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AADRL 2009-2010
(Architectural Association)

Manuel Jimenez (Spain) -
Roberto Garcia (Spain) -
Stella Dourtme (Greece) -
Claudia Ernst (Germany) -

Tutor: Theodore Spyropoulos

Course Tutor: Shajay Bhooshan
Technical Tutor: Mustafa El Sayed

Knut Brunier
Aaron Silver
Apostolos Despotidis
Gilles Retsin
Johanna Huang
Jose Cadilhe
Marzieh Birjandian
Michail Desyllas
Rodrigo Chain
Salih Topal
Sophia Tang


The concept of material self-organization or ‘material agency’ has been discussed in modern science and philosophy in the context of non-linear evolutionary theories. Deleuze and Guattari argue that there are inherent morphogenetic capacities in all areas of life. They are challenging Aristoteles’ hylomorphic model claiming that Matter is active and dynamic, possessing self-organizing capacities enabling it to negotiate complex organizational patterns and continuously evolve through the interaction of its internal morphogenetic potentials and external environmental forces.

What is the significance of digital materiality in the design process? We explore this question trying to integrate the setup of both the material and the digital system informing each other, thus creating a ‘circular causality’ between analogue and digital experimentation.
Based on the study of cast plaster in fabric formwork our project investigates a system of formation and spatial configuration informed by material behavior. From the analogue experimentation we derive a set of parameters, such as patterning and connections, to set out a digital model of our material system. The digital simulation enables us to evaluate and refine the structural performance, material distribution and fabrication.
The system is deployed in a network of differentiated spatial organization enabling it to respond to specific programmatic and environmental conditions.
Our aim constitutes the development of a digitally controlled design and fabrication process that introduces the notion of a time-based deployment to a phase changing material that is iteratively evaluated and re-cast.


The Design Research Laboratory at the Architectural Association is a 16-month post-professional design programme leading to a Masters in Architecture and Urbanism (MArch in Architecture & Urbanism) degree. For over a decade the DRL has been organised as an open-source design studio dedicated to a systematic exploration of new design tools, systems and discourses, targeted towards design innovations in architecture and urbanism. Learning in the studio is project-based and includes the development of comprehensive, year-long design projects supported by design workshops and seminars applying new forms of associative logic. Collective design teams, organised within five parallel design studios, address an overall design research agenda through shared information-based diagrams, data, models and scripts.


About the Author

Manuel Jimenez Garcia
jgmanuel London
Manuel Jimenez Garcia is currently Course Tutor at Architectural Association Design Research Lab and Unit Master of MArch Unit 18 at The Bartlett-UCL. He has taught and run workshops internationally. He holds a masters in Architecture (AADRL) and has worked at offices such as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Minimaforms, Amid(cero9) and Naja & deOstos. He is the co-founder of madMdesign, an architecture practice based in London. His work has been featured widely in ‘Acadia 2012‘, ‘Royal Academy Summer Exhibition‘ or ‘X Bienal Española de Arquitectura’.

Publish Date  March 28, 2012

Dimensions  Standard Portrait  206 pgs Premium Paper, lustre finish

Category  Architecture

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