RCAT - Research Center for Architecture and Tectonics

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The Changing Shape of Practice

29 September - 14 October 2016 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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The Changing Shape of Practice Exhibition accompanies the related symposium and international PhD seminar at the Oslo School of Architecture. The events are part of AHO's contribution to the Oslo Architectural Triennial 2016 and are co-organized in collaboration with DogA - The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture.

The exhibition and events are motivated by the following questions: Architectural practices worldwide have to deal with increasingly complex design requirements. How do practices acquire the ability to do so? What kinds and forms of knowledge are needed and produced in different types of practices? How are results, new knowledge and competences documented, shared and disseminated internally as well as externally? Is research itself now used as a strategic tool by architectural offices? How do research and practice in architecture mutually shape one another? Several practice will show excerpts of their research and related projects in the exhibition, including: Helen & Hard, Kieran Timberlake, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta, void and OCEAN Design Research Association.

The exhibition opening will take place at 12-30 on Thursday 29 September at Galleri AHO and will be accompanied by the book launch of 'The Changing Shape of Practice'. The book includes the works of: AECOM, Perkins + Will, White, Woods Bagot, UN Studio, SHoP Architects, PLP Architecture, Kieran Timberlake, 3xN/GxN, Thomas Herzog + Partners, Herreros Architectos, AZPML, ONL, Spacescape, and as a special case OCEAN Design Research Association.

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C8 Tasseract by void

26 - 29 2016 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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Void is a computational design studio working in the intersection between design, architecture, art and technology. With a multi-disciplinary team, they build experimental solutions that range from sophisticated interface design to interactive installations with the ambition to close the void that separates our virtual lives from real experiences.

C8 is a conceptual artwork created as an exploration of light as the medium for playing with perception and dimensionality. It borrows its name from the technical term of a four dimensional cube, as well as from the cervical spinal nerve 8 which is responsible for the flexion of fingers in humans.

Inspired by the electrical impulses propagating through synapses, pulses of brightness travel along the outer edges of the shape creating endlessly repeating patterns of light.


Multi-functional Buildings 01 - The Return of the Living Bridges

12 - 22 May 2015 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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Relentless global urbanization and the related densification of cities yields once again a strong interest in versatile multi-functional buildings that are able to provide for a broad range of uses and activities in order to cope with a multitude of simultaneous needs and shortage of space and resources. For this reason a series of exhibitions at Galleri AHO will focus on the thematic of the multi-functional building. The first exhibition revisits the theme of the habitable or ‘living’ bridges that make provisions for a multitude of activities. Subsequent exhibitions will examine other 24-hour and multiple use architectures.The Return of the Living Bridges exhibition brings together a series of historical, recent and current projects. This is done in reference to the ‘Living Bridges’ exhibition, which was originally planned as a historical show for the Centre Pompidou in Paris, yet instead mounted in 1996 at the Royal Academy in London. The show was one of the best-visited exhibitions on architecture ever and featured historical multi-purpose bridges of all ages including contemporary ones such as the seven invited entries to the Thames Water Habitable Bridge Competition. In the following period the exhibition traveled and some venues commissioned additional design studies such as the city of Düsseldorf in Germany. 

The exhibition at Galleri AHO brings together a series of remarkable historical projects, such as the London Bridge, the habitable bridges of the Ile de la Cité in Paris, the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and so on, as well as recent schemes by Bernard Tschumi for Lausanne, Zaha Hadid for London, MVRDV and OCEAN + Urban Office for Düsseldorf. Four current schemes by the Advanced Computational Design Studio for the river Akerselva in Oslo round off the exhibition. These projects showcase what might be called ‘Informed Non-standard Architectures’ (Sørensen 2015) a version of non-standard architecture that is highly informed by local conditions and circumstances. Data-driven and analysis based computational design allows these schemes to respond to a broad range of location specific information, while virtual reality visualization enables an immersive experience of these unbuilt schemes.

Sørensen, S. (2015) ‘Informed Non-standard: En Route to Non-standard Performative Architectures’. In: Hensel, M. and Hermansen, C. Eds. Constructions – An Experimental Approach to Intensely Local Architectures, AD Architectural DesignVol. 85 (2): 110-115.


Architectural History from a Performance Perspective - 15 Case Studies

04 - 28 November 2014 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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The survival of traditional societies over hundreds and thousands of years indicates that they surely possessed knowledge that can still be of great value either in its original form or as the basis for new developments … architects must thoroughly analyse traditional building methods and forms using scientific principles and an understanding of social and cultural requirements before discarding any of them.

