Michela Turrin

Dr. MSc.Arch – Architect (SBA)

From 2006, Michela developed research, taught and coordinated MSc courses at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, for the Chair of Design Informatics. In 2012 she was Marie Curie Fellow at Beijing University of Technology, as part of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia. She has collaborated with international companies and worked at Green World Solutions Ltd in Beijing. She has taught in a number of international events, among which the IFoU Summer School 2012 in Beijing and Winter School 2013 in Hong Kong. In 2013, she was awarded a grant by the Urban Systems and Environment, joint Research Centre between the South China University of Technology and Delft University of Technology; at South China University of Technology, in 2014 she has been awarded a grant as Excellent Oversea Instructor and a research grant by the Key State Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science. From September 2012 to January 2015, she hold a position as senior lecturer at Yasar University in Izmir-Turkey, where she has coordinated the collaborations with Delft University of Technology and has been involved in joint practice-related architectural design projects. Among other activities at TUDelft, in 2014 she worked on the 3TU Lighthouse granted project DoubleFace (http://www.3tu.nl/bouw/en/lighthouse2014/doubleface ). Currently, she is Assistant Professor at the Chair of Design Informatics at TUDelft; where she is also developing research as part of the STW granted project ADAM, on acoustics by additive manufacturing. Since 2003, she has lectured in workshops, symposia and international conferences; and she has co-organized international scientific conferences. Some of her publications has received international awards. Since 2011, she has peer-reviewed a number of journal papers and conference papers. As a practicing architect, she has been working on international projects.

Her current tasks as Assistant Professor include: 2015-on-going: research in ADAM, Acoustic Design by Additive Manufacturing, research project funded by STW. 2014-on-going: coordination of “Computational Design for Sport Buildings”, research project co-funded by USE joint research centre SCUT-TUDelft, TUDelft Sports Engineering Institute, and SCUT State Key Lab of Subtropical Building Science; with CSC funded PhD candidates. 2014-on-going: coordination in C&P research group, representing it at the Faculty Research Council. 2011-on-going: Coordination of the MSc Design Course XXL in BIG&TALL; responsible mentor of MSc graduation projects.



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Michela’s doctoral research had focused on parametric and computational processes for performance-oriented design for multidisciplinary design processes and interdisciplinary integration of engineering disciplines in the early phase of architectural design. Focusing on large roofs as application field; and focusing on passive climatic control and structural performances, as the selected engineering performance, the research had aimed at developing a computational design approach to support designers in performance driven explorations. PAS (Performance Assessment Strategies) as a method has been the main output of the research. It consists of a framework structured in three parts, including guidelines and an extensible library of procedures for parametric modelling. PAS has been developed based on action research. Several case studies had focused on each step of PAS and on their interrelationships. In order to facilitate design explorations in case of large solution spaces, the support of genetic algorithms had been investigated. Based on a collaboration with Dr. Peter von Buelow at Taubman College of Architecture, the exiting method ParaGen had been further implemented. Final case studies had focused on the potentials of ParaGen to identify well performing solutions; to extract knowledge during the third part of PAS; and to allow interventions of the designer as an alternative to generations driven solely by coded criteria.

Her current research focuses on computational design for performative architecture. Conceptual design is one of the most crucial phases in which computational processes can be developed for form generation, aiming at new architectural forms coupled with sound fulfillment of performance-criteria. Based on the integration of engineering aspects into the architectural conception, computation can be put forward to realize this goal. With this perspective and focusing on computation for interdisciplinary integrated design, Michela works with students and young researchers through iterative design processes to enhance the interaction between creative form-finding and scientific inquiries on performances. Current examples with MSc students and young researchers regard inquiries:

To exploit the potentials of parametric design for generating geometric design alternatives, assessable based on measurable criteria; and for embedding deterministic relation between performance and geometry.

To exploit the potentials of search algorithms and data analysis for favoring the design exploration of optimal as well as sub-optimal solutions, in order to support decision making processes; and for extracting knowledge reusable in future projects.

To exploit the potentials of digital prototyping and manufacturing for supporting the production of mock-ups to measure performances during the design process; and for supporting the fabrication of final products, for which constrains and potentials of materials and innovative production technologies are included in the design process.

