rese arch LIVE Workshop

21 - 25 July 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia

image Melanie Kotz De Acha | formstudy Melanie Kotz De Acha, Haitham Al Busafi, Alexander Nanu


The upcoming rese arch LIVE workshop will investigate form finding and 3d rapid prototyping using state of the art material simulation and optimisation. Participants will be guided through methods of advanced structural analysis and evolutionary algorithms implemented in Grasshopper, Karamba and Octopus in a 5 day workshop taught by Robert Vierlinger and Matthew Tam within the premises of the Academy of Fine Arts & Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. The workshop will cover the basics of setting up a karamba definition and more advanced form finding techniques with beams and shells through to preparing files for 3d printing and 2d documentation.
For the Grasshopper newcomers there is a preparatory crash course on 20 July 2015 taught by Ján Pernecký. The workshop will be held entirely in English.


Robert Vierlinger

Robert is an interdisciplinary consultant and researcher. At the University of Applied Arts Vienna he initiated various architectural-technological research projects, where personally investigating on digital design representation in his PhD. Robert authors the plug-in toolbox ‘octopus’, developed complementary to his colleague's 'karamba'. Procedural design and optimization on international competition- and construction-projects are the basis of his consultancy at Bollinger-Grohmann engineers. Together with his partners, he is practising architect and engineer on domestic projects in the UK. He studied structural design in Delft and Vienna, studied architecture in Studio Hani Rashid Vienna, and since has been lecturing at the Angewandte, AA, ZHA, USC LA, CU Hongkong and many more.

Matthew Tam

Matthew received a Master in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts Vienna, a Bachelor in Architectural Studies from the University of Melbourne and participated in exchange programs at University of California, Berkeley and Sci-Arc. He has worked in internationally renowned offices in Melbourne and Vienna and in 2012 he joined Bollinger-Grohmann-Schneider in Vienna, where he currently resides. Matthew works within the 3d construction and concept team and assists in the administration of karamba'. Since 2009 he co-founded “themakelab”, a laser-cutting studio in Melbourne, focussing on the interface of interdisciplinary digital, analog design and fabrication techniques. Concentrating on particular social and spatial relationships within architecture, Matthew assisted with the organisation and teaching of the Sensing Steinhaus (Günther Domenig) workshop, the Digital Design Fabrication 2012 at the University of Applied Arts and as a cluster leader at the Smart Geometry 2014 in Hong Kong.

Line-up: 21 - 25 July 2015

Crash course Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Intro to Rhinoceros and Grasshopper Lecture - Karamba in Projects from Competition to Construction Extraction and Visualization of data from Karamba Lecture - Form Finding in Karamba Frequency Analysis & Non-Linear Analysis with Karamba Participant’s Examples and Topics
Components and Parameters Introduction to karamba - Setting up a basic karamba model Complex Geometry - Processing of Free Forms for Karamba Isler Shells - Hanging Forms with karamba
Shells - Shape Optimisation with Galapagos
Extraction and Visualization Part 2 Reviewing 3d Print Studies
Large Complex Models
Virtual and Referenced geometry Shells & Beams - Understanding the impact of load on geometries. Force Flow - Understanding and Visualizing results on shells Trusses - Topology Optimization with Galapagos BIS - Building Information Systems with karamba Large Complex Models
Lists and Conditions Beams - Cross Section Optimization, Load Path Emergence 3d Printing - Preparing geometries for rapid prototyping Columns - Positioning with Galapagos Reviewing learn techniques and strategies
Vectors and Domains Multiobjective optimisation strategies with Octopus Concluding lecture - public


The participants should have some experience with Rhinoceros and some knowledge of Grasshopper is advised. However, one day before the workshop there will be a Crash course for the Grasshopper newcomers to catch up with the main content. The Crash course is an optional choice during the registration process.

The participants will need to bring their own computers with all the required software pre-installed. The computer should run a proper installation of Windows. Mac users are advised to make a proper installation via Bootcamp. Virtualized installations (via Parallels, Virtualbox, VMWare) are highly unreliable. There is no Grasshopper for Mac.

Most of the required software is either for free or is available as a free trial version:


Academy of Fine arts and Design / VŠVU,
Hviezdoslavovo námestie 18,
Bratislava, Slovakia

Room 135


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The fee covers only the tuition on 24th and 25th July 2015. The workshop is free of charge for the registered participants on 21st-23rd July 2015. Travel expenses, accommodation and food is to be covered by the participants themselves.


Bring your computer, charger, mouse and a note book. The European electric plug should fit.
  • RHINOCEROS 3D V5 FOR WINDOWS (Evaluation version)
  • GRASSHOPPER® (the latest version)
  • Grasshopper plugins (Karamba, WEAVERBIRD, MESH+, MESH EDIT, MESH TOOLS, STARLING, KANGAROO, Additional plug-ins for Grasshopper may be used.)

Most plugins install the same way - just copy the .gha file into the components folder. To find the folder open Rhinoceros, type “Grasshopper” into the command line and from the top menu pick File > Special folders > Components folder. There are some plugins though, which are not so easy to install, so usually you need to read the readme file before the installation.

