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Dr.Aref Maksoud Visiting Academic Academic RankAssistant Professor

Specialization:

  • PhD (Architecture) Parametric design and digital fabrication, Univesrtitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Escola Superior De’Arquitectura, EsArq_UiC . Barcelona - Spain (2017)

Research Interests:

  • Specialized in contemporary, digital parametric design and the use of Strategies and Digital tools in Architecture, expert in digital fabrication technologies with interest and knowledge in biomimetic design. I am a professional authorized tutor by McNeel Company (Robert McNeel & Associates– United States - Seattle) to teach Generative tools: Rhinoscript, Grasshopper Rhino scripting, etc. Experienced operating knowledge in architectonical design and parametric digital tools.

Contact

• 2017: PhD (Architecture) Parametric design and digital fabrication, Univesrtitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), Escola Superior De’Arquitectura, EsArq_UiC . Barcelona - Spain • 2008: Master (Architecture) of Biodigital Architecture, Univesrtitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) - Master of Parametric design and digital fabrication - School of Architecture of Barcelona (ESARQ), Univesrtitat Internacional de Catalunya -UIC • 2006: Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, Damascus University – Syria - Faculty of Architecture / graduate as top 5 students.
• December 2010 – December 2018: Researcher and main Professor, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), School of Architecture (ESARQ), Barcelona. Biodigital Architecture Master and PhD Programme. • 2009 – 2017: Coordinator and main professor of the Creative Art In Architecture’s subject, AIU ”Arab International University” Faculty of architecture, Damascus-Syria. • 2013: Workshop Instructor (visitor), Ain Shams University, Architecture Faculty, Cairo. XO-Tech Emotion international workshops. • January 2009 – 2012: Coordinator and main professor of the CADCAM’s subject, AIU ”Arab International University” Faculty of architecture, Damascus-Syria. • 2012: Guest Professor, AIU ”Arab International University” Industrial Design Department / Faculty of fine arts. • 2010: Workshop Instructor (visitor), Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria de Barcelona. January 2009 - December 2009: Researcher and Assistant Professor, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC). School of Architecture (ESARQ), Barcelona. Biodigital Architecture Master and PhD Programme.
Aref’s work experience in Spain-Barcelona, includes “Cloud 9 “, Enric Ruiz Geli, Singapore: DPA Architects, Qatar: Alkhayat Constructing, UK: includes ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS, where he was a project leader for different projects and competitions to tender documentation. Principal of MAGLAB (Materials-Advanced Architecture-Generative Laboratory); a design LAB and collaborative research forum engaging the field of architecture via encoded and explicit processes. An internationally renowned architecture and interdisciplinary design firm committed to innovative and contemporary design. The studio’s unique cutting edge research into CAD-CAM, computer aided digital design and fabrication technology, new materials and multi-media installations as applied to a range of diverse gallery installations. Aref is also an authorized tutor by MCNeel company “Seattle – USA” to teach Generative tools in design: Rhinoscript, Grasshopper, Rhino, Kangaroo, ETC, all softwares related to parametric design and MCNeel. MAG "Maksoud Architectural Group” / 2009 - 2016 Studies Manager MAG "Maksoud Architectural Group” responsible for all initial and final design aspects of projects undertaken by MAG. DPA/ DPA Architects - Qatar - Singapore / 2011 Head of Architectural project and Project Manager of National Qatari park by MAG and DPA/ DPA Architects - Qatar - Singapore (2011) ”Atelier fuer Architektur und Forschung” - MAG / 2009 Design Architect working with German landscape Studio ” Atelier fuer Architektur und Forschung” and MAG team in Planning and Urban Design the eastern park project (built project) “Damascus, Syria “System research and Parametric scripting and designing the Silk Road (flower road of 2 KM). Zaha Hadid Architects / 2007 Project leader of project to tender documentation of Syrian parliament competition. Cooperation and collaborative work with MAG and the international Architect Zaha Hadid “Zaha Hadid Architects” “Cloud 9 “, Enric Ruiz Geli - Barcelona – Spain / 2006 Project Manager “Cloud 9 “, Enric Ruiz Geli - Barcelona – Spain / ZOO Project with MAG. Built and work in progress MAG Tower/ UAE - Dubai 2014 Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group - MAG Group of Companies UAE Bentley Villa / Bentley Motors Limited 2014 Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group - MAG Group of Companies UAE Kiwan Botanic Garden / Damascus, Syria 2011 Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Al Sebky Multi Park / Damascus - Syria 2010 Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group - Qatari Diar Company Designing national war museum in national Competition-Syria.First prize - 2009 Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group / Sustainability and Parametric digital control system development of the museum's facades Planning and Urban Design the eastern park 2009 Participation with German team and MAG team(Syria) as a Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Skyscraper Project: in collaboration with Dr,Prof,Alberto T Estevez,skyscripting project- biomimetic 2008 skyscraper in Barcelona sea Real time responsive and adaptable structural system. Real Time Prototype . development, fabrication (CNC and Fiber Composite) and assembly UG offices building,first biodigital building 2008 Damascus-Syria Project Leader “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Interior design of Al Qabeda corporation Office in four season 2007 Built Work Participation with MAG team in/Design Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Planning and Urban Design - landscapes, of different squares in Damascus 2007 Participation with Breunig Architects – Stuttgart, Germany and MAG team/Project Leader “MAG “, Maksoud Architectural group Architectural design of mall - Hama -Syria 2007 Project Leader “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Planning and Urban Design Schemes for A 5 star touristic village.­. 2007- Comoros / Syria Project leader “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group Damascus zoo / 2006-2007 Project Leader Manager “MAG “, Maksoud architectural group - Participation with MAG team and cloud 9 team (Spain) in Spain, Syria Architectural design building of different private villas in countryside of Damascus Built work 2005-2006
