ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2011, Stuttgart, Germany, 2011. © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart.

AIA St. Louis Scholarship Fund Lecture: Achim Menges

February 19, 2015
6p Reception, 6:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Achim Menges will deliver the AIA St. Louis Scholarship Fund Lecture, Material Computation, as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. Menges is a registered architect and professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he has served as the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design since 2008. Since 2009, he also has served as visiting professor in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Menges' practice and research focuses on the development of integral design processes at the intersection of morphogenetic design computation, biomimetic engineering, and robotic fabrication that enables a highly articulated, performative built environment. His projects and design research work have received various international awards, been published and exhibited worldwide, and form part of several renowned museum collections, including the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

He graduated with honors from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he subsequently taught as studio master of the Emergent Technologies and Design Graduate Program from 2002-09, visiting professor from 2009-12, and unit master of diploma, unit 4, from 2003-06.

About the Lecture

Advances in the conception of materiality and the technologies of materialization have always been catalysts for design innovation in architecture. Today, technological innovation across multiple disciplines suggests that design computation is no longer limited to the binary realm of the digital, but instead becomes an intense interface to the more complex domain of the physical. Thus a new understanding of the material in architecture is beginning to arise, forging new alliances between the fields of design, engineering, and natural sciences, and leading to a novel material culture in architecture.

In this lecture, Menges will discuss how materiality no longer remains a fixed property and passive receptor of form, but instead how it can be transformed into an active generator of design and an adaptive agent of both structural performance and architectural performativity.