Islamic Patterns

Islamic Patterns / CAD 1 @ GUtech 2010 - present The 1st CAD seminar introduces students to fundamental concepts of geometry and scale. Students start with analysing Islamic patterns. These traditional patterns are based on circles, squares and hexagons and can be found in many islamic ornaments throughout Oman. They entail basic vectorial transformations, such as translation, rotation, reflection and scale. While re-drawing the patterns in CAD, the students start to re-interpret the pattern in their drawing. Students resolve linear intersections and treat the drawing like an architectural drawing. Later the 2D CAD drawing is interpreted in 3D using extrusion and rotation. This process requires the addition of information. Students are then asked to re-introduce a scale and to read their shapes against a possible programs.
Analyzing the geometry of islamic patterns: symmetry, rotation and scale
Re-interpretation of islamic patterns as architectural plan
Refolding a paper model, based on a 3D virtual model

Additive vs Subtractive

modeling space / CAD 2 @ GUtech 2010- present The 2nd CAD seminar builds upon the drafting skills elaborated in CAD 1. This seminar engages students into constantly shifting from 2D forms of representation, such as plans, sections, elevations and perspectives to 3D models and back. The 3D model is produced through addition of elements (tectonic) or subtraction from a volume (stereolithic). Various scales demand different conventions of drawing. Student gain proficiency in modeling, drafting and layout of their designs and often re-work their studio assignment.

Digital Design & Representation

Digital Design and Representation stand at the core of the education of architects and urban designers. Due to the proliferation of computers, the increasing computer literacy amongst incoming students and the fundamental shift in the profession towards the digital, digital design and representation needs to be re-assessed all together.

Open Source School

This 2nd year bachelor design studio at TU Berlin introduced parametric planning processes for the design of a school in South Berlin. Students experimented with one-to-one material models aiming at the creation of a particular spatial effect. These models were presented to the primary school pupils and transformed based on their feedback.

Updating Semper

This seminar geared at fashion design students combined critique of style theory with tectonic design experimentation. Reversing Gottfried Semper’s style argument wherein fashion holds tectonic principles (Bekleidungstheory), architectural theory and structural evaluation are put to use to describe style in fashion design.

Urban Oman Research

The research project “Towards Sustainable Patterns of Urbanization” founded by The Research Council Oman (TRC) has lead to various collaborations with other international academic institutions. As co-investigator on the project in Oman, I have been coordinating these exchanges and channeling them into significant contributions to the larger research project while providing the students with academic frame-work, access and exposure.

UPAD publication 2012

Aurel von Richthofen edited the first publication at the Department of Urban Planning and Architecture Design (UPAD) at the German University of Technology in Oman. The yearbook collects the works produced from 2010 to 2012. Read the three sections Theory, Design & Research here:

Assistant Professorship

Since fall 2010, Aurel von Richthofen is assistant professor for computer aided design (CAD) at the German University of Technology in Oman.