Entwurf SS20

Floating Amusement

Was wäre, wenn architektonische Objekte zu Persönlichkeiten werden, die schwimmen, ab- und auftauchen und miteinander interagieren, um veränderliche öffentliche Räume für Freizeitaktivitäten zu erzeugen?

This studio explores how hollow architectural building blocks whose massive siblings would require heavy lifting equipment, can easily be moved, rotated and interlocked. What if such motions would not only take place during assembly but also during use? The exploration originates from DDU’s research of rotoformed hollow and lightweight concrete objects.

RotoForm generates objects that are lighter than they appear and behave in counter-intuitive ways due to their center of mass that deviates from the geometric centroid. The studio speculates about potential and poetic use cases of those objects as joyful floating amusement facilities.

Students used computational design tools (Rhino, Grasshopper), collaborative parametric modelling through speckle. Game engines were used to dynamically simulate physical behavior. Finally, students used Augmented Reality to generate immersive experiences of their design proposals within the urban context.


This project dives into the gap between rationalized and scientifically experimental design and the search for “Magic out of architecture”. This design proposal on the one hand invests in the creation of choreographed movements of objects and on the other hand accepts the ambiguity and unpredictability of the interactions between the architectural characters and human. The characters are designed to perform certain movements. Their geometries gradually rotate from stable to unstable states. The Characters are supposed to be rotoformed into hollow rolling/floating objects. By filling their inner cavity with water, their center of mass can be actively shifted from one corner to the other to make them move. The characters leave a complex pattern as a trace of their motion. Choreography conceives architectural characters as informed entities with defined kinetic behavior through their differentiated inner cavity and the digital fabrication method “RotoForm”.


Christian Betschinske, Timm Glätzer, Caro Schmeel, Luanyin Shen


Blocks in dimensions similar to humans interlock with their concave and convex shapes. These gravity-defying architectural characters effortlessly change from cantilevers into pillars and back. Curved regions and changing center of mass allow for transitions in affect and effect. The Characters are supposed to be rotoformed into hollow and self-aggregating elements. Internal cavities will be filled with water to precisely change the center of mass. These changing states of equilibrium allow for characters to climb on each other and form larger constructions. The dry-joint connections are reinforced by ornamental rails that run across the surface of the characters. The 45° and 90° orientation of the rails guarantee self-calibrating assembly within an overall grid.


Roland Ader, Lisa Menzel, Ali Sofu

Floating Bubbles

Floating bubbles are a family of voluptuous architectural characters consisting of a belly and a various number of arms. Family members are Ubble (orange), Ybble (magenta), Xubble (white) and Sun (yellow) according to the number of arms and the overall form. The team explored the floating behavior of the bubbles and the impact of the location of the Center of Mass (COM) following Paul Schatz’ study “Die drei Symmetrien des Würfels, formkünstlerisch betrachtet”.The second generations of architectural elements are the blobbers, a kind of mutated offspring of the bubbles. The blobbers family members are: The white “Noselers” (yes, because some of them look very much like noses) very suited for swimming and floating in the water. The magenta “Ybblers” (magenta) own three limbs forming a Y-like shape. The yellow Blobbers are called “Stars” and feature four arms without a belly. The orange “Vobblers” form a V with one big belly and two arms. It is not always obvious whether the extremities are arms or bellies, however, these stocky limbs make Blobbers well suited for hugging each other. These intimate encounters might also count as interlocking and dry-jointed architectural assemblies.

Voxelized Interlock

The project Voxelized Interlock animates architectural characters through different geometric properties. Extruded curves create 1d movement pattern, crossing vaults allow for 2d rotation and spherical caps make elements wobble in space.The architectural characters interact with human users and each other: They swing, revolve and wobble into interlocking connections to form larger structures that become playgrounds for kids and grown-ups. The Head of Janus-like characters are curved to enable movement and voxelized to create connections. Together they form stable and at the same time ephemeral and constantly changing aggregations. The work is heavily inspired by the research on polycube interlocking by Ziqi Wang, Peng Song, Mark Pauly at the @icepfl EPFL Lausanne.


Leonie Konz, Tong Li

Supervision: Samim Mehdizadeh, Oliver Tessmann

Tech Support: Mehrzad Esmaeili, Arian Sadafi

Jury: Shayanifernando, Luis Etchegorry, Sina Mostafav, Daniel Norell