Photo of Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen

Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen

Architect, PhD, Professor, Centerleder

  • Philip De Langes Allé 11

    1435 København K

    Denmark

20022021

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Scientific Focus

My research centres on the intersection between architecture and computer science. My focus is on the profound changes that digital technologies instigate in the way architecture is thought, designed and built. In 2004 I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in architecture and computer science, and in 2005 I founded the Centre for IT and Architecture research group (CITA) at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation. During the last 6 years I have successfully attracted funding and built up a strong international group of 12 members with myself as Head and 1 Associate Prof., 1 Assistant Prof., 1 Post Doc, 6 PhDs and 2 research assistants. In 2010 I became full Professor in Architecture and Digital Technologies.

In CITA I have piloted a special research focus on the new digital-material relations that digital technologies bring forth. Investigating advanced computer modelling, digital fabrication and material specification CITA has been central in the forming of an international research field examining the changes to material practice in architecture. This has been led by a series of research investigations developing concepts and technologies as well as strategic projects such as the international Digital Crafting Network that fosters interdisciplinary sharing and dissemination of expertise and supports new collaborations in the fields of architecture, engineering and design.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Dec 2010 – to date  

Professor of Architecture and Digital Technologies, Head of CITA, Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation. (KADK)
http://cita.karch.dk

 

Sept 05 – Dec 2010 

Associate professor and Head of CITA, Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture.

 

Sept 04 - Sept 05     

Research fellow, Department of Computer Science, University College London

 

Sept 03 – Sept 05     

College tutor, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

 

Aug 01 – Sept 05     

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton. Head of third year.

 

EDUCATION

Aug 99 – Jul 2004    Interdisciplinary PhD 

Bartlett School of Architecture and Department of Computer Science, University College London. Discovering Mixed Realities – inventing design criteria for an action based Mixed Reality supervised by Prof Peter Cook and Prof Mel Slater.

 

Sep 94 – Jun 96        Diploma in Architecture (distinction)

Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

 

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

2005 - to date           Head of CITA: Centre for IT and Architecture

As Head of CITA, I have responsibility for the building of the research group, the development of our research agenda, fundraising, forming new research collaborations, leading research projects and dissemination. Since 2005 I have built an active research environment with 12 employees and have initiated new research collaborations with leading international research environments and industry partners.

 

EXTERNAL CHAIRING POSITIONS

2019 – to date    Member of advisory board for Cluster for Excellence ‘Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture’, University of Stuttgart

2014- to date     Member of the Swizz National Research Council NCCR Evaluation Panel Digital Fabrication

2014- 2018        Member of the Danish Arts Foundation, Architectural Council

2013                  Member of the Swizz National Research Council NCCR Selection Panel Technology/Ecology

2009-11             Member of the Danish Cultural Ministry Research Council

 

EXTERNAL EXAMINAR POSITIONS

2016                         Internal PhD examiner for Anna Hougaard, KADK

2016                         External PhD examiner for Jane Scott, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London

2013                         External PhD examiner for Michael Wihart, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK

2012 – 16                 External examiner BSc programme, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

2012                         External PhD examiner for Jonas Runberger, KTH, School of Architecture Stockholm

2011                         External PhD examiner for James Gardiner, Jerome Frumar and Andrew Maher, SIAL (Spatial Information Architecture Lab) RMIT, Melbourne

2009                         External PhD examiner for Phil Ayres, Aarhus School of Architecture

2009                         External licentiat examiner for Anna Persson, Textile College, College of Borås

 

INTERNAL CHAIRING POSITIONS KADK                                    

2015 – to date           Member of the Research Council

2006 – 2015              Member of the PhD School Committee

2010 – 2011              Member of the Research Committee

2009 – 11                  Member of the KADK Vision 2017 and Strategy 2017 groups

2007 – 11                  Member of the Study Council (responsible for curriculum)

 

ACADEMIC AND PHD SUPERVISION 

Supervision of Adjunct Professors and Postdoc

2018 – 20          Anders Kruse, Adjunct Professor

2010 – 12          Paul Nicholas, FKK Postdoc

2010 – 13           Phil Ayres, Adjunct Professor

2008 – 11          Odilo Schoch, Adjunct Professor

2006 – 09           Martin Tamke, Adjunct Professor

 

Supervision of international grantees

2015-16                    Main supervisor for Fullbright scholar Scott Lienweber

2016                         Main supervisor for visiting PhD scholar Danica Pistekova

 

