Category Archives: architecture

Ice Dome on a Canal In Denmark


The project started in 2015 from an idea by Alexander Osika, at Chalmers University of Technology. The project was suggested for Smartgeometry 2016 at Chalmers.

A first prototype was set up by Alexander and Michael in the freeze storage house in Gamla Staden, Göteborg 

Now a few years later (late Feb 2018) I saw cold weather coming on the forecast and started building a few days before it hit Denmark.

This (2018) version is made from a modified tripod with a fixed cogwheel and a bearing suspended platform holds all the electronics while it is turning around its own axis. A motor with cogwheel pull the platform around the larger fixed cogwheel and a motor with peristaltic pump propel the water, a battery powers the motors, heaters and sensors and a servo actuates the tilting nozzle. All settings and sensor data are transmitted wireless via Bluetooth. Electronics in total: Two stepper motors and stepper drivers, Bluetooth module HC-05, Arduino Nano, 5V voltage regulator, 2x TIP120 transistors, Servomotor 180′, 2xThermistors and kanthal thread as heating elements.

The peristaltic pump draws up water through a tube going down through a center hole in the ice cap. The water is then pushed through a tube to the end of the nozzle where it is sprayed on the ice. As the layers of ice are added, a wall of ice will build up, firstly in a circle, then as the nozzle tilts up the three dimensional shape will become spherical.

The speed of the peristaltic pump as well as speed of rotation, temperature settings and servo tilt is adjustable. In this first build the servo was not actively adjusted, just set to a height over Bluetooth like other variables like heat setpoints, flow and rotation. Two PID control algorithms run on the arduino to control the temperature for both the intake tube and in the long nozzle. To distribute temperature, and reduce power consumption the nozzle is constructed from a few layers: The water runs through a PVC tube of about IØ 5mm, on the outside of this is a thermistor placed. The tube and thermistor are drawn through the inside of a cobber tube of IØ8mm which is coated outside with polymide film (kapton tape). This film acts as electrical insulation between the kanthal thread being the heating element which is wrapped around the cobber tube. On the outside of the cobber tube and heater is another layer of polymide film and finally 8mm insulation layer of foam padding with reflecting aluminium tape on top to reflect infrared.

A final power consumption of 300mAh at 8v without heaters on, and 2100mAh with both heaters at maximum. The battery is a 2cell LiPo with 6000mAh capacity. The rig should be able to run for up to 10hours per charge.

Several attempts to print a dome failed due to various reasons. (1) Ice forming in the vertical central tube until rotation of intake PVC tube was jammed from rotating. This was solved by adding the second heating element and additional insulation between ice cap and aluminium tube, this meant a larger hole in the ice had to be drilled. (2) Leakage in peristaltic pump caused large ice formation in gears and bearings – solved by gluing PVC tubing firmly. (3) Ice forming in nozzle causing all tubes to freeze due to low setpoint temperature. -soon the system must run out of points of failure 🙂

(LEFT) To avoid dripping and back flow leading to overicing the first nozzle had its inner diameter reduced using shrink tubing, however, as it was outside thermal protection of the cobber, it soon froze up. (RIGHT) improved nozzle of metal. The PVC tube is squeezed by the cobber tube from the outside to hold this find stainless steel tube in place.

The wall was only a few cm after approx 2 hours of on-off printing (and failing to print further for various reasons)

The project is under development, and more testing is coming up -when the weather allows…

Astronauts could live inside ice domes on Mars

Mixed Substrate Computation – Sensor Based Artificial Cognition for Architectural Design and Modification

My PhD-thesis is published and pressed as book of 288 pages. Find the full text here


A mutual relationship exists between activities and their physical environment. Change of circumstances in the built environment cause change of activities, and vice versa, change of activities cause changes of physical environment. How does information originating from activities influence the environment? And how does the environment provide relevant information for activities to take place?

Digital and material computation has — within architectural design — been used extensively to strengthen the capacity to build novel and more geometrically enhanced structures. However on large and small physical as well as long and short temporal scale there is only poor understanding the activities and phenomena taking place in the built environment. In particular, a lack in understanding of the relationships between changes in physical conditions and changes of activities. The rationale behind implementations and modifications of the built environment is constituted by many actants simultaneously at play, mainly based on human heuristics, sensemaking and semantics.

