Vienna Hyper Agency, tutor: Igor Pantic, AAVS Seoul Winter 2015


Design Tropisms

Saturday 5 – Sunday 13 August 2017

With growing interest in algorithmic design, and increasing sophistication of generative design strategies applied in the field of architecture, the question of authorship is becoming an inseparable part of the discussion. While writing custom software tools for CAD software is becoming more and more common within the industry, it is however mostly used as a problem solving device at certain phases of the project. Our interests lie in the use of algorithms as an integral part of the design process. 

The AA Vienna Visiting School will conduct a research into rule-based design systems, which examine modes of interaction between the designer (human) and the logical constraints of algorithms (machines) in the process of design, creating virtual design ecologies, which challenge the conventional notion of authorship. A set of programmed behaviours and rules form Computational Design Engines, which are used to design and digitally grow series of architectural systems. With this in mind, we are creating a loop system between the input parameters (design decisions and environmental conditions), computational systems and ‘built’ space – a recursive process which results in architectural/computational tropism.
The goal is to create scenario specific design engines, establishing the connection between initial inputs which drive the design and its iterations, and the Design Engine itself. The formation process is not following predetermined design patterns, but is building up an intelligence of its own and is capable of evaluating situations and making decisions that deal with its surroundings and its current evolutionary state. Embracing the glitch and noise in the design process, resulting from the negotiation between the designer and algorithms, tropistic behaviors emerge leading to unexpected geometrical and spatial outcomes.

The AA Vienna is planned as an intensive 10 day studio-based course. During the workshop, we will be using multiple platforms for computational/algorithmic design – with focus on scripting in Processing/JAVA and Python, as well as introduction to 3D modelling techniques in Maya and Rhino/Grasshopper. The goal is to introduce students to techniques and methodologies of algorithmic design and procedural modelling, through the use and customization of pre-made scripts and enable them for further individual work.
During the first stage of the workshop, students will be introduced to the mentioned tools through series of intensive 'tooling-up' sessions, as the basis for the investigation of generative design concepts and methodologies. In parallel to this, students will be developing initial concepts of project specific design engines and computational ecologies, their input parameters (environmental inputs, user input etc.) and possible design outcomes. These concepts will be further developed in the second stage of the workshop, responding to studio brief, producing the results in form of videos of simulations, series of renders and 3d printed objects.

Prominent Features of the workshop
- The course will be taught by tutors from the leading design research programs from the AA, ETH Zurich, and other professionals from the field of architecture and computational design.
- During the workshop, series of evening lectures will be held by tutors and invited lecturers alongside studio-based design tutorials, reviews & seminars.
- Students will gain knowledge and understanding of algorithmic design strategies, and their application in the field of design.
- In addition to hands-on tutorials in computational tools, the school will also focus on the discussion on history of computation in architecture, computational design theories and general application of digital tools in the industry of architecture.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions to pay by bank transfer.
2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required.
The deadline for applications is: 22 July 2017.
All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.



The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.
Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Processing, Autodesk Maya,, Rhino+Grasshopper, Adobe Creative Suite (more details to be added)

Igor Pantic – is an architect and researcher, currently working as a lead designer for Zaha Hadid Architects in London. He received a Master's Degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) at the Architectural Association in London. Currently, he is a visiting lecturer at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, where he is a studio tutor at the Graduate Architectural Design program. Previously, Igor has taught computational courses at the Architectural Association, and number of algorithmic design workshops in UK and internationally.

Raffael Petrovic - currently holds the position of Computational Designer at AL_A Architects, based in London. He previously worked as a researcher at the Singapore-ETH Centre under Prof. Fabio Gramazio and Prof. Matthias Kohler. There he taught a design research studio titled “Design of Robotic Fabricated High Rises” and led the project “Robotic Foldings”, a robotically assembled installation in Zurich. He graduated from University of Applied Arts Vienna, Studio Zaha Hadid in 2011.


Programme Heads
Igor Pantic
Raffael Petrovic

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads



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