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DigitalCrafting Symposium 1 - videos of all lectures online

We are happy to share all lectures of the first DigitalCrafting Symposium. Please have a look for the videos here

DigitalCrafting Symposium 1: Computation and Craft

The DigitalCrafting research network invites everybody to take part at the first DigitalCrafting Symposium on the 10.December 2010 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen:

Date: Friday 10.12.2010 – 10.30h-17.30h

Venue: Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
Auditorium 2
Philip de Langes Allé 10
1435 Copenhagen K /Denmark


Recent years have seen the development of common digital platforms creating new collaborations between architecture, engineering and construction. The consolidation of new interfaces between design and fabrication has lead to a more variegated design practice and the exploration of new structural systems.

The first Digital Crafting symposium asks how the integration of design, analysis and fabrication challenges the knowledge spaces of design, engineering and craft. The symposium presents new models of collaboration between the partners of the built environment and discuss how these can lead to new building practices.

The symposium invites leading practitioners and researchers from fields critical to the profession. The symposium is run in three sessions. Each foregrounds a particular aspect of change, towards which presenters from different yet linked domains build a cross disciplinary perspective.

The DigitalCrafting symposium addresses practitioners, researchers and students from the fields of architecture, engineering and construction. The symposium is open to the public.


10.30 Registration
11.00 Intro to the Digital Crafting Symposium and Network – Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Martin Tamke, Claus Peder Pedersen

11.15 Session 1: Computation and Fabrication – How to fabricate?
13.00 Lunch

13.45 Session 2: Computation and Simulation – How to Analyze?
15.25 Coffee break

15.45 Session 3: Computation and Design – How to design?
17.30 Closing remarks and end of Symposium


Session 1: Computation and Fabrication – How to fabricate?

Digital fabrication is common in today’s building practice. To make use of this technological platform it is important that architects and designers find ways of interfacing between design and fabrication. This session discusses computational design techniques and the new forms of collaboration that rise from this shift in material practice.

Head of Panel: Enric Ruiz Geli (cloud9 / Barcelona)

Martin Antemann (Blumer Lehmann AG/ Gossau)

Fabian Scheurer (designtoproduction / Zuerich)

Does the complexity of today’s building practice necessitate the direct engagement of architects in buildings fabrication? What are the drivers of change for the future process of building architecture? What are the roles of the players engaged? Do digital production techniques fulfil their promise and where are they leading us to?

Session 2: Computation and Simulation – How to Analyze?

Traditionally design and analysis are seen as subsequent steps in the design process. As new computational tools merge design and simulation we enter a new practice in which analysis can become integrated into the early design phase. This session discusses different simulation approaches and the consequences of this new practice for the profession.

Head of Panel: Azam Khan (Autodesk Research / Toronto, Canada)

Tristan Simmonds (Simmonds Studio / London)

Sean Ahlquist (icd / University of Stuttgart)

How do simulation of complex structures and their realization match? How can the early design phase be supported with simulation? What kind of simulation in respect to material, space, use, tectonic can fulfil this? Is there a different quality that enters early design through simulation?

Session 3: Computation and Design- How to design?

Digital platforms challenge architectural design practice and lead to new spatial opportunities. During the last 10 years the profession has developed a new algorithmic modelling practice that introduces code as part of design. This session discusses recent developments in computational design that challenge the core architectural concerns of programme and construction.

Head of Panel: Michael Meredith (mos-office New York)

Tobias Wallisser (Lava / AKA Stuttgart)  

Max Maxwell (Supermanoeuvre/  London-NYC)

To what extent do analytical and generative methods open connections between the digital and the real? How do they address relationships between intention, geometry, program and material?


DigitalCrafting Symposium – Poster 340x900mm (pdf 4mb)

DigitalCrafting Symposium – Text and Media Package (zip file 9mb)

Enric Ruiz-Geli

Enric Ruiz-Geli and his interdisciplinary architectural team Cloud 9 in Barcelona work at the interface between architecture and art, digital processes and technological material development. The architects’ multifaceted projects include stage sets and buildings, installations and industrial products, and are realized together with various collaborative partners. Cloud 9 is committed to the use of new technological developments and the performative character of architecture, which creates intelligent structures in emulation of nature.

Enric Ruiz-Geli founded Cloud 9 in 1997. The Spanish architect and artist has been awarded the Research and Development Award of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (2008) and the Catalonian Premis MediAmbient for sustainable architecture (2009), among others.
The most important projects of Cloud 9 include the “Villa Nurbs” in Empuriabrava, an organically formed, ecological and futuristic house. For the recently completed Media-TIC Building in Barcelona, the architects also made use of a high-tech membrane equipped with a digital, controllable mechanism that facilitates the absorption of sunlight.

Michael Meredith

affiliation: mos-office / New York


Michael Meredith is a partner in MOS, and an Associate Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Azam Khan

affiliation: Autodesk Research (Toronto, Canada)


Azam Khan is the Head of the Environment & Ergonomics Research Group at Autodesk Research. Starting in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, Azam focused on advanced 3D camera navigation interaction techniques, large displays, and pen-based interaction and has been chair of alt.chi.

