Booth-generator by students from
Trier University of Applied Science


Cologne 2010: students at Trier University of Applied Science in Germany have built a stand at design fair imm Cologne by stacking up pizza boxes.

Called Booth-generator, and part of the [D3] Schools exhibition, the project was shaped by a computer program that uses information about the site, balanced with the required qualities of the booth itself to design the most appropriate structure.

Inside the exhibition booth, information is displayed about the university, the students involved and the process that lead to the production of the installation itself.

More information on the project website.

See all our stories about Cologne 2010 in our special category.

Here's some more information about the project from the university:


For the installation at the IMM2010 we have developed a „booth-generator“ that balances the conditions of a certain stand place (size, direction, etc.) with the requirements of a specific exhibition space and its desired atmosphere.

With the aid of a computer-program written in Rhinoscript/Visual Basic these parameters are processed and evaluated in an iterative design-process to then manifest themselves as one possible solution for a trade-fair stand.

In order to guarantee both the manufacturability by a group of students and the disposal after usage, we have contrasted a high-tech design tool with the low-tech and easy to recycle material "pizza box“: the layering of an actually trite material becomes aesthetically exaggerated through its gradual shifts and deformations.

A peculiar tension arises between the fascination for the technologically possible and the visibility of a building-process based on very basic financial as well as technical possibilities.

The deformed walls create an enclosed and concentrated space that is detached from the liveliness of the surrounding corridors.

In the center of this space we document the project through a beamer-projection of a short portrait of the University of Applied Sciences Trier, the group of students involved and the development of the installation itself.

Thus this booth represents the creative atmosphere of our university that enables such experimental projects as it supports the ambition to carry out a possible result of such a project.

The installation has been developed in a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort of Fachhochschule Trier’s departments interior architecture, architecture and intermedia design.

The concept and script has been developed by Jan Weber and Eva Ziegler, students from the department of Interior Architecture.

The project has been led by Prof. Ingo Krapf, department industrial and exhibition design, and Prof. Holger Hoffmann, department digital design.

Posted on Sunday January 24th 2010 at 1:21 am by Chris Barnes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K

    i cant see how it generates the most appropriate structure. If the program truly works, then it should demonstrate some variations of diff. atmosphere as mentioned in the paragraph.

  • Franz

    I wish I had a robo…

  • more informations .. ! check out

  • kos

    The same thing again.
    Gramazio & Kohler do it.
    GSD copied it.
    Now Trier University is doing what?

  • don’t matter if they copy if they learn from it – after all it’s a university.
    I guess scripting things will easily have similar outcomes. you don’t come up with a new architecture every Tuesday…

  • gaque

    yes, it’s not terribly innovative, nor was it built with a robot, but it looks like it was fun! these kinds of student projects show that the students are having a good time and actually building something–a very rewarding and helpful experience. i wonder why they chose pizza boxes? i wouldnt have minded being part of the pizza-eating team. trier is a beautiful city by the way.

  • Yes, I think they should have taken silkscreen or printed pizza boxes.
    These boxes are pretty boring in a sense. They look like a standard box, nothing less, nothing more.

    Reminds me some pictures from a great user on Flickr.

    He worked at Domino’s Pizzas, and he did REAL pizza boxxes walls :)

  • norm

    the robots called. they want their job back.

  • critique

    @toby & @michael (whom are both the same…

    “don’t matter if they copy if they learn from it – after all it’s a university.
    I guess scripting things will easily have similar outcomes. you don’t come up with a new architecture every Tuesday…”

    perhaps not every tuesday, but you can’t just publish a booth, which looks pretty much the same like two previous versions which you weher able to see here and elsewhere last year.

    and when you point towards the generative process and spatial qualities of the system, the gramazio kohler (and later gsd) example have been more than references, but actually you applied their way of putting together elements and articulating the space. if it’s done by robot or not is secondary, but the design process of (whatever) scripting has led to similar shapes.

    so the question begs, what is your innovation with this booth and design?
    that it was built by hand? (somewhat blurring a precise scripting effort…?)
    that it was projected by beamer, that the students knew where to put the elements?

    I am not saying it’s ugly, on the contrary, it is nice. but honors are due and I guess we have seen it a couple times already, so the viewers get a bit tired of it.

    but keep it up!

  • So critique… um, yeah. Link me any, and I mean ANY project, and I will find you similar projects in a matter of minutes.

    You have no clue about the process involved in this piece; the work it involved (e.g. writing a computer program with hundreds of lines of code); the people it involved (an architect und an interior architect wrote the program – not a computer scientist!) and how 3 departments of our university worked together successfully for the first time.

    I was there, and for what it’s worth I can tell you that they made this idea up by themselves. And considering your statement that a manual build-up is blurring a ‘precise’ scripting effort: Scripting is in most cases precise. It’s the unprecise which empowers our imagination and makes most pieces interesting. By the way, check out the other booth concepts on the website – I bet you can find similar ones too if you search long enough ;)

  • critique

    hold the phone thorsten, it’s not about finding similar projects. of course you can always find those, easily. and perhaps I was too nice only calling it similar, but it is actually pretty much a copy.

    but as I suggested, that does not have to be entirely bad, that is why I was ASKING about the process.
    the process for instance, could be a way of distinguishing this project from others.
    yes I have no idea about the process it took to make this project come into reality, that is why I would have liked to learn.

    the blurring element was a suggestion again what might have distinguished this project from the one at the ETHZ, and since no robot-arm was used and as I was able to learn the data was projected and built manually, imprecision does occur.

    obviously scritping is precise, but again reproducing an algorithm, which has already once been reproduced (GSD) isn’t novel at all.

    so I was barely asking, what the innovation with this iteration is, what have you learned, was the process the real product?

    I was trying to make sense for myself, so I helped suggesting topics.
    no need to become defensive and to rationalize.
    but if images are shown in this presentation, that suggest it’s a copy and by now third iteration of a previous established and built concept, it just won’t do for me and there it where it would fail for me as reader.
    but I did not wan to be dismissive, hence I was posing questions and if you suggest, a huge apparatus of people and institutions where made to work together, where is a visualization thereof?

    I guess you get my point now.

  • dextra

    i think its interesting that using robots on one hand and manually stapling pizza on the other hand leads to the same performative result.. it seems we don’t really need robots and theoretical sophisticato dudes as much as we thought.