Overview of Seminars and studios

Seminar for Master students

Time: Friday, 9:45 am - 1 pm
Room: 10.08, Keplerstr. 11

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.

Contact: Dr. Axel Körner


Zeit: Dienstag 9.45 – 11.15 Uhr
Ort: 17.02, 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 Dienstag, den 12. März 2024 um 16 Uhr statt.

Wo?  2.00, 2.01, 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.

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


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

Designing for Urban Biodiversity: A Comprehensive Approach

The transdisciplinary studio course will be held between the programs of Architecture and Urban Planning and Master planning 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. Actually, urban biodiversity refers to the diversity of life forms in urban environments, which provide valuable ecosystem services and enhance human well-being. However, urbanization poses many challenges to the conservation and restoration of urban biodiversity, such as habitat loss, fragmentation, pollution, climate change, and human-wildlife conflicts. Therefore, designing for urban biodiversity requires a comprehensive approach that integrates scientific knowledge, creative thinking, and participatory methods.

In this course, students will learn how to design a product for supporting urban biodiversity, using a variety of tools and techniques. They will start by diagnosing the microclimate of a chosen urban site with the use of DIY mobile sensor trackers, which will help them to empathize with the climate situation from a non-human perspective. They will then contrast this information with digital simulations, which will allow them to explore different scenarios and design options. Next, they will design and manufacture a prototype with responsive materiality, that suits the preference of one selected species. They will use additive and subtractive manufacturing techniques, and iterate from digital to real scenarios. Finally, they will evaluate the impact of their product on urban biodiversity and present their results.

By the end of this course, the students will have gained practical understanding of systemic design and codesign methodologies and also skills and theoretical insights on how to design for urban biodiversity in a sustainable and innovative way. They will also have contributed to the global efforts of creating biodiversity-friendly cities that are resilient and enriching for both humans and nature.


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, IntCDC

Block Course 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.



Seminar for Master students

Time: Thursday, 9:45 am - 1 pm
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


Design Project for Bachelor students (in German)

Time: Tuesday 2 - 8 pm
Room: 3.01, Keplerstr. 11

The climate influences how we build. How we build influences the climate. The consequences of the interrelationship between building and climate are directly perceptible in high alpine terrain. Mountain huts and shelters built as places of recreation and refuge for alpinists are exposed to extreme weather conditions. They therefore require a correspondingly robust construction and great care in planning and execution.  The surrounding landscape is changing rapidly due to disappearing glaciers, rockfalls and flora and fauna adapting to rising temperatures. Anthropogenic climate change, and thus the way we build, is partly responsible for this.

Due to the inherent advantages of the material and the alpine building tradition, the choice of wood as a material for the construction of our refuge is obvious. A combination with the locally available stones is certainly also worth considering. In order to be able to build our refuge in the desired high quality within the short summer, we have to achieve the highest possible degree of prefabrication. If only there were not the limiting transport by helicopter. But beware: every flight hour generated by inconsistent planning produces unnecessary CO2 emissions and high costs, so it hurts twice. Repairs are not exactly easy in this environment, which is why we should take enough time to choose suitable wood species and design (structural) wood protection.

In the design, we will analyse the potentials of different load-bearing systems and timber construction products for our intended use. The topic of "prefabrication and transport" plays a major role in this. Currently and probably in the future important wood species will be discussed with regard to their local availability and suitable areas of application. In the further course of the semester, the knowledge gained should result in a consistent design that explores the static-constructive potential of timber construction.

Contact: Dr. Thomas Ehrhart

Seminar for Bachelor and Master students

Time: Tuesday 9:45 am - 1 pm
Room: 3.02, Keplerstr. 11

Material and Structure is a Seminar that allows students the opportunity to work within the intersection of Material Research, Design and Fabrication. With a strong hands-on and experimental format, this Seminar encourages students to experiment and reconnect with the materiality of architecture, which is so often overlooked. Applying a bottom-up research approach, they will learn how to assess, interpret and leverage inherent material properties to create informed designs. A wide range of biomaterials and fabrication techniques will be presented and explored (3d printing of natural fibres, biocomposite mouldless fabrication, shape memory biomaterials, pultrusion, and other topics). Through the design and fabrication of a stool or other 1:1 scale small mock-ups, students will propose an innovative material system for lightweight design. The developed structure also acts as an analogue for a larger architectural structural application.
Course structure:
Students will work in groups of 3 on predefined topics given by the tutors.
The students will give 2-3 intermediate presentations on their work throughout the semester and a final presentation at the end of the course.
Final submission will include a developed prototype of scale depending on the chosen topic (usually in the form of a chair or stool and ca. 50 x 50 cm) and a written academic report (booklet) describing and documenting all work stages, state of art and conclusions.

Contact: Evgenia Spyridonos

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