Day 01 -16/07/12-

Day 02 -17/07/12-

Day 03 -18/07/12-

Student work


WORKSHOP Computing Topos


The workshop will explore the question of ‘place’ or ‘topos’ and its radical transformation in the recent years due to the proliferation and availability of environmental parameters. Departing from the notion of ‘computing,’ understood as information processing, strategies of ‘data mining’ and ‘indexing’ will be proposed as sensible readings of the site and the territory.

The workshop aims at bringing together design strategies and the critical utilization of both local and global, material and virtual, visible and invisible information of the place. To build upon new operational platforms of environmental readings, the proposals will work on the diagram and the indexing, as opposed to dissociated parametric strategies.

Sites will be chosen from residual areas in complex topographies generated by the insertion of massive infrastructural tissues in the territory. Many have referred to these places as by-product of the era of globalization, and as a result they have often appeared coupled with new constructions that have been virally spread accross the territory in the last 40 years or so. These spaces that are neither private nor public but ‘common’ are identified as potentially interesting to engage with the contemporary urban ecologies. Departing from this ‘generic’ typological condition and by integrating ‘extended’ environmental data obtained from the specificities of the site will build towards the notion of:


The breeding of local environmental parameters will generate new forms of architectural agency and expression. Diverse mechanisms will be used to materialize ‘invisible’ information such as environmental and social conditions, users’ preferences, digital information, etc. The capture of ‘local’ data will be done through the use of sensors, site specific simulations and rss feeds which will be used to capture information in the ‘network’. The workshop will provide the students with technical support to use microprocessors and sensing technologies. Each team will be looking at one main environmental parameter, in its broader sense, such as sun light, programmatic densification, urban flux, users’ data collected from urban behavioural patterns, potential energetic consumption/production, etc to synthesize ‘Datascapes’ that will feed into the projects. These ‘Datascapes’ will be built from the following devices, software and strategies:

Sensors > Arduino
Data mining > Processing
Indexing- Rhinoceros (Plug in: Grasshopper)
Environmental simulations: Maya/ Land desktop/ Ansys / Ecotech

The students will be given different sites for each team to look at a relevant site-specific variable. These variables will intertwine with a common programmatic allocation: productive spaces. The material translation of these data will frame the question of COMPUTING through the localization of global ‘types’:

COMPUTINGProcessing data

The outcome will be a result of the site-specific programmatic and volumetric architectural proposal. For instance, the team that will be looking at the parameter of density will explore vertical developments to maximize the productivity of the site; the team that is looking at the sun light parameter will be looking at an architectural expression that tries to maximize solar exposure.

Rhinoceros- (Plug ins: Grasshoper, Grasshoper vb script, Kangaroo, Galapagos, etc)

Digital fabrication techniques (3D printing, CNC, lasercutting, robotic constructions, etc)

EXERCISESScope of the projects to be developed in the workshop

The exercises will be developed at the following landscape scales:

A > Productive Landscape_ Design process fed by environmental and inhabitants’ parameters.
B > Landscape components_ Automated Fabrication process design fed by environmental and inhabitants’ parameters.