Funicular Geometry - Gestalten mit Medien 2018

More than 120 first year students teamed up to design and build an installation made from 152 yellow and pink threads and water filled plastic bottles acing as weights. The piece synthesizes a series of exercises on digital design tools and parametric graphic statics taught in collaboration with the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design (ISMD).





Ahmad-Alaa Tarakji

Alexa Winderling

Alexander Csott

Alexander Kaufmann

Aleyna Yanar

Alice Brand

Anna Flügel

Anna Heeg

Anna Klyushina

Anna-Lisa Thorn

Aysenur Gültekin

Batuhan Yalman

Caleb Mehari

Carolin Schmitt

Christian Barth

Christian Birk

Clara Helfrich

Clara Wolf

Daniel Buck

David Müller

Dilek Tagit

Eda Tas

Elisabeth Schubert

Eva Dexl

Fabian Bachmann

Felisha Theobald

Fitore Delija

Florian Imeri

Franca Blömer

Francesca Schürmann

Franziska Wolf

Friedrich Rogalla von Bieberstein

Gentijana Kurtishi

Ghiath Mardini

Hanna Andal

Hanna Beuß

Hannah Sophie Weick

Hannes Mandelkau

Harksung Kim

Henri Schneider

Hüseyin-Emre Öztürk

Hysen Maljoku

Ines Wiedemann

Ingunn Helene Honne

Isabell Habermann

Isabelle Altenkamp

Jan Eickstädt

Jan Fräulin

Jana Mandel

Janis Korell

Jannik Steinbrecher

Jeela Jamili

Jennifer Bräutigam

Jennifer Müller

Jona Hofmann

Jonas Kahl-Marburger

Josefine Ebeling

Joshua Schäfer

Julia Bartenstein

Julia Hoff

Julia Knapp

Julia Mende

Julius Mayer

Karl Prelle

Katharina Fetzer

Katharina Hoff

Katharina Meyer

Katinka Schmidt

Katja Heilingbrunner

Kiana Rozbahani

Kostja Lyson

Kristin Renfer

Lara Münscher

Lara Reusch

Lauritz Niederhöfer

Lea Kräckmann

Lena Bader

Lena Feline Schwab

Leon Wietschorke

Lisa Mackowiak

Lisa Schönecker

Lorenz Eschke

Lucas Cornelius

Maleen Knies

Maren Blum

Marie Gallwitz

Marwin Werner

Melinda Nasedy

Melisa Aricak

Melissa Rooney

Merle Schmidt-Jürgensen

Mertcan Bal

Molham Jarboh

Moritz Baur

Nina Kazancev

Nora Henriette Stellwag

Özge Tatar

Paul Oechsner

Paul Schmidt

Philip Hrivnak

Philipp Schmitz

Rebecca Stein

Roland Ader

Rummana Naeem

Ruven Limprecht

Sara Stecker

Sarah Cheikh-Ali

Sarah Gawel

Sebastian Schäfer

Sebastian Wächter

Sevan Demircian

Seyma Karagöz

Simon Schneider

Sophie Ruf

Sophie Zindler

Tamara Germann

Thorben Herda

Tina Buchholz

Tobias Horch

Torsten Bruns

Valentina Kaun

Wiebke Lea Katrin Bartels

Yazan Nassi


Prof. Oliver Tessmann

Bastian Wibranek, MA 

Daniela Hoffmann (Tutor)

Lukas Loddoch (Tutor)

Roger Winkler (Tutor)


For more Information see the booklet:



On October 12, 2018 the symposium BE-AM | Built Environment – Additive Manufacturing will take place at the Georg-Christoph-Lichtenberg-Haus in Darmstadt. For the fourth time, Prof. Dr.-Ing Ulrich Knaack (Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design, ISMD) and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Tessmann (Digital Design Unit, DDU) invite experts from practice, research and industry to the TU Darmstadt to explore the current status and future potential of additive manufacturing for construction and architecture.

