D-ARCH spacer Gastprofessor Winy Maas



Life in the real-time adaptive, constantly changing city


The Transformer project is based on a hypothesis: within some years, the research fields of advanced material development, distributed data networks and nano-robotics will join and provide us with a programmable, flexible building material. This new Transformer material will allow us to create spaces, objects and buildings that adapt to our needs and desires. Whenever we want it. In real-time. Barbapappa becomes real.


The Transformer studio continues research from the previous semester. We have explored the possibilities of a fully-adaptable living environment on three scales: Transformer room, Transformer house and Transformer village.

In the new studio, we want to continue and deepen the project.

We will move to the next scale to from transformable village to transformable neighborhood and transformable city. Can we imagine and describe a city that constantly changes, that tries to accommodate the individual desires of all of its users? What would it look like? How space-efficient could it be? And what would happen to the public space, to ownership, to democracy?


On the other side, we will deepen the interaction between the Transformer space and its user. What interfaces work best? When does your room sense what you want, when do you talk to your walls? And how do you negotiate with your neighbor?


The studio will start with an introduction to the necessary software. You will learn to use Rhino and Grasshopper in order to be able to create adjustable spaces and interactive installations. In parallel, we will discuss the material that has been developed so far. With these reflections and the programming tools at hand, you will develop your own design-based research project within the Transformer framework. The results will be presented in a movie, an interactive installation, a script and a written reflection.

This trailer shows a part of the outcome of the previous studio. It’s a start. The journey continues…


For an impression of the project, please check this link: The Transformer


In this semester, we will cooperate with the chair of CAAD.

CAAD will offer two elective courses which connected to our design studio. We recommend both courses to all students enrolling in our design studio:
CAAD Wahlfach Theorie
CAAD Wahlfach Praxis


Our excursion during the seminar week will also be part of the Transformer project and is recommended to all students of the design studio. Building Barbapappa


Kickoff: Tuesday, 19 February, ONA building, ground floor.

Exercise Type: E (Entwurf ohne integrierte Disziplin).




Contact: ulf@thewhyfactory.com


Download: PDF

14.01.2013 webmaster@arch


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