Design Research: Experimentation and Innovation (v.15)Theodore Spyropoulos, Patrik Schumacher, Robert Stuart-Smith, Philippe Morel, Pierandrea Angius, Shajay Bhooshan, Mollie Claypool, Ryan Dillon, Jose Sanchez, Mostafa El-Sayed, Memo Akten, Albert Taylor,
Design Research: Experimentation and Innovation (v.15)
The DRL is a 16-month post-professional design programme leading to a Masters of Architecture and Urbanism (MArch) degree. The DRL investigates digital and analogue forms of computation in the pursuit of systemic design applications that are scenario- and time-based. Considering controls systems as open acts of design experimentation, the Design Research Lab examines production processes as active agents in the development of Proto-Design systems.
Four terms of study are divided into two phases. Phase I, a three-term academic year beginning each autumn, introduces design techniques and topics through a combination of team-based studio, workshop and seminar courses. In Phase II, beginning the following autumn, teams carry forward their Phase I work in the form of comprehensive design thesis projects. At the end of January these projects are presented to a panel of distinguished visiting critics, after which each team documents their 16 months of design research work in a hardbound book.
Phase I Design Research Agenda: Behaviour (v.1)
The DRL continues it exploration of prototypical design systems with the introduction of our next design research agenda titled Behaviour, which will investigate architecture as an instrument engaging both material and social forms of interaction. Social scenarios will be coupled with material life-cycles as a way to speculate on how we live and the role architecture can play. Behavioural, parametric and generative methodologies of computational design are coupled with physical computing and analogue experiments to create dynamic and reflexive feedback processes. New forms of spatial organisation are explored that are not typeor site-dependent but instead evolve as ecologies and environments seeing adaptive and hyper-specific features. This performance-driven approach seeks to develop novel design proposals concerned with the everyday. The iterative methodologies of the design studio focus on the investigations of spatial, structural and material organisation, engaging in contemporary discourses on computation and materialisation in the disciplines of architecture and urbanism.
Phase II Design Research Agenda:Proto-Design (v.4)
Four parallel research studios, run by Theodore Spyropoulos, Patrik Schumacher, Robert Stuart-Smith and Philippe Morel, explore the possibilities of the Proto-Design studio. Theodore Spyropoulos’ studio, Extreme Materialism, investigates behaviour as the means to explore self-regulating and deployable soft systems within the field of scientific enquiry. Parametric Semiology, led by Patrik Schumacher, focuses on the design of parametric prototypes that intelligently vary general topological schemata across a wide range of parametrically specifiable site-conditions such as a campus. Robert Stuart-Smith’s studio, Behavioural Materialism, explores how nonlinear design processes may be instrumentalised to generate a temporal architecture with a designed life-cycle. Philippe Morel’s studio, Reconsidering Elementarism, challenges the contemporary relevance of high-technologies through shelter-related architectures that make use of cheap and deployable elemental geometric components.
Phase I Design Studio: Proto-Architectures
Patrik Schumacher, Theodore Spyropoulos, Robert Stuart-Smith
Four design studios will continue to challenge the notion of the design project driven exclusively by contextual and programmatic parameters. Each studio will introduce a specific arena of design concepts, tools and intended outcomes, ranging from prototypes of urbanism, architecture and detail systems. This body of initial design research work will be carried forward to Phase II in 2012/13, and applied to a series of specific briefs and sites for each studio.
Phase I Design Workshops: Material Behaviour
Theodore Spyropoulos, Robert Stuart-Smith, Mostafa El-Sayed, Shajay Bhooshan
Term 1 begins with two sets of three design workshop modules, emphasising computational and material prototyping as both an analytical methodology and the prime mode of design production and representation. Each five-week module focuses on a specific set of methods and intended design output, introducing Phase I students to a broad range of concepts and techniques that can be taken forward to further workshops and the year-long Phase I and Phase II studio projects.
Phase II Design Workshop: Adaptive Systems and Structures
Theodore Spyropoulos, Robert Stuart-Smith, Mostafa El- Sayed, Shajay Bhooshan
This five-week workshop at the midpoint of Phase II addresses a detailed part of the spatial, structural, material and environmental systems of each team’s thesis project, with an emphasis on modelling techniques which act as feedback for the testing and development of the larger-scale proposals. A presentation in November will serve as a major interim review.
Phase I Core Seminars: Design as Research I – Open Source
Robert Stuart-Smith with Mollie Claypool
Pursuing design as a form of research raises a series of questions that this course will examine in relation to larger technological, economic and cultural contexts. The seminar will explore ways of associating design with forms of research, as well as the implications of this for architectural and design practice. Weekly sessions will include presentations related to course readings.
