Performative Design Processes for Architecture ( [P]a) is a research and education initiative launched in 2007 by Marco Verde. [P]a agenda is rooted in the field of emergent technologies and especially focuses on the investigation of integral strategies and processes for architectural design and production. [P]a is an expression of the research work in Contemporary Strategies and Processes for Architecture to which Marco is dedicated since 2005. [P]a is grateful to all practitioners, scholars, and students who demonstrate their interest in this intense and systematic work and contribute to the intellectual and technical development behind the production of the sample material here collected. Marco Verde 2013

[ teaching files ]

ACA0.0 | Brief :: check out the latest updates [ 04.2013 ]
[P]a agenda agenda is developed through Studios and Workshops held within undergraduate and post-professional programmes. Since 2006, a broad spectrum of investigations have been developed within a number of schools across Europe and North-America especially focusing on topics such as Computational Design, Material Systems, Interactive Structures of Variable Geometry, Composites Materials In Architecture and Computer-Aided Manufacturing Processes and Protocols for industrialized customization in Architecture. Computation in Design and Fabrication, Design of Material Systems, and Deep Formations are the three strands through which Marco's teaching practice unfolds contributing to the investigations and development of the intellectual background and practical know-how that support a contemporary discourse within the architectural domain. The three strands explore different territories; approach, implementation, and expected outcomes are different, however, contents and intellectual backgrounds are complementary. MV


The agenda in “Computation in Design and Fabrication“ is to investigate the field of evolutionary strategies for design to explore novel organizational logics and languages in architecture. Design strategies dealing with the concepts of topology, time, and parameters are researched while experiencing the shift from the design of final objects to the design of systems and processes that from simple rules can produce higher levels of complexity and emerging behaviours. Designing by code, the study of formal systems, the study of algorithmic processes or computational simulation techniques are among the topics investigated. Digital core studies in parametric-associative design and computer-aided manufacturing are deeply integrated into the agenda. Of course, CNC fabrication of refined corroborative prototypes is a key aspect of this strand. Design and fabrication are regarded as inextricably entwined aspects of an integral, non-linear design processes. Computation in Design and Fabrication aims at experiencing contemporary digital technologies from a humanistic point of view gearing with the thinking and practical skills that lead to the redefinition of our role as practitioners along the process of design.

ACA1.5.FR11 | AA Visiting School Paris| Architectural Association | 2011
Instructors: Marco Verde

keywords: dynamic systems, parametric design, digital fabrication, computational design, file to factory

Students’ works: Bartek Arendt, Napak Arunanondchai, Kasia Bedra, Punyawee Chamornmarn, Malin Phlernjai, Safura Salek, Hirun Sanghirun, Valentina Sumini, Thanapha Temjaroen, Ponson Thaiwaranon, Issaree Trongkamolthum, Nicha Wiboonpote

ACA1.4.NL10 | HYPERBODY + BioDLab (ADDA)| TU Delft| 2010
READY TO FABRICATION. Undergraduate School 5-day workshop.
Instructors: Jordi Truco (BioDLab/ADDA) + Marco Verde (HYPERBODY)

keywords: digital fabrication, differentiated components systems, composite

Students’ works: Belen Torres, Andrea Buttarini, Gorka de Lecea, Simone Rebaudengo, Yinghao Lin, Claudio Saccucci, Pankash Matre, Sine Celik, Alicie Mela, Wen Ting, Francisco Tabanera, Paola Betances, Erik Stange, Yaron Israel, Lieke Kraan, Andres Dejanon, Alba Armengol, David Leon, Alice Bodanzky, Begoña Gasso, Carlos Castro, Federica Garofalo, Vladimir Ondejicik

ACA1.3.CY10 | University of Nicosia| Department of Architecture | 2010
ULTRALIGHT. Undergraduate School 3.5 days immersive workshop.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructors: Marco Verde, Dr. Odysseas Kontovourkis
Sponsored by TSI-RhinoMembrane

keywords: minimal surfaces, computational design, parametric design strategies, digital fabrication, materials' performance, file to factory, composite structures, membranes, computational form-finding

