RISD Summer Programs course: E.couture: Architecture, Fashion + Sustainability

E.couture: Architecture, Fashion + Sustainability

Visiting faculty members Ludovico Lombardi of LDVC and Zaha-Hadid Architects, London and architect Niccolo Casas of The Bartlett, London join forces to offer this intensive investigation into the emerging discipline generated by architecture, engineering and fashion. New technologies in manufacturing offer a reinterpretation of the tradition and exclusivity of couture into a new focus on the sustainability and accessibility of “e.couture.” This course explores the impact of novel design and production technologies in couture with special attention paid to additive manufacturing technology and the environmental benefits of 3D printing (which allows goods to be produced and sold close to their point of consumption and only on request). A recent U.S. Department of Energy study has confirmed that using additive manufacturing could reduce material needs and costs by up to 90%. Students investigate the body as architectural landscape, explore the form in a virtual digital format, and assimilate the parametric design and production process derived from architecture, computer graphics and engineering. Scripting and algorithmic tools, together with advanced fabrication technologies, are making new performative aesthetics possible. Through CAD workshops students explore the use of generative and animation techniques; Maya, a modeling tool for the design of complex morphologies, is the main 3-D software taught. Lectures and discussions on eco-friendly material alternatives, open source and shared collective knowledge and the impact on the apparel industry further inform students as they document and present their individual and collective research for their final project on digital and physical platforms. This course is offered in collaboration with RISD Co-Works Interdisciplinary Research Lab, where students work to produce their concepts.

This course is open to design, fashion and architecture students, as well as professional artists and designers with no previous knowledge of modeling platforms, Maya software and 3D printing techniques. Tuition covers basic class materials; 3D printing and resin costs are additional. Student laptop required with the following specifications and English language software loaded: latest version MacOS (preferred) or Windows, Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Students will download free trial software (Maya and Rhino) at the start of class. Limited space.

Course #1164
Niccolo Casas, Ludovico Lombardi

Schedule 1
June 24–July 5, 2019
9 am–4:30 pm (no class 7/4)

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Niccolo Casas

Niccolo Casas is principal and founder at Niccolo Casas Architecture and a PhD candidate at The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. His work highlights the intersection of architecture, couture and science via the application of emergent digital technologies and additive manufacturing. His most recent works include collaborations on additive manufactured pieces with fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Other multidisciplinary collaborations have included Cirque du Soleil, Volkswagen and BMW, 3D printing companies Materialise and 3D Systems, Swarovski and the MIT research team Embr Labs. Casas received his Master of Architecture at ISA St. Luc in Bruxelles, and is a professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at Texas A&M School of Architecture, and has taught and lectured at the Università degli Studi di Genova, Università degli Studi di Firenze, London South Bank University, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, Florida International University, and SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. He has contributed to "Domus," "Abitare" and "Lancia TrendVisions" magazines.  

Ludovico Lombardi

Ludovico Lombardi's work experience in Spain, Italy and England includes Carlos Ferrater, Arata Isozaki and Zaha Hadid Architects, where he currently works as an associate. He earned a Master’s of Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture Design Research Lab (DRL), London after having studied in Italy at the Politecnico of Milan and in England at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. His work has been featured in “Architectural Digest,” “Architect’s Journal” and “Abitare,” and has been presented and exhibited at the Architecture Foundation in London and in touring exhibitions in Italy and the US. He has been a guest critic at the Architectural Association, the Bartlett UCL and the DRL and has been invited to lead workshops and lecture in Turin, Bologna, Florence, London (at the Tate) and Providence (at RISD). He is a past unit master for the MArch in Urban Design program at the Bartlett UCL, has served as a visiting faculty member in RISD's Architecture department, and is currently a guest lecturer at Instituto Marangoni in London and CEPV in Lausanne.