network partners:

Digital Crafting Events: Workshops

Workshops precede the seminar giving hands-on practical knowledge and access to the toolsets involved in the topic. These tools are both digital and crafts oriented. The workshop are structured around the invitation of a guest researcher that introduces a given technique and technology to the network allowing the network participants immersion in a given set of research questions, techniques, computational problems and tools.

Workshop 1 – Parametric Design / Encoded Behaviour
Workshop 2 – Wood construction
Workshop 3 – Concrete and CNC
Workshop 4 – Generative Logics
Workshop 5 – Textile logic

Digital Crafting Events: Seminars

Seminar sits at the end of workshops and allow a theoretical framing of the event. The seminar holds talks by the guest researcher, the network participants and other interested parties. The seminar includes presentations of the partners’ and guest researcher’s existing research inquiries, active participation with assignments given up for discussion in focus groups and ends with a reflective discussion in respect to the overall aims and objectives of the Digital Crafting bid.

Seminar 0 – Parametric Design in Practice
Seminar 1 – Parametric Design – Encoded Behaviour
Seminar 2 – The ideal of the tectonic: The tectonics of the joint
Seminar 3 – The ideal of the tectonic: The variable and the mould
Seminar 4 – The ideal of the formal: Emergence as design strategy
Seminar 5 - The ideal of the tectonic

Workshop 2: Wood construction

Date: Spring semester 29.-30. March 2010


Consequences of digital fabrication on wood constructions are investigated in this workshop. A focus is set on the logic of the joint. The starting point of our discussion will be a universal model interpreting a workpiece’s production process as flows of matter, energy and information. Implementing this method, we will look into history of technology to find relations between contemporary production technology and the respective joinery in timber construction. This retrospect will be backed up with examples of manual workmanship, industrial interchangeability and individual digital fabrication, including recent work by the workshop guest. Departing form a thorough understanding of production technology and its impact on architecture and products we will try to sketch a vision for future development.

Invited workshop guest:
Christoph Schindler, schindlersalmerón

schindlersalmerón dedicate their work to the development of parametric objects at the interface of architecture and product design. Well known examples of their approach are the parametric coat rack «Kleiderleiste»—one of very few customizable products in the market—and the awarded wood construction principle «Zipshape». The firm is interested in both digital fabrication and traditional workmanship.

Dr. Christoph Schindler’s experience ranges from intelligent design objects to developing realization strategies for large complex building projects in his former position at ETH Zurich and designtoproduction. In his writing he seeks to embed contemporary development into a broad historical understanding of production technology.

Seminar 2: the ideal of the tectonic: The tectonics of the joint

Date: Spring semester 2010: 31.March. 2010

The seminar introduces key thinking into material conceptualisation in architectural thinking. It discusses the history of the term craft and what this has come to mean through the industrialisation of building practice. It critically reflects on the idea of optimisation and situates the discussion of technological development within a historical frame work.

Architects such as Antoni Gaudi and Frei Otto developed analogue models that allowed for processes of intuitive form finding linked to structural analysis allowing novel designs. Digital parametric models are different to the early parametric models in that they are abstracted and general. Through a presentation of Semper’s work and early modernist understanding of techne and material culture the modernist understanding of technology and technology transfer is reframed. The seminar introduces key thinking into material conceptualisation in architectural thinking. It discusses the history of the term craft and what this has come to mean through the industrialisation of building practice.

Workshop2: zip_shape

SchindlerSalmern are the inventors of the zip_shape a novel way of defining a curved surface.

We use Grasshopper to develop the geometry.

Digital Crafting Events

The network activities are structured around core 5 workshop/seminar events and two symposia.

The workshop/seminars are aimed strictly at the network focusing on specific theoretical, technical and practical research questions and potentials defined by the network. The workshop/seminars are sites for gaining as well as critically reflecting on experience and know-how in the field of Digital Crafting.

This build up is consolidated in two open symposia inviting international researchers representing state of the art research and findings to further frame and perspectivise the themes of the workshop/seminars and is aimed at the network but will open to a wider group of researchers, architects and students.

The seminar and workshops are coupled investigations into the given topic They are thematically organised and each focuses on a general theme introducing specific questions of formal, material and structural organisation and relating digital as well as analogue techniques. This allows for the participants of the network to contribute different research interests and technical and theoretical skills and fields of expertise. These questions are focused through the invitation of guest researchers organising hands on workshops and/or theoretical framings.

Digital Crafting Events: Symposia

The two symposia will develop the theoretical framing of the project. The aim for the symposia is to critically reflect on the scope of the research project, the international context and its practical and theoretical consequences. The symposia will invite international researchers and practitioners to present a critical reflection of the field.

The two symposia will focus on the dual nature of the inquiry. With a central interest in the relationship between the encoded and the material the symposia will seek to develop the intersections between these two strands of thinking.


Symposium 1: June 2010
DIGITAL CRAFTING 1: Designing for Material Performance

Symposium 2: May 2011
DIGITAL CRAFTING 2: Designing for morphological performance

Workshop 3: Concrete and CNC

Workshop: How to mould

Date: Autumn Semester 2010: August

The workshop investigates the tectonics of the uniform surface. Digitally informed architecture are often presented as continuous surfaces morphing between their structural loads. The workshop investigates how digital fabrication can lead to new principles of construction for their realisation. The workshop investigates ways of thinking the relationship between the joint and the cast, the mould and the form, the mono-material and the composite.

Workshop 4: Generative Logics

Date: Autumn semester 2010: November

Workshop: How to grow

The workshop investigates now the introduction of a digital platform for design and fabrication introduces a new mathematical depth to the drawing plane. Here, conditional statements, loops and iterations become part of the design language. By exploring the structures by which this logic is shaped, the workshop queries how concepts such as generative design and emergence can lead to new ways of thinking organisation and programme in architectural design.