Manuel Kretzer


phone: +41 44 633 4037
email: kretzer(at)
web: responsive design studio / materiability research network


Manuel Kretzer is responsible for coordinating and leading the postgraduate Master of Advanced Studies class’s digital design and production modules. His research aims at the notion of a soft and dynamic architecture with a specific focus on new (smart) material performance.

In 2012 he established the materiability research network, a platform that brings together architects, artists, designers, students, scientists and researchers who share a common fascination with smart, programmable materials and their potential integration into architecture.

He is also partner and co-founder of responsive design studio, based in Cologne and Zurich. The strength of the team is rooted in design research and a commitment to exploring opportunities in creating responsive, adaptive and adapted physical space. A special interest lies on alternative solutions for vivid architectural geometries that interact with their user in the process of creation but also in the built shape, materialization, surface and visual behavior.

He has previously worked with Philip Beesley in Toronto, Canada on the development and realization of interactive environments and taught seminars in temporary experimental architecture at the Institute for Industrial Design (ifib), University of Karlsruhe (TH).


invited lectures
28.05.13 Soft Matter, DAMADEI Design and Advanced Materials Sketcha Kutcha, CTU Faculty of Architecture, Prague
19.04.13 Material Ecologies, Smart Geometry 2013 Talkshop: Technology and the Future Culture, The Bartlett, London
22.02.13 Open Matter(s), Prototyping Architecture Conference, The Building Centre, London
30.11.12 post-mechanistic materials for active architectures, Jour Fixe, Art & Science Department, University of Applied Arts, Vienna
25.10.12 homeostatic material systems, Designers’ Open Conference, Leipzig
18.09.12 information materials, Design Seminar, Swedish School of Textiles, Boras
03.08.12 phototropia: a self-sufficient architectural vision, Schweizer Baumuster Centrale, Zürich
03.07.12 metabolic material systems, Red Dot Design Museum, Essen
02.04.12 autonomous materials, ADS1, School of Architecture, Royal College of Art, London, UK
02.04.12 materiability, Inspiring Matter Conference 2012, London, UK
11.01.12 responsive design studio, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
11.01.12 guest critic at Digitales Entwerfen: Furnitecture, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
20.12.11 responsive design studio Hyperbody, TU Delft, Netherlands
29.11.11 next generation materials Ambience international Conference, Boras, Sweden
14.10.11 a new softness Inkjet Seminar, Luzern University of Applied Sciences
25.07.11 actuated matter, Zurich University of the Arts
04.03.11 towards a new softness Adaptive Architecture Conference 2011, London



– books
M. Kretzer, H. Sachs. The Cone – interactive architecture for Burning Man, Der Ausnahmeverlag, Hamburg, November 2008.

– book contributions
M. Kretzer, J. Sarik. „Phototropia: A self-suficient architectural vision“. In Make Magazine Vol. 34. March 2013.
M. Kretzer. “Shapeshift”, “Material Animation”, “Actuated Matter”. In Performative Materials In Architecture And Design, ed. Rashida Ng and Sneha Patel. Intellect Books, Ltd. February 2013.
M. Kretzer, “Chick ’n’ Egg Chair“. In Intriguing Design, ed. Dalcacio Reis. Tectum Publishers. January 2013.
C. Baumgartner, M. Kretzer. “Kids Bench”, “Float with the Flowers”. In Design for Kids, ed. Natalia Menn. Links International. January 2013.
M. Kretzer. “Shapeshift: Soft Dielectric Electroactive Polymers and Architectural Surfaces”. In Bracket 2 [goes soft], ed. B. Bratton, J. Czerniak, J. Inaba, G. Manaugh, P. Rahm, C. Renfro, L. Sheppard, N. Bhatia. Actar. January 2013.
M. Kretzer, D. Rossi. „Shapeshift“. In Leonardo 45, Issue 5. October 2012.
M. Kretzer. “Shapeshift, towards a soft architecture”. In Kinetic Architecture: Designing with movement, Carolina Stevenson. Birkhäuser. August 2012.

– conference papers (peer reviewed)
M. Kretzer. “Open Matter(s)”. In Prototyping Architecture: The Conference Papers, ed. Michael Stacey. Building Centre Trust. February 2013.
M. Kretzer. “Next generation materials”. In Ambience’11 Internation Coference Proceedings, CTF The Swedish School of Textiles, University College of Borås, Sweden. November 2011.
M. Kretzer. “Towards a new softness”. In International Adaptive Architecture Conference Proceedings, The Building Centre London, DVD Conference Papers, March 2011, ISBN 978-0901919151.

“Shapeshift”. In Design and Construction of High Performance Homes: Building