Digital Design Studio – Modular Dining

The studio presents the students with the task of designing a modular food stand and invent novel space and furniture concepts for the social activity of dining. Students will focus on parametric design techniques and build large-scale prototypes.An introduction to Rhino/Grasshopper will be provided. In addition students can choose one of three seminars offered by DDU in conjunction with the studio that introduce them to the needed technical skills. The studio is run in collaboration with the Frankfurt Fair. The final project will be exhibited at the Frankfurt Fair in Spring 2017.


Digital Fabrication

The seminar presents the basics of design methods for the digital processing of materials.

Digital production methods such as the laser cutter or a computer-controlled hot-wire cutter are used for this purpose.

For the creation of the digital production data the seminar participants learn the use of parametric 3D software (Rhino, Grasshopper).

The goal is to create models that show a new material behavior embedded through a digital production method.


Digital Design Studio – My Personal Factory

Participants design and build a modular construction that creates a temporary, interactive and versatile space for digital fabrication.

We are currently experiencing the shift from personal computing to personal fabrication. After the computer shrunk from room size to smartphone dimensions we witness a similar development for CNC milling machines, 3D printers and laser cutters.

Production is returning back into our cities. The studio addresses this phenomenon and at the same time uses these digital technologies. Participants will learn the use of parametric design tools (Rhino/Grasshopper), robotic assembly and physical computing (Arduino).


Architectural Design Research and Prototyping

The colloquium “Architectural Design Research and Prototyping” helps students to develop their interests in visual, technological and/or cultural issues related to digital architectural design and construction. Students work independently and benefit from direct exposure to the applied research projects at DDU (Digital Design Unit) exploring architecture from the perspective of: computational analysis and simulation; robotics; machine learning; 3D printing; game/app development. Students formulate their own hands-on task to develop a prototype for innovative way to design or build. Through interdisciplinary teamwork students gain a broader knowledge from the topics worked on by their peers. The course is offered as a research module (5 CP Forschungsmodul) to master students of FB 15 and as an interdisciplinary elective course (5 CP) to students of all other faculties at TU Darmstadt.


Physical Computing for Architects

Physical Computing is the comunication between hardware and software components and their prototypical orchestration. Students will learn the foundation of physical computing and relating topics like programming and electronics in tools designed for the creative mind. They learn the relation between actors and sensors and to actually use them as tools for their needs. This can be electronically augmented architectural models or actually electronic tools that help in designing parametrically via adding realtime sensor data. During this seminar we will use Arduino as a hard- and sofware plattform. This will be supported with our own DDU software tools. As CAD or design software we will use Rhino and Grasshopper.
No preknowledge of the described tools is necessary.


Digital Fabrication

The materialization process can now be designed by architects more than ever through the use of digital production tools. The seminar provides students with methods for digital processing of materials. Digital production methods, such as laser cutters, 3D- printers or a computer-controlled hot-wire cutter, are used for this purpose. For the creation of the digital production data the seminar participants learn the use of parametric 3D-software (Rhino, Grasshopper). The aim is to produce an architectural installation for the Luminale 2018 in Frankfurt.


Combinatorial Design

Students work at the intersection of Architecture and Game Design to explore the advantages of involving non-experts in the design process. Students will be introduced to the concept of shape grammars — collections of visually defined, geometric rules used to automate the generation of formal representations of designs for buildings and cities. Each student extracts the essential elements of an existing building and models them as a shape grammar in Minecraft. Students document the combination that other players create using these elements and compare them to the original building. Students will develop the following skills: Understanding an architectural design down to its essential elements; Using concepts and tools for combinatorial modelling in a real design task; Visualising design features with simple diagrams.


Aggregrated Landscapes Studio

Architecture emerges out of the assembly of many different parts that finally form a building. In our studio we will explore this part-to-whole relationship. Computational Design and Digital Fabrication allow for novel forms of modularity: Parametric instead of serial, combinatorial complex instead of repetitive, multi-material instead of homogenous and isotropic. This term we will explore novel modular and computational design methods for the spatial and constructional design of an infrastructural project. Participants will acquire skills in the field of Digital Fabrication and Computational Design (Rhino/Grasshopper) and their use in an architectural design context. No previous knowledge is required.


Collaborative Fabrication

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 seminar will aim at the production of 1:1 prototypes and will benefit from a close collaboration with the seminar “Physical Computing for Architects”, which will provide interactive tools to be implemented in the fabrication processes.


Physical Computing for Architects

Physical Computing is the comunication between hardware and software components and their prototypical orchestration.

Students will learn the foundation of physical computing via the use of the arduino plattform. Funken, our DDU own softwaretool, will help in establishing a communication to Grasshopper/Rhino. This way digital tools will be developed that can assist in setting up robotic processes.

This will be done in close collaboration with Andrea Rossi's Seminar “Collaborative Fabrication”, that provides us with a robotic process.

The tool for this seminar is Mc Neels's Rhino. Preknowledge is not needed but could be an advantage.