KlimaEngineering Applied – Transsolar Academy collaborating with ABK and IUSD students

Prof. Matthias Rudolph and Christian Degenhardt of the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design [ABK] have set up the seminar Climate Responsive Design for the second time in collaboration with IUSD and our Transsolar Academy. The students started to work together in Mid October and are finalzing their work to be presented end of January 2020. The aim of the seminar is: “the investigation on the interplay between location, ecology, material, space and form. Starting point is the analysis of the local climate, the culture and the local availability of resources. In workshops the interdisciplinary teams develop urban and building design responding to various climatic contexts. The objective is to enable an intuitive access to the climate-responsive design methodology and to deepen the understanding for challenges and opportunities of ecology, building technology and building physics aspects in the build environment.”

Filip Kobzinek, one of our current Academy fellows, comments the experience he made in these workshops so far: "Transsolar Academy provided us with different types and steps of learning. For the first couple of months, it was a classic form of lectures and workshops, after which the 'hands-on' Academy project and practical office work started. In that way all the fellows had an opportunity to learn both the theory, tools and practice of the climate responsive design. I feel like the consultancy for the ABK/ IUSD was a final step in the learning process, bringing the entire program to the logical and conclusive end. For me, serving as a climate consultant to the students proved to be a “wrap-up” experience, helping me to both structure the gained knowledge and to get an overlook into how much I have learned in the past year. Entire collaboration with the ABK/ IUSD helped me to understand the perspective of my development in the Academy program.
The objective importance of the topic of climate responsive design is also a reason why I believe in the necessity of collaborating with the ABK/ IUSD. As an architect, I have felt for years that something important is missing in my education. Climate change will inevitably influence the way how we build our homes and cities, but too little architectural schools in the world have adapted to the changing world. This is the reason why I applied to the Academy program – not only I had the opportunity to learn from the very engineers who develop the know-how, but I was also a part of the spreading and sharing the knowledge our profession needs.

The organization of the class is the same as on other colleges of architecture. Students are divided into smaller working groups of three people that work on the same task. The task is to design a mixed-use building on a rectangular-shaped empty lot of land according to the climate and cultural analysis and derived conclusions. Form of the surrounding context is identical for every group, but the conditions differ from climate region to climate region, resulting in completely different approaches and conclusions. Our job as climate consultants is to talk and help the students through the analysis and the design process. Also, we check and try to prove their conclusions with tools and simulations we have learned to use, making this a two-way learning experience.
Beneficiary for our education is also learning how to assist and communicate with people, because only knowing the tools and the theory is not enough. Working with the students helps us to develop our soft skills, as well as rhetorical abilities."

Photo: Daniel Lago Leal