- Head of program
- Prof. Kas Oosterhuis
- Research Manager
- Dr. Nimish Biloria
- n.m.biloria AA tudelft DDD nl
Engineering an innovative architectural future
hyperBODY is a contemporary information technology driven research and design department, directed by Prof. Kas Oosterhuis at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology. The group is at the forefront of developing novel, alternative forms of engineered architectural, interactive and urban scapes owing to its analytical computationally driven approach towards understanding interdependent, networked and interconnected parameters constituting contemporary social and spatial reality. hyperBODY, during the course of such design-research program inculcates exploration of inter-disciplinary spatial domains via specific industrial and academia-based collaborations and by developing in-house cutting-edge tools, techniques and methods for realizing complex nonstandard, digitally driven architectures. Digital manufacturing using in-house CNC milling (computer numerically controlled), laser cutting and 3d printing (rapid prototyping) facilities in order to physically construct, analyze and at times reverse engineer innovative designed entities is an integral part of the research program. hyperBODY’s vision in today’s dynamic information rich context is specifically geared towards developing strategic design methodologies via computation and interaction design tools and techniques to produce socially, environmentally and economically performative design solutions and to demonstrate their buildability by developing 1:1 prototypes.
hyperBODY, owing to this critical vision which requires an inter-disciplinary outlook, in the year 2009, embarked upon conducting cutting edge collaborative research with the chairs of Design Informatics, Structural Design, Structural Mechanics, Construction Integration and Coordination and the Structural Design Lab. A Collaborative research agenda was hence put forth in a comprehensive manner to form the Computation and Performance group. The collaboratively developed aims of the Computation and Performance research program is to improve the performance of buildings by using computational methods for model generation and analysis, decision-making and design communication. Performance in this context refers to technical performance as well as qualitative performance (physical and psychological). The activities of the research program are led to answer the following four research questions:
a) How do we measure the performance of buildings or their parts?
b) How do we leverage understanding of performance in the design process?
c) How do we improve the collaborative and interdisciplinary design process?
d) How do we rethink the relation between functions, architectural form and performance holistically?
Mission and research areas
hyperBODY’s achievements through its inception (over the past ten years) in the areas of monstandard and Interactive architecture, in line with the collaboratively set agenda of the Computation and Performance Group lead to the following areas of focused research spread through areas of Architecture, Interior and Urban Design beginning 2010:
· Context aware adaptive architecture (performance driven interactive architecture) which focuses on structural, ambient and information based real-time adaptation of architectural and interior spaces specifically responding to environmental and human parameters for the production of optimal comfort levels, multiple-usability of space and energy efficient spatial outcomes thus focusing on issues of well-being.
· ICT driven Collaborative design and Engineering (multi-stake holder based serious gaming environments > protoSPACE) which focuses on providing a real-time interactive platform for real-time engineering and design based decision making by specialists from different disciplines using a robust ICT backbone. This will result in efficient use of time, resources and a knowledge oriented informed project development from the conceptual to a detailed building phase thus providing a sustainable design development process while reducing the carbon footprint per project.
· BIM (for complex geometry and dynamic environments) which focuses on developing an advanced platform for innovative geometry based buildings where the distinctions between conventional floor, wall, ceiling set-up is dissolved into fluid spatial forms. The BIM system will also address the complexity involved in a performance driven adaptive architectural and interior space which requires real-time updating of its building information for achieving structural as well as environmental stability. A precision driven monitoring and informing system, which aids in real-time maintenance of structural, ambient and informational logistics of a building through its life span is thus researched under this domain.
· Multi-performative associative design (synthesizing material systems, parametric design and environmental simulations) which focuses on computational techniques driven environmental data retrieval, storage and usage for deploying self organizing programmatic scenarios for sustainable architectural and urban design purposes. The synthesis of material systems based affordances, associative modelling and evolutionary computing based techniques are thus researched under this domain for achieving generative design solutions.
· Digital manufacturing (1:1 fabrication, waste and error reduction for an economically feasible sustainable future) which focuses on fabrication and assembly of researched design outputs using our in-house CNC and Laser cutting machines. Prototyping conceptual research driven design ideas and analyzing them for spatial quality, structural stability as well as environmental performance as a prelude to 1:1 fabrication is an inherent part of this domain.
These research activities while specifically dealing with points a, b, c and d of the above mentioned agenda of the Computation and Performance group, focus on the built environment with an emphasis on the disciplines of Architecture, Fabrication, Technological Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Information and Communication technologies including data storage, visualization and application. These areas of research are also fundamentally linked with the four research agendas of Energy, Health, Infrastructure and Environment set forth by the Delft University of Technology, thus providing a favourable balance between societal issues, space planning and technological innovation from a design perspective.
hyperBODY, in its quest to attain constructive research output in the aforementioned research areas will focus on a twofold strategy combining Fundamental research (PhD initiatives) together with Applied research (industry centred initiatives), thus providing a platform for merging Praxis and Academia in a productive manner. Analytical frameworks for the research outputs will be collaboratively developed with the partnering departments within the Computation and Performance group as well as will involve hard-sciences based departments within the Delft University of Technology as well as industrial sectors.
The research agenda of hyperBODY shall thus answer the following challenges put forth by the Computation and Performance group:
· Challenge 1: To define building performance and quality, and to develop the computational means to assess in design the many various aspects that constitute them, taking into account cultural as well as technical (i.e. psychological as well as physical) requirements, and also the points of view of different stakeholders in the design, construction and operation of the building.
· Challenge 2: To apply the understanding of performance and quality to the computational design process so as to plan, construct and operate buildings whose reality meets or exceeds the aspirations that motivated their production.
· Challenge 3: To develop design, communication and decision-making practices, and their computational support, which enable stakeholders to effectively apply the understanding of building performance and quality in an informed and balanced way so as to achieve mutually acceptable outcomes.
· Challenge 4: To continually re-examine the relations between performance/quality, function, materials, systems, society, and architectural form within an investigation of computationally enhanced holistic design strategies, so as to remain alert to and explore opportunities for (positive) change in the man-made environment, including those beyond the limits of physically building.
hyperBODY, in order to effectively extend and collaborate in its research initiatives, developed protoSPACE, a vehicle for trans-disciplinary research, education, research and design. In this research laboratory for real-time collaborative design and engineering, hyperBODY extends its research possibilities for multidisciplinary architectural and urban design in a digitally-driven environment, incorporating human-computer interaction modalities for intuitive control of the system.
hyperBODY’s research program thus critically deals with orchestrating relational linkages between the informational and the material domains in an iterative manner to develop an interconnected loop between design activity and the product in real-time. This emergent condition can be termed as ‘Immediate’, a condition where conventional phased cyclic design processes are surpassed in order to envision a performative network of simultaneous operations of design, fabrication, construction and usage.