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Workshops offer the possibilities to give participants a hands-on experience and, for the workshop leader, to have an intense discussion with a small group of people on their research topic. The workshops will be held on the 14th an the 15th of September 2015 at the Vienna University of Technology.

eCAADe Workshops
eCAADe Workshop - Robotic Woodcraft

Workshop 01
Digital tools and creative practice
Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:00 – 12:00
Location - TU Vienna

Tadeja Zupancic University of Ljubljana
Johan Verbeke Katholeke University Leuven
Henri Achten Czech Technical University

Recent developments in architectural research show a growing focus on research by design and creative practice research. Typical for these endeavours is that the design work is a core component for the research process. Examples of such work can be seen in leading architectural offices such as Foster + Partners, HOK, Woods Bagot, ZHA, UN Studio, and so on. This phenomenon is not only visible in such high-profile offices, but also becomes apparent in many young and smaller firms. At the same time we can observe a more narrow research & development cooperation between software firms, schools, and businesses, and there are increased numbers of PhD researchers co-located in universities and companies.

This workshop intends to introduce the basic concepts and at the same time develop a shared understanding of what this can mean for the field of digital design. The participants are expected to share and discuss their understanding of design knowledge and its notions, modes, manifestations and transformations within the digital design processes and in their respective creative practices. What drives and stimulates the emergence/identification/creation of new knowledge in this field? What about new methods and their development? Where do we see the barriers of new knowledge transfer? How do we seek for recognition and where?


Workshop 02
Virtual/Augmented Reality &
Architectural Visualisation

Two-day option: Monday 14.09.2015 – Tuesday 15.09.2015 or
One-day option: Monday 14.09.2015, 9:00 – 18:00
Location - TU Vienna

Constantinos Miltiadis / ETH Zürich
Achilleas Xydis / ETH Zürich

The workshop’s target is to get architects and designers alike, familiar with the contemporary tools for virtual and augmented reality. It will present Unity 3D and its potential, through the tutor’s previous work, in virtual, augmented reality, visualisation and design parameterisation. Furthermore it will use the Oculus Rift, as the current state of the art head-mounted display for virtual reality, as well as the use of smart phones for the same purpose, along with Qualcom Vuforia augmented reality application framework.


Workshop 04
Developing building information model visualizations using a domain specific language
Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:00 – 18:00
Location - TU Vienna

Helga Tauscher Technische Universität Dresden

Visual representations and presentations have always been core architectural topics. However, with the rise of digital media and building models, the specification of visualization details was left to user interface designers and software engineers. At the same time, digital media has opened up new possibilities for interactive and explorative representations. Against this background the workshop advocates to rediscover visualization as a distinct topic in the context of architecture and construction.

We introduce a method and a theoretic framework for the creation of visual representations from building information models under involvement of domain experts: Visualizations are specified using a domain specific language and this specification is then processed together with a building information model to produce a particular visualization. A prototypical implementation serves as a proof of concept and allows for the practical application of the method.

Workshop participants will learn how to use the prototype based on selected hands-on examples. The visualization use cases serve as a foil for the introduction of technical details, limitations and possibilities for the extension of the framework. The workshop is rounded off with the presentation and discussion of possibilities to contribute to further development and extension of the framework, and to further research and discourse around building information visualization.


Workshop 05
Robotic Woodcraft
Monday 14.09.2015 – Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:30 – 18:00
Location - Die Angewandte

Johannes Braumann Association for Robots in Architecture and
University for Arts and Design Linz
Sigrid Brell-Cokcan Association for Robots in Architecture and
RWTH University
Georg Glaeser University for Applied Arts Vienna
Institute for Art and Technology
Reinhold Krobath University for Applied Arts Vienna
Department for Wood Technology
Philipp Hornung University for Applied Arts Vienna
Department for Wood Technology

Robotic arms are playing an increasingly important role in architectural fabrication, as their large working space, low price, and inherent multifunctionality make them very suitable for architectural applications. However, the automated translation of data into a format that robots can understand is still often an issue. KUKA|prc (parametric robot control) was designed as an accessible interface that links the parametric modelling environment Grasshopper with KUKA robots.

