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Special Sessions (as of june 24 2020)

Special Sessions are sessions exploring novel experimental topics that extend the general conference themes. Each special session is formulated by expert researchers and gathers up to 6 speakers presenting key contributions on the session theme. All interested authors are entitled to propose a special session and to submit contributions to the special sessions for review. 


• Special-session Proposal Form

• Terms and conditions 

Integrated Informed Design Processes: Joining urban design, architecture and engineering for a sustainable tomorrow

Aliakbar Kamari

Department of Engineering          
Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark

Sofie Pelsmakers

Faculty of Built Environment    
Tampere University                        
Tampere, Finland

Carlos Bañón

AirLab (Arch. Intelligence Research Lab)
Singapore Univ. of Technology and Design

Integrated building design is growing in complexity at an exponential rate. This occurs due to the variety of involved professions and managing their internal and external collaboration, application of emerging cutting edge technologies and software (i.e. BIM), as well as the design requirements that need to be addressed, i.e. sustainability concepts and building codes. Characteristically, many significant decisions that directly affect the building performance and its relationship with the environment are taken, without complete integrated knowledge and must be revisited and reconsidered. This session opens up discussions about new research-based integrated building design processes at the conceptual stages, the interrelations and trade-offs between Urban Design, Architecture and Engineering to meet project goals towards a sustainable tomorrow.


Mette Ramsgaard

Centre for IT & Architecture 
Royal Danish Academy 
Copenhagen, Denmark

Paul Nicholas

Centre for IT & Architecture 
Royal Danish Academy  
Copenhagen, Denmark

Carole Collet

Design & Living Systems 
Central Saint Martins UAL
London, United Kingdom  

Nancy Diniz

Design & Living Systems 
Central Saint Martins UAL
London, United Kingdom  

This panel examines how bio-based materials – materials that arise from the biosphere of abundant, renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable and chemically versatile materials - have the potential to fundamentally change the impact of building practice on our planetary boundaries. To ensure a sustainable future it is imperative that we rethink the material cultures of architecture and the built environment. As global construction activity accelerates, we need to question what materials are and how we work with them. Bio-design agendas challenge a modernist perception of resource as infinite and available without consequence, to an ecological understanding of resource as a shared global reserve to be balanced between the needs of the environment and that of humanity. The panel asks what are the emergent practices of bio-design and what methods of description can represent their inherent complexity and behaviours by positioning three key perspectives:

  • Bio-design as grown materials: new use of materials such as mycelia-, organic cellulose- and algae-based materials allow to reconsider how we can grow structurally performing materials and harvest them for the built environment

  • Bio-design as composed materials: bio-based polymers such as agar, starch and chitin allow us to consider ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum-based polymers. Their different strength-ratios and durability challenge our perceptions of performance and necessitate new use cases

  • Bio-design as living materials: synthetic biology offers new perspectives in our relation to the living allowing us to re-programme the performance of living organisms. We question what is the nature of a living architecture and how can it co-exist in sym-poetic relationships with human inhabitation?

Cellulose-Based Materials in Structures and Architecture

Jerzy Latka

Faculty of Architecture, 
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology
Wroclaw, Poland

Rebecca Bach

Institute of Structural Mechanics and Design
Technical University of Darmstadt
Darmstadt, Germany      


The session will focus on cellulose-based materials and their implementation in architectural structures. Taking into account growing need for the recyclable materials, good thermal insulation, low-cost production and minimalised ecological footprint, the session will crate the opportunity to exchange the knowledge and experiences by both professionals and academics. New structural solutions, energy efficiency, implementation of cellulose based materials in building envelope will be the main topics of the session.

The Future of Bridges: A roadmap towards circular and inclusive bridge design


Joris Smits

Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology
TU Delft & Ney & Partners 
Delft, The Netherlands


Bridges lie at the heart of our civilization bringing growth and prosperity into peoples every days life. However, bridges are more than mere functional assets. A well designed bridge reflects mankind’s creativity and ingenuity and tells us something about our identity. However, our identity is not static. Just as social values are rapidly changing under influence of political polarization and climate crisis, the way that our bridges are commissioned and designed needs to change too.

This special session addresses the call for circular bridge design, as well as the call for an inclusive design process in which users and inhabitants can participate with local knowledge. Therefore, topics for his session can offer a technological approach, addressing new materials and computational methods to achieve better bridges. Or they can focus on the design process and the procurement of our bridges, offering ways to include the public and enhance public support.  The goal is to identify a design approach, through all scales of the design, that leads to bridges that are sustainable, future proof and that are valued by society.


6-8 JULY 2022


Aalborg University
Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology
Rendsburggade 14
9000 Aalborg