Since 2008 I have taught modules offering architecture and design students the skills to build their own software and hardware with the goal of enabling new ways of thinking and practicing architectural research and design. In the modules I run on MSc Adaptive Architecture & Computation, fundamental principles of programming and electronics are introduced to students before a series of design projects are utilized to examine themes of communication, adaption, performance, and interaction.
Examples of Processing Projects created by students over the first term on the course
AAC Student Agata Guzik 2008
AAC Student Angelos Chronis 2009
Examples of Work from the Digital Ecology Module 2010
Example of Research & Design from the MSc AAC Thesis 2009
Marilena Skavara 2009.
Copenhagen Workshop January 2010
Since 2007 I have been teaching at Central Saint Martins College, University of Arts London, as an interaction lecturer on two Masters Programmes; Textile Futures and Industrial Design. As my responsibilities at the Bartlett School of Architecture of grown, I have sadly had to take a smaller role at CSM and currently only teach part time as a tutor on the MA Textile Futures where I support students interest in new digital technologies, fabrication techniques, interaction design and theory.
An Introduction to Textile Futures made in 2011
MA Textile Futures 2007-Ongoing
The 21st century marks the beginning of a new textile revolution , and we believe it is smart, invisible, sustainable, ethical and poetic. Smart? The emergence of intelligent technologies such as conductive textiles, sensory fabrics, wearable computing, biomaterials, nanotechnology demand greater collaboration between science and design to transform textile design processes and products. Invisible? New fibers and finishings create textiles with invisible built-innovative functionality such as vitamin-enhanced fabrics, anti-stress fibre, solar-reactive yarns and composite materials. Sustainable? Increasing demands to consider sustainability necessitate more responsible approaches to textile design. Issues of production, waste and post-consumption drastically change potential design processes and outputs.Ethical? Demographics, globalisation, changing consumption patterns that impact on markets can be challenged by design. Poetic? Human need for inspiring aesthetics and comforting material persists. The aesthetic and emotional qualities of cloth and craft become even more relevant in a high-tech, high speed consumer culture.
Inconspicuous Matter: Celine Marcq 2010 – A material research project that aims to develop responsive materials for future ambient displays, which would make it possible to visualize electrical energy flows.
MA Industrial Design 2007-2009
The intention of the course is to create an environment of creative and critical experimentation and exploration in which students are encouraged to challenge not only the objects which are the result of the process of design, but the matrix of roles, responsibilities and relationships within which the designer might work.
Arkitektskolen Aarhus: Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
co-run with Richard Roberts
ETH Zürich – caad|EmbeddedLab, Switzerland
co-run with Manuel Kretzer
“ The use of materials that change their properties will revolutionise architecture. Buildings of the future will be able to adjust colour, size, shape and opacity. Architects will be able to design buildings that change their geometry according to the people inside. Those who fail to run with the trend, sparked by radical smart materials towards adaptive and kinetic buildings, will be left behind. ” Axel Ritter, 2009
The integration of new technologies and materials into architecture allows buildings to become more responsive to inhabitants and the environment. Digital components to control lighting, shading, ventilation or temperature, as well as home automation systems have already become standard elements that architects have to take into account when designing new spaces. In the near future the integration of smart materials, shape changing topologies, new means of communication and virtual reality will change the way we perceive and interact with the built environment. Individualized data gained from biometric sensors will be processed through embedded intelligence and allow spaces to become adaptive and learn over time. This will result in a new generation of buildings whose internal and external properties are fluid and allow for a multiplicty of demands, usages and occupations.
M6 will focus on the application of thin film electro luminescent foils combined with data gained through a multitude of Kinect Cameras. The collected data shall be processed by intelligent algorithms to create an emersive environment as a combination of behavior, reception, material and space to further engage the users with the piece and create an emotional spatial siutation.
Inital experiments with making EL materials led by Manuel Kretzer
The first week will focus on intense and quick workshops alternating with introductory lectures and tutorials. The four experiments will be split in categories dealing with “material”, “animation”, “sensing” and “intelligence”. While gaining experience each student is ought to develop an idea on how this material, combined with sensors and means of computation, can be integrated in a future architecture and how this could be realized in a spatial installation.
After an initial presentation a group voting will decide which idea(s) will be processed further. Students will then continue together to develop this concept to a final stage. The students will work in small groups on different topics, related to the experiments during the first week. Issues like shape, structure, material performance, kinetics, electrical system, mechanical system, behaviour, data processing, interaction,… have to be considered. The results have to be merged to achieve a common goal. A constant back and forth and continuous communication between the different groups is essential and highly encouraged.
During this phase students will work mostly on their own – split in their respective groups – towards the final installation. Frequent interaction between the groups is necessary to proof and refine code, design, material and physical object.
Two days are given to finish the final installation. Under intense supervision final problems can be solved and the overall system improved. The final presenation will be attended by Prof. Stephen Gage, UCL Bartlett, London and Karmen Franinovic, ZHDK, Zürich.
