Overview of Seminars and studios

Next seminar in summer semester

The seminar focuses on the investigation, abstraction and transfer of biological strategies into technical applications. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to investigate biological role models within a bottom up process and will be searching for solution strategies towards specific aspects by exploring biological role models within a top down process. Computational simulation and analysis tools are used to find model representations for biologic processes and investigate functional principles.

Evolutionary processes in nature generated manifold solutions in respond to environmental and performative demands, where various functional and form generative aspects have to be integrated in a coherent system. While a number of those aspects can be easily transferred to architectural aspects, natural organisms are working radically different from today’s construction and planning practice. While nature evolved highly energy and material efficient solutions, based on geometrical and material diff erentiation, today’s construction industry and design processes are mostly based on the standardization of elements and the addition of mono functional subsystems. Recent developments of computaional design and digital fabrication processes have initiated a fundamental paradigm shift from industrial
production of standardized elements towards an integrated design processes. This development opens up the possibilities to create architectural systems which are characterized by multifunctional geometrically differentiated structures, which can match the capacity of nature’s performative morphologies, and thereby enables us to transfer functional principles of natural organisms into architectural applications.


Zeit: Dienstag 9.45 – 11.15 Uhr
Ort: 17.01, Keplerstr. 17
Anmeldung auf Campus und Ilias erforderlich

Dienstag 11.30 – 13.00 Uhr in den Arbeitsräumen des ersten Semesters, Keplerstr. 11
Anmeldung auf Campus und Ilias erforderlich

Die nächste schriftliche Prüfung im Modul Tragkonstruktionen 1 findet am Donnerstag, den 15. September 2022 um 16 Uhr statt.

Orte: voraussichtlich 2.00,  2.01 und 2.02, Breitscheidstr. 2A 

Außer nicht programmierbarem Taschenrechner und Zeichenwerkzeug sind keine Hilfsmittel zugelassen (kein Vorlesungsmitschrieb oder Tabellenbücher etc.).
Die notwendigen Tabellen werden Ihnen zusammen mit den Aufgaben ausgehändigt.

Eine Mundschutzmaske ist empfohlen.

Der Rücktritt von dieser Prüfung ist bis zu 7* Tage vor dem Prüfungstermin ohne Angabe von Gründen möglich.

Zur Vorbereitung auf die Prüfung finden Sie Übungen und Lösungen und alte Prüfungen auf ILIAS.

* Beachten Sie dazu die aktuellen Erklärungen des Prüfungsamts.

Kontakt: Gerhard Meißner, Akad. Oberrat

Die Vorlesungen werden auf ILIAS bereitgestellt
Zeit: Donnerstag 9.45 – 11.15 Uhr
Ort: 17.02, Keplerstr. 17

Pflichtfach mit 3 Leistungspunkten (WS + SS)
Vorlesungen und Hausübungen

Die Downloads enthalten nicht den vollständigen Inhalt der Vorlesungen, sondern nur Arbeitshilfen und Berechnungstabellen. Der Bezug zur Architektur wird in der Vorlesung mit zahlreichen Anwendungsbeispielen, Arbeitsmodellen und weiteren Zahlenbeispielen hergestellt.

Kontakt: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers

Studio for Bachelor and Master students

Time:  Monday 10:00 -13:15
Room: 10.08, Keplerstr. 11

The transdisciplinary studio course will be held between the programs of  Architecture and Urban Planning and Masterplanning and Participation. It will focus on codesign of architectural adaptations for support of urban biodiversity with a more-than-human perspective. This ‘systemic design’ studio will be based on teamwork where every student will take their role based on their background. The adaptations will be physically prototyped and placed in the real-life environment as ‘prototypical urban interventions.’ This will enable real-life reflection. The responsive wood concept will be used to support multispecies habitats and edible landscapes. We will engage with multiple stakeholders through codesign workshops, DIY recipes of the adaptations, public events and gamification. The students will gain a practical understanding of systemic design and codesign methodologies. They will also gain a practical understanding of how to define their role in codesign based on their background and interest. They will achieve hands-on experience with full-scale prototyping and prototypes’ placement into a real-life environment.