Digital computation can be combined with material, morphological and other types of computation to create models of the past, current and future scenarios. Here this concept is coined !Mixed !Substrate !Computation and relies heavily on successful !embodiment and !embodied !computation.

A technology is needed for tracing, extracting and computing both embodied memory and data from activities residing in the environment on different spatial and temporal scales.

This thesis presents a set of methods that combine sensors and algorithms to a novel technique of perceiving activities and phenomena over time.. Consequently, a kind of artificial cognition is demonstrated able to detect recurrent phenomena and in turn perform predictions in seemingly chaotic situations.

This discovery can bring about a paradigm shift in design, taking us from our current situation where architects, designers and planners predict and design for future needs using their present day point-of-view, to a situation where design tools are able to learn from complex situations and can predict future needs autonomously.

This capacity for perception and prediction contributes to the current discourse on mixed material and digital practices within architectural design — filling an increasingly widening gap between material and formal computation: the concept of embodiment. The idea of integrating body and soul—or the physical and the abstract—is a concept which is key for understanding the relationships between phenomena and matter.

Find the full text here

direct download link

Material and Detail 2015

The Master course Material and Detail was led by Daniel Norell, Jonas Lundberg, Kengo Skorick, HsengTai JaReng Lintner, Stefan Lintner and Stig Anton Nielsen. 28 master students were asked to propose a refugee shelter to be placed in the Zataari camp in Jordanien. Expanded polystyrene was the outset for exploring possible composite materials, and the winning concept focus on minimum material use. A secondary winner project was chosen for its multiple innovative solutions in joinery, composite thinking and fabrication techniques.




Students in Material and Detail 2015

Reem Alkaisy,
Beatrice Calini,
Johanna Mija Dahlberg,
Klara Dahlin,
Carl Darenlind,
Alexandra Duhamel,
Samuel Eliasson,
Joyce Fisscher,
Emma Holmin,
Andrine Johansson,
Hjalmar Kaudern,
Nessim Kaufmann,
Jens Ljunggren,
Martin Löfqvist,
Emma Magnusson,
Regina Makhmutova,
Maximiliano Martín Parra,
Jakob Müller,
Niklas Nordström,
Gustav Nyman,
Viktoriya Oleksyuk,
Luke Partyka,
Ellen Pleil,
Adrien Quennepoix,
Margot Scheyving,
Theodor Tsesmatzoglou,
Marie Lou Valdes,
Theresia Vängborg Nyberg,
Anna Ådén,

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

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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


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


Extracting Data for The Making


The interactive exhibition set up at Chalmers Campus was inviting bypassers to build on the structures, that were constantly guided by local sensor information. The structure would balance airflow, shading and balance all at the same time, but with a hierarchical Subsumption architecture, inspired by Rodney Brooks’ research on autonomous robots and artificial intelligence.







Publication: Layered subsumption embodied in units of intelligent material building systems 2014.

Distortion 2.0


Distortion 2.0 Investigates how the specifications of geometry and materials can create sonic effects.
The project created new interfaces between acoustical science and the build environment by integrating the usually subsequent thought areas of sound performance, design and production. The research project introduced a customized design environment, computerbased acoustic simulation, parametric modelling techniques and the steering of high end materials and digital production technology.
The project challenges the way acoustics are generally thought. Where this is often either a narrow performance solution or even afterthought the project showcases a way to think and create sound and architecture at the same time. It explores the potential of multiple sonic parameters for their sonic effects and expands the usually used single criterion, reverberation time. New digital tools and techniques were developed to virtually experiment and test design propositions; physical experiments were completed to evaluate aspects of the design that could not be calculated digitally.
The dissemniation events gave the framework in which two spaces with specifically tuned acoustic performance could be created – seperated only by 15mm of material. Here the projects sonic and aesthetic sensations could be directly experienced and the performance was validated through modeling and simulation analyses used iteratively throughout the design process and through qualitative and quantitative analysis of the full-scale installation. 2010

Publication: Responsive Acoustic Surfaces: Computing Sonic Effects,