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ETH - Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
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Published: 15.04.2004, 06:00
Modified: 14.04.2004, 17:45
Exhibition from the CAAD Chair
Showing what's possible

(cm) The people who work at the Chair of Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) with Professor Ludger Hovestadt (1) see themselves as technology scouts for architecture. This year's CAAD exhibition (2), which runs until the 29th April, illustrates just how far-flung the explorations of this group of scientists are. Visitors will find six different representations taken from current research and teaching activities, which can be seen for the first time in this juxtaposition.

Even though the work of the CAAD group tends towards applications for the future, they also draw on the past for intellectual impulses. Last year, which was the bicentenary of Gottfried Semper, the theme practically recommended itself. Starting with a digital photo of the north facade of the ETH central building, the group developed diverse algorithms with the help of which, and using Semper's rules, they then generated new projection onto the surface. A systematic inclusion of the arrangement of the pillars from Vitruvius to Classicism provided the basis for the project entitled "Pillar Atlas". In its turn this produced construction instructions that can be used in graphical programmes.

The other four exhibits don't have any explicit reference to the past. With the help of projections, distortions and luminous-like illusions the project "CAAD2“ investigates the extension of architectural space. "Leuchtstoff" also plays with the element of light. In fact the exhibit is an entire wall of luminous tubes that, via sensors, interact with the movements of the observer. A computer steered milling tool is an important component of the other two exhibits, "SurfaceSystem“ and "ESG.Pavillion“. In one, computer generated ornaments and surface structures from different kinds of material are the results, and in the other segments are lined up in such a way as to produce spatial structure (3).

All in all the exhibits show that ETH's CAAD is not exclusively involved with avant-garde computer models that demonstrate what is possible, but with architecture that shows what is possible with the help of computers.

A multimedial room,... large

an interactive wall of luminous tubes and... large

a computer-generated pavillion; all on show at the annual CAAD exhibition (Picture: CAAD) large

(1) Chair of CAAD - Professor Hovestadt:
(2) CAAD 2004: Thurs. 08.04.04 – Thurs. 29.04.04; Exhibition, E-floor, in front of lecture room E3 at campus Hönggerberg, ETH Zurich; open weekdays 8 a.m.–22 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–12 noon, closed on Sundays and public holidays.
(3) Cf. ETH Life article "Bauen mit Maschinen“:

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