Our world is enriched by many interactive means connecting us across the different continents. These amplifications take place through various media that in turn alienate people from their surroundings. Our built environment continues to evolve into an interconnected hyperspace where architecture can be fluid, flexible, and vivid. In 2017, AA Athens Visiting School will address architectural themes involving active engagement and participatory design through prototypes characterized by action.
Today, action-designed structures enabled by technology begin to timidly move beyond the utopian proposals of the 20th century’s manifestos and hold a place in the world of realized designs. The AA Athens Visiting School incorporates in the design process materials and scientific devices as vital parts of the end creations. The research aims at bringing the user closer to the built environment via space animation, It rethinks habits of designing, building, and experiencing space through materiality. Here, ways of seeing become the starting point for developing a working interactive prototype. Theories of visual perception developed in 1920s, like the Gestalt theory, act as reference points to inform the design proposals.
In Symmetry Sentience, materiality and form are considered a “unified whole”. The program will investigate how membranes can reshape our architectural understanding with curvature and translucency. The design teams will focus on the flexible nature of tensile fabric that can be energized by motion and real- time reaction to various parameters. The design language includes Processing, Arduino, Rhino, and Grasshopper.
The architecture program integrates manufacturing techniques that enable the design teams to actively experience fabrication in 1:1 scale. Lectures and tutorials by experts from internationally renowned academics and practitioners, from the Architectural Association, Zaha Hadid Architects and others, form the theoretical background based on aspects of computational space, as well as responsive and kinetic design.
AA Athens Visiting School continues to research interactive design via building novel experience prototypes. LInking with their computational design affiliates in the AA Istanbul Visiting School, the end results of one school act as design informants for the other and vice versa, exploring the field of parametric design coupled with fabrication.
Prominent features of the workshop/ skills developed:
- Participants are part of an active learning environment. The large tutor to student ratio (4:1) allows for personalized tutorials and debates.
- The toolset of AA Athens includes but is not limited to Processing and Grasshopper for Rhinoceros, as well as design analysis software.
- Participants gain hands-on experience of digital fabrication.
- Design seminars and lecture series support the key objectives of the program, disseminating fundamental computational techniques, relevant critical thinking, theoretical understanding, and professional awareness.
The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, PhD candidates, and young professionals. Prior software knowledge is not required.
Upon completion of the program, participants will receive the AA Visiting School Certificate.
The deadline for applications is May 29, 2017. No portfolio or CV, the only requirement is the online application form and fees. Discount options for groups or for those wishing to apply for both AA Athens and AA Istanbul Visiting Schools are available.
Alexandros Kallegias (AA Athens Visiting School Programme Director):