Circular Strategies

Lukas Allner
Architecture, Building Construction
2021S, scientific seminar (SEW), 3.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03525


In cooperation with the seminar "Digital Making - Exploring" LV-Nr. S03529, this Seminar addresses issues of sustainable building with a focus on concepts of circular economy / circular design.
The demand for reuse, and adaptability can also be understood as an advantage and potential for design experimentation.
To study the challenges of reuse and to train the engagement with distinct stock elements
to be activated as architectural constituents, students will start working with natural wooden elements as construction material.
Based on methods developed in the research project “Conceptual Joining”, we will develop design strategies to create aggregated structures.
Some of the developed toolsets and workflows will be available to allow a direct entry into a productive design environment. We will start with natural branches in analogy to the previous research, but the aim is to develop distinct individual concepts that may include additional or different materials and components.

Workflows include
• 3D scanning
• automated geometry processing
•In cooperation with the seminar "Digital Making - Exploring" LV-Nr. S03529 3D modeling and algorithmic design (Grasshopper)
• (Digital)fabrication of mock ups, possibly including an experimental
method for realization using an AR device, developed in Conceptual
Joining (tbc)
• Speculation of inhabitation / use

The emergent formations are evaluated as architectural entities in the process and developed towards speculative proposals.
For prototypical realizations students can additionally receive ECTS for “Digital Making - Exploring

Examination Modalities

Participants are asked to work on individual studies independently.

Weekly meetings for feedback, input lectures, and tutorials.

The seminar also includes a study trip to a forest at Thernberg, and workshop sessions focusing on different aspects of the workflow.

Prototypical fabrication (scale and date) will depend on the individual concepts/designs developed during the course. 


The video documentation of the Circular Strategies Symposium from last year is a useful reference for the broader topic of circular design. It is available at the Youtube channel of IOA.

Profound knowledge  Rhinoceros 3D is required.
Knowledge in Grasshopper 3D is recommended.
Participants are kindly asked to use their own computers and software.

Max. 20 participants (individual work is encouraged, but teamwork is possible if preferred, priority is given to students of architecture, who did not yet participate in the course. )

The course is already full, all new registrations will move to the waiting list.


09 March 2021, 12:30–14:00
16 March 2021, 12:30–14:00
23 March 2021, 12:30–14:00
13 April 2021, 12:30–14:00
20 April 2021, 12:30–14:00
27 April 2021, 12:30–14:00
04 May 2021, 12:30–14:00
11 May 2021, 12:30–14:00
18 May 2021, 12:30–14:00
01 June 2021, 12:30–14:00
08 June 2021, 12:30–14:00
29 June 2021, 12:30–14:00, "final presentation" (examination)
13 September 2021, 10:00–01 October 2021, 18:00, "prototype fabrication (optional, tbc)"

Course Enrolment

From 15 February 2021, 10:00 to 09 March 2021, 23:59
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Architecture (Master): Expertise: Architectural Science: Building Construction

Individual courses: possible