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Athanassios Economou

Athanassios Economou
Georgia Institute of Technology
Shape Computation Lab

Athanassios Economou is associate professor in the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Economou's teaching and research is in the areas of shape grammars, parametric design, computer aided design and discrete mathematics and design (combinatorics, symmetry, proportion). Recent funded research projects include the shape grammar for Federal Courthouses and a web-based database for the US Courthouses.

Fundamentals reconsidered: Facts, fictions, fabrications

The asymptotic relation between the three Vitruvian prerequisites of design (firmness, utility, and delight) and the six principles of design (order, arrangement, proportion, symmetry, propriety and economy) has been one of the most striking and unresolved characteristics of the foundations of architectural theory from Vitruvius’ text onwards. The conundrum is even more exacerbated because of the convoluted and/or obscure nature of the six principles of design. This work here presents an attractive proposition that recasts the six principles of design in three dyads to produce a tripartite scheme of design including algebras, rules, and specifications, and to recursively relate them all to the three Vitruvian prerequisites of design. The talk concludes with a brief presentation of a current applied research project on courthouse design to illustrate the premises of the work and showcase the ways that sophisticated formal generative descriptions of building forms can be nicely embedded within the proposed schema for design.

Arne Hofmann

Arne Hofmann
Bollinger + Grohmann, Vienna

As a trained architect Arne Hofmann operates at the interface between architecture and structural engineering. He is managing director of the Vienna based branch of B + G engineers. Examples of the office work include the Hungerburgbahn NEU in Innsbruck (Zaha Hadid Architects), the Sheik Zayed Desert Learning Center in Al Ain (Chalabi Architects) and the Vienna DC Towers (Dominique Perrault).

An emphasis of his work is the practical and academic engagement for the generative design of spatial structures. Work examples for this purpose are the Skylink Airail Center, Frankfurt (Lengfeld Willisch) or the Biennale Pavilion, Salzburg (SOMA Architects). At the University of Applied Arts, Vienna he worked on the research projects “Algorithmic Generation of Complex Space Frames” and “Flexible Search in Parametric Design”, within constitutive principles for software tools to design parametric structures were established. He is living and working in Vienna, Austria.

Shifting paradigms in structural design
Prior to the 19th century, structures were integrated part of architectural design and evolved by trial and error expertise. Structural engineering is since then based on systematic and specialist approaches. The calculability of bar constructions has led to more and more unified framework logic and design. In the last ten years a design shift can be seen, mostly pushed by the acceleration of speed towards the real time simulation of the structural behaviour of many different solutions at once. By this and in combination with modern optimization algorithms and parametric modelling we were able to develop different designs beginning from the irregular interweaved cores of the European Central Bank to the “flying” roof of an Automotive Flagship Store in Korea. In these projects structure is not added to architecture afterwards, but grows in a cooperated computational process and negotiates between different functional, spatial and aesthetic criteria.

Ardeshir Mahdavi

Ardeshir Mahdavi
Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology
Vienna University of Technology

Professor Dr. Ardeshir Mahdavi is the Director of the Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology as well as the Chair of the Graduate Studies Program in Building Science and Technology at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Professor Mahdavi's area of research and teaching covers building physics and building ecology, energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, urban physics, building informatics and computational building performance simulation, building monitoring, diagnostics, controls, and automation. Professor Mahdavi has directed a number of internationally influential research efforts pertaining to eco-efficient buildings, indoor climate, urban microclimate, integrated computational design support systems, building automation, and human factors. He has pioneered the application of simulation-based predictive building systems control methods and the introduction of human ecological reasoning in building science. Professor Mahdavi is a frequent keynote speaker at international scientific conferences and has authored more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings. Professor Mahdavi is a member of the editorial board of five international scientific journals. He is a Fellow of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA). His other current and past organizational memberships include ASHRAE, IESNA, SHE, ÖNORM, ÖAL, and IÖHE.

Not a hitchhiker's guide to the Design-Performance-Space
The insight into the manifold nature of values in Architecture is arguably much older than its expression in the Vitruvian Triad. Nonetheless, the marriage of the design and performance realms in the building sector has not been an easy one. If anything, rampant  professional fragmentation and division of labour in "modern times" appear to have accelerated the compartmentalization of world views both in practice and in education. In fact, the archetypal professional representatives of the ensuing schism (i.e., architects and engineers) appear at times as if inhabiting entirely separate worlds. They do communicate, often unenthusiastically, to meet various practical or procedural requirements. But close, mutually enriching, and seamless collaboration is not matter of course. For many of those interested in the dialectic of processes and tools in the building delivery process, the advent of information and communication technologies (ICT) was perceived as a new and highly promising opportunity toward reassertion of integrative design generation and performance assessment attitudes and methods. As with developments in other areas, it appears useful to revisit, from time to time, the initial expectations and the status quo. In this context, the present contribution entails some random reflections on the past, present, and possible futures of ICT-supported approaches to the navigation of the Design-Performance-Space. The objective is not to provide a comprehensive guide to this multifarious space, but to offer a glimpse of one hitchhiker's experiences with persistent hurdles, grand bridges, clever shortcuts, and some intriguing vistas along the way.

Michael Wimmer

Michael Wimmer
TU Wien
Institute for Computer Graphics and Algorithms

Michael Wimmer is heading the Rendering Group of TU Wien's Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms. His recent research ranges from new methods in real-time rendering to procedural design of facades and geometrical optimization. He is participating in several research projects, e.g. data-driven procedural modeling of interiors and acquisition of 3D point clouds from commodity sensors. He also teaches computer graphics and real-time rendering as part of TU Wien's computer science curriculum.

Real-Time Computer Graphics and The Future of CAAD

The gap between real-time and non-real-time computer graphics is closing. Current approaches are able to render large amounts of geometry at interactive rates while at the same time providing an unprecedented level of feedback and support for the user. Given these developments, it will be possible to bridge the classical divide between CAAD modelling and visualization that is still pre-eminent in the architectural world. This keynote talk will take one step into this direction, presenting both recent research conducted at TU Wien's Rendering Group and the computer graphics community world-wide.

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