Recently, I attended an internal discussion on identifying key trends regarding digital fabrication. It was discussed that together with the use of computational design tools like Vasari, Rhino/Grasshopper, and others, this approach will open some new opportunities for the AEC industry.

This reminded me to get my act together to finally sign up for Autodesk University – I better show, if I am to lead my full class on BIM Leadership. And I am getting off topic.

The following were part of the Design Computation Symposium which was a conference within the Autodesk University conference last December. The moderator was Dr. Robert Aish, the creator of GenerativeComponents – now with Autodesk Research, he is creating some new advanced parametric tools which we may soon be seeing inside actual design software. If you can attend AU2011, make sure this is on your agenda before it fills up like all great classes. What might you expect?

At the symposium, there were some impressive TED-style presentations from the following researchers and designers – I don’t have recordings of the actual presentations, but attempted to provide links that would elicit a deeper review. Much has been said about the impressive stone bench with a cheeky name designed by Carl Bass himself.

Nick Callicott | Stahlbogen GmbH/sixteen*(makers) – A Manufactured Architecture in a Manufactured Landscape:


Gregory Epps | RoboFold – Robotic Metal Folding in Façade Fabrication:

Shajay Bhooshan | Zaha Hadid Architects – Form, Structure and Design Intuition – Note: ultimately this research was integrated in Autodesk Vasari


Shrikant Sharma | Buro Happold SMART Solutions – Engineering the Complex Architecture: Smart_SolutionsLouvre, Abu Dhabi

Matthias Kohler | Gramazio & Kohler – Digital Materiality in Architecture Using Robotic Construction:


Mathias Höbinger | Evolute – Enabling Free-Form:

René Ziegler | Waagner-Biro Stahlbau AG – Finding Repetition in Complexity: Design and Construction of Free-Form Building Envelopes in Steel and Glass (Case Study on the Yas Island Marina Hotel)

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