Sean Hanna

Awarded VEIV EngD

The design of architecture is the design of a highly complex, organised system. This research investigates the automation of various aspects of this process with the aid of machine learning and optimisation algorithms. The hypothesis is that knowledge gained through simulation of a system’s behaviour allows the computer to make the kinds of judgements or decisions that can be used to guide the design. Two situations are being studied: the manufacture of highly detailed space frame structures with specific load bearing or dynamic properties, and the planning of spaces to reflect given social relationships as quantified by space syntax techniques.


  • 2003. An Evolutionary approach to microstructure optimisation of stereolithographic models
  • 2004. Blurring the Boundaries between Actuator and Structure: Investigating the use of Stereolithography to build Adaptive Robots.
  • 2004. Optimising Continuous Microstructures: A Comparison of Gradient-Based and Stochastic Methods.
  • 2004. Creativity Through Embodiment: A computational model exemplified by microstructure design
  • 2004. Modularity and Flexibility at the Small Scale: Evolving Continuous Material Variation with Stereolithography.
  • 2006. A Transformed Architecture. In McQuaid M (Ed.) Extreme Textiles

Primary Supervisor: Prof Alan Penn

Industry Sponsor: Foster and Partners 

Adaptive architecture