• S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Systems & Materials in Architectural Research and Technology. As a GSM#3 conference research theme, S.M.A.R.T. Environments shall interrogate the intricate relationship between information systems and associative material formations. Such interrogations are deeply rooted in exploring novel interdisciplinary design strategies and nonlinear processes for developing generative meta-design systems. These are used to conceive multi-scalar Performance Driven Architectures and Real-Time Interactive Environments. The resultant spatial outputs are hybrids, which evolve from the creative fusion of Ubiquitous computing, Parametric design and Material computing. Associated experiments spanning from the Micro to the Macro scales, focus on developing context aware spatial eco-systems embedded with sensing, actuation and control protocols enhanced with engineered computing elements and performance driven material aggregations.


    Such environments are able to respond/communicate with People, Activity and Environmental Context based information in an intelligent and learned manner with a focus on enhancing user comfort & awareness levels while sustainably producing/channeling energy and optimally organizing materials. Such context aware environments thus embody sensing, thinking and acting as an intrinsic part of their make-up. Considering this Systems and Materials context, the GSM#3 session of S.M.A.R.T. environments invites research contributions in the following specialized research strands:


    - Interactive Architecture Systems

    - Interaction models and Cognitive Systems

    - Material Systems and Performative Architecture

    - Smart Cities


    The relevance of these research strands in the contemporary information rich era and their implications on the shaping of the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector is substantial. The rate at which networked data connectivity between objects, machines and humans is omnipresent and is exponentially increasing has become a key indicator towards exploring such novel design and research paradigms within the AEC sector. This rate of connectivity in the form of the Internet of Things, will fundamentally  transform  how people will work through new interactions between humans and machines. It will  combine  the  global  reach  of  the Internet with a new ability to  directly control the  physical world, including machines,  factories and infrastructure that define the modern landscape. Such data driven synergistic environments bind architectural space and the human counterpart  in a behavioral dialogue promoting real-time interaction.

    With the advancement in technology, such enhanced spatial environments, are now also increasingly being delegated the task of being more human. This implies acquiring a higher level of intelligence with attributes such as empathy, compassion, pro-activeness etc. becoming intrinsic qualities. It is thus rather crucial to understand how man perceives and experiences his coexistence with advanced machinic intelligence. Besides this, advancements in computational design and analysis tools and techniques have already begun challenging traditional modes of design.

    An Architectural Engineering flavor, which deals with advanced performance metrics and hyperlinked knowledge banks, is on the rise and is being heavily experimented with by the design fraternity. Performance at the social, structural, environmental and spatial front is thus underpinning contemporary design in praxis as well as academia. Developing fully parametric meta‐design systems to enable today’s information architect to succeed in this competitive environment is thus gaining paramount importance. The emergence of a new material culture based on novel methodologies in both design thinking and materialization techniques is thus inevitable.

    Situated in such a context, the S.M.A.R.T. Environments session shall thus draw intelligent linkages between Information, Material systems and Humans in a transient networked society.


    Nimish Biloria (SE session chair/NGB#2 editor)



13:00-18:00 | Lectures & Presentations



Dr. Nimish Biloria


13:00-13:15 | Nimish Biloria | Intro: S.M.A.R.T. Environments and Program of the Day


S.M.A.R.T. session 01

13:15-13:40 | Usman Haque | Who designs, who decides?

13:40-14:05 | Areti Markopoulou | Design for the Responsive City



14:05-14:25 | Discussion session 01


S.M.A.R.T. session 02

14:25-14:50 | Michael Hensel | Embedded Architectures - Developments en route to Performance-oriented Architecture

14:50-15:15 | Martyn Dade Robertson |  Synthetic Biological Construction



15:15-15:35 | Discussion session 02


15:35-15:50 | Break


S.M.A.R.T. session 03

15:50-16:15 | Shajay Bhooshan | Architectural Geometry and Social logic of space: A medium and purpose of design