Students’ works: Loukia Agatokleous, Farhad Pakan, Narges Abdi, Maria Ermina Stephanidou, Anna Margaritova, Ellie Balabanidou, Yuliya Dzyuban, Glykeria Solomou, Zahra Bikdeli, Fatemeh Bikdeli, Panagiotis Hadjiphilippou, Kyriacos Papazachariou, John Takkos, Kypros Georgiou, Nicholas Georgiades, Kerry Kyriacou, Nikolas Tsaousis, Christina Demetriou

ACA1.2.NL08-09 | Hyperbody | TU Delft | 2008-09
Computational Design and Manufacturing. Undergraduate School 2.5 days immersive Workshop.
Instructor: Marco Verde; Student Assistants: Ran Berman, Marcus Chaidez

keywords: computational design, digital fabrication, materials' performance, file to factory, laser cut, 2D CNC manufacturing methods

Students’ works: Daniele Brossa, Valentina Sumini, Bart de leeuw, Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki, Roxana Palfi, Gustavo Nascimento, Marcus Chaidez, Oladunjoye Oladayo, Nam Dongho, Christopher Tan, Martin Schorn, Bernadette Luger, Tieme Zwartbol, Nicolas Fabre, G-J Bijl, Dennis Cloppenburg, Cem Berdan, WU Penghan, Ruzbeh Ghofranian, Yang Shi, René-Paul van Leeuwen, Durand Pauline, Niek Kramer

ACA1.1.ES06-08 | EsArq_UiC | 2006-08

Computational Design and Manufacturing. Undergraduate School Design Studio.
Director: Jordi Truco. Instructors: Jordi Truco, Marco Verde
Read more on http://www.ma-s-lab.blogspot.com/ and http://www.digitaldlab.blogspot.com/

keywords: computational design, digital fabrication, materials' performance, file to factory, parametric design, CNC milling, 2D/3D CNC manufacturing methods, composites, glass fiber

Students’ works: Laura Gómez, Laura Ribas, Albert Serradell, David Hernandez, Maria Matamalas, Carol Amoros, Jorge Salinas, Patricia Palacin, Oriol Carrasco, Oriol Casanova, Anna Naomi Amano, Diego Navarro



The design-research in Material Systems focuses on the investigation of spontaneous physical processes of form adaptation and self-organization that occur in space and time whenever matter is subjected to a field of extrinsic forces. The agenda of this strand is to study form as actual, spatial expression of dynamic processes. Through physical form-finding experiments, self-forming morphologies are researched to understand the relationships among their spatial organization, the intrinsic qualities of the material they are made of, and the extrinsic forces to which matter is subjected. Endogenous organizational criteria and strategies for spatial growth are then abstracted through a systematic analysis. The information collected become then instrumental to the design of spatially ariculated, multiperformative, light material systems for architectural application. For this propose, morphogenetic processes are unfolded. Systematic hands-on investigations into fibrous, composite, aggregates, and elastic materials combine with digital studies in advanced parametric-associative design and research in computer aided manufacturing processes. Research implemented through physical prototyping and supported by digital means is the main design instrument that leads the entire design process.

ACA2.5.IT11 | ALO In Collaboration with Facolta' di Architettura di Alghero | 2011
FORM-FINDING. 5-day intensive workshop.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructor: Marco Verde

keywords: material systems, materials' performance, composites, physical form-finding, material auto-organization

Students’ works: Maria Antonietta Cossu, Irene Giua, Luca Putzolu, Marilena Christodoulou, Paola Serrittu, Nicola Montuschi, Guido Pilo, Laura Posadinu

ACA2.4.NL11 | HYPERBODY | TU Delft | 2011
PERFORMATIVE PROLIFERATIONS. Undergraduate School, Fall Semester MSc1 Design Studio.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructor: Marco Verde

keywords: morphogenetic design strategies, material systems, proliferated component systems, globally modulated systems, emergent behaviour, material auto-organization, digital fabrication, parametric-associative design strategies, adaptation, arduino, control engineering, real time adaptation, interactive systems

Students’ works: Alice Mela, Lieke Kraan, Alice Bodanzky, Claudio Saccucci, Erik Stange, Federica Garofalo, Vladimir Ondejcik, Yaron Israel, Yinghao Lin, Wen Ting, Simone Rebaudengo,Sine Celik