Digitalisation has significantly changed design and planning in recent years. With 3D printing, this development is now migrating into the realm of construction. Materials such as concrete, clay and steel are used in additive manufacturing processes and 3D printers reach dimensions that suit the needs of construction. At the same time, complex material requirements, compliance with standards and norms and the integration of new processes into established procedures on site represent challenges that still have to be mastered.

At the BE-AM Symposium 2018, experts present, among other things, the first AM concrete components on site, 3D printed street furniture made of plastic waste and research into digital fabrication and robotics within the architectural practice of a planning office.












Dieburger Str. 241, 64287 Darmstadt



12. October 2018, 10:00 – 17:00



The symposium registration is closed.

Mitglieder der Architektenkammer Hessen erhalten gegen Teilnahmebescheinigung 6 Fortbildungspunkte für den Besuch des Symposium. Für die Ausstellung der Teilnahmebescheinigung berechnen wir eine Bearbeitungsgebühr von  35€. Wir danken der Architektenkammer Hessen für die freundliche Unterstützung.


Technische Universität Darmstadt

Fachbereich Architektur

DDU – Digital Design Unit – Digitales Gestalten

El-Lissitzky-Str. 1

64287 Darmstadt

fon: +49 6151 16-22483

fax: +49 6151 16-22480


formnext2018_LOGO_Vollversion_D      PMP Logo

The event is supported by formnext – International exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies – and the Profile Area “From Material to Product Innovation” PMP of the TU Darmstadt. All lectures will be held in English.



            DDU-logo_BLACK_RGB        ismd

Communication Landscapes

An installation at Seoul Biennale 2017


Seoul, 06 October, 2017:  “Imminent Commons” – this year’s Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism opens the debate about the dramatic challenges global cities are facing, be they social, ecological or technological. On this occasion HENN and DDU present an interactive installation that explores the idea of Industry 4.0, digital craft and human/machine interfaces.
The installation is an attempt to explore a future collaborative approach to distributed and participatory design. It consists of a microphone, a video screen and a robotic arm. The visitors are invited to speak into a microphone. This simple act triggers a custom algorithm to generate, in real time, an evolving three-dimensional representation of the speaker’s voice. The live feedback on the screen creates an immediate learning loop, where the visitor, almost instinctively, experiences how to shape the virtual object by modulating his or her voice. Once satisfied with the object displayed on the screen, the configuration can be saved by the user. This in turn automatically activates the robot arm to carve the chosen shape out of a block of foam by means of a custom attachment.
The process of extracting the “shape of a voice” out of a foam block simultaneously creates both the desired object and its negative form: the visitor is presented with the result of the exploration to take home as a souvenir of a possible future, while the residual imprints of the voices are aggregated via an algorithm in a sculptural wall. The result is an endless range of individually formed pieces, composed of a patterned surface that represents the physical/digital translation of the visitors’ sound inputs and individual voices, whether as words, cries, songs or simply a breath.

Natural Interfaces

Interaction3Photo: ©HENN

Natural, intuitive man/machine interfaces are crucial to this process, as they potentially provide people with easy and direct access to production. In recent years, with ever more ubiquitous computing, considerable research has been undertaken into the topic of natural interfaces in which the computer itself seemingly disappears and more intuitive, human-like interactions take place. The apparent disappearance of the computer (at least in it’s commonplace mouse-keyboard-terminal configuration) in reality promotes a closer relationship with the machine, as we start touching it, talking to it or maneuvering with it (gamification). This shift also involves a redefinition of the role of the designer: as the end user gains access to more powerful customization tools, the designer no longer determines the final form or configuration of his or her creation, simply its initial state. The limits of what is possible are left to the individual user to explore.


