PhD position in Fabrication-aware Generative Design

 
Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zürich, ETHZ

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WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland
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The research-group Digital Building Technologies situated at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich investigates large scale additive manufacturing for construction and related computational design strategies. We are seeking a motivated person to work under the supervision of Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger on the subject of augmented, fabrication-aware design.

In order to meet the increasing demand in housing, we imagine a radical systems transformation of the process to design and construct a home within a single week. We call this solution the 7DayHouse. This research will focus specifically on Day 1 of the 7DayHouse. The novel contribution will be the creation of a fabrication-aware generative design tool that can create and iterate the design of a fully-customized home within one day.

Within the new Centre for Computationally Augmented Design established at ETH Zurich, we will combine state-of-the-art research in artificial intelligence and generative design with emerging research on mass customization for industrialized timber construction.

This is anticipated as a full-time PhD position. Admission of doctoral students at ETH Zurich depends on the fulfillment of all prerequisites and follows the regulations of ETH Zurich ?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ethz.ch%2Fen%2Fdoctorate.html&module=jobs&id=159916" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.ethz.ch/en/doctorate.html. The successful candidate will join an inclusive, non-discriminating and supportive working environment that praises scientific curiosity and creativity. The anticipated starting date is April 2021 or as mutually agreed upon by both parties. Within the context of the above research theme, applicants are welcome in their letter of motivation to describe their own specific interests and/or ideas to apply these areas of emphasis.

We are looking for someone to investigate the computationally-augmented design and configuration process for the 7DayHouse. Compared to other generative design solutions, this generative model intends to explicitly incorporate the parameters of digital fabrication processes as part of the reward function. The selected candidate will be responsible to develop a data model that is able to represent the most relevant set of customers' preferences and the building context and to evaluate those. This includes the tasks:

Selection and implementation of configuration algorithms for design generation

Evaluation and implementation of fitness and reward functions based on both design and fabrication parameters of digital timber construction

Considerations of iterative human-in-the-loop that are appropriate for the mass-customized industrialized housing market

In addition to his or her own research, the selected candidate will also need to integrate his or her work within the larger research project.

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application. Please submit the following documents using the ETH online portal:

Cover letter addressed to Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger that describes your motivation, research interest and research experience, relevant for the position for which you are applying

Portfolio highlighting 3 major achievements, including work samples of computational design projects

Submissions should be titled with the application date, your last name and initials, and the document description (e.g., 20191201_SmithJT_coverletter; 20191201_SmithJT_achievement1).

Further information can be found at the following links:

Review of applications will begin on January 31, 2021. Letters of recommendation are not required at this stage. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. For more information, specific questions regarding the position can be directed to Mario Guala guala arch.ethz.ch (no applications).

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