Henriette Bier is 15-30th October on an Asia-Australia tour lecturing, reviewing PhD research, and exhibiting at various institutions such as CUHK, RMIT, USYD, and NUS.

Henriette Bier is 15-30th October on an Asia-Australia tour lecturing, reviewing PhD research, and exhibiting at various institutions such as CUHK, RMIT, USYD, and NUS.

Henriette Bier is going on an Asia-Australia tour and amongst others exhibits a prototype at the Tin Sheds Gallery in Sydney at the first international exhibition of female-led robotic practices. In addition to the exhibition in Sydney, the tour involves lectures, colloquia, and symposia in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Singapore and is co-funded by the Dutch Embassy in Sydney, Delft Robotics Institute, RMIT, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and National University Singapore.

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The final review meeting on 1st of June marks the official end of the Rhizome project implemented with partners from TUD, ESA, and Vertico.

The final review meeting on 1st of June marks the official end of the Rhizome project implemented with partners from TUD, ESA, and Vertico.

In order for off-Earth top surface structures built from regolith to protect astronauts from radiation, they need to be several metres thick. With support from European Space Agency (ESA) and Vertico, the Technical University Delft (TUD) advanced research into constructing habitats in empty lava tubes on Mars in order to create subsurface habitats. By building below ground level not only natural protection from radiation is achieved but also thermal insulation because the temperature below ground is more stable. A swarm of autonomous mobile robots developed at TUD scans the caves, mines for in situ resource utilisation (ISRU), and with the excavated regolith that is mixed with cement constructs the habitat by means of automated and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) supported Design-to-Robotic-Production-Assembly and -Operation (D2RPA&O) methods developed at TUD. The 3D printed rhizomatic habitat is a structurally optimised porous structure with increased thermal insulation properties due to its porosity. To regulate the indoor environment a Life Support System (LSS) is considered, which is, however, outside of the scope of the presented research. Instead, the production and operation of the habitat are explored by combining an automated kite-power system with solar panels in a microgrid with the goal to develop an autarkic D2RPA&O system for building off-Earth subsurface autarkic habitats from locally-obtained materials.

Zoom link:

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Henriette Bier and the Robotic Building lab at TU Delft organise a symposium on ‘Human-Robot Interaction for Post-Carbon Architecture’ together with  LU Hannover.

Henriette Bier and the Robotic Building lab at TU Delft organise a symposium on ‘Human-Robot Interaction for Post-Carbon Architecture’ together with LU Hannover.


Henriette Bier (TU Delft) and Mirco Becker (LU Hannover)


Henriette Bier and Luka Peternel (TU Delft); Mirco Becker and Lukas Lachmayer (LU Hannover); Oliver Tessmann (TU Darmstadt); Daniela Mitterberger (ETHZ); Serban Bodea (ETHZ/U Stuttgart); Alisa Andrasek (RMIT); Valentina Soana (UC London); Verena Vogler (McNeel); Maria Yablonina (U Toronto); Brian Ringley (Boston Dynamics).

Speaker Bios and Abstracts:




The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is facing a threefold challenge involving the (1) digital transformation of all design and planning processes, (2) automation of construction processes, and (3) reconsideration of energy, process, and material use. This challenge involves issues of productivity, scalability, safety, labour skill shift, and environmental impact. There is a particular urgency in transferring effective solution from research to building practice to meet significant carbon reduction goals by 2040.

The one-day symposium is an opportunity to make an inventory of current tendencies in autonomous construction and human-robotic interaction in architecture. It aims at affirming and/or challenging research agendas in the domain of architectural robots. The leading questions for the symposium are:

  1. What are the fundamental research questions for framing post-carbon autonomous construction?
  2. What are the interdependencies between machines, humans, and materials?
  3. How do different implementation timeframes define strategies for transferring research, as for instance, continuous transformation vs. leapfrogging?


By inviting a selected set of speakers and guests, the organisers aim at delivering tangible results with respect to the posed leading questions in two sessions: The morning session will be reserved for lectures and Q&A and the afternoon session is dedicated to a workshop with the goal of establishing a network for framing new collaborative projects. Results will be published in Spool CpA (see most recent issue


Join Zoom Meeting

9:00-9:15h Intro by Henriette Bier (TU Delft) and Mirco Becker (LU Hannover)

9:15-11:00h Session 1 moderated by Valentina Soana (UC London)

9:15-9:45h Henriette Bier and Luka Peternel (TU Delft)

9:45-10:15h Mirco Becker and Lukas Lachmayer (LU Hannover)

10:15-10:30h Oliver Tessmann (TU Darmstadt)