Photo: ©HENN

The installation presents the positive aspects of the automation of production. New lean and clean production methods enable a departure from the centralized industrial model of the 20th century, creating smaller, decentralized production units that can better match today’s urban and social fabric. This represents, so to say, an analogy to the model of craftsmanship prevalent prior to the Industrial Revolution, whereby in this case production no longer resides with the artisan but with a machine. The premise of the model is that it enables the creativity of individual production to be distributed among the wider population rather than being concentrated in a single person. At the same time, Communication Landscapes visualizes the complex but far-reaching impact of such technologies on the construction industry – with all its economic and ecological consequences. Customized constructional parts lead to an optimized use of material and increase the physical efficiency of a building as a whole. Individual detail solutions manufactured on-site enable an efficient design process and increase precision.
The Seoul Biennale goes on until 1 November 2017.

Photo: ©HENN

Martin Henn, Giovanni Betti, Saqib Aziz, Stefano Arrighi (HENN)
Oliver Tessmann, Andrea Rossi (TU Darmstadt, Digital Design Unit)

ABB Germany
Thibault Schwartz (HAL robotics)

Wasp Plugin for Grasshopper

Wasp Plugin for Grasshopper

by Andrea Rossi

Wasp is a set of open-source Grasshopper components (available on Food4Rhino.), developed in Python, directed at representing and designing with discrete elements.

Significant parts of Wasp have been developed as part of research on digital materials and discrete design at DDU. Wasp has been tested in seminars and studios at DDU, offering students fast and accessible techniques to explore modular design and discrete fabrication logics. Wasp is used by designers worldwide:


See first design explorations by DDU students using WASP:


Design: Cornelius Dormann


Felix Dannecker

Design: Felix Dannecker


Mathias Gilles

Design: Matthias Gilles



Sebastian Kotterer

Design: Sebastian Kotterer


Making Effect, Stockholm 2017


The research work on topological interlocking structures conducted by the Digital Design Unit (DDU) and If-Then Architects, Berlin was featured in the exhibition "Making Effect" in the Architecture and Design,  Center ArkDes, Stockholm. The exhibition gathers and presents examples of research projects, which were supported by Formas through the national research school ResArc, and the two Strong Research Environments, Architecture in the Making, and Architecture in Effect. The topological interlocking structures project was partly funded by Formas and the KTH Schoolof Architecture.



The research work on topological interlocking structures conducted by the Digital Design Unit (DDU) and If-Then Architects was part of the exhibition +ultra. gestaltung creates knowledge in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. The exhibition reveals the fundamental role processes of design play in the sciences and humanities as well as the current mergence of the digital and the analogue. The exhibition was organized by the excellence cluster Image Knowledge Gestaltung of the Humboldt-University Berlin.

Gestalten mit Medien 2017

August 2017, End of Year Exhibition Gestalten mit Medien, Darmstadt. 108 first year students teamed up to design and build an installation made from 108 yellow threads and water filled plastic bottles acing as weights. The piece synthesizes a series of exercises on digital design tools and parametric graphic statics taught in collaboration with the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design (ISMD). All images: Jakob Nonnen.


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Design: Zhili Xia, Zhi Rui, Ru Qin, Wang Mengxue

My Personal Factory

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
Ken Olsen, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

When Ken Olsen made this famously mistaken judgement, large mainframe computers from IBM filled entire rooms and Olsen’s company Digital Equipment Corp. was famous for its ‘smaller’ computers that had the size of a wardrobe. Only three years later in 1980 the Apple II entered the market and gave people access to personal computing and we all know what followed.

Today we witness the ongoing development of personal digital fabrication. After ubiquitous computation the making of things becomes accessible through desktop 3d printers, small scale CNC milling machines and laser cutters. This novel culture of production is intrinsically tied to a digital global network of open-source knowledge exchange and a virtually endless universe of things waiting to be transformed from bits into atoms. The disruptive nature of personal digital fabrication will obviously change entire industries including architecture but what will it do to our cities?

