40 611 ACDL: Embedded Architecture/Dense Multi-generational living


• Command of English Language (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking);
• Working Knowledge in Rhino;
• Studio participants are required to take the elective course ‘Modulating Microclimates’ (Rhino, Grasshopper, Arduino, VR Visualization);

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

• Mindset towards intense self-development and experimental design;
• Enthusiasm for learning, research, collaboration and innovation;

Course content

The studio offers a choice between two different design challenges. The first design challenge relates to embedding architecture in a cultural productive landscape. The second challenge is to analyze case studies of cluster villages in order to develop contemporary models for dense multi-generational living.

Today the vast amount of architectural effort is focused on urban environments and little attention is focused on rural and remote areas that have been cultivated for generations. As the latter are falling into disrepair invaluable resources, insights and knowledge is lost. A lot can be learned from the way such landscapes are traditionally articulated, such as the terracing of slopes and the choice of materials, so as to be able to yield produce that otherwise is not possible. Likewise the associated settlement patterns show different ways of accommodating various ways of compact dense living. The studio will continue its study of such cultural productive landscapes and cluster villages of the Chianti region in Tuscany.

This involves in the first challenge the study of cultural productive landscapes and the way architectures can be designed for and integrated with these landscapes on multiple levels. The design will focus on smaller buildings with different programs related to the use of the site. Primary question is how cultural landscapes may be understood in their capacity to be productive and how they can be augmented with clearly defined architectural projects.

In relation to the second challenge this involves the study of historical case studies, extracting models and developing these for contemporary use in urban, suburban and rural areas. The design will focus on small to medium size projects for multi-generational living and can involve a multiple use aspect.

In both cases the architectural designs are expected to employ local resources and materials and be strongly related to the local context.

The study trip be to Tuscany were the site(s) are located.

The studio will collaborate with Italian institutions and landowners on this project. This includes the University of Florence Department of Architecture, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems and Laboratorio di Geomatica per l'ambiente e la conservazione dei beni culturali.

Learning outcomes

• Knowledge in the way constructions contribute to local microclimate and productive landscapes;
• Knowledge in architecture and landscape integration;
• Knowledge of the architectural and computational design themes (concepts, methods) pursued by the studio;
• Knowledge and skills in data collection, data-driven computational design and the utilization of advanced visualization methods;
• The ability to utilize design as a mode of research in architecture;
• The ability to set up and follow through a design process that leads to the desired result;
• The ability to develop designs based on specific performance criteria;

Working and learning activities

Teaching Activities:
• Lectures on key conceptual and methodological approaches;
• Seminars on seminal texts and projects;
• Workshops focused on specific design aspects or skill building;
• Studio tutorials and discussions on the design work;

Core thematic foci include:
• Performance-oriented Architecture (Hensel 2013);
• Informed Non-standard (Sørensen 2015);
• Cultural Landscapes (Agnoletti 2006);

The methodological approach encompasses:
• Performance-oriented Advanced Computational Design;
• Integration of data-driven Methods, Processes, Information and Analysis;

Work Effort
• 90% attendance;
• Participation in the field trip;
• Participation in elective course ‘Modulating Microclimates’;

Professor in charge

Søren Sørensen / Michael Hensel


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Vurderingsmappe Individual Pass / Fail

Project Portfolio Review and Oral Presentation

Muntlig Individual Pass / Fail

Oral Presentation

Reading lists / teaching materials

Agnoletti, M. (2006). The Conservation of Cultural Landscapes. London: CABI.
Agnoletti, M. (2012). Italian Historical Rural Landscapes – Cultural Values for the
Environment and Rural Development. New York: Springer.
Allen, S. and McQuade, M. (2011). Landform Building – Architecture’s New Terrain.
Zurich: Lars Müller.
Corner, J. Ed. (1999). Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape
Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Corner, J. (2014). The Landscape Imagination: Collected Essays of James Corner 1990-
2010. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Hensel, M. (2013). Performance-oriented Architecture – Rethinking Architecture and the
Built Environment. London: AD Wiley.
Hensel, M. and Turko, J. (2015). Grounds and Envelopes – Reshaping Architecture and
the Built Environment. London: Routledge.