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Panel Session

Geometry and Computation for
Digital Fabrication Practice

Geometric theory and computational expertise are two of the fundamental ingredients for successful digital fabrication. But additionally these skills have to be combined with a strong intuitive understanding of configuration, materials, manufacturing processes and assembly sequencing. We have invited a distinguished group of panellists to discuss how these ideas have been translated into computational tools which in turn have be applied to the realisation of some outstanding examples of digital fabricated architecture:

Helmut Pottmann [Vienna University of Technology]
Fabian Scheurer [Design to Production]
Goswin Rothenthal [Waagner Biro]
Robert Aish [Bartlett School of Architecture, Chair]

Helmut Pottmann is a professor of Applied Geometry and director of the Centre for Geometry and Computational Design at Vienna University of Technology. From 2009-2013, he has been director of the Geometric Modelling and Scientific Visualization Centre at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. His research interests are in Applied Geometry and Visual Computing, in particular in Geometric Modelling, Geometry Processing and most recently in Geometric Computing for Architecture and Manufacturing. He has co-authored two books (one on Architectural Geometry) and more than 200 refereed articles.

Helmut Pottmann has more than 20 years of experience in teaching geometry and geometric computing to students of Architecture, Computer Science and Mathematics.

Fabian Scheurer is founding partner of designtoproduction and leads the company’s office in Zurich. After graduating from the Technical University of Munich with a diploma in computer science and architecture he worked as assistant for the university’s CAAD group, as software developer for CAD-provider Nemetschek, and as new media consultant in Zurich. From 2002 until 2006 he studied the use of artificial-life methods in architectural construction at the ETH Zurich and co-founded designtoproduction as a research group to explore the connections between digital design and fabrication. At the end of 2006 designtoproduction teamed up with architect Arnold Walz and became a commercial consulting practice, since then having implemented digital planning and production chains for projects of renowned architects.

Fabian Scheurer has taught Digital Modeling and Fabrication as guest lecturer/tutor at the AA in London, the IAAC in Barcelona, and at HTW Chur (Switzerland).

Goswin Rothenthal is a leading Computational Design Engineer at Waagner Biro. He most recently developed the Cladding of Louvre Abu Dhabi. There he integrated the same digital model from geometry coordination with the architect down to fabrication, coordination and logistics on site. He previously worked for six years at Zaha Hadid Architects mostly in the Computational Design Group. He studied Architecture at TU Vienna and University of Sevilla. He has been lecturing and tutoring at  Architectural Association, Royal College of Art London, ESA Paris  and University of Applied Arts  Vienna. Aside from work he is interested in using functional programming in the design space, in particular F#.

Robert Aish is Visiting Professor of Design Computation at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Previously he was Director of Research at Bentley where is lead the development of GenerativeComponents and Director of Software Development at Autodesk where he lead the development of DesignScript. He is also a cofounder of the SmartGeometry group.

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