Learning as it Grows – Autonomous design

Posted by assaonline

Ongoing research into internal material optimisation, bio micro-structures and autonomous design.

kindly hosted by Kyoto D-lab of KIT Japan

Research abstract and background

In 2004, Assa Ashuach created the Osteon chair, an object with an ‘intelligent’ bone-like internal support structure. To achieve this, he used a 3D AI algorithm that placed a structural unit within a 3D voxel grid skeleton. At the time, this was one of the only ways to achieve this kind of bespoke optimised internal support structure. Today’s equivalent is something similar called ‘Infill’ that is widely available within any FDM slicing application, but does not take in consideration any design variables.

In his new recent research as KYOTO D-Lab Designer in Residence, Assa has been looking into the internal 3D geometrical growth of bamboo with a focus on a fast growing type called ‘phyllostachys. ’ Depending on a range of parameters, this grows extremely fast and senses its environment to correct and reinforce itself while growing.

In collaboration with KITs macromolecular and bio materials scientists, he has translated the microscopic bamboo’s internal structure into producible 3D structures. Scaled-up by 3000 percent, we can now study the natural geometrical growth patterns of the bamboo, both in terms of structural porosity and its geometrical growth intelligence.

The bamboo is ‘learning as it is growing’. This means that its structural internal 3D morphology is constantly changing and adapting to new environmental conditions, growing differently from section to section based upon a kind of inherited intelligence and sensory systems.

The new ‘STEM’ objects collection, which will be displayed were designed using the actual bamboo 3D micro-structure geometry and informed by Assa’s personal aesthetic and a line of 3D automated scripts that are laying the foundations for a new type of personalisation, customisation and re-adaptation of object behaviours.

The project opens the discussion around future industrial design and architecture processes at both large and small scales, where automated processes will be fed by a combination of human and biological intelligence, designing a new type of tool-path for the robots to follow.

Assa Ashuach, Kyoto 2016-17

Below are images of bamboo bio micro-structures, 3D translated from microscopic data, scaled by 3000

Below are images of autonomous design scripts and algorithms

Talk at the Mass Customization and Design Democratization (MCDD) Symposium in Philadelphia May 12-13th 2017

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Very happy to be giving a talk titled ‘Learning as it grows’ at the 2017 Mass Customization and Design Democratization (MCDD) Symposium in Philadelphia this May 12-13th followed by a nice panel with Philippe Stark and Greg Lynn. This conference is one of the early ones to open the discussion around mass customisation and open innovation and with a great lijne of speakers this year. More at
Hope to see some of you there.

“Making a Difference / A Difference in Making” – 3D Printing exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

Posted by assa

The Red Dot Design Museum Essen in Germany presents the exhibition “Making a Difference / A Difference in Making”. The collection brings together pioneering 3D-printed works of art, design, engineering and science. The exhibition was curated by Marta Malé-Alemany, architect and recognized researcher in the field of digital fabrication technologies, and produced by Materialise, a 3D printing company based in Belgium.

Open Until 30 October 2016. For more details please visit the Red Dot Award website at

The Ai stool was designed and produced in 2005/6 and was one of the first objects to be produced using a combination of Artificial intelligence and AM tools (3D printing)


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