Teaching in the Corona era

The spread of Covid 19 (or the coronavirus) is having an incredible impact on all areas of life all over the world. While not everything can be done from home (such as care, public safety or for example transport), education is currently completely switched to online teaching.

How do you switch an academic subject for about 400 bachelor students from a regular setting with groups of 10 per teacher to a digital environment where knowledge can still be effectively transferred? How can you address the group, how can you demonstrate something on your own screen, how can you also give personal attention?

During the search for a suitable program, all the usual suspects came up: Skype,, Whatsapp, Slack etc etc. However, my colleagues were looking for a technique that makes more than just group chats possible, that also brings a sense of community and can be a platform for collaboration between the students. In other words, a digital faculty building.

Enter Discord.

The answer was found in the gaming world. A world where groups collaborate online, play together, and where the people are used to collaborating at tremendous speed via chats with thousands of people at the same time where everyone is able to text and speak. In short, a technology developed for the exchange of knowledge and tested for heavy load.

An impression of the collaboration within Discord in which presentations about Rhino3D are shared with dozens of students at the same time.

A digital faculty building

The server was divided with groups per teacher (the tables), a chat room for teachers (where we can drink a virtual coffee during breaks) and a chat room for all students. This makes it possible to switch seamlessly between tables or, for example, to discuss a detail quickly with a colleague 1-on-1. The possibilities include:

  • Full screen sharing
  • Single-programme sharing
  • Text and image exchange like in Whatsapp or Slack
  • Talking to each other, and if necessary, video
  • Simple grouping
  • Fast switching between groups
  • Highly scalable

Should we always teach like this?

Physical meetings remain important and the importance of universities and other educational institutions for the development of the social network of students is invaluable. If we were to completely switch to this way of teaching a lot would be lost. However, there is a lot to be learned for the future of education, for example for international collaborations, or perhaps we can teach parts of subjects this way. It can also be interesting for workshops outside of education: a quick course for a company on the other side of the world or for long-distance collaborations.

Computational Design Teaching

eCAADe Workshop

Together with Serdar Aşut and Jerzy Latka StudioFG organized an eCAADe workshop. Design Express / Vectorworks sponsored the event financially and provided the Marionette software (part of Vectorworks). Using a flexmold and PETG panels we created double curved panels. Sponsor: Design Express / Vectorworks. Conference: eCAADe 2018

The process has been documented in this video by Design Express.

This 360 video shows the end of the workshop where the participants are hanging the lamps as an ornament on the ceiling. Best viewed in VR / on your phone in the Youtube app:

More photos of the project:

Computational Design Grasshopper / Rhino3D Parametric Design Teaching

Computational design pavilion with the TU Delft

With great pleasure we again teach the course Technoledge in which we realize a pavilion together with master students of TU Delft and PWR Wroclaw from design to realization in 7 weeks. The basis for the production is the parametrically controllable flexmould.