Post-Industrial Landscapes is a travelling academic program created by Tobias Klein in the Architectural Association Visiting School Program. Founded in 2013, it saw the program successfully establish visiting schools of ten days in Ottawa, Canada and San Francisco in the past 2 years of its existing. Always in collaboration with local academic institutions, (Carleton University and Academy of Arts University), the program strives to explore technological boundaries in the field of Architecture and New Media design.

It is a unique type of cross disciplinary workshop series, bringing together people from different backgrounds and challenges their understanding of design and architecture, pushing and blurring the boundaries of what is the norm. It has a global reputation, backed up by the extensive list of successful and unique professionals and innovations that it has nurtured and grown over the years.

Tobias Klein is the principal of Studio Tobias Klein, a practice operating in the between of architecture, across the fields of art and installation, experimental design, interactivity and urbanism. Trained internationally as an architect, his work maintains a fascination with the construct of space, while questioning its modern interpretation. Through the works at varies scales, the studio achieves a re-positioning of this understanding in the context of embodiment, perception and projection. The works constantly evolve between static and dynamic models, shifting from objects to installations and design, prospecting new visual territories in the field of narrated embodied space.
The work of the practice is linked to the academic research  in the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London where Tobias Klein holds the position of Studio Master of Dip 1. He is a visiting critic to various universities including Oxford Brookes, Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture Paris,  TU Munich, University College London, Cambridge University and the Royal College of Art and  is a visiting lecturer at the University of Innsbruck in the Institute for experimental Architecture.

Post-Industrial Landscapes San Francisco 2014

At the end of the long trail, the pacific waited for the first american settlers and conquerers of the wild west. Paradise seemed to be reached for the men and women of the gold rush, the starlets and their love relation to Los Angeles, the sexual libera-tion of countless oppressed and finally the lords of the cloud, entrepreneurs of the new digital sky - the end of the trail was the promised land. Yet the end of a physical journey only became the demarcation point for the beginning of the horizon over the pacif-ic to be read as a projection ground for all dreams and hopes that drove and still drives entire genera-tions to migrate in search of fame and fortune.

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Post-Industrial Landscapes Ottawa 2013

Set within the context of a post-industrial era, we find ourselves striving through the wilderness of Gatineau Park chasing the footsteps of Carbide Willson - industrial alchemist and founder of calcium carbide. Within this natural blossom lie the ruins of his former empire, the decaying heart of industrialization and manufacturing in a factory that never fully materialized. Equipped with 3D scanning devices and in collaboration with the Carleton Immersive Media Studio this summer school will fuse the accidental qualities of discovery, such as Wilson’s trial and error of calcium carbide, with the mathematical precision of 3d scanned environments. The course will intrinsically explore the emerging state of 3D scanning and manipulating environments with the ability to narrate and create architectural spaces set in between actual realities and digital realms. Students will form their own architectural ‘carbide’ a fusion of scans and digital modeling to generate a landscape that materializes from Willson’s place of decay.

Group01 - 'Impossible Space'

Ben Hayward, Shawn Moscovich, Marcus Poon and Hao Wen Lim
The projection titled "impossible space" attempts to explore the boundary of our known and physically perceivable reality. Through the materialization and rendered manipulation of point cloud, generated by the 3D scanner, the projection seeks to uncover exquisite detail and spaces that exist in the impossibly. The Camera path lead the viewer into previous unknown perceptions, like the exteriority of a tree trunks inside, (made possible by scanning the tree from the outside), a bath in the pixilated water of the digitized river or a flight through the canyons of a wall.
Through rethinking projection as a linear frontal oriented medium into a full immersive projection ground, the project begins to speculate on the notion of spatial perception and understanding. — in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Group02 - 'See You on the Flip Side'

Andrej Iwanski, Sergej Maier, Aisha Sawatsky
This project began with an examination of the qualities of 3D scanned landscapes. Certain features that are normally considered limitations of the scanner became the focus of further explorations. Blind spots and scan shadows are gaps without information, and act as framing devices for the clouds that are layered in the space behind. The detachment from gravity and transparency of material are enhanced through the media of animation and projection in order to deliberately disorient the viewer. Ultimately, the distortion of projection images due to the irregular surfaces of the projection site manipulates real space and merges perceptions.

Group03 - 'Distant Images and Tiny Worlds'

Alexander Stewart, Julien Nolin and Thao Lan Nguyen Le
Based on 3D scan data and personal experiences of a ruin in the hinterlands of Canada, “Distant Images and Tiny Worlds” takes the willing participant on a virtual journey. The “Carbide Wilson” estate was built upon the fallacy of reigning in nature for human endeavor. The exposure to the powerful forces of the environment ultimately decayed and over-grew the structure, returning its energies to the flow; its intervention in the space revealed as a small speck in a larger picture. The viewer is taken blindly along the tenuous thread that connects the multiple virtual realities depicting this story. The result is an abstract experience, animating the narrative of a traversal from one point in space and time to another.

Group04 - 'Manipulations'

Sebastian Wooff, Sara Lum

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Post-Industrial Landscapes Hong Kong will be taught within 3 studios that each tackle the workshop’s agenda in their own particular way, from manufacturing and CAD/CAM to drone based scanning. All in common a particular interest in developing architectural tools to understand and plan for the social and cultural complexities of Hong Kong in a digital environment.

