In 2015 the Aarhus School of Architecture hosted a 10 day workshop in collaboration with the Architectural Association. This was part of an initiative between the two schools to investigate the implications of computational tools in design and fabrication under different scales of architecture. The workshops focused on novel computational software coupled with fabrication techniques that investigated designs particular to the ecology of Denmark.

As a part of the workshop, the participants were introduced to the basics of parametric modelling, digital fabrication and material behaviour. Aarhus has a large array of different digital fabrication tools. In 2016 the participants mainly used laser cutting and digital cutting techniques, however in 2017 we expandedthe Visiting School to also focus on robotic manufacturing.ng, bending or morphing among others.

In its third year in Denmark, the Aarhus Visiting School will expand on previous agendas in integrating robotic and CNC tools as part of the design and fabrication process in architecture. The workshop will be divided into two research agendas which include ‘Mesh Morphologies’ and ‘Robotic Crafting’.

‘Mesh Morphologies’ focuses on teaching students how to control and manipulate geometry at both the local and global scale based on environmental and material inputs, where a digital fabrication pipeline enables a constant feedback between physical and digital models. This unit favours all levels off grasshopper knowledge, but if you are a beginner this is the unit to choose.

‘Robotic Crafting’ will engage traditional construction techniques and tectonics systems, reinterpreting them for a digital design and fabrication paradigm. We will develop and implement fabrication processes that integrate material properties and potential feedback systems, and make use of the ABB IRB 6620 and 120 robots available. This unit assumes that you have an intermediate to advanced level of grasshopper knowledge, as we will emphasise individual process and data design.

It is the ambition of the AA_Aarhus Visiting School to develop knowledge in digital fabrication and pattern formations, which are at the forefront when it comes to the field of architecture & design. Furthermore, the participants are to leave the Visiting School having gained new knowledge and novel skills in architectural design/make and theory, which they can continue to use in their practice or in the remaining years of their study.

We hope that through our continued work within this field, we will be able to contribute to the ongoing architectural discussion on parametrics, pattern making and fabrication.

Prominent features of the workshop / skills developed

• Novel modeling and parametric techniques based on local ecological factors.
• Introduction to new fabrication techniques now prevalent in the field of design and architecture.
• Robotic fabrication in design.
• Discussions on new architectural processes and theories.
• Applying theories that are highly applicable in contemporary practice through computation.
• A lecture series from leading researchers and theorists.

Registration deadline
1st of August, 2017

Visiting School duration
2nd – 11th of August, 2017

Contact Information

Aarhus School of Architecture
Nørreport 20
8000 Aarhus

David Reeves, Tommaso Casucci, Ryan Hughes and Petras Vestas

Jens Pedersen, Ali Farzaneh

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Two Weeks starting the 10th of July until the 20th of July.

ArchitectScripta is organizing an international workshop of Advanced Architectural Design, part of an ongoing academic research, which introduces participants into contemporary discussions of formal exploration in Architecture and Art, through technical attainment of design and production. The Precise Inaccuracy by ArchitectScripta is under the auspices of Benaki Museum, the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and the Athens School of fine Arts. It is an opportunity for architects, students of Architecture and Art, professionals designers and artists to join and exchange ideas.


The Workshop will run primarily using AutoDesk MAYA and Rhino GRASSHOPPER, including other fundamental software digital design tools.

1.The main aspiration of this workshop is to precisely develop a critical argument based on an individual research, which will translate into pure geometrical-formal exploration; the format will be an ongoing deskcrit symposium.

2. Rather than assignments, the research will be divided into stages, tactics and strategies.

3. The students will develop an expertise in a specific Topological territory; this territory will emerge for a hybrid between 4 main intellectual fields, from the following menu:


A. STRUCTURAL-RIGID-Efficiencies. Films, Case Studies, A topological development of, Dynamics Techniques, Corrupting structure, prosthetic, rigid structural system with soft components – paradox.

B. SKIN-SURFACE-MASS-Efficiencies. We will approach ideas of Color, Transparencies, Reflections, Refraction, Textures, patterns, textile animals skin, surface effects, skin as mass, skin as volume, transparencies, opacities, corrugations.

C. GROUNDSCAPE Efficiencies.  Plug into, dig in/out, scratch, stitch, seams, corrode, erode, articulate organization, heterotopia, dystopia.

D. MULTIPLICATION-REPETITION-ACCUMULATION Efficiencies. Calibration of systems, quantification of parts, behavioral mechanism efficiency, Defensive mechanisms, attacking methods, attaching.