Synthesis: Project Submission, Writing & Research Documentation
Mollie Claypool & Ryan Dillon
(Terms 1 & 2)
These weekly sessions will review the basics of writing and research related to DRL course submissions. Presentations will cover resources in London and beyond, the preparation of thesis abstracts, writing styles and issues related to essays, papers and project booklets. Tutorials will discuss ongoing research topics and seminar and studio presentations.
Behaviour: Examining the Proto-Systemic
Theodore Spyropoulos with Ryan Dillon
This core seminar will articulate a behaviour-based agenda that engages experimental forms of material and computational practice. Examining cybernetic and systemic thinking through seminal forms of prototyping and experimentation, the seminar will look at the thought experiments that have manifested since the early 1950s as maverick machines, architectures and ideologies. Team-based presentations will examine these methods and outputs as case studies for studio experimentation.
Design as Research II: Computational Space
Robert Stuart-Smith with Mollie Claypool
This seminar is an overview of computational approaches to architectural design, strategies and processes. Weekly readings on software technologies and design systems will relate computational work in art, music, new media, science and other sources to contemporary architectural discourses around parametric design. Teams will make weekly presentations related to the readings and an analysis of selected projects.
Digital Tools: Maya, Rhino, 3D Studio, Catia, Processing, Arduino & Macromedia – Software & Scripting
Shajay Bhooshan, Mostafa El-Sayed, Jose Manuel Sanchez, Robert Stuart- Smith, Paul Jeffries, Torsten Broeder, Manuel Jiménez García
(Terms 1 & 2)
These optional workshops provide an introduction to the digital tools and systems used in the DRL, introducing the basic skills needed to build and control parametric models and interactive presentations. Sessions will build up to advanced scripting, programming and dynamic modelling techniques.
Theodore Spyropoulos is director of the experimental architecture and design practice Minimaforms. He has been a visiting Research Fellow at MIT and co-founded the New Media Research Initiative at the AA. He has taught in the graduate school of the University of Pennsylvania and the Royal College of Art, Innovation Design Engineering Department and previously worked as a project architect for the offices of Peter Eisenman and Zaha Hadid Architects.
Patrik Schumacher is partner at Zaha Hadid Architects. He studied philosophy and architecture in Bonn, Stuttgart and London and received his doctorate at the Institute for Cultural Science at Klagenfurt University. He is a visiting professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and university professor at Innsbruck University.
Robert Stuart-Smith is a Founding Design Director of Kokkugia, and graduate of the AADRL. He has worked in the offices of Lab Architecture Studio and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners. He previously taught at RMIT University (Australia), the University of East London, and First Year Studio at the AA. He also leads Kokkugia’s consultation to Cecil Balmond on algorithmic design research.
Philippe Morel is an architect and cofounder of EZCT Architecture & Design Research. He is an Associate Professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais, where he leads the Digital Knowledge programme, and a Studio Master at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He has written about the consequences of technological phenomena on global disurbanism (Living in the Ice Age).
Pierandrea Angius is currently working for Zaha Hadid Architects. He holds a degree in Architecture and a PhD in Building Technology from the Politecnico of Milan and a MArch in Architecture and Urbanism from the AA. Since 2009 he has been teaching at the University of Pennsylvannia Visiting Design Studio.
Shajay Bhooshan works as Lead Researcher in the Computation and Design (co|de) group at Zaha Hadid Architects. He completed his masters degree at the AA in 2006. Previously he worked at HOK Sport Architecture. He recently completed scholarship-in-residence with Autodesk Idea Studio in San Francisco.
Mollie Claypool has held teaching positions at the AA since 2009 in the DRL and History and Theory Studies programme, as well as at the University of Reading and University of Brighton. She has worked with the RCA, AA Publications and Phaidon Press. She studied architecture at Pratt Institute and received her Masters with Distinction from the AA.
Ryan Dillon has studied at Syracuse University and the AA. Currently he teaches in the History and Theory programme as well as working as a designer at EGG Office. Previously he worked at Moshe Safdie Architects.
Jose Sanchez is an architect/programmer based in London. In 2009 he joined Biothing, expanding the research of generative design/ complexity. He is also co-founder of Probotics, an architecture/robotics practice in London.
Mostafa El-Sayed is currently working as a member of the Computation and Design (co|de) group at Zaha Hadid Architects. He is a graduate of the AA and the American University of Sharjah. He has taught and presented work at various events, workshops and institutions both in London and internationally.
Memo Akten is a visual artist, director, musician and engineer. In 2007 he founded the Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company – a network of artists, designers, musicians, engineers, hackers and tinkerers. He has collaborated on a music video for Depeche Mode and has worked with brands such as Apple, Google, Rolls-Royce, Samsung and Vodafone.
Albert Taylor is a cofounder of AKT II, a design-led structural engineering practice working on international projects with renowned architects such as David Chipperfield Architects, Foreign Office Architects, Future Systems and Zaha Hadid Architects.
Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent degree)