Fingers Crossed is a form-active structure designed by the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme (Emtech) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in collaboration with Arup, TRADA, and Hanson Plywood for the London Design Festival 2014, hosted at Arup’s No. 8 Fitzroy Street offices. Built from 9 mm birch plywood and relying solely on friction, rather than metal connections, as a joining solution, Fingers Crossed both exploits and celebrates the material behaviour of wood. The project, initiated as a collaboration between students of architecture, professional engineers and the UK’s leading timber authority, seeks to express the bending capacity and joinery possibilities that timber provides by integrating structural and spatial performance into one elegant architectural solution.
Using both material and digital computational techniques, the design was developed using plywood sheets CNC-milled at the Architectural Association’s Digital Prototyping Lab with a variable pattern of interlocking fingers to create a series of articulated arches. Parametric modelling was used to achieve a feedback loop between geometrical and material studies and structural analysis provided by Arup structural engineers to design a pavilion with varied lighting effects and a playful, interactive landscape. This landscape, providing seating for visitors and organising circulation through the space, also performs structurally, lending stiffness at the base of the arch by locking it in place.
Fingers Crossed will be exhibited as part of the London Design Festival at Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, W1T 4BQ from 13 September until 2 October. More information can be found at
After the London Design Festival, Fingers Crossed will be flat-packed and constructed again at Timber Expo 2014 at NEC, Birmingham.
Date Submitted: 16/9/2014
Kristina with ScanLAB are running the LT Ranch Space Project in Lithuania which is currently aiming to carefully dis-mantle, move, re-assemble and re-use a vernacular barn for and with students, artists and local people.
You can read a blog about the work and see images of the barn here.
Donate to the project via Kickstarter here.
Date Submitted: 9/9/2014
Evan Greenberg (Studio Master, AA Emtech Graduate Design) and Elif Erdine (PhD in Architectural Design Candidate) present a paper at eCAADe 2014 Conference.
Evan Greenberg (Studio Master, AA Emtech Graduate Design) and Elif Erdine (PhD in Architectural Design Candidate) present their paper, titled “Computing the Urban Block: Local Climate Analysis and Design Strategies” in eCAADe 2014. The conference theme is Fusion: Data Integration at its Best. Hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle, the conference will take place during 10 – 12 September 2014.
Date Submitted: 4/9/2014
Alexandros Kallegias (Programme Director, AA Athens and AA Greece Visiting Schools) and Elif Erdine (PhD in Architectural Design Candidate) present a paper at eCAADe 2014 Conference.
Alexandros Kallegias (Programme Director, AA Athens and AA Greece Visiting Schools) and Elif Erdine (PhD in Architectural Design Candidate) present their paper, titled “Reprogramming Architecture: Learning via Practical Methodologies” in eCAADe 2014. The conference theme is Fusion: Data Integration at its Best. Hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle, the conference will take place during 10 – 12 September 2014.
Date Submitted: 4/9/2014
Tradition and Identity
Saturday 23 August – Friday 5 September 2014
There is no doubt that local materials and craft contribute a great deal to any regions vernacular. However with current potentials in advanced computing and manufacturing we are presented with an opportunity to work towards a new identity.
Looking at new technologies and materials in relations to traditional forms such as the dome and Mogharnas. We will use new and scientific methodologies to augment and challenge traditional means of designing and making. Extensive material testing combined with new digital tools will allow us to create a new identity and vernacular for the Iran. We will be looking at a hybrid of new and old in order to refer to but not remain in the past.
The aim will be to update traditional material and craft to be able to respond to current demands on architecture and 21st century living.
As with previous years, there will be lunchtime lectures by tutors and guests and a public exhibition of the works.
