On the Brink 2009 GSD

"Robotic built Brick Wall @ the GSD"

The exhibition was shown at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and presented a digitally generated and fabricated wall consisting of wooden bricks. The Project is the outcome of a synthesis of computer generated design and computer aided construction research at the GSD under the guidance of Professor Ingeborg M. Rocker. The aim of the project was to produce a 1:1 scale wall using the GSD’s Robotic facilites.

Going beyond the model scale, and working with the Robotic arm set up new design challenges which were tightly linked to the construction techniques, material constraints, and structural limitations encountered in full scale building modus. Using a modular unit of the masonry brick the team developed a systematic aggregation creating a wall consisting out of 4100 bricks. The wall’s double layered running bond varies from a straight line to a maximum undulation, which creates an inhabitable space. The emerging space and pattern is the resultant of a set of principles (algorithms) applied to a simple rectangular brick module, taking into account its material and technical parameters.

The scale, precision, and vast number of units of the final design scheme necessitated an automated process based on script and robotic construction. Materials, adhesives, work flow optimization, and production techniques were among the many considerations that had to be researched and tested prior to and during each stage of the process. Ultimately the design manifests the performative potential of bricks, expressed through the wall’s curvature and porosity as it affects the acoustic and visual qualities of the wall-space created. Using digital technology these affects were pushed to a new extreme.

Inspired and advised by Professor Rocker the project became realized through the enthusiastic work by student team leaders, Jeff LaBoskey, Teresa McWalters, Misato Odanaka, Benjamin Franceschi, and the Students of the March1, 1st year. The teams work was made possible through the coding by Jessica Rosenkrantz, Jesse Louis-Rosenberg and Christian J. Lange, Rocker-Lange Architects. The studio design by Mathew Swaidan and Jeff LaBoskey served as an initial inspiration for the wall’s scheme. Overall the project hopes to highlight the potential of digital fabrication techniques and the role these have in the education of architects.

On the Bri-n-ck project, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Ingeborg Rocker

Leading Team:
Jeff LaBoskey
Misato Odanaka
Benjamin Franceschi
Teresa McWalters

Jessica Rosenkrantz, Nervous System
Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, Nervous System
Christian J. Lange, Rocker-Lange Architects

Core Team:
Natalya Egon
Ricardo Munoz
Matthew Swaidan
Tory Wolcott

Masana Amamiya, Sen Ando, Ben Brady, Julian Bushman-Copp, Lindsay Chandler-Alexander, Brad Crane, Theodore Diehl, Elizabeth Farley, Matthew Fiely, Chelsea Garunay, Jeremy Jih, Tessa Kelly, Jeongyon Kim, Jessica Knobloch, Carl Koepcke, Annie Kountz, Eva Leung, Cara Liberatore, Lesley McTague, Paul Merrill, Brian Militana, Yuhka Miura, Jason Phipps, Alicia Taylor, Jessica Vaughn, Ka Yip

Special Thanks:
Stephen Hickey
Martin Bechthold

Junior Faculty Grand and Preston Scott Cohen, Chair of the Architecture Department


 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 
 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 
 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 
 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 
 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 
 Parametric Brick Wall   Parametric Brick Wall 


Rocker-Lange Architects


Ingeborg M. Rocker
Christian J. Lange

Cambridge, MA, London, England, Hong Kong


2015 100 Van Ness, Urban Adapter, sculpture bench
2015 Shanghai Lilong Tower Urbanism, Towards an Urbanism of Parametric Preservation
2014 The Ideal City of Refigured Civic Space, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2013 Blend-es-Scape, Beijing, China, A pavilion for the Fifth International Architectural Biennale Beijing 2013
2013 Taichung Cultural Centre, Taichung, Taiwan
2012 Wallhouse, Cambridge, USA,GSD Pavilion 2012 2012 Density & Openess Reviseted: Recoding Building Bulk in Hong Kong, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2011 Busan Opera House, Busan, South Korea
2010 Serial Architecture Systems of Multiplicities, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2010 Tokyo Fashion Museum, Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
2009 Urban Adapter, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale, Hong Kong
2009 Catalytic Connector - Museum of Natural History, Copenhagen, Denmark
2009 Living Bridge London Bridge, London, UK
2008 Villa Inside|Out Outside|In, The Ordos 100, Mongolia, China
2007 Domicile Heldt, Eckernfoerde, Germany
2006 Villa Risse, Krefeld, Germany

Product Design

2010 Zhuhai Lounge
2009 SP-Table_01
2009 SP-Table_02
2009 Urban Adapter


2010 Parametric Structures, Spring Seminar, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Architecture
2009 On the Brink, Spring Seminar, Harvard University, GSD
Versioning: Architecture as Series
Cross scalar and functional scaling: adaptive facades
Algorithmically controlled surfaces


2008 Versioning: Architecture as Series?
2008 Berechneter Zufall: Max Benses Informationsaesthetik
2008 Architectures of the Digital Realm: Experimentation by Peter Eisenman / Frank O. Gehry
2006 Digital Revolution: Feedback between Architecture, Technology, and Culture
2006 Calculus-Based Form: An Interview with Greg Lynn
2006 When Code Matters, in Programming Cultures: Design, Science, and Software
2005 Re-Coded: Studio Rocker
2004 Das Denkmal fuer die Ermordeten Juden Europas in Berlin: Erinnern, Bewahren, Hinterfragen
2004 Virtuale: Il Senza Forma in Architettura: Di Ingeborg Rocker
2003 Fugitive Realities: Konrad Fiedler
2002 Versioning Informing Architectures, in: Versioning: Evolutionary Techniques in Architecture
1998 Memorizing, Maintaining, Questioning: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Peter Eisenman
1998 The Virtual: The Unform in Architecture