Nobody wants to relocate huge, dirty and noisy industries back into the city center after the modernist city advocated for a separation of functions. But what about colonizing and upgrading abandoned or rarely used spaces in the urban fabric with new forms of manufacturing. After the personal computer, it is the factory that get personalized. The disruptive nature of personal digital fabrication will obviously change entire industries including architecture and it offers novel opportunities to make cities productive again. Decentralized urban production can lead to Micro Fabs, Rapid Prototyping workshops that allow for individualized products manufactured around the corner. The close vicinity to the living environment reduces communting times for employees and blurs the boundaries between working and living for good or bad. These new forms of production will definitely not replace existing large-scale industries. Cars will not be produced in the city center, but maybe the its spare parts can be 3D printed just around the corner. Such a combination of large-scale and small-scale/decentralized production might dramatically reduce the costs for those parts. Or imagine a printfarm where machines replicate themselves.

Participants of this studio were invited to design and build a modular construction that creates a temporary, interactive and versatile space for digital fabrication. The site is located below the ground of the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo in Madrid’s Chueca district. It is currently used as a parking garage. Participants developed and explored concept of personal fabrication within a space which has been designed and built to store cars.

All groups demonstraded the robotic assembly of their modular systems and augmented the modules with sensors and effectors controlled through physical computing.





Productive intersections

by Ana Baraibar, Morgan Hamel, Luca Bertoni, Felix Dannecker, Tolga Ilhan










by Etienne Allgeyer, Frederik Dauphin, Lennart Petzoldt, Anastasia Oboturov

The project GAR(B)AGE uses garbage to transform a garage. The team developed a modular system in which the elements are made from trash. Through the differentiation of material density the modules center of mass is not necessarily similar to the geometric centroid which allows for counterintuitive aggregations. A custom scale connected to Grasshopper helps to integrate this asymmetry in weight into the design process.






by Zhili Xia, Zhi Rui, Ru Qin, Wang Mengxue

Aquaponics combines aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. Water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are converted into nutrients for plants. The water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system. Here Aquaponics is organized in a modular system differentiated functions: Urban farming, ppubkic space and urban furniture, restaurant.









Bamboo Circle

by Luise Blume, Cornelius Dormann, Katharina Münch

In the project hemp, jute, bamboo and lemon trees are grown to cultivated. Cannabis is consumed legally in regulated clubs und used together with jute for textile production. Bamboo becomes the fast growing material for building the furniture and structure of urban farm. The lemon trees are cultivated by people from the neighborhood.

Bamboo is cut into linear modules for reversible aggregation.









CeBIT - Futurium Workshop - und Experience-Space 2017

March 2017, CeBIT, Futurium  Workshop - und Experience-Space 2017, Hannover

20.000 BLOCKS was part of the Workshop - und Experience-Space of Futurium. The Futurium is a centre for shaping the future in Berlin. It aims at sparking interest in the future and in the shaping of the future.

Photo Credits: smart³ | materials – solutions – growth

DARK - Digitale Arbeiten zur Lichtkultur

March 2017, Arnsberg, DARK

Animate Matter | Materie Animieren was part of the exhibition DARK - Digitale Arbeiten zur Lichtkultur in Arnsberg, Germany from 9. - 12. March 2017. DARK was featuring pieces with a strong emphasis on interactivity, digitalisation and communication. Our project was shown in the Auferstehungskirche am Neumarkt. DDU was supported by Hensel Visit GmbH & Co. KG.

Movie by Lichtforum NRW


Using Reinforcement Machine Learning to Generate Robot Tool Paths

In this research project Theo Gruner and Steffen Bisswanger used machine learning (ML) to teach a robotic to find his way through a maze.

A force based ML task is implemented to collect feedback. To reduce the complexity of the problem the setting is placed in a two-dimensional environment.










Steffen_Bisswanger_Theo_Gruner-Reinforcement-Learning_CoverFor more information check out the booklet