BYO & BYO [Bring Your Own & Build Your Own]: “Doing a lot with little”

Seminar Faculty: Manja van de Worp and Raimund Krenmueller

This year’s DIS (Data informed Structures) Seminar concurs with the rooftop of the IAAC Main Building. BYO as Bring Your Own, and BYO as Build Your Own will be mixed in the brief for function and execution of the lightweight timber project. “Doing a lot with little” builds on the idea to structurally benefit from the existing building in our design, as well as the intention to install a timber structure which features cables and fabric.

The seminar covers the fundamental skills of structural design and the use of the corresponding digital tools, applying them in a real project that is both convincing architecturally as well as technically feasible.

A holistic effort of integration is key, which is tackling technical questions of loads, dimensions, assembly, logistics, materials and connections as well as architectural qualities related to space, aesthetics, interaction and meaning. Using digital structural analysis tools such as Karamba, the seminar aims to design and verify structural behaviour, embedded into the larger context of architectural design and construction in a meaningful way.

The outcome of the seminar is a 1:1 prototype of a lightweight structure for the rooftop of the IAAC Main Building (Carrer de Pujades 102), that will accommodate a program of social interaction – a place for meeting, exchanging ideas, hanging out, discussing, shifting perspective, learning, having lunch and celebrating… BYO! 

Developed using – among others – specialized digital design tools, physical prototyping and hands-on testing, the structure will eventually be built during an intensive workshop in the second part of the seminar (Term 3).

The Site

The Rooftop of IAAC currently hosts a structure which will be dismantled, and it is only marginally used as an informal hangout space by small groups of people. Perhaps one reason for this is that it is currently almost impossible to use during the summer months because of the exposure to sunlight and high temperatures. In response to these climatic conditions and the intended use and interaction with the structure, it will at least feature a covered area with facilities to sit and enjoy a meal or a drink.

The Data Informed Structures Seminar aims to transform the IAAC rooftop into an environment that can stimulate social interactions, as well as provide a space to change perspective, and enjoy a small escape from the hectic student life.

Learning Objectives
At course completion the student will:
Understand the fundamentals of structural design through physical testing and computational structural analysis with Karamba;
 •  U
nderstand how to set up an analysis, strategically change parameters and understand and respond to structural analysis results. i.e. apply feedback loops;
  •   R
elate structural design with construction and fabrication impacts. Translate digital analysis and structural performance to material design constructs;
Relate structural principles with 1:1 construction methods to existing site conditions, both in terms of the physical building performance, as well as the climate aspects;
Understand the relations between architectural potential and structural aspects in a holistic way.


Manja van de Worp is the director of YIP Structural Engineering London (former NOUS engineering London), holding Master degrees in Architecture, Structural Engineering and in Emergent Technologies and Design. She is a structural engineer with 10 years professional experience in the Construction Industry focusing on Structure Geometry and Fabrication, while teaching at the RCA, Architectural Association & IAAC.
She has worked for Arup in London in the Advanced Geometry Unit and at the Advanced Technology and Research group in ARUP, designing structures with a complex geometry and moveable structures.
Manja has launched NOUS engineering LONDON (now YIP) in 2013 an engineering consultancy bearing extensive knowledge of advanced structural analysis tools, complex structural systems, materials and fabrication technologies. Current projects involve a FRP shell and a modular steel roof structure. YIP also focuses on structural product design and research based projects, looking at innovative ways to use timber, 3d printing of concrete, searching how materials not conventionally used in structural design and how they could find their way into building engineering.

Raimund Krenmueller was born in Wels, Austria and holds an MSc in architecture from the University of Technology in Vienna, where he worked between 2009 and 2015 as an expert for digital manufacturing and as teaching assistant at the department of 3d-design and model making. He has contributed to a diverse range of projects ranging from architectural design and robotic fabrication to product development, in collaboration with architects, artists and designers.  In 2016, he graduated with a thesis about the design of robot behaviour for autonomous building processes utilizing artificial evolution of neural controllers. His main research interest is the connection between digital manufacturing and architectural expression. A balanced mix of cerebral and manual work is what makes him happy. In 2017 he joined the R+D department at IAAC as an expert in digital fabrication and computational design.