10:30-10:45h Serban Bodea (ETHZ / U Stuttgart)

10:45-11:15h Q&A

11:15-11:30h Break

11:30-12:45h Session 2 moderated by Oliver Tessmann (TU Darmstadt)

11:30-11:45h Maria Yablonina (U Toronto)

11:45-12:00h Daniela Mitterberger (ETHZ)

12:00-12:15h Alisa Andrasek (RMIT)

12:15-12:30h Valentina Soana (UC London)

12:30-12:45h Brian Ringley (Boston Dynamics)

12:45-13:00h Q&A

13:00-14:00h Break

14:00-15:45h Workshop moderated by Mirco Becker (LU Hannover) and Henriette Bier (TU Delft)

15:45-16:00h Closing

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Henriette Bier and the Robotic Building lab at TU Delft organise a symposium on ‘Perpetual Adaptation’ together with PoliMi, TU Vienna, and Cornell.

Henriette Bier and the Robotic Building lab at TU Delft organise a symposium on ‘Perpetual Adaptation’ together with PoliMi, TU Vienna, and Cornell.

Download pdf


Members of Adaptive Environments network ( Henriette Bier, TU Delft; Margherita Pillan, Politecnico di Milano; Michael Hensel, TU Wien; Keith Evan Green, Cornell


Human and non-human agency
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics in the built environment Environmental informatics


Perpetually adaptive environments define a new research frontier at the interface of architecture and design, computing, robotics, and behavioral sciences. Such adaptive environments are responding in real-time to human needs and opportunities, environmental changes, and other internal and external input. Their design as bio-cyber-physical systems requires integration of physical and virtual architectures with digital systems and social organizations.

Previous research in the emerging research domain of adaptive environments has investigated Actuated and Performative Architecture: Emerging Forms of Human-Machine Interaction (Pillan et al., 2020), Apparatisation in & of Architecture (Lee and Bier, 2019), Robotic Building (Bier, 2018; 2017), and Architectural Robotics (Green, 2016).

This Adaptive Environments symposium turns to questions of (1) artificial intelligence and robotics embedded in the built environment; (2) perceptions of human and non-human agency in such environments; and (3) environmental informatics.

Of particular interest to the symposium include but are not limited to topics such as:

  1. Interdisciplinary approaches for computational, multi-domain and trans-scalar modelling that integrate planning and design scales from the territorial scale to the building scale.
  2. Case studies for urban and natural environments requiring, on the one hand, computational modelling and high precision monitoring strategies and on the other hand robotics for the production and operation of such environments. In this context, sensor-actuators are introduced to facilitate communication and exchange between artificial and natural agents by creating bio-cyber-physical feedback loops.
  3. Speculative investigations into how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics bring built environments “to life”.

Authors of accepted papers will be encouraged to develop their papers as chapters for a volume In the Spring Book Series, Adaptive Environments ( edited by the ymposium organizers.


Activities and presentations will be blended combining online and off-line means. Presentations are scheduled to take place 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes Q&A.


9th Sept. 2021

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 5658 2641
Passcode: 895749

14:00-14:10h Intro and moderation (Henriette Bier, Margherita Pillan and Michael Hensel)
14:10 14:40h Jeroen van Ameijde (CUHK): Data-driven Urban Design
14:40-15:10h Katia Perini (UniGe) and Ata Chockhachian (TUM): Informed Urban Environments
15:10-15:40h Umberto Fugiglando (MIT): The City that Senses and Responds: How Data Can Drive Interdisciplinary Connections to Foster Ecological Solutions

15:40-16:10h Coffee break

16:10- 16:30h Sebastian Vehlken (Leuphana University): Dual Environmentality. Towards a Media Ecology of Oceanic Habitats
16:30-17:00h Verena Vogler (Bauhaus University, Weimar; McNeel): Designing Artificial Coral Reefs
17:00-17:30h Pierre Oskam and Henriette Bier (TUD): Bio-cyber–physical Planetoids
17:30-18:00h Erica Parisi (UniFi) and Jakub Tyc (TU Wien): Data acquisition & Data integration: The Case of High-altitude Viticulture in Lamole

10th Sept. 2021

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 899 5638 4698
Passcode: 125708

14:00-14:10h Intro and moderation (Henriette Bier, Margherita Pillan and Keith Green)
14:10 14:40h Cédric Pruski (LIST) and Defne Sunguroglu Hensel (TUM): Data & Information Modelling
14:40-15:10h Georg Vrachliotis (TUD): Re-thinking “The Responsive House”, 1972
15:10-15:40h Margherita Pillan and Andrea Bonarini (Polimi): Inquiring the impact of AI on the design of responsive and interactive spaces

15:40- 16:10h Coffee break

16:10-16:40h Hamed Alavi (UniFri): Indoor Air Quality Forecast in Shared Spaces– Predictive Models and Adaptive Design Proposals
16:40-17:10h Ni Zhang (Cornell): SORTing Things Out: A Multi-Agent, Wall Climbing Organizer-and-Delivery System for Living Spaces
17:10- 17:30h Closing of symposium
17:30-18:30h Restricted meeting of AE network

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23rd October the Architecture, Design, and Machinic Intelligence Online Symposium takes place with invited guests from UCL/ENASPM and USC.

