The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, posts vacant PhD scholarship as of 1 April 2012
Over the last 30 years, we have witnessed a large-scale digitisation of archictectural practice. Contemporary architecture is almost exclusively produced using digital tools, and the computer has become a key tool in the way architecture is thought of, designed and produced. Today, digital tools have an impact on architecture on the most simple level to the most complex one. If on the one hand, the computer is a simple drawing tool that we use to represent our surroundings, its is on the other hand also the medium through which we seek solutions to complex contemporary issues that our society faces. It is through these digital tools and their potential to compute large amounts of data with a high degree of complexity that we as a knowledge society seek to find solutions to the urbanisation of mega-cities, globalisation and sustainability.
This shift has placed new demands on our represenation forms. The new information models that are able to actively calculate the economic, environmental and spatial effects of a proposal, have transformed architectural representation into a dynamic and flexible medium that is able to interface directly with outside knowledge fields. However, information models also have there own inherent problems. They become larger because they contain data from the many practices that constitute the construction industry, they become longer because they are expanded to include several of the building phases and they become deeper because the specific volumes of information, which the models must be able to handle, are growing.
This results in a dramatic increase in complexity, and leads us to question the fundamental ways in which information models are organised. If we as architects and engineers must work with large datasets and must be able to simulate and analyse these in ways that make sense, it is necessary that we consider how these models may be presented.
Today, information models are reproduced in accordance with architecture’s traditional development in three dimensions. As an automation of plans and section views, the 3D model serves as a continuation of the traditional architectural drawing hall. This PhD project will explore how other forms of information organisation may help to create intelligent tools for architectural design, analysis and realisation. To manage these digital models concretely and optimally, it is essential to have a critical understanding of how parametric and generative computer models may be developed and monitored. The transfer of architecture into digital logic creates a new conceptual as well as technological vision and poses a number of fundamental questions:
- What is digital logic’s potential compared to a highly specialiseed construction practice?
- How can the information model become a critical and creative tool in architecture?
- Which new information tools and programming methods may be applied to better achieve a higher degree of complexity?
- How may concepts such as dynamic distribution, networking and nesting become a part of representation methods in architecture?
- How do we maintain architecture’s social and cultural mission to create a space of high architectural quality and cultural significance?
The PhD student will be enrolled into Center for Information Technology and Architecture [CITA] and will be included in the centre’s activities, including research projects in the fields of digital architecture, computerised production, new materials and CAD CAM interface development. In addition, the intention is for the PdD student to complete a programme at a parallel research environment within the centre’s network of educational institutions (Spatial Information Architecture Lab, RMIT, Melbourne, LabStudio, Cornell, New York or IAAC, Barcelona).
CITA [Center for Information Technology and Architecture] is an innovative research environment that explores the intersections that emerge between architecture and new digital technologies. By exploring central research questions of how space and technology affect one another, CITA aims to identify how the current emergence of a digital practice impacts architectural thinking and design.
CITA is an internationally recognised research community with a special focus on new computer-controlled manufacturing and understanding of materials. The centre focuses on IT as a tool for design, production and communication, and during the last three-year period, it has launched a number of research projects in key areas of research: Digital Formations: explores new parametric design tools and their physical counterparts: rapid prototyping and CAD / CAM (computer Aided design / computer Aided Manufacturing) processes, Behaving Architectures: explores new programmable materials, including nano-technology and interactive textiles and Interface Ecologies: explores real-time modeling, interface design and intelligent programming. The centre has also initiated a new research project on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the Danish building regulations on digitally controlled building process (Digital Construction). The centre has an international profile and has initiated many international collaborations, exhibitions, conference presentations and workshop exchanges.
CITA is headed by Professor Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, PhD, and is staffed by 1 professor, 1 lecturer, 1 Postdoc, 6 PhD students and 2 research assistants.
Terms of employment
Enrolment takes place with a view to obtain a PhD degree, and leads to salaried employment for a period of three years in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, AC, protocol on graduate fellowships (annex 5). The salary consists of a seniority-based base salary and a non-pensionable allowance, currently DKK 1,244.58 per month.
The educational programme is structured under the provisions of Executive Order no. 114 of 8 March 2002 issued by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation regarding PhD programmes and PhD degrees. This executive order is available on the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture’s website (www.karch.dk) or may be obtained from the School’s Research Administration by contacting Ditte Dahl at telephone number +45 3268 6052.
There are no application forms. Applications must be written in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English.
Applications are submitted electronically, preferably as one pdf file, and must include:
- A project description, which includes a clarification of key problem areas, theoretical orientation, method, comparison to existing research, choice of materials as well as a reflection on the project perspectives and a preliminary syllabus (max. 5 regular standard pages).
- A resume.
- Documentation of educational merits, other qualifications and previous activities. If you have completed a degree abroad, it will be assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education. Practical information can be found at http://www.iu.dk/anerkendelse/ansoegning-om-vurdering/skema-almindeligt
- A list of potential publications.
- A portfolio of previous works and studies completed.
Please submit applications by e-mail to email@example.com, the Research Administration, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, no later than Wednesday 1 February 2012 at 12.00 noon.
For further information, please contact Ditte Dahl by telephone at +45 3268 6052 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who meets the requirement of an academic degree at a graduate level is encouraged to apply for the scholarship regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnicity.