An architectural space-suit performs several functions to allow its occupant to live safely and comfortably, inside or outside a space. It’s the combination of complex equipment, designed to keep the inhabitant comfortable, integrating multiple layers of environmental control and communication systems, all employed to allow complete freedom of movement and interaction.
We call those spatial and human hybridizationsINHABITATS.

The ADVANCED ARCHITECTURE SUMMER SCHOOL at VOLUMES coworking is a 3 weeks learning experience designed as an immersive journey in social innovation, computational design, digital fabrication and collaborative culture.

The summer school is organised by VOLUMES coworkingNOUMENA architecture and Francesco Cingolani who is architect, teacher and director of the newAdvanced Master Program in Computational Design and Making of the prestigious École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.



The recent interest in adaptive, actuating materials and structures is driven by the search for responsive systems forming a new paradigm in Architecture.

A closer link between architecture and the environment, both as an ecologic and as a social ecosystem, drives new behaviors of buildings like described in G.J Ballard novel “vermillion sands”, where the building responds to the users and new tenants, and has a behavior of its own.

What enables us to make these new types of architecture are abilities to actuate soft materials which can be designed to show stimuli-sensing, multi-length scale actuation, tunable transport, programmed shape control and multifunctional orthogonal responses in architecture.

During the workshop, we will detail strategies of design that react to different environmental conditions, or changes in programmatic functions in order to elicit a precise dimensional and controlled response.

Material and fabrication research extended the possibilities of designing structures presenting cognitive abilities, integrating behavioral capabilities into architectural components with the ability to alter its configuration, form or properties in response to changes in the environment and social-spatial interaction.

We will explore the various advances in the emerging field of material responsive strategies for architecture with a focus on the various parameters that can be modulated to control a complex system behavior. We will look into biological systems, networks, smart adaptive material systems, specific responses to environment and co-evolution.

We will start with exploring responsive systems, through generative design experimentation, using digital tools to capture and simulate behaviors.

We will then translate this research into material investigations, working with adaptive and responsive materials that will form a full 1:1 fabricated installation showing our ways to respond to the environment, physically computing environmental data and human interaction.



Week  1 (17-21/08)
Beginners:  MODELING AND MAKING (3d modeling and fabrication for advanced and non-standard geometries)
Advanced: GENERATIVE ECOLOGIES (Design strategies through environmental data)

Week  2 (24-30/08)
Beginners:  COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN AND COLLABORATIVE CULTURE (Computing tools and open-source approach to design and architecture.)
Advanced: PROTOTYPING INTERACTIONS (Computing responsive spaces)

Week  3 (31/08-05/09)
Beginners/Advanced: RESPONSE  (Constructing the sensing capsule)



Beginners: Open to architects, designers, engineers and artists with no previous knowledge of advanced 3d modeling. A basic knowledge of CAD modeling is required.
Advanced: Open to architects, designers, engineers and artists with a basic knowledge of 3d modeling in Rhino and a basic skills in Grasshopper.



Francesco Cingolani, Mikhaḗl Arroyo – VOLUMES

Aldo Sollazzo, Chirag rangholia – NOUMENA

Jan Pernecky –  rese arch

Mateusz Zwierzycki  Milkbox group

Domenico Di Siena –  Urbano Humano Agency

Massimiliano Dibitonto –  phD in Computer Science

Manja van de Worp – NOUS engineering

INHABITAT |  architectural space-suit

17/08 – 05/09 2015

VOLUMES coworking, Paris, France

École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
VOLUMES coworking