The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination presents

Digital Materiality at Urban Scale: Increased Resolution Fabrics of Architecture

a talk by

Alisa Andrasek

Architect, Academic and Curator
Biothing, University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture

Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Discussion begins at 2:00PM, followed by Q&A

The event is free and open to the public. For information and to RSVP, contact

UC San Diego, Visual Arts Presentation Lab at the Structural and Materials Engineering Bldg (SME) #149
9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, California 92093

Design has an important role to play in the accelerated convergence of matter and information. While data visualization exposes the hidden beauty, intelligence, and complexity of observed systems, data materialization can produce new kinds of beauty and synthetic complexity.

The intricacy and resolution of architectural fabrics is increasing exponentially. Through advanced computation, designers are have new access to the physics of materials and structures, and design research is pushing the constraints of manufacturing and the thresholds of constructibility.

New form-finding and form-making techniques brings computation into the physical world in sometimes startling ways. Architectural design can engage with the “thick fabric” of these interlocking contingencies at multiple material scales: from the molecular to the urban, and back again.

On behalf of its own novel aesthetics, Biothing’s recent design research includes work with robotics, GPU computing, computational physics, intelligent agent systems and generative algorithms. This work expresses the beauty of emergent phenomena in a pure, uncompromising way by drawing on new resonances between matter and computation, both screen-based and through robotically fabricated material artifacts.


Alisa Andrasek is an architect, academic and curator. She is a founder of Biothing ( operating at the intersection of design, material and computer science, and a partner of Bloom Games (

Andrasek is a Reader at University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, where she directs the Graduate Architectural Design (GAD) Program. She also holds a Professorship at the European Graduate School ( and has taught at the DRL Architectural Association in London, Columbia University GSAPP, Pratt, Penn, RMIT Melbourne, RPI Troy and UTS Sydney.

Event made possible through the support of UC San Diego ViaSat and the Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation.

She received Europe 40 under 40 Award, Metropolis Next Generation Award and FEIDAD Award. Biothingʼs work has been exhibited and is part of the permanent collections at the Centre Pompidou Paris, New Museum NY, Storefront NY, FRAC Collection Orleans, TB-A21 Vienna, Beijing and Sydney Bienale amongst others. She curated the US East Coast section for the “Emergent Talent Emergent Technologies” exhibition for the Beijing Biennial 2006 and for the “(Im)material Processes: New Digital Techniques for Architecture”for the Beijing Biennial 2008 and the UK section for “Machinic Processes”for the Beijing Biennial 2010. Andrasek is a co-curator of the PROTO/E/CO/LOCICS Symposium series in Rovinj Croatia ( She lectured and published her writings worldwide.

The Structural and Materials Engineering Building is located in Warren College at Voigt Drive and Matthews Lane. Map:

Parking | Please buy a permit first at Gilman Parking Structure (located at Gilman Dr & Villa La Jolla Dr). Directions to Gilman Parking Structure:

Related Links:

The Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation


The Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation

Sheldon Brown
Director, UC San Diego The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
Professor, UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts

Images are courtesy of Alisa Andrasek and The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.


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