Category: Research

Bostäder byggda med volymelement [ssark], 2006

Posted by on September 1, 2006

This report is the result of a in-depth study on the industrial production of volumetric modules for housing in Scandinavia. The study was initiated by Ylva Gunterberg Ädelqvist and Jonas Runberger through Scheiwiller Svensson Architects. It is based on explicative case studies of five Swedish projects, as well as over 200 interviews with actors in teh field. The published report also includes a conclusion and vision on the role of the architect in future industrialized building processes. Available in Swedish from Byggkostnadsforum. Also available online here:

Co-authored with Ylva Gunterberg Ädelqvis. Study done as employee of Scheiwiller Svensson Architects.

Entry Paradise: New Worlds of Design, 2006

Posted by on August 1, 2006

SplineGraft and PARCEL featured in the Entry Paradise: New Worlds of Design.

The focus of design activities is shifting away from classic industrial design, with its desire to create a good mass product for everyone, toward emotional design, which seeks to trigger positive emotions and an immediate desire to buy. Is it possible that we stand on the threshold of a new era of B.A.N.G. design, which directly intervenes at the level of bits, atoms, neurons, and genes? New perspectives and visions for design are the focus of the authors of this volume, including Francesca Ferguson (urban drift, Berlin), Werner Lippert (projects, Dusseldorf), Ellen Lupton (Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York), Peter Reed (Museum of Modern Art, New York), Alexander von Vegesack (Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein), and Peter Wippermann (Trendburo, Hamburg). Together with other prominent philosophers, sociologists, and media theorists, they discuss the character and object of the design activities of the future and their impact on beauty and economy and our changed conceptions of city, house, and landscape.

Entry Paradise: New Worlds of Design, by Gerhard Seltmann (Editor), Werner Lippert (Editor), Birkhauser Verlag AG, 2006

Informed Modularity, 2005 – 2006

Posted by on July 25, 2006

Presentations by visting studio AA Dip16

The Informed Modularity 4th year track 5 aimed to reconsider the history of the component or module in post- war 20th century architecture and to further re-examine the implications of a componential approach in contemporary architectural design practice. This includes the modularisation of skill and expertise, industrial production and construction systems as well as business models in post-war architecture. Central for Post-war architecture were processes of modularisation that resulted in programmatic and material organisations of mass-production and standardisation. Today there is a renewed interest in the component as an architectural approach. Standardisation is today replaced by an interest in mass customization and in the possibility for components to be systematically or parametrically differentiated or modulated in order to generate spatial, programmatic, infrastructural and material configurations that respond to local conditions and desires.

part 1 was the Crash Course called The construction of Swedish identity: rethinking the Kurbits and the filling of surface. The work focused on the construction of identity/identities and its relationships to the ornamental and the decorative through a small urban program. Further the work concentrated on an architectural cellular strategy with a rigor in structural, programmatic and material applications. The crash course was run by Ulrika Karlsson.

Project by Andrew Martin, Alessandra Pantuso and Sanna Söderhäll

Project by Andrew Martin, Alessandra Pantuso and Sanna Söderhäll

part 2 was an architecture studio in the second trimester of the year where the students was looking at identity/identities in relation to living and housing of the future. Looking back at experiments of the last century; including the work of Jean Prouvé, the Californian Case Study Houses program from 1945-1962, Archigram and the Metabolists of the 1960s, a wide range of projects addressing technology and its social and cultural ramifications can be identified. With contemporary issues of industrialization such as Lean Production and mass customization as a departure point, the studio projected ideas further, using advances in technology and new modes of living to explore future issues of housing development. The studio also conducted a study trip to London visitng practices such as AKT, KPF and Aedas, as well as took part in workshops with Architectural Association Diploma Unit 16.

KTH School of Architecture design studio 2005 – 2006
Examiner: Ulrika Karlsson
Tutors: Pablo Miranda and Jonas Runberger

Krets and PARCEL, 01.AKAD, 2005

Posted by on November 15, 2005

Presentation of Krets and the PARCEL roject in the 01.AKAD – Experimental research in architecture and design – Beginnings publication.

01.AKAD – Experimental research in architecture and design – Beginnings was the first in a series of publications from AKAD, which aim to provoke, promote and discuss new and critically experimental research by architecture and design. This first book is structured around four themes arising from projects initiated within AKAD with financial support from the Swedish Research Council. It includes critical essays and presentations of experimental design and writing projects. The contributors are architects, designers and scholars based in Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, UK, and USA.

