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Proto-Design investigates digital and analogue forms of computation in the pursuit of systemic design applications that are scenario and time based. Considering controls systems as open acts of design experimentation, the DRL examines production processes as active agents in the development of architecture.

Behavioural, parametric and generative methodologies of computational design are coupled with physical computing and analogue experiments to create dynamic and reflexive feedback processes. New forms of spatial organisation are explored that are not type or site dependant but examine scenarios that evolve as ecologies and environments that seek adaptive and hyper-specific features. This performance-driven approach seeks to develop novel design proposals concerned with the everyday. The iterative methodologies of the design studio focuses on the investigations of spatial, structural and material organisation, engaging in contemporary discourses on computation and materialisation in the disciplines of architecture and urbanism.

Four parallel research studios, run by Theodore Spyropoulos, Patrik Schumacher, Robert Stuart-Smith and Philippe Morel, explore the possibilities of the Proto-Design studio. Theodore Spyropoulos studio, Behavioural Machines, investigates behaviour as the means to explore self-regulating and deployable soft systems within the field of scientific enquiry. Semiological Crowds, led by Patrik Schumacher focuses on the design of parametric prototypes that intelligently vary general topological schemata across a wide range of parametrically specifiable site conditions as a campus. Robert Stuart-Smith’s studio, Behavioural Materialism, explores how non-linear design processes may be instrumentalised to generate a temporal architecture with a designed life-cycle. Philippe Morel’s studio, Reconsidering Elementarism, challenges the contemporary relevance of high-technologies through shelter related architectures that make use of cheap and deployable elemental geometric components.