16:15-16:40 | Christina Doumpioti | Material Agency


16:40-17:00 | Discussion session 03


S.M.A.R.T. Pitches

17:00-17:10 | Achilleas Psyllidis | Urban Data Science

17:10-17:20 | Jia Rey Chang | Physical computing

17:20-17:30 | Dieter Vandoren | Playing space: instrumental architectures

17:30-17:40 | Joris Hoogeboom - Teun Verkerk | BUQS


17:40-18:00 | Nimish Biloria | Closing


18:00-18:10 |  Conclusions



  • Usman Haque is founding partner of Umbrellium  and Thingful, a search engine for the Internet of Things. Earlier, he launched the Internet of Things data infrastructure and community platform Pachube.com, which was acquired by LogMeIn in 2011. Trained as an architect, he has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and dozens of mass-participation initiatives throughout the world. His skills include the design and engineering of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life. He has also taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, including the Interactive Architecture Workshop (until 2005) and is currently co-teaching RC12 Urban Design cluster, “Participatory systems for networked urban environments”. He received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize.


    Who designs, who decides?


    Decision-making and design are central to the design of everyday public space, but it's important to understand how definitions of efficiency, optimisation, etc, that often underpin such processes, especially in so-called 'smart cities' help determine how and why things are implemented and with whom and where power concentrates. The questions of who designs and who decides are crucial to structuring participation especially in networked urban environments. This talk will discuss these issues in the context of some of Usman's work in participatory systems.


  • Areti Markopoulou is a Greek architect, educator and researcher working on the intersection between architecture and digital technologies.

    She is currently the Academic Director at IAAC in Barcelona leading international platforms of education such as the Master in Advanced Architecture and the Master in City & Technology, co-editor of the Urban Next and co-founder of StudioP52, a collective art & tech gallery.

    Her research and practice design explores new architectural models that incorporate applications of ICTs, Material Intelligence and Fabrication for allowing built and public space to dynamically adapt to behavioral and environmental changes over time.

    She holds a Bachelor in Architecture & Engineering from DUTH - Democritus University of Thrace, an MArch from IAAC and a Fab Academy diploma on Digital Fabrication offered by the Fab Lab Network. She is currently a PhD candidate in the UPC, on the topic of Responsive Environments and Smart Cities.

    Areti is leading the Digital Matter-Intelligent Constructions [DMIC] Research, a pioneer research on material, computational and artificial intelligence for generating new techniques of digitally fabricating responsive environments and adaptive construction systems.


    She has been developing urban projects and guidelines with the City Council of Barcelona and the Municipal Institute of Information for the implementation of ICT in the public space and the implementation of renewable Energy technologies in buildings and open spaces.

    Areti has also served as a curator of international exhibitions such as the Pavilion of Innovation (Construmat 2015), MyVeryOwnCity (World Bank 2011) and Fabrication Laboratory (Barcelona Design Museum 2010).

    Markopoulou’s work at IAAC has been featured in noumerous exhibitions worldwide, such as Venice Biennale, Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale, Beijing Design Week, 3d print show, and MaterFad among others. Areti has served as an external examiner and visiting jury in various universities such as the UCLA, SCI-Arc, NTUA, UPenn, BSSA, AA, and her scientific papers, projects and articles has been published internationally.


    Design for the Responsive City

    The advances of interaction and production technologies in combination with the advances in cybernetics, material sciences and bio-engineering start to impact architecture in unprecedented ways. Wearables that allow us to experience unbuilt spaces in real scale (VR/AR), buildings that breathe, grow and perform through our touch (active materials) and the possibility to download files from the internet in order to print our own house (DIY digital fabrication) are scenarios that just few years back were reserved to science fiction scripts.

    Architecture is transforming into a more responsive organism able to interact in real time with multiple agents such as the environment, time or user needs. The emergence of such responsive environments boosts new relations among user, architect and space and calls for novel design processes in the architectural discipline.

    At a moment of a novel intersection and crossing between bits (digital) and atoms (physical), static and fluid, matter becomes ubiquitous: available to be “built” by anybody that is connected to the internet or an interface.



  • Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel [Dipl. Ing. Grad Dipl Des AA PhD Reading] is an architect, researcher, educator and writer and quite probably interested in too many things. He is tenured professor for Architecture at AHO where he directs the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics and co-founded the Advanced Computational Design Laboratory and the RCAT | ACDL group. He holds a Research Professorship in Architecture / Digital Design and Advanced Fabrication Techniques at Aalborg University Faculty of Engineering and Sciences - Department for Architecture, Design and Media Technologies. He is founding and acting chairman of the OCEAN Design Research Association, a not-for-profit association registered in 2008 in Norway that conducts inter- and transdisciplinary research in design across creative disciplines. He was founding chairman and from 2011 to 2015 acting chairman of the Sustainable Environment Association [SEA], an international and interdisciplinary expertise network that is now integrated in OCEAN as OCEAN | SEA. He has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited numerous books and journals and serves as editorial board member of JBE - Journal for Biomimetic Engineering (Elsevier Scientific Press), FORMakademisk, IJDST - International Journal of Design Sciences and Technology, and AJAR Arena Journal of Architectural Research. Also he serves on the advisory board of TAD - Technology, Architecture and Design Journal.



    Embedded Architectures - Developments en route to Performance-oriented Architecture

    The talk will focus on current efforts to accomplish architectures that are intensely embedded into their settings. The question is how to integrate the built environment with the natural one or with cultural productive landscapes and how related approaches contribute to advancing an understanding of performance-oriented architectures. An integrated conceptual and methodological approach to this subject matter will be discussed based on the research of the RCAT | ACDL group at the  Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics at the Oslo School of Architecture.



  • Martyn Dade Robertson. I am Reader in Design Computation at Architecture at Newcastle University where I specialise in emerging technologies particularly Synthetic Biology. I am the Co-Director or ARC (the Architectural Research Collaborative) and lead the Synbio.Construction initiative. I hold degrees in Architectural Design, Architectural Computation and Synthetic Biology from Cambridge University and Newcastle University and have authored over 20 peer reviewed publications including the book: The Architecture of Information published by Routledge in 2011. I have received more than £400,000 in research income working on projects which span architectural design and digital technologies. My most recent project: Computational Colloids involves engineering bacteria to sense pressure changes in loaded soils.



    Synthetic Biological Construction

    In this presentation I will introduce the concept of Synthetic Biological Construction integrating design at multiple scales in engineered living organisms.  Through in vivo (in the living) and in silico (digital computational) work, I will describe the first steps towards a system that integrates the analysis and synthesis of material construction through engineered biological agents. It is proposed here that such a system would lead to a new paradigm in engineering design and realise, what Michael Hensel describes as, the literal biological paradigm in architecture.


  • Shajay Bhooshan is an Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects where he heads the research activities of the Computation and Design (CoDe) group. He also works as a studio master at the AA DRL Master’s program in London. He pursues his research in structure and fabrication aware architectural geometry as a Research Fellow at the Block Research Group , ETH Zurich. Previously, he has worked at Populous, London and completed his M.Phil.  from the university of Bath and M. Arch from the AA School of Architecture, London

    His current interests & responsibilities include developing design-research and maintaining computational platforms for the same at Zaha Hadid Architects. He has taught and presented work at various professional conferences events and institutions including AAG ‘16, simAud ’15 and ‘14 and ‘10 ,Ingenio ’13, Tensinet '13, ICFF Bath ‘12 , Designers Gallery AU ’11, Design computation symposium AU ‘10 , Siggraph ‘08, ETH Zurich, Yale University and University of Applied Arts Vienna , CITA Copenhagen, IAAC Barcelona, Innsbruck University etc.



