The Digital Technology and Computational Design (DTCD) unit focuses on the impact of computation on the architectural industry from conceptual design to project implementation and digital fabrication.
Through a series of elective courses, design studios and thesis projects, students are introduced to various aspects of computation, including logics, procedural and algorithmic design methodologies, complex geometry and computational design theory. The unit re-evaluates generative design methodologies with regards to structural form, construction detailing, environmental systems, and cross-disciplinary processes and works out concepts between design, mathematics, natural systems, and new technological fields.
Ongoing research projects focus on the strategic appropriation of computational tools within the local construction context. One project introduces real-time physics engines in the early conceptual design stages of light-weight, bending-active, bamboo grid shell structures using traditional locally available bamboo scaffolding craftsmanship for its implementation. Another project applies the latest 3D metal printing technology for the fabrication of structurally optimized metal nodes that are combined with off-the-shelf timber elements in the definition of frame structures for complex geometrical spaces. A third research project introduces 100% natural materials for building envelopes, investigating its technological production in collaborative real-time platforms between architectural design and structural performance.
Selected Research Projects
- ZCB Bamboo Pavilion, 2014-2015 (Crolla)
- Architectural design and building of light-weight, bending-active, bamboo shell structures for Hong Kong, using live physics engines, 2014-2015 (Crolla)
- UrbanCrete: Reinforced concrete with Non-metallic Fibers for Application in Urban Furniture – with ISISE Institute, Minho University, Portugal (Afonso)
- Application of Generative Algorithms and Form-optimization Strategies in the Conception of Structures – with ISISE Institute, Minho University, Portugal (Afonso)
Selected Studio Projects
- Hyper Materialism, G9 MArch 1, 2014-2015 (Crolla)
- 9394.06km – Twin Design Research Studios , Liquefied Space, G8 MArch 1, 2013-2014 (Crolla)
- Strategic Interventions and Flexible Urbanism, G10 MArch 1, 2014-2015 (Afonso)