Department of
Architecture and Built Environment

ACT PhD Summer School 2016

A30 Arts Lecture Theatre and C10 Sustainable Research Building
Monday 4th (16:30) - Wednesday 6th July 2016 (15:00)
Please contact either Jonathan Hale or Catherine Mitchell for more information.
ACT poster
The Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group proudly invites you to particpate in our PhD Summer School Event

DESIGN+TECTONICS: Working in the Space Between Theory and Practice

PhD Summer School 2016
4-6th July, University of Nottingham,
Department of Architecture and Built Environment

Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group

This event is the inaugural annual PhD Summer School of the Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group, part of the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. It brings together a group of practitioners, academics and research students from the UK and Europe to share knowledge and experience of ongoing research activity in the broad area of design and tectonics in architecture. This year’s focus is on research at the interface between technology and the humanities, reflecting the interests of the ACT group, which includes Nottingham staff and students working in the areas of: architectural technology (experimental structures, systems, components and materials); architectural design (including digital modelling and fabrication, and research by design); architectural humanities (architectural history, theory, philosophy and urban design).


The event will feature the work of key figures from European research and practice:

 Prof Manfred Grohmann, of engineers Bollinger and Grohmann, Frankfurt, and Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Prof Anne Beim, Director of CINARK, Centre for Industrialized Architecture, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK), Copenhagen.

Prof Tim Anstey, Chair of PhD Programme in Architecture, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

The event will address a number of pressing questions in contemporary research and practice, such as:

  • How to support the drive for sustainability within the context of contemporary design aesthetics?
  • How to exploit the potential of new materials and technologies in relation to established design approaches?
  • What can new digital design tools offer in the pursuit of both social and environmental responsibility?
  • Are new materials and systems compatible with adaptive re-use of existing structures?

 The event is open to all students, staff and architectural practitioners from the local region. 


ACT – PhD Summer School Programme:

Mon 4th July:  Rm A30 - Arts Lecture Theatre, South Entrance to University Park Campus.

4.30pm Introduction

4.45-6.00pm Keynote lecture: Prof Manfred Grohmann, Bollinger and Grohmann.

6.00-7.00pm Drinks reception at Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park.


Tues 5th July:  Room C10, SRB, Dept of Architecture and Built Environment.

9.30am Tea+coffee

10.00-11.30am - 3 PhD students from Nottingham ACT Group:

  • Mr Xin JIN: "Re-appropriation of material (physical, textual and typological) in the architecture of Wang Shu".
  • Ms Jing YANG: "Tectonics of 'Weak Architecture' in 3 projects by SANAA".
  • Dr Nils JAEGER: “Bodily interactions with adaptive architecture”.

Discussion led by Jonathan Hale.

11.30 Tea + coffee

12.00-1.00pm - 2 PhD students from Kassel University:

  • Mr Moritz RUMPF: “Informed Form Generation: Embedding multi parameter optimization into architectural design”.
  • Mr Phillipp EISENBACH: “Processing of Slender Concrete Shells:  Fabrication and installation”.

Discussion led by Prof Manfred Grohmann.

1.30-2.30pm BREAK

2.30-3.30pm - 2 PhD students from KADK CINARK Group:

  • Mr Torben THYREGOD: ”Daylight, Health and Better Well-being:  Glass as a catalyst for sustainable transformation of existing housing”.
  • Ms Henriette EJSTRUP: ”The tectonics of reuse: Learning sustainable energy optimizations from the past”.

Discussion led by Prof Anne Beim/Ulrik Stylsvig Madsen.

3.30pm Tea + coffee

4.00-5.30pm – 3 PhD students from AHO, Oslo and KTH, Stockholm.

  • Ute GROBE (AHO): “Making a Case: The potential of horizontally densified housing as a contemporary timber typology for Norwegian cities”.
  • Jan STRUMILO (AHO): “Ten Propositions for Urban Timber: Developing guidelines for the multi-storey timber city”.
  • Marja LUNDGREN (KTH): “Nearly Zero Energy as a Design Parameter: A study in tectonics and morphology for nearly zero energy architecture”.

Discussion led by Prof Tim Anstey.


Weds 6th July:

8.15am Site visit to newly completed building: Sustainable Chemistry Building, Jubilee campus: 9.00-10.00am.

[Limited numbers – Invitation only]

12.00pm LUNCH – (Room C10, SRB, Dept of Arch)

1.00-2.00pm - 2 PhD students from Newcastle University:

  • Mr Kieran CONNOLLY:  ”Default in Architecture: the history, design and logic of the suspended ceiling”.
  • Mr Thomas KERN: ”Introvert Monoliths: the narrative, the memory and the future of Brutalist churches in Central Europe”.

Discussion led by JH (on behalf of Prof Adam Sharr)

2.00-3.00pm wrap-up/closing discussion:

  • The links between research and practice.
  • The role of tectonics in the age of digital design.

Department of Architecture and Built Environment

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14184