Adaptive Strategies

Galo Patricio Moncayo Asan
Architecture, Energy Design
2020W, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03236


Machines to exposed the unseen In present day architectural discourse, the mouse, the keyboard, hardware and software have become the main tools in the design process. These tools guide us in conscious and unconscious ways, influencing our way of working and thinking, therefore our design. In recent years, technological developments have started to close the gap between digital design and its realisation. For example, kinematic systems like robots and 3d printers have become an intrinsic part of materialising digital and parametric ideas in architecture, making the fabrication of this shapes easier. Nevertheless, becoming a constraint, the geometry you input is the geometry to get.   We want to rethink this new paradigm, by developing tools for invention and conceptualisation, rather than for manufacturing only, giving new possibilities of designing in a feedback loop. First on a small scale, by developing and building generative drawing, sound or phenomena machines. The new tools should aim at providing us with information to be used as part of the design itself. The input of the machine will come from sensors collecting live data witch will be re interpret, digested, and become the drive of the action. The design of these machines will be the starting point of an information translation loop from digital to analog back to digital and so on. This method will allow us to compare and balance the expected with the unexpected.   The new experiences that we will gain by exploring this process will be playfully interactive and expand our imagination.    “Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.” Mark Twain

Examination Modalities

Course Structure

This is an one assignment-driven course. Students will be expected to generate work based on their own experience. Students should take the initiative to discuss interests or obstacles, both conceptual and technical, with the instructor and their peers. Depending on the student’s level and work habits, more or less direction will be given by the instructor. Tremendous individual impetus for the making of work and participation in critiques is essential.

•Attendance is crucial and will be recorded.

•We will conduct critiques every second week with desk crits, discussion periods, and workshops during other class sessions; you will be expected to produce different stages of the project, appropriate to the work period scheduled, during the semester.

•When we are not meeting as a class to critique work or cover other material, CLASS TIME IS WORK TIME. You MUST be here and you MUST be working. The gathering of materials and tools must take place outside of class.

•Work that is not ready at the time of the critique will not be discussed as a class.

Work presented to me late will devalue one letter grade per successive class period until it is presented. Failure to attend a critique without providing documentation of extenuating circumstances will also devalue that session’s work by one grade; that is, failing to complete your work but coming to the critique anyway will only cost you one letter, but skipping the critique as well as turning work in late will cost you two.

•You will keep a notebook/sketchbook of what takes place during the semester. Some written assignments will not be collected and these must be done in your book. You must also bring this journal to every critique and studio meeting and write down what happens. You’ll thank me later.


Part of the course is an introduction to the use of micro-controller technologies in the creative practice. Projects will address motion control, sensor input, and graphic and audio interface through objects, building components, and their performance. The course focus will be on developing and designing components, design and programming software fluency, technical problem-solving approaches, and on critical discourse regarding technology in contemporary practice. Arduino and Arduino-compatible tools will serve as the primary development platform.


In interactive components: This course is an introduction to the practices, production, and consideration of electronic systems. A variety of components and processes, both physical and conceptual, will be explored through technical projects, creative projects, and supplementary research assignments. Because of the technical nature of the material covered, this workshop will seek to find a balance between content delivery and the development of individual solutions through group projects.


06 October 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
19 October 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
03 November 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
09 November 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
30 November 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
14 December 2020, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
11 January 2021, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24
25 January 2021, 12:30–14:00 Seminar Room 24

Course Enrolment

From 08 September 2020, 11:32
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Architecture (Master): Experimental Strategies: Special Topics

Individual courses: possible