Architecture Computational Technologies

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Designing Architectural Research: The Possibilities for a Critical Computation Event

Mar 04, 2021

The possibilities for a critical computation




MARCH 3 2021 6:00pm

Introduction and Moderation:

Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, Director, MS in Architecture, Computational Technologies NYIT-School of Architecture and Design

Tom Verebes, Professor, NYIT-School of Architecture and Design

Presentations by:

Constantinos Daskalakis

Professor of EECS at MIT, and member of Computer Science and AI Laboratory

Achim Menges

Professor ICD, Institute for Computational Design and Construction, Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, University of Stuttgart

Rachel Armstrong

Professor of Experimental Architecture, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University

Francis Bitonti

CEO of Lexset

Q&A: Pablo Lorenzo Eiroa and Tom Verebes

Constantinos Daskalakis

How does machine learning fail, and what to do about it?

As the applications of machine learning are exploding, it is also
becoming increasingly clear that its use poses significant threats.
Learning systems lack the type of robustness that one expects of systems
that make critical decisions, failing to extrapolate well from their
training to new environments, being extremely data and computation
hungry, and amplifying biases in their training data. In this lecture, I
will look at some of the root causes making machine learning models
fail, tinkering with the main assumptions of the machine learning
pipeline, and revealing intimate connections to mathematics and the
social sciences as potential avenues to overcome these challenges.

Constantinos Daskalakis is a Professor of Computer Science at MIT,
working on Computation Theory and its interface with Game Theory,
Economics, Probability Theory, Machine Learning and Statistics. His work
has resolved long-standing problems about the computational complexity
of Nash equilibrium, and multi-item auctions, and now focuses on
high-dimensional statistics and learning from biased, dependent, and
strategic data. In 2018 he was honored with the prestigious Nevanlinna
Prize by the International Mathematical Union. This prize is presented
along with the Fields medal for outstanding contributions to
mathematical aspects of information sciences. He has been honored with
several other prestigious awards including the ACM Doctoral Dissertation
Award, the Kalai Prize from the Game Theory Society, the Sloan
fellowship in Computer Science, the SIAM outstanding paper prize, the
Simons investigator award, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper award, and the
Bodossaki foundation distinguished young scientists award.

Achim Menges

Computational Material Culture in Architecture

Material culture is described as the physical evidence and expression
of a culture in its artifacts and architecture. In this lecture, Achim
Menges will discuss how digital technologies serve as catalysts to
advance our conception of materiality and the technologies of
materialization. Through the presentation of selected research projects
by his institute he will argue that innovation across multiple
disciplines suggests that design computation is no longer limited to the
binary realm of the digital, but instead becomes an intense interface
to the more complex domain of the physical. Thus a new material culture
in architecture is beginning to arise, forging new alliances between the
fields of design, engineering and natural sciences. This represents a
significant perceptual shift. in which the materiality of architecture
is no longer seen to be a fixed property and passive receptor of form,
but is transformed into an active generator of design and an adaptive
agent of architectural performance.

Achim Menges is a registered architect in Frankfurt and professor at
the University of Stuttgart, where he is the founding director of the
Institute for Computational Design and Construction and the director of
the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and
Construction for Architecture. In addition, he has been Visiting
Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of
Design and held multiple other visiting professorships in Europe and the
United States. He graduated with honours from the Architectural
Association in London. The focus of Achim Menges’ practice and research
is on the integrative development of computational design methods,
robotic manufacturing and construction processes, as well as advanced
material and building systems. His work has received many international
awards, has been published and exhibited worldwide, and form parts of
several renowned museum collections, among others, the permanent
collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Victoria and Albert
Museum in London

Rachel Armstrong

Microbial Architecture and Built Immunity in the Urban Environment

Are we really as safe as houses within our indoor spaces, or do the
prevalent, stifling conditions imposed by the pandemic lockdown open the
doors to a new relationship with a different kind of inside and
outside? This talk offers intense portraits of an emerging space and set
of design principles called the ecological home—an agentised habitat
occupied by many species of microbes that help us navigate our
increasingly lively world. While modernity’s Reign of Hygiene suggests
these agents are all pathogens and should be eliminated, this talk
proposes quite the opposite. Introducing the Microbiome of the Built
Environment and how it influences our daily activities of living, the
idea of a more-than-human immunity is discussed, identifying lessons for
the kind of world we want to build after the pandemic and dreams
forward into alternative, biodiverse and inclusive ways of inhabiting
spaces, which are relevant to our urban futures.

