Aktuell 1 Gast online
Letztes Update:
Montag, 29. März 2021 15:35
Home arrow Forschung arrow Intricate Correlations
Samstag, 17. April 2021 03:16
Obergurgl Symposium: Intricate Correlations
Symposium Obergurgl Drucken E-Mail



institut für experimentelle architektur.hochbau
universität innsbruck

technikerstrasse 13, A6020 innsbruck

t +43/512-507-6781   f +43/512-507-2913   e Diese E-Mail Adresse ist gegen Spam Bots geschützt, Sie müssen Javascript aktivieren, damit Sie es sehen können



Intricate Correlations - Intensification of Relations

Workshops and Symposium On Digital Design Processes in Obergurgl / Tirol


Conducted by Prof. Patrik Schumacher the institute for experimental architecture.hochbau at Innsbruck University/Austria has set its focus on script based and parametric design research within the last years, aiming to explore new design methods in order to advance the field of contemporary digital architectural design. During this time, various new approaches to digital design were developed, iteratively tested, improved and applied in different architectural scales, the urban scale, the building scale and the ergonomic scale. Research was carried out parallel to and coordinated accordingly by Patrik Schumacher at Design Research Laboratory (DRL, Architectural Association London), and at Studio Hadid (University of Applied Arts Vienna).


Assuming that the Intensification of Relations has for quite some time become a crucial topic in contemporary architecture, independently from specific design strategies or certain ideologies, the focus of research shall shift on intricate, meaningful correlations within systems and sub-systems (internal integration) and the implications of proto-designs within their environmental conditions (external adaption).


[...] an architectural designer's task is no longer to craft individual buildings in response to unique sites and briefs, the agenda's focus has been shifted on the design of inherently adaptive, parametric proto-types that intelligently vary general topological schemata across a wide range of parametrically specifiable [programmatic and] site conditions [...]. These proto-designs shall bare the potential to be compared to the small number of fundamental body plans that underlie the inexhaustibly variegated manifold of species that evolve – each within a complementary environmental niche – on the basis of primary body plans. Proto-designs are conceived in advance of any specific [external] information.

(from Studio Project Brief at DRL 2009/2010 by Patrik Schumacher and Christos Passas)


institute for experimental architecture.hochbau therefore invite experts in the field, innovative companies and groups of students to come to the Innsbruck University Centre in Obergurgl/Tirol to take part in a 3 day session of intensive workshops and discussions to further investigate the potential of this quite openly layed out topic.

The foundations for the formation of an 'Innovation and Competence Cluster' shall be discussed extensively, aiming to establish a framework for future collaborations and exchange of know how between experts/academics, producers/builders and student teams from various universities to utilise the existing creative potential,  work 'hands on' and experiment thoroughly with digital design tools and production technologies.



institut for experimental architecture.hochbau; Innsbruck University/Austria

Prof. Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects)

Michael Budig, Ursula Frick, Thomas Grabner, Georg Grasser, Thomas Hillebrand, Markus Malin, Paul Mandler, Valentine Troi, Bernhard Wolf

supported by Heike Bablick, Ursula Ender, Erich Gutmorgeth, Daniel Luckeneder, Teresa Stillebacher and K.Heinz Machat (heiKE/NZ)




Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects)

Tobias Wallisser (LAVA, Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design)

Hanif M Kara (akt Adam Kara Taylor, London)

Lawrence Friesen (Bureau Happold, London)

Wolfgang Rieder (fibreC Company, Rieder Beton)

Gernot Riether (Georgia Instititute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA)

Claudia Pasquero (Ecologic Studio, London)

Mario Gasser (Studio Hadid, University of Applied Arts, die angewandte)

Wolfgang Löschnig (TU Graz)


Critics (Workshops / Parallel Sessions / Panel Discussions):

Ursula Frick, Thomas Grabner, Georg Grasser, Thomas Hillebrand, Markus Malin, Paul Mandler, Valentine Troi, Bernhard Wolf;
institut for experimental architecture.hochbau; Innsbruck University, Austria

Michael Budig, institut for experimental architecture.hochbau; Innsbruck University, Austria; and Studio Hadid, University of Applied Arts (die angewandte); Vienna, Austria

Mario Gasser, Studio Hadid, University of Applied Arts (die angewandte); Vienna, Austria

