sg2012 Troy

Smartgeometry is pleased to announce that sg2012 will be at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, in upstate New York from 19-24 March 2012. The Workshop and conference will be a gathering of the global community of innovators and pioneers in the fields of architecture, design and engineering.

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Material Intensities

Imagine the design space of architecture was no longer at the scale of rooms, walls and atria, but that of cells, grains and vapour droplets. Rather than the flow of people, services, or construction schedules, the focus becomes the flow of light, vapour, molecular vibrations and growth schedules: design from the inside out.

The sg2012 challenge, Material Intensities, is intended to dissolve our notion of the built environment as inert constructions enclosing physically sealed spaces. Spaces and boundaries are abundant with vibration, fluctuating intensities, shifting gradients and flows. The materials that define them are in a continual state of becoming: a dance of energy and information.

Harnessing Material Potential

Material potential is defined by multiple properties: acoustical, chemical, electrical, environmental, magnetic, manufacturing, mechanical, optical, radiological, sensorial, and thermal.

The challenge for sg2012 Material Intensities is to consider material economy when creating environments, micro-climates and contexts congenial for social interaction, activities and organisation. How can multiple properties of the same material be harnessed? This challenge calls for design innovation and dialogue between disciplines and responsibilities.

Simulation, Energy, Environment

sg2010 Working Prototypes strove to emancipate digital design from the hard drive by moving from the virtual to the actual in wrestling with the tangible world of physical fabrication. sg2011 Building the Invisible focused on informing digital design with real world data.

sg2012 Material Intensities strives to energise our digital prototypes and infuse them with material behaviour. They gain the potential to become rich simulations informed by the material dynamics, chemical composition, energy flows, force fields and environmental conditions that feed back into the design process.



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School of Architecture

Center for Architectural Science and Ecology (CASE)

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)


platinum sponsors

Bentley offers comprehensive software solutions for the infrastructure lifecycle: from buildings to bridges, transit to utilities, clean energy to clean water, Bentley is Sustaining Infrastructure.


sg2012 would not be possible without an intense amount of work by a large number of individuals. The entire Smartgeometry Community contributes to the selection of host, challenge, clusters, and workshop participants. The list below represents a list of individuals who coordinated activities for sg2012:

host & review committee

Demetrios Comodromos   RPI, Method Design
Jefferson Ellinger   RPI, EYE Design
Christina Doumpioti   AA, RCA, Ocean Research Network
Jonathan Rabagliati   Foster + Partners
Hugo Mulder   Arup
Jane Burry   RMIT
Rob Woodbury   Simon Fraser University
Stig Anton Nielsen   2xMarsvik Arkitekter
Josh Mason   AEDAS
Ian Hamelin   RPI EMPAC
Bill Bergman   RPI School of Architecture

smartgeometry directors

Shane Burger   Woods Bagot
Xavier DeKestelier   Foster + Partners
Lars Hesselgren   PLP Architects
J Parrish   AECOM
Hugh Whitehead   Foster + Partners