    Architectural Geometry and Social logic of space: A medium and purpose of design

    Design by Intelligence-augmented designers, has the potential to overcome the mass-produced, homogenous, and disorienting sterility of 20th century architecture. It has the potential to re-associate with historic practice, and amplifying assimilated knowledge. It has the potential to heighten the Inference potential of spaces - of enabling meaningful occupation and navigation of spaces by humans. To fulfill this potential for rapid evolution of our discipline and upgrade of our built environment, it is imperative that designers and other stake-holders of architecture, invest in it – invest in digital technologies not just digital means of producing known tropes, invest in making design processes amenable for the use of computers, invest in making materialization of architecture amenable to the use of robots. Digitization of architecture and Intelligence augmentation of designers is a necessary and imperative path to a superior design intelligence.


    The interest of CODE group, in the main, is the rational enquiry of design, and in the specific, the directed search of design-space. The directed search aims for efficacious design, production and human occupation of Architecture.

    Lastly, the group particularly focuses on the augmentation, by computer and computer-controlled-machines, of the intelligence of the human designer in such a search.


  • Christina Doumpioti [Dip. Arch.Eng (Hons) AA MArch RIBA II] studied Architecture & Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and is a registered architect in Greece. She received her Master of Architecture (MArch) from the Architectural Association (AA) and has worked as a free-lance architect and as a computational designer in Arup Associates, London where she was responsible for developing parametric and performance-based design solutions.

    Christina has been the Studio Master of the EmTech graduate programme as well as instructor at the Media Studies at the Architectural Association. She has been visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, California College of Arts and Brighton University.

    Since 2010 she is a Technical Studies tutor and lecturer at the Architectural Association. Her research and teaching focuses on material thinking and implementation in architecture.




    The talk will evolve around material opportunities, limitations, potentials and speculations; the role that material agency is playing in the field of architecture and the different roles it can acquire in alternative material futures.

    Different examples demonstrate the role of materials as instrumental active agents capable of forming and reconfiguring boundaries, bringing out sentient qualities, and negotiating energy intensities.


Dr. Nimish Biloria is an Assistant Professor at the, Architectural Engineering and Technology Department (Chair: Hyperbody) at the Faculty of Built Environment and Design, TU Delft, The Netherlands. He firmly believes in digitally driven bottom-up methodologies for developing performance driven sustainable and energy efficient design solutions at variable scale.


His research and education interests in Performative Design and Interactive Architecture are clubbed under the research umbrella ‘S.M.A.R.T. Environments’ which investigates the intricate relationships between information flow and associative material formations. Investigations under this research umbrella include the following: Interactive Architectural Systems, Interaction Models and Cognitive Systems, Material Systems and Performative Architecture and Smart Cities.


He holds a PhD from the Delft University of Technology in Real-time interactive environments and a Masters in Architecture in Emergent Technologies and Design from the Architectural Association, London, UK. He has lectured at several prestigious institutes globally and has also presented and published his research and design deductions in numerous international journals, design conferences, books and magazines. He is also the Director of his design firm: DESIGN GENESIS, a design and strategy consultancy based in The Netherlands & India.


Jia-Rey Chang(Gary) was born in Taiwan. After he got his M.Arch degree in Architecture and Urban Design Department, UCLA, under the di­rection of Neil Denari in 2009, he came back to his Alma mater, architecture department in TamKang University, Taiwan, doing research on interactive and parametric architecture. In 2010, he established “P&A LAB”(Programming AND Architecture LAB) exploring the new possible relationship between the programming and architecture. Meanwhile, he also worked in the Architecture Department of National Taipei University of Technology as a part-time lecturer.  In 2011, He joined in Hyperbody LAB to further develop his preliminary study on “HyperCell”, which is a bio-inspired architectural component with intelligence, kinetic energy, self-assemble and self-adaptive capacities based on evolutionary development biology and swarm behavior principles. Cooperating with choreographers, visual artists, composers and pro­grammers, he had been involved in an EU project, MetaBody, to ex­plore the pro-activeness and intra-action relationship between body movement and spatial quality. Meanwhile, he is also extremely interested in the transdisciplinary topics of fashion design, creative coding, visualization, 2D/3D simulation, interactive design and motion tracking technology and holds several workshops for years.


