Digital Technology in Architecture



Based on architectural design, digital technology focuses on design researches by means of computer science, including design generation, analysis, evaluation and fabrication.

The spatial dimension of architectural design and research expands in urban areas and the time dimension extends into the overall life-cycle of building, along with the constant increase of concerned scientific disciplines and fields. Under this circumstance, it is necessary to unfold research by relying on the simulation and representation of digitalized tools.



Design methods and techniques based on data processing are the core contents of research. The function, structure, form and environment of architecture will all be turned into data. The acquisition, management and processing of data are the basis of design. The research also pays attention to the application of various kinds of algorithms, including genetic algorithm, cellular automata, and multi-agent system, as important tools for research and design.

On the basis of data and algorithms, we attempt to deal with problems and challenges in different scales ranging from architecture to cities. Under such a general framework, our research is chiefly divided into four different directions: computational design, performance-based design, digital fabrication and spatial analysis, involving many strata of analysis, strategy, generation and fabrication.



Computational Design





--Design researches based on rules and algorithms

The researches focus on the acquisition of rules and algorithms application in the process of design in combination with the set-up of parametric variation to generate more interesting and reasonable design results. In this process, the building function, form and structure can all be the objectives for acquiring rules. As compared with the form itself, we pay more attention to the scientific meaning of potential rules and algorithms. The research includes geometric rule-based generation, parametric generation and design algorithms of spatial structures (reciprocal frame, tensegrity, gridshell).



Performance-based Design





--Technique and method researches on improving building performances through architectural design

Combining simulation software of illumination, ventilation and energy consumption as well as complex scientific theories of genetic algorithm, cellular automata and multi-agent system, the researches attempt to establish systematic design theories and approaches to improve buildings’ physical performances. The topics include integrated design technology, performance-based generative design, and correlation between urban form and microclimate.



Digital Fabrication



随着机器人和三维打印等新型数控设备的发展,数字建筑的建造模式正在转变。研究一方面探讨常见技术下复杂建筑的建造问题,另一方面也强调新的建造技术对设计方法的推动作用。研究包括曲面重构(surface reconstruction)方法和技术、高技与低技(high tech and low tech)条件下的复杂形态建造(construction of complicated form)、数字加工与建造(digital fabrication and construction)、三维打印(3d printing)技术的应用等。


--Researches on the fabrication of digital architecture

With the development of such new computerized numerical control machine as robot and 3d printing, the way of construction is in change. The researches, on the one hand, endeavor to explore problems of fabricating complex building forms with common technology. On the other hand, it focuses on new fabrication technology in promoting design methods. The research topics include methods and techniques of surface reconstruction, construction of complicated forms under high-tech and low-tech conditions, digital fabrication and construction, as well as 3D printing.



Spatial Analysis and Modeling





--Researches focusing on digitalized analysis, modeling and simulation in city scale

The spatial data of the city are huge and complex. With GIS as the basic platform of representation for space-time data, and with technological means of space analysis such as modeling, management and visualization of ‘big data’ and application of algorithms, the researches analyze and study urban spaces on a variety of scales, from building, urban block, to city. From it the potential information is extracted in order to solve the complicated problems facing urban development.