Walter Shearer, Foreword to Hassan Fathy, Natural Energy and Vernacular Architecture – Principles and Examples with Reference to Hot Arid Climates, The University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1986, p xvi + xviii

If we are prepared to consider the built environment as a vast repository of embedded knowledge, as well as source of insights into complex interrelations and interactions that in the case of pre-industrial architectures often are inherently sustainable, it would appear that careful analysis is a task entirely worth the while. The findings of such an analysis are likely to impact rather substantially on the way we will choose to view, develop and manage the human-dominated environment today, as well as project, construct and maintain architectures and settlements accordingly. Therefore one may perceive the arising need to give pause to the relentless pursuit of current prevailing trends and tendencies in order to consider which steps next to take in designing and building. To deliver a distinct trajectory to this quest is the aim of the studies presented in this exhibition, which focuses on a different take on architectural history. Emphasis is placed on questions of provisions made by carefully selected case studies based on their particular performative capacities. The exhibition includes case studies from England, Iran, Italy, Norway, Turkey, and Syria.

The studies are undertaken by the Sustainable Environment Association [SEA], in conjunction with the Research Centre of Architecture and Tectonics [RCAT] at AHO. SEA is an international and interdisciplinary expertise network that pursues systematic, integrative and interdisciplinary inquiry into the natural, human-influenced and built environment with the aim to develop alternative approaches to design and sustainability. The first phase of SEA's research focuses on architectural history from a performance perspective and treats the built environment as a repository of knowledge that can provide significant insights and integrated approaches to the design and sustainability of todays built environment.

For further information see: www.sustainableenvironmentassociation.net

Opening Events:

Public Lecture: Architectural History from a Performance-Perspective by Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel

Tuesday 04 November: 12-00 – 13-00, A3 Norberg Schulz Auditorium

The lecture will focus on the approach to the analysis of pre-industrial architectural case-studies from a performance perspective.

Exhibition Opening: Tuesday 04 November: 13-00, Galleri AHO

Postings: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/architecture-eventshttp://www.biourbanism.org/hey-architecture-perform-along-history/


Informed Non-Standard - Integrated Computational Design in Architecture

28 April - 24 May 2014 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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In 2003-04 the Centre Pompidou in Paris mounted an exhibition entitled 'Non-standard Architectures'. The exhibition foregrounded the capacity of computer-aided design, production and industrialization of architecture with the aim to showcase “the generalization of singularity, within a new order: the non-standard”. This was demonstrated by built and unbuilt projects by some of the key proponents of digital methods and techniques since the early 1990s such as Asymptote, deCOI, Greg Lynn FORM, KOL/MAC Studio, NOX, Objectile, Kas Oosterhuis, R&Sie, UN Studio, et al.

Now, a decade later, it is worth to take a fresh look at what has become of the non-standard architecture approach and to examine whether it may have ushered in further changes in the way architectures are conceptualized, designed, analyzed and materialized. The ‘Informed non-standard’ exhibition takes on this challenge and examines both the integration of computational design approaches and tools, with the aim to synthesize form, performance, use, and making and in an increasing number of cases the reemerging role of local, context-specific conditions that may underlie and inform these integrated computational design approaches.

The exhibition brings together five selected projects ranging from the scale of sculptural installation to large building including one of the practices that was included in the ‘Non-standard Architectures’ exhibition at Centre Pompidou, 2 Norwegian practices, and two works from the context of the Institute of Architecture at AHO:

i. Ratatosk by Helen & Hard (narrative, form, play, fabrication),

ii. Tverrfjellhytta by Snøhetta (landscape, form, fabrication),

iii. Seaside Second Home by Joakim Hoen (local specificity, form, performance, use),

iv. the Community Center in Pumanque by the SCL Studio (form, use, scarcity, assembly),

v. the Mercedes Benz Museum by UN Studio (form, program, interior environment, fabrication).

These works are exhibited exclusively through non-print media and virtual reality.

The exhibition was curated by Asst. Prof. Søren S. Sørensen and Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel and designed and produced by Asst. Prof. Søren S. Sørensen, Joakim Hoen and Joachim Svela.

All VR visualizations were produced by Joakim Hoen and Joachim Svela.

The exhibition is co-organized by the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics [RCAT] and the Institute of Architecture’s new Advanced Computational Design Laboratory [ACDL].

Gallery Talks:

Wednesday 07 May, 12-30 -13-30: Joakim Hoen

Wednesday 14 May, 12-30 - 13-30: Joakim Svela


Scarcity and Creativity in Latitude 33s - A New Community Centre for Pumanque, Chile - 4 Runner-up Projects

03 - 07 March 2014 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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The Scarcity and Creativity in Latitude 34s Studio has been invited to contribute to the reconstruction of the town of Pumanque in Chile, which was devastated by the 27 February 2010 earthquake that damaged most of the town’s buildings. SCL33s will construct a new community centre for Pumanque. The design was developed through several competition stages and the exhibition shows the four final runner-up projects from which the winning scheme was selected. Construction will commence on 17 March 2014 in Pumanque.

The exhibition was curated by Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel.