Lucas Reames and Michael E Idoine; Gehry Technologies and STUDIO G5, LA, USA

Shih-Yuan Wang; Feng Chia University, Taiwan

Martin Schroth; Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, Germany

Wolfgang Löschnig; Technische Universität Graz, Austria

Jan Willmann; Architekturtheorie; Innsbruck University, Austria

Markus Brück; Fa. Rieder / fibreC, Kolbermoor, Germany

Kathrin Wiertelarz, Universität Kassel, Germany


Participating Universities:

institut for experimental architecture.hochbau; Innsbruck University/Austria

University of Applied Arts (die angewandte); Vienna/Austria

Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design; Germany

Universität Kassel; Germany

Feng Chia University, Taiwan

Georgia Instititute of Technology, Atlanta, GA/USA



4 student/university teams

4 experts

4 companies

4 sub-topics*



Investigation of intricate correlations between systems and sub-systems and concentration on the architect's/designer's tasks of establishing well elaborated and highly adaptable schemes will be the focus of this session.

The generative potential and meaningful internal logics will be the focus of attention; Processing will be used as primary software tool.



More advanced schemes shall be explored in this session in order to develop concepts of associating proto-designs with specific site parameters and embedding them within multiple external conditions.

Soft Skins workshop [...] will investigate the use of associative modelling to support the conception of an architectural facade as the evolving product of multiple interacting urban systems and forces.
Environmental fields, social potentials and material performances will feed the model and define a “soft-skin” envelope. The term “soft” indicates the focus on design informed by data in real-time as well as by the nature of fabrics, fibres, tiles or embedded with biologically-active or vegetated components.
Experiments in data feeding will be based on a new design interface developed by ecoLogicStudio which allows to directly link the Grasshopper model with a web based platform called PACHUBE and to the so called “internet of things”.
The Skin will be developed as a site specific project and directly prototyped, at an appropriate scale, via laser cutting or CNC facilities.

(from Workshop Brief by ecoLogicStudio, www.ecologicstudio.com)



This session explores similar topics as session 2 Proto-Design / External Adaption. However concepts shall be taken into a more technical direction and be supervised by engineering experts, evaluating the integration of current energy design and engineering tools within the design process. Autodesk Ecotect Analysis and McNeel's Grasshopper will be used to develop environmental design solutions to respond to external environmental influences.

Data feeding from Grasshopper to Ecotect is based on an interface developed by [uto] which offers a direct link between Rhino/Grasshopper models and the sustainable design analysis software Ecotect; to improve performance and the design of a building in the context of its environment.

Students can download Ecotect and any other Autodesk Software at http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=home


The fourth session will look at relations between design and production processes. Assuming that the level of craftsmanship within alpine/middle European regions has a long tradition and reflects high quality, innovative building and production companies will support the exploration of possibilities within direct design to production processes.

Gehry Technolgies' DigitalProject will be used to create a detailed parametric entity, with a focus on how fabrication and assembly of different materials (wood, metal and concrete) affect the design process.  A series of models and drawings will be produced, including  a 1:1 model of an import structural joint/detail. The workshop will explore the fabrication process, through the use of a wood joinery machine as well as the use of other rapid prototyping machines and laser cutters. Engineers and Technicians from cooperating companies will assist this workshop group.


* The goal of these workshops and discussion panels is bringing together at least 4 student / university teams with 4 experts within the fields of parametric design / engineering and 4 innovative companies. 4 sub-topics suggest frameworks for topics that accompany the sessions (during the day) and lectures / panel discussions (in the evenings).



Participants / project teams are expected to bring projects from their design classes that will be the base for individual investigations within the workshops' frameworks. Therefore they are asked to prepare one DinA3 poster (landscape) per project that describes the project, it's underlying design principals along a short description of the expected investigations.
Documents shall be submitted by June 4th; an adress will be published on the Symposium's website.



7th – 9th June 2010

institute for experimental architecture.hochbau, Innsbruck University

Technikerstrasse 13, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

47°15'50.71"N 11°20'43.45"E

10am Pre-Workshop Sessions; preparation of resources, posters ... (internal event at Innsbruck University)

 6pm End

10th – 13th June 2010

Universitätszentrum Obergurgl

Gaisbergweg 5 , A-6456 Obergurgl, Austria

46°52'0.95"N 11° 1'29.26"E


10th June 2010

10am Arrival

                         Presentation of participants and program
11am Workshop Sessions
1pm Lunch Break
2pm Workshop Sessions
6pm Break/Dinner
8pm Expert Lectures

                        Panel Discussions

11th June 2010
10am Workshop Sessions
1pm Lunch Break
2pm Workshop Sessions
6pm Break/Dinner
8pm Expert Lectures

                        Panel Discussions

12th June 2010
10am Workshop Sessions
1pm Lunch Break
2pm Workshop Finals
5.30pm Workshop Presentations
7pm Break/Dinner
8pm Lectures

                        Discussions of the results with all participants

13th June 2010
10am Departure

Incentive Paper by Jan Willmann Drucken E-Mail

Incentive Paper for the Workshop and Symposium on Digital Design Processes in Obergurl/Tyrol

Intricate Correlations.

