Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design Computing - American University in Cairo
Sherif Abdelmohsen
Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design Computing - American University in Cairo
Sherif Abdelmohsen is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Design Computing at the Department of Architecture, the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is also Associate Professor on leave at Ain Shams University. He teaches design studios and courses related to parametric and generative design, digital fabrication, responsive and kinetic architecture. He also acts as coordinator for the computer aided architectural design (CAAD) curriculum within the department, besides managing the digital fabrication laboratory. Dr. Abdelmohsen holds a PhD degree in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology (2011), and has participated in design computing research and teaching at both Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Georgia Tech (GT). He has also conducted intensive research in areas lying at the intersection of design cognition and design computing, including cognitive processes in design, responsive architecture, parametric and generative design, building information modeling (BIM) and automated building review systems. He has over 30 publications in international conferences and journals such as Advanced Engineering Informatics, Automation in Construction, International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), CAADFutures, DCC, ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, DRS, IASDR, IBPSA, and ASCAAD. He has several ongoing research projects through local and international grants. His current research involves a variety of topics including the development of low-cost soft responsive systems for kinetic facades, the automated space planning and management of existing facilities using BIM and GIS technologies, and the design and fabrication of complex facades using robotic depositing and multipoint forming. At the professional level, he is a BIM consultant, and founder of UDAAR, an international company specialized in providing smart solutions for the efficient management of the built environment using state of the art technology.  

Programmable(s) Matter: Designing with Low-cost Shape Changing Materials

The term "programmable matter" has recently been used to reflect the possibility of the digital design and the physical making of materials that can be programmed to change their properties in reality. This has led to a revolution in the design and construction industry, with less dependency on sophisticated gear, hardware and mechanistic operations to produce kinetic sculptures and simulate complex motion; matter itself has become "programmable". For struggling economies and a thirst in the construction sector for energy and cost saving by the hour, this is good news; designers and fabricators can possibly use the same amount of abundant and widely available material with more potential for energy savings and interesting aesthetic features at relatively no additional cost, without the need for sophisticated electronics and gadgets, and their long-term cost implications . This talk addresses some of the research currently being conducted at the American University in Cairo to utilize the inherent hygroscopic properties of wood to generate innovative and energy saving facade panels for buildings, and reflects on issues of catering for such approaches in education and practice.