form as (dynamic) unknown
Can we overcome the assumption that urban environments are static, passive systems? In questioning and rethinking our expectations, we learn that architecture can transform itself in response to the constant change of our surroundings.
The 10-day architectural workshop AA Visiting School ‘Form as (Dynamic) Unknown’ is an experimental laboratory in which kinetic interactive structures are researched and designed. International students develop novel solutions, building upon the experiments of great Italian innovators. Drawing on the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, participants design robotic systems inspired by nature. Projects will transform by adapting to environmental conditions and social behaviours happening at real and virtual levels. The internet, similar to the SuperSurface prophesied by SuperStudio, is considered as the virtual layer of data-exchange cutting across Rome and the rest of the world.
By the end of the workshop students will have developed their own interpretation of the future of architecture. Advancing design strategies that embrace the complex and unpredictable nature of the city will lead to forms as ‘(dynamic) unknown’.
a virtual layer of data-exchange
Lorenzo Vianello graduated in architecture in Italy in 2005. From 2005 to 2009 he collaborated with several firms, including OMA, Studio Fuksas and UNStudio. From 2009 to 2011 he deepened his research, attending the Design Research Laboratory programme at the Architectural Association. Here he was guided by tutor Patrik Schumacher, partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, during the development of his final thesis. The theme of the thesis was a proto-tower, system of algorithms that generate projects of high-rises with optimized properties for different environments and functional programmes. Lorenzo currently is based in London and works as an architect at Foster and Partners and programme co-director of the AA Rome Visiting School.
Arturo Tedeschi, architect, since 2004 complemented professional practice in Italy with a personal research on parametric design and form-finding techniques, focusing on relationships between architecture and new design tools. In 2010 he published “Parametric Architecture with Grasshopper”, a bestseller book on parametric modeling, now in its second edition and translated in English. In the same year he cooperated with Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Since 2011 he has been directing and teaching workshops on parametric design in Italy, including the AA Rome Visiting School in 2012.
Lawrence Friesen studied at Dalhousie University and worked at a number of architectural practices in Canada before setting up the design geometry studio at Buro Happold. In the past nine years he has taken part in a number of complex projects whose innovative realisation entailed digital fabrication. Currently he works as consultant at Generative Geometry and technical studies and Rome Visiting School tutor at the Architectural Association.
Josef Musil is an architect, researcher and design consultant. He received his post-professional M.Arch at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was as a Fulbright Scholar. He has worked in the UK, Germany and US as an architect and researcher. Currently he is part of the distinguished Specialist Modelling Group within Foster and Partners in London. In his research and practice he focuses on parametric modeling, physical computation, interactive design tools and application of multi-agent systems in modeling of complex forms and in definition of new design processes.
Maurizio Arturo Degni is a computational designer at Studio Kami as well as assisting in tutorials at Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza. His research is focused on relationships between parametric systems and environmental technology. He is currently involved in a series of parametric design workshops in Italy, directed by Arturo Tedeschi, including the AA Rome Visiting School in 2012.
Kasper Guldager Jørgensen (born 1976) is Partner in 3XN and Director of GXN; the innovation unit at 3XN. GXN was established in 2007 to exploit the possibilities that arise applying the latest knowledge and technology into design and architecture. The mission of GXN is to develop a building culture that positively affects the world we live in – both architecturally and environmentally.
Kasper is passionately engaged in research and development of sustainability design, digital processes, and new materials. He sees a great potential in these areas and wants to take part in its exploitation. In the space of a few years he has become a spokesperson for the shape of future architecture, focusing on new business areas and integration of new materials and green technologies. Kasper Guldager Jørgensen is a much sought after lecturer at home and abroad and has completed numerous articles and book publications on new possibilities in materials, technology, and green architecture.
Francis Aish is head of the Applied Research and Development team. He joined Foster + Partners in 1999 and became a partner in 2008. His work embraces the research and development of systems to model and solve complex, multi-disciplinary design problems and he has been involved in over 100 projects, including the Swiss Re headquarters tower, St Mary Axe in London and the competition fo Beijing International Airport. He also conducts collaborative research with leading universities and companies and has published academic papers on design and simulation systems, as well as lecturing widely on the subject in Europe and North America.
Stefano Andreani is an architectural engineer and educator, interested in the strategic implementation of advanced technologies in architecture for complex building systems. As member of the Design Robotics Group at Harvard Graduate School of Design, he pursues research on the informed deployment of robotic methods for novel material systems. Within a team led by Professor Martin Bechthold, he guided the “Ceramics 2.0” workshop at SmartGeometry-2012 and the “Robotic Casting” workshop at Robots in Architecture-2012, exploring and defining new opportunities at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication and the world of clay- and concrete-based materials respectively. Merging academic research and design practice, he published worldwide and lectured at Harvard GSD and Autodesk on robotic and high-rise design, and recently won the “Universita’ Bocconi” Urban Campus international competition. r[e]merging
Simon Flöry received his PhD in mathematics from Vienna University of Technology in 2010. He has been working and teaching in the fields of Architectural Geometry, Freeform Architecture and Geometry Processing for many years. In 2012 he focussed his research efforts and consulting services and founded the Vienna-based company Rechenraum. Rechenraum provides bespoke software solutions to effectively process and optimize geometric data for a broad range of applications. Beyond commercial aspects, Simon Flöry is maintaining and contributing to free and/or open-source software projects such as the optimization component goat for Rhino’s Grasshopper.