• Research Director / 2015 Title: Future Skyscrapers Collaborator: McNeel (Robert McNeel & Associates– United States) in Middle East. part of Biodigital Master and PHD program, EsArq - UiC (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), Spain. • Research Associate / 2015 Title: MAGLAB Wearable 3D Printed jewelry. Collaborator and partner: MAG ”Maksoud Architectural Group”. Client: MAGLAB. • Research Associate / 2015 Title: The Continuum Research. Description: Parametric design and digital Fabrication; the main purpose of the research was to explore the relationship between parametric design and digital fabrication and biological manufacturing, as structural system. Client: MAGLAB. • Research Director / 2014 Title: The Equilibrium / MAGLAB Research Pavilion - Moscow, Russia Team: MAGLAB Team. Client: MAG ”Maksoud Architectural Group”. • Research Director / 2013 Title: Kukkia;Kine-Tech Research of responsive folding fashion collections. Architecture Faculty of AIU. ”Arab International University”. • Research Associate / 09/2009 - 09/2012 Title: Skyscripting Project, School of Architecture of Barcelona. Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC). (Spain). Collaborator and partner: Prof. Alberto Estevez. Client: City of Barcelona. Description: Bio-mimicking Research Project: in collaboration with DDr. Prof. Alberto T Estevez, (biomimetic skyscraper in Barcelona Sea) Real time responsive and adaptable structural system. • Research Director / 2012 Title: Haute Contour /Hot Contour. Description: Haute Couture meets parametric design, When couture meets contour. Collaborator and partner: MAG ”Maksoud Architectural Group”. Client: MAGLAB. • Research Director / 2010 - 2011 Title: Wind Language – Real scale Responsive Façade System. Team: MAGLAB Team. Client: MAG ”Maksoud Architectural Group”. • Research Director / 2011 Title: Tabubble – Landscape element. Description: Built project explores the conceptual idea of mapping performances in the urban scene. Collaborator and partner: MAG ”Maksoud Architectural Group”. Client: MAGLAB.
As a Master and PhD Assistant and visitor Professor, I had the opportunity to advice graduate students including, teaching design studio practice and to work closely with students (in groups and one-on-one cases). Having experienced myself many of the difficulties of a graduate student, for example, the switching from a problem solving to a problem understanding mind set, the pursuit of individual research, and the articulation of results for my dissertation, I’ve helped many . graduate students in overcoming these difficulties I use a variety of techniques to motivate my students. one of these techniques is to ask the students in some classes to work in digital fabrication and prototypes in the design process to move from digital and parametric design to fabrication process and discuss the construction techniques and problems by doing a small scale prototype or scale 1 to 1in some cases such as building a pavilion or installations. This approach gives the students the opportunity to think about the structural problems through the design process and lets them understand the used software and tools as a strategy for design and fabrication not only as a drafting tool. Another technique is to convey enthusiasm for the course topics. Most of my enthusiasm comes from my love of teaching, but my enthusiasm also comes from recognition of the technical and societal implications of computer technologies in design topics. In most cases, students become enthusiastic in response to my active lectures and discussions style. The use of examples from real life also provides a source of motivation; associating topics from the classroom with either current events or my professional experiences helps show the students why the topics being covered are useful and important. In another class, (Information systems and design - parametric design and digital fabrication), when designing weekly projects or solving a designing and/or a software usage problem, I always asked the students to first think about the problem, discuss the requirements, and then start their own interactive design. For such, after this brainstorming phase, where the students were given an opportunity to understand the problem, I gave the students some time to solve the problem themselves. Only then I proceeded to guide the students in the solution of the problem at hand. This approach gives the students the opportunity to think about the problem beforehand and experience some of the difficulties one may encounter in real-world projects. When teaching the students, I see myself as a bridge between the architecture, research and the practice of software. I recognize my role as a professor as a channel to disseminate the lessons learned in the parametric design research by teaching the leading digital architecture, design and fabrication professionals and researches of tomorrow. Trying to make my students skillful with BIM and CAD-Computer-Aided Design and CAM technologies-Digital Fabrication; and experienced enough with their application and use in Architectural Design process to best achieve course objectives. I believe that my ten years of academic experience and working as an assistant professor and Architect and parametric designer prepared me to be an effective researcher And provided me with high skills to be experienced enough with softwares, tools and digital fabrication technologies such as 3D-Printers, CNC, and Laser Cutter along with software packages to teach architectural students and work with them on their Fundamental Basic and Advanced Projects, Computational Architectural Design Studios and other additional courses of architecture. To summarize, my teaching philosophy boils down to three key goals: to always challenge my students to excel and expand their capabilities; to always challenge myself to do the same in my teaching, using my parametric design and digital fabrication education research to support my improvement efforts; and to be updated always and constantly explore and implement exciting new curriculum innovations.
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