école des ponts paristech's design by data masters encourages experimental architecture

école des ponts paristech's design by data masters encourages experimental architecture

innovate through new technologies at école des ponts paristech’s design by data masters program. architects, designers and engineers are united under a inter-disciplinary course that explores the fields of computational design, digital fabrication and advanced construction technologies, including topics like parametric architecture, robotics and 3D printing.


opening for its fourth edition, design by data aims to shape the next generation of creatives with a learn-by-doing approach that focuses on the theory and practice of algorithmic and generative design. the next edition starts in september 2019 with applications opening soon.

image courtesy of ilona darmon



design by data students are able to push the boundaries thanks to access to digital fabrications tools at école des ponts, such as robotic arms, CNC machines and 3D printers. they are also led with the experienced and professional guidance of director francesco cingolani and a network of high-level researchers and teachers. the school’s navier laboratory and coworking facilities enable makers to experiment and collaborate in their learning. the full- and -part-time students are taught one week per month in one year, totalling more than 350 teaching hours


with the advanced masters program set for its fourth edition, designboom highlights five graduates who detail the benefits, projects and possibilities of design by data.




design by data offered me the right environment to access expertises related to this project [research on the impact of biology in architecture, especially mycelium within clay] and become proficient in designing computational strategies,’ explains adrien rigobello when leaping from industrial engineering and business administration into computational design. he has since gone on to found thr34d5, an interdisciplinary strategic design studio, with eight other alumni, and is also the academic coordinator for digital fabrication at école des ponts paristech and at design by data.

bioBaldaccini – growth analysis of programmed stacks of clay-mycelium material


bioBaldaccini – programmed stacks of clay-mycelium material




after three years in the construction industry, paul carneau wanted to learn more about digital fabrication. ‘for my project, I worked in collaboration with a serbian architect, mladen babic, who was another student of the masters course, and we developed a hybrid structure made of a stone vault and an elastic gridshell made of composite material,’ explains paul. since graduating, he has joined the school’s navier laboratory, working on concrete 3D printing of cantilevers and mixing robotics, structural engineering and form-finding to explore new shapes. as well, he has also helped the interdisciplinary design studio thr34d5.

a hybrid structure  – stone vault and elastic gridshell


concrete 3D printing of cantilevers in école des ponts paristech




fascinated by new technology in the building industry, ‘I did an internship in a computational design startup where I developed various projects from environmental studies to computational object design,’ comments juliette truffert on her experience at design by data. her research project tackled the problems of lack of natural light in urban interior spaces. driven by theory, reflective cladding panels were made for the facades of specific buildings in order to increase the amount of light for the target.

juliette truffert’s research for reflective cladding


juliette truffert’s research for reflective cladding




design by data provides me with the opportunity to become an intern in navier laboratory … inside the école des ponts paristech,’ states mahan motamedi. ‘in there, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the PhD researchers on concrete 3D printing of larger scale structures.’ his research project directly explored this further, focusing on in-situ concrete 3D printing to find special forms without supports for the robotics. the architect aims to continue his research into this topic through more collaborations at the school’s largest laboratory. he is speaking next week at dixite3Dprint symposium at school

printing patches on flat surface and robotic assembly of the patches on gridshell
image by mahan motamedi


supportless printing of a single patch in controlled environment with hanging robot
image by mahan motamedi




zaheed lokhandwala’s research project explored the trend on free-form geometries. using found materials like slate, he used a digital process to translate waste pieces to define surfaces. this incorporated scanning the materials and using a database formula, before composing the shapes on a milled timber structure. ‘its these skills that I’ve developed here, using my research project, that has helped me further in my current job that is focused on large scale concrete 3D printing using a 6-axis robot,’ expresses the architect. he is working at the dubai-based concreative in partnership with XtreeE.

an interior view of the slate stone vault
image by zaheed lokhandwala


final render of the digital model 
image by zaheed lokhandwala

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