Initially the workshop introduces parametric modelling and robotic assembly to the students. The software induction to programmes (Rhino and Grasshopper amongst others) and hardware (Arduino board, sensors and servos) builds the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of using analytical data – environmental and human behavioural patterns – to inform design strategies in form generation.
2. MATERIAL SYSTEMS
The class develops computational investigation through experiments of material behaviours. The aim is to understand chosen structural strategies in nature and outline their rules. The research of an abstract machine forms the basis of the design concept. Physical experiments are taken and analysed to analytically describe the process of dynamic form definition, useful to the coding of the project strategies.
3. GENERATIVE STRATEGIES AND MORPHOLOGICAL ACTUALIZATION
The earlier analysed behavioural systems are further explored to form the design strategies interactive to human and environmental factors. The material system behaviours are digitally translated into parametric models. After the context parameters are defined, the interactions with the local conditions are followed up by formal solutions, which balance optimum performances and elegance.
Photo: Prototype by Josef Musil
electronic devices + sensors + servos to interact with a data exchange
via dei Bruzi 4
The registrations are closed, as the AA Rome Visiting School is fully booked. If you like further information on the next event, please contact the Programme Directors Lorenzo Vianello and Arturo Tedeschi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorenzo Vianello and Arturo Tedeschi
Programme directors of the AA Rome Visiting School
Q: What kind of technical/software skills are required?
A: The AA Rome Visiting School is an intensive workshop on computational design. No previous experience or software proficiency is required, though a basic knowledge of three-dimensional modeling is preferred.
Q: Which software will be taught and used within the workshop?
A: You will be taught either Rhinoceros/Grasshopper. The first 4 days of the AA Rome Visiting School will be based on a series of tutorials aiming to provide proficiency in the mentioned software. You are anyway encouraged to use also other software, which you may already be familiar with.
Q: I’m an Italian student and I’m not a fluent English speaker, may I have any difficulties?
A: Tutorials and lectures will be held in English. Italian tutors will provide support in Italian. The workshop environment is collaborative and doesn’t require you to speak only in English.
Q: Do I receive a refund if I decide not to participate at the AA Rome Visiting School after the fees payment.
A: Fees cannot be refunded under any circumstances. The only exception is if for any reason the AA School have to cancel the the AA Rome Visiting School, In this case, you will receive a £662 refund. The £60 Visiting Membership cannot get refunded, but you will earn benefits and services for visiting members within the Architectural Association for one year.
Q: Does the AA School provide accommodation in Rome?
A: The AA does not provide accommodation, but can advise on appropriate options.
Q: Do the students receive any certificate of participation?
A: Yes, the students that attend the lessons and discuss the final project will receive a Certificate of Participation from the Architectural Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
AA ROME VISITING SCHOOL | FALL 2012
17 > 26 October 2012
Form as Unknown (X)
The workshop allowed students to develop research on computational parametric design, making links to pioneering Italian experiments from the past. In particular the debate focused on the idea of “form as unknown” conceived by Roman engineer Sergio Musmeci. According to his design strategy, the form should not be superimposed, but deduced through the optimization of its conditions. The course researched and developed computational strategies which adapt morphology according to local site conditions and, more importantly, to social needs. The computational approach enabled us to overcome the imposition of a prefixed form in order to embrace performance-driven designs. Lectures on current mainstream and academic research, as well as digital fabrication prototyping, have been integrated into the workshop, divided into three parts:
The workshop initially introduced parametric modelling and design to the students. The software induction (to programmes Rhino and Grasshopper amongst others) built the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of using analytical data – environmental and human behavioural patterns – to inform design strategies in form generation.
2) Material systems
The class developed computational investigation through experiments of material behaviours. The aim was to understand chosen structural strategies in nature and outline their rules. The research of an abstract machine formed the basis of the design concept. Physical experiments are taken and analysed to analytically describe the process of form definition, useful to the coding of the project strategies.
3) Generative strategies and morphological actualization
The earlier analysed behavioural systems have been explored to form the design strategies responsive to architectural, urban and environmental contexts. Further, the material system behaviours have been digitally translated into parametric models. After the context parameters are defined, the interactions with the local conditions are followed up by formal solutions, which balance optimum performances and elegance. AA Rome Visiting School aimed to research and develop bottom-up design strategies, where given the variables the final form is “unknown”.
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