The multiple level of experimentation will occur incrementally every week, but each segment will have a clear main topic of investigation, these are the reasons for the 4 legs sequence, so everybody can have the proper time for each aspect of the problem (intellectual, technical, abstract, physical, etc).


The workshop is a discourse based in the use of multi-layered techniques and production processes that allow for control over intelligent geometries, calibration of parts, and behavioral taxonomies, normalizing an innovative field of predictability. Our goal is to explore innovative, potential architectural expressions of the current discourse around form through technique elaboration, material intelligence, formal logic efficiencies and precision assemblies as an ultimate condition of design.

The workshop will develop and investigate the notion of proficient geometric variations at a level of complexity, so that questions towards geometrical effectiveness, accuracy and performance can begin to be understood in a contemporary setting.

Within this context, our work will turn into design and production; each student will operate within an expertise towards intuition by means of software and advancement of the discipline through a precise contemporary understanding of Architecture’s reliance on surface performance, unspecified systems, scale within the scale, mechanical parts and absurd precisions to expand its discourse. We will focus simultaneously in the attempt to negotiate the question of topology vs. typology, odd genus (Greek. γένος) and species within the condition of space and how fragmented surface state emerges through, constituting a potential assembly of parts and quantified normalities.



AA Istanbul Visiting School, in collaboration with Istanbul Bilgi University, is a unique learning and making experience. The programme continues to build on its expertise on generative design methodologies and large-scale prototyping techniques from previous years, while bringing together a range of experts from internationally acclaimed academic institutions and practices, Architectural Association, Zaha Hadid Architects, among others.

AA Istanbul Visiting School will investigate the inherent associations between form, material, and structure through the rigorous implementation of innovative design and fabrication techniques. Computational methods for design, analysis, and fabrication will be coupled with physical experimentation, fostering ‘learning-by-experimentation’ in an active collaborative studio environment. Throughout the design and fabrication processes, the associations between various computational platforms will establish correlations between form-finding, material computation, and structural performance. These discoveries will formulate new means of interpreting conventional fabrication processes towards their advancement within the domain of advanced computational and robotic methods. The key objective of AA Istanbul Visiting School will comprise the design and fabrication of a one-to-one scale prototype realized by the use of robotic fabrication techniques.

The programme will be formulated as a two-phase process:

Stage 1: Participants will gain an insight of material processes, computational methods, and various fabrication techniques, culminating with core concepts related to complexity in design practices. During this stage, basic and advanced tutorials on generative design algorithms and analysis tools will be provided. Building on its core methodology from its previous versions, AA Istanbul VS will perform as a team-based workshop promoting collaboration and research. Participants will be introduced to advanced fabrication techniques.

Stage 2: Participants will propose design interventions based on the skills and knowledge gained during the first stage. Study models of various scales will be produced, finally followed by the robotic fabrication and assembly of a full scale working prototype which unifies the design goals of the programme.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed:

  • Participants will be 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 Istanbul includes but is not limited to Rhinoceros, Processing, and Grasshopper, as well as analysis software.
  • Participants will have access to digital fabrication tools such as 3-axis CNC router, laser-cutter, and 3d-printer.
  • Design seminars and lecture series will support the key objectives of the programme, disseminating fundamental design techniques and relevant critical thinking methodologies.
  • Robotic design and fabrication processes will formulate the physical prototyping phase of the programme.

Dates: 28 June – 7 July 2017

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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. Read the rest of this entry »


AAVS Brussels will explore film as analytical tool. The objective is to address the role of architecture in representing political communities.We will look at political organizations that transcend the boundaries of the traditional nation-state, being the institutions of the EU our main case study.

In a globalized world there is an increasing need for suprnational political organizations. How can architecture participate of the visual identity strategies of the EU? How can the architecture of supranational institutions generate affect in a contemporary context in which the experience of of space is built through multimedia digital platforms?

Dates: 3rd to 12th of July 2017

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eVolo Magazine is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Skyscraper Competition. The Jury selected 3 winners and 22 honorable mentions from 444 projects received. The annual award established in 2006 recognizes visionary ideas for building high- projects that through the novel novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, challenge the way we understand vertical architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

The FIRST PLACE was awarded to Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski from Poland for the project Mashambas Skyscraper. The design proposes a modular and scalable skyscraper conceived as an educational center and marketplace for new agricultural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The design seeks to increase farming opportunities and reduce hunger in these regions. 

