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AAAthens2016_01

Our world has been enriched by numerous interactive means that connect us across the different continents. These amplifications take place through various media that in turn estrange 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 that are characterized by action.

Action-designed structures enabled by technology today, 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 closer the user with the built environment via space animation and animate and in its’ methodology, 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 informing the design proposals. In “SYMMETRY SENTIENCE”, materiality and form are considered as a “unified whole”. The programme will investigate how membranes can reshape our architectural understanding by bringing 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. In this world of “living” structures and interactive formations, the design language includes Processing, Arduino, Rhino Modelling, and Grasshopper. The architecture programme, integrates manufacturing techniques that enable the design teams to actively experience the aspect of fabrication in 1:1 scale. A set of 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, machinic control as well as responsive and kinetic design.

AA Athens Visiting School continues the research on interactive design via building novel experience prototypes. The final archetypes link with their computational design affiliates in the AA Istanbul Visiting School. 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 become part of an active learning environment where 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 on digital fabrication.
  • Design seminars and lecture series support the key objectives of the programme, disseminating fundamental computational techniques, relevant critical thinking, theoretical understanding and professional awareness.

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