As part of the research project Robotic Woodcraft, funded through the FWF’s PEEK program for arts-based research, the University for Applied Arts Vienna and the Association for Robots in Architecture explore the integration of a heavy-payload robotic arm into a wood-workshop. By linking the material knowledge of the craftsmen and artisans with the machine knowledge of the robot experts, new ways of working with the high-performance material wood are being developed.


Workshop 06
Quadrics theorems as an introduction to geometry, parametric design and digital fabrication
Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:00 – 18:00
Location - TU Vienna

Robert Narvaez-Rodriguez University of Seville
Jose Antonio Barrera-Vera University of Seville

Quadrics workshop poster

The integration of geometry, parametric design and digital fabrication seems to be a necessity to introduce new students’ generations to contemporary architecture. Nonetheless, these three disciplines together are usually allocated in postgraduate courses after a whole degree normally focused on the conventional paradigm. The Caterpillar gallery was a built full-scale prototype resulting from a project, which carried out this integration in and course about the Fundamentals of Architectural Geometry for first-year students.

The session will be guided by the case study of this built full-scale prototype, The Caterpillar gallery. Formal and structural experimentations take place in this project where, by starting from simple geometrical considerations, an efficient way of generating vaulted spaces is proposed. Hands-on exercises about the quadrics theorems applied, the parametric definition in Grasshopper and the fabrication and assembly constraints will be led by discussions on the implications of implementing these contents at the beginning of the undergraduate training period.


Workshop 07
Cityscape Configuration
Monday 14.09.2015 – Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:00 – 18:00
Location - TU Vienna

Philip Belesky RMIT University
Pirouz Nourian TU Delft

As complex systems of systems, the design of cities gains much from computational approaches that can accelerate the exploration of design options and better analyse design proposals. In this workshop we will explore the application of computational techniques to measure and optimise the performance of urban infrastructure using two Grasshopper plugins.

The first plugin — Configurbanist — will be used to find easiest paths for walking and cycling and measure accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. Using this tool suite, we will see how scenarios can be analysed in designing a cycling infrastructure considering a phased development strategy, where each stage of implementation is checked against the structure of the network as it exists at that point. The toolkit helps answering questions such as how close is every building to all -or any of- important destinations in a neighbourhood? Where closeness is measured considering going through easiest paths.

The second plugin — Badger — will be use to examine the proposed cycling networks role within the urban context. The new network will be considered not just as a series of transport corridors, but as an opportunity to introduce and augment urban infrastructures. Opportunities to improve the provision of public space, the handling of stormwater, and the effects of urban heat islands will be considered and simulated in conjunction with the design of the network itself.


Workshop 08
Collab Sketch: Multi-Platform Collaborative Sketching on the Internet
Tuesday 15.09.2015, 9:00 – 13:00
Location - TU Vienna

Kateřina Nováková Czech Technical University
Henri Achten Czech Technical University

Collab Sketch is a program for sharing and manipulating sketches via the internet. It was developed by Kateřina Nováková at Czech Technical University in Prague, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, Chair of Information Architecture. Collab Sketch is multi‐platform, working on android, iPad, and Windows. People can sketch, share their sketches, and work on sketches made by other people. Being overwhelmed by computing technologies, we are forwarding more and more of our skills into area of “thinking by head”. Our designing capabilities are turning into capabilities of "how to work with very intelligent technology". The processes of human brain, nevertheless, are different to the processes in computer. Designers are said to think by hand. As architects we are looking for final forms that not only fulfil the technical requirements, but are beautiful as well. Therefore sketching is one of the skills that belongs to an architect in order to design and particularly to work in a team.

The workshop will focus on sketching on electronic devices in comparison with sketching on paper. Is it actually possible to switch to tablets when sketching? If yes, which application is the best to use? There will be a test of ColLab sketch application, FlockDraw and Queeky in order to find out. The participants will be sketching on‐line and helping to find the best way of communication by sketch. By drawing they will become a part of the research, their work will be post‐produced and exhibited at the welcome dinner. By hands‐on experience you will get to know how collaborative sketching on the Internet may work. We kindly invite all junior and senior architects and researchers to take part in the workshop. At the end of the workshop we will ask for your experiences and feedback about Collab Sketch.

For any further inquiries concerning the workshops please contact:
Richard Schaffranek

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