Here’s a great project that came out of the Adapative Architecture and Computation programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture. ‘Adaptive Fa[ca]de’ by Marilena Skavara explores the functional possibilities and performative characteristics of cellular automata (CA). In addition to the unique emergent behaviour of CA, a neural network enables a further computational layer to evolve CA behaviour to the context of its surrounding environment.
Building upon the early work of Conway’s ‘Game of life’ and Stephen Wolfram’s extensive research on the wider implementation of CA, ‘Adaptive Fa[ca]de’ becomes a living adapting skin, constantly training itself from the history of its own errors and achievements. For a more detailed description of the project, read Marilena’s article for Vague Terrain.
image credit: Shampoo, AA Design Research Laboratory
Date:Wednesday 9th December , 2009 from 6.30PM
Open to public, arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Location:Darwin Lecture Theatre
University College London
Access through Malet Place. Map
For a special student focused event I have brought together some of London’s most prolific recent graduates in a group presentation of innovative and inspiring projects examining the scope of ‘digitally enabled’ architecture. Presenters include this years’ President’s Silver Medal Winner, Nicholas Szczepaniak, the Bartlett’s Christian Kerrigan and Ric Lipson, AA’s Adam Nathaniel Furman, AA DRL’s ‘Shampoo‘ Group and RCA’s Jordan Hodgson.
To place this in context: from the first generative algorithms of John Frazer, to Cedric Price and Gordon Pask’s proposed interactive buildings, to the technologically inspired hinterlands of Archigram’s walking, reconfigurable, and instant cities, London has long been a provocateur of digitally enabled architecture.
This spirit of speculation and provocation continues in a young generation of designers who slip with ease between computational algorithms and hand drawings, paper models and robotic manufacturing. In November 2009 myself and Sara Shafiei co-authored and published ‘Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands’ which went further than the exhibition, revealing the processes behind leading graduate work alongside interviews with young practices including Amanda Levete Architects, Plasma Studio, JDS Architects, sixteen* (makers), and marcosandmarjan – discussing how the these innovative explorations have begun to make their mark on the built environment. Following the lecture, there will be a book launch of ‘Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands’ at the Bartlett. It can also be previewed online at
Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands is a collection of provocative projects from a young generation of digitally enabled designers. This publication oscillates between the analog and the digital, from concept to realisation, mapping processes as it explores the diverse digital paths that lead innovative spaces, poetic narratives and social interactions.
sixteen* (makers), 55/02 Shelter, Kielder Forest, UK
The book covers a spectrum of London’s leading graduates and young practices, featuring projects from the Architectural Association, Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), University of Westminster and Royal College of Art, and case studies and interviews with architects including Amanda Levete Architects, Plasma Studio, JDS Architects, sixteen* (makers), Horhizon, marcosandmarjan, Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Philip Beesley, David Greene, Samantha Hardingham, Usman Haque and Neil Spiller.
I would like to thank all of the architects and artists who have contributed their inspiring work and thank our exceptional graphic designer Emily Chicken bringing it all together with such elegance.
David Greene of Archigram and Samantha Hardingham’s recent L.A.W.U.N.* Project
I am also pleased to announce that one of the young graduates featuring in the book Nick Szczepaniak, has just been awarded the RIBA Silver Medal (The highest award in the UK for student design work) and we are thrilled to be the first publication to be presenting his work. More posts will follow presenting some of the other work featuring in the book and a preview of its contents can be seen here.
The Bartlett School of Architecture has the most comprehensive digital fabrication suite dedicated to education and research out of all UK Built Environment Departments and Faculties. The suite includes a £500,000 3D printing and laser sintering facility and advanced 3D digital fabrication machinery for wood, plastic and metal.
The Bartlett is offering places on this cutting edge course for up to 50 qualified applicants. Students will learn how to export handmade models into a digital format, and how to construct digital models for 3D printing or prototyping in nylon, wood and metal.
Students are expected to bring a design proposal to the course that can be used to explore different modes of 3D digital representation and fabrication. The design proposal can be in the form of a physical model, 2D digital drawings or 3D digital representations. Possible design proposals include a building, a fragment of a building, a component, a piece of furniture, a piece of jewellery, a sculpture or a decorative item.
The course lasts for 4 weeks, is full time, where the majority of learning is project based and developed in tutorials. The first 4-week course includes free attendance to the Digital Architecture Conference 2009.