Thursday, July 9, 2009

Opening of the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) at the University of Stuttgart

Opening of the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) at the University of Stuttgart. Inauguration Lecture by Prof. Achim Menges

In recent years, the impact of computer processes on the fields of design, planning, and construction has accelerated. Never before has such a broad range of technologies been available to architects within such a short period of time. This is different due to the proliferation and use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) as a digital drawing tool and means for efficient project planning and coordination. The technologies available address the growing importance of computational design as a novel, integrative, and substantial design tool that poses the need for fundamental changes in design methodology for architectural practice.

For the teaching and research of this topic, the Institute for Computational Design at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Stuttgart has been newly founded under the direction of Professor Achim Menges, who has previously taught for seven years at the renowned Architectural Association in London. The scientific team, led by Professor Menges and consisting of experts who recently completed their studies in London, have been employed since the beginning of the year and are investigating the possibilities of an architectural design process that navigates the complex interactions of material, shape, structure, and environment through generative, computational processes. The research has focused on new techniques, such as parametric, algorithmic and evolutionary design strategies, to introduce functional, constructive, and creative values to the initial stages of a design process that intends to find potential solutions in the integration of such criteria.

On July 9th, Prof. Achim Menges, in his inaugural lecture, will describe the intentions for the teaching and research of the Institute. As a part of the event, Brett Steele, director of the Architectural Association of London, will lecture on the future challenges of architectural training and practice.

The event takes places from 19.00h to 21.00h at the University of Stuttgart, Kepler Strasse 17 in Auditorium 17.02. The Institute website is also online at

The Institute uses Rhino in their research work and is an integral part of the coursework being taught. They have set Rhino as the software used for the CAD fundamentals taught to all first-year architecture students.

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