INDESEM 2015 – Re.Craft
B Nieuws Article:
InDeSem ‘15 Re.Craft
Did you notice the transformation of the Oostserre from May 29th until June 5th? The International Design Seminar (InDeSem) took over for a week and added some special features to the hall. Six large banners welcomed you from above, robotic arms were creating art in the middle of BK street and a normally peaceful exposition area was transformed into a workspace consisting of an orchestra of singing 3D printers.
This edition’s theme was titled ‘Re.Craft’ and explored the impact of emerging digital fabrication technologies on the practice of architecture. Through a critical examination of newly available tools, techniques and materials, Re.Craft enquired the notion of craft in contemporary architecture.
Several keynote lecturers were invited to participate in this edition, such as Ben van Berkel (UNStudio), Greg Lynn (Greg Lynn Form), Theo Jansen (Strandbeest), Wiel Arets (WAA) and Herman Hertzberger (architecture studio HH).
Besides these well known architects, we enjoyed the company of several young researchers and architects. One of the interesting lecture series took place on Tuesday, focused on Robotic Building. During this session Xavier de Kestelier told us more about his research at Foster + Partners. Together with the European Space Agency they are exploring the possibilities of 3D printing buildings on the moon using lunar soil. Kathrin Dörfler gave us another perspective on building with robots. As a researcher at Gramazio & Kohler at the ETH she investigated the use of flying drones in the architectural building practice. The lecture serie ended in a group discussion between the students and the lecturers, led by Marta Malé-Alemany. Surprisingly she asked the students to leave the Orange tribune and join the couch, for an informal face to face conversation.
During the week the students of InDeSem worked in groups on a design task in Rotterdam. The students were divided among three chairs with different visions on digital fabrication and tools to work with. We were looking for the new form language of digital fabrication tools and what effect it may have on architecture. The assignment asked for an intervention in the border conditions of the urban space around the Fenix warehouses, by transforming a façade area in order to revitalize the environment.
The design process started with a site visit on Saturday. We asked the students to search for the main quality of the building, which resulted in a classical scenery: architecture students sneaking through closed doors, exploring abandoned spaces and eventually enjoying the view of the Maas from the roof of the warehouse. On Sunday the students got their hands dirty in an art gallery in Amsterdam North to capture their first ideas in a Vedute model.
We closed the week with inspiring student presentations. We were surprised by the great amount of models which were produced in the fablab and the original applications of the new techniques. Especially the winning group, consisting of Marcel Klaver, Ilse van den Berg, Emilia Karwowska and Stefanos Koufopoulos, found an innovative way to apply the new techniques. Inspired by a gecko, their concept consisted of a system of contra-form joints attached to the roughest surfaces of the existing structure, without damaging it. Due to the digital fabrication techniques (especially 3D scanning and printing), the radical aspect of this idea is that it can always be completely removable, without any conventional drills, holes or bolts.
We would like to thank all participants, teachers, technical support and the faculty for making this edition a great success. See you in two years!
INDESEM board 2015
Andreja Andrejevic, Eline Degenaar, Leonie Boelens, Floris Dreesmann, Jani van Kampen en Lars van Vianen.