At the scale of large buildings, complex interdisciplinary aspects are tackled based on principles for collaboration. At the small scale of building components, more experimental form-finding is developed by integrating performance assessments and digital manufacturing.

Large Buildings:

Building Components:

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2014: DoubleFace – Lighthouse project, 3TU.Bouw Center of Excellence for the Built Environment, project initiator: as Delft University of Technology affiliated, collaboration with the Chair of Building Physics at TUDelft AE+T and the chair of Innovative Structural Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven for the designing and prototyping an adjustable translucent modular system featuring thermal insulation and thermal absorption in a calibrated manner. Expected result is a proof of concept and prototype of a system based on lightweight and translucent materials including latent heat storage materials like pcm. Research project granted by 3TU.Bouw.

2014 (granted for 2015-2016): TUDelft-SCUT research project on large roofs in subtropical climate, main researcher. : as Delft University of Technology affiliated, collaboration with Yimin Sun Design Studio (Guangzhou, China) and SCUT, on the topic of large roofs. With support of computational methods, the research aims at improving energy efficient climate control of final designs, by passive and active systems. Focus is given to large roofs for sport facilities. Research granted by the State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science in Guangzhou (China) as part of the Open Project Program.

2013: TUDelft-SCUT research project on large roofs, project co-leader: as Delft University of Technology affiliated, collaboration with Yimin Sun Design Studio (Guangzhou, China) on the topic of large roofs, especially for sport facilities. Expected consultancy for the on-going design of the Jiangmen sport centre (China), consisting of a stadium, gymnasium, natatorium and exhibition centre. Research project granted by Urban Systems and Environment Research Centre, TUDelft-SCUT.

2013: Urfa Pinar Factory, project coordination: as Yasar University affiliated, coordination of a project for consultancy during architectural design of a new office building in Urfa, Turkey. Project funded by the client.

2012-2014: Marie Curie Fellowship: as Delft University of Technology affiliated, Marie Curie fellowship at Beijing University of Technology as part of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia. In this context: in 2012, research project in collaboration with Green Word Solutions Co Ltd (Beijing) for the design of a new Atrium (8.000 cubic m.) in an office building in Shenyang (China), based on passive climate control principles. Fellowship granted by IRSES EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.

2006-2013: Research and Doctoral research in Computational Design, at the Chair of Design Informatics of the Faculty of Architecture – with international collaborations, including the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (Dr.-Ing. Peter von Buelow) and with Princeton University (Axel Kilian, PhD-MIT). As example of practice-based research project: consultancy for the design of a 4200 square meter roof, recently built in Italy.

