Guvenc Ozel, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

Benjamin Ennemoser, Lecturer, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design


The Ozel SUPRASTUDIO focused their architectural research in 2016-17 on artificial intelligence, generative design, technologically enhanced spaces and interactive environments. SUPRASTUDIO was used as a platform to exploit the potential for robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, interactive environments and virtual reality for designing spaces suitable for extended human presence in new modes of mobility on earth and extraterrestrial contexts while working with the contributions of various industry partners and experts from the field such as Autodesk, Microsoft and Oculus. The studio imagined scenarios for intelligent architectures that can move, self-generate, adapt, interact and autonomously fabricate through the employment of novel technologies, media interfaces and high performance materials. In the Fall 2016 quarter, in order to understand the logics that lead to the formulation of artificially intelligent cognitive material systems, the studio conducted research to better understand the generative nature of contemporary design models and their mathematical foundations. The intent of this quarter was to explore the logics and formal outputs of organizational behaviors. Through researching specific terminologies and finding exemplary projects in the field of digital and interactive art, architecture and industrial design, the students developed a formal language of interactive motion.

In the Fall Tech Seminar course, the goal was to develop a series of soft robotic end effectors and prostethics for the Agilus KUKA robots that could be controlled in real time, by a user or an artificial intelligence, in a process of interaction with a given distinct object. The course included the use of various sensors and actuators to fabricate complex tools that only work with a specific form.

This formal logic—elasticity, plasticity and shape-shifting—focuses on the ability of an object to change shape through material properties. Elastic materials, fluid dynamics, smart materials, tensile structure, inflatables and other systems that rely on the relationship between material science and geometry fall into this category. This project explores this system in the form of soft robotics. A dynamic curvature through graded cellular pneumatics examines shape-shifting as a tool to create and alter dynamic architectural spaces.

During the Spring quarter the Ozel SUPRASTUDIO explored autonomous trans- portation on earth: autonomous vehicles as an extension of architecture (or “moving rooms”), networks and logistics of autonomous vehicles and their impact on the built environment. Mobility systems emerged as the entry point for many of these new technological developments. On Earth, intelligent transport systems are changing the way we envision and inhabit spaces as the nature, speed and range of trans- port change. Although the speed of transport is increased and made more efficient, the amount of time spent during transport is increasing as the distinctions between work and leisure spaces blur. The notions of architecture and transportation are starting to merge as autonomous vehicles are exceedingly being considered as extensions of architectural spaces; enhanced with interactive technologies and media inter- faces. These new media interfaced in the form of virtual and augmented reality were used to construct larger interactive digital worlds in confined physical spaces. As a consequence, the autonomous transportation vehicle be comes an architecture in motion in the digital and the physical worlds.

The studio project explored shape-shifting in the form of responsive transformation. The capacitive touch sensor located in every vertex responded to human interaction with various behaviors, from changing its local proximity to triggering an overall shift in its form.

This proposal focused on offering potential experimental shelter and transportation solutions to users and communities intent on occupying areas prone to current and future sea level rise. Fundamental to this research is the concept of autonomous devices, which design, through sensor and user data, highly customized and self-sustainable habitats through the utilization of harvesting localized materials for additive manufacturing. In this circumstance, the vehicle will both serve as the manufacturing generator and have the ability to intervene as a functional appendage with its built habitat.

The current quarter’s tech seminar course aims to develop various fabrication techniques through robot human interaction and telepresence. The students are producing robotic arms, which are to be end-arm tools for the KUKA Agilus robots. Exploring robotic fabrication at the intersection of telepresence, cyber-physical systems and virtual & augmented reality, these tools aim to bridge the gap between humans and robots, and allow them to collaborate. The augmented reality interface helps to control the parameters of the fabrication process. Two main categories of this course are Subtraction & Dissolving and Addition & Aggregation. Students are testing various materials such as wax, foam and UV resin, testing their capabilities and reactions to certain operations. At the end of this course, the students will present the final results as well as their end effectors.

STUDENTS: Alara Akiltopu, Erik Broberg, Jon Bruni, Yifan Chen, Wai Ching Cheng, Alisha Coehlo, Hung The Diep, Qisen Dong, Arta Ghoorchian, Zhe Liang, Liu Jian, Teng Long, Tian Lou, Sana Nasikwala, Tyson Phillips, Huma Tatar, Zhuoneng Wang, Jinghao Xue, Yue Yang, Xincheng Ye, Zhiyu Zhang, Junzhishan Zhu