Pre-print: CITA Complex Modelling


We are happy to present a pre-print version of the Complex Modelling publication to be launched in early 2020. Complex Modelling is a framing project examining the infrastructures of advanced information modelling. It includes in-depth project descriptions of projects like Isoropia, Bridge Too Far, Hybrid Tower, Stressed Skins, Inflated Restraint, Lace Wall and The Rise as well as a presentation of the broad array of speculation that follow the projects in the form written essays as well as speculative probes.
The book is published by Riverside Press, to be launched in Spring 2020.
The preprint is published on Issuu:


CM_Book previw

Out now : Special issue: Complex Modelling – International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC)

We are happy to announce, that IJAC, the International Journal of Architectural Computing, has just published the special issue on “Complex Modelling” edited by CITA!

In their framing editorial Martin Tamke and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen write:

The special issue examines the future of the digital design model. It assembles five papers that examine the underlying infrastructure of advanced computational models, asking what methods need to be developed to be able to operate in an information rich design environment.
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Complex Modelling Research Exhibition (03.09 – 11.12.2016)

CITA is exhibiting the final three demonstrators of the Complex Modelling project in a research exhibition in Copenhagen from 3. September – 11. December 2016.

The Complex Modelling research exhibition explores new design strategies for architectural construction. Digital design and fabrication and the integration of simulation into our design tools are enabling new ways of using materials and building. The research exhibition presents results from CITA’s latest research into air-inflated membranes, hybrid structures combining tension and compression based elements and into the strategic corrugation of steel plates using robotic fabrication. The exhibition presents the final three digital-material experiments that make up this research.

2016_CM_RE_EINVITEv2F_blank Complex Modelling is a Sapere Aude Advanced Research project granted by The Danish Council for Independent Research and undertaken by CITA: the Centre for IT and Architecture at KADK. It investigates the infrastructures of our design models. By questioning the tools for integrating information across the expanded digital design chain, the project asks how to support feedback between different scales of design engagement moving from material design, across design, simulation and analysis to specification and fabrication.

Meldahls Smedie
Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51

Exhibition In Rotterdam (2015)

1:1 samples from three research projects will be part of the materialXperience exhibition in Amsterdam from January. Hybrid Tower, Stressed Skin and Sensitive Ceramics demonstrate how material and its behavior becomes part of design through the combination of digital fabrication, simulation and Craft. The projects are simultaneously investigations into novel ways of robotic making with CNC Knitted Textiles, sheet metal and porcelain and new areas of architectural computing. Tower and Stressed Skin are part of the Sapere Aude research project Complex Modelling at CITA.
More info and free tickets to the event here

Design Modelling Symposium Copenhagen 2015 – Workshop & Masterclass announced

DMSC banner

The Design Modelling Symposium Copenhagen 2015 is hosted by CITA and is the first conference, which takes place within the Complex Modelling project.

The conference on September 30th – October 2nd and the four 2-day workshops and one Master Class preceding the event, provide a unique opportunity for practitioners to gather theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise in the current state and technology for the increasingly relevant modelling practices in architecture and engineering. A focus in the workshop is to provide knowledge and tool, which are directly applicable in practice.

The workshops and Master Class are hence ran by leading researchers and practitioners from high profile companies and universities including KieranTimberlake, designtoproduction, HAL-Robotics, Bollinger-Grohmann, Berkley and Harvard University, who will share their expertise and latest developments.

We hope that you and your colleagues are taking the chance to register for the workshop and join the event. The Workshops and Master Class fee of 460 Euros includes entry to the conference. The conference only fees is 320 Euro (professional). A reduced fee is available for students.

Please find more information and the registration here

Complex Modelling – Opening reception and Evaluation event (21.04.2015)

CM-DesignMuseumThe ComplexModelling Project invites for a public evaluation event and reception. We will present two demonstrators at the Danish design Museum and discuss the ongoing project with experts and he interested public.

April 21. 2015 – Evaluation Seminar – PROGRAMME:


9:30 – 10:00           Welcome and coffee – browse around the process exhibition
10:00 – 10:30           Presentation of the full project scope and ideas
10:30 – 11:30           Presentation of sketches and projects: Tower
11:30 – 12:30           Presentation of sketches and projects: Stressed Skin
12:30 – 13:30           Lunch Break / Walk around the installations


13:30 – 14:30          PhD Anders Holden Deleuran 1st year VIVA presentation
14:30 – 15:30          PhD David Stasiuk pre-final VIVA presentation
15:30 – 16:00          PhD Michel Schmeck startup presentation: aims and ambitions


Complex Modelling is supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.  

Hybrid Tower (2014)

The inventory of the Hybrid Tower

Traditional thinking in architecture and engineering alike is to understand the built environment as static, unaffected by changes in their environment. Buildings are designed for permanence and thought as stable and unchanging.

Tower explores the idea of a moving arch, a resilient structure that adapts under environmental changes.

