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HK_smarTOWERS, drawing on the ubiquity of the high rise in Hong Kong, will explore the opportunities of harnessing large amounts of data from this building typology and managing it by means of 3D geometry as a storage medium. The Cluster will be divided into two groups working on two approaches:

Group1: Tower_Data Mining - will focus on the gathering, analysis and visualization of complex data from existing towers. The UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) technology, combined with light weight Arduino based sensors, will be utilized as a novel and affordable mean to harvest data from the urban setting.

Group2: Tower_Data Construction – will look at how data informs  the tower massing strategies, structure and organization by addressing the issue of standardization, mass production and customization while using intelligent digital design systems.

Both groups will use the Elefront plugin for Grasshopper, which through the embedding of information into the Rhino model allows for the collaborative creation of large, data rich models to be used for analysis and construction of architectural systems. Cluster champions will decide on applicants’ group assignment based on background, skills and the overall cluster participant makeup. The groups will work in parallel and finish the workshop with a joint presentation of the techniques and methods developed as well as an exhibition of the generated work.



Jason Carlow is an Assistant Professor and a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award at the University of Hong Kong.  His research, practice and teaching are focused on digital modeling and fabrication techniques.  He has taught several post-graduate design studios focused on tall building design with an emphasis on compact living and performative facade systems.  He has also taught design-build workshops and seminars at HKU focused on advanced modeling and fabrication techniques.  His research and design work on parametrically generated building components has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Venice Biennale and the HK/SZ Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.


Ramon van der Heijden is a registered architect and computational design specialist. He has a combined MSc degree in Architecture and Design Systems from Eindhoven University of Technology. His work primarily focuses on the building envelope. His former experience at UNStudio, combined with his work at Front in Research and development, Building Information Modeling and Building Data Management has allowed him to develop the Elefront plugin for advanced data management. Ramon has taught master level design studios at the University of Hong Kong and Eindhoven University of Technology and has given numerous lectures on the topic of advanced building data management.


Alan Tai is an architect and computational designer with specialized experience in application of building information modeling (BIM) and automation technologies for fabrication. He has educational background in both electrical engineering and architecture. He graduated from MIT with the Master of Science degree in design and computation. He currently works as a facade architect and computational specialist at Front Inc., focusing on the integration of design and technology for geometrically complex facade projects. He has previously taught computational design workshop at MIT and Tamkang University, and worked as a scripting technologist at University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.


Gustav Fagerström is a registered architect and Associate with Buro Happold New York where he leads the structural BIM and advanced modeling team. With dual master degrees in architecture and computational design systems he operates at the intersection of architecture, engineering and computer science. He is the author of several peer reviewed research papers focusing on novel means of computational modeling, BIM and digital fabrication and has given workshops and taught on these topics at Yale, the AA London, UCL Bartlett, London Metropolitan University, the Royal Institute of Technology and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Work of his has been presented at venues such as the Venice Architecture Biennale, CAADRIA, ACADIA and FABRICATE. Several times over a SmartGeometry attendee he has contributed both as workshop participant and cluster champion.


Christian J. Lange is a German architect and Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches architectural design and advanced digital modeling techniques. He is a founding partner at Rocker‐Lange Architects, a research and design practice based in Boston and Hong Kong. A strong emphasis in their work is the implementation of computer based design and construction processes. Rocker Lange’s work has been published internationally and featured in the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture as well as the 2011 and 2013 HK/SZ Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. 


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