algorithmic modeling for Rhino

AA Visiting School Dubai

Event Details

AA Visiting School Dubai

Time: March 20, 2014 to March 30, 2014
Location: Dubai, UAE
Street: Tashkeel
City/Town: Dubai
Website or Map:
Event Type: aa, visiting, school
Organized By: Riyad Joucka
Latest Activity: Feb 22, 2014

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Event Description

Dubai: a small fishing town in the Arabian Peninsula, a transient hub that has evolved overtime to become one of the world’s bustling centers of economic interchange. This ambitious emirate has defied the ordinary, to achieve marvelous but sometimes-questionable architectural spectacles.

After a severe downfall of the economic recession, Dubai is slowly regaining its global status, this time capitalizing on art, design, and cultural exchange as generators of its own identity.

To instigate this illuminating revival, The United Arab Emirates is bidding to win the upcoming Expo 2020, with the theme “Connecting minds, creating the future.” Dubai has ambitious plans of the Expo being a congregation of the world’s leading countries coming together to exchange ideas under the headlining key drivers of 'Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity'.

The ‘World Fair’ has always been a platform for releasing revolutionary ideas into the world. A prominent part of the global engagement with World Expos are the temporary structures built by different countries coming to display architectural and artistic expressions of their respective nations. These pavilions have served as prototypes of pioneering ideas in material science and spatial expression, thus pushing the boundaries of architecture and technology.

AA Visiting School Dubai intends to examine the cultural and ecological fabric of the United Arab Emirates, as a precedent to generating a series of pavilions that would represent the candidate hosting country of the upcoming Expo. The process involves breaking away from the cliché of dismissing Dubai as a ‘collage city’ with no cultural or urban identity, going beyond that to formalize a novel archetype that speaks of what is it that makes Dubai a key global player in today’s contemporary world.


Throughout the 10-day programme, participants will be familiarized with generative modeling techniques and computational analysis software, through a series of specialist seminars. The group will start by splitting into several sub-units. The first day will commence with an introduction to these digital tools, which will be used throughout the workshop to create a feedback loop between material and digital realms. ­­­­

AAVS Dubai participants will take a trip to observe some of Dubai’s landmarks from street view, as well as from an aerial perspective. The purpose of this trip is to search for patterns that embody the emerging cultural identity of Dubai as a postmodern city.

Using this gathered information to generate forms in a bottom-up manner, participants will attempt some material testing using analogue form-finding methods. These models will be then simulated digitally using parametric digital modelling tools such as Grasshopper, Processing, Python Scripting and VB scripting for Rhino, initiating a feedback loop for the evolution of the proposed systems.


The pavilions will be conceived through the work of groups, collaborating to fabricate an outcome of scaled prototypes. All teams are expected to present their works in parallel to methodologies of morphogenetic design and the processes that lead to complex geometries.

Material properties, in addition to physical and environmental pressures, will be quantified in digital simulations. The workshop participants will digitally test their findings to enhance the performance of their prototypes and re-evaluate the results in a feedback loop. This digital form-finding system would potentially lead to an optimal outcome, through generating iterations can be analysed for various fitness criteria and to be developed into an architectural scheme.

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