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Architecture throughout history has been searching for lightness. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, the portability of lightweight structures has led not only to a plethora of temporary installations but also to the emergence of portable and reconfigurable architectures that better suit the exponential increase of dynamism in our society.
During this workshop, we will explore the potential of digital tools to create lightweight rapidly deployable structures that could achieve large spans while allowing reconfigurability for future use.
By using a discrete approach, the projects developed during the workshop aim to achieve structural performance and formal heterogeneity through different combinations of a universal modules, rather than rationalising the overall structure into differentiated parts. This allows for a subsequent disassembly and re-assembly of the structure, and for it to return to its original flat-packed state to optimise transportation.
The workshop promotes a universal system that could be assembled without the use of large sets of heavy machinery.
The generated modules are meant to be a product that any non-expert user can easily put together. Each element will be optimised to be delivered in a single full format sheet of plywood or metal, and engineered to be assembled in 20 minutes by any user without previous training, just following the instruction leaflet. The pieces could be locally laser-cut or delivered flat-packed. The elements will be lightweight, so they could be easily manipulated by a single person.
Workshop participants will embark themselves in a journey where cutting edge digital tools allow for the creation of a completely different architectural principle, where physical and digital objects are constantly interconnected, leading to a digital understanding of architectural elements. We will teach design and visual programming software from scratch, facilitating as well plugins and pre-built applications that will ease the learning curve of the participants, as well as allowing them to quickly express their ideas towards reconfigurable architecture, that will be put in practice in a collaborative physical prototype to celebrate the achievement during this learning experience.
Manuel Jiménez García is the co-founder and principal of madMdesign, a computational design practice based in London. His work has been exhibited worldwide in venues such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Canada´s Design Museum (Toronto), Royal Academy of Arts (London), Zaha Hadid Design Gallery (London), Clerkenwell Design Week (London) and X Spanish Architectural Biennale (Madrid).
Alongside his practice, Manuel has lectured, taught and attended juries internationally. He is currently a lecturer in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL (London). He is programme director of MSc Architectural Computation (AC), and co-founder of UCL Design Computation Lab. He runs Research Cluster 4 at the MArch Architectural Design (AD) and MArch Unit 19; in addition, he curates Plexus, a multidisciplinary lecture series based on computational design; he is also the director of the AA Visiting School Madrid. His academic research has been widely featured in publications and international conferences such us Fabricate, Ecaade, Aae and Acadia. He has recently been awarded with the Best Emerging Research Award in Acadia 2016 Posthuman Frontiers.
Manuel holds a Masters in Architecture + Urbanism (AADRL) from Architectural Association and a Masters in Design and Computer modeling from CICE new technologies professional school. He has worked as an architect for the offices of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Minimaforms and Amid(cero9), participating actively in multiple international recognised projects.
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