Structure | Overview
The workshop is organized as design units led by pairs of tutors from the AA and NTUA. Each design unit approaches the shared brief of Cipher City from a distinctive set of design goals, computational tools and fabrication techniques, with the aim of offering new forms of experimental architectural knowledge, critical thinking, and design research. Technical tutorials run in parallel to design units to provide knowledge of the relevant computational tools. Participants attend technical tutorials in groups, sharing this knowledge with their team-mates in order to develop their ongoing design unit brief.
Design lectures are aimed at workshop participants and tutors. These lectures are public events that take place during evening sessions, whereby invited international and local architects/designers will be sharing their knowledge about relevant topics.
The AA Athens Visiting School is a seven day design workshop requiring full time participation.
Approach | Team Based Design / Learning by Experimentation
Participants will be asked to form themselves into design teams of 3 to 4 people during the first day of the workshop. The aim of team-based work is to extend the collaborative nature of the workshop both for the students and the tutors. The design units will lead the teams to pursue the goals of their specific briefs. After the workshop introduction and formation of the teams on the 1st day, each team will choose one of the design units and continue their work for the duration of the workshop.
The workshop is organized around the concept of experimentation, which involves the testing of non-precedent approaches, novel techniques and design thinking by analyzing existing design problems thoroughly, evaluating the outcomes of the analyses, and offering original interpretations for potential outcomes. The outcomes do not present themselves as ultimate answers to the design problems, but as part of an ongoing process of design experimentation.
Technique | Computation and Digital Fabrication
The workshop experiments thoroughly on the possibilities of digital design tools and rapid prototyping techniques as highly integrated systems of design development. Experimentation with digital tools and physical assembly techniques will be demonstrated through the continuity of the workflow between computational software and digital assembly procedures leading to physical fabrication. The range of software that will be implemented include mainly Processing, Arduino and Grasshopper.
Participants will have access to the NTUA workshop for the fabrication of prototypes/models in various mediums and materials involving CNC techniques, such as laser-cutting, milling, 3d-printing, and other forms of physical outputs.