ACA2.3.ES10 | ELISAVA | 2010
PERFORMATIVE PROLIFERATIONS WORKSHOP. 4-day intensive workshop within the ADDA Postgraduate Master's Degree program.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructors: Jordi Truco, Marco Verde

keywords: morphogenetic design strategies, material systems, proliferated compoent systems, globally modulated systems, aggregate systems, emergent behaviour, material auto-organization

Students’ works: Andrea Buttarini, Gorka De Lecea, Alba Armengol, Pankaj Mhatre, Begonia Gassò, Carlos Castro, Paola Betances, David Andres, Andres Dejahon, Francho Tabanera, Aleix Galan, Belen Torres.

ACA2.2.ES09 | ELISAVA | 2009

FORM-FINDING WORKSHOP. Spatial formations through Material Intelligence. 12-day workshop within ADDA Postgraduate Master’s Degree Program.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructors: Jordi Truco, Marco Verde

keywords: material systems, materials' performance, composites, form-finding methods, material auto-organization

Students’ works:Cristina M.Perez, Irene P.Villa, Laura G.Garrido, Nuria G.Garrido, Oriol Carrasco, Carolina Pereira, Justin Piercy, Marilia Coutinho, Miguel Huelga, Xavi Montuxa, Iria de la Peña, Laia Mogas, Jorge Duró, Laura Liberal, Manuel Lopes, Fernando Rial

ACA2.1.ES06-08 | EsArq_UiC | 2006-08

Material (S)ystems Laboratory. Graduate School, Design Studio within the Bio-Digital Architecture Master’s degree Program.
Director: Jordi Truco. Instructors: Jordi Truco, Marco Verde. Read more on http://www.ma-s-lab.blogspot.com/

keywords: material systems, emergent systems, emergent behaviour, material auto-organization, digital fabrication, materials' performance, file to factory, parametric-associative design, CNC milling, 2D/3D CNC manufacturing methods, composites

Students’ works: Natalia Karakosta, Marcio Arioli, Franz Zahra,Eleni Kouneli, Gabriel Moreno, Daniel Terán, Anna Hartofili, Anke Pasold, Isak Foged, Alessio Erioli, Pau Ginés, Viviana Hernaiz, Andrea Macruz, Lamila Simic, Diego Cuevas, Antonio Vacca, Aref Maksud, Julian Ardella, Anas Katramiz, Elif Erdogan, Joana Pinho da Costa, Juan Cardenal, Theodoros Theodoridis



Deep Formations agenda focuses on the design of architectural formations which inner and outer spatial organization are expression of continuous material transition of deep volumetric patterns. Starting from the study of the organizational capabilities of dynamic systems in space and time, the design of non cave-like morphologies is researched. Special emphasis is placed on the understanding of performative and spatial qualities, structural integrity, and programmatic organizational abilities as architectural features inextricably related to shape. Hereby, spatial articulation becomes a necessity to perform multiple functionalities at the same time. Such a capability is studied as emerging quality proceeding from the local interaction among small-scale, volumetric building elements that develop into structurally sound well-organized patterns. Accordingly, the investigation of hybrid spatial construction systems that strategically combine multiple materials and fabrication techniques takes a special role. Researching (almost) completely automated CNC fabrication processes and fast and clean assembly procedures is also especially important. The development of advanced design intelligences for a smart and conscious usage of composite materials is among the key subjects of this series.

THE ROOTS. In the field of industrial production, the adjective “deep” describes certain physical features of a given object or production process. In metal forming, for example, “Deep Drawing” is a stamping production technique whereby a metal blank is drawn into a forming die by the mechanical action of a punch. A part is said to be deep-drawn if its depth is at least half of its diameter. While the deep drawn stamping process is occurring, matter is driven into the die through a controlled flow. The three-dimensional complex articulation of the continuous shape produced is a distinctive feature of deep drawn object. Automotive body and structural parts are examples of deep drawn components. What becomes crucial is that, in deep drawn parts, the geometric complexity of the shapes collaborates to the structural stability of the part. Thus, in such a context, the adjective “deep” holds multiple meanings being catalyst of materials properties, geometric and structural features, manufacturing process, and global performative features of the product.