Davidová, M. (2021). Breathing Artifacts of Urban BioClimatic Layers for Post ‐ Anthropocene Urban Environment. Sustainability, 13(20), 1–36. su132011307 
Davidová, M. (2020a). Introduction to Systems Thinking (No. 1; p. 57). Cardiff University.
Davidová, M. (2020b). Multicentred Systemic Design Pedagogy Through Real-Life Empathy Integral and Inclusive Practice-Based Education in the Research-by-Design Context. FormAkademisk - Research Journal of Design and Design Education, 13(5), 1–26.
Davidová, M. (2019). Intelligent Informed Landscapes: The Eco-Systemic Prototypical Interventions’ Generative and Iterative Co-Designing Co-Performances, Agencies and Processes. In M. H. Haeusler, M. A. Schnabel, & T. Fukuda (Eds.), Intelligent & Informed - Proceedings of the 24th CAADRIA Conference (pp. 151–160). Victoria University of Wellington.
Davidová, M., Sharma, S., McMeel, D., & Loisides, F. (2022). Co-De|GT: The Gamification and Tokenisation of More-Than-Human Qualities and Values. Sustainability, 13(20), 1–20.
Sanders, E., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign, 4(1), 5–18.
Sevaldson, B. (2018a). Visualizing Complex Design: The Evolution of Gigamaps. In P. Jones & K. (Kyoichi) Kijima (Eds.), Systemic Design (pp. 243–269). Springer Japan.
Sevaldson, B. (2018b). Beyond User Centric Design. In S. Barbero (Ed.), Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2018 Symposium Proceedings: Challenging complexity by Systemic Design towards Sustainability (pp. 516–525). Systemic Design Association.

Contact: Marie Davidova

Only in summer semester

For ITECH students only

In this course we visit different leading companies of building and other key industries, ground-breaking buildings, interesting building sites, and world heritage spots in Baden Württemberg or bavaria, 

Program on Ilias.




Time: Thursday 9:45 - 13:00
Room: 6.04, Keplerstr. 11

The seminar focuses on the interplay between geometry and structural behaviour of different structural types categorised with respect to the load bearing mechanism. In particular on form-active and surface-active structures. Beginning with an introduction from ancient to the newest form-finding approaches a holistic overview is provided.

First experimental approaches are used to determine
the shape with respect to a certain initially wanted structural state. Followed by the detailed introduction of the latest numerical form-finding methods. With the aid of digital modelling software and scripting tools. An overview of the mathematical background is provided to enable the participants to understand and evaluate of the applicability and limits of each method.

The state-of-the-art form-finding methods are put to use on practical examples where form and structural states are investigated and manipulated. The detailing and the
realization of the designed systems are discussed.


Rhinoceros skills. The seminar is taught in English. The students should be familiar with the architectural possibilities of membrane and shell structures in order to use them in their design projects.


Construction manual for polymers and membrane; J. Knippers, J. Lienhard, M. Gabler, J. Cremers; Detail Munich; ISBN: 978-3-0346-0726-1
Shell structures for architecture; S. Adriaenssens, P. Block, D. Veenendaal, C. Williams; Routledge New York; ISBN: 978-0-415-84059-0

Contact: Lorenz Riedel



Time: Thursday, 10.00 am  - 1 pm 
Room: 6.05, Keplerstr. 11
Taught in German

In North America and Scandinavia, timber constructions are already among the conventional building methods. In Germany, too, building with wood is becoming increasingly popular.
Traditionally, wood has always been one of the most popular building materials for people. It was not until the discovery of concrete that wood was displaced as a building material. Although buildings made of wood are increasingly being erected again today, the number is still relatively small compared to structures made of concrete, stone and steel.

The trend towards building with wood now seems to be slowly catching on in this country as well, and awareness and know-how are becoming more firmly established among many planners. Here, too, the demand for buildings made of wood is increasing from day to day. Especially in times when the ecological limits of the earth have been reached and resources are becoming scarce, it seems indispensable to use renewable raw materials. Wood not only acts as a CO2 sink, it also scores in many other areas with numerous advantages from aesthetic, static and structural-physical points of view. The number of companies and specialist planners working in timber construction has risen sharply, yet timber construction is still far from where it should be. There are many reasons for this: Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of digitalization and lack of skilled workers are just a few of the known causes.

During the seminar, we want to uncover and critically examine the biggest obstacles to timber construction. We also want to elicit the impulses that the construction sector needs to increase timber construction as well as provide food for thought for a future forced sustainable construction with wood.
This topic area is to be examined on the basis of a question catalog in the form of interviews with planning offices, executing enterprises, authorities, politics, the average consumer as well as many other persons and compiled in the form of a short film.

Film off!

