EARTHY: Generative Design for Earth and Masonry Architecture

In this course, students learn computational methods for spatial configuration, design, and construction of a settlement for displaced communities (e.g. refugees, victims of natural disasters), focusing on high-tech design for low-tech construction with earth (earth architecture), possibly together with decently recycled/reused waste materials (earth-ship architecture), relying on local labour, low-energy content, passive climatic design strategies, and maximum circularity of the materials. Computationally exploiting the relations between natural material properties, architectural geometry, and structural performance will be central to this course.

Spatial Computing in Architectural Design

The new generation of architects will be expected to improve the quality and the performance of existing and new buildings in face of new environmental, social and economic challenges, such as providing affordable quality houses at a mass scale. This often requires formulating and solving multi-disciplinary design and decision-making problems in a collaborative setting. However, the fundamental question is “How do we know if our interventions or designs will yield better results?” In other words, can we model, analyse, simulate, and evaluate the functioning of buildings? How can we improve the sustainability, affordability, and quality of buildings in quantifiable ways, and validate our design assumptions? To effectively deal with complex multi-disciplinary problems, computational approaches need to be utilized to structure and/or automate analysis, synthesis & evaluation procedures required for optimization and systematic decision-making in the design process.