The Emergent Technologies and Design programme continues to evolve through the development of our research in studio, the seminar coursework and the dissertations. We aim to produce new research each year, building from our interests and expertise in material organisation and the design and development of systems in a variety of scales. Our work is focused on the interdisciplinary effects of emergence, biomimetics and evolutionary computation of design and production technologies, and on developing these as creative inputs to new architectural and urban design processes.
Building on the achievements of our past studies, we will include greater involvement from experts in the fields of component systems and material computation, urban physics and algorithmic urban design, engineering, advanced computation, and computationally driven fabrication. We will continue our Masterclass series for the fourth year, along with lectures, tutorials and workshops from Wolf Mangelsdorf (Buro Happold), Achim Menges (ICD Stuttgart), Hugh Whitehead, (Director of SMG Foster and Partners), Cristina Díaz Moreno and Efrén García Grinda (AMID/Cero 9), Skylar Tibbits (MIT), Joan Busquets (Harvard GSD), and Dr Janet Barlow (Urban Physics, Reading).
The instruments of analysis and design in Emergent Technologies are computational processes. The Seminar Courses and Core Studio are designed to familiarise students with these instruments, their associated conceptual fields and their application to architectural design research. The courses are extensively crosslinked, thematically and instrumentally, with each other and with the Core Studio. In Core Studio 1 the focus is on the exploration of material systems and their development into differentiated surfaces and assemblies. These assemblies demonstrate the potential for integrated structural and environmental performance producing local ‘microclimatic’ variations that define spatial arrangement. In Core Studio 2 we investigate a larger and more complex piece of the city, examining urban systems and generating new material, social and ecological organisations.
Core Studio 1 and 2 – Active Systems
Evan Greenberg and Mehran Gharleghi
Core Studio 1 – Material Systems
Evolutionary strategies and computational techniques are used to develop the architectural qualities of different material systems. Physical models will explore the integration of material behaviour and fabrication processes. Core Studio 1 is supported by weekly sessions on associative modelling in Grasshopper/Rhino, workshops on scripting in VB and in Grasshopper, sessions on geometry and iterative processes, and L-Systems to model and control growth processes. The studio concludes with fully fabricated and digitally modelled, doubly curved material systems that exhibit integrated structural and environmental properties.
Core Studio 2 – City Systems
The Core Studio 2 project extends the system logics to a larger and more complex piece of the city. We study the microclimatic, typological and social organisations of a defined urban tissue, and the interactions between them across the hierarchical levels analogous to cell, tissue and organ. A generative set of rules at the scale of the neighbourhood is developed and initiated. The studio concludes with the design of a new urban tissue and its systems, and the detailed design of one ‘cell’ within it through fully fabricated and digital models.
Emergence Seminar Course
(Terms 1 & 2)
Emergence has been an important concept in biology, mathematics, artificial intelligence, information theory and computer science, newer domains of climatic modelling and other complex systems analysis and simulations. A survey is presented of the mathematics of evolution and embryological development, the data structures and processes of the genome, population dynamics and pressures. Applications to architectural design are explored through generative design experiments, concluding with the detailed modelling and analysis of the set of forms, surfaces and structures evolved.
Biomimetics Seminar Course
George Jeronimidis with Evan Greenberg
This course is an introduction to the ways in which organisms have evolved their form, materials and structures in response to varied functions and environments, followed by an account of engineering design principles that have been abstracted from nature in current research projects for industry and material science. It will include a study of a natural system (general form, anatomy, energy flows and behaviour) and the engineering principles abstracted from it (analysis continues into winter term).
Design Research Studio and the Thesis/Dissertation
(Terms 3 & 4)
Three main fields of design research are offered – Active Material Systems with Advanced Fabrication, Natural Ecological Systems Design (currently focused on shorelines and deltas), and Urban Metabolic Design (currently focused on algorithmic design for energetic models of new cities in emergent biomes). Students may choose one of the three fields, and will work in pairs. The Design Research Studio facilitates the development of a deeper understanding of emergence and its application to advanced production in architecture, urbanism and ecological engineering, while integrating theoretical discourses, science and the insights gained from experiments. It will develop the ability to analyse complex issues and to engage in independent research. The Design Research Studio concludes with the presentation of the fully developed Thesis/Dissertation proposal.
Michael Weinstock is an architect. Born in Germany, lived as a child in the Far East and then West Africa, attended an English public school. Ran away to sea at age 17 after reading Conrad. Years at sea in traditional sailing ships, with shipyard and shipbuilding experience. Studied architecture at the AA and has taught at the AA since 1989. His research interest lies in exploring the convergence of biomimetic engineering, architecture, emergence and material sciences. He received the Acadia Award for Excellence 2008. He has published The Architecture of Emergence and Emergent Technologies and Design – Towards a Biological Paradigm for Architecture, and has been Visiting professor at Rome, Barcelona, Calgary and Yale.
George Jeronimidis is the Director of the Centre for Biomimetics in the School of Construction Management and Engineering. He is an active member of the Smart Materials and Structures Committee of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3). He has published extensively in these fields with articles in scientific journals, books and conference contributions, including keynote lectures. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute of Colloid and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Virtual and Physical Prototyping.
Evan Greenberg is a researcher and design consultant based in London. He has worked with architects, engineers, artists and fashion designers around the world. He gained his MSc (Dist) in Emergent Technologies and Design from the AA where he is also a First Year Technical Studies Tutor. He has lectured and taught internationally and was co-director of the AA San Francisco Visiting School from 2009 to 2011.
Mehran Gharleghi is an architect, researcher and designer. He received his MArch in Emergent Technologies and Design from the AA, where he is also a Fifth Year Technical Studies Tutor. He has worked for distinguished architectural practices including Plasma Studio and Foster + Partners in London. In 2009 he co-founded Studio INTEGRATE with Amin Sadeghy.
Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering, industrial/product design or other relevant discipline