Lectures are open the public and free to AA Members. All events held at
Iranian Business School
Contact AAVSTehran@aaschool.ac.uk for booking information.
sundAy 24Th Aug 20:00
mondAy 25Th Aug 20:00
locAl TrAdiTion, globAl heriTAge
TuesdAy 26Th Aug 20:00
wednesdAy 27Th Aug 20:00
Absorbing irAniAn moderniTy
ThursdAy 28Th Aug 20:00
idenTiTy oF The pAsT, A delusion TodAy
FridAy 29Th Aug 14:00
sTudneT inTerim presenTATions wiTh guesT pAnel
Date Submitted: 15/8/2014
The Architectural Association (AA) and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (University of West of England, Bristol) have started a two-year collaborative programme financially supported by the UK government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme. An new role of Architectural Robotics Developer will be employed by UWE and based at Hooke Park, to work closely with staff from UWE’s Engineering, Design and Mathematics department using the Bristol Robotics Laboratory’s facilities, and with AA staff at Hooke Park to develop innovative robotic arm fabrication processes.
This will include developing a ‘smart’ programming environment to accommodate the cutting of natural material, and embedding scanning and robotic capability in automated production of complex geometric structural timber elements for architectural applications.
You can learn more about the project initiative here
Application is on the University of the West of England website
Date Submitted: 11/7/2014
Juan Montoliu Hernandez (Sustainable Enviromental Design Graduate Student) short listed for RIBA President's Award for Outstanding Master's Degree Thesis
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlists for the President’s Awards for Research 2014. The awards promote and champion high-quality research and encourage its dissemination to the profession; they raise the profile of those architects and academics engaged in research, and highlight the need for research across the profession to foster innovation and strategic thinking.
Juan Montoliu Hernandez's shortlisted Master's Degree Thesis " CRISIS Architecture: Colonizing existing concrete structures" can be read online at the SED site.
Date Submitted: 7/7/2014
Sevil Yazıcı (AA DRL. 2006) won "The Best Thesis Award of Year 2013" from the Istanbul Technical University (ITU)
Sevil Yazıcı (AA DRL. 2006) won "The Best Thesis Award of Year 2013" from the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Graduate School of Science, Engineering and Technology in the field of Construction Sciences with her dissertation titled "A Material-Based Integrated Computational Design Model in Architecture", which she completed at the ITU Department of Architecture last year.
By working in various pioneering & innovative architectural design projects and award winning competitions world-wide, Dr. Yazıcı examined the current architectural design process and developed a novel method that allows reconsideration of the process through increasing efficiency. Dr. Yazıcı developed a Software Model, which can be used for form-finding, structural performance simulation and structural optimization. The method is currently pending for a Patent (No: PT 2014/00551).
Date Submitted: 5/7/2014
GeMo an Army of 3D printed Vases
They need to be born.
Mehran Gharleghi (EmTech) and Amin Sadeghy from studio INTEGRATE, are seeking support to launch a crowd funded exhibition of an army of 3D printed vases in London. Through the use of cutting edge technology, the vases are 3D printed in stainless steel, ceramic, resin and nylon. With a keen i
nterest in exploring the legacy of Middle Eastern art, combined with advanced methods of digital fabrication, they have created an army of over 500 mass customized 3D printed vases, called GeMo. GeMo utilizes the potentials of 3D printing technologies by creating a non-repetitive series of objects that are otherwise very cumbersome to manufacture using conventional methods. The form of each vase is generated from one of the fundamental components of Islamic art. It is made of two symmetrical octagons that merge into each other by using an algorithm. The algorithm uses repetition, rotation and symmetry to merge and develop the original shapes. This method is often used in creating traditional Islamic drawings and art. The word algorithm itself originates from, Al-Khwārizmī (c. 780-850), a Persian mathematician, astronomer, geographer and scholar. Digital tools were used to capture these steps to create over 500 unique variations that can only be realized by a 3D printer. By using this method, GeMo retained its cultural roots while leading to a novel set of artefacts. Each 3D printed GeMo is individually unique, yet partially resembles its neighbouring relative which is called "Genetically Modified" (GeMo). Around 10% of the geometries that are generated out of this algorithm are mutants and due to their centre of gravity cannot stand. So, these will not to be 3D printed. GeMo embodies the potential of what 3D-print fabrication is offering to contemporary design culture. Hence, with the aim of raising awareness of the possibilities of 3D printing, Mehran and Amin are turning to Kickstarter to raise funds to launch an exhibition in London, showcasing their army over 500 individually unique 3D printed vases. Their supporters will become the only owners and exhibitors of GeMo, which will be sent to them after the exhibition. By supporting the GeMo campaign, you will help a one-of-a-kind and exclusive design become recognised by a wider audience of art and design enthusiasts from around the world. Each GeMo(s) will be named after its (their) supporter. GeMo will be printed in multiple materials, such as stainless steel, plastic, resin and alumide. This is a possibility that has emerged from the world of digital design and production. Now, the army of GeMo is ready and they need them to be born.
