about the bucky lab

The bucky lab is the first semsters mastercourse within the architectural education program for building technology of the TU Delft / The Netherlands. The course itself is splitted into different courses that includes the following:

bucky lab design - Marcel Bilow

bucky lab production technologies - Marcel Bilow

CAD - Paul de Ruiter

Structural Mechanics - Andrew Borgart

Material Science - Fred Veer

In the Bucky Lab and Bucky Lab Seminars the combination between architectureand building technology is brought to a higher level. The assignment is todesign an innovative sustainable building related construction / concept thatcan be part of an office building, a small building in its own or maybe also anextension of an existing building. The semester starts with the design of thearchitectural concept, which will be materialized and developed to the level ofa final design. The ‘Design by technological research’ method integratesComputer Aided Design and Modelling (CAD & CAM), structural analysis,material sciences and technological research in the design process. Theresearch is done by virtual and physical testing the design’s materials andstructural performance. The results are used as feedback to optimize the designinto a state that it can be build as a prototype finally.

The prototype

The final test is the realization of a full scale prototype or a part ofthe building according to the chosen project. This means the design will betranslated into working drawings, material quantities and a production strategyas a preparation for the actual building. The students will construct andassemble their prototype themselves in groups of 2 up to 10 in the new mobileworkshop. Each project chosen to be built is more or less a vehicle totransport the goals of the course to teach the full planning process ofimagination, design, calculation, materialisation, the appropriate choice of productiontechnologies and the building of the final prototype itself. It’s a “get yourhands dirty approach” that follows the courses motto: What you can imagine youcan also build! But and this is the most important goal of the course we wouldlike to teach: An honest self reflection of the achievement according to thefinal product, that will not directly Illustrate the real solution, but a step in this direction that canstart a discussion about its potentials in the real architectural environment.

The results of the courses that are translated into a 1:1 prototype is sometimes leading into a more detailed research for product development, sometimes also a starting point for companies to cooperate to bring the concepts into the next level.