Advancements in Design Computation

Lecture date: 2016-02-19

Antoine Picon, Achim Menges & Francis Aish,

Chaired by Ali Farzaneh & Elif Erdine

The event will delve into the role of computation in design research and how it has transformed architectural research and practices around the world, pointing out the innate associations between digital, material, and constructed realities. 3 speakers from incredibly rich backgrounds will come together to discuss the history of computation and how it has entered the domain of design and architecture, its role today as a design culture and the implications it has in the future of architecture (Antoine Picon), the role of material in fusing computation and the physical together as one (Achim Menges), and the use of computational simulations in enhancing performance in design practice (Francis Aish). The sessions will be followed by a round table discussion in which the speakers will discuss the challenges faced today by the discipline of architecture and speculate on the future of its role in the immediate future.

Antoine Picon is the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology and Director of Research at the GSD. He teaches courses in the history and theory of architecture and technology. Trained as an engineer, architect, and historian, Picon works on the history of architectural and urban technologies from the eighteenth century to the present.

The work of Achim Menges explores the reciprocity between the material and the computational in architecture, and its manifold and deep interrelations with technology, biology and culture. This enquiry is conducted through his academic research as Professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design (ICD), through his role as a visiting professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and through his architectural practice in Frankfurt.

Francis Aish is a Partner and Head of the Applied Research and Development team at Foster + Partners. He leads the research and development of computational systems to model and solve complex, multidisciplinary design problems. He has been involved in over 100 projects, including the Swiss Re headquarters tower, St Mary Axe in London and the competition for Beijing International Airport. He also conducts collaborative research with leading universities and companies and has published academic papers on design and simulation systems, as well as lecturing widely on the subject in Europe and North America.


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