Vertical Factories in Megacities designed by Tianshu Liu and Linshen Xie  from the United States received the SECOND PLACE. The design investigates the benefits of moving factories back to megacities. The proposal calls for a series of alternating architectural layers- factories and recreational areas stacked together to create a vertical structure. Each recreational layer would feed from the waste and resources of these factories. 

The recipient of the THIRD PLACE is Javier López-Menchero Ortiz de Salazar from Spain for the project Espiral3500. The project introduces the streets and complexity of the city’s horizontal plane into a spiraling vertical structure.

The 22 honorable mentions include skyscrapers inside giant sequoias, villages embedded and hanging from mountains, automated plug-in cities, iceberg skyscrapers that reverse global warming, and wind harvesting structures among other fascinating projects.

The members of the Jury are: Eric Bunge [principal nArchitects], Manuelle Gautrand [principal Manuelle Gautrand Architecture], Ferda Kolatan [founding director su11], Andrea Morgante [principal Shiro StudioMarcos Novak [professor and director at transLAB], Yitan Sun [winner 2016 Skyscraper Competition], Boštjan Vuga [principal Sadar+Vuga], and Jianshi Wu [winner 2016 Skyscraper Competition].

The 2017 Skyscraper Competition was made possible with the sponsorship of our media partners and v2com.

Mashambas Skyscraper

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

First Place
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Pawel Lipiński, Mateusz Frankowski


Mashamba– Swahili, East Africa
An area of cultivated ground; a plot of land, a small subsistence farm for growing crops and fruit-bearing trees, often including the dwelling of the farmer.

Over the last 30 years, worldwide absolute poverty has fallen sharply (from about 40% to under 20%). But in African countries, the percentage has barely fallen. Still today, over 40% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa live in absolute poverty. More than half of them have something in common: they’re small farmers.

Despite several attempts, the green revolution’s mix of fertilizers, irrigation, and high-yield seeds—which more than doubled global grain production between 1960 and 2000—never blossomed in Africa, because of poor infrastructure, limited markets, weak goverments, and fratricidal civil wars that wracked the postcolonial continent.

The main objective of the project is to bring this green revolution to the poorest people. Giving training, fertilizer, and seeds to the small farmers can give them an opportunity to produce as much produce per acre as huge modern farms. When farmers improve their harvests, they pull themselves out of poverty. They also start producing surplus food for their neighbors. When farmers prosper, they eradicate poverty and hunger in their communities.

Mashambas is a movable educational center, which emerges in the poorest areas of the continent. It provides education, training on agricultural techniques, cheap fertilizers, and modern tools; it also creates a local trading area, which maximizes profits from harvest sales. Agriculture around the building flourishes and the knowledge spreads towards the horizon. The structure is growing as long as the number of participants is rising. When the local community becomes self-sufficient it is transported to other places.

The structure is made with simple modular elements, it makes it easy to construct, deconstruct and transport. Modules placed one on the other create the high-rise, which is a form that takes the smallest as possible amount of space from local farmers.

Today hunger and poverty may be only African matter, but the world’s population will likely reach nine billion by 2050, scientists warn that this would result in global food shortage. Africa’s fertile farmland could not only feed its own growing population, it could also feed the whole world. Read the rest of this entry »

Vertical Factories in Megacities

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Second Place
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Tianshu Liu, Linshen Xie
United States


Bring factories to the city
By 2025, the number of megacities, cities with a population over 10 million people, will grow from 23 to 36, and the population in the top 600 cities in the world will grow by 500 million. In the near future, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in these megacities.

Factories moved to areas outside cities because they were noisy and polluting. But now, many factories are cleaner and could have a new place in the urban environment. Moving them back into the city would provide a higher quality of life, by allowing employees to walk to work rather than commute in cars. Urban factories would be closer to populations of skilled workers, suppliers and technical and research centers.

This is the vision we have for the cities of tomorrow: factories will be dissolved into small pieces and then be stacked together into high-rise vertical factories. By bringing factories back to the city, we can achieve zero CO2 emissions, be energy efficient, and provide higher quality of life to the inhabitants.

Sustainable waste management.
The Philippines’ National Capital Region, Metropolitan Manila, has 14 cities (Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasig, Valenzuela, Kalookan, Pasay, Quezon and Taguig) and 3 municipalities (Navotas, San Juan, and Pateros). The region has a population approximately growing at a rate of 4% annually; the increasing population and urbanization of the region results in the creation of more industries and establishments.

