RCAT | ACDL
RCAT - RESEARCH CENTRE FOR ARCHITECTURE AND TECTONICS
The Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics at AHO was founded and inaugurated in 2011. RCAT pursues integrated architectural education and research by design involving master- and doctoral-, post-doctoral and professorial levels. The centre pursues practice-based research along an inter- and transdisciplinary inquiry-driven research-by-design approach. In so doing the research combines elements of traditional knowledge production with a more recent mode that is frequently staked wider and that is inter- and transdisciplinary in character. Some of the research addresses complex design problems and entire value-chains and involves strong links across disciplines and knowledge fields. The research encompasses a wide range of topics in architecture and urban design within the integrative thematic framework of Performance-oriented Architecture (Hensel 2013). Research themes include locally specific architecture and urbanism, including material systems and tectonics, on an integrative conceptual and methodological approach that considers the entire workflow from early design to materialisation. The latter includes inquiry into how research activities are changing the profession.
RCAT members restarted research into the use of wood in architecture in 2009. In 2011 RCAT initiated the Scarcity and Creativity studio in which members were active until 2014. RCAT provided the clients for the first two runs of the studio in 2012 and 2013 and strategic funding for the projects undertaken in 2012. The integrated teaching and research model of RCAT has served as precedent for the Institute of Architecture at AHO and other schools in the region.
Hensel, M. (2013) AD Primer - Performance-oriented Architecture - Rethinking Architectural Design and the Built Environment. London: John Wiley & Sons.
Hensel, M. and Turko, J. (2015) Grounds and Envelopes - Reshaping Architecture and the Built Environment. London: Routledge.
ACDL - ADVANCED COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN LABORATORY
The Advanced Computational Design Laboratory is an innovative research environment that examines emergent intersections between architectural design and digital technologies, within the context of research by design and investigations as to how up-to-date digital culture impacts on architectural thinking and practice. The objective of the Advanced Computational Design Laboratory is to serve as the locus for teaching, research, and research based studios, addressing the relations between computational design, spatial and material organization, performance and locality. Particular focus is placed on core strategic interests of the Institute of Architecture and the research activities at RCAT. These include [i] ‘Tectonics – Research in Buildings’ (performance-oriented architecture, intensely local architecture), and [ii] ‘Praxis – Experimental Architecture (experimental design, advanced computational design). Special emphasis is placed on developing an approach entitled ‘Informed Non-standard’ (Sørensen 2015). Additionally ACDL delivers advisory support in questions related to the implementation of computational strategies and methods in the overall educational curriculum in architecture. ACDL integrates teaching and research activities from master-level to PhD and post-doc levels, as well as related research projects.
ACDL enjoys an extensive collaborative network including Die Angewandte in Vienna, Snøhetta in Oslo, Bollinger and Grohmann, OCEAN Design Research Association, and the Association for Robots in Architecture.
Sørensen. S. (2015) ‘Informed Non-standard – En Route to Non-standard Performative Architecture’. In: Hensel, M. and Hermansen, C. Eds. Constructions – An Experimental Approach to Intensely Local Architectures. AD Architectural Design Vol. 85 (2): 110-115.
RCAT | ACDL GROUP
DIRECTOR OF RCAT
Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel [Dipl. Ing. Grad Dipl Des AA PhD Reading] is an architect, researcher, educator and writer and quite probably interested in too many things. He is tenured professor for Architecture at AHO where he directs the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics and co-founded the Advanced Computational Design Laboratory and the RCAT | ACDL group. At AHO he is centrally involved in preparing research strategy and evaluation. He holds a Research Professorship in Architecture / Digital Design and Advanced Fabrication Techniques at Aalborg University Faculty of Engineering and Sciences - Department for Architecture, Design and Media Technologies.
He is founding and acting chairman of the OCEAN Design Research Association, a not-for-profit association registered in 2008 in Norway that conducts inter- and transdisciplinary research in design across creative disciplines. He was founding chairman and from 2011 to 2015 acting chairman of the Sustainable Environment Association [SEA], an international and interdisciplinary expertise network that is now integrated in OCEAN From 2007 to 2012 he was board member of BIONIS - The Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability.
He has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited a number of books and journals. He served as editorial board member of JBE - Journal for Biomimetic Engineering (Elsevier Scientific Press), FORMakademisk, IJDST - International Journal of Design Sciences and Technology, and AJAR Arena Journal of Architectural Research and is member of the advisory board of TAD - Technology, Architecture and Design Journal.
