The Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation posts vacant PhD scholarship as of March 1st, 2024

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
March 01, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The PhD scholarship is posted in the following project: Adaptive fabrication for bio-material assemblies


This call is for a 3 year fully funded PhD Scholarship integrated within the CITA (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture) research group at Institute of Architecture and Technology at Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation. The PhD topic is robotic fabrication with special focus on the creation of adaptive fabrication for bio-material assemblies – researching the 3D printing of graded biopolymers composites for architectural assemblies.

The position is connected to the newly established RobotLab.

The PhD student will be enrolled at CITA and supervised by the senior research team with project start Sept 1st, 2024. The application deadline is March 1st, 2024.


Architecture is facing deep challenges to its practices. The pressure on planetary boundaries (1) requires the rethinking of architecture's reliance on CO2-rich materials and energy-intensive processing. New calls ideating a sustainable building culture focus on renewable materials as solutions for carbon neutrality. However, many of these practices carry over industrial paradigms of mass production and standardisation and are therefore fundamentally waste driven and unable to achieve true cascading. The PhD will examine the fundamental difference of bio-based building materials, their deployment, characterisation, and durability with a specific focus on the 3D printing of cellulose reinforced biopolymer. With a theoretical focus on adaptive fabrication and circular design the PhD will examine how cellulose reinforced biopolymer can instantiate new models of cascading for architecture through adaptation, repair, and recycling. The project will centre on methods of material grading to ideate new models of material optimisation focused on local waste-based material resource streams. The thesis will examine and develop protocols for creative deployment of robotic 3d printing and ideate models of steering material deployment. This steering will expand upon existing methods of interfacing precision monitoring of high res in-process and on-site 3D scanning with building scale robotic fabrication.


The PhD will be associated with the ongoing Eco-Metabolistic Architecture research project funded by the European Research Council. It will specifically be associated the Biopolymer Track where we examine the 3D print of biopolymer slurries for architectural assemblies. Working with bio-based waste materials in the form of collagen, paper flock, bark, cotton, and wood, we research develops new circular design-to-fabrication methods for architecture. Our methods innovate the research goals of architecturally driven biopolymer research and create new models for how to think material performance through weaker strength ratios and shorter durations.


In CITA, our mode of inquiry is characterised by an experimental and iterative process of physical prototyping, testing, and evaluation which all form part of the research process itself. The PhD will collaborate with the wider project team on the development of three kinds of material evidence: speculative design probes allowing ideation, material prototypes enabling testing and demonstrators acting as full-scale proof-of-concepts and testbeds that integrate methods of monitoring the developed material systems in time and through environment.

The PhD student will work directly and primarily with the tasks outlined above together with the support of the other project members. There is also a reciprocal obligation to contribute to other work-packages for the project where necessary. CITA's participation in the project is led by Professor Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen who will act as primary PhD supervisor.


A degree and master's in architecture or other degree of equivalent relevancy is required. A demonstrated interest into bio-design and sustainability will be essential. Mature skills in appropriate computational modelling, machine learning and robotic control are expected and must be demonstrated in the application. Further knowledge into responsive systems and sensing will be of strong importance.


The PhD will be located at CITA (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture) within Institute of Architecture and Technology.

CITA is an innovative research environment 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 centre has an international profile, extensive experience of running funded research projects and has initiated numerous international collaborations, exhibitions, conference presentations and workshop exchanges.

CITA consists of 20+ researchers working across a broad spectre of research projects in advanced computational modelling, robotic fabrication, responsive systems, sensing and bio-design.

Institute of Architecture and Technology combines architecture with studies of the importance of digital technologies in the development and use of materials, the design and performance of building structures and their fabrication. The institute focuses on how technologies in critical interaction with architectural design can enrich society and tackle global challenges - both in the Danish and international context. It researches material studies, building physics and tectonic innovation. The institute's research and artistic development work often takes place in close interdisciplinary collaborations with relevant institutions and companies all over the world.


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 Taxation 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 Program is structured under the provisions of Ministerial Order on the PhD Program 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 programs and PhD degrees. This executive order is available on the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture's website (https: //

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 https:// institutions/recognition-and-transparency/recognition-guide


There are no application forms. Applications must be written in English and submitted as one pdf-file by clicking the link in the call. Please upload a blank page if you are asked to upload more than one document.

Applications must include:

  • A personal research programme on the stated architectural aims of the project in the form of research impact and hypothesis, proposed theoretical orientations, state-of-the-art, preliminary syllabus and a proposal of the principal 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 electronically following the link no later than March 1st, 2024, at 12.00 CET.

    For further information, please contact Ditte Dahl by e-mail at [email protected].

    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.

    About the Royal Danish Academy

    The Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design and Conservation is an internationally recognised academy that educates professionally creative graduates to the highest level and develops new knowledge that creates value for society and the labour market. The Royal Danish Academy is a public institution under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and has approximately 1,700 students and 350 full-time staff equivalents. Read more about the Royal Danish Academy on our website www. .

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