23rd October the Architecture, Design, and Machinic Intelligence Online Symposium takes place with invited guests from UCL/ENASPM and USC.

Zoom Link:


Today, the question is not if artificial intelligence can be integrated into building processes and buildings but how this intelligence can contribute to advance design to production processes and physically built environments. This question will be addressed by speakers from three academic institutions invested in exploring computational intelligence and cyber-physical interaction


17:00-17:30 Intro and Bio-cyber-physical Systems in Architecture
Henriette Bier (TUD)

17:30-18:00 Architecture at the age of AI
Philippe Morel (UCL Bartlett BPro)

18:00-18:30 Doppelgängers, Digital Twins, and Design Imperatives
Dr. David Jason Gerber (USC)

18:30-18:45 Q&A

About the Speakers:

Henriette Bier (TUD)

Bio-cyber-physical Systems in Architecture

Today’s physical-digital continuum challenges architects to envision buildings and building processes as bio-cyber-physical systems that rely on interactions between human and non-human agents. These operate as multi-agent systems consisting of autonomous entities, which act towards achieving goals together by perceiving through sensors and by acting through actuators in all phases from design to production and operation of physically built environments.


Philippe Morel (UCL Bartlett BPro)

Architecture in the age of AI

Artificial intelligence systems have long sought a logic of knowledge, in line with the “logic of thought” of G. Boole which has led to the exceptional progress known to all in both the formalization of this thought and in its technological development, namely the computer. However, if it was possible to define rules of thought, it was much more difficult to encode all the knowledge accumulated over thousands of years by the human species, to allow expert systems to compete with it and to provide good answers to often trivial questions …
The Internet has turned all this upside down since knowledge was now formalized – or at the very least available and structured – online, as Wikipedia attests. We would therefore no longer need the thousands of programmers coding partial knowledge in expert systems, but “only” a new paradigm making it possible to suck up online knowledge (which we assume that it reflects knowledge of humanity as a whole). This is what the Google Knowledge Graph has accomplished, and more recently the GPT-2 and GPT-3 type systems.
In view of the practical efficiency of this last GPT-3 system, and because ultimately all the architectures that could be created by humans for a few thousand years are potentially already created by artificial intelligences, we will ask in our intervention, beyond its practical utility, the question of the conceptual relevance of architecture.

Philippe Morel is an architect and theorist, co-founder of EZCT Architecture & Design Research (2000) and initiator and founding CEO of the large-scale 3D-printing corporation XtreeE (2015). He is currently a visiting teaching fellow at UCL Bartlett and an Associate Professor at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture Paris-Malaquais, where he headed the Digital Knowledge department (co-founded with Pr. Girard).

David Jason Gerber (USC)

Doppelgängers, Digital Twins, and Design Imperatives

As we embrace the evolving cyber physical social of the built environment, and as we pivot to address the growing set of design imperatives, we must explore architecture as a solution space, as a metier of leadership and creative agency for change. Through a deep interest in the development of digital twins that are stridently goal driven we can foster a dialogue of purpose, of transdisciplinary innovation, and of trans-binary approaches to the design and stewardship of the built environment.

Dr. Gerber holds a joint appointment at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC School of Architecture as an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice and of Architecture. Dr. Gerber is also the program Director for the Civil Engineering Building Science undergraduate program and the program Director for the Masters in Advanced Design and Construction Technology Program. He teaches in both the Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Architecture.

Dr. Gerber’s professional experience includes working in architectural, engineering and technology practices in the United States, Europe, India and Asia for Zaha Hadid Architects in London; for Gehry Technologies in Los Angeles; for Moshe Safdie Architects in Massachusetts; The Steinberg Group Architects in California; and for Arup as the Global Research Manager. Dr. Gerber’s research has been industry, fellowship, and NSF funded and is focussed on the development of innovative systems, tools, methods for design of the built environment. He currently advises, and co advises PhD students from Architecture and Engineering on topics that integrate computer science, robotics, engineering, with architecture.


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