreou Annarita Papeschi Thomas Parker Dr Brenda Parker Ralph Parker Jacob Paskins Claudia Pasquero Jane Patterson Thomas Pearce Dr Luke Pearson Prof Alan Penn Prof Barbara Penner Drew Pessoa Mads Peterson Frosso Pimenides Tomaz Pipan Pedro Pitarch Alonso Maj Plemenitas Danae Polyviou Andrew Porter Alan Powers Samuel Price Arthur Prior Prof Sophia Psarra R Dr Caroline Rabourdin Marcel Rahm Carolina Ramirez Figueroa Robert Randall Prof Peg Rawes Dr Sophie Read David Reeves
Dr Aileen Reid Guang Yu Ren Prof Jane Rendell Gilles Retsin Charlotte Reynolds Eduardo Rico Carranza Sam Riley Rosie Riordan Dr David Roberts Gavin Robotham Martina Rosati Javier Ruiz Alice Russell S Martin Sagar Dr Kerstin Sailer Prof Andrew Saint Dr Shahed Saleem Anete Salmane Carina Schneider Peter Scully Dr Tania Sengupta Sara Shafiei David Shanks Alistair Shaw Prof Bob Sheil Don Shillingburg Naz Siddique Amy Smith Colin Smith Paul Smoothy Prof Mark Smout Jasmin Sohi Vicente Soler Senent James Solly Harmit Soora Matthew Springett Prof Michael Stacey Simon Stanier Brian Stater Emmanouil Stavrakakis Tijana Stevanovic Sarah Stevens Rachel Stevenson Catrina Stewart Emily Stone Sabine Storp Greg Storrar David Storring Kay Stratton Michiko Sumi Tom Svilans
T Jerry Tate Huda Tayob Philip Temple Colin Thom Michael Tite Martha Tsigkari Freddy Tuppen V Melis Van Den Berg Kim Van Poeteren Afra Van’t Land Dr Tasos Varoudis Prof Laura Vaughan Hamish Veitch Emmanuel Vercruysse Viktoria Viktorija Jordi Vivaldi Piera Dr Nina Vollenbroker W Michael Wagner Andrew Walker Adam Walls Prof Susan Ware Barry Wark Gabriel Warshafsky Tim Waterman Clyde Watson Visiting Prof Bill Watts Patrick Weber Paul Weston Alice Whewell Amy White Andy Whiting Rae Whittow-Williams Daniel Widrig Freya Wigzell Dan Wilkinson Henrietta Williams Graeme Williamson Dr Robin Wilson Oliver Wilton Simon Withers Katy Wood Anna Woodeson Y Sandra Youkhana Michelle Young Z Paolo Zaide Emmanouil Zaroukas Fiona Zisch Dominik Zisch Stamatis Zografos 195
Fletcher Priest Architects Supporting the Bartlett International Lecture Series since 2007 Brunel Building in Paddington, London Image by Jack Hobhouse www.fletcherpriest.com
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ucl.ac.uk/architecture Find us on Publisher The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Editor Laura Cherry Copy-Editor Phoebe Adler Graphic Design Patrick Morrissey, Unlimited weareunlimited.co.uk Executive Editors Penelope Haralambidou, Frédéric Migayrou, Andrew Porter Bartlett life photography taken by Ana Escobar and Richard Stonehouse.
© 2019 The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Works © the students named, unless otherwise stated. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. We endeavour to ensure all information contained in this publication is accurate at the time of printing. ISBN 978-1-9996285-6-7 The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL 22 Gordon Street London WC1H 0QB +44 (0)20 3108 9646 email@example.com
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Presenting at the Open Crits, 2019
The B-Pro Book showcases work carried out in 2018-19 by students on The Bartlett's B-Pro programmes: Architectural Design MArch, Urban Desig...
Published on Sep 24, 2019
The B-Pro Book showcases work carried out in 2018-19 by students on The Bartlett's B-Pro programmes: Architectural Design MArch, Urban Desig...