Dermoid is a teaching and research collaboration by The Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) RMIT, the Centre for Information Technology and architecture (CITA), Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen, and RMIT Fashion and Textiles. In 2009 Prof. Mark Burry won the prestigious Velux Visiting Professorship award to work with CITA, Centre for IT and architecture at KA, over a two-year period. The aim for the Visiting Professorship was to explore how computation can lead to new material practices in architecture. Dermoid looks at reciprocal frame systems aiming to develop large span architectural structures from short timber members. Designed as aggregates of double beams, the material flex is designed into individual elements creating a complex layered weave for an architectural installation.
Within Convergence, the third iteration of Dermoid was displayed, as design workshop, installation and exhibition. The Dermoid III installation/workshop will continue to test material behaviour with the additional design problem of 'skinning' the structure, informed by an understanding of material behaviour, developed via computational design and physical testing of knitted textiles. Working through a transdisciplinary work - shop model, the research project creates an environment of exchange between researchers, students and industry practitioners.