Intensification of Relations.

"Whenever production conditions for architecture change, architecture also changes!" It was not just anybody who proclaimed this in the 1950s: these are the words of Konrad Wachsmann, highly reputed architect and pioneer of industrial production technique. The attitude of Wachsmann to architecture is ambivalent. He not only reflects on architecture itself but on the particular production conditions of the discipline. It is precisely here, where a contradictory nature and dynamic principle returns on the cusp of the change from mechanical to the digital age in our days. Hence, at the bottom of new production conditions of today's architecture and its wide implications lies with Wachsmann the driving force of the architectural discipline, as once the modernist transition from craftwork to machinery and mass production has brought to the fore.

Indeed, the question of conditions of architecture has today returned- in an almost scandalously freshly and reckless form. This becomes obvious not just in the superficial appearance of advertising, fashion or product design, but also in computer-generated architectural design processes and the virtual world of screens and media facades. At that point, a fundamental involvement within the architectural discipline emerges that not just reflects on virtual and superficial conditions but strives for a material reality entirely in keeping with Jean Baudrillard's simulacra. It is precisely here where the transition from the mechanical to the digital age questions the foundations of architecture. This is the point where architecture hones its conceptual orientation and adapts to the changing cultural force field as central questions of the period's architectural design come to surface.

From the middle of the 19th century it was the transition from the traditional materials to steel, glass and machine production that stirred the debate over architecture. One point came into focus that up to that point was rarely been put in mind: the close relation between architecture and the specific conditions of materials and their structural emergence. This is when Gottfried Semper came into discussion with his book Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts of Practical Aesthetics (1860/63). Exchanging ideas with the natural sciences he developed a rather "parametric" idea of material change and continuity. This not only emphasized on questions of style and culture but also put the phenomena of complexity, self-organisation and non-linearity in the focus of architecture. Semper added on this in his theory of metabolism. Here he argues that the intrinsic nature and material forms of architecture cannot be simply invented, but in them appears the relation between the built form and the history of its emergence. Semper particularly drew on the Greek temple. According to Semper, the elements of the stone temple recall construction features of the wooden temple. Thus, in the transition from one material to another the ancient stone temple represents his structural history and the prevailing cultural influences. This particularly becomes evident when Semper tried to show something that was rather impossible to theorize on: the "alchemistic morphology" between natural materialism and the processes of immateriality, between fluid correlations and differentiated structure. Today too, through parametric design processes and linked material construction procedures, Semper's metabolism becomes reconceptualized as a becoming of Gestalt, the information of matter.

Indeed, we are concerned with a variety of manifestations of a fundamental change in the digital age of architecture. However, one point is certain: the new parametric and computer-generated designs are no longer restricted to superficial appearance and perceptive modes. Through new developments such as algorithmic design, mass customisation and scripting technique, digital architecture has begun to detach from paper, of the media facades and electronic screens. Today, digital architecture strives for materials and structures. This is to be found in the work of the institute for experimental architecture.hochbau (Prof. Patrik Schumacher) and its application of parametric design techniques that focus on a fundamental and programmatic correlation between different systems and subsystems. With such an "intensification of relations" or what Gilles Deleuze has termed as "internal and external logic" the architectural borders between the program, surface and structure begin to dissolve. Interestingly enough, parametric design techniques used and examined by institute for experimental architecture.hochbau do not in fact begin with unilateral strategies or ideological emphasis, but with so to speak performative and general patterns of parametric design ("proto-design") and its materialistic implications; although the institute's architectural results focus on specific environments and particular architectural agendas, they have much in common with Semper's "alchemistic morphology". Here, under the influence of digital processes, material, structure and program enter as "adequate culture of design" (Antoine Picon) into a new and future-orientated interrelation that is now to be further discussed within an interdisciplinary approach.