Supervision of Ph.D. students

2019 – to date                 Main supervisor for Yuliya Sinke “Design of highly specified functionally graded CNC-knitted membranes “, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2018 – to date           Main supervisor for Veronica Hodges “New use of Paper in Design and Architecture”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2017 – to date           Main supervisor for Karen Honour “How to Dress a Room?- An investigation into knitted spatial members situated between fashion design and architecture”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2016 – to date           Main supervisor for Paul Poinet “Multi Scalar Modelling For Building Design”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2016 – to date           Secondary supervisor for Kasper Ax “Design For Manufacture And Assembly”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2015 – to date           Main supervisor for Tom Svilans “Integrating Material Performance”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2014 – 16                  Main supervisor for Astrid Mody “Textilisation of Light”. Industrial collaboration with Philips Design, Eindhoven. I took over supervision of Astrid in her final year.

2014 – to date           Main supervisor for Anders Holden Deleuran “Complex Modelling”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2013 – to date            Main supervisor for Vicki Thacke, industrial PhD, “RUM - Fiberforstærkede Polymere Kompositter I Arkitektonisk Kontekst”, a collaboration between CITA and KHR Architects and Fibreline Composites.

2012 -                       Main supervisor for Dave Stasiuk “ Activating the Parameter Space in Computational Design Modelling”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2010 - 13                  Main supervisor for Tore Banke, industrial PhD, “Parametrics in Practice: generative performance in architecture”, a collaboration between CITA and 3XN Architects.

2010 - 13                  Main supervisor for Jacob Riiber Nielsen “Digital Crafting: generative processes in architecture”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

2008 - 14                  Main supervisor for Brady Peters, industrial PhD, “Complex Surfaces – Sound and Space Defining Surfaces for Architecture”, a collaboration between CITA and JJW Architects and Gromtje Carl Bro Engineers.

2008 - 14                  Main supervisor for Aurelie Mosse, international Ph.d.  “Self-Actuated Textiles in the Design of Domestic Spaces”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, UK

2008 - 12                  Second supervisor for Anders Hermund, “Applied 3D Modelling and Parametric Design”. CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

2007 - 12                  Main supervisor for Norbert Palz “Emerging Architectural Possibilities of a Tuneable Materiality through Additive Fabrication Technologies”, CITA, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation

ACADEMIC AWARDS AND HONOURS

2016                         “Innovative Academic Program Award of Excellence” awarded to CITA by the prime conference within the field, ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture)

2016                         “EliteForsk Prize” for outstanding researcher under 45 years of international excellence (1.000.000 DKK).

2011                         Anna Nordlander Prize for female architect who has contributed considerably to her field (40.000 DKK).

2010                         Selected to represent Denmark in the Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

2009                         Winner of International Competition Gecko Think Forward on the implementation of Nano-coated textiles in architecture. (50.000 DKK).

2008                         InterArCHtive Prize for Interactive Architecture, commission to build and exhibit the architectural installation Slow Furl. Prize by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and Arts  Council England. (110.000 DKK)

1999 - 03                  International Ph.d. stipend for Ph.d. studies at University College London, Det Danske Forsker Akademi (1.500.000 DKK).

 

VISITING SCHOLARSHIPS

2019                  Recipient of the ArTec International Chair, ENSAD (Ecole National Superieur de Art et Design), Paris.

2013                  Visiting Scholar at IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture Catalonia, Barcelona

2009                  Visiting Scholar at University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Sydney. Invited to lead 2 week summer school Urban Islands.

Nov 2008                 Visiting Scholar at Ecole Speciale d’Architecture, Paris. Invited to lead semester course Textile Techtoniques 

 

JOURNAL REVIEW BOARDS

2016 – to date           Reviewer for Journal on Construction Robotics, Springer Verlag

2014 – to date           Reviewer for Textile Research Journal, Sage Publications

2014 – to date           Reviewer for Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice, Taylor and Francis

2013 – to date           Reviewer for ACADIA, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture

2012 – to date           Reviewer for Fabricate, International Peer Reviewed Conference and Publication

 

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOPS

In architecture it is a mark of honour to be invited to lead workshops in parallel institutions. The hands-on workshops act as means of sharing design practice and communicating concepts and technologies and take place in conference, symposia and teaching contexts, The workshops named below are a small selection of the activities I have been undertaking in the last 10 years.

