A unique architectural Christmas tree at the University of Nicosia

The assembly and presentation of a unique computationally designed and digitally fabricated Christmas tree, named by students as X-MAX, which adorns the UNIC main entrance, and the inspirational speech of the distinguished architect Christos Passas, marked the completion of a busy fortnight for the Department of Architecture (ARC) of the University of Nicosia.

During FALL 2019, the ARC Department has launched a New Distance Learning MSc Programme in Computational Design and Digital Fabrication in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, Institute for Experimental Architecture Hochbau in Austria. As part of the programme, ARC hosted a series of events in Nicosia and Limassol.

The first event took place on 4 December at HUB Design Platform in Limassol, featuring a series of 4 short presentations on the thematic of Computational Design and Digital Fabrication. The next event, which took place on 6 December, was a lecture by Marjan Colletti, Professor of Architecture and Post-digital Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and Chair Professor of Building Design and Construction and Head of the Institute for Experimental Architecture at Innsbruck University, titled «Proto – Post Digital Chrysalis».

The following lecture on «Structural design of high rise buildings in a digital environment» by Yiannis Perikleous, Managing Partner of an awarded engineering company specializing in high-end structural and civil engineering design based in Limassol, took place on 11 December. The series of events concluded on 13 December, with a keynote lecture by Mr. Christos Passas, Associate Director of Zaha Hadid Architects Studio, which has undertaken the design and renovation of Eleftheria Square in Nicosia. Mr. Passas presented works undertaken by his office, mainly in Moscow, and talked about the Eleftherias Square, expressing his hopes that “someday this square will be a common space in a united Cyprus”.

During this concluding event, the Department of Architecture students also presented the unique design of the digitally fabricated Christmas tree X-MAX, which now adorns the UNIC main reception entrance. X-MAX will soon be relocated to Eleftheria Square, to become part of the Christmas Lighting Ceremony and the festive public decoration.

“The new, postgraduate programme is specifically designed to combine distance learning with the physical presence of the students involved,” stated the programme coordinator, Michalis Georgiou, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Nicosia. “This is the first year that this programme is running with students from the United States of America, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Greece and Cyprus. “Participants have the opportunity to develop their computational design skills and gain experience in cutting-edge digital fabrication technologies. At the same time, they are developing critical thinking in digital design applications”, he concluded.