Exactly in this regard the workshop Intricate Correlations - Intensification of Relations of the institute for experimental architecture.hochbau is to address the dynamic force of such a fundamental change in architecture. Against this background parametric design is separating from the surface where the tectonic structure is a result of the "algorithmic logic" of the computer (Neil Leach). It then is questionable whether or not the abstract logic of the computer itself becomes obvious in the specific forms of parametric design. This implicates that here architecture becomes the primary expression of advanced digital media. But quite the contrary, it is not said that specific, human and individual factors of influence are obsolete. This is evident in the computer-generated design procedures of the institute for experimental architecture.hochbau where the design is still influenced by individual and physical intentions. It can be further stressed that the algorithmic logic of parametric design particularly reflects a genuine form of design and thusly integrates ephemeral, programmatic and contextual elements of influence. In the institute's case certain criteria of the alpine region find also consideration, as aspects of the contextual landscape and individual influences become important for the digital habitat. Thus it is by no means the case that the hand of the designer and materialist thinking – a tradition that is particular for Tyrol's built environment and nowadays becomes catalysed through the technologisation of the region's timber work industry – has been switched off: mediated by new digital designs and technological approaches such as ecoLogicStudio (AA London) or Softspace (Sean Lally und Jessica Young) the human beings are entering into a new relationship with the environment and with themselves.

The workshop's central question of intricate correlations and with that, an intensification of relations represents a first thesis, it not only addresses technological implications but also a rather crucial programmatic side - largely expressed by cultural, ephemeral and environmental factors (i.e. the alpine region). So, quite insistently the question arises: How do specific factors of correlation manifest in parametric design? If so, what exactly are innovative criteria? How can an exceptionally individual potential be described by means of a keyword like "intensification"? Or would it be more appropriate to name it correlative design right from the start in the face of such a premise? More than that, how can the specific parametric design of the workshop be distinguished from previous approaches, what are possible affinities and continuities at the same time? What or where is the area of conflict between a specific program and context and a universal algorithmic design process?

Especially this perspective points out that, according to a second thesis, nowadays the question of material and production conditions is becoming more important than ever within computational design - a "structural turn" (Neil Leach) as an elementary change which will be discussed and examined in the workshop. More interesting, the latin verb "computare" means the general function to bring several things into correlation. Accordingly, the intensification of the reciprocity of different systems would already be implied within the term "computational design". This redirects the attention from a idealistic and particular design process to a general and comprehensive providing of technical, structural and material data, from design process to production. Consequently, this would mean that with this workshop, parametric design and its associated reciprocity contemporary architecture has to sharpen its focus and at the same time its theoretical concept, quasi with recourse to Konrad Wachsmann and Gottfried Semper. Opinions diverge when it comes to computational design, but less in the sense of aesthetics that the central formative potentials of an age crystallize on it.

The workshop, according to a third thesis, is where a program will be discussed that acknowledges in parametric design a growing field of study, not only in the realm of architecture but in various fields of computational engineering and manufacturing. This is anticipated in the workshop with its focus on "proto-design". Accordingly, general solutions will be discussed not only enabling a wide range of different design parameters but also to integrate most different and various material and structural requirements as well as the specific knowledge of experts and engineers by a systematic mindset. While Wachsmann considered the separation of the design process from the manufacturing and realization process the pivotal criteria of industrial prefabrication, Neil Leach shows on the contrary that today, within the realm of parametric design the separation of cognitive processes and material logics is obsolete and results in a formative turn in architectural design. By means of "proto-design" the workshop is therefore to study a new correlation between design and manufacturing - as a driving force not only for the intensification of correlative design parameters but also for the intensification of interdisciplinary interaction. This is worth examining.

Stuttgart/Innsbruck, 6 June 2010, Jan Willmann (Chair for Architectural Theory )

Pressetext DE Drucken E-Mail
Intricate Correlations - komplexe Beziehungsgeflechte

Dreieinhalb Tage lang entwerfen, programmieren und Modelle bauen - dazu ein dichtes Vortragsprogramm, lebhafte Diskussionen und intensiver Gedankenaustausch:
Die Konferenz "Intricate Correlations" brachte Experten, Studierende von internationalen Universitäten und Kooperationspartner aus innovativen Unternehmen ans Universitätszentrum Obergurgl.

Im Zentrum stand der Architekturentwurf unter Verwendung neuester Softwarepakete, die es ermöglichen, komplexe Zusammenhänge zu integrieren. Dabei entstehen von spezifischen Einflußgrößen abhängige Modelle ("Proto-Architekturen"). Diese können am Rechner über Parameter gesteuert, entwickelt und beurteilt werden.

Besonderes Augenmerk wird dabei auf die Energieoptimierung von Gebäuden und Gebäudehüllen gelegt. Der nachhaltige und ökonomische Umgang mit Material in der Herstellung geometrisch komplexer Bauteile ist ein weiteres Ziel.

