Dirty Digital

Type: Design-Built Studio

Date: Winter 2018

Link: construction video


This studio will explore the use of wood and adobe in architecture, utilizing digital design and fabrication tools to reinvent their potential and move away from traditional methods. The focus will be on cataloguing unique qualities through experimentation and designing bespoke fabrication strategies to enhance them. This will lead to the development of a full- scale prototype at the Alte Technik campus, utilizing hybrid systems that combine the distinct characteristics of wood and adobe to produce an aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound whole.


This project explores the use of wood and adobe in architecture with the help of digital design and fabrication tools. The aim is to move away from traditional designs and construction methods and create unique architectural conditions. The team seeks to combine the distinct characteristics of wood and adobe to create a hybrid system that delivers in terms of aesthetics, tectonics, and structure. The chosen site for the full-scale prototype was a deactivated industrial facility that served as a dump field for building debris. By harnessing the debris available on- site and mixing it with loam, the team reinforced the structural capacity of the material. The bespoke procedures used to build the prototype turned challenges into indispensable components of the project. For example, snow was used as a temporary formwork and support material to create voids within a mass of rammed earth. This approach brings time and slowness into the equation of architecture construction, strengthening the project’s relevance and value for society. The project demonstrates the importance of designers being accountable for the externalities that result from their designs and actively using them in their creative process to strengthen the validity of the design.

Teachers: Urs Hirschberg, Florian Fend, Jose Paixao

Guest Teachers: Kai Längle (Natürlich Bauen)

Student Assistants: Felix Dokonal, Jakov Cecura

Students: Vesa Bunjaku, Jakov Cecura, Barbara Sofia Coelho Miranda, Laura Feller, Cristina Fischer de Saa, Johannes Friatzenwallner, Lorenz Glauninger-Holler, Zorik Grigorján, Stefan Kaltseis, Anton Martin Oven, Andreas Papaefthymiou, Tamara Riedel, Sebastian Bela Simon, Hana Vasatko, David Ortner, Nera Dzanic, Elisa Lefevre

Photos: Florian Fend