Contact: Visiting Professor Dr. Jochen Stahl, Gregor Neubauer


Time: Thursday, 2 pm - 5.15 pm
Room: 3.01, Keplerstr. 11
Taught in German

Design Project for Bachelor and Master students

An essential feature of building with wood is the planning culture associated with it. The tree already provides us with planning tasks and is largely responsible for the way we plan our buildings made of wood. From the very beginning, timber construction requires a high level of competence and commitment from all the specialist planners involved, as well as an interdisciplinary understanding of the material. Thus, for high-quality, durable and visually appealing constructions, especially in timber construction, it is indispensable to equip all those involved with a great deal of know-how about the material and construction characteristics. Only then can timber construction achieve its full potential compared to conventional mineral construction methods.
Timber construction thus presents architects and engineers with new challenges. Entire buildings can be precisely assembled from prefabricated elements within a very short time in a well thought-out sequence. Compared to most conventional, mineral-based buildings, economical and visually appealing timber structures can therefore only be developed in close cooperation between architects and engineers in the early planning phases, whereby the basics of timber construction must be mastered by both in terms of structural and design engineering.
In the "Living Timber Bridge" design, various load-bearing systems for timber and bridge construction are analyzed for any potential for living on the bridge. In the further course of the semester, the findings will be used to combine the complex functional and structural-technical requirements in a concise structural design for a built-up and living bridge in timber construction. The spatial and structural potential of wood will be exploited and the limits of timber construction will be explored. We want people not to have to live under the bridge, but on the bridge.

Contact: Visiting Professor Dr. Jochen Stahl, Gregor Neubauer


Time: Tuesday 9:45 - 13:00
Room: 3.02, Keplerstr. 11

Master and Bachelor Seminar

Material and Structure is a Seminar aiming to give the opportunity to future architects to deal with materials, design and fabrication scenarios with a different scope. The knowledge and awareness of materials in architecture are more or less left to the practice phase, where they are simplified and usually refer to already known catalogues and a material choice may not be optimal or no longer up-to-date. The seminar covers a wide range of materials going from traditional materials, i.e. concrete, steel, wood and glass, to nowadays lightweight materials, i.e. biobased materials and composites, textiles and polymers or smart and responsive materials. Furthermore, understanding of the properties, characteristics and structural behavior of these materials and related knowledge of compounds, layered elements as well as fibre reinforcement possibilities shall allow proper and intentional usage in architectural and structural applications. A number of concepts of applying these materials in different design/structural contexts will be tackled in details by an experimental approach. The students will test their knowledge through designing and producing a physical prototype in the form of a stool (1:1).

Prerequisites: Rhinoceros

Contact: Vanessa Costalonga

Seminar for Bachelor and Master students

Time: Wednesday, 2 pm
Room: 6.04, 6th floor, Keplerstr. 11

3D Natural Print is a Seminar that allows future architects to experiment with large-scale additive manufacturing of biomaterials. 3D-printing has been extensively investigated in the last decade due to its accessibility and ability to strategically place material to create structurally differentiated components. However, large-scale 3D-printing of biomaterials  has not yet been fully explored.

In this Winter Semester, students will continue to investigate 3D-printing in combination with annually renewable Natural Fibres, in both short and long fibre filament format, and apply this material-oriented technique to Architecture. They will be given the opportunity to engage with advanced 3D-printing parameters as they learn to detail and prototype their structural system proposal from the first module of 3DNP 1.

Teaching format: Theoretical lectures and tutorials will be taught online. In person sessions will be conducted for design consultations, experiments on the 3d printer, and general prototyping. Eventual expert guest lectures will happen online. Students will work in groups.

Prerequisites: Having successfully completed the Seminar 3D Natural Print: Advanced 3D Printing with Biomaterials (offered in SS 22)

Tools: A personal 3D-printer is not required, students will have access to one by appointment

Contact: Vanessa Costalonga Martins


In this Design Studio, students will investigate 3D-printing in combination with annually renewable Natural Fibres, in both short and long fibre filament format, and apply this material-oriented technique to Architecture. They will be given the opportunity to engage with advanced 3D-printing parameters by detailing and prototyping a structural demonstrator (pavilion)

Students will develop a bespoke computational and simulation workflow for 3D fibre-reinforced printing, as well as engage physically with the material by conducting experiments and printing 1:1 prototypes of their proposals. The expected outcome is to present viable strategies by which this emerging material method may be applied to large scale architectural scenarios, a new territory for this particular Natural Fibre technique.

Prerequisites: Having successfully completed the Seminar 3D Natural Print: Advanced 3D Printing with Biomaterials (offered in SS 22)

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