The field of dynamic facades as a sustainable building design element is in its infancy in the 21st century. However, the field is growing rapidly due to the requirement for the better environmental performance of buildings, and the recent rise of computational tools as well as open programmability of electronics for framework control. Dynamic facades have the potential to add to the architectural expression of a building by visualizing the changeable aspects of the environment. Since the building envelope, or facade, is, in essence, the public face of a building, and has, therefore, a large impact on the perception of the building, thus from an energetic perspective, a shape-shifting envelope acts as an even more optimized buffer or mediator between the interior and the exterior environment.

The 1st edition of GSS India shall commence in India’s first planned city ‘Chandigarh’ designed by Master Architect Le Corbusier. The need of the hour is planned and well-working cities like Chandigarh are the development of modular and highly integrated but dynamic building facades to help optimize the city’s power needs for the built environment. Both the architectural expression as well as the behaviour of the facade should be controllable with high Spatio-temporal resolution through individually addressable modules.

Participants will be taught to follow a series of steps from basics designing for modular structure systems that physically respond to stimulus coming from dynamic and unpredictable environments and/or relative design criteria performances. Contrary to standard design processes where the shape can be defined in advance, the final geometrical configuration of these flexible structures relies on the integration of programable electronics as the main agent driving the entire formation process.

In Corbusian words, “The sun must penetrate every dwelling several hours a day even during the season when sunlight is most scarce. Society will no longer tolerate a situation where entire families are cut off from the sun and thus doomed to declining health.” Le Corbusier wrote this in article 26 of the Athens Charter.


IAAC Global Summer School is a full-time two weeks course, 2-14 July 2018, that provides both practical and theoretical knowledge. The program is led by expert tutors, combined with lectures by renowned professionals and academics relevant to the topics to be treated during the course. These will be broadcasted in the different node-cities, all globally connected. Participants will join a global agenda and an international laboratory at their disposal to test their design hypothesis, understanding how design conclusions derived locally can be tested and evolved globally in the different cities where other teams reside. During the GSS CDG, participants will take part in exploring the integration of highly intuitive and interactive physical-based techniques within parametric and associative modelling environments and digital fabrication protocols. To make sure, students grasp the skills well from the basics the first year, the focus shall be laid on participants rather than the end 1:1 scale product even though GSS Chandigarh’s goal is the fabrication of a 1:1 scale demonstrator that opens a discussion regarding the role of adaptive shapeshifting lightweight structures in our built environment. Introductory sessions are going to be organized for participants in topics ranging from parametric and associative modelling to prototyping and electronics. Students will acquire basic knowledge and understanding of flexible structures and dynamic methods for form-finding through theoretical and practical sessions. The core of the workshop is the understand and implement highly intuitive, responsive and interactive form-finding processes for the design of a final demonstrator which integrates controller shape-shifting concepts showing results on illumination as well as user interaction. We shall be focusing on the following outcomes for participants to learn:

  1. Computational and Parametric Designing

  2. Digital Fabrication

  3. Programming and System integrated Electronics

The workshop will include design and making with data visualization, robotics, working with hardware and programming Arduino/sensors and digital fabrication integrated into computational design workflow to construct an interactive feature that is able to shapeshift. The format of the workshop is team-based participation leading to individuals acquiring design and execution skills, systems thinking and a detailed understanding of physical computing and interactive design thinking. The process will involve sensing human presence as the first and light as the second stimuli through the Arduino prototyping platform and different kind of electronic devices as sensors and actuators. While developing IoT (internet of things) platforms, data collected through these sensors and open source database platforms will be actuated into a shapeshifting installation. The structure of the program consists of seminars, discourse groups and workshop that include material research, development of complex geometrical form, fabrication details and techniques, developing small scale prototypes and finally the fabrication of a 1:1 installation on site.