The Digital Design Unit (DDU) is an architectural research and teaching unit at the Faculty of Architecture of Technische Universität Darmstadt headed by
Prof. Dr. Oliver Tessmann.

We are exploring possible architectures through:

Areas of Research

Collaborative Design

DDU researches forms of collaboration between architects and robots both in the design studio and on the construction site.

Combinatorial Design

Using computational design tools and digital fabrication DDU revisits modular design in architecture with the promise of reusable and affordable buildings.

Design Through Gaming

DDU explores how games can be used as design environments where architectural decisions are made collectively by architects, players and algorithms.

Formwork Design

DDU’s work on rotoformed concrete pushes forward design processes for soft and reusable formwork with the aim to reduce material consumption in construction.

Immersive Design

At DDU we look at the new types of interactions that emerge in Augmented and Virtual Reality and how they are redefining architectural design.


Savov, Anton; Winkler, Roger; Tessmann, Oliver

Encoding Architectural Designs as Iso-surface Tilesets for Participatory Sculpting of Massing Models Inproceedings

Gengnagel, Christoph; Baverel, Olivier; Burry, Jane; Ramsgaard Thomsen, Mette ; Weinzierl, Stefan (Ed.): Impact: Design With All Senses, pp. 199–213, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2020, ISBN: 978-3-030-29829-6.

Abstract | Links

Tessmann, Oliver; Mehdizadeh, Samim

Rotoform - Realization of Hollow Construction Elements Through Roto-Forming with Hyper-Elastic Membrane Formwork Miscellaneous


Abstract | Links

Betti, Giovanni; Aziz, Saqib; Rossi, Andrea; Tessmann, Oliver

Communication Landscapes Inproceedings

Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design, pp. 74–84, Springer, 2018.

Abstract | Links

Savov, Anton; Tessmann, Oliver

Introduction to Playable Voxel-Shape Grammars Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), pp. 534–543, Cambridge, 2017.

Abstract | Links

Andrea Rossi, Oliver Tessmann

Geometry as Assembly Inproceedings

Gargaro, Gianluigi Loffreda Gabriele Novembri Armando Trento} Stefano Cursi {Antonio Fioravanti Salma Elahmar Silvia (Ed.): eCAADe Conference | Sharing of Computable Knowledge, pp. 9, eCAADe (Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe) and Dep. of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering, SapienzaUniversity of Rome, Rome, 2017, ISBN: 9789491207136, 978-94-91207-13-6.


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Tessmann

Oliver Tessmann is an architect and professor at the Technische Universität Darmstadt where he is heading the Digital Design Unit (DDU). His teaching and research revolves around computational design and digital manufacturing and robotics in architecture. From 2012 – 2015 he has been assistant professor in the School of Architecture of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. From 2008 – 2011 he has been a guest professor at Staedelschule Architecture Class (SAC) and worked with the engineering office Bollinger + Grohmann in Frankfurt. In 2008 Oliver Tessmann received a doctoral degree at the University of Kassel. He conducted research in the field of “Collaborative Design Procedures for Architects and Engineers”. His work has been published and exhibited in Europe, Asia and the US.

Research Associates and Administration

Student assistants

Fabian Bachmann, Timm Glätzer, Til Sommer, Thomas Wenzel, Leon Wietschorke, Roger Winkler

Former team members

Lukas Loddoch, Andrea Rossi, Alexander Stefas, Alessia Weckenmann, Fabian Weinhart