DIRECTOR OF ACDL
Asst. Prof. Søren S. Sørensen is an architect, educator and researcher. He is a graduate from NTH (NTNU) in Trondheim, where he received his diploma in 1982. He is currently pursuing his PhD thesis within the field of Architectural Representation and Augmented Reality. Søren worked as a practicing architect and project leader at some of the leading architectural offices in Norway from graduation until 1996. During this period he received an Italian State Scholarship for Urban studies in Rome, had an assignment for UNHCR in Hong Kong, established a gallery for contemporary art in Oslo, Norway, and did part time teaching of computational skills. Since 1997 he was been a full time employee at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, AHO, as Assistant Professor responsible for the implementation of digital technology in the educational curriculum and as teacher at master level. Søren has been doing research on Virtual and Augmented Reality in relation to architecture since 2003, and is responsible for the field at AHO. The interdisciplinary research has been done in cooperation with Institute for Energy Technology in Halden, Norway, and the Kyoto University, Japan, and led to the establishing of AR-Lab Norway. He has published papers internationally, both on Augmented Reality for visualization of architecture and within the field of Nuclear Safety.
RCAT | ACDL GROUP MEMBERS
Sofia Martins da Cunha received her education as an Architect in Portugal and in Norway. She graduated at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP) in November 2014. In 2012 and 2013 Sofia attended the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) as part of the ERASMUS exchange program. While studying at AHO Sofia had the opportunity to use her interest in geometry and computation to be a key participant in the design and construction of the tensegrity structure “Floating Compression canopy” in Nusfjord, Norway.
Sareh Saeidi is an architect and researcher. She graduated from IAUM in Iran (B.A., 2008) and KTH –the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (M.S.A. 2014). Sareh has worked in Iran as an architect for seven years, both as an independent architect in practice and in collaboration with well-established consulting engineers offices. During her master-level studies she worked at Rosskopf und Partner in Germany. Her interests in transdisciplinary transfer between architecture and biology, and performative roles of envelopes in architecture –in relation to climatic design and local specificity– became key concerns of her PhD-level research at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) since September 2014.
Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel [AA Dipl RIBA II MSc] is an architect, interior architect, board member and principle researcher in the OCEAN Design Research Association, member of SEA Sustainable Environment Association and doctoral research fellow at AHO Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She holds an advisory role in building professional relations between Norway and Turkey as part of the official programme financed by Innovation Norway for architectural cooperation. She studied interior architecture at KIAD Kent Institute of Art & Design, Rochester, UK, architecture Part I at UCA Canterbury School of Architecture, Canterbury, UK and completed her diploma degree at the AA Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, UK where she also gained her MSc in the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme [EmTech]. Currently, she pursues her PhD entitled: ‘Biologically Driven Convergence for Architectural Innovation and a Developmental Route to Local Specificity’ as a doctoral research fellow, a stipend by AHO. In the field of research by design in architecture, her interdisciplinary work extends into fields including systems & complexity; engineering; biology; biomimetics; TRIZ; material science; micro-climatology; computational design and ontologies; CAD/CAM; environmental and ecological sustainability and receives industrial sponsorships and supports, previously including Wienerberger, Norwegian Brick Association, and institutions such as FFI Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. Her current research projects include Nested Catenaries; Complex Brick Assemblies; ArchiTRIZ – Material-Ontology [MatOnt]; and 30 Case Studies on the performance analysis of historical buildings. Previously, she received the Holloway Trust Award (2006) for a significant contribution to the construction industry; Buro Happold studentship (2006) to pursue her research into Complex Brick Assemblies; a stipend by BDA Brick Development Association (2007), the Anthony Pott Memorial Award (2007) for detailed analysis and research of Eladio Dieste’s work; the PMI Award (2007) in the industrial category of the Pottery Mechanics Institute; and the IASS Tsuboi Award (2013) in the category of the most meritorious paper published in the journal of the IASS International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures in 2013. She held Innovation Fellowships, published, lectured, taught, exhibited, organized symposiums, exhibitions, conducted workshops internationally and her work has been published widely.
