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Thomas Weaver is Editor at the AA School of Architecture in London. Please join us in the lab at 17:00 on Thursday, March 2 for his lecture “Research or Architecture.

Overview: This lecture offers a survey of architectural education through an examination of the momentous events of 1968. Its particular focus is the recent emergence of the concept of research, which in many ways defines the modern university over and above a dedication to any specific subject. The lecture will unpick the idea of research and in the process offer a polemic that counters its ubiquity against the more obvious attractions of architecture itself.
thomas weaver research or architecture university of tokyo advanced design studies



Students and visitors to the lab recently had the privilege of hearing lectures from both Manuel Mensa of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, and Doris Sung of the University of Southern California. Professor Mensa gave a talk on “stateless architecture”– or architecture without context and aethetics. Doris Sung presented her works at USC with smart materials, particularly Thermal Bimetal, which reacts to heat and can create structure that responds to its environment by changing shape.


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.


Please join us on Saturday, November 19 in Lecture Hall 15 of Engineering Building #1 for a lecture from Marcos Novak. Novak is the Director of transLAB in the Media Arts and Technology Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lecture Poster Marcos Novak T-ADS November 2016

Professor Marcos Novak is the founding director of the transLAB at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is affiliated with the AlloSphere and CNSI (the California NanoSystems Institute).

He is a researcher, artist, theorist, and transarchitect. In 2000, he represented Greece at the Venice Biennale, where his works have been exhibited several more times since. His projects have also appeared in prominent museums, galleries, and collections in many countries. He serves on the scientific committees and advisory boards of several international journals and conferences.

His projects, theoretical essays, and interviews have been translated into over twenty languages, have appeared in over 70 countries, and have, and have become the topics of conferences and symposia. He lectures, teachers, and exhibits worldwide.


Please join us at 18:30 on November 15, 2016 in room #15 of Engineering Building #1 for a lecture from Australian architect John Wardle.john wardle lecture poster

Lecturer: John Wardle (Principal, John Wardle Architects)
Lecture Title: This Building Likes Me
Date: November 15, 2016
Time: 18:30-20:00
Location: Lecture Hall #15 (Room 15), Engineering Building #1, the University of Tokyo
Lecture Description: John Wardle, one of Australia’s leading architects, explores the ways buildings weave together landscape, history, memory, and materials.
John Wardle Architects (JWA) has gained a reputation for creating buildings that connect to their surroundings in subtle yet powerful ways. The work ranges across scales: from small-scale domestic dwellings, to large commercial projects and major university buildings, most recently, Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music. Collaboration is ingrained in the those of the Melbourne-based office, a spirit that extends to working closely with builders and craftsmen in the realization of their projects. Materiality and intense detail are constant interests, both for their aesthetic and experiential qualities and for the values they embody, as Wardle writes: “The care shown in how materials are employed, tells a story about the value that a community places in its built environment.”

This lecture coincides with the launch of This Building Likes Me – John Wardle Architects, published by Thames & Hudson