The definition of deepFORMATIONS borrows the connotation of the term above described and couples it with the concept of "formation". Defined as “the process by which something develops into a particular thing or shape” (Longman), this term put special emphasis on the internal nature of the process of development of a certain entity. In developmental biology, this process of formation is known as Morphogenesis: the process of growth whereby the Phenotype develops in time under the direction of the Genotype. The Phenotype is the actual state of an organism that manifests the physical properties, physiology, morphology, and behaviour of the organism while the genotype is the set of internal inherited instructions that govern the growth. At the same time, as widely described by D’Arcy Thompson, phenotypes growth is influenced by the interactions with environmental forces and mechanical processes acting on it. Such interaction results ─by a process of self-organization─ in the emergence of organized configuration of matter in space and over time and contributes to the differentiation of phenotypes of same genotype. During the formations of patterns and the process of differentiation, heterogeneity (regarded as the quality of a system that results by the adaptation of its constituent parts) becomes a crucial quality of complex systems. Under a broader viewpoint, adaptation itself, as pointed by Kevin Kelly (1998), is one of the true organizing principles intrinsic to the development of systems:

In heterogeneity is creation of the world. A uniform entity must adapt to the world by occasional earth-shattering revolutions, one of which is sure to kill it. A diverse heterogeneous entity, on the other hand, can adapt to the world in a thousand daily minirevolutions, staying in a state of permanent, but never fatal, churning.

THE AGENDA. Rising from the concept introduced, deepFORMATIONS series aims a design approach rooted in Systems Thinking. Through a holistic understanding of design and making it challenges the exploration of alternative spatial repertories and actual architectural futures. The agenda, implemented through a research-based design approach, is focused on the investigation of advanced computational simulation techniques for the development of novel generative strategies in architecture. deepFORMATIONS series fosters the departure from conventional fragmented design approaches rooted in criteria of mono-functional optimization. Accordingly, architectural formations are regarded as systems whose phenotype manifests as deep, three-dimensional, multiperformative patterns. Key emphasis is especially on the exploration of not cave-like morphologies. These, by means of physical modulation, differentiation, and structural redundancy of their patterns, can be integral catalysts of architectural, structural, environmental and production/assembly features. Hence, such formations would show neither mono-functional specialization of parts nor explicit physical distinction among structural frame, environmental threshold or habitable space. Indeed, the understanding of the emerging spatial and programmatic opportunities of such material organizations becomes crucial to the success of the studies taken.

Finally deepFORMATIONS series pursues a fully volumetric development of the architectural object that is regarded as an integral body which constituents are strictly entwined and locally specialized but never segregated to perform single functions. Accordingly interior and exterior physical organization of the body of deepFORMATIONS are simultaneously developed. For the purpose of these studies, in-depth research in automatic processes of form generation and auto-organization, material performances, data-driven manufacturing methods and the study of advanced assembly logics become crucial while they foster the development of a strong interdisciplinary attitude.MV

KEY STUDIES within deepFORMATIONS teaching series


Architectural development and realistic form experimentation is hampered by a gap between design methods, which may be strongly influenced by algorithms and computation, and traditional artisan building technology, characterized by producing smaller and larger parts and assembling them rather crudely on the building site.

Nevertheless there is an evolution going on. Buildings can become much lighter and lot more efficient in the building process and consequent use through integration of physical functions in composite structures. Composites consist of two or more materials that complement each other’s properties. Reinforced concrete is a relatively crude composite. Band-aid and tapes are the most common ones. A very successful technology in yacht building is vacuum injection: laying woven fibres in a mould, covering it with foil and then suck out the air from underneath to be replaced by polymer resin. Structures can be manufactured in relatively simple ways by weaving and impregnating.

