Fluid Aggregate Material | Workshop 6


Design-Build Workshop: Brick

Host: Turenscape Academy (TA)
Workshop Instructor: Stefan Al
Technical Support: Turenscape Beijing
Workshop Location: TA Xixinan Campus
Project Site: Xixinan Village, Huangshan City, Anhui, China
Date and Time: 08.03.2017-08.16.2017 (14 days)



Fluid Aggregate Material


Brick has long been associated with the heaviness of rational, standardised industrial building sand the rectilinear forms of mass-housing. This two-week design-build workshop will link advanced design tools with low-tech means by which to control and communicate simple variations in brick positions and orientations, to enable the production of complex, non-planar, fluid aggregate surface effects using standard bricks. Recent advances in digital design technology have led to traditional brick to be used in new and innovative ways to create dynamic patterns and textures to brickwork surfaces.

© Brick Pavilion, Stefan Al, 2017
© Brick Pavilion, Stefan Al, 2017
© Brick Pavilion, Stefan Al, 2017

In this workshop, Grasshopper scripts will be introduced to facilitate form-finding, structural analysis, and optimization of compression-only structures, such as brick walls. In a set of introductory exercises, brick surfaces and enclosures will be reconceived, transforming the brick from a building block for unarticulated planar forms to highly textured curvilinear surface structures. Students will gain a thorough understanding of digital design software applied to these goals, including Rhino plugins such as Grasshopper, Karamba and RhinoVault, and how these design tools and approaches can be developed, from concept design to the preparation of construction drawings. Finally, teams of students will work together to build free-flowing brick landscape surfaces on exterior grounds, as walls, and three-dimensional enclosures, as permanent physical installations on the Turenscape Academy campus. The outcomes of this workshop will have a lasting impact for the local community of Xixinan, as well as on pushing the perceived disciplinary limits of brickwork.



Workshop Leader


Stefan Al

Stefan Al is a Dutch architect and urban designer, and Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Former academic positions include Director of Urban Design at the University of Hong Kong. Al’s career as a practicing architect includes work on renowned projects such as the 2,000-feet high Canton Tower in Guangzhou, the preservation of world heritage in Latin America at the World Heritage Center of UNESCO, and an 11,000 acre new eco-friendly city in India. He has also served as an advisor to the Hong Kong government, consulting on the development of the city’s harbour and external lighting guidelines, and the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. His books include Villages in the City, Mall City, and The Strip.


Masoud Akbarzadeh
(co-instructor via video)

Masoud Akbarzadeh is a designer with a unique academic background and experience in architectural design, computation, and structural engineering. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture in Structures and Advanced Technologies and the Director of the Polyhedral Structures Laboratory (PSL). He holds a PhD from the Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, where he was a Research Assistant in the Block Research Group. He holds two degrees from MIT: a Master of Science in Architecture Studies (Computation) and an MArch, the thesis for which earned him the renowned SOM award. He also has a degree in Earthquake Engineering and Dynamics of Structures from the Iran University of Science and Technology and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. His main research topic is Three-Dimensional Graphical Statics, which is a novel geometric method of structural design in three dimensions.





Target Audience:

1. Students studying architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture and design, environment design or similar fields
2. 3D printing and computational design enthusiasts 
3. Individuals interested in experimental structures and physical making

Certification and Recommendation

1. Receive course completion certificate signed by Dr. Kongjian Yu at the end of the course
2. TA will negotiate internship and job recommendation at Turenscape for outstanding students 
3. Discount for other upcoming workshops


How to Apply

Contact us: 18201521972; 15712966956 (Numbers for both Mobile and WeChat)
Apply: Email academy_dp@turenscape.com with “Name+Workshop Name” in the subject line. Please specify your name, age, gender, major, school or employer, phone number, email address in the body of the email. TA staff will get in touch with you ASAP about workshop details and logistics.

Apply through WeChat:


Start Time

9:30 am

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Finish Time

5:30 pm

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Huangshan Turenscape Academy 黄山土人学社

Event Participants