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Emergence: Morphogenetic Design Strategies by Michael Weinstock, Achim Menges, Michael Hensel

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Toyo Ito, Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilions, London, 2002

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Structural panels schedule drawing.

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Exterior view of the pavilion, designed by Toyo Ito in collaboration with Cecil Belmond.

In conversation with the Emergence and Design Group, Charles Walker, leader of the Advanced Geometry Unit [AGU] at Arup & Partners, discusses the unit’s multidisciplinary way of integrating architectural design with engineering. As well as its involvement in many other projects, AGU has worked with Toyo Ito on the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilions in 2002, with Anish Kapoor for the Marsyas sculpture of the Unilever series at Tate Modern, and David Adjaye on the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2003. Each of these structures involved a unique and complex exploration.

The Advanced Geometry Unit [AGU] at Arup & Partners has an interesting composition, with an architect, three engineers, a mathematician and a scientist making up the small permanent team. Together they work on basic research and are connected to another 30 engineers working on specific projects in a wider network. All of the permanent members of the unit have multidisciplinary backgrounds, combining engineering with architecture, mathematics, physics or computer programming. Leadership of the group is in the hands of Charles ...

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