Category: Teaching

Michael Speaks in KTH studio11

Posted by on February 11, 2011

Michael Speaks in the seminar with students from Perfromative Design and Architectures of Interdisciplinarity

Michael Speaks in the seminar with students from Perfromative Design and Architectures of Interdisciplinarity

As a collaboration between KTH Performative Design studio, we were happy to have Michael Speaks as a guest. The Dean of University of Kentucky, Speaks is previously known for introducing design intelligence as a source of innovation in practice, as well as introducing Dutch architecture to a wider international audience in the 1990s. He gave a public evening lecture at the KTH, and held a seminar with our two studios on the topic of design and research in teaching and practice. The events were organized by myself in collaboration with Daniel Norell of the Performative Design studio.

We were fortunate to receive additional funding from the KTH School of Architecture for this event.

KTH studio 11, Architectures of Interdisciplinarity final review

Posted by on December 18, 2010

Excpert from the project by Grégoire Stouck and Ecehan Esra Top

Excpert from the project by Grégoire Stouck and Ecehan Esra Top

In the second project of studio 11 in the fall 2010 our students were asked to deploy the techniques for digital design as well as structural and environmental analysis in the design of a visitors´centre for the Högdalen Energy from Waste power plant. This involved a basic understanding of the programmatic requirements of the facility and the added functions, as well as the development of a design strategy for industrial sites. This assignment also introduced the theme of the year, as the spring will see the design of new Energy from Waste facilities in three different sites around Stockholm.

Beside all tutors of the studio; Hanif Kara, Paul Scott, Reuben Brambleby, Lina Martinsson Achi and myself, we also had our assisting tutors Alexander Trimboli and Raimo Joss, and invited guests Helena Jarlöv Glantz and Sander Schuur in for the review. A great ending of the first intense semester of the new studio.

More about the studio here:

KTH Studio 11 London trip and finals

Posted by on November 5, 2010

Romain Alarcon presenting his project at AKT

Romain Alarcon presenting his project at AKT

To end the first project in the fall of 2010, studio 11 did a study trip to London. Beside facilitating the final review in London at the AKT office, we also did a series of visits to pracitices especially relevant to the studio agenda. This included among others Fosters, Buro Happold, AKT, Aedas and BDSP. In addition, the studio participated in a Grasshopper workshop set up in collaboration with the AA and London Metropolitan University.

KTH-A studio 11 Architectures of Interdisciplinarity

Posted by on August 28, 2010


We have now launched the new design studio Architectures of Interdisciplinarity at the KTH School of Architecture. The teaching team consists of Professor Hanif Kara, Lina Martinsson Achi, Paul Scott and Jonas Runberger. The studio is part of the 4th+5th year curriculum and will focus on design based collaborations between different disciplines.

Studio agenda

Studio 11 will seek to synthesise technological investigations and design through an interdisciplinary discourse to produce Architecture. We will research architectural, cultural, sociological and technological implications of contemporary design strategies.  The studio will emphasise methods for testing proposals and evaluating relative values of quantitative and qualitative modelling with the aim of testing a real proposition on a chosen site. Our interests will include high performance materials, digital design technique, rapid prototyping methods and computer aided manufacturing systems.

Each year the studio will select a particular typology and, during the 2010-2011 cycle of the studio, the overarching theme will be industrial architecture with a final project combining an Energy-from-Waste power plant with a public program.

The studio is founded on inter-disciplinary design methodologies led by Architects; linking technology and concepts at the intersection of architecture and structural/environmental engineering in order to develop innovative design solutions. Students will learn how to employ advanced digital design techniques at a strategic and detailed level. The interdisciplinary approach will provide skills in communication and collaboration with external specialists, as well as a general understanding of advanced structural and environmental concerns. Principles of fabrication, production and construction will be developed in the final output.

