Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Milad Showkatbakhsh

The next DARC (Digital Architecture Research Centre) will be given by Milad Showkatbakhsh with his talk titled, ‘Evolution as a Design Model’ on Tuesday 11 February at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Evolutionary Algorithms have been used extensively in recent years to mimic the principles of evolutionary science to solve common real-world problems through search and optimization procedures of single or multiple objectives. Ranging from the fields of economics to politics and music to architecture, evolutionary algorithms have proven to be an efficient problem-solving technique to find multiple trade-off solutions for problems that possess multiple design objectives that conflict with one another. Precedence for the application of an evolutionary model as a problem-solving strategy dates back to the early 20th century. It has since developed into a model that has been applied in a multitude of different fields to provide solutions to problems that required objectivity, optimality and efficiency. Within the design field, applications of biological evolutionary principles have been seen through the work of many architects/planners/designers throughout the second half of the 20th century (Batty, 2013; Coates, 2010; Weinstock, 2010; Marshall, 2008; Frazer, 1995; Steadman, 1979).

This lecture expands on the theory behind evolutionary computation, its foundation in biological evolution and its significance as a model in design. The lecture will culminate by presenting the application of evolutionary computation as a design methodology in a range of scales and complexities using Wallacei, a robust evolutionary multi objective optimisation engine.

Milad holds M.Arch. from Pratt Institute in New York, where he graduated with the Sidney Katz award for design excellence in 2015. He is currently a Doctoral candidate at the Architectural Association researching under the directorship of Dr. Michael Weinstock. Milad has worked for several architecture and design practices in Tehran, New York and Shanghai. Alongside practicing, he has been a fellow researcher in different computer-aided design research projects which were culminated as published papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences, posters and robotically fabricated installations. Milad has been actively teaching in academia in graduate and postgraduate courses and international architectural and computational workshops. Milad is currently teaching in the EmTech program at the AA and is also the co-director of the Istanbul branch of the AA Visiting School, where he is using his knowledge of evolutionary principles in the design and development of architectural projects that range in scale and function. Among many professional and academic activities, He is the Co-Founder and Co-Developer of ‘Wallacei,’ an evolutionary multi-objective optimisation engine with an embedded analytics engine that allows users to have full control over their optimisation problems in Grasshopper 3D. Milad’s current research focuses on the application of biological principles of evolution and morphogenesis into the design processes. For complex design problems, the priority should be given to how to formulate the question rather than finding an answer.

All welcome!

Invitation to MSc Bio Digital Architecture Google Hangout

Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) are pleased to announce we will be hosting a one-hour Google Hangout on Tuesday 3rd March for students interested in finding out about the latest addition to our postgraduate portfolio: MSc in Bio Digital Architecture. This course provides students with the skills and know-how to practice architecture at the cutting edge of digital design. The programme is designed to provide a theoretical basis of Computer-Aided Architectural Design as an academic discipline while simultaneously teaching the use of the computer for analysis of design problems and a tool for the generation of space and form.

Led by KSAP’s Director of Digital Architecture, Dr Tim Ireland, the course is primarily intended for graduates and professionals from a range of design backgrounds, including architecture, interior, graphic and urban design, who wish to develop computational techniques in architecture and gain the ability to use programming as easily as any other form of communication.

If you are interested in finding out more about the programme including course structure, entry requirements, career progression and more, please email ksapadmissions@kent.ac.uk to book your place on the MSc Bio Digital Architecture FREE online Google Hangout on Tuesday 3rd March from 11.00 – 12.00 GMT.

Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Fabrice Bourrelly

The first open lecture of 2020 will be hosted by the Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), with Fabrice Bourrelly with his talk titled, ‘Unreal Engine: Real-time interactive design for Architecture’ taking place on Thursday 16th January 2020 at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

In this lecture, Fabrice will explain why the shift in gaming technology matters today. He will highlight how the technology is used throughout a wide spectrum of industries and more specifically in architecture and design. He will then demonstrate a live project to uncover the features and benefits of working in real-time.

