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Bartlett International Lecture Series - Achim Menges

18:30 - 20:00 31 October 2012

Location: Christopher Ingold Auditorium, UCL Chemistry Building, 20 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AJ

Bartlett International Lecture Series - Achim Menges

Material Computation

Computation, in its most basic meaning, refers to the processing of information. In this way, both machinic processes operating in the binary realm of the digital, as well as material processes operating in the complex domain of the physical can be considered computational. While there is a strong bias towards the former in contemporary design, sporadic investigations of the later have also occurred in architecture. What is more rarely explored, though, is the territory where machine computation and material computation potentially overlap, where they not simply co-exist but intensely interact in the design process.

The lecture will introduce Achim Menges’ work on computational design approaches that unfold morphological complexity and performative capacity without differentiating between form generation and materialisation processes.  His design research, conducted at the Architectural Association, at Harvard University and at his new institute at Stuttgart University over the last ten years, will be presented along a series of constructed prototype buildings.


Achim Menges, born 1975, is an architect and professor at Stuttgart University where he is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design. In addition he has been Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He graduated from the AA School of Architecture in London where he subsequently taught as Studio Master of the Emergent Technologies and Design Graduate Program from 2002 to 2009 and as Unit Master of Diploma Unit 4 from 2003 to 2006.

Achim Menges practice and research focuses on the development of integral design processes at the intersection of morphogenetic design computation, biomimetic engineering and computer aided manufacturing that enables a highly articulated, performative built environment. His work is based on an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with structural engineers, computer scientists, material scientists and biologists. His projects and design research has received many international awards, has been published and exhibited worldwide, and form parts of numerous international museum collections.


Image caption: Achim Menges, ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart