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Episode 27: Henri Achten, MOLAB, ČVUT Prague

James Benedict Brown

Last year, I lead a field trip with third-year undergraduates from Leicester School of Architecture to Prague. Amongst the usual architectural sightseeing and walking tours, our trip included a visit to two very different schools of architecture, which form the basis of the next two episodes of the podcast.

Dr Henri Achten is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture at Czech Technical University (České vysoké učení technické v Praze, CVUT), Prague, and scientific manager of MoLab, the Faculty's Experimental Design Studio, researching parametric & performative design thinking, contemporary design theory, and rapid prototyping in the design process, as well as offering design studio units with a focus in these areas to students.

Henri was kind enough to give my students a brief tour of the Faculty, before sitting down with me for a short conversation discussing his own journey into research and teaching. He was the first architecture student to use virtual reality to present his MSc diploma project, at TU Eindhoven in 1992, continuing to write a PhD about the classification of graphic elements in architectural drawings and the knowledge embodied in them. He is a current Council Member - and former Vice President and former President - of the Association for Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe), a non-profit association promoting good practice in the use of computers in research and education in architecture.

Note: this episode was recorded 13 months ago, in January 2017. Henri has subsequently been appointed Vice-Dean of Science, Research, and Artistic Activity.

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