Streaming Architecture / Projective Spaces, 2004 – 2005

Posted by on October 25, 2005

SAPS, the Streaming Architecture Projective Space spatial media concepts merges physical space with media environments. The SAPS concepts is founded in the relationship between projected moving image and transformed physical space, supported by real-time Internet broadcast technology.

The physical and mediated aspects of SAPS dissolve the boundaries of its physical surroundings. The classical display case is inverted through the generated content displaced in multiple locations. The visual identity is continuously re-created through daily updates, in a process of responsive management over time.SAPS creates a space in constant motion, through real-time generated imagery distributed via Internet, satellite, and finally anamorphic projected. Real-time media can be merged with pre-recorded audio-visual material. The spatial concept can operated in different types of environments, ranging from new ways of exhibiting in museum context, public places to exhibition spaces and commercial venues.

Streaming Architecture Projective Space concept is developed thorugh series of prototypes in different media and scales. Parallel studies have explored real-time media technologies, transformation algorithms and the performance of SAPS in different spatial configurations.The prototypes have been both on a conceptual level, such as animated collages produced from digital 3D-models, as well as full-scale fully operational enviroments. Media content has consisted of real-time streaming media over Internet connection or via direct camera capture, Video Jockey real-time audio-visual editing as well as pre-recorded material.The prototypes have been developed in sequence, from SAPS.00 animated collages, through SAPS.01 scale physical models, SAPS.02 full-scale prototype, SAPS.03 proposal for a rebuilt cinema and the SAPS.04 proposed interventions in semi-public spaces.

Media, space and technology
The SAPS media content from different sources is simultaneously merged in the physical installation, but can also be clearly separated by the fragmented set-up of the physical interventions. Distortions of projected media are performed in real time, to allow adjustment due to different angles of projection surfaces. These distortions work through anamorphs, perspective distortions, and add another level of complexity to the classical principle, in that they can continuously shift.

SAPS uses broadband Internet and mpeg2/mpeg4 streaming. Television quality will be achieved in the images using public networks for communication and distribution. The technology allows integration of interactive use of mobile telephones. A spectator could take part in the creation of live images and set up a conversational contact with the installation. The international transmission is using a new multicast protocol, which enables the above proposal (and the work with the nonTVTVstation). Splintermind and TeliaSonera are developing this protocol.

The configuration of the physical space is distributed, and opens up the space to the outside, and simultaneously establishes different focus areas. Different spatial interventions both carry the projected media and create a differentiated terrain. Characteristics such as open/closed, light, sound or sightlines are gradually shifting throughout the area. The different spatial conditions together with the manipulable media content allow adaptation to changing activities during the day. Branding element can shift into artwork or curated mediated events such as presentations, VJ-sessions, fashion shows or ambient lounge mingles.

The SAPS spatial concept can be integrated into an existing environment, be part of a design in development or be established as a separate project. The development is typically initiated though a preliminary study, which defines requirements and suggests a potential design approach, often in collaboration with curators or branding consultants. During the project development phase the SAPS project team uses specially developed tools as a support for the design process, enabling complete control over the development of projection beams, spatial configuration and real-time media distortions.

SAPS.00 included studies through digital animated collages, testing different spaces and functions augmented by media production. The prototypes proposed new spaces for media galleries and commercial spaces, exploring the borders between art and commerce.

concept development and animated collages:
Jonas Runberger, ssark medialab
concept development:
Ari Leinonen, ssark
concept development and media content:
Mikael Scherdin, Beeoff
concept development and management:
Björn Norberg, Beeoff

SAPS.01, featured a scale prototype with two integrated projectors and a real-time visual mixer. The prototype allowed for hands-on exploration of a series of scale models, while physical parts were subject to projected real-time media. During a workshop event, outside parties were invited to participate in these investigations.The prototype was used as a screen set for a series of show reels, including material for a potential automobile marketing event and initial studies for the SAPS.02 full-scale prototype.

concept development and physical design:
Jonas Runberger, ssark medialab
concept development and media mixer:
Mikael Scherdin, Beeoff

The SAPS.02 full-scale prototype was designed for the specific gallery space of Art.platform, Stockholm. The spatial set-up featured three separate wall partitions, each with a linked projector. Real-time filters automatically adjusted projected media to be displayed correctly on the curving surfaces of the walls. The SAPS.02 prototype was tested as a show room, conference space, mock-up fashion store and as a video jockey venue with real-time audio-visual performances.