June 2020          International workshop “Material Hyper-Specification: Designing Across Scales”, Tongji University, Shanghai (CN)

April 2014                 “Learning to be a Vault” workshop at with students at IAAC

March 2011               “Performing Skins” Interdisciplinary workshop for professions and students in architecture and engineering at international conference Smart Geometry 2011.

Juni 2010                  “Architectural Knitted Surfaces” Interdisciplinary workshop for professions and students in architecture and textile design at Shenkar School of Engineering and Design, Tel Aviv.

Aug 2009                  “Responsive Architecture” International summer school for researchers, educators and students with Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo, Toronto.

May 2008                 “Fabric of Life” International textiles workshop for students, Central Saint Matins, London,

Nov 2007                 “Metabolic Networks” International architecture workshop for professionels and studerents, Part of the ACADIA conference, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS AND FUNDRAISING

The CITA research budget consist of internal funding in the form of research positions, internal project funding and external funding. The full yearly research budget for CITA is 2.500.000 DKK excluding external funding.

2020 – 2024      “Predicting Response - AI for 3D Printing Biopolymers in Architecture” on how machine learning can be used to predict behaviour and grade bio-polymers with versatile non-standard robotic 3D printing. Role: PI. Funding: DFF (5.800.000 DKK)

2014 – to date           “InnoChain”, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network with 6 academic and 14 industry partners across Europe. Project coordinator.  (30.000.000 DKK)

2013 - to date            “Complex Modelling”; Sapere Aude: Advanced Grant for Elite Researchers, Danish Council for Independent Research (7.000.000)

2011                         “Architectural Textiles”: Nordic Culture Fund (150.000DKK), Danish Arts Foundation (75.000 DKK), Danmarks Nationalbank (25.000 DKK)

2010                         “How would it be to live in a soft space… “ research exhibition Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Berado Museum: Realdania (100.000 DKK), KADK (250.000 DKK)

2010 - 2009              Practice-based research methodology: Cybernetics PhD Course and Material Evidence PhD course: The Danish Doctoral Schools of Architecture & Design (395.000 DKK)

2008-09                    Industrial PhD positions in Architectural Simulation. These two PhDs are collaborations with professional practice. Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation (2.800.000 DKK), Realdania (450.000DKK)

2009                         Digital Crafting research network: The Danish Council for Independent Research, Humanities (1.000.000 DKK)

2009                         “digital.material” research exhibition ROM Gallery, Oslo: Nordic Culture Fund (140.000DKK), Dreyers Fond (55.000 DKK), Danmarks Nationalbank (25.000 DKK)

2006-11                    Visiting Professorship Programme. In the period 2006-08 and 2009-11 CITA I have received funding for three international professorships with leading researchers Azam Khan (AutoDesk, Toronto),  Mark Burry (SIAL, RMIT, Melbourne) and Mark Goulthorpe (MIT, Boston): Villum Kann Rasmussen Fonden (630.000 DKK)

2009                         Digital.Material, a research exhibition at ROM Gallery, Oslo, Norway. Nordic Culture Fund (140.000DKK),

2009                         ”Its a SMALL World” National development project on the novel use of tradtional materials in digital fabrication. In collaboration with Dansk Design Center, Dansk Arkitektur Center og Danish Crafts: Danish Design Centre (450.000 DKK)

 

2009                         “Responsive Environments” Summer School, An international summer school with Prof. Philip Beesley, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo. Dreyers Fond (25.000 DKK)Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (200.000 DKK)

2008                         DevA research project with MAPT Architects on the use of Developable Surfaces in architecture, Dreyers Fond (50.000 DKK).

2007                         “Knitted Skins” – a research investigation into CNC knitting and architecture with Manchester University School of Materials, University of Brighton, School of Architecture and Design and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design: Aase and Ejnar Danielsen Foundation (450.000 DKK), Dreyers Fond (55.000)

2006                         “Robotic Membranes” Study of textiles as a material for a reactive architecture. The project is a framework project combining the studies Vivisection, Strange metabolisms, Slow Furl, Breathing Room and the Thaw. The project is supported by a number of collaboration including Toni Hick, Constructed Textiles, University of Brighton and Simon Løvind, Denmark's Design School. Danish Arts, Architecture Statens Kunstfond, Arkitekturudvalget (70.000 DKK), Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968  (20.000 DKK).

2005                         Sea Unsea, research project on interactive architecture and dance. Collaboration with choreographer Carol Brown: Arts Council England Production (110.000  DKK), Arts Council England Development (55.000 DKK).

