Digital Design

Computational technologies and digital fabrication change the way we design and build today. In our research and education we develop computational design techniques and digital tools that improve communication and interdisciplinary collaboration, representation and simulation as well as fabrication and materialization. Our aim is to respond to the socio-economic need for a versatile living environment beyond spatial, structural and material standardisation and repetition and design site specific, environmentally responsive and differentiated constructions. Find out more about research and teaching projects under


DDU Digital Design Talks: Milos Dimcic, A Different Kind of Architect

Heinz-Stillger-Award 2017

We congratulate Samim Mehdizadeh for winning the Heinz-Stillger-Award 2017 and Felix Dannecker for receiving a honorable mention at the Fachbereich Architektur TU Darmstadt research day. Both research projects were supervised by the Digital Design Unit.

Lecture “Kreativität und das notationale Nadelöhr”

Oliver Tessmann lecturing at:

FiF Workshop “Entwerfen & Erfinden”

Friday, 01.12.2017

S1 | 20 lecture hall ULB

DDU Digital Design Talks: Dominik Zausinger, Programmieren im Bauwesen

Granular | Digital | Modular – Diskrete Ordnungsprinzipien in der Architektur

Oliver Tessmann lecturing at the congress:

Raumwelten at Panel 5, Architektur: Das gestalterische Potential von Organisationsprinzipien



Rilem Technical Committee DFC Meeting

Oliver Tessmann will lecture at this year's RILEM workshop on 3D Manufacturing Technologies in construction at TU Delft on 21st November.


DDU is represented with two paper presentations at this year’s ACADIA 2017: Disciplines & Disruption conference currently taking place at MIT Media Lab.

Anton Savov and Andrea Rossi present research on practices of design collaboration, from the conceptual phase using 20.000 BLOCKS to the assembly of digital materials with WASP respectively.

eCAADe 2017 Rome

Andrea Rossi is presenting our Paper "Geometry as Assembly – Integrating design and fabrication with discrete modular units“ at this years eCAADe Conference in Rome.

Lecture Bastian Wibranek at Baltic International Summer School 2017

Bastian Wibranek to lecture “Digital Design Unit – Designing For and With Digital Machines” at Baltic International Summer School 2017. The event takes place at HUC in Hamburg on 13.08.2017.

DDU Digital Design Talks: Liss C. Werner, Construction with Matter and Data

Lecture Oliver Tessmann at Integrale Planung – Bau- und Prozessmanagement 4.0

Oliver Tessmann to lecture at Integrale Planung – Bau- und Prozessmanagement 4.0. The event takes place on Thursday June 29. at Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg and is organised by Detail research and ZukunftBau.…/integrale-planung-hamburg-programm-…/

DDU Digital Design Talks: Stephan Henrich, Robotikdesign + Architektur

3D Pioneers Challenge

DDU is exited to be among the finalists of the 3D Pioneers Challenge competition. Our project Animate Matter | Materie Animieren will be shown at the FabCon 3.D und Rapid.Tech 2017 fair in Erfurt from 20. to 22. June.

EVA London

„3D Digital Heritage – Exploring Virtual Research Space for Art History”- Conference in Berlin

DDU Digital Design Talks: Tobias Nolte, Certain Measures

DDU Digital Design Talks: Hanno Stehling, Design to Production

Lecture of Hanno Stehling – Tuesday, 16th May, 8.15 – 9.40 am, L3/01 room 93

Hanno Stehling will present the work of Design to Production (, an office that pioneered building information modeling and closes the process chain that links a construction idea to its fabrication.

D2P enables non-standard projects of high complexity to take flight and supports architects, planning experts and manufacturers in reaching new heights of efficiency, safety and quality.

Lecture: Von zahmen und bösartigen Problemen beim Entwerfen, Prof. Dr.-Ing Oliver Tessmann

10th May, 1.00 pm c.t. at ULB S1/20 basement

Lecture: Robot Ecologies, Maria Yablonina

Maria will present her research work on robots in architecture at the Digital Design Unit (DDU) at TU Darmstadt. Join for lecture and drinks!

