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The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation
PhD scholarship - “Design for Manufacture and Assembly”
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation
The school is one of the two Danish School of Architecture and one of the world’s oldest schools of architecture.
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Publiceret: 5 måneder
Ansøgningsfrist: jul. 31
Beliggenhed: Copenhagen K, Danmark
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PhD scholarship - “Design for Manufacture and Assembly”


InnoChain is a 4 year international research network for highly motivated young scientists, where state-of-the-art research is combined with a comprehensive training and secondment programme. The network is funded by the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network scheme.

The research network assembles a highly cross disciplinary team of experienced researchers drawn from architecture (CITA/KADK (coordinator), Bartlett School of Architecture, Institut d'Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya and Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) and engineering (Universität Stuttgart/ITKE and Universität für Angewandte Kunst Vienna/IOA) and leading industry partners (Foster + Partners, White Arkitekter, BIG, HENN, ROK, Cloud 9, Buro Happold, str.ucture, designtoproduction, Smith Innovation, Blumer-Lehmann, S-Form and McNeel Europe.

This call is for a 3 year PhD Fellowship that is fully integrated within the network. The PhD student will be enrolled at KADK. It is our ambition that the PhD will start in August of 2017. The Innochain network has been running since August 2015. The PhD Fellow will after the completion of Innochain (August 2019) finalise the PhD Fellowship at KADK outside the Innochain network.      

General Project Summary

The InnoChain network is a shared research training environment examining how advances in digital design tools challenge building culture, enabling more sustainable, better informed and materially smarter design solutions. The network aims to train a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers with a strong industry focus that can effect real changes in the way we think, design and build our physical environment.

The programme investigates the extended digital chain as a particular opportunity for interdisciplinary design collaboration. Challenging the traditional thinking of design as a linear process of incremental refinement, InnoChain identifies three axes of design innovation potential communication, simulation and materialisation appearing as distributed and interdisciplinary activities across the design chain. Situating feedback between design processes as a key concern for developing holistic and integrated design methods, the network will develop new interdisciplinary design methods that integrate advanced simulation and interface with material fabrication.

With a strong inter-sector focus, InnoChain connects “research in practice” with “research in academia”. Assembling 6 internationally recognised academic research environments leading research into computational design in architecture and engineering and 14 innovation pioneering industry partners from architecture, engineering, design software development and fabrication, the programme will establish a shared training platform for 15 early stage researchers. The network creates a structured training programme focussed on supervision of individual research projects, an inter-sector secondment programme as well as collective research events including workshop-seminars, colloquia, summer school and research courses that provide a unique opportunity for young researchers to obtain new knowledge and skills positioning them between strong innovative research practice and influential industrial impact.

Read more about the network here:

PhD Focus
The PhD scholarship is entitled Design for Manufacture and Assembly.

One of the central achievements of the digital chain is the ability to mass customise building elements creating individualised solutions and enabling new kinds of building geometries. While methods for the design and production of customised elements have matured, the planning of assembly procedures remains undeveloped in the building sector – in contrast to for example to product design. Construction takes place in time and entails interdependent interactions as one element carries the other. The lack of robust planning tools impedes structural innovation as constructions are only solved on through simple and known assembly systems.

This project develops methods for the analysis and planning of assembly. With a focus on timber construction, the project investigates the possibilities, which emerge out of a combination of new CNC manufactured self-jigging joinery and computational methods to analyse and design assembly processes.

Mass customised detailing of timber elements with bespoke joinery promises more sustainable and more resilient structures as self-jigging joints eliminate the need for additional joinery systems, minimise tolerances and reduce material complexity.

The capability to compute and organise large amounts of assembly data efficently, especially through cloud based systems and machine learning, provides new methods to pan assembly.  The research transfers concepts from parallel fields of product design, computer science and mathematics: the development of data structures and workflows for the design of assembled structures, the development of metrics for quantitatively identifying good solutions with respect to the whole manufacturing and assembly process and the development of digital simulation tools to analyse dependencies and feedback assembly solutions to the design environment.