concept development and physical design:
Jonas Runberger, ssark medialab
concept development and media content:
Mikael Scherdin, Beeoff
Streaming and transformation technologies:
Tomas Linell, Beeoff
The SAPS.02 prototype was developed in collaboration with and with support from research project Cross-disciplinary studies of Complexity and transformation.
The prototype was presented in the Art.platform gallery space in November 2004.
Special thanks to: Cheryl Akner Koler Carolina de la Fe Vidar Hertov Anton Ljungberg Senem Yazan

SAPS.03 is a proposal for a passage way between different levels of the classical Fountain cinema of Vällingby, Sweden. Joining the 1950’s entrance hall with new additions currently under construction, it takes advantage of the vistors’ horizontal and vertical movement as they progress inte the lower levels. The physical part of the installation distorts media when viewed from below, but gives a clear view from the top of the staricase. The media content can be operated through subscription, and adjusted continuously for different ambiences over the day, including material from current shows as well as material from the history of this classical cinema.

concept development and physical design:
Jonas Runberger, ssark medialab
concept development:
Mikael Scherdin, Beeoff
media content:
Tomas Linell, Beeoff

SAPS.04 returns to the animated collage in a series of proposed additions to wxisting semi-public environemnts. The studies cover lounge situations, meeting rooms, bars and restaurants. Further refining techniques developed in SAPS.01, the animated collage provides valuable support in initial design development, using a combination of photograph, moving image, digital 3D model, image processing and media post-production.

concept development, spatial design and post-production:
Jonas Runberger, ssark medialab
concept development:
Mikael Scherdin, Beeoff

Remediation as operation and strategy within architectural design development, 2005

Posted by on October 1, 2005

This paper dwells on the notion of remediation in relation to collaborative spaces of design development and production within the Krets research group. The term implies the transformation of a material by shift of media, in which some characteristics native to the former remains in the later.

Paper presented at the Research Spaces conference at the Bartlett + the Slade, London

PARCEL design project, 2004

Posted by on November 1, 2004

With PARCEL Krets suggests new ways of establishing relations between the material, audiovisual and digital techniques that are increasingly forming the environments around us. The project considers off-the-shelf technologies normally used in the packaging industry and consumer electronics as integral parts of an architectural design.

Punched plastic sheets equipped with computational intelligence through microprocessors, printed circuits, and a variation of sensors, lighting and speakers, are folded into volumes. When combined they form a wall-paneling system integrating information technology and infrastructure as well as illumination and sound. The folded sheets create depth from surface and respond to the color scheme of the Stockholm Concert Hall. The rendering of the color shifts as a result of the inherent curvature in the pieces and the integrated light.

The PARCEL project emanated from an interest in a number of specific phenomena and readily available technologies:

1. The material cultures and fabrication principles of disposable articles and printed matter. The short-lived “throwaway” is easily produced and distributed and thus interesting in relation to a growing need for rethinking the use of plastics in architecture. Initial studies examined tectonics, modularity, detailing, recombination and assembly, looking at ways to deploy these at an architectural scale.

2. Cheaply produced electronics are increasingly infusing our environment with cellular intelligence. Computing power is becoming ubiquitous and readily available to such an extent that it takes on disposable qualities. Previously large and exclusive electronic devices are rapidly collapsing into cheap devices of the size of a pinhead. Electronic circuits can nowadays be printed onto almost any surface, making it possible to integrate microprocessors in products and environments ranging from household appliances to surveillance systems and clothing tags. They make up an invisible but nonetheless present and active part of our public and domestic spaces.

3. Equally important, but less apparent, is the software driving these integrated devices. Their code plays a potentially important role in scripting the interaction between individual and environment, as well as social interaction between individuals. Coding is becoming an act of design, where the scripting of behaviors is increasingly linked to the ambience of our environments.
Design Development

Design and material development within these three fields was done in parallel, covering four areas of investigations.

  • Material and production looked at key aspects of the disposable product including production and assembly, as well as a range of conductive materials including tape, glue and paint.
  • Within design and method the folded structure, as well as modularity, patterning and detailing, was developed.
  • Program and performance included algorithm development, user recombination and network communication protocols.
  • The presentation area includes internal testing of systems, as well as continuous documentation and presentation of the conglomeration of the different tracks.

