Bucky Lab
Design in practice – Photo by Marcel Bilow @ TU Delft

The Bucky Lab is the first semesters master course within the architectural education program for Building Technology of the TU Delft / The Netherlands. The course itself is splitted into different courses concerning the Bucky Lab design project and seminars that includes the following:

Bucky Lab

    • AR1B015-D1: Bucky Lab design – Marcel Bilow
    • AR1B015-D2: CAD – Paul de Ruiter
    • AR1B015-D3: Bucky Lab production technologies – Marcel Bilow

Bucky Lab Seminars

    • AR1B025-D1: Structural Mechanics – Andrew Borgart
    • AR1B025-D2: Material Science – Fred Veer
    • AR1B025-D3: Building Physics – Regina Bokel
    • AR1B025-D4: BT Research Methodology – Martin Tenpierik

In the Bucky Lab and Bucky Lab Seminars the combination between architecture and building technology is brought to a higher level. The assignment is to design an innovative sustainable building related construction / concept that can be part of an office building, a small building in its own or maybe also an extension of an existing building. The semester starts with the design of the architectural concept, which will be materialized and developed to the level of a final design. The ‘Design by technological research’ method integrates Computer Aided Design and Modelling (CAD & CAM), structural analysis, material sciences and technological research in the design process. The research is done by virtual and physical testing the design’s materials and structural performance. The results are used as feedback to optimize the design into a state that it can be build as a prototype finally.

The prototype
The final test is the realization of a full scale prototype or a part of the building according to the chosen project. This means the design will be translated into working drawings, material quantities and a production strategy as a preparation for the actual building. The students will construct and assemble their prototype themselves in groups of 2 up to 10 in the new mobile workshop. Each project chosen to be built is more or less a vehicle to transport the goals of the course to teach the full planning process of imagination, design, calculation, materialisation, the appropriate choice of production technologies and the building of the final prototype itself. It’s a “get your hands dirty approach” that follows the courses motto: What you can imagine, you can also build! But and this is the most important goal of the course we would like to teach: An honest self reflection of the achievement according to the final product, that will not directly illustrate the real solution, but a step in this direction that can start a discussion about its potentials in the real architectural environment.

The results of the courses that are translated into a 1:1 prototype is sometimes leading into a more detailed research for product development, sometimes also a starting point for companies to cooperate to bring the concepts into the next level.

Latest updates on the Bucky Lab

In the studio

After the elevator pitch, our students grouped up and started to investigate their projects. It becomes more and more experimental and the first prototypes are already visible. But have a look whats going on in the studio.


Semesterstart Bucky Lab

Today we started our new Bucky Lab semester, with officially 72 students on the list, the group is bigger than even before … Due to this fact we also had to move to the orange hall, quite a treat to open the semester in the location we are usually only using for our finals. This … Continue reading Semesterstart Bucky Lab


FabFac supports Bucky Lab

Every now and then we have a job that needs more precision or is so labour intensive that it could not be done within the building weeks. We already wrote about the help from quintall who will machine parts on their cnc lathe for us. Rodrigo and Ahmed also had a concept that was doable … Continue reading FabFac supports Bucky Lab


Building weeks Day 3 – 5 drops of rain

We are already so far ahead with the projects that it was time to talk about sanding and finishing touches. Our Dr. Bucky Lab grabbed the sanders and talked about the different machines we have in the boxes to make the prototypes clean and crisp. Still blessed with the weather we were able to work … Continue reading Building weeks Day 3 – 5 drops of rain


Building weeks Day 2 – tropical conditions

Today the weather was even better then yesterday, while outside a fresh breeze and sun was blowing inside it got a bit tropical …so shorts was the most common outfit. The expected rain shower was not hitting, but the sky was roaring loud. The projects already reached a state where you are able to identify … Continue reading Building weeks Day 2 – tropical conditions


Building weeks Day 1 – a perfect start

Day one, and after a perfect sunny weekend the sun did not stop today. Within a record time of about 45 minutes (we always measure the time till the table saw runs for its first time …) the workshop was ready. A short while later, Frans from festool arrived and we started the Intro from … Continue reading Building weeks Day 1 – a perfect start

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