The programme investigates the extended digital chain as a particular opportunity for interdisciplinary design collaboration. European Union; Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network


European Union; Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network

Funding period

01.09.2015 – 30.09.2018


European consortium of six premier research institutions and 14 leading industry partners to create an interdisciplinary network of 15 PhD positions on innovative building design practice under the Horizon 2020 programme.
Six European research institutions and 14 leading practices from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK join forces in a new research network examining how advanced digital design tools can positively challenge future building culture, enabling more sustainable, better informed and materially smarter design solutions.
The pioneering network, “Building Innovation in the Extended Digital Chain” (InnoChain), has recently received a EUR 4 million grant from the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme under Horizon 2020 and will include 15 new doctoral projects within the fields of architecture and engineering. The doctoral researchers will be enrolled at the partner research institutions and InnoChain’s 14 industry partners will offer hands-on experience, exposing them to the applied reality of situated research and development across the digital chain.
Project Lead Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, states: “The purpose of the project is to expand, synthesise and consolidate knowledge into computation-informed building design practice across academia and practice. InnoChain has a strong inter-sector focus and connects emerging and established research environments in academia and professional practice from architecture, engineering, design software development and fabrication.”
The network will investigate the extended digital chain as a fertile opportunity for design innovation. It will develop new interdisciplinary design methods that integrate advanced simulation and material fabrication. Employing a practice-based industry-focused method, the network asks how new bespoke design tools can be created to enable advanced simulation of structure, material and process and how they can lead to the creation of smarter material and design solutions.
15 new PhD positions
The network creates a structured training programme focused on individual research projects, supervised by experienced researchers and enriched through an inter-sector secondment programme with industry partners. The consortium includes a programme of joint research events, including workshop-seminars, colloquia, a summer school and research courses.

Project Partners

Academic Partners

Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA),
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA)
University College London, England

Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design
Unverstity of Stuttgart, Germany

Institute of Architecture (IOA)
The University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

School of Architecture - Architectural Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC)
Barcelona, Spain

Industrial Partners

BIG, Copenhagen et al
Blumer-Lehmann Ag; Gossau, Schweiz
BUROHAPPOLD Engineering, Bath et al
Cloud 9, Architects, Barcelona Spain
Design to Production, Stuttgart
FibR, Stuttgart
Foster + Partners, London et al
Henn GmbH, Munich et al
McNeel, Barceloa, Spain
ROK, Zurich, Switzerland
S-Form, Deizisau, Germany
Str.ucture, Stuttgart, Germany
Smith, Copenhagen, Denmark
White, Stockholm, Sweden

This image shows Jan Knippers

Jan Knippers

Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Institute Director

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