Institute of Architectural Algorithms & Applications 建筑运算与应用研究所 School of Architecture, Southeast University, Nanjing

Beyond the Grid (Chinese & English Version)


When I assumed the professorship for CAAD at the ETH in Zurich in September  2000, computer aided architectural design was mainly a matter of building models in a computer. Two directions were then prevalent: Under the title of  ‘virtual reality’—in simple terms, applied computer graphics—the surface features of  architecture were reproduced in the computer, while the designation ‘artificial intelligence’ referred to the reproduction of its deep structure. As a student of Fritz Haller—from whose course in building construction at the University of Karlsruhe I received my doctorate and where I carried out ten years of intensive research—I had a particular interest in the structure of buildings, rather than their graphic representation. This sets our work in Karlsruhe apart in comparison to the other groups: We weren’t concerned with developing the artistic potential of the computer, but rather with its use in answering real architectonic questions; our credo was not ‘virtual reality,’ but ‘back to reality’.
It has always been with this goal in mind that I set up and have advanced the professorship for CAAD at ETH Zurich. The focus of our work lay—and still lies—in exploring that special relationship between architecture and information technology. So, on the one hand, we are making a deep study of the fundamental structural determinants of this relationship, while on the other hand, we want to put our outcomes to the test in real-world architectural practice. Architecture and information technology have more to do with each other than one might at first suppose. Because both fields have a somewhat more integrative than particular character, our work has constantly given rise to new hybrid forms and solutions that are as surprising as they are versatile.
Over the last eight years we have taken an exploratory approach to our work, and we have therefore intentionally published and communicated little about it. Now that this experimental phase of applied research has reached a certain saturation point, we will, over the next few years, focus more on systematic, theoretical, and methodical questions, and we will invest more of our resources in publication and communication. For us, this book is a collection of the empirical work that we have carried out so far, and also a basis for our future work, which will focus much more on theory.
With this book we want to conclude this first phase in the development of our work at the chair of CAAD, a phase which was characterized by many and varied experiments, of which we present a selection here. They cover an extraordinarily large area of possible applications in a fertile field of research, in which information technology meets architecture. We hope that this publication will inspire our readers to further develop their own specific ideas about architecture. We furthermore hope that it will help to give a realistic impression of how architecture is currently undergoing fundamental change. Our readers will find much to inspire them, but will find no instruction manuals or step-by-step guides.
The articles in this book have been intentionally kept simple; there are no in-depth explanations of the technologies used in the projects, and theoretical positions are not explained in any great detail. However, we will take great delight in demonstrating the possibilities of an expanded idea of architecture based on our real-world experiments. The theoretical aspects of these experiments and opportunities will be outlined in the text inserts between the descriptions of the projects, but only in a tentative manner. To elaborate on this will be a matter for research in the future.
To be appointed to this professorship is a great privilege, since our chair has access to resources that few other institutes of this type have, even at an international level. We are in a position to carry out thorough long-term research into the fundamental questions of our subject area. This extraordinary position has been made possible by my predecessors; and special thanks must go to the founder of the chair for CAAD studies, Gerhard Schmitt. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them, and, of course, all of the many dedicated co-workers who, with enthusiasm, energy, and skill have brought to fruition such a large number of multifaceted projects.

Prof. Ludger Hovestadt / Zurich, May 2009


        2000年9月我在苏黎世联邦理工大学担任CAAD实验室的教授,当时计算机辅助建筑设计还主要是指在计算机中模拟建筑模型。有两个方向很盛行:一是在“虚拟现实”的名号下——简单来说,就是计算机图形学的应用——建筑的外观特征由电脑模拟,二是以“人工智能”为宗旨的在其深层次结构的模拟。作为一名Fritz Haller教授的学生,我在德国卡尔斯鲁厄大学学习Fritz Haller的建筑构造课程,进行了十年的研究并获得博士学位,因此我对建筑物的结构更感兴趣,而不是它们的图形表达。这使我们的工作在与卡尔斯鲁厄的其他小组进行比较时显得不太一样:我们关心的不是计算机在艺术潜力上的发展,而是更关注它在实际建筑问题上的应用;我们的信条不是“虚拟现实”,而是“回到现实”。





我们研究组所拥有的资源,在其他同类甚至国际水平的研究所中均不常见,因此在这里被任命为教授是莫大的荣幸。我们正处在对该学科领域基本问题长期深入研究的位置。目前的卓越成果基于前辈们的努力,尤其是CAAD研究组的创始人Gerhard Schmitt教授。我想借此机会感谢所有前辈,当然,还有所有用热情、精力和技能投入,为如此多层面的项目带来硕果的同事们。

Ludger Hovestadt / 2009年5月于苏黎世


      《超越网格》清晰的阐明数字技术在建筑领域具体应用的浅显尝试。建筑相关元素的新思维方式已超越了网格思维以及精度和效率的范式。这是一种自我理念的实践,它使得数字运算作为一种新的生产方式,在实际工程的起始点和最终结果之间调和建筑思维。数字运算的介入成为数字化建筑的风向标,并且导致了一个没有预定但仍然可控的多样性 —— 它在高层次的、连续的建构设定中把观点与计划、设计过程与真实建筑结合起来。驾驭而不屈从于数字技术,个性化的创造力将超越网格模式的限制。

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        本书展示2000年至2009年瑞士联邦理工大学以Ludger Hovestadt教授为首的建筑数字技术研究所的科研轨迹,其学科涉猎已大大超越普通“建筑人”的科研范畴。书中大部分案例的完成者均历经欧洲严格的建筑学研习,然而他们保持对貌似客观的绝对真理的戒心,敢于质疑既有的建筑体系,在孜孜于完美的终极答案的同时也始终保持其多义性和开放性。

        该书由东南大学出版社2015年10月完成编译,翻译:李飚、华好、乔传斌,责任编辑:戴丽、魏晓平,同年12月在全国正式出版发行(ISBM: 978-7-5641-5709-8)。





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