Inadequate collection vehicles and lack of disposal sites have contributed to the reduction of waste collection efficiency. The main problem of too much garbage generation will hardly be solved when the solutions are not really targeting the main problem. Each dumpsite can only contain a specific capacity or amount of garbage and when it gets reaches its threshold it eventually becomes non-functional and will be shut down. The Metro Manila Development Authority reacts by searching for alternative location for dumpsites. Metro Manila’s dumpsite problem will never end until local governments are able to drastically reduce their garbage output as mandated by Republic Act 9003.

Metro Manila’s poor drainage system, pollution, and garbage problem might have worsened the effects of the heavy downpour that ‘Ondoy’ brought to the area. Metro Manila city mayors claimed that it was the garbage problem that was a major factor in the heavy flooding caused by Ondoy (Calonzo GMA News, 2009).

Bring nature back to the city
Due to the large population in Manila, a great amount of organic waste is produced daily. This waste will be the resource of the new vertical factory. All the waste will be dumped at the bottom level of the factory, and then they will be transformed into valuable products including water, fertilizer, heat, and electricity. We use these products to create different kinds of natural environment. The landscape is shaped according to the scale and shape of factories. Organic waste then can be turned into new city landscape while factories hide beyond natural surfaces. The main concept of this design is to let people be aware of the truth that the natural environment is a loop, everything you produce will then form the new world. Instead of criticizing the pollution problem we create the most ideal way for people to understand the best interaction between human and nature. Read the rest of this entry »

Espiral 3500

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Third Place
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Javier López-Menchero Ortiz de Salazar


The eastern coast of Spain, containing the most highly populated seafront areas in the country, has suffered an indiscriminate urban expansion. Criteria for construction have erred on the speculative side rather than being the rational consequence of studying the urban needs of the territory.

Espiral3500 is situated in “La Albufera”, an agricultural natural park which has been subjected to speculation based development and expansive growth. Tourism has become the main force of attraction. With it, it has produced an urban sprawl, which has disfigured the landscape. Tourism in the area causes an increase in population density of up to 1000% in some localities, turning them from ghost towns in winter to areas of high most density in summer.

Would a more coherent model have been possible in “La Albufera” given knowledge of its operation?

A model that advocates management of the territory and its demands over selling its most precious good, the land; this is where the typology of the skyscraper becomes relevant as a figure that can absorb most of the anxieties and demands of the population. This element would be capable of seeing to the touristic needs without greatly affecting the natural resources of the territory. The gaps produced by the cyclical nature of tourism in the vertical construction could result in additional maintenance costs. However, the gaps experienced during winter in territories of the extensive model leave a far more devastating scenery behind, producing a total disassembly of most services and urban functions due to reduction of their density.

What type of skyscraper should be introduced?

The successful level repetition skyscraper model of the 20th century must be transformed. To this end, I focus on initial theories on verticality, in which the concept of verticality is seen as the possibility of reproducing and extending all that happens at ground level.

Then, why not place public spaces inside buildings? This tower would no longer be an element where solely private dynamics take place. The Spanish eastern coast city is the quintessential city of public and open spaces. This skyscraper explores the interesting standpoint of introducing the streets and all of the city’s horizontal plane complexity into the vertical realm.

The main investigation of this project is to understand the relationship between and the role played by private and public spaces within the skyscraper. Here, I use a spiral system in which the public spaces (namely the different types of streets) form rings that rest on a structural element. Spaces for private use hang from this structural element. This “inverted street” system allows for an immediate linking of public and private, while allowing for sufficient dissociation to grant desired privacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Arch Skyscraper

By:  | April - 10 - 2017

Honorable Mention
2017 Skyscraper Competition

Wenjia Li, Ran Huo, Jing Ju


Manhattan is a paradise of skyscrapers, which not only decorate the city’s skyline, but also provide more usable space for people living there. This design scheme starts from a most basic architectural component, an arch that undergoes transformations through the changes of light, human behavior, and other factors to form different spaces/units, which overlap one another vertically to form the final design.

Arch and hidden transportation
In both, Middle Ages cathedrals in Europe and ancient pagodas in China, we found that double-layer arches could create a mezzanine, which we cunningly combined with vertical transportation, which works exceptionally well to service spaces. This hidden space inspire us invent a new relationship between arch and transportation.

Arch and spatial transparency
Either in a Gothic cathedral or a Chinese Buddhist pagoda, lighting is altered by the height and span of arches. In this project, we reconsolidate the acknowledged form of the arch and tend to reinvent a new arch system that is defined by direction, dimension, and memorial distortion. Read the rest of this entry »