More recently, Azam has been exploring modeling and simulation including physics-based generative design, air flow and occupant flow in an architectural context, and simulation visualization and validation based on sensor-networks. In 2009, Azam founded and chaired SimAUD, the Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design to foster cross-pollination between the simulation research and the architecture research communities.

Lecture Azam Khan:

Martin Antemann

affiliation: Blumer Lehmann AG / Gossau / Switzerland


As a member of the extended board of Blumer-Lehmann AG,  Martin Antemann is responsible for the success and development of the company, especially in research, technical development and marketing. In the very unique designed and complex structures he is responsible for the customers satisfaction, quality and security of costs. Leading, project specific planning intern and extern, sourcing, production and installation, he can optimise all project steps. The benefit is his practical background in combination with his theoretical study.

Fabian Scheurer

affiliation: designtoproduction


Fabian Scheurer (born 1969 in Munich, Germany) seeks to interface the abstract order of digital systems with the creative chaos of design. He graduated from the Technical University of Munich after studying computer sciences and architecture and worked as assistant at the CAAD group of TU-Munich, as software developer at Nemetschek Programmsystem GmbH , and as new media consultant for Eclat AG in Zurich. From 2002 until 2006 he researched and lectured as a member of Ludger Hovestadt’s CAAD group at the ETH Zurich. His scientific work focused on the practical aspects of artificial-life methods in architectural construction and has been applied to a number of collaborative projects between architects, engineers, and fabrication experts. In 2005 he co-founded designtoproduction as a research group at the ETH. Since 2006 he is an associate in the company of the same name.

Sean Ahlquist

affiliation: p r o c e s 2 / ICD University Stuttgart


Sean Ahlquist is the founder of Proces2, and currently a Research Associate and PhD Candidate of the Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Sean holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the Emergent Technologies and Design Program at the Architectural Association in London. His work has spanned practice in both built and theoretical projects, instruction at institutions such as UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, and the AA, and research and publication in computational design and fabrication techniques, including a forthcoming book entitled Computational Design Thinking.

Sean’s work has focused on the concept of process as a series of discreet, layered procedures that are highly specialized to individual projects, contexts, and environments. Design is placed not in the direct production or manipulation of the architecture, but in the creation and composition of mechanisms that, in turn, formulate the reality of the project.  The pursuit, with this approach, is not in authorship, rather in the discovery of systems and complexities that move far beyond what the manual and the intuitional can produce. The work poses architecture as proposition which recognizes and mediates complexity in the creation and functioning of new assemblies of form, organization, and materiality.

Current research involves the development of computational methods which impose material characteristics through the calculation of fundamental physical behaviors. This involves the cross-disciplinary study of biology, biomimetic engineering, and computation. Focusing specifically on tension-active lightweight structures, the research has exposed the possibility of generating new levels of complexity and performance through activating computational tools which function on very low-level rules regarding material behaviors such as elasticity and strength. To manage the interactions and variability within these low-level rule-sets, evolutionary computation is being studied as a means for developing multi-capacitive systems. Ultimately, the work embodies a strategy of enabling design processes to generate material structures that recognize and effectively function across the vast range of conditions that define a holistic architecture comprised of interacting dynamical systems.

Tristan Simmonds

affiliation: Tristansimmonds Studio / London


Tristan Simmonds is a specialist designer and engineer. His expertise lies in the design of complex geometrical and lightweight structures,

He has been working as a specialist engineer for over 15 years and has developed a unique approach by combining digital computational techniques from the disciplines of mathematics, engineering and computer graphics to sculpt, design, engineer and fabricate complex and unusual structures.

In addition to architectural projects Tristan has long been involved in projects with artists including Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, carrying out research and realising large and ambitious projects.

Tobias Wallisser

affiliation:  lava / Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste Stuttgart


After studying architecture in Berlin, Stuttgart and New York, Tobias Wallisser worked in the United States, Netherlands and Germany. For 10 years Tobias was Associate Architect at UNStudio in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for a series of high profile projects like the Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz Museum which has attracted worldwide attention for its innovative spatial concept.
2007, he co-founded LAVA (laboratory for Visionary Architecture) with Chris Bosse and Alexander Rieck. LAVA is an architecture think tank with offices in Stuttgart and Sydney and operates as a network of specialists. They gained recognition with the prototype for the future hotel, the Schumacher Tower, the green void installation and their winning competition entry for the center of the Co2-emission-free city Masdar.
Since 2006, Tobias Wallisser is Professor of Innovative Construction and Spatial concepts at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart.

Max Maxwell

affiliation:  Supermanoeuvre / London / New York


Iain (Max) Maxwell is an Australian born registered Architect, design researcher and educator currently based in London. He holds a Masters in Architecture and Urbanism from the AA School London and is currently a tutor with the AA School’s Diploma Unit 16, London Metropolitan University’s Masters of Architecture and Digital Design Systems, and is an external advisor to the University of Canberra’s cross-disciplinary Masters of Digital Design. In 2006 he co-founded Supermanoeuvre, an award-winning design practice that has exhibited extensively in the USA, Asia, South America, Europe and Australia.  In 2007 he was awarded the (Royal) Australian Institute of Architects Young Architect Prize.