Tuesday, 9th May, 6 – 9 pm at DDU, 3rd floor

AAM Exhibition

Opening of the AAM exhibition and the 3D-Print Workshop

11th April, 4 pm at Galerie, 2nd floor L 3/01

Wired Magazine reports about 20.000 BLOCKS at CeBIT

Thanks Wired Germany for featuring 20.000 BLOCKS and Ginger! We are happy to be part of Futurium's project selection for CeBIT. Last day today. Don't miss it, Halle 6 C53

Athene Preis Gute Lehre

New Publication

Mieke Pfarr-Harfst‘s new book „3D Research Challenges in Cultural Heritage II. How to Manage Data and Knowledge Related to Interpretative Digital 3D Reconstructions of Cultural Heritage” was presented at EUROMED 2016. The book was published by Springer Verlag. It gives an overview of current challenges of digital three-dimensional models in the field of cultural heritage.

Further information: LINK

Augmented Reality

DDU contributed to the latest Bauwelt publication on Augmented Reality. We are happy to be included in this exciting issue. Read the article in German here:

BE-AM Build Environment – Additive Manufacturing

Last year in collaboration with ISM+D we organized our Think Tank on additive manufacturing. This was a great success and we decided to make it a sequel.

DDU and ISM+D are proud to announce BE-AM | Symposium on additive manufacturing in the built environment. You are invited to hear talks by:

Prof. Dr. Harald Kloft | ite, TU-Braunschweig

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jean Pierre Bergmannd and Dr.-Ing. Jörg Hildebrand | IFt, TU-Ilmenau

Prof. Achim Menges | ICD, Universität Stuttgart

Dr. Suzana Alpsancar – and Dr. Gabriele Gramelsberger | TU-Darmstadt

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger | ETH Zürich

Dr. Philip Urban | Fraunhofer IGD Darmstadt

Entrance is free.

The research work on topological interlocking structures conducted by the Digital Design Unit (DDU) and If-Then Architects will be part of the exhibition +ultra. gestaltung creates knowledge in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. The exhibition reveals the fundamental role processes of design play in the sciences and humanities as well as the current mergence of the digital and the analogue. The exhibition is organized by the excellence cluster Image Knowledge Gestaltung of the Humboldt-University Berlin.

+ultra. gestaltung creates knowledge, 30.9.2016 – 8.1.2017, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Euromed 2016 and CHNT 2016

Marc Grellert and Mieke Pfarr-Harfst will present their new documentation system for digital reconstructions at Euromed 2016 in Cyprus (31.10-05.11.2016) and at CHNT 2016 in Vienna (16.11-19.11.2016). For the first time, a minimum standard for digital reconstructions is defined. Additional to this, the new minimal standard is also practicable for other forms of architectural reconstruction – e.g haptic models or drawings. Their paper is also accepted for an international Springer publication that arises in the context of the Euromed 2016.

“WESA”- Final Conference

The final conference of the BMBF funded project “WESA” takes place in Paderborn on 10th and 11th October 2016. Main topic of final conference is “object-document-genesis” and focuses the scholary process of art historical collaborative projects involving digital media. Internationally recognized researcher in the field of Cultural Heritage and the Digital Humanities will give lectures and participate in a panel discussion. A detailed programme is available at the website:



The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation invited Oliver Tessmann to join the 2016 Brazilian-German Frontiers of Science and Technology Symposium (BRAGFOST) in Campinas, Brasil from September 20. until September 23.

The series of interdisciplinary binational conferences bring together approximately 60 outstanding young engineers and natural scientists from a wide range of disciplines to exchange ideas across disciplines and national boundaries.

film work at DDU

While gearing up for the #hellwach exhibition at the TU Darmstadt the DDU was visited by Martin Papirowski and his film crew. Our 20000 blocks project will be featured in an ARTE/WDR documentation on the renaissance as a period of ground-breaking innovations that laid the ground for current and future technologies.

GAM Structural Affairs

DDU is excited to be part of the latest issue of GAM “Structural Affairs”. We discuss our project Sensitive Assembly as well as the concept of Topological Interlocking.

Animate Matter | Materie Animieren Luminale 2016

The installation Animate Matter | Materie Animieren designed by the Digital Design Unit (DDU) was on display at the Luminale 2016 in Frankfurt and at the Hörsaal- und Medienzentrum of the TU Darmstadt.