The cellular principles of the programmed intelligence suggested a similar approach to the physical components. A system of partially folded units with specific curvatures and sets of folds was developed. The inherent curvatures provided structural stability as well as visual effect. The units retained qualities of the sheet, while achieving volumetric capacity. The name PARCEL originates from the way that the singular units are partially enclosed to be able to house electronics but not hiding them from view. Another connotation of parcel would be the act of distributing parts, to “parcel out.” The assembly principles of PARCEL explored the potential for a striated and non-uniform expression, in the way that the different parts could be recombined. The structural logics provided for a vertical positioning, suggesting the idea of a wall paneling system.
The production patterns developed were used as master for the punch tool, setting cuts and fold lines, original for printed circuits and instruction for electronic components. In essence, the complete information for the production of one PARCEL unit was integrated in a single drawing. In this way the formal logics of the PARCEL prototypes were imported from printed matter and disposable articles, transferring their qualities to an interior scale.
The local digital conduits within the single PARCEL unit form a network with all other units when assembled into an installation, with physical connectors also closing the electric links. The physical and electronic architectures were both a cellular and parallel model, as opposed to traditional sequential computer processes.

The immaterial reactive characteristics of PARCEL are based on white noise, often used to control sound conditions in an environment. Surrounding sound is picked up locally through microphones to be dispersed to other units of the installation through the integrated network. During this transfer the sound signal is transformed by other inputs and emitted through loud speakers and LED lighting, establishing local environments. The interchangeable units of PARCEL, each with specific formal and operational characteristics allows dynamic recombination by users/visitors while the installation is in operation. The striated pattern of the complete installation can be reconfigured at will and the emergent behavior of the distributed intelligence in the local environments changes.
The transfer of strategies from other fields to an interior architectural scale introduces an oscillating ambiguity between graphic and spatial infrastructures. The multifunctional quality of the graphic pattern as instruction for production suggests an ornamental transition from graphic to electronic to spatial infrastructure. PARCEL blurs the relationship between model and building – in this case the wall, and prototype and product – in this case the wall paneling system, in its capacity to continuously react and interact electronically with its environment, as well as invite the visitor to recombine and transfigure the system.

Today’s individual and collective spaces are saturated with information networks and control mechanisms, ranging from automatic doors, to information displays and surveillance systems. The social protocols of such densely electronic material are very much dependent on the presence they have in a space. By appropriating these systems into the architectural design process, they become part of the overall design agenda, and can be articulated accordingly. An extension may lead to new models for social exchange in space, which can be compared to the spread of Internet communities over the past decade.

With PARCEL, Krets addresses the component level of architectural production, and the fact that the rational building industry of today is based on components with very specific geometry. There is a tendency for closed systems to be developed by individual actors based mainly on economic conditions and not integrating architectural quality. This limits the choices of innovative architectural design and shapes our environment in a profound way.

Urbantoys v.2 [Servo], 2003

Posted by on November 1, 2003

The Servo Urbantoys project diffuses the conventional roles of manufacturer, architect, designer and site visitor. The site is designed as an interface that provides tools for the design of architectural products, Urbantoys, via a series of manipulations of a digital model.

Urbantoys is a set of digitally instantiated products and instructions for their fabrication embedded in an interface intended for both viewing and extraction. Implicit in the word urban-toy is a fluctuation between an architectural scale and program and the scale of a toy or hand held object. It also connotes a digitally manipulable set of geometries, which are animated by the toy’s user and can be assembled computationally as a three-dimensional model or produced as a physical instantiation. The toy’s components are set in motion as a series of spatial parcels, which are activated by the user. The assembly of digital pieces is non-sequential proliferating into a series of models. The viewer is invited to act on a supplied catalogue of materials and infiltrate the design process. By submitting designs to and sampling designs from an online archive, the visitors’ designs are made available to other potential authors. Digitally catalogued urbantoys may be retrieved, fabricated and exhibited at a later event, turning the exhibition venue into a dynamic index of the design process as it is distributed among various agents. The interface also provides the possibility for the visitor to directly engage with a manufacturer by ordering a rapid prototype of the designed object.

Urbantoys v.2 was exhibited at the ReShape! exhibition curated by IASPIS at the Venice Biennale of the Arts in 2003. It is an upgraded version of the online design environment Urbantoys v.1 released in 2000 for the exhibition N2art curated by Peter Hagdahl. Part of a larger speculation on the incorporation of the user into design and production processes through the emergence of new interactive technologies, Urbantoys v.2 is an open-source interface through which outside authors customize a variety of generic design prototypes according to personal needs, interests, and constraints.

Physical installation
The temporary gallery space of the Reshape! show required a spatial setup for the digital design environment. A merged display wall, work place and light table operated as a platform for interaction, both literally in the digital design system, as well as through discussions between visitors.