Achilleas Psyllidis is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Web Information Systems group at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), where he is also the project leader of the Social Urban Data Lab (SUDL). He completed his PhD research in Urban Science and Informatics at the Hyperbody group, TU Delft, having been awarded a number of prestigious scholarships and individual research grants. His research lies at the intersection of urban data science, spatial analysis, geographic information science (GIScience), machine learning, and the semantic web. He has designed novel methods and tools (SocialGlassOSMoSys) for social urban data integration, visualization, and exploratory analysis. Achilleas holds a Professional Diploma (Dipl. Ing.) and a Postgraduate Master’s degree (MPhil), both summa cum laude, in Architectural Engineering and Spatial Planning, respectively. His research on urban data integration and interlinkage has been awarded the 1st Prize for Linked Open Data for Smart Cities (2015).


  • Dieter Vandoren  is an artist, performer and developer. His work draws from diverse backgrounds in music, IT and experimental architecture and revolves around the creation and play of spatial, immersive audiovisual instruments with a strong focus on the embodied aspects of performance.

    He holds a master degree in ArtScience (Royal Academy of Art The Hague) and a bachelor in Digital Communication (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht).

    Dieter is a founding member of the iii collective. He is a guest tutor and researcher at the Hyperbody and ID-StudioLab groups at the Delft University of Technology (departments of architecture and industrial design, respectively). He is an associate in A/V rental and production company Squat Deluxe Rotterdam.

    His works have been featured at Ars Electronica (AT), Club Transmediale (DE), NIME (UK), Artefact (BE), Electrochoc (FR), TodaysArt (NL), STEIM (NL), STRP (NL), Glow (NL), Fiber (NL) and more.



    In my practice I take an artistic approach to creating spaces that immerse the visitor in dynamic, emergent, multi-sensory environments molded into performance instruments. Each of these proposes a distinct aggregate structure composed of audiovisual elements (off-the-shelf and custom built), spatial configurations, behavioral logics and physical interactions. Each environment becomes a technological biotope with inherent indeterminacy. Yet I strive to compose and perform them as instruments expanded to a scale where we can entirely immerse ourselves in its pulsating bodies and make our own bodies part of its generative processes.


Teun Verkerk (1983) His work is a research by design which focuses around the creation of physical objects and environments mediated by digital, interactive and electronic technologies. Based in both interaction design and architecture, his work crosses the gap between the physical and virtual. Teun’s projects can be regarded as

combinatory designs of objects, technologies and space that lead to new ways of use, forms of communication or information. The aims of his projects are to shift the perception of reality, create engaging interactions with the physical environment and to facilitate social encounters between persons.

He is most known for his exhibited works buqs - a ubiquitous sound artwork together with Joris Hoogeboom - and ledwork: an interactive design light made together with TU Delft students. Currently he is investigating the social and artistic possibilities of internet of things technologies in art and design.


Joris Hoogeboom (1989) is a multidisciplinary designer whose work focuses on the emerging fields of interactive environments, programmable landscapes and electronic lifeforms. Most of his works are aimed at the interface between the digital and the physical, instilling surroundings with the capabilities of digital devices. Ranging from art installations to more functional design, the work proposes alternate futures regarding our use of technology in relation to our environments, natural or man-made. One of these projects done together with Teun Verkerk, a ubiquitous sound artwork composed of electronic lifeforms called, explored how we could consider electronics in our built environment. Others include Hana, a kinetic light-installation aiming to create ‘unawareness’, influencing users to behave more sustainably without the explicit effort. Lastly the graduation work at the Technical University of Delft which questions the role of architecture in a world which due to climate change is vastly more desertified and how we can change our approach to building materials and the role natural forces to come to different options. It researches how microbially induced carbonate precipitation in combination with robotic building can turn deserts into habitable environments on a large scale while keeping carbon footprint low.


Currently working as a freelance designer and looking for opportunities to realise this new way of using sand and bacteria to build.

S.M.A.R.T.Environments 11th November
Theme Programme Speakers

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S.M.A.R.T.Environments 11th November

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11th November

11th November


S.M.A.R.T.Environments THEME SPEAKERS 11th November