RCAT | ACDL ADVISORY BOARD
Mark Burry is Professor of Innovation (Spatial Information Architecture) and Director of Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) at RMIT University. The laboratory focuses on collocated design research and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching with associated advanced computer applications and the rapid prototyping of ideas. SIAL has a design-practice emphasis and acts as a creative think-tank accessible to both local and international practices.Mark is also Founding Director of RMIT’s Design Research Institute which brings together researchers from a range of design disciplines and harnesses their collective expertise to address major social and environmental dilemmas. He is Executive Architect and Researcher to the Temple Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and was awarded the title Il.lustrisim Senyor by the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi in recognition of his contribution. Mark holds various senior positions at academic institutions in Australia, New Zealand and Europe, including Velux Visiting Professor at CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a member of the Advisory Board of Gehry Technologies in Los Angeles and was a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts 2003 – 2007. In 2006 Mark was awarded the Australian Research Council’s most prestigious funding award, a ‘Federation Fellowship’ for five years.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Gengnagel is a graduate architect and engineer. He worked as a senior assistant at the Lehrstuhl fur Tragswerksplanung, Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University Munich for 6 years. His principal areas of research are the design and analysis of lightweight structures. In 2005, he completed his PhD thesis on Mobile Membrane Structures. He has 18 years professional experience as a structural engineer. He is co-founder and partner of a.k.a.ingenieure, an innovative and experienced team of structural engineers and architects, involved in design and construction in all areas of building construction. In 2006 Prof. Gengnagel was appointed as full professor for Structural Design and Technology at the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK Berlin) and became director of the “Lightweight Structure Unit” (LSU) an interdisciplinary team of architects and structural engineers at the University of Dundee, the UdK and the TU München. In 2007 he became director of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning (IAS) at the UdK Berlin. In 2010 he was elected as First Vice-President of the UdK Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Hale is an architect, Associate Professor & Reader in Architectural Theory. He is Head of the Architecture, Culture and Tectonics research group (ACT) and Convenor for Architectural Humanities II, and Design, Culture & Context modules. Research interests include: architectural theory and criticism; phenomenology and the philosophy of technology; the relationship between architecture and the body; museums and architectural exhibitions. He has published books, chapters, refereed articles and conference papers in these areas and has obtained grants from the EPSRC, the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, and the Arts Council. He is founder and current steering group member of the international subject network: Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA); a member of the interdisciplinary Science, Technology and Culture research group, hosted by the Dept of French, and the Sense of Space group, a collaboration with the Depts of Philosophy and Sociology; and a Management Board member for the University's Research Priority Area in Creative and Cultural Industries.
Dr. Pavel Hladik is an architect and researcher in OCEAN. His research focuses on complex systems and advanced computing methods in architectural design with interest in close collaboration with teams across building design disciplines. Pavel Hladik obtained his master's degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague, at the Graduate School of the Architectural Association - Emergent Technologies and Design and he holds PhD from CTU in Prague. He was also trained in internal Arup University course in Computer Design Optimization module in 2009/2010. He had been a visiting tutor at the CTU in Prague, the Academy of Arts in Vienna, the University of Brighton and the Architectural Association. Pavel Hladik is experienced in architectural concept designs as well as delivering projects and currently he is a member of sports design team in international design and consultancy firm AECOM. He has an in depth knowledge of sports venue design and his expertise covers in particular: seating bowl design, operational planning, spectator safety and roof design. Among his work belong Singapore National Stadium and Aquatics Centre for Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Pavel Hladik also worked for various design studios in Prague, London and Singapore: SOM and Arup Sport.
Prof. Dr. David Jolly Monge is an architect. He graduated at the Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile, where he is Director of the magister program and a tenured professor. He is a co-founder and builder of Ciudad Abierta de Amereida where he lives since 1978. David obtained his PhD at ETSAB - Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña. Research works in building techniques on flexible formworks with the architect Mark West, and on theory and projects done in relation to poetry and architecture through Travesias on the South American continent.
Prof. Dr. Branko Kolarevic is Associate Dean (Academic) and Professor of Architecture at the University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design, where he also holds the Chair in Integrated Design and co-directs the Laboratory for Integrative Design (LID). He has taught architecture at several universities in North America and Asia and has lectured worldwide on the use of digital technologies in design and production. He has authored, edited or co-edited several books, including the recently published “Manufacturing Material Effects” (with Kevin Klinger), “Performative Architecture” (with Ali Malkawi) and “Architecture in the Digital Age.” He holds doctoral and master's degrees in design from Harvard University and a diploma engineer in architecture degree from the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.
Reinhard Kropf is an Austrian architect and researcher educated at the University of Science in Graz and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), where he studied under Christian Norberg-Schulz. In 1996, together with Siv Helene Stangeland he founded the architectural office Helen & Hard in Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. Helen & Hard has received several awards for their work, including the Norwegian National Award for Building and Environmental Design for the Pulpit Rock Mountain Lodge. They have exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale, the Lisbon Biennale and Manifesta 7. In 2008, the firm was selected with 8 others to represent European architectural offices in the traveling exhibition ”New Trends of Architecture”. They have won several competitions including the Norway Pavilion at Expo Shanghai 2010 and have an extensive body of built work. H&H have written, published and lectured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia about their research on sustainable practices and methods.