AAVS Hong Kong 2015 Schedule

AAVS Hong Kong 2015 Speakers

Studio 1: Can a city be compared in its complexity to an Aircraft carriers flight deck? With more than 60 aircraft crammed on a 330m flight deck that includes four catapults, four aircraft elevators,this is one of the most complex and dense space to manage. The mastermind behind all the interrelated actions and scheduling - a human being nudging a board full of aircraft chess pieces - famously referred to the Ouija Board. In this workshop, we will build the next generation hybrid system: An Ouija Board both the human and the computer can interact with, physically and digitally to test and understand a densely populated space as Mong Kok. We keep the chess pieces on the board and we build a computer vision tracking system. Such that the computer keep track of the physical pieces while human can rearrange them with their hands. The data model in the computer receives feedback from the flight deck and is able to nudge the pieces via a robotic system with magnets from below the table. The architectural implications via such systems are left to the designers to imagine.

Run by Victor Leung completed BA(Architectural Studies) in The University of Hong Kong and is currently pursuing Master of Science degree in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Design and Computation. His focus on the computational side of architecture specialize in wood construction. With a background in computer programming, modeling and carpentry, he laid the foundation of a privately funded research and the company AWAWA Ltd., designing and building luxury detailed, free-form wood structures with parametrically detailed joints for automated CNC machining. His works had been used in various geometry computation workshops as study examples and are highly favored by architects and designers. He had worked on various discipline including architecture, installation art, CNC machining, electronics, robotics and microprocessors.

Studio 2: A city is made of its relationships and tangible and intangible infrastructures. One of them, subject to the investigations of Studio 2, is a unique hidden infrastructure that exists weekly emerging around Central in Hong Kong. Its actors are the Foreign Helpers, a quite significant population in HK (~3%) and present a unique relation with the city that is worth exploring to understand soft and reactive infrastructures. Using sensory equipment, physical computing and hardware hacking, this studio is particular interested in the weekly emergence and self organisation of FHs every Sunday to public spaces, unlike anything static urbanism is able to simulate or construct. So, in a context where both displays/screens and perception are inextricably intertwined with the city, studio 2 asks students to question the nature of screens and visualization within the urban context and to reflect on the stratification of the relation user/city using the Foreign Helpers as indicators and markers in the city construct. 

Run by Tomás Laurenzo is an artist and academic who works with both physical and digital media to explore the artistic construction of meaning and its relation with power and politics. Laurenzo’s production spans across different practices, including installation, interactive art, music, live cinema, and digital lutherie. His artworks and performances have been shown in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. He is Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong. Before relocating to Hong Kong, he worked as associate professor (now on leave) at University of the Republic (Uruguay), where he founded and directed the medialab –Laboratorio de medios– of the Engineering School, as well as being Associate Researcher at the Center for Basic Research of the School of Psychology, Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, and Researcher at the National Agency of Research (ANII). Laurenzo has performed artistic and academic activities in several foreign institutions including Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University, Brunel University, and INRIA, among others. He has publications in the areas of New Media Art, HCI and mobile robotics. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science (advised by Dr. Alvaro Cassinelli, University of Tokyo, and Dr. Franco Robledo, University of the Republic).

Studio 3: The augmenting of real world objects with digitally stored information is currently happening on a multitude of levels, from nanobots delivering drugs to cancer cells, to large scale construction projects being realized by millions – billions – of pieces of data. The city is a repository for huge amounts of data, which can be mined, sorted and visualized with the ultimate aim to analyse and understand – and ideally improve on – the urban condition. The aim of studio 3 is to push the envelope on data recording and reporting as well as re-imagine the way we may use digital tools for design and project delivery. Using UAV and photogrammetry we aim to interrogate on how we - as designers – can upscale our Building Information Modelling knowledge and how we endow our models with their needed metrics. We are interested in drone and sensor technology, Arduino, 3d-modeling, data visualization and the idea of constructing building- and urban level information models from scratch, enriching the model speedily and dynamically with real-world data obtained from measurements.

Run by Ramon van der Heijden is an architect with a strong emphasis on computational design. He studied Architecture and Design and Decision Support Systems at Eindhoven University of Technology. He has worked as an Architect at UNStudio Amsterdam and he’s currently working as a computational design specialist at Front Inc. New York and Hong Kong. Ramon has specialized in the generation of large, data rich building models, which has led him to author the Elefront add-in for Grasshopper. Ramon has hosted numerous workshops for his employers. He has taught computational design at Eindhoven University of Technology and hosted seminars on Elefront at Chinese University Hong Kong and Hong Kong University as well as tutoring for the M.Arch II program at HKU. A long time robotics aficionado Ramon has built and flown his own radio controlled UAV:s for years. At the SmartGeometry 2014 workshop held at Chinese University of Hong Kong he co-directed the cluster HK_SmarTowers focusing on UAV photography and environmental data acquisition, mesh reconstruction from photos and physical to digital data mapping.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals.

The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting Membership. If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £60 by the online payment system. Fees are non refundable. Fees do not include flights. Students need to bring their own laptops and digital equipment. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

Application deadline:
(usually two weeks before the start date of the workshop)
6th July 2015