The most commonly applied composites consist of high-grade fibres (aramid, carbon, glass) and polyester or epoxy resin. They are supposed to compete against steel and aluminium. This struggle has distracted us from the fact that metal can very well be a composite ingredient with several advantages. Metals guide electricity and heat, they can be welded, and they can be plastically bent: they keep their shape after deformation. Woven metals are much easier to deform than plate, also in doubly curved shapes. Freezing an acquired shape with a resin, or perhaps plaster or some other dough is still possible. Metal fabrics deserve experimentation. EH

LIGHTNESS STUDIO | Ed van Hinte Lecturing at Hyperbody Tu Delft | Fall Semester 2009

K1.2_LIGHTNESS. Composites Workshop | HYPERBODY | TU Delft | 2010
Undergraduate School Workshop within MSc2 Evolutionary Patterns Design Studio
Instructors: Ed van Hinte, Marco Verde

keywords: material systems, form-finding, digital fabrication, materials' performance, file to factory, laser cut, composites, vacuum forming, glass fibre, material auto-organization

Students’ works: C.Saenz, Q.Liu, W.Xing, Z.Song, M.la Roi, Y. Choi, U. Sheth, R. Berman

K1.1_Bent Fabrics | HYPERBODY | TU Delft | 2009

Undergraduate School Workshop within MSc3 infoMATTERS Design Studio.
Instructors: Prof. Adriaan Beukers, Ed van Hinte, Marco Verde

keywords: material systems, lightness, composites, form-finding, materials' performance, material auto-organization

Students’ works: Silvia Roxana Palfi, Urvi Sheth, Mark Antoni Friedhoff, Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki, Gustavo , Harikrishnan Sasidharan, Jonas Sin, Eliot Rosenberg, Aurelie Hsiao, Kwok-Tung Chung, Jungie Yan, Shi Yang


K2.1_Animate Forms| HYPERBODY | TU Delft | 2010
Undergraduate School Workshop within MSc2 Evolutionary Patterns Design Studio.
Instructors: Jordi Truco, Marco Verde

keywords: computational design,auto-organization, formation, animation

Students’ works: C.Saenz, Q.Liu, W.Xing, Z.Song, M.la Roi, Y. Choi

Director: Marco Verde. Instructors: Marco Verde, Odysseas Kontovourkis

keywords: form-finding, material self-organization, digital fabrication, parametric-associative design strategies

Students’ works: N. Amini, A. Charalambous, M. Matheou,G. Tryphonos, C. Christodoulidou, G. Theocharous, M. Christodoulou, M. Mitzaeian , S. Efthymiou

deepFORMATIONS. Undergraduate School, Spring Semester MSc2 Design Studio.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructor: Marco Verde

keywords: computational design, system auto-organization, digital fabrication, composite structures, vacuum forming

Students’ works: Y.Wen, B.Zhou, K.Wang, Y.Zhou, F.vanBrunschot, Y.Lin, H.Y.H.Luk, C.Liu, E.Papadonikolaki, D.Skrimizeas, C.Saccucci, G.Modderman, M.G.Polski, Ton Deuling, S.H.W.deHaan

deepFORMATIONS. Undergraduate School, Spring Semester MSc2 Design Studio.
Director: Marco Verde. Instructor: Marco Verde

keywords: computational design, system auto-organization, digital fabrication, composite structures, vacuum forming

Students’ works: Yea-Jung Choi, Qing Liu, Matthijs la Roi, Carlos Abel Saenz, Wang Xing, Song Zeying

infoMATTERS. Undergraduate School, Fall Semester MSc3 Design Studio.
Director: Nimish Biloria. Instructors: Nimish Biloria, Marco Verde

keywords: computational design, swarm behaviours, multi-agent systems, materials' performance, auto-organization, digital fabrication methods

Students: Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki

Students: Silvia Roxana Palfi, Urvi Sheth, Mark Antoni Friedhoff

deepFORMATIONS development through Multiagent Systems. Studies in "Swarm Behaviours". Students: Aurelie Hsiao, Kwok-Tung Chung, Jungie Yan, Shi Yang

Students’ works: Silvia Roxana Palfi, Urvi Sheth, Mark Antoni Friedhoff, Agata Kycia, Krzysztof Gornicki, Gustavo , Harikrishnan Sasidharan, Jonas Sin, Eliot Rosenberg, Aurelie Hsiao, Kwok-Tung Chung, Jungie Yan, Shi Yang