explicit and scripted processes within design

Axel Kilian


Axel Kilian recently completed a PhD and subsequent Post Doctoral position in the Computation Group in the Department of Architecture at MIT. He came to MIT on a Fulbright scholarship after completing his professional architecture degree at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. During his stay he also completed his Master of Science in Architectural Studies at MIT.
His PhD research centered on design exploration in the context of architecture and design processes using computational processes, namely programming and parametric design in combination with fabrication. Recent projects range from architectural form finding applications, collaboration on concept car designs with the media lab, to a number of full scale installations. Axel Kilian has been teaching courses and workshops in computation in academia and in collaboration with the smart geometry group in the UK since 2003. He has lectured widely in the US, Central America, and Europe.



Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Post doctoral Associate in Computation
Department of Architecture, MIT
(Jan 2006- Jan 2007)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Ph.D. in Computation – Feb 2006
“Design exploration using bidirectional constraints”
Department of Architecture.
(September 2001 – Jan 2006)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Master of Science in Architecture Studies. Thesis title: “Defining Digital Space through a Visual Language” (September 1998 – June 2000)

Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany
Dipl-Ing. in Architecture. Thesis title:
“The fully Determined Universal Machine.”
(October 1992 – July 1998) 



1st price composite structures tensinet competition with
P. Block, P. Schmitt, and J. Snavely, MIT   (2007) 
MIT Presidential scholarship for PhD    (2001-2006)

1st price mini skyscraper competition with P. Block,
P. Schmitt, and J. Snavely, MIT     (2006)  
Best Research Paper award for researcher under 35 (ecaade) (2005)
Boeing business jet interior, invited competition 2nd prize (July 2000)
Best Thesis Award – Department of Architecture, MIT  (June 2000)
Excellence in Teaching a Graduate Level Course –
Graduate Student Council Award, MIT    (June 2000)
Germanistic Society of America Scholarship   (1999-2000)
German-American Fulbright Grantee    (1998-1999)
Honorable Mention Thesis, Max Taut Prize         (1999)
Baumgarten Scholarship University of the Arts Berlin   (Dec 1997)
Light in Architecture – Phillips Student Design 1st Prize   (1994)
Symposium. (2000) 



Kilian, A. Block, P., Schmitt, P., Snavely, J., “Developing a   
language for actuated structures”, Adapatables conference
Eindhoven.        (2006)
Kilian, A., Schmitt, P., Künzler, P., Joachim, M., Garcia, E. J., Mitchell, 
W. J., “Designing an actuated vehicle, the H-Series”, Game Set
Match II, TU Delft.       (2006)
Kilian, A., “Design Exploration with circular dependencies
– a chair experiment”, Caadria.     (2006)
Kilian, A. “Design innovation through constraint modeling”,  
IJAC.         (2006)
Kilian, A., “Design innovation through constraint modeling”,
ecaade, Lisbon.       (2005)
Kilian, A., Ochsendorf, J., IASS Journal    (2005)
Kilian, A., “Hanging chain models and Fabrication”,
Acadia 2004, Waterloo.      (2004)
Kilian, A., “Fabrication of partially double-curved surfaces
out of flat sheet material through a 3d puzzle approach,
Acadia 2003, Indianapolis.       (2003)
Brygg Ullmer, Elizabeth Kim, Axel Kilian, Steve Gray,
Hiroshi Ishii, Strata/ICC: Physical models as computational
interfaces, CHI 2001.       (2001)
Testa, P., O’Reilly, U.M., Kangas, M. Kilian, A. “MOSS:
Morphogenetic Surface Structure. A Software Tool for Design
Exploration.” Proceedings of Greenwich 2000: Digital Creativity



“Instrumentos architectonicos” conference, Merrida Venezuela,
Invited speaker on “Material organizations”
(April 2007)
IAAC Barcelona, Spain
Invited critic and speaker
(March 2007)

IST, Lisbon, Portugal
Invited critic and speaker
(March 2007)

UFM, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Workshop and invited speaker.
(July 2005, 2006)

Free form design symposium TU Delft
Organized by the free form design working group within the IASS. Invited speaker (Sep 2006)

Adaptables conference, Eindhoven,
Invited keynote speaker
(June 2006)

Material and Application, Los Angeles
Winner of the fall 2006 installation with the proposal called “Bubbles’ together with Michael Fox, Juintow Lin, Scott Franklin, Miao Miao, Axel Kilian.
(Sept 2006-Feb 2007)

Workshop on ENGINEERING DESIGN: what can we learn from designing concept cars? IST, Lisbon.
Invited speaker.
(March 2005)

Venice Biennale 2004, Metamorph, Surfaces, “Museo Costantini, Plaza
Peru, Buenos Aires” Competition entry 1997.
Project featured in the exhibition and in Catalog “Surfaces”.
(Fall 2004)

Research in progress symposium, invited speaker, MIT Spring 2005. “Emergent design in Architecture and Biology” Organized by the HTC program at the department of Architecture, MIT.
(Spring 2005)

Non standard Practice conference, invited speaker, Fall 2004, MIT
(Fall 2004)

Gardenlab wind tunnel exhibit Pasadena 2004, “Nanocity” in collaboration with Odesco (Michael Fox, Junitow Lin).
A ferro fluid based exhibit that demonstrates reconfigurable fluid based structures.
(Fall 2004)

Bentley User Conference 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
Presentations on current research in the context of computational modeling
Digital Salon 2000-2001, School of the Visual Arts New York
Interactive piece in the digital arts section. First exhibited in
the Digital Salon 2000 was then presented again during an
international tour of the exhibition. Work was also selected for
the 10 years Digital Salon exhibition in Spring 2001.
Art Exhibition SIGGRAPH 2000 New Orleans, contributor
in ACG group exhibition
Group project of the Aesthetics and Computation Group of the Media Lab, MIT. “The Introspection Machine” five monitor-camera feedback loops Consulting on the physical cases, design, rendering.
(July 2000)

ICC Exhibition Tokyo, Japan, contributor to project in group exhibition
Group exhibition of the Tangible Media Group. Participation on one of the exhibited projects, the Strata/ICC project.
Project Team: Brygg Ullmer, Elisabeth Kim, Axel Kilian, Steve Gray, James Patten, Professor Hiroshi Ishii.
Tokyo Opera City Tower, Tokyo, Japan. 
(June 23 – July 9, 2000)

“Organic Information” – group exhibition of the Aesthetic and Computation Group at the Art Directors Club of New York
Display of student work in interactive digital design from the mas110 class. Programmed interactive art in the DBN language. (May 1999)  

End of the year exhibition, Berlin University of the Arts, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999.
Display of student projects and design and implementation of the exhibition in 1994 and 1995.
(October 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999)

“The Column” – group exhibit with, among others, A. Penck. Leipzig, Germany.
Installations in cloth and wood depicting the genius loci of the Gothic period in an old mill building in Leipzig, Germany.
(September 1994)


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