The PhD student is expected to develop new design methods for planning assembly of self-jigging timber structures by means of new methods for analysing and solving complex interdependencies in building construction. The PhD project builds upon the rich palette of existing projects and assembly processes in high end timber manufacturing at the project partners in industry and academia. This provides a knowledgebase from which more general approaches to assembly and its organisation in practice can be deducted. The robotic fabrication lab at CITA and the access to projects, infrastructure and fabrication processes at industry partners allows for a development through digital and physical probes and prototypes and with high relevance for industry.

As part of the scholarship, two secondments are planned: one with designtoproduction (Engineering Practice, Switzerland) in month 12-16, and one with Blumer-Lehmann (Fabricator, Switzerland) in month 24-28.

The purpose of the secondments is to embed the project in a context for speculative projections of the application of developed assembly planning systems and to provide experimental project context for implementing, testing and evaluating of assembly planning systems in industrial setting.

The PhD student will work directly and primarily with the project outlined above together with the support of the other network members. There is also a reciprocal obligation to contribute to other work-packages for the project where necessary and to participate in the planned training activities of the network.

The PhD project will be supervised by Associate Professor Martin Tamke.  

Center for Information Technology and Architecture

CITA [Center for Information Technology and Architecture] is an innovative research environment at KADK that explores the intersections emerging between architecture and digital technologies. By exploring central research questions of how space and technology affect one another, CITA aims to identify how the current emergence of a digital practice impacts architectural thinking and design.

CITA places special focus on the use of IT as a tool for the design, production and communication of architecture with particular attention placed on material performance. CITA employs a practice based research method focussing on design-led physical experimentation and full scale prototyping. The physical experiments act as material research inquiries by which the concepts and technologies of the investigations are tested and evaluated. The center has an international profile, extensive experience of running funded research projects and has initiated numerous international collaborations, exhibitions, conference presentations and workshop exchanges.

CITA is headed by Professor Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, PhD, and is further staffed by 2 associate professors, 1 assistant professor, 5 PhD students and 4 research assistants.

Researcher’s eligibility criteria

A master’s degree in architecture, engineering, computer science or other degree of equivalent relevancy is required. Mature skills in appropriate computational modelling and programming are expected and must be demonstrated in the application.

According to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, to be eligible, each researcher must fulfill the following criteria at the time of recruitment by the host institution concerned within the time frame of this project:

1. Nationality
The researcher may be of any nationality.

2. Mobility
At the date of recruitment by the host institution, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country (Denmark) of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment under the project.

3. Qualifications and research experience
Early stage researcher: means a researcher who, at the time of recruitment by the host institution, has not yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years of his/her research career.

Read more about the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions here:

Terms of employment

Enrolment takes place with a view to obtain a PhD degree, and leads to salaried employment for a period of three years in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, AC, protocol on graduate fellowships (annex 5). The salary consists of a seniority-based base salary and a non-pensionable allowance.

The PhD programme is structured under the provisions of Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (PhD Order) no. 1039 of 27 August 2013 issued by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education regarding PhD programmes and PhD degrees. This executive order is available on the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture’s website (

If you have completed a degree abroad, it will be assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education before employment can take place. Practical information can be found at

Application requirements

There are no application forms. Applications must be written in English.

Applications are submitted electronically and must include:

  • A reflection on the stated architectural aims of the project in the form of proposed theoretical orientations, comparison to existing research, preliminary syllabus and a proposal of the principle methods to be employed in project development  (max. 5 regular standard pages).   
  • CV.
  • Documentation of educational merits, other qualifications and previous activities.
  • A list of published papers/publications (if applicable).
  • A list of anticipated publications and dissemination venues for the project.
  • A portfolio of previous works and studies completed.

Please submit applications following the link below no later 31 July 2017.

For further information about the application requirements, please contact Martin Tamke at telephone at +45 4170 1731 or at e-mail

Anyone who meets the requirement of an academic degree at a graduate level is encouraged to apply for the scholarship regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnicity.

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