No, unfortunately it's not. You need the software to be up to date to keep up with the workshop.
Yes, we'll start with a quick troubleshooting session each morning of the workshop.
You don't – there is no such thing. You'll need a proper Windows installation. We strongly recommend a full-fledged Windows installation using BootCamp. Virtualized installations through VMWare, VirtualBox or Parallels won't suffice.
  • The main Karamba workshop will be taught by Robert Vierlinger and Matthew Tam
  • The optional Rhinoceros 3D + Grasshopper Crash Course will be taught by Ján Pernecký
Of course we will! Speaking of which, if you have any problem finding the place or need any other assistance, give us a call. Either call Matej +421 907 453 501 or Ján +421 907 514 587
  • Take a train from Vienna's Hauptbahnhof to Bratislava Hlavná stanica. The trip takes 1 hour and a return ticket is under 20 Euro. The train ticket is also valid for the public transportation (buses, trams, trolley buses) in Bratislava.
  • Or take a shuttle bus from Suedtiroller Platz via Vienna airport. It takes about 90 minutes and costs around 8 Euro.
  • Check the timetables for the trains and buses at and switch to English or Deutch.
  • Or drive.
The university is in the city center with individual traffic excluded. Generally, there is a problem with decent free parking in Bratislava. Fortunately you come in the summer, when the city is not so crowded, so you might be lucky. The crossed-out and blue parking lots are for residents only. Go for the spots marked with a road sign with a picture of parking hours (and pay the fee) or with a plain P.
  • Walking is the best. Therefore you should look for some accommodation around the venue.
  • Public transport is good too. Check the timetables here and here
  • You can also take a cheap taxi by calling +421 2 16 321 or +421 2 16 100 or anything with this pattern. Another very good option is a phone app called HOPPIN Taxi. NEVER TAKE A TAXI ON THE STREET! In Bratislava you pay around 5 Euro for a ride if you call but you can pay even 3 times more if you take a taxi on the street!
  • Sure. It's advised to stay in the walking distance of the old town, however not inside. It can be pretty loud at night.
  • For a budget solution, check hostels (even from 10€/night) Elephants, City hostel, Backpackers. The student dorms also offer affordable hostel rooms and you'll very probably get a private room.
  • Ibis is a reasonable budget hotel in the vicinty of the old town, but you should also try to find something at Airbnb.
  • If you'd like to have your luxury, have a look at Hotel Carlton or Hotel Marrol's.
We start every day at 10:00, but please, come at 9:30 so that we can do the troubleshooting before we start. We'll have a lunch break around noon and then we'll continue until around 5pm.
We are in a historical building of the Academy of Fine arts and Design / Vysoká škola výtvarných umení, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 18, in the very center of Bratislava.
Room 135. Enter the building and walk upstairs. You will see the signs.
In Slovakia almost every restaurant offers a lunch menu – soup and the main course for around 5Euro. There are dozens of restaurants nearby in the city center, some of which are truly excellent. The closest restaurant is Verne, right in the building of the Academy. For a tasty burger try Regal or Minerva, for ribs to Pivnica u Kozla. If you prefer something healthier, but still delicate, go to Kontakt or Kamenný strom. Great Asian food is at Soho and overall great experience is at U Kubistu. However, for a proper traditional touristic Slovak experience, go to the Slovak pub or Bratislava Flagship restaurant.
Good for you! You will enjoy Govinda or Ganesh Utsav.
Go for the sheep cheese dumplings Bryndzové halušky and try local coke Kofola. The best sweets in supermarkets are called Horalky, Kávenky, Mila and for a chocolate it's Študentská pečať. Beware – they all are addictive!
Sure. Water, coffee, sweets, some fruit maybe.
Evening drinks are an essential part of our workshops. You cannot resist it, you cannot avoid it...
Go to KC Dunaj, NuSpirit bar and NuSprit club, Kontakt , A4 nultý priestor, Subclub (ex-atomic shelter).
We all are, aren’t we? But maybe go to café Fúz – it even means moustache!
Go for a walk in the old town, visit the National Gallery, go to gallery Nedbalka, check out places like Devín castle, Televízna veža, Slavín, Slovenský rozhlas, Modrý kostolík, Horský park, Železná studienka. Or simply invite us for a beer, you’ve got our numbers after all.
It's been Slovakia for 20 years now.
We don't, but we understand it. We speak Slovak and with nice foreigners also English and German.
Ru... what? HOCKEY! Yes!
Euro. The symbol is €.



Ministry of Culture SR

Podporujeme výskumné aktivity na Slovensku / Projekt je spolufinancovaný zo zdrojov EÚ

Partnermi podujatia sú FabLab Slovensko a Centrum vedecko-technických informácií SR.

Dni 1-3 (21.-23.7.2015) tohto podujatia sa konajú v rámci implementácie národného projektu Podpora zriadenia a rozvoja Národného podnikateľského centra na Slovensku – 1. Etapa (NPC).