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
A first year undergraduate 48 hour workshop at the Inspace Gallery at the School of Informatics. Working in teams of 4/5 the students were encouraged to make a short video piece that responded to the idea of a skin for the building. Because the data projectors at Inspace project on to translucent screens over glass windows, it was possible to move inside and outside the gallery to experience the skin as a form of membrane. Some works dealt with this phenomenon, whilst other works used the connection between the projectors to make large landscape movies that were synced in time. Ruairi Glynn and Paul Skinner developed custom software for the workshop to allow students to develop new drawing tools through hacking and experimentation. Documentation shot by Yuda Ho. Organised by Chris Speed.
Pneumatic Cellular Automata
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark
A collaborative workshop between students of the Bartlett School of Architecture & The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts building a huge array of kinetic “cells” which act collectively as a cellular automata driving each other by using air currents and light to communicate with their neighbours.
TU Delft: Hyperbody, Netherlands
3 Day Workshop held at for undergraduate students introducing principles of Cellular Automata the creation of complex behaviour coming from simple rules. This was followed by the makig of simple reactive circuits which were then combined to build an ecology of agents communicating through light.
Distant Earth Project
Our Lady Primary School, Fenton, Stoke-On-Trent, UK
A Five month workshop by Ruairi Glynn & Christian Kerrigan with the support of Creative Partnerships at Our Lady Primary School, Fenton, Stoke-On-Trent, UK. The principle aim of the workshop was to explore and expand the ‘young architects’ understanding of space. Using a range of traditional design techniques such as drawing, model making and story boarding alongside new technologies and techniques including pressure sensitive video recording environments, telematic marionette performances and tangible interfaces, a class of 16 nine year old children explored space from the universe in scale, to the nano, from the 3Dimenional to the Nth Dimensional. At each stage they feedback into the workshops process leaving messages in the ‘Diary Room’ and through ‘Show and Tell’ sessions. Glynn & Kerrigan’s approach was to facilitate students own spatial exploration without predetermining the expected outcomes of the iterative fortnightly sessions. The final result of these collaborative design processes was a ‘floating city’ designed and built in an intensive final 3 day event.
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of Arts London
“We will talk only about machines with very simple internal structures, too simple in fact to be interesting from the point of view of mechanical or electrical engineering. Interest arises, rather, when we look at these machines or vehicles as if they were animals, in a natural environment. We will be tempted, then, to use psychological language in describing their behavior. And yet we know very well that there is nothing in these vehicles that we have not put there ourselves.”
“It is also quite easy to observe the full repertoire of behavior of these machines–even if it goes beyond what we had originally planned, as it often does. But it is much more difficult to start from the outside and try to guess internal structure just from observation of behavior. It is actually impossible in theory to determine exactly what the hidden mechanism is without opening the box, since there are always many different mechanisms with identical behavior… A psychological consequence of this is the following: when we analyze a mechanism we tend to over estimate its complexity.”
Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology p2 & p20, Valentino Braitenberg.
A strange animal like character is often the unintentional by-product of objects with the ability to sense, make decisions and act on the world. The Bio-Intelligence workshop celebrated this as a potentially powerful aesthetic and functional opportunity, exploring the design of behaviour in ‘intelligent’ textiles.
From the simplest bacteria, crustaceans, arachnids, plants and insects, right up to fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals; from individual creatures to whole social communities, we investigated how nature uses its ability to sense, think and act on the world. With this understanding we explored how the mimicry of bio-behaviour can inspire new design opportunities and the creation of ecologies of intelligent textiles communicating and interacting with each other and the world around them.
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
2 Day public workshop on open source design strategies led by with Cesar Harada, Ruairi Glynn, Ollie Palmer, Carla Colet Castano. Themes included dance, sensible linear – branched and complex networks, mapping, tagging, geostrategy, group and decision making, adhocracy, object oriented politics, open architecture, town-planning, renewable energies, sustainable design, hedonism, fun, architecture of play.
Seven Seven Seven
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
A seven day intensive workshop bringing together Bartlett MArch design and MSc Architectural research students to build seven installations based on the seven dwarfs.
Following 2 days of rapid introduction to electricity, electronics, and programming students in groups of 3 experiment with a range of sensors and actuators to build objects and installations exhibiting particular behaviors triggered by human interaction.
Technologies examined included RFID, computer vision, digital and analog sensing, stepper and servo motor control, and rapid prototyping.
All of the final objects and installations were presented in an small exhibition in the Bartlett Lobby to test the public engagement with the work.
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
In June 2009 I organised and supported a free public OpenFrameworks Workshop lead by Mehmet Akten, Marek Bereza and Joel Gethin Lewis which was hosted by University College London’s MSc Adaptive Architecture & Computation Programme which I teach on. This is intended to be the starting point for a number of workshops using OpenFrameworks with anand was run as an introductory session suitable for people with no “oF” experience but some basic understanding of scripting in Processing, Flash, etc.
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University or Arts London
Intergrating Photovoltaic Engineering with Textile Design A 3 day workshop introducing the concept of patterning with electrical energy, using light as the primary energy source with Bartaku
UCCA, Canterbury School of Architecture.
3 Day introduction to processing and interaction design.