Prof.ir. M.F. Asselbergs
Professor of Architectural Engineering
Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology
“I have been professor of Architectural Engineering at the faculty of Architecture since 2008. The chair is located at the intersection between architecture and building technology, where not only the integration of structures and climate systems in architecture is key, but also reinventing the power of the structural engineer. As generalists, we bring together many specialist architectural engineering disciplines.
Currently, we are involved in the field of re-use as well as that of total innovations in the construction process. Think for example of digital design and production methods – areas where much is at stake in the field of automation, robotics, production of building components, etc. There are still a lot of things being resolved on the construction site: traditional processes with failure costs and quality deterioration as a consequence.
We are among other things engaged with the art of Dutch engineering and its challenges. Is it possible to live on a guardrail, or to use garages as dikes? Integrated projects to renew both the delta and the Netherlands. The reinvention of architecture through Dutch cases that we can use elsewhere in the world.
A good design is born in a process in which the organisation, the unravelling and the analysis of problems which already existed or that suddenly appear are aligned. I think it is important that the power of the engineer is reinvented. In architecture, the emphasis is often on design, but the profession of engineering tends closer to the architect’s craft, namely that of building. It’s not just about architecture, but also about architectural engineering. In the engineer’s art, the building is ‘rational’ – there is a balance between design and engineering.
In the chair of Architectural Engineering, as generalists we bring together many specialist architectural engineering disciplines. Perhaps we are like a director, who uses all the other specialists to their own best advantage. In the process of transformation, we are looking for The New Architect. Architecture has a strong craft background, which The New Architect knows. He or she is a generalist, creates designs, and has a social responsibility, but is also committed to sustainable solutions. He or she is the initiator of new processes.
Recent milestones in our chair include the master studio, where we have integrated innovative architectural engineering solutions in architecture, or INTECTURE (integration of technology in architecture). We are also looking for zappi, the material that can be anything and that can create a transition between any other materials. We are just as interested in re-use as we are in total innovations in construction, such as digital design and production methods. Perhaps we are working on a never-ending story; we are constantly searching for opportunities and solutions to make things better.”