If you haven’t seen it live, here a link to an online video of the project:

RobArch 2016

The Digital Design Unit (DDU) is at RobArch2016 in Sydney from 15 to 19 March 2016 —

We are happy to announce that the video about our project “20,000 Blocks Above the Ground” has been accepted at the conference and will be shown to the attendees of RobArch 2016. If you can’t make it to Sydney check the video online here —

Eric Schrijver – Building With Air And Light

Eric will give an insight of the making on these wonderful structures.

The event is organised in collaboration with the BuckyLab ( whose founder – #MarcelBilow – is currently guest professor in the DDU.

Lecture by Oliver Tessmann

Lecture by Pierpaolo Ruttico – Rethinking Construction, Through Robotic Fabrication

Rethinking Construction, Through Robotic Fabrication

Pierpaolo Ruttico is a research fellow at the politecnico di milano. He has worked as a designer for Pelliclarkepelli architects in New York City and as a computational designer and robotic fabrication consultant for Coophimmelb(l)au in Vienna. He has been a guest critic at Sciarc Los Angeles and his work has been published internationally, including Advances in Architectural Geometry 2012, Encoding Architecture 2013, ESDA 2014, IAHS 2015.

DDU – DDA / Discussions On the Digital in Architecture

Lecture 18.02.2016, 12.00 pm at DDU

DDU – RoboBar, 20. January 8 pm

We are happy to invite you to the opening party of our Robotic Lab at the DDU – Digital Design Unit. You are welcome to join and get a drink from the bar, operated by men and machines in graceful collaboration.

The RoboBar opens after a public lecture (Mittwoch-Abend-Vortrag) at the architecture faculty by Bob Sheil, Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, Professor in Architecture and Design through Production and the School's Director of Technology.


Oct. 21. 2015 – Think Tank on Additive Manufacturing at TU Darmstadt

We are happy to announce our Think Tank on Additive Manufacturing at the TU Darmstadt organised by the DDU in collaboration with the Fachgebiet Fassadentechnik and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Knaack.Additive Manufacturing (AM), a production technique that can materialize virtually any geometry by adding layers of material on top of each other. This Think Tank will give an overview of the different techniques developed and used in research and practice. We will meet and discuss the possibilities and limitation of the new technology and its relevance for the building industry.

The event of free of charge. We kindly ask you to register here.

See detailed program here.

When: 21.10.2015 | 10.00-18.00

Where: Hörsaal 91 L3|01 Fachbereich Architektur El-Lissitzky-Straße 1

The Digital Design Unit (DDU) has a new logo.
The Digital Design Unit (DDU) has a new logo.

200 Models

Exhibition opening, Friday, 7 August, 2pm

200 Models

200 students from second semester show their final models from the course “Gestalten mit Medien” on a wide blue landscape.

“Gestalten mit Medien” is a course offered by the Digital Design Unit (DDU). For this summer semester the students have taken an existing clay module and performed various digital operations with it. The resulting designs were lasercut and are exhibited at the gallery in the Architecture Building FB15.

The exhibition opening starts Friday 7. August, 2pm.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Tessmann

Dipl.-Ing. Anton Savov M.A.


Ala Hosseinizad

Sebastian Seibert

Philipp Vehrenberg

Louisa Wenkemann

KIVA guest-professorship for Dr. Marcel Bilow/TU Delft.

We are happy to annouce that our interdisciplinary application from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Knaack, Professor for Façade Structures and the Digital Design Unit for a KIVA guest-professorship is granted. In 2016 Dr. Marcel Bilow from the TU Delft will join our teaching team for one term.

Sensitive Assembly at the Node 15 Festival in Frankfurt

Node 15 Forum for Digital Arts April 27 – May 3

The Digital Design Unit participates in the Node 15 Festival for Digital Arts in Frankfurt with the projectSensitive Assembly – Gracefully assisted by machines that sense and know.Within the leitmotif ‘Wrapped in Code – the future of the informed body’ this project invites festival participants to play a Jenga-like game:Starting from a solid wall, players are asked to remove and replace its building blocks to create windows to a nurturing light while challenging its stability. The physical interaction is guided by a computational system that senses the current state of the wall and predicts its future fate: an approaching collapse or a new beam breaking through.

The project is a collaboration with Stig Anton Nielson from the University Chalmers in Gothenburg, Sweden.