Workshop on Parametric Patterns at VCU Qatar 14-18/3 2010

Posted by on March 30, 2010

Team leader Brett Kearney presenting project outcome

Team leader Brett Kearney presenting project outcome

This short but intense workshop at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha  was looking at parametric adaptation of Islamic patterns. It was conducted as team efforts, with students and teachers collaborating on projects in different scales. Rhinoceros and Grasshopper were introduced as the working platform, and the projects explored how a contemporary view of patters could be implemented in terrain, furniture or product scale. Facilitated over five evenings, the teams managed to both get a basic understanding of parametric principles, and deliver project outcomes. I was invited by assistant professor Johan Granberg, teaching in the department of interior design, but the participants came from several departments including fashion and graphic design.

KTH Diploma Jury 23-24/2 2010

Posted by on March 30, 2010

Model by Lotta Alm

Model by Lotta Alm

I was invited as a jury member in the diploma reviews at the KTH School of Architecture, along with Maria Larsson and Bård Helland. Since the jury by definition is external, this was a rare opportunity at a time when I have no affiliation to the architecture school. After 10 years of teaching this was a first time in the diploma jury for me, and a chance to discuss the conditions of the diploma thesis as well as to review a wide range of projects with different supervisors from an outside perspective. With my return to teaching in the fall, it will probably be a while before I do this again.

IT Management, KTH Industrial Engineering and Management

Posted by on December 23, 2009

A course given by the department of Project Communication looking at IT and Information Systems from an organizational and business perspective. Supported by guest lectures the 4th – 5th year engineering students developed team projects investigated one of four given cases by interviewing IT managers, CIOs and IT management consultants. Focus was given on the strategic levels of IT as incorporated in companies. I was coordinating the course which ended in December 2009.

Invited critic at KTH School of Architecture 17/12 2009

Posted by on December 18, 2009

Component model of student proposal

Component model of student proposal

I was invited to the final review of the Perfromative Design studio, a 4th and 5th year studio at the KTH School of Architecture. This year´s theme is Architectures of Recursion: Compounds, Contours and Colloids, with task for the semester being An architecture of the interior – connective tissue for an academic environment.

Based on the formal concepts of Compounds, Contours and Colloids, the students were asked to design a building for the Emergent Materials full scale research laboratory, a series of services including bike workshop/bike shop, small bookstore and re-use bookstore, deli and student housing / guest research housing at KTH Campus. The task was set in response to a desire to create a “living campus” for the KTH.

An additional conceptual layer was added through the notion of micro climates, defined as:

A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. Addressing issues of microclimates, whether they are artificial, conceptual or biological, is a way to approach aspects of environmental performance on a conceptual, programmatic and material level. Creating an ecosystem, the combined physical and biological components of an environment, a system or network of relations.

The students accomplished very well developed proposal after a very short semester, that also included a study trip to the cave dwellings in Cappadocia, and the discussions that emerged around techniques, formal strategies and the functional requirements were very rewarding.

AA DIP16 final review 16/12 2009

Posted by on December 17, 2009

Rendering by Michael Ahlers

Rendering by Michael Ahlers

Final reviews in DIP16, with interesting new progression that deals with urban conditions. Students have at this stage initiated their investigation of a 1 hectare area, in which their material system, based on particular fabrication techniques will be deployed. This year our students are selecting their own sites around the world, but an initial urban understanding has been built up collectively through a Beijing study trip.

Invited critic at KTH School of Architecture 4/11 2009

Posted by on November 5, 2009

Presentation by Johan Knutas

Presentation by Johan Knutas

I was invited critic in the technical seminar titled Integrated Parametric Design, run by Lina Martinsson Achi and Gunnar Tibert. The seminar is part of the new course structure in the 4th year curriculum, as a support to the design studios. A short introduction to the seminar as follows:

The overall aim of the course is for the students to develop a software independent work method that takes structural mechanics as a creative starting point for parametric design, linking parametric modelling with structural analysis.

The students were working with software such as Grasshopper, ForcePad and PointSketch to explore the relation between geometry and structural mechanics, and how this link may be investigated and developed through analysis modelling. The seminars constitute an interesting new opportunity to go deeper into certain aspects of design, and it was very nice to see projects that explored actual structural behaviors.