National Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture
Cipher City, 01-07 April 2012
In today’s world of amplified social interaction and connectivity there is a need for the built environment to evolve beyond its current relatively static state. In 2012, Cipher City takes place in one of Europe’s most historical and ever-changing cities, Athens, offering a direct engagement with design models characterized by action. In the capital of Greece, where innovation has been always a force of creativity, the workshop will be hosted by the NTUA School of Architecture.
In its urban context, Athens presents a challenging mixture of historical diversity and current developing territories in the outskirts of the city. The act of reaching from one place to another in a continuous and fluid way therefore becomes the starting point in developing working kinetic prototypes energised by motion on horizontal planes. The workshop aims to bring out the dynamic qualities of the seemingly inanimate urban surroundings, such as urban paths, sense of orientation, topography, and bridge these with the animate qualities of the human body. During this process, participants will have the opportunity to experience the historical, contemporary, and geographical diversity of Athens during studio trips, while challenging the conventional design approach in order to break the dichotomy between the building and the urban realm. Capable of responding to external stimuli, the proposed structures will apply the concepts of motion and real-time reaction to various parameters.
Istanbul Technical University Faculty Of Architecture
Connected Tower, 24-30 March 2012
The second edition of AA Istanbul Visiting School 2012, “Connected Tower”, in collaboration with Istanbul Technical University (ITU), will act as a continuation and augmentation of its first version, “Crafted Tower”. The school will amplify the concept of verticality in a city which is continuously being populated by towers, altering its skyline and urban fabric.
“Connected Tower” will tackle the challenge of radically decomposing the tower in order to liberate it from its current fixed typology dominated by the repetition and segmentation. Istanbul presents itself as a crucial model in this challenge, due to the increasing high-rise construction during recent years in specific parts of the city. Therefore, taking the existing architectural characteristics of the high-rise buildings and their urban implications in Istanbul, “Connected Tower” aims to set the tower free from its existing binary axioms – building and city, circulation and habitation, structure and skin. The tower here becomes an extreme testing ground where it can evolve from being a solitary type to a novel vertical system described with the qualities of adaptation, integration, and fluidity. The design process highlights learning from the integrated nature of biological systems in order to infuse vertical systems with adaptive, multi-functional qualities. The generation of differentiated verticality is carried out by algorithmic design processes in various computation platforms. The creations in the digital world are tested and realized with digital fabrication processes involving various CNC methods, leading to the production of physical prototypes of various scales. In relation with the agenda, a series of lectures by leading academics and professionals will be organized as part of the public events of the School.