Design through gaming

In this seminar students work at the intersection of Architecture and Game Design to explore the advantages of involving non-experts in the design process. Each student extracts the essential components of one residential building and one computer game. Then we combine these components into a set of game rules which, when played, end up generating structures similar to the original building. Students will produce a 3D-printed or laser-cut model of their best game result. Students will learn:

  • Unpacking an architectural design to its basic parts
  • Using the new knowledge in own design tasks
  • Concepts and tools for parametric modelling
  • Graphic techniques for visualising design processes

Designing with Robots

We want to develop structures that create new applications by their changeability. For this, we investigate materials and fastening system which can be transformed by a six-axis robot arm.

The seminar takes place in four workshops (all day Friday and Saturday). For controlling the robot we will learn Rhino and Grasshopper. The result of the seminar is a number of convertible furnitures which we build in the scale 1:1.


DDU meets Bucky Lab

In Cooperation with the founder of the BuckyLab, Marcel Bilow from TU Delft, the Digital Design Unit (DDU) will use this seminar to explore pneumatic Structures. Participants will work in small groups and will design and prototype air cushion systems. The pneus will be developed in small models and computer simulations. Subsequently we will weld them by hand and with the help of robotic arms. The interdisciplinary course will bring students from architecture and structural design together.


Robotic Vision – From simple information sensing to data processing

Photogrammetric processes or sensors for Laser Range Finding can be used to produce a digital representation of our reality. These techniques will be evaluated via excercises regarding their advantages or disadvantages for a robotic scan of a real world model. This model and its data should be used or manipulated for a unique design from each participant.


FabLab – Make and Meet

Wir entwerfen ein FabLab. Dieses Fabrikationslabor ist eine offene Werkstatt die jedem Menschen den Zugang zu digitalen Produktionstechnologien wie 3D Drucker, Laserschneider, CNC Maschinen etc. ermöglicht. Ähnlich wie eine Stadtbibliothek, doch statt Bücher zu leihen werden hier Ideen entwickelt, diskutiert und verwirklicht. Neben neuer Technologien, basiert die Idee solcher Labore auch auf sozialen Aspekten wie offener Zugang, freie Wissensvermittlung und geistige Eigentumsrechte. Unser FabLab soll darüber hinaus auch ein nichtkommerzieller Treffpunkt in der Stadt und ein Ort des Austauschs werden. Die digitalen Technologien, die das FabLab ausmachen, werden auch im Entwurfsprozess vermittelt und eingesetzt. Digitale Fabrikation wird Teil des Entwurfens, genauso wie großmaßstäbliche Modelle und Prototypen.


3D Printing Tools

This course gives an introdutcion to SLS and FFF/FDM based 3D-Printing. Special attention is being made to the intrinsic advantages and disadvantages of 3D-Printing but concentrates on understanding 3D-Printing rather as a tool. You will be given advice how to cope with the anisotropic nature of 3D printed objects and how to produce in other materiality besides plastic. This can be done via casting different materials in 3D-printed molds or can be achieved via complex structures inside the object. This way you will be able to rather produce tools for production than simply clicking a button. At the end of this seminar every attendee has to solve a production relevant problem in the context 3D-printing and actually produce it on a prototypical level.


Construction Games for Robots

The seminar will introduce students to a complete design-to-production pipeline for modular assembly, integrating construction sets design, robotic assembly techniques, computer vision and human-machine interaction strategies.The aim is the development of modular construction sets to be assembled collaboratively by robots and humans. This will require developing construction sets and combinatorial rules which allow to continuously edit the design during the assembly process, creating a more direct interaction between robotic fabrication and design decisions.The final outcome will be 1:1 sculptures based on the designed construction sets and collaboratively assembled by robots and students.


Robotic Bending

The seminar will introduce students to the concept of Material Agency and Digital Materiality to programme highly differentiated behaviors into a component based material system. Therefore we will look into robotic wood bending techniques and parametric design tools like Rhino/Grasshopper.The aim is the development of a re-shapeable material system of bendable wood components that can be “programmed” via a six axis robot. This will require the setup of a computational design model, deformation tools and robotic movement-rules to control the bending process. The final outcome will be a 1:1 re-shapeable sculpture based on the designed material system and the developed robotic movements.


A Thousand Floor Plans

One of the most basic tasks for an architect is floor plan design. This seminar looks at techniques to compare and sort thousands of variations of residential floor plans. Students will use Grasshopper to set up criteria and analysis tools to help them explore a large amount of computer-generated house designs. We will consider ways to calculate the following features for each planning option: time for building, volume of material, volume to surface area ratio, building footprint, solar gain, overshadowing, orientation, views. A survey with home owners will help students focus on the important aspects to analyse. Grasshopper tutorials as well as introduction to computational analysis will be provided. At the end of semester, students deliver: a digital analysis routine in Grasshopper; a 2 minute video; and a booklet.


AAM – Accessible Additive Manufacturing

The lecture with corresponding exercise mediates the basics of additive manufacturing with lowcost 3D-printers using the FDM- or SLA process. The students should gain competence in the workflow of preparing a finished 3D-design for 3D-printing and therefore be able to use the new 3D-printing pool of FB 15 autonomously. Furthermore the exercise concentrates on possible flaws when printing with the thermoplast ABS or PLA or respectively a photopolymer. Certain tactics will be taught to circumvent the restrictions of the lowcost 3D-printers and help will be provided to make the most out of the available technology.For the exercise own designs can be brought and worked on. As there will be no assistance in CAD drawing or modeling, CAD-knowledge is absolutely necessary.