Date Submitted: 3/7/2014
Ahmad Sukkar (PhD candidate, MRes, London Consortium; MArch AADRL; BArch, Dip.Arch Damascus University) has presented a paper entitled “Structures of Light: The Body and Architecture in Premodern Islam” at Setting Out, the 11th Annual PhD Research Symposium of the Architectural Humanities Research Association. The symposium was hosted by the School of Architecture, Landscape and the Built Environment, University College, Dublin, on May 19th 2014. Ahmad’s panel session had contributions dealing with aspects of philosophies of language, which was chaired by Professor Adam Sharr, Newcastle University. The symposium included a keynote presentation by Professor Anthony Vidler, Brown University.
Supervised by Professors Samer Akkach (University of Adelaide), Nader El-Bizri (American University of Beirut), Neil Leach (University of Southern California), and Mark Cousins (Architectural Association) at the London Consortium, Birkbeck, University of London, his doctoral thesis looks at the intricate relationship between philosophy, mysticism, cosmology, and architecture in relation to human reality. It is an architectural commentary on a critical edition of an Arabic manuscript, Miftah al-Futuh fi Mishkat al-Jism wa-Zujajat al-Nafs wa-Misbah al-Ruh (The Key of Openings Concerning the Niche of the Body, the Glass of the Soul, and the Light of the Spirit), which is written by an eminent Sufi Damascene scholar ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (d. 1143/1731).
http://settingoutsymposium.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/setting-out_programme_a3-size-14-05-2014.pdf (1st page, 2nd line, 4th presentation)
Date Submitted: 30/6/2014
AA’s Diploma 6, The Unknown Fields Division will be screening a selection of films and animations developed across their last 4 years of global expeditions at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Friday late program on June 27 2014.
Victoria and Albert Museum’s Friday Late event: It’s All Yours
Unknown Fields: Architecture Film Series
Date Submitted: 26/6/2014
Five free things to do at the London Festival of Architecture
Date Submitted: 16/6/2014
Paula Velasco (EmTech 2011) from MoVe arquitectos (www.movearchitects.com , Paula Velasco (EmTech 2011) and Alberto Moletto (SED 2009) have been invited to collaborate with New Perspectives: A Celebration at Balford Tower on June 21, 12 noon - 7pm, as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
Date Submitted: 11/6/2014
16 May to 28 June 2014 (new extended closing date)
Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
Betts Project presents a series of drawings by Peter Märkli from 1980 to 2013, alongside study reliefs by the artist Hans Josephsohn.
There is no hierarchy between Peter Märkli’s drawings. Each has the same status; they are ideas. They can be seen independently or together as a series – an idea or ideas in motion. Märkli states: 'The important thing with these drawings is to work with elements or situations. They are for studying.' The drawings are not directly connected to Peter Märkli’s buildings. They are precursors, constituting a reservoir of forms from which he draws elements according to the buildings he is designing.
1st Floor, 111-113 St. John Street - Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JA
Visit the Betts Project for more on the exhibition
Date Submitted: 9/6/2014
Venice: Chilean Pavilion – Monolith Controversies, curated by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola –awarded Silver Lion for National Participation
Monolith Controversies comprises more than seven years of research by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola
The jury recognises Chile with the Silver Lion for revealing a critical chapter of the history of global circulation of modernity. Focusing on one essential element of modern architecture – a prefabricated concrete wall – it critically highlights the role of elements of architecture in different ideological and political contexts.
Panel, an exhibition by Alonso and Palmarola, is on view at the AA in the Front Members' Room until Saturday 14 June.
Date Submitted: 9/6/2014