Michela Turrin, Sevil Sariyildiz, Joop Paul, (2015), Interdisciplinary parametric design: the XXL experience. In: IASS2015 International Conference Proceedings (Accepted)
Ding Yang, Michela Turrin, Sevil Sariyildiz, Yimin Sun., (2015), Sports building envelope optimization using multi-objective multidisciplinary design optimization (m-mdo) techniques. In: IEEE CEC2015 International Conference Proceedings, Sendai, Japan.
Hans J.C. Hubers, Michela Turrin, Irem Erbas, Ioannis Chatzikonstantinou, (2014) pCOLAD: online sharing of parameters for collaborative architectural design. In: Proceedings of the 32nd eCAADe Conference – Volume 2, pp.39-48.
Foteini Setaki, Martin Tenpierik, Michela Turrin, Arjan van Timmeren, (2013), Acoustic Absorbers by Additive Manufacturing. In: Building and Environment.
Michela Turrin, Peter von Buelow, Rudi Stouffs, (2011), Design explorations of performance driven geometry in architectural design using parametric modelling and genetic algorithms. In: Advanced Engineering Informatics, Special Issue 24 Vol. 5, Elsevier, pp 656–675.
Turrin, M., Chatzikonstantinou, I., Tenpierik, M., Sariyildiz, S., (2013), Engineering performance simulations in architectural design conception. Atrium in Shenyang: a case study on thermal mass. In: Proceedings of eCAADe 2013, The Netherlands, Vol. 2, pp. 137-146.
Cohen, I., Turrin, M., Heinzelman, F., Welzner, I., (2013) The human factor – introducing game mechanics to computerized home automation systems. User experience as a method for reducing consumption in domestic buildings. In: Proceedings of eCAADe 2013, The Netherlands, Vol. 1, pp. 175-184.
Turrin, M., Stouffs, R., Sariyildiz, S., (2013), Performance-Based Parameterization Strategies – A Theoretic Framework and Case Studies, Proceedings of CAADRIA 2013, Singapore, pp. 519-528.
Michela Turrin, Peter von Buelow, Axel Kilian, Rudi Stouffs, (2011), Performative skins for passive climatic comfort. A parametric design process. In: Automation in Construction International Research Journal, Vol.22 (2012), Elsevier, pp 36-50.
Maria Vera van Embden Andres, Michela Turrin, Peter von Buelow, (2011), ARCHITECTURAL DNA: A genetic exploration of complex structures. In: International Journal of Architectural Computing, Issue 9-2, Springer, pp 133-149.
Turrin, M., von Buelow, P., Kilian, A., Stouffs, R., (2011), ‘Parametric modeling and optimization for adaptive architecture’. In: Proceedings of EG-ICE Workshop 2011 – International Conference European Group for Intelligent Computing in engineering – Twente University, The Netherlands, 6-8, July 2011
M.Turrin, P.von Buelow, A.Kilian, S.Sariyildiz, (2010), ‘Performance-based design of SolSt; a roof system integrating structural morphology and solar energy transmittance’. In Proceedings of IASS 2010, Shanghai, China, 8-12 November 2010.
A.Falk, M.Turrin, P. von Buelow, (2010), ‘Folded plate assemblies with branching column supports – interaction and control of overall shape’. In Proceedings of IASS 2010, Shanghai, China, 8-12 November 2010.
M.Turrin, R.Stouffs, S.Sariyildiz, (2010), Parametric Design of the Vela roof. A case study on performance oriented exploration of design alternatives. In proceedings of ASCAAD 2010, International Conference, Fez (MO).
M.Turrin, P. von Buelow, R.Stouffs, A.Kilian, (2010), ‘Performance-oriented design for large passive solar roofs. A method for the integration of parametric modelling and genetic algorithms’ – eCAADe 2010, International Conference, Zurich.
M.Turrin, P. von Buelow, R.Stouffs, (2010) ‘Structural morphologies and sun transmittance control systems: integrated explorations based on parametric design and genetic algorithms’. In proceedings of ICCCBE 2010, International Conference, Nottingham (UK).
M.Turrin, E. van den Ham, A.Kilian, S.Sariyildiz, (2010) ‘Integrated design of a large span roof: a parametric investigation on structural morphology’. In proceedings of ICCCBE 2010, International Conference, Nottingham (UK).
P. von Buelow, A.Falk, M.Turrin, (2010) ‘Optimization of structural form using a genetic algorithm to search associative parametric geometry’ – In proceedings of Structure and Architecture 2010, International Conference, Guimaraes (Portugal)
M.V. van Embden Andres, M.Turrin, P. von Buelow, (2009) ‘Structural DNA. Genetic Exploration of Biological Micro Structures for Architectural Applications’. In proceedings of ACSA 2009, International Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico
M.Turrin, A.Kilian, R.Stouffs and S.Sariyildiz, (2009) ‘Digital design exploration of structural morphologies integrating adaptable modules. A design process based on parametric modeling’. In proceedings of Caad Futures 2009 International Conference – Montreal.
A. Van Timmeren, M.Turrin, (2009) ‘Case study ‘the vela roof – UNIPOL, Bologna’. Use of on-site climate and energy resources’. in proceedings of Energy And Sustainability2009, International Conference – Bologna
