Beth Tzedec Jason Johnson Kevin Spaans Kurtis Nishiyama Mahdiar Ghaffarian Michael Ting

Sukkah 2013:

Date: 2013
Client: Beth Tzedec Congregation, Calgary
Principal Investigator: Jason Johnson
Collaborator: Shaul Osadchey
Project Budget: $6000
Project Design/Build Team: Mahdiar Ghaffarian, Micheal Ting (Design & Fabrication) Kurtis Nishiyama, Kevin Spaans (Fabrication)
Funding Agencies: Beth Tzedec Congregation

Each year since 2012 a team of students has worked with the Beth Tzedec Congregation to design and build a sukkah.  A sukkah is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot. Students spend a semester designing an building the project in consultation with local Rabbi Shaul Osadchey.  These projects are part of a series of projects that seek out local communities interested in supporting design research in the area of computation and digital fabrication techniques.

This proposal imagines the sukkah as a canyon in the desert and articulates the layering sandstone through a variably spaced series of horizontal planes.  The carved out space allows for inhabiting the sukkah which provides temporary shelter.


Branko Kolarevic Lauren Dynes Mackenzie Nixon Neal Philipsen Nickolas Dykstra Sadaf Rabani Salman Khalili Vera Parlac

Building Dynamics Symposium

Date: 2013
Client: n/a
Principal Investigators: Branko Kolarvic, Vera Parlac
Project Budget: Withheld
Research Assistants/ Project Team (Role): Neal Philipsen (Website Design), Nickolas Dykstra, Lauren Dynes, Salman Khalili, Mackenzie Nixon, Sadaf Rabani
Sponsors: Oldcastle Building Envelope, LID Laboratory for Integrative Design, University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design, DIRTT, Haworth
Publications: Book “Building Dynamics: Exploring Architecture of Change”

We have seen over the past decade an increasing interest in the capacity of built spaces to respond dynamically to changes in external and internal environments and to different patterns of use. The principal idea is that two-way relationships could be established between the buildings and the environment and users. Changes in the environment (or users) would affect the configuration of built spaces and vice versa. The result is an architecture that self-adjusts – an architecture that is adaptive, interactive, reflexive, responsive.

By adding sensors, actuators and controllers to various systems, buildings are in a way becoming large scale robots. This symposium went beyond the current fascination with mechatronics and explored what change means in architecture and how it is manifested: buildings weather, programs change, envelopes adapt, interiors are reconfigured, systems replaced. It explored the kinds of changes that buildings should undergo and the scale and speed at which they occur. It examined which changes are necessary, useful, desirable, possible…