Integrative Data-driven Design en route to Performance-oriented Architecture

This talk will present and discuss the work of the RCAT | ACDL Group at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, which focuses on integrative data-driven design with the primary goal to develop a methodological framework for Performance-oriented Architecture. This foregrounds the fact that the development of a particular approach to architecture is the primary focus for the development of integrative methods, processes and tools, instead of pursuing a generic development of apps and algorithms as seems increasingly commonplace today.

18 May Tuesday, 15.00

MichaelHenselProf. Dr. Michael U. Hensel is an architect, writer, researcher and educator. In his professional and academic work he pursues research and research-by-design along a strong interdisciplinary trajectory. He is tenured professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design where he directs the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics ( He is also founding and acting chairman of the OCEAN Design Research Association ( He has authored and edited numerous books and journals and has published work worldwide.



Challange Statement of the Panel


There lies great paradox in a world of fast forward change there is no survival without knowledge and yet knowledge yields to uselessness so fast that education, learning, teaching become obscured. If knowledge transfer means tutors teach what they learned as a student or what they learned by research or even perhaps what they learned yesterday, then, more so, how to research and learn together?
More and more students lead workshops and tutorials on software and technologies such as drones and numerically controlled systems. There is much to experience, to try out, to play and to experiment within the horizon of minute techno species, generative software, automated building and shape finding. However it is seems more crucial that the why and why not, the cultur-real-meta knowledge of the new technologies and the impacts thereof become the essence of any seating, any discussion, any seminar in the university.
The conference would like to host voices for learned experiments as well as keen criticism of technology of making, and notes on strategies of adaption for architecture.
Students teaching students as in the Ecole des Beaux Arts, atelier and making-based learning as in the Bauhaus, learning from practice with invited tutors as in the tradition of the AA, we are witnessing architectural education as a “practice” that reinvents itself, its tools and methods.


TRANSARCHEDU03_1104Organization Team
Asst. Prof. Dr. Güzden Varınlıoğlu (Asst. Prof. Dr., Izmir University of Economics)
Michael Young (Lec., Izmir University of Economics)
Nilüfer Kozikoğlu (Lec., Izmir University of Economics)
Sema Alaçam (Asst. Prof. Dr., Istanbul Technical University)
Ece Küreli, Coordinator (Res. Asst., Izmir University of Economics)

Gülce Özmen gives an Architecture Student’s Perspective

Gülce Özmen is a student of architecture at Izmir University of Economics. She is also an active voice in the Izmir Cut|Paper community.

Ms. Özmen is recounting her experience at a forum of architectural students in Istanbul. The attendees identified challenges faced by students of architecture, such as:

intensity of education; grade worries; comparisons with educational systems abroad; lack of support; and apathy.

Ms. Özmen says that students are able to counteract these negative effects through organization and active involvement. She is giving some examples from her experience with the Cut|Paper community.

Many students are concerned about the relationship between computation and design, especially with regard to scripting tools that are applied, but not understood. Students especially want to understand the theoretical bases for these techniques.

Cansu Günaydın on Generational Changes in Architectural Understanding

Cansu Günaydın is an alumnus of Izmir University of Economics (Dept. of Architecture, 2011)

Ms. Günaydın would like to encourage different types of explorations in architectural education such as:

Technique- analysis and fabrication techniques can be assisted by technology
Materials- knowledge and use is limited to materials developed in the 20th century. Students should be encouraged to explore newer materials and construction techniques.

Even with regard to model-making, the models can be explorations of ideas, rather than representations of preconceived solutions.

Müge Halıcı on Student-Based Workshops

The afternoon session of TRANS_ARCH_EDU_02 is underway. After a welcome from session chair, Dr. Ethem Gürer, Müge Halıcı,  a researcher at Istanbul Technical University is the first to address the group.

Müge is explaining the TRANS_ARCH_EDU workshop series, the second of which was conducted yesterday at Izmir University of Economics. In the previous workshop, second-year design students were introduced to the scripting tool, Grasshopper, and shown computational techniques analyze surfaces and then to produce them using computer numerically controlled fabrication (laser cutting.)

The surfaces were originally generated based on knowledge about magnetic field behaviors.


Dr. Sema Alaçam on Concept and Communication in Design

Dr. Alaçam is an Assistant Professor at Istanbul Technical University and also lectures at Izmir University of Economics. She is researching the way that communication occurs in design, both in the finished work and in the process.

Design communication is about the relationship between abstract expression and concrete experience. There is a way of “bridging” between the concept and experience which is aided by investigative techniques, using both analog and digital forms.

She showed some examples of this process on her Izmir University of Economics “computing and making” course blog.

According to Dr. Alaçam, curiosity makes the difference in establishing effective learning scenarios.

Dr. Ahu Sökmenoğlu on Urban Analytics

  Next up is Dr. Ahu Sökmenoğlu, also from Istanbul Technical University.


Dr. Sökmenoğlu is outlining the role of data mining in current trends in urban analysis. This data comes from GIS databases, but also from live data collecting such as traffic signal operations. The collection and analysis of this data shows potentials for improving life in cities.

Her own PhD research focused on the Beyoğlu Preservation area in Istanbul in creating an analytical model for understanding building characteristics and their influences in terms of ground-floor use patterns, site occupation, size, etc. Such models can support better urban decision making. Evolutionary algorithms test the “fitness” of solutions to the surrounding area.

The streets ore project at MIT uses image mining techniques to assess people’s perceptions of street safety and map that data onto neighborhoods.


The crucial issue for design is the “post-processing” of the mined database. How can architects draw conclusions from data sets and set directions for cities and peacemaking? Dr. Sökmenoğlu believes a new generation at data mining expert/architects is required.

Mine Özkar on computation and basic design

The first panel session of TRANS_ARCH_EDU_02 is underway and first up is Dr. Mine Özkar of Istanbul Technical University. 

Dr. Özkar presented several frameworks for understanding computation as a design pedagogy as seen in basic design studio work. First and foremost, she emphasized her understanding of the pedagogical content of the design studio: knowledge, skill, and attitude.

Knowledge consists of organizing principles used to produce design works.

The studio process which passes from production to comparison to evaluation, resulting in the development of design strategies. Examples from first-year design studios in Istanbul and Izmir demonstrated the principles at work

Dr. Özkar concludes that teaching e students to recognize similarities and create repetition, furthermore, to develop variation within that repetition presents significant learning opportunities for students. 

The relationships between  repetition and variation can model and be  be modeled by computational techniques as her applied research in teaching design studios has shown.

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Gülen Çağdaş

Gulen CagdasThe founder of Program of Computational Design in Architecture at ITU, Gülen Çağdaş will be talking about the brief history of Computer Aided Design; Potentials of Digital Media; Potentials of Computational Design approach; Scientific approaches to Design; Different approaches to the Computational Design process; Reflection of Computational Design to Education; Building Information Modelling as an integrated media for Architecture.

A graduate of İstanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Gülen Çağdaş has taught at the same faculty since 1981 and has been weorking as a full-time professor since 1997. She is currently head of the Department of Informatics, Graduate School of Science, Engineering and Technology.