Fabrice Bourrelly was originally introduced to the Unreal Engine community when he presented the Unreal Engine for Architecture webinar series in 2017, where he shared insights and tips based on his deep knowledge of Unreal Engine. Frabrice, a licensed architect since 1996, has worked as a freelance architectural visualisation designer over his entire career. From his London-based studio, he has worked for clients as diverse as Google, Bentley, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Heatherwick, and Zaha Hadid. Since 2017, he has been helping companies and individuals learn Unreal Engine, teaching online, and Unreal training centers and academy as well as creating and presenting UE4 demon content for Epic Games in the US, Europe and Asia.

Dr Peter Buš delivers public lecture and workshop at National United University in Taiwan

Dr Peter Buš, member of DARC Research Centre, was invited by Assistant Professor Shi-Yen Wu from the Department of Architecture at the National United University (NUU) in Taiwan to give a public lecture and a computational design workshop based on his previous collaborative activities with the NUU.

Dr Peter Buš’ lecture, ‘Transforming architecture in the age of digitisation of construction: participation, automation and evolving responsive concepts for the 21st Century’, conceptually outlined the idea of crowd-driven assemblies for flexible and adaptive constructions utilising automatic technologies in the context of twenty-first century cities.

The workshop, ‘Emergent proto-architectural formations: towards bio-integrated responsive architectural design, computational design workshop’ was attended by 60 students from National United University in Miao-Li and 13 students from the Shadong Jianzhu University in China. The workshop explored potentials and advantages of advanced computational design methods to rapidly generate spatial digital artefacts, ‘proto-architectures’, based on systematic and process-driven modelling techniques integrating the paradigm of emergence into computational models.

Dr Tim Ireland to speak at Bio-Computational Symposium at The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Tim Ireland, Director of Digital Architecture and Founder of KSAP’s Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), will be giving a talk titled, ‘Between Life and Architecture’ and the upcoming Bio-Computational Symposium on Wednesday 27 November at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Organised by Claudia Pasquero, Emmanouil Zaroukas and Filippo Nassetti from the Urban Morphogenisis Lab, the symposium will discuss and reflect upon, ‘the link between human and non-human intelligences, architecture and urban design.’

Dr Tim Ireland’s presentation will claim a correlation between architectural theory and the biosemiotic project, and suggest how this coupling establishes a framework leading to an architectural-biosemiotic paradigm that puts biosemiotic theory at the heart of cognising the built environment, and offers an approach to understanding and shaping the built environment that supports and benefits human, and organismic, spatial intelligence.

Dr Peter Buš to give lecture at National United University in Miao-Li

Dr Peter Buš, Lecturer in Digital Architecture and member of DARC Research Centre, will be visiting Taiwan later this month to give a lecture at the National United University in Miao-Li. His lecture titled, ‘Transforming architecture in the age of digitisation of construction: participation, automation and evolving responsive concepts for the 21st Century’, conceptually outlines the idea of crowd-driven assemblies for flexible and adaptive constructions utilising automatic technologies in the context of twenty-first century cities.

The presentation will also look at the results from Peter’s Richard Rogers Fellowship residency in London conducted last Spring dedicated to large-scale urban prototyping for responsive cities. Peter argues that building technology needs to incorporate human inputs following the aspects of customisation to build adaptive architectural and urban scenarios based on immediate decisions made according to local conditions or specific spatial demands. The presentation will focus on large-scale automatic prototyping for built applications at the theoretical level along with interactions between humans and automatic building technologies.

Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Mike Oades, Atomik Architecture

The next DARC (Digital Architecture Research Centre) Open Lecture will be given by Mike Oades, Director of Atomik Architecture, with his talk titled, ‘Hard balls in soft socks / soft balls in stiff socks!’ on Tuesday 12 November at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

The ambiguous title of the lecture refers to a conversation with the architect Kathryn Findlay one afternoon at the Ushida Findlay studio in London. She was, of course, describing a set of rules for engaging with organic architecture. The lecture will be a candid trajectory around expressionist architecture, a personal orbit that has glanced off both analogue and digital worlds. The talk will be illustrated by a series of key projects along Mike’s career – built, unbuilt and demolished.

Mike is a Director at Atomik Architecture – a design practice with studios in London and Almaty.Growing up in his parents’ holiday camp on the Lincolnshire coast, he developed a strong affinity for the temporary and the nostalgic, and narratives of time and legacy have run through his work ever since. Mike’s ability to take a lateral view has since become a fundamental part of Atomik’s ethos, with the varying geographies of the team regularly exploited to get a broader perspective on architectural ideas.