Prof. Dr. David Leatherbarrow is Professor of Architecture, Chairman of the Architecture Ph.D. Program, and Associate Dean at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught architectural design, history, and theory since 1984. Before Penn he taught at Cambridge University and the University of Westminster. He has also visited and taught at many universities in the USA and abroad. David Leatherbarrow earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. in Art at the University of Essex. His books include Architecture Oriented Otherwise (2009), Topographical Stories: studies in landscape and architecture (2004), and Surface Architecture (2002), written in collaboration with Mohsen Mostafavi. Earlier books include Uncommon Ground: architecture, technology and topography; The Roots of Architectural Invention: site, enclosure and materials; and On Weathering: the life of buildings in time, again with Mostafavi. In addition to these books he has published over eighty scholarly articles. In the past, his research has focused on various topics in the history and theory of architecture, gardens, and urbanism; more recently his work has concentrated on the impact of contemporary technology on architecture and the city.
Prof. Dr. Birger R. Sevaldson [dipl NCAD MNIL PhD] is chairman of the OCEAN Design Research Association and Professor at the Institute of Industrial Design at AHO - Oslo School of Architecture and Design. He is an academic and designer working in a broad field of design and architecture. He has been in private practice since 1986. His practice spans from architecture interior to furniture and product design, design of lighting armatures and boat design. It also includes installations. Birger has been developing concepts in design computing and his doctoral thesis from 2005 is a summary of 15 years of research into this field. This led to an expansion into a wider interest in the design process and especially design processes for uncertainty, unforeseen futures and complexity. This research grew out of the digital research and initially engaged in time related design, reformulating the design environment and systems oriented design. He has defined systems oriented design and developed the central concepts in this emerging respond to more complex design challenges. He has been lecturing and teaching in Norway, Europe, Asia and USA and has held a visiting professorship at NACD in Oslo and has been a visiting critic at Syracuse University School of Architecture, USA.
Siv Helene Stangeland is a Norwegian architect and researcher based in Stavanger, Norway. Together with Reinhard Kropf, she founded the architectural office Helen & Hard in 1996. Siv Helene Stangeland studied at the University of Barcelona and at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design AHO, under Christian Norberg-Schulz. She has taught at AHO, NTNU (Trondheim), Chalmers University (Gothenburg) and KTH (Stockholm). Helen & Hard has received several awards for their work, including the Norwegian National Award for Building and Environmental Design for the Pulpit Rock Mountain Lodge. They have exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale, the Lisbon Biennale and Manifesta 7. In 2008, the firm was selected with 8 others to represent European architectural offices in the traveling exhibition ”New Trends of Architecture”. They have won several competitions including the Norway Pavilion at Expo Shanghai 2010 and have an extensive body of built work. H&H have written, published and lectured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia about their research on sustainable practices and methods.
Jeffrey P. Turko [AA Dipl RIBA II] is an American born architect registered in the Netherlands, educator and researcher currently based in London. He is founder of the design practice NEKTON Studio. A design studio that works on projects ranging in scales form urban design, private houses, to objects. NEKTON Studio's work has been published and exhibited widely and represented the UK in the Beijing Biennial 2008. Also in 2008 Nekton was in the running for the Young Architects of the Year Award in the UK. Jeffrey is a graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture where he received his diploma in 1999. He has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London from 2001 – 2011, as well as having taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture where he was unit master of Diploma Unit 12 from 2008 -2010. He is currently the Program Director of the AA Global Visiting School in Sydney Australia. In Summer 2011 Jeffrey accepted a full-time Senior Lecturer post at the University of Brighton where he is studio leader on the Masters of Architecture program. Before becoming a full member of OCEAN in 2007 he was an instrumental collaborator on projects such as Landsc[r]aper - Urban Ring Bridge and the World Centre for Human Concerns. Since joining he was involved in the Membrella project, a shortlisted proposal for a workspace of the future. Previously he has been the Vice Chair of the OCEAN Design and Research Association and currently he has taken on the role of Secretary of the Association. Recently he has been involved in the co-authoring the following essays and chapters on OCEAN in the following books: ‘OCEAN Design Research Association’ in Performalism[Routledge 2011] and Design Innovation for the Built Environment Research by Design and the Renovation of Practice [Routledge 2012]. Other recent publications and articles include ‘Relational Skins’ [LULU, 2009], 'Parallel Indexing - Infrastructure and Space' in Digital Cities AD[AD Wiley, London, 2009].
Dr. Julian Vincent is a biologist though he has involved himself, more or less deeply, in a variety of disciplines. Realising that many questions in biology are related to mechanical and engineering problems, and also that such problems frequently yielded a graph before the end of the working day, he began to learn materials science. Insect cuticle gave way to plant materials, animal fibres, shells and bone. To this range he soon added food materials, fruit and smart structures. Finding that this form of study had as its corollary in the emerging discipline of Biomimetics, he embraced it from a design and philosophical perspective, developing techniques for bridging the gaps between biology and technology. His current thinking includes formulations for the greening of technology and the development of new design concepts.