M.Turrin (2009) ‘Bridge Design in a historical setting’ – Galileo 188, January 2009
(M.Turrin, (2008) Computational Geometry for Structural Morphology. Two examples of associative modeling. In 2nd Sino-Italian Workshop on bridges and special structures. Edited by A.Chen, T.Zordan,X.Ruan, Venice/Shangai, 2008.)
M.Turrin, R.Stouffs, S. Sariyildiz, (2008) ‘Parametric Design of Scissor like Element Structures: Investigation of Single Unit Propagation Rules and Deployment Constraints’ in proceedings of Shell and Spatial Structures: New Materials and Technologies, New Designs and Innovations – A Sustainable Approach to Architectural and Structural Design. IASS-SLTE 2008. International Conference on, Mexico City, 2008
M.Turrin, S.Sariyildiz, R.Stouffs (2008) ‘Integrating Engineering Knowledge and Linguistic Exploration in the Digital Design of Reconfigurable Structures for Passive Solar Architecture’ . In proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction AEC2008, June 23-25 2008 – Antalya, Turkey
M.Turrin, S.Sariyildiz, R.Stouffs, (2007) ‘Conceptual Design of Reconfigurable Structures for Passive Solar Strategies’, in proceedings of IASS Symposium 2007, Architectural engineering – Toward the future looking to the past – Venice, Italy
L.Blandini, M.Turrin, V.D’Aguannoedited by (2007) ‘Il vetro progettuale per vivere i siti archeologici. Un’esperienza progettuale allo IUAV’, Galileo n.179, Padova, 2007 – pp.30-47
M.Turrin (2006) ‘Il Computer e la generazione delle forme: concezione e realizzazione nello scenario attuale del progetto’ – Interview to Marco Nardini; M.Turrin, ‘Acoustic Barrier and Cockpit Building, Utrecht’; M.Turrin, ‘Architettura ed Informatica: attività di ricerca presso TUDelft’ – Trasporti&Cultura n.16, Progettare nell’era del Computer – Campanotto Editore, Verona, 2006 – pp.9-16; pp.79-80; pp.95-98.
E.Siviero, L.Blandini, M.Turrin (2006) ‘Glass architecture workshop: a chance for an integrated approach to construction’ – In proceedings of theInternational Symposium on New Olympic, New Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS-APCS2006), Beijing, China, 16-19 of October, 2006.
E.Siviero, M.Turrin, M.Petrucci, (2006) ‘From conceptual design to detailed project: teaching experiences on digital technologies to integrate linguistic coherence and technical aspects.’ In proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on “Trasparency and Architecture: Challenging the Limits – Thessaloniki, Greece, 1-4 of June 2006
E. Siviero, M. Petrucci, M.Mantoan, M.Turrin, D.Frigo, L.Gorgi (2006) ‘Architectural and structural design of complex shapes: integrated processes trough digital models. E-learning didactic experiences at the Faculty of Architecture IUAV in Venice’ – 1st International Structural Specialty Conference – Calgary, Alberta, Canada – 23-26 of May 2006
M.Turrin (2006) ‘Generative design – Contextual and semiotic legibility’. In proceedings of the 2nd International Conference GameSetandMatch II – 29 of March-1 of April 2006 – Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands
M.Turrin (2005) ‘Signifier Signs in a generative process’. In proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Generative Art, Milano, 15-17 of December 2005 – pp.277-286.

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Selected MSc Graduation Projects:

Foteini Setaki, (2012), Acoustics by Additive Manufacturing, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by M. Turrin (main mentor), A. van Timmeren and M.J. Tenpierik. http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid%3A153e94d2-4b56-4577-b286-f0fd85199234/

Marina Stavrakantonaki (2012), A design strategy for daylight control for the project “Vertical City”, in Rotterdam, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by T.Klein (main mentor), M.Turrin.

Mar Munoz Catalina (2012), Double-curved unitized curtain wall systems for non-orthogonal facades, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by T.Klein (main mentor), M.Turrin.

Daniel J. van Kersbergen (2011), Integrated design research for the wind and daylight performance of the building envelope, (Double Degree Architectural Design and Building Technology), MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by Y.Cuperus (main mentor A), M.Turrin (main mentor BT), F.Heinzelmann.

Axel van Zalingen (2011), A single comprehensive computational building model, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by R.Stouffs (main mentor A), G.Hobbelman, M.Turrin.

Yannick Liem (2011), Graphic statics in funicular design: calculating force equilibrium through complementary energy, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, supervised by A.Borgart (main mentor A), M.Turrin.

PhDs Supervision:

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