Author Archives: stiganielsen

Metro Mechanics

to modeller copy

Graduation project from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Copenhagen expands the Copenhagen Metro System with a ring line consisting of 17 station round all the different city parts. As and alternative to solving the situation when the standart fails, a parametric model is programmed to be able to form individual metrostations aligning to fit each site, based on various input from the individual urban context.
The parametric metrostation has the ability to be logistically similar but formally different. An approach translated from object orientated programming is used for managing the complex modelling into subtasks. The project is developed using the software Generative Components from Bentley.
The project is done in 100 days with an outcome of 17 stations in plaster models all fully functional. Together they tell a story of which cityparts are more homogenous than others. 2007

programmerede metrostationopsæ


Parametric Housing In Series and Structure

grå site oversigt_small

This highly parametric architecture project deals with the interrelations between dense housing units. They are programmed to negotiate their form based on the form of the adjacent units recursively. It is set in a particularly dense but low housing area. The units aims formally to describe Deleuzes concepts of structure and series. A student project from 2007 using Generative Components.






Horsens Havn Competition Project

20081027_OVERVIEW_final_rev_cobe copy_small

Horsens Havn, a winner competition from COBE and Schönher Architects in 2009. The city of Horsens wished for a vision of how the former industrial area of the harbor could be developed over a number of years. Visualizations from COBE and MIR.

MARITIM FINAL final_ redigerad copy

MARINEN FINAL FINAL v1_9_ redigerad copy


Underactuated Gripper



We designed, created and tested an underactuated soft gripper able to hold everyday objects of various shapes and sizes without using complex hardware or control algorithms, but rather by combining sheets of flexible plastic materials and a single servo motor. Starting with a prototype where simple actuation performs complex varied gripping operations solely through the material system and its inherent physical computation, the paper discusses how embodied computation might exist in a material aggregate by tuning and balancing its morphology and material properties.

We can define embodied computation as information processing in which the physical realization and the physical environment play an unavoidable and essential role [1]. In this paper we will discuss embodied computation and suggest a material system that has reduced actuation complexity and performs gripping instead through an embodied material computation. Human-robot Interaction can manifest indirectly, in the sense that robots should be able to interact with the same environments humans do. This requires a certain resemblance between robots and humans: in behavior, morphology, materiality, and scale. But how do we determine what similarities relevant, and should we mimic or replicate these mechanisms? What aspects of embodied computation are relevant to the design of material systems, morphology, and material behavior? One major challenge in robotics is picking up and holding everyday objects without crushing them. For that we have created an adaptive, robust gripper able to interact with a large number of real objects from an office environment and with humans. Traditionally in computer-science, software has been developed and analyzed separately from hardware. In embodied computing the computation is seen as happening ”as a physical system in continuing interaction with other physical systems (its environment)”. [1]. Information processing is implicit here because the physical environment performs some computations for free. Redstr¨om argues that computers can be seen as a kind of material, and that their computational capabilities must be combined with other kinds of materials in order to create a computational composite, so that the computer becomes useful in design [2]. This paper contributes a design of an underactuated gripper, a computational aggregate made up of material composites in a soft mechanical system, with an emphasis on morphology and material behavior interacting with the real environment. II. RELATED WORK Many robotic hand designs focus on mechanically replicating the human hand, controlling each joint independently using many actuators. On the other hand, underaction designs employ less actuators in order to control a larger number of joints. One of the first examples of an underactuated soft gripper, similar to a bicycle chain, was developed using pulleys and twenty articulations. It was able to conform objects of arbitrary shapes [3]. However, the design of this gripper only permitted holding an object in one plane. Another example of a soft universal gripper could conform around a complex object from all sides, and hold it by contracting the granular material it was made from [4]. This is a good example of embodied computing where a computational composite is used. The granular material automatically computes and shapes around an object, simplifying and avoiding the problems multifingered robotic hands experience when needing to compute the force and position required to control each finger. A simple design employing material intelligence can thus avoid both hardware and software complexities.



Oslo Centralstation

Oslo S_Bjorvika_krediteres

A competetion done the architects office COBE. The roof is used as the overarching element to unite the otherwise incomprehensible conglomerate of hallways and entries. The roof is inspired by a paperfolding tecnique and this same structural system is draping the station area in a holistic gesture. The competetion was done in collaboration with DSB Architects 2008

Oslo S_Aerial_krediteres Oslo S_Entrance_krediteres Oslo S_Interior mPERSON_krediteres

Dæmningen i Vejle


A river was exposed in the city center of Vejle. Complex shaped concrete sides create a natural looking flow. A low number of different forms sits in the sides, holding soil for trees and plants. The shape is created from the variegated look of a natural run in the bottom of the river and by the straight line along the urban surface plan. The project was realized with COBE and Vejle city in 2006. At this location.

et forløb farver alle



Dermoid In spring 2009 Prof. Mark Burry won the prestigious Velux Visiting Professorship Award to work with CITA, Centre for IT and Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture over a two year period. The aim for the Visiting Professorship was to explore how computation may lead to new material practices in architecture.
The installation Dermoid marks the culmination of this process. It simultaneously demonstrates the wealth of accumulated knowledge, design techniques and research methodology generated as a product of this international collaborative effort. Dermoid was unveiled in March 2011 as part of the “1:1 – Research by Design” exhibition at the School of Architecture.
Bottom: The deformation in the structure is investigated through laserscanning. The scanpoints are analysed via custom written code, recognizing connection points in the structure, these can then be used for comparison against the digital model. 2011


Responsive Environments


The 10 days workshop Responsive Environments resulted in projects where the change of environmental or material behavior was explored through the use of localised IC technology. Material change was explored in both The Curtain and The Bags project, where large scale prototypes would interact with the envorinment and change their material expression accordingly. The Cube was and The Cup was attempting use light, sound and vibration to actively stimulate their environments to change.
EASA(european architecture student association) 12 students workshop in manchester. Organized and run with David Engell Jessen (DK) 2010. back

cube18 cube19 IMG_5934 IMG_5936 IMG_5937

Dynamics in Extreme Environments

A workshop and initiated collaboration between IAAC, Chalmers and ITA, ETH. Students from both IAAC and ETH were introduced to the idea of material computation and material behaviors. The workshop investigated how architecture in extreme environments might benefit from the changes in the environment and respond with designed or materially programmed behavior.




more images here

Tangible Interaction Course

A user and sensor-computation driven building game was developed by a group of master students at Dept. of Applied IT, Chalmers, during the Tangible interactions course. The project investigate the emergence in manually assembled structures that grow based on predefined gaming rules. The concept of plants struggeling for light was in addition informed by multiple pressure sensors, as well as 3d scanning. The user guidance was done through projection mapping. The project was presented as working showcase at TEI2014 in Munich.
Tutors: Alexandru Dancu, Stig Anton Nielsen.
Students: Max Witt, Catherine Hedler, Hanna Frank, Axel Pelling, Christian Carlsson.

Publication: Emergent Interfaces: Constructive Assembly of Identical Units, 2015. back