Architectural Machines - report

Architectural Machines – report

Digital Futures 2020 – Computational Design Workshop

June 29-July 3 2020

Tutor: Alessio Erioli


What is the nature of architectural space instigated by computation and automation-driven processes? The workshop investigated assembly/growth processes through iterative algorithmic strategies, starting from elementary spatial building blocks treated as basic units of computation – able to store and compute data due to their topological and spatio-geometric qualities. Growing assemblies of these elementary, generic components, create assemblages/networks whose emergent properties and constraints at intermediate and global scale define novel computational entities and conditions, which in turn fold back with feedback implications on the design of both the component geometry/topology and their rules of engagement.

The algorithmic process started from the design of the basic components as computational building blocks (defining geometric/topological properties and connectivity protocols) as well as the information environment within which they interact. Growth is then regulated by heuristics (for positioning and compatibility check of components in the whole) that can be affected by intrinsic or environmental factors. As a result, coherent spatio-geometric assemblages and topological data networks emerged simultaneously during the growth process. Their organizational structure reveals their nature as computing devices that can store, process, and redistribute information, generating larger patterns and triggering feedback changes at the local level.

Projects & participants

Large Scale Space Station / Alberto Fernandez – Shermin Sherkat

Multiscalar Aggregation / Jan Pacit – Alexandre Atamian

Puzzle Valley / Wei Gai

(Radical) Delirious New York / Saurabh Prasadi – Andrea Cancian

Voids / Alya Rapoport – Nora Fankhauser


The platform used for the workshop was Rhino+Grasshopper+a set of custom C# components that will be soon distributed as Open-Source plugin.

The workshop was broadcast live and the sessions are now available to watch on YouTube: