sg2013 London

Smartgeometry is pleased to announce that sg2013 will be at The Bartlett / UCL, London, UK from 15-20 April 2013. The Workshop and Conference will be a gathering of the global community of innovators and pioneers in the fields of architecture, design and engineering. The event will be in two parts, a four day Workshop 15-18 April, and a public conference beginning with Talkshop 19 April, followed by a Symposium 20 April. The event follows the format of the highly successful preceding events sg2010 Barcelona, sg2011 Copenhagen, and sg2012 Troy.


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Constructing for Uncertainty

Design and construction, increasingly more information-centric, must also address issues of computational ambiguity. We are limited by the fact that only a subset of the relevant factors in design can be represented in standard CAD systems. As users, we must drive computational systems to assume new roles and subsume more domains to meet the needs before us. We must consider issues of time and permanence within a cultural and technological landscape of constant change - our most grand gestures will define our environment physically, culturally and economically for generations. As designers, we must deal with realities and future uncertainties of context, material and immaterial, and their manifestations in scale from spaces to buildings to cities.

In designing for the built environment, sg2013 will exploit digital technologies to help us move beyond traditional dichotomies and find new paths. How can we explore computational techniques such as optimization beyond the limits of quantifiable phenomenon to the qualities of an uncertain future? What is the role of efficiency in a dynamic environment? How will we resolve the gaps between the certainty of digitally calibrated fabrication and the roughness of existing conditions, construction tolerances, and the uncertainty of future occupant behavior?

Where historic responses to uncertainty constructed a simplistic environment with basic mechanisms for aggregation and subdivision, we augment these with smart, dynamic and interactive systems. Where modeling capacity has been limited, we now take advantage of vast amounts of data collected by sensing and scanning devices, processed by cluster or grid computing, filtered by machine learning algorithms into patterns, and communicated by ubiquitous devices. Our past data trajectories can guide us in discovering robust and tolerant design systems to meet the demands of a malleable present and uncertain future.

sg2010 Working Prototypes emancipated digital design from the hard drive, moving from the virtual to the actual, and wrestled with the tangible world of physical fabrication.

sg2011 Building the Invisible worked to inform digital design by engaging with real world data.

sg2012 Material Intensities energized our digital prototypes by infusing them with material behaviour.

sg2013 Constructing for Uncertainty: transition computational design from the hard space of the ideal to the soft reality of an uncertain built environment.


The Bartlett, UCL

Our host for sg2013 is The Bartlett / UCL in London, UK.The Bartlett is a world-leading multidisciplinary education and research institution for the built environment. Eight sections cover the full spectrum of built environment domains, including architecture, complex built environment systems, construction and project management, development planning, energy, town planning, space and spatial analysis, and sustainable resources.


platinum sponsor

Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. We offer solutions for the infrastructure lifecycle: from buildings to bridges, transit to utilities, clean energy to clean water. Bentley Systems applies information mobility to improve asset performance by leveraging information modeling through integrated projects for intelligent infrastructure. 


sg2013 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. This list represents a collection of individuals who are leading coordination activities for sg2013.

review & planning committee

Ruairi Glynn   The Bartlett
Christina Doumpioti   AA, RCA, Ocean Research Network
Jane Burry   RMIT University
Stig Anton Nielsen   Chalmers Institute of Architecture
Sam Wilkinson   UCL, PLP Architects, Bentley
Ralf Lindemann   Ian Simpson Architects
Seth Edwards   Grimshaw Architects
Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo  ParametricCamp
Peter Feldmann   OMA
Rob Woodbury   Simon Fraser University
Volker Mueller   Bentley Systems
Makai Smith   Bentley Systems

smartgeometry directors

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