BOMA: Geometry + Material + Forces

29 April - 13 May 2011 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

The exhibition brings together a series of iconic architectural projects for which BOMA Structural Consultants provided pioneering structural engineering, including: CCIB - Barcelona International Convention Centre by Josep Lluis Mateo, Las Arenas by Richard Rogers and Alonso Balaguer, Spiralling Tower by Zaha Hadid Architects, ME Barcelona Hotel by Dominique Perrault, Forum Building by Herzog & de Meuron, Caixa Forum Barcelona by Arata Isozaki, Media Tic by Cloud 9 - Enric Ruiz Geli, and Torre AGBAR by Jean Novel.


Eladio Dieste Exhibition Advancing Architecture through Material Systems Innovation

06 - 22 October 2010 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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Brick is a material with unlimited possibilities, almost completely ignored by modern technology.

Eladio Dieste, 1996

Eladio Dieste [1917 – 2000], the eminent Uruguayan engineer and architect, contributed numerous groundbreaking inventions in designing and constructing reinforced and pre-stressed brick structures of remarkable beauty and structural capacity. While his work has received renewed interest since the late 1990s and has been analyzed in detail, concise and detailed efforts to reexamine the work with regards to its potential for contemporary architectural design have yet to take place. To commence this effort and to introduce Dieste’s work to the Scandinavian context is the aim of the exhibition, symposium and construction experiments.

The exhibition focuses on the innovation of structural types by Eladio Dieste, made from reinforced and pre-stressed brick, introduces related works from his substantial oeuvre to the Scandinavian context. The exhibition will open on Friday 08 October as part of the Eladio Dieste symposium and continues until Friday22 October.

The symposium will introduce the seminal work of the late Eladio Dieste to the Norwegian context. The symposium is organized in two sessions. The first part will examine the works of Eladio Dieste from various perspectives. Acclaimed Dieste researchers and experts will present their approach to Dieste’s work during the first session. The second session takes a broader outlook into how Dieste’s work might inform specific architectural research and further innovation potential in designing and constructing with bricks. The final talk of the second session will focus on questions of sustainability associated with designing and constructing with bricks.

Directed by research fellow Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel in collaboration with master-mason Øyvind Busset, the brick construction workshop will focus on a number of experiments that are informed by specific works by Eladio Dieste and develop these further to explore their untapped architectural potentials. On Friday 22 October 2010 there will be a gallery discussion in the AHO construction hall starting from 10-00. The discussion will focus on the various experiments that were conducted during the brick construction experiments workshop.

The Dieste exhibition, symposum and workshop are organized by Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel, Michael Hensel and Birger Sevaldson 

The exhibition was curated and designed by Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel and research fellow Defne Sunguroglu Hensel.

Sponsors: Byggutengrenser.no, Wienerberger, Weber, and Einar Stange.


Responsive Wood Studio @ Oslo Architectural Triennial 2010

22 September - 03 October 2010 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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Standardisation of construction, tight tolerances and associated liability have led to a categorical rejection of material behavior as negative, thereby quite severely limiting potentials for design and functionality, and ultimately performance. The Responsive Wood studio challenges this entrenched dogma and, instead, embarks on research by design with material behavior at the centre of creative and rigorous inquiry. The structure and properties of wood makes it an ideal material for this research, given its heterogeneity, cellular differentiation, anisotropy and hygroscopic behavior. The interaction of wood with its environment can thus serve to define a new approach to design. The exhibition shows selected projects from 2009 and 2010.


Sadar + Vuga: making of ......................

07 March - 21 April 2010 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway


Facilitating the Empirical - Rapid Proto-typing in Architecture and Industrial Design

Representational, Analytical and Functional Models and their Role in the Design Process

10 February - 03 March 2010 @ Galleri AHO, Oslo, Norway

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Rapid Prototyping is a manufacturing technology for the construction of physical objects from digital models. The technology has been available for the better part of a quarter of a century and has been used in creative environments for the production of models and prototypes or prototype parts. After 25 years of using the technology it is now time to take stock and to analyse the role of rapid prototyping in the design process, with particular attention to facilitating the empirical production of knowledge. The scope of objects produced over the years includes representational, analytical and functional models and prototypes. AHO has been at the forefront of utilising particular rapid prototyping technologies, in particular so-called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). The exhibition is intended to provide a systematic overview of SLS models produced at AHO since the inception of its Rapid Prototyping Laboratory. Works of Snøhetta, OCEAN Design Research Association, Defne  Sunguroğlu Hensel, Daniel Coll i Capdevila, Birger R. Sevaldson, Industrial Design and Architecture students, among others, showcase the broad pallet of utilisation of SLS models in practice and education.

The exhibition has been curated and designed by Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel, Prof. Steinar Killi and Prof. Dr. Birger R.Sevaldson.

Gallery Talk on Friday 26 February at 12-00.

The aim of the gallery talk is to initiate a critical discussion on the role of the empirical in the production of knowledge in the design disciplines - one central question in defining what research by design might entail - with particular focus on the potential contributions of rapid prototype models in this process. Several speakers will offer their thoughts on the question at hand, followed by an open discussion.