In the future, digital processes in architecture and construction practice will extend from design to digital prefabrication to mobile technologies on the construction site and will take on an ever-increasing importance. The Department of Experimental and Digital Design and Construction uses an iterative, inquiry-based teaching method that allows students to design projects in multiple complete development cycles, including fabrication, testing, and analysis of large-scale prototypes using state-of-the-art digital fabrication tools and real-world building materials. In an experimental, active and participatory study environment, a moderated self-learning process is promoted in which findings from design, material and fabrication studies are incorporated into a digital design logic. In this process, design elements are related to each other through programming and are differentiated and designed in a continuous digital chain from the initial design idea to manufacturing. Through experimental studies, these design elements are explored at different scales, from material processing to spatial joining to form building elements, spatial sequences, and structures. Students are thus directly confronted with the material and its digital processing at the very beginning of the design process. The necessary basic knowledge is taught in lectures, seminars, and intensive workshops.
An important component of the teaching is the direct reference to novel possibilities and framework conditions of digital fabrication, which the students experience directly through the development of prototypical and experimental structures. For this purpose, the ASL Lab with its safe mobile tabletop robots is essential.
Through a combined course offering of lectures, design studios, and electives, basic knowledge is taught at the bachelor’s level. Topics include computational design with an introduction to Python programming, digital fabrication with CNC manufacturing and robotic assembly, and experimental seminars on interactive and mobile processes. The design studio is used to explore a digital design logic as well as practical application and further development of learned techniques from the classroom modules.
In the master's program, students are introduced to research. Therefore, research-oriented project studios are specifically offered. To ensure a meaningful integration and training, the project studios are offered in 2 consecutive semesters. Furthermore, advanced seminars are offered on the three main research areas.