Tower is a the result of an interdisciplinary research collaboration betweenCentre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen (Denmark), the Department for Structural Design and Technology (KET), University of Arts Berlin (Germany), Fibrenamics, Universidade do Minh, Guimarães (Portugal), Essener Labor für Leichte Flächentragwerke, Universität Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the Portuguese textile company AFF a. ferreira & filhos, sa, Caldas de Vizela.


resillienceRepresentative at the Danish Design Museum

A TOWER – The resilience Tower Typology

The concept of resilience is chosen as a primary design driver in the project. Resilience is understood here as the ability to recover from or adjust to change or external stimuli. Specifically this implies being able to withstand not just self weight but live loads such as wind. The design strategy here where to develop “soft structures” where resilience was defined as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading. This design requirement points towards a focus on potential applicability to industry and practice.


The architectural typology of the tower was chosen as the design case with the aim of building a 6-10 meter tall demonstrator in the spring of 2015.

150124_Joey_BATM_SixMeterMembers_01 150124_Joey_BATM_SixMeterMembers_08 150309_BATM_FormFinding_IntegrationOfModels_01



The ability to design for and with material performance is a core resource for design innovation closely tied to material optimization. The project introduces three scales of design engagement by which to examine material performance: the structure, the element and the material.

Tower questions the tools for integrating information across the expanded digital design chain, the project asks how to support feedback between different scales of design engagement moving from material design, across design, simulation and analysis to specification and fabrication.methods



Designing at three scales

MACRO: At the “macro” scale the architectural typology of a form active tower presents challenges outside of common applications of form finding such as shells and membranes which may be form found using known and tested principles such as catenary networks and minimal surfaces.



MESO: On the “meso” scale the project explores the potential of Bending Active Tensile Membrane structures as a strategy for satisfying the goals described on the macro scale. Specifically these may be defined as bending active linear members constrained by a tension active membrane resulting in a stiff hybrid structure with a high degree of resilience..



MICRO: At the “micro” scale the project introduces bespoke elastic knit as the tensile membrane – specially fabricated from high tenacity polyester yarn and programmed to the tower and its performance – and fibre-reinforced polymer rod as the slender bending members which are constrained by the membrane.

Textile_channels00_bwThe fabric is knitted using knit Piquet Lacoste a less elastic a more isotropic knit. The membranes are produced on a double bed knitting machine which allows the creating of channels and pocket to steer the rots position, and wholes for tension/lines and stitching the membranes together.

Detail   tension system


Photographer Anders Ingvartsen

GRP materials by Fibrolux GmbH

Transmissive Assemblies (2014)

Basic Material research into integrating material behaviour


The installation Transmissive Assemblies concentrates upon two qualities that are particular to fibre reinforced composites: translucency in a structural element, and the ability to gain stiffness locally through forming and folding. Taking point of departure from preceding architectural experiments focused upon these qualities – exemplified by Renzo Piano’s Mobile Sulphur Extraction Facility (1965) – the project asks how a modern composite sandwich might be designed to modulate the transmission of light in a controlled manner through strategic material variation.

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The project is structured around three sub-projects each examining a particular scale-relationship; the structure, the element and the material. Each project undertakes a particular investigation embedding design-led examinations of the complex computational modelling of structural systems.

P1) Self-organising performance (scale of the structure)

The sub-project investigates how principles of self-organisation can be used for structural optimisation. Taking point of departure in large scale timber construction, the project examines how the FE analysis of the material dynamics (flex and bend) embedded in the single element can be parameterised so as to inform feedback loops within a complex model composed of interacting sub-systems and used in the design of a load bearing surface-membrane.

P2) Modelling Interdependency (scale of the element)

The sub-projects examine the interdependencies that appear in friction based structures. Taking point of departure in timber based macro-weaving systems that scale up textile principles, the project aims to devise novel ways of computing the complex feedback in the stress-forces that characterise these systems. Using evolutionary systems of computational learning, the aim is to devise an adapting system in which goal states self-parameterise thereby allowing greater design control.

P3) Multi-Scale Modelling (scale of the material)

The sub-project investigates how multi-scalar modelling can be used to understand complex feedback loops between different levels of material organisation. The project takes point of departure in fibre reinforced composites and examines how three levels of modelling: the material, the element and the overall structure can be interfaced and calibrated for use in an architectural design environment. The project employs computational strategies from material science to develop dynamic feedback mechanisms for inter-scalar design control.

The project employs a research-by-design methodology focussing on design-led physical experimentation and full scale prototyping. The physical experiments act as material research inquiries by which the concepts and technologies of the research inquiries are tested and evaluated. The emphasis on the design and implementation of material design experiments allows the project to engage directly with the investigated techniques and technologies moving along the digital chain from design and analysis to specification and fabrication. This integrated approach positions the research inquiries within a similar network of interconnected expertise and practice that make up architectural design practice.

The material experiments generate shared empirical data that can be tested, analysed and evaluated by the research team. The project identifies three kinds of material evidence:

  • Speculative design probes allowing ideation and blue-sky thinking
  • Material prototyping enabling direct full scale testing of defined design criteria against real-world methods of realisation and production
  • Demonstrators acting as proof-of-concept testing design criteria in a direct spatial manners