Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: January 2017


Please join us in room #415 of Engineering Building #1 for a lecture by Kristof Crolla. Mr. Crolla is an architect and is an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture.

kristof crolla lecture advanced design studies the university of tokyo bending rules protocols of error

Kristof Crolla is a Belgian architect who combines his architectural practice Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design Ltd. (LEAD) with an Assistant Professorship in Computational Design at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture (CUHK). He both trained and taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London (AA), and worked for many years for Zaha Hadid Architects. In 2010 he moved to Hong Kong where his academic research and office work focusses on the strategic implementation of computation in architectural design. He is best known for projects such as ‘Golden Moon (Hong Kong, 2012)’ and ‘ZCB Bamboo Pavilion (Hong Kong, 2015)’, which internationally received over two dozen design awards and accolades, including the G-Mark (Japan), Architizer A+ (USA) Awards, and most recently the 2016 World Architectural Festival Award – Small Project of the Year 2016, nicknamed «The Architectural Oscars».

This lecture uses Kristof Crolla’s recently built work in China to illustrate how the deliberate introduction of project-specific material and construction idiosyncrasies, such as limited onsite skill, accuracy, budget and time, into the digital workflow can facilitate materialising unusual and ebullient architectural outcomes from minimal means.

Current evolutions in computational design are radically expanding the design solution space available to architects. In principle, these trends should permit the more straightforward implementation of non-standardised, geometrically complex architecture. Yet, since the digital entered the architectural scene, it has by-and-large encountered non-digital cultures not through authentic dialogue, but through subjugation. As a result, a disjunction has manifested between the opportunities the virtual offers and their real-world implementation. Especially in developing countries, this divide reveals itself in the difficulties the non-standard often faces in dealing with onsite restrictions and unpredictabilities, and is apparent in the discordance between available digital and onsite craft.

In search of an alternative contemporary mode of architecture practice, the work presented from LEAD and CUHK illustrates the surprisingly poetic outcomes possible in contexts notorious for their building quality.


Below are photos from the symposium itself, which included lectures from Matthias Kohler, Dr. Russell Loveridge, and Yusuke Obuchi. Students and attendees were able to see their multiple perspectives on computational design, and the talks were followed by a productive debate and question session centered around the role of the human in digital fabrication.

Matthias Kohler of Gramazio Kohler Architects
Dr. Russell Loveridge of NCCR Digital Fabrication
Yusuke Obuchi of T_ADS


This week we have the pleasure of participating in a series of events between ETH and UTokyo. These events are organized as part of a strategic partnership between the two institutions, and culminates in a symposium event on January 19 and 20. Professor Matthias Kohler, Dr. Russell Loveridge, Dr. René Jähne, and Senior Researcher Hannes Mayer stopped by our laboratory for a visit with professors and students. Mr. Matthias Frey and Ms. Kyoko Suzuki, of the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo, were also kind enough to participate, providing a generous gift of Swiss wine, in addition to taking time to speak to the students in our laboratory about the importance of collaborative efforts.

ETH Utokyo Swiss Embassy Reception Advanced Design Studies The University of Tokyo

On Thursday afternoon, we participated in a poster session on the UTokyo campus, speaking with researchers and students from a variety of difference scientific fields. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and share inspiration.

poster session eth utokyo strategic partnership advanced design studies the university of tokyo

poster session eth utokyo strategic partnership advanced design studies the university of tokyo

poster session eth utokyo strategic partnership advanced design studies the university of tokyo

poster session eth utokyo strategic partnership advanced design studies the university of tokyo

poster session eth utokyo strategic partnership advanced design studies the university of tokyo



Our first years recently went on a field trip with their Japanese Architecture and Cities class to Kyu Asakura House in the Daikanyama district. The house was built in 1919 by Torajiro Asakura and survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Pacific War. In 2004, the House was designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government and is open to the public.


This week we held the AR Toolkit Workshop, aimed at familiarizing students with the production and usage of AR Markers. Using Processing, Grasshopper, and AR Toolkit, students developed their own markers and used cameras to detect distances and synchronize them to points in a virtual model.