Stars der internationalen Architekturszene wie Patrik Schumacher von Zaha Hadid Architects (Nordkettenbahn Innsbruck, Opernhaus Guangzhou - China) und Tobias Walliser (Mercedes-Museum Stuttgart) analysierten gegenwärtige und zukünftige Entwicklungen. Als Gesprächspartner saßen ihnen ebenso renommierte Konstrukteure gegenüber: Harvard-Lehrer Hanif M. Kara (akt consulting and structural engineers, Britischer Expo-Pavillon 2010) und Lawrence Friesen vom Design Research Laboratory (DRL) an der Architektenschmiede AA in London. Ihre spannenden Kommentare und Berichte aus der Praxis wurden von den aus Italien, Deutschland, den USA, Taiwan und natürlich Innsbruck angereisten Teilnehmern mit größtem Interesse aufgenommen.

In Workshops wurde versucht, diese neuen Ansätze in die Praxis umzusetzen. Eine besondere Rolle spielen dabei heimische Firmen, die bei Einsatz von Technik auf dem Letztstand gleichzeitig die Wissensfülle des traditionellen Handwerks einbringen können. Bis hin zum 1:1 Modell: bei Fa. Grüner entstanden so aus digitalen Modellen, die mit kalifornischer Software von Gehry Technologies entwickelt wurden, reale Teilkonstruktionen aus Holz.

Eine weitere Herausforderung bestand darin, am Bildschirm entstandene Entwürfe in echte, filigrane Holzstrukturen umzusetzen. Die 21 bis zu 6m hohen Turm-Prototypen, die von Studierenden konzipiert und im Freien gebaut wurden, bewährten sich in der windigen Höhenlage. Dieser Park an Modellen gefiel den Obergurglern: er wurde nicht abgebaut und kann weiterhin besichtigt werden.

Einen besonderen Einblick in die Möglichkeiten von Herstellern gewährte der Vortrag von Wolfgang Rieder: sein Unternehmen fibreC produzierte nicht nur die inzwischen weltbekannte Fassade für das Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, sondern forscht auch intensiv an Materialinnovationen und digital anpaßbaren Produktionsmethoden.
Auch die Kooperation mit dem Metallbauunternehmen Frener&Reifer aus Südtirol soll dem Forschungsansatz dienen, den Produktionsweg von der Entwurfsidee bis zum fertigen Architekturelement digital zu gestalten.

Die Modellprogrammierung, das sogenannte Scripting, bildet dafür die Grundlage. Nicht nur einzelne Zahlenwerte, sondern der Entwurf in seiner formalen und technischen Komplexität bleibt so über den gesamten Prozess hinweg anpassbar.

[...] Man kann davon ausgehen, dass es nicht mehr Aufgabe der Architektur ist, für spezifische Situationen und Anforderungen 'einzigartige' Lösungen zu erschaffen. Die zur Verfügung stehenden, digitalen Werkzeuge ermöglichen stattdessen einen offeneren Zugang: die Erzeugung von gut steuerbaren, vielfältig adaptierbaren Proto-Architekturen. Typologische Grundkonzepte können auf intelligente Weise innerhalb einer grossen Bandbreite an interne und externe 'Randbedingungen' eingebettet und angepasst werden – Interne Integration / Externe Adaption.[...] (Patrik Schumacher, Christos Passas)

Teilnehmende Universitäten:
institut für experimentelle architektur.hochbau; Universität Innsbruck/Österreich | Die Angewandte; Wien/Österreich | Technische Universität Graz, Österreich | Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart; Deutschland | Feng Chia University, Taiwan | Georgia Instititute of Technology, Atlanta, GA/USA

weitere Informationen unter www.exparch.at/symposium

 Entwurfsarbeit am Computer im Universitätszentrum Obergurgl

Externe Parameter, wie die gezeigten Sonnenstudien, beeinflussen unmittelbar die architektonische Form
 Neue Skyline in Obergurgl
 Die Proto-Towers wurden vor Ort der Topografie des Bauplatzes angepasst Die Turmhöhen entsprechen den Körpergrößen der einzelnen Teams

Partners and Supporters Drucken E-Mail

 fibrec-by-rieder.png frener-reifer.png huter_logo.gif
Rieder Smart Elements GmbH FRENER & REIFER Huter & Söhne
 uni_logo_4c_60x120.jpg screenshot_grner.jpg tschabrun.gif
Universität Innsbruck
Zimmerei GRÜNER GmbH  Hermann Tschabrun GmbH
Obergurgl Towers


up top up