Physical models of previous designs were displayed, and other components provided the context for the less informative digital interface. The Urbantoys v.2 featured a back-lit table connected to a wall, carrying models, and enabling visitors / users to gather around to handle the models and view product sheets of previous designs, providing a context for the digital browser.

The design environment allowed the visitor to move around in digital space, while manipulating the geometries in an intuitive manner. Simple instructions guided the user, indicating different potential transformations. The interface was connected to a separate database, allowing for the storage and retrieval of designs, names of authors and comments. This made possible the sampling of previous designs, to be altered and re-saved.

The Urbantoys v.2 project used the Virtools game editor as a programming environment. The sampling of technology from other fields towards a new purpose requires the adaptation of techniques optimized for another agenda. This provides friction, but also opportunities.

During the Krets project development phase the software allowed for the sharing of behavioral scripts, enabling multiple developers to share the work on the prototype, which could also be continuously tested during the process. The Virtools-browser handled all interaction, providing behaviors to simple geometries resulting in a vast recombinatorial potential within the formative design concept.

The performative aspects of the project set up a new kind of relationship between designer, manufacturer and customer. The Urbantoys v.2 project explores the possibilities of using the gallery space as a platform for participatory design where the authorship of a set of environments is distributed and shared with the visitors. The visitor/ consumer of the piece is at the same time potentially a producer and author of designs that might be sampled by other visitors, as well as manufactured and exhibited at a later event. The audience involved in the consumption of the piece is at the same time the performers of a creative act. Krets, as authors and producers of the installation, will on the other hand act as consumers of the visitors saved designs when they are manufactured and exhibited.

Servo was invited by IASPIS to participate in the Reshape! sideshow to the 50th Venice Biennale. Krets was commissioned by Servo to develop the Urbantoys v.2 responsive browser, a re-development of the Urbantoys v.1 browser (2000).

Urbantoys v.2
Project leader:
Ulrika Karlsson, Servo

Urbantoys v.2 Krets design team:
Daniel Norell and Jonas Runberger

Database design:
Oskar Scheiwiller More…

Progressive Practice in Architecture, 2002

Posted by on December 1, 2002

Article looking for definitions of progressice practice of architecture in commercial settings. Through the key concepts of Innovation, Critical approach and External Communication, the authors are investigating possible models for practice based research and development. Four different case studies provide a foundation for discussions on the performance of the proposal, the issue of survival and funding and the importance of new arenas for practice.

Based on a workshop led by Fredric Benesch and Jonas Runberger at the symposium Landscapes of Architectural Research 19-21 April 2002, in Ultuna.

Nordic Journal for Architectural Research no 4 2002
Co-authored with Fredric Benesch

Lattice Archipelogics [Servo], 2002

Posted by on November 25, 2002

Lattice Archipelogics is an installation designed by Servo where a partnership was formed with Smart Studio of the Interactive Insitute, Stockholm, to design the responsive aspects of the installation. Integrating digital design, fabrication, and interactive motion-audio-lighting technologies, Lattice Archipelogics addresses conditions of emergent behaviour at circulatory and conversational scales. The design was developed in 3d software, and a prototype was produced through Rapid Prototyping. This prototype was used to vacuum cast 102 modules, linked up to create the clouds of the Lattice Archipelogics. The smart studio designed the Responsive Field, the hardware / software components which sets up the interactive aspects of the installation.

the Responsive Field
The responsive field – designed by the smart studio – is a dynamic interactive audiovisual environment. Moving through the physical space will affect digital ” agents” which exist in a hybrid physical/immaterial world. The movement of the agents will be rendered using lights in the modules and a 3D sound installation.The algorithm for the installation originates from a model shared by processes as diverse as the formation of anthills, cities, river basins, or even learning: a morphogenetic process that is based in positive reinforcement or amplification and in equilibrium seeking feedback loops.The means by which these feedbacks mutually interact could be compared to the way sedimentation (positive feedback) and erosion (negative feedback) reciprocally affect each other in some geological formation processes.

project leader: Ulrika Karlsson
design team: Daniel Norell, Clare Olsen, Jonas Runberger

Smart Studio
project leader: Tobi Schneidler
Algorithmic development: Pablo Miranda
design team: Olof Bendt, Magnus Jonsson, Fredrik Petersson

Lattice Archipelogics was shown in the Latent Utopias exhibition in Graz 2002, the Non Standard Architecture exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris 2003 and the Glamour exhibition at San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art in 2004.