Rachel Armstrong is tenured Professor of Experimental Architecture
at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle
University, Visiting Professor at KU Leuven, a Senior TED Fellow and a
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Rising Waters II confab Fellow. She
holds a First Class Honours degree with 2 academic prizes from the
University of Cambridge (Girton College), a medical degree from the
University of Oxford (The Queen’s College), was admitted as a Member to
the Royal College of New Zealand General Practitioners 2005-2015 and
awarded a PhD (2014) from the University of London (Bartlett School of
Architecture). She is author of The Art of Experiment: Post-pandemic
Knowledge Practices for 21st Century Architecture and Design with Rolf
Hughes (2020), Experimental Architecture: Prototyping the unknown
through design-led research (2019), Liquid Life: On non-linear
materiality(2019), Soft Living Architecture: An alternative view of bio
informed design practice (2018) and other titles.

Francis Bitonti

For most of his career Francis Bitonti has used computation to explore
problem spaces to find novel design and engineering solutions. These
techniques have yielded some incredibly interesting and useful results.
Bitonti has recently been adapting these techniques and using them to
train other computational systems to perform complex tasks. He will
discuss his work at Lexset and how these generative design techniques
are being used to enumerate possible worlds for training artificial
intelligence algorithms and the opportunities and challenges of using
these techniques.

Francis is an early pioneer of Generative Design, the use of
computational techniques to find new solutions to design and engineering
problems. He is the author of “3D Printing Design: Additive
Manufacturing and the Materials Revolution. His work has been widely
published and collected by prestigious institutions such as the
Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt, Vitra, and the Pompidou Centre. Francis
received his BFA in Computer Graphics from Long Island University and
his M.Arch from Pratt Institute.


Designing Architectural Research

Conceived by Dean Maria Perbellini

Curated by Professors Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa and Tom Verebes

“Designing Architectural Research” is an exhibition to celebrate the
launch of two new Master Programs at the School of Architecture and
Design at The New York Institute of Technology - a Master of Science in
Architecture, Computational Technologies, and a Master of Science in
Architecture, Health and Design.. The exhibition, conceived by Dean
Maria Perbellini after a Grant by the IDC, is co-curated by Professors
Tom Verebes and Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa.

Designing Architectural Research

The exhibition will have two sections of exhibitors, classified
respectively as Computational Technologies and Health & Design.
Experimenting with technologies at the frontiers of the discipline, this
exhibition will bring together 12 exhibitors in each classification,
with a total of 24 exhibitors, with the aim to survey innovations in
these areas at the forefront of architectural practice. The 24 invitees
represent the specialized areas of design which the MS programs aim to
focus on in a post-graduate research-based context. Design research
practices involve analytical and synthetic modes of investigation, in
open, exploratory milieus. As such, this group exhibition gathers
thinkers and makers who are reconsidering conventions at the frontiers
of disciplinary practices

Computational Technologies

Ecologic Studio

Andrew Saunders Studio



IJP Architects

Institute for Computational Design & Construction

Manuel Jimenez Garcia & Gilles Retsin

Material Topology Research Lab, Technion University

Matsys & Lake|Flato

RSS Ltd. | Robert Stuart-Smith

Soomeen Hahm Design Ltd.

Zaha Hadid Architects

Health and Design


Adams + Gilpin Design Studio

Behnaz Farahi

Bess Krietemeyer

Eray Carbajo Architects

Lydia Kallipoliti

Niccolo Casas & Anouk Wipprechet

Philippe Rahm Architects

Rachel Armstrong

Sean Lally

Six Trends

Studio Bitonti