All welcome!

Image credit: Doha Villa by Ushida Findlay

Realising Frederick Kiesler’s Endless House

Frederick Kiesler’s Endless House is regarded as one of the most visionary projects in the history of 20th Century architecture. It was a project that spanned almost forty years, developed through sketches, drawings, plans and models between mid-1920’s to the 1960’s but it was never built. Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, considered it important to translate Kiesler’s architecture into reality.

Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s 3D CAD Technician, Julien Soosaipillai, built a digital model of the exterior shell from texts, drawings and photographs of Kiesler’s model for his unfinished Endless House project. This is the first step in DARC‘s current project to realise Frederick Kiesler’s ‘Endless House’.

Upcoming Digital Architecture Open Lecture: Christopher Leung, The Bartlett School of Architecture

The next Digital Architecture open lecture will be given by Dr Christopher Leung from The Bartlett School of Architecture with his talk titled, ‘Digital fabrication: Dialogue through manufacturing processes’ on Tuesday 12 February at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Architects have become accustomed to designing the physical fabric of buildings using digital tools. However, in an age of advanced manufacturing where there are possibilities enabled by the adoption of robotics and automation that are now widely available to architectural practice, architects are increasingly designing processes as much as components and assemblies. In this shift, architects can have a role to “Design for” aspects of these processes, where a given process can be for “Assembly”, “Disassembly” or “Measurement” to name a few.

Reflecting on the “Design for” considerations found in other industries such as automotive and aerospace, this lecture surveys a selection of the possibilities now afforded by digital fabrication and considers the implication for design options at the interface between digital representation and processes of making. These are presented through a series of case-study projects that have been carried out in collaboration with other educators, researchers and industry practitioners as well as current work at the Bartlett.

Christopher Leung trained as an architect at the Bartlett with experience in architectural and environmental design practice. He completed his engineering doctorate at UCL on passive variable performance facades. He is the programme director of the Masters in Design for Manufacture at UCL Here East, the new centre dedicated to making based at Stratford in east London.

He has worked on government-funded research projects into low-energy building technology, proof-of-concept build projects and post-doc research on the environmental evaluation of bio-receptive concrete. He has taught at the Bartlett in the Interactive Architecture Lab, BiotA Lab and the M.Sc in Architectural computation. He also carries out research into solar activated materials including bi-metals and shape memory alloys for novel applications in the facades of buildings to improve energy performance in collaboration with leading industry partners.

All welcome!

Digital Architecture Open Lecture: ‘Autonomous Additive Manufacturing on Mars’

The next Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be given by Josef Musil, Associate and Computational Designer at Foster +  Partners, with his talk, ‘Autonomous Additive Manufacturing on Mars’ which is due to take place on Tuesday 30th October at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Designing an outpost for a long-duration scientific expedition to an extreme environment such as Mars requires the basic qualities of functionality, comfort, and security. In this presentation we look at the key environmental conditions that govern the functionality of a Martian habitat and what it takes to design and build a comfortable home for a crew of four for 500 days with limited communication with Earth and most critically, how to ensure mission success, safety, and robustness through increased redundancy. These factors are collected here into a conceptual design proposal and multi-robot additive regolith construction system. This work is part of ongoing research at F+P specialist modelling group on robotics, large-scale additive construction, and architecture for extreme environments.

Josef Musil is an associate and a computational designer at Foster + Partners in London, where he is part of the research and parametric design oriented Specialist Modelling Group. In his work he focuses on applied research, application of new technologies, and algorithmic design to complex architectural and geometrical challenges.

Some of the projects he worked on include Safra neuron screen, where he built a generative model of a small section of brain also called cortical column with an automated workflow that reads 3D scans of neuroscientific scans as well as implements structural analysis and manufacturing constraints.

He also specialises on the application of small robotics within the office. This has been demonstrated by a working functional prototype of a small number of 3D printing swarm based robots for a NASA organized Mars habitat competition where Foster and Partners received second place. Other projects include a kinetic lighting sculpture activated by muscle wires and reacting to live brain wave signal reads.