sg2012 conference


Day 1 - Talkshop

After four intense days of innovative and collaborative work the sgTalkshop offers an opportunity for critical reflection on what has been accomplished in the workshop. The Talkshop is an opportunity to share perspectives, open debates, pose questions, challenge orthodoxies and propose new ideas in informal and open discussions between cluster participants, leading practitioners in various fields of expertise and emerging talents in digital design. The series of round table discussions ask why we are turning our attention right now to material intensities and what are the challenges and posibilities for intelligent material practices.

Session 1 | Shifting Attitudes asks whether we can dissolve our notion of the built environment as inert constructions enclosing physically sealed spaces. Instead see spaces and boundaries as abundant with vibration, fluctuating intensities, shifting gradients and flows? Is there the potential for us as design professionals to build a new way of relating to materials? Are we well placed to take advantage of recent breakthroughs in materials science and fabrication?

Branko Kolarevic - University of Calgary
Anna Dyson - CASE / RPI
Martin Tamke - CITA

Session 2 | Energy, Environments and Conflicts looks at material relationships and how these are crucial in understanding heat and other environmental flows. We ask how we can design intelligently in the face of material conflicts? Has knowledge been fragmented and lost into different specialisms? Do special 'new' materials offering immediate control of phenomena attend to real needs, or do they just allow designers to be less informed about environmental physics?

Sal Craig - Foster+Partners
Dru Crawley - Bentley Systems
Kiel Moe - M O E

Session 3 | A Matter of Scale asks if architects and design teams will one day gain mastery of all scales, designing buildings with materials they have designed from the bottom up with multiple levels of hierarchy? Could we even grow our materials? or progam its DNA? What are the barriers? What could be the benefits? What might we learn for biologists or other related industries? Will we find that shape and smart geometry has a greater role than we ever imagined?

Marie O'Mahony - OCAD University
Zbigniew Oksiuta - RPI
Peter Stark - CASE

Session 4 | Innovation in Practice How do the architects and engineers that are busy delivering built projects deal with the dynamics of shifting gradients? What scope is there for innovation that allows convincing theories to be applied in active building projects? How much receptiveness is there in the industry to the new understandings of materials and energy flows. How do we harvest and visualise data to be able to make visible these invisible gradients and flows?

Kasper Guldager Jørgensen - 3xN | GxN
Zoe Coombes - Cmmnwlth
Jan Knippers - Knippers Helbig

Day 2 - Symposium

Following this year's challenge, sg2012 Material Intensities: Simulation, Energy, Environment, invited keynote speakers showcased major projects exploring the range of ways materiality informs design. The conference was a unique opportunity to hear insights into the challenges ahead for the discipline.

Interwoven throughout the day were reports and highlights from each workshop cluster, giving those in attendance an opportunity to view work created during the previous four days of intensive design and development.



Enric Ruiz-Geli is an architect and visual artist, Director of Cloud- 9 Studio won the WAF Award for World's Best Building of the Year 2011 with Media-ICT, El Consorci Zona Franca 22@, Barcelona. Media –ICT is the product of Cloud-9's unique project-based research model for practice that has led to net 95% CO2 reduction through its novel structural and material systems.


Robert Hull is the Henry Burlage Professor and Head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, RPI. His research focuses upon new techniques for nanoscale assembly, fabrication and characterization using focused ion and electron beams, with particular emphasis on epitaxial semiconductor structures and applications to nanoelectronics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society & the Materials Research Society, & served as president of the Materials Research Society.


Manfred Grohmann has been a Professor for Structural Design at Kassel University since 1996, Guest Professor at the Städelschule, Frankfurt since 2000 and at the ESA – École d´Architecture, Paris since 2007 and has taught at Darmstadt Technical University. Prof. Grohmann and Prof. Bollinger founded Bollinger+Grohmann in 1983, and both combine teaching at architecture schools with their practice.


Perry Hall is a visual artist and musician. His paintings, video works, and installations have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the United States and Asia, with work as a painter and digital artist included in the Academy Award winning film sequences of the motion picture What Dreams May Come.


Evan Douglis is principal of Evan Douglis Studio LLC; an internationally renowned architecture and design firm. The firm's unique research into computer-aided digital design and fabrication technology as applied to a range of diverse gallery installations, product designs, commercial and residential projects and urban redevelopment schemes has elicited international acclaim. His book Autogenic Structures was published by Taylor & Francis. He is the Dean of the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.