These images show a glimpse into what were the workshop sessions during the Smart Geometry 2010 event, which took place at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IaaC) from the 19th through the 24th of April (with Conference sessions taking place at the Petit Palau).  This event came to Barcelona and IaaC thanks to a lot of hard work from various people, especially Marta Malé-Alemany, co-director of the IaaC Masters.

The workshop sessions were divided into ten clusters, each with their own brief and material constraints.  One major difference this year was the application of fabrication technologies in each of the clusters.  The Fab Lab BCN, under the guidance of Tomas Diez, stepped up to the challenge and fabricated most of the clusters work.

This years conference was different, according to the organizers and people who had attended previous Smart Geometry conferences.  No doubt the application of fabrication, IaaC’s unique space and community, and the energy of Barcelona made the difference.

Breakdown by cluster:

Deep Surfaces: Achim Menges and Sean Ahlquist
Armed with sewing machines, laptops, and Processing, this cluster worked on generating tensile structures. We saw a mix of computational tools including GC, Processing, and Rhinoscript.
Nonlinear Systems Biology and Design: Jenny Sabin and Peter Lloyd Jones
This group had a head start in producing their 3d Printed nodes. The nodes mutate and generate various spatial conditions.
Manufacturing Parametric Acoustic Surfaces: Martin Tamke and Brady Peters
Another group with a fabrication head start. This cluster proposed several acoustic systems fabricated from Dibond. A mix of Grasshopper and GC were seen as the main tools.
High Tech Design – Low Tech Construction: Juan E Subercaseaux and Gustav Fagerstrom
This cluster relied heavily on the Fab Lab’s milling machine to output their component assembly. The idea was to use very simple methods to eventually build up a construction. GC was seen as the main computational tool, with Rhino and RhinoCam being implemented for the fabrication setup.
Parametrics and Physical Interactions: Hugo Mulder and Flora Salim
This cluster probably fabricated the least, but produced the most engaging work. Well, their aim was exactly this, creating applications which provoke us to interact. Many tools were used, including Processing, Rhino, Grasshopper, Twitter API, gHowl, GC, and Reactable. One of the most interesting things to learn from this cluster is UBIMASH, a platform for developing interfaces to 3D modelling packages and real time sensor data.
Curved Folding: Gregory Epps and Simon Flory
On day one of the workshop sessions, this cluster had all laptops closed. Instead of diving into associative models, this group began with paper. By the end of the first day, all of the tables and walls around this cluster were filled with scale paper models with one thing in common, curved folding. Seems like a simple enough idea; instead of folding a straight line, fold along a curved line. It is the simplicity of this technique which also makes it so provocative. In the end, the cluster fabricated a stainless steel structure which used one basic component.
Explicit Bricks: Tobias Bonwetsch, Ralph Baertschi, and Andrea Kondziela
The team from ETH Zurich and Gramazio & Kohler arrived equipped with a mini Kuka Robot. The robot worked in conjunction with a hot wire cutter in order to process the intersections between bricks. The image above was generated from a Grasshopper Model. Since there is no immediate inerface to work with the Kuka Robot, Ralph and Andrea reversed engineered the Grasshopper model into Python code in order to communicate with the robot.
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Rapid R&D to Rapid Assembly: Bruce Bell
This cluster tested the precision capabilities of the Fab Lab. Utilizing very strict material constraints, the team designed a form for a bifurcated concrete column. Rhino and RhinoCam were utilized.
Design to Destruction: Al Fisher and Sam Joyce
Usually we treat our fabricated work with great pride and care. This cluster had a different approach. Most of everything this cluster designed was destroyed. This destruction was intentional, they tested designs against each other to see which would take the most weight. This lead to a very lively and energetic attitude from the cluster participants. (image from

Inflatable Fabric Envelopes: Axel Kilian and Adam Davis
Another group equipped with sewing machines. Various softwares, including GC, Grasshopper, and Rhino were utilized to prepare fabric patterns for the creation of Inflatable Envelopes. The team appropriated kite surfing technology (bladders and fabric mainly) and were able to create several large fabric formations.