2004                         The Changing Room research project on interactive architecture and dance. Collaboration with choreographer Carol Brown: Arts Council England Production (110.000  DKK).

2002                         Embodied Interaction, research symposium and exhibition on interaction and architecture: Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) (55000 DKK).

 

DISSEMINATION: SYMPOSIA AND SEMINARS (SELECTED)

Through CITA I have hosted many research events and thus contributed to the critical reflection on the emerging digital practice. I see this conference as a means of directly supporting the proliferation of this new emerging practice.

Sept 2019          Organiser and Chair of International Conference “Design Modelling Symposium 2019: Impact: Design With All Senses, University of the Arts, Berlin. Proceedings published with Springer.

Dec 2018           Organiser of International Seminar “Digital Fabrication as a Driver for Sustainable Design Practice”, KADK

Nov 2018                  Organiser and Chair of International Conference “Innochain: Expanding Information Modelling for a New Material Age”, Blox, Danish Architecture Centre, Nov 8-9, 2018

Sept 2018                  Organiser and chair of seminar of International Seminar Light Space: Textile Illumination, in collaboration with Aurelie Mosse, ENSAD, Paris with support from French Insitute, Denmark

Sept 2017                  Organiser and Chair of International Conference “Design Modelling Symposium 2017: Humanizing Digital Reality, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles. Proceedings published with Springer.

Feb 2016                   Organiser of International Symposium “Machine Learning”, Statens Værksteder Gammel Doc

Sept 2015                  Organiser and Chair of International Conference “Design Modelling Symposium 2015: Modelling Behaviour”. Proceedings published with Springer.

Dec 2012                  Organiser and chair of seminar Architectural Textiles, a Nordic seminar on the role of textiles in architecture, Konstfack, Stockholm.

Nov 2012                 Chair of Digital Architecture Panel, Ambience Conference, Borås.

Dec 2010-11             Organiser and chair of two international symposia at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. With leading presenters from ETH, Zurich, Harvard, TU Stuttgart, Yale, RMIT and others. 

-          Digital Crafting 1: Computation and Craft, Dec 2010

-          Digital Crafting Symposium 2: Consequences, Nov 2011

Nov 2006 - 2009      Organiser and chair of three international symposia at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. With leading presenters from University of Pennsylvania, School of Design, MIT, Department of Architecture, Yale School of Architecture, Parssons School of Architecture, Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT, ETH, Zurich and others.  
-   Parametric Approaches 1, Nov 2006
-   Parametric Approaches 2: Computation and Material, Nov 2007
-   Parametric Approaches 3: Digital Crafting, Marts 2009

Dec 2005                  Organiser of the international symposium Finding Fluid Form at University of Brighton, School of Architecture and Design in collaboration with the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Robot Technology, University of Sussex. With leading researchers from System Research, MIT, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Salford, University College London.

 

RESEARCH EXHIBITIONS (selected)

My research is practice-based and develops research demonstrator and probes presented in research exhibitions. Our practice-based research has been selected for large scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (2016) and the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2010-11).  I differentiate between primary exhibitions in which original research results investigating ground research theses are presented and secondary exhibitions in which representations of work are shown often in international context. The exhibitions are therefore closely tied to the research projects listed above.

Primary exhibitions 

Dec – Feb 2019-20                       “Works+Words” international artistic development exhibition, Meldahls Smedie, KADK

Sept – Nov 2019                           “CLIMATE - Change for a sustainable future: Architecture, Design and Conservation” international research exhibition Innochain, Meldahls Smedie, KADK

Sept -  Dec 2018        “Practice Futures - Building Design for a new Material Age”, international research exhibition Innochain, Meldahls Smedie, KADK

May – Nov 2018       “Isoropia” at “Collaborative Innovation”, Danish Pavillion, Biennale Architettura 2018 - La Biennale di Venezia.

Sept 2016                  “Complex Modelling Research Exhibition” show casing results from the Complex Modelling research project, Meldahls Smedie, Copenhagen, Sept – Dec 2016

May – Sept 2016       “Hybrid Tower” as part of Contextile festival, Guimaraes, Portugal

April 2015                “Complex Modelling” exhibition, Design Museum Denmark, April 2015

May 2014                 “What does it mean to make an experiment” participant in research exhibition Meldahls Smedie, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, May 2014.

April 2013                “Alive” participant in research exhibition at EDF Foundation, Paris, April 2013.

April 2012                “Transformative Textiles” Research exhibition Arkitekternes Hus, April 2012

Sept 2011                 Copenhagen Design Week, selected to show 2 research demonstrators Dermoid and Blush at the Danish Design Museum, Sept 2011.

March 2011              “1:1 Research by Design”, research exhibition, Meldahls Smedie, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, March – April 2011.

Oct 2010                   “How would it be to live in a soft space… “ Lissabon Arkitektur Triennale selected to show at the Lisbon Architectural Triennale, Museu Colecção Berardo, Lissabon, Oct – Jan 2010-11

March 2010              “digital.material” research exhibition at ROM Gallery, Oslo, March-April 2010

Nov 2010                 “Climate and Architecture” research exhibition of architectural installation Sargasso Fields a result of the international summer school Responsive Environments with Philip Beesley, Nov 2010

Aug 2009                  “It’s a SMALL World”creator of exhibition design for international touring exhibition presented at Dansk Design Center (Copenhagen ), Nordic Light house (Shanghai), Brazilian Design Biennal (Curitiba), 4. th Design Bienniale/ Design Chile (Santiago)

June 2009                 Reef Pattern, Distortion festival, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen .

June 2008                 “Slow Furl”, commission for interactive architecture installation, Lighthouse Gallery, Brighton, June 2008

March 2008              “Digital Practice “research exhibition, Meldahls Smedie, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, March – April 2008.

Nov 2007                 ArchiTronics, exhibition of demonstrator Calcifications at Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen

Aug 2007                  Robo Art exhibition of  Breathing Room demonstrator, Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense.

Jan 2007                   Robotic Membranes. Solo research exhibition. Exhibition of  research results at Grand Parade Gallery, Brighton.

Oct 2006                   Vivisection, Chosen to present at the fall exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copmenhagen.

 

Secondary exhibitions

June 2014 – Feb 15    'Smart Flexibility' research exhibition, MAterfad, Barcelona. Participant in group exhibition

May 2013                 “Textile Spaces” Participant in group showing. Another Space, Copenhagen.

Nov 2010                 ACADIA 2010 Conference
Chosen to present at the international conference exhibition Life:Information, Cooper Union, New York.

July 2010                  Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of Multi-Agent Systems

                                 Group exhibition at Architecture SH i University of Hong Kong,  Shanghai Study, Shanghai.

Marts 2010               Architecture 10 Group exhibition at Boutwell Draper Galleriet, Sydney.

August 2008             (Im)material Processes – New Digital Techniques for Architecture Group exhibition at
Beijings Arkitektur Biennale, Beijing.

Aug 2006                  Knitted Skins, Group exhibition at Tsing Hua University, Beijing.

 

 

Research areas

Research interests

My research centres on the emergence of a digital practice in architecture. By investigating how new digital tools for design, communication and fabrication are challenging the foundation of architectural production, my research queries how the encoded and the interfaced can become part of architectural thinking. With a deep interest in coding logics and intelligent materials, my research investigates how digital architecture shifts into the performative and the behaving.

 

Research statement

Digital media is often seen as a way to abstract the world. In architecture the digital has been understood in respect to the formalist traditions of architectural production, emphasising the autonomy of architectural composition and smoothly replacing the formal games of the proportional, with new speculations into the animated, the fluid and the formed. With this a new language has appeared, tied closly to the ephemeral potentials of the field, or the flexing suggestiveness of the topological. But the digital also holds material ties. The development of digital tools for design and fabrication allow for a new closeness between design and making. As manufacturing becomes increasingly computer controlled and as better and more solid interfaces between the design space and fabrication mature, a new material nearness is introduced into our practice. This new practice is characterised by an engagement into material design. New digital tools allow architects to simulate and design for material performance allowing for higher degrees of complexity and control. Designing for digital fabrication is designing material specification. At the most fundamental my research asks what happens as material design becomes part of architectural design, what are the crafts traditions that can allow us to engage with this new design culture and how will this impact on the way we think the overarching spatial frameworks we live and work in?

 

 

Curriculum vitae

Computational Design for Architecture, Advanced Robotic Fabrication, Material Hyper-Specification, Multi-scale modelling for Architecture, ML for Fabrication, Digital Crafting

Education/Academic qualification

Architecture, PhD, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London

Award Date: 31 Jul 2004

Research area

  • Architecture
  • Textile architecture
  • Digital fabrication
  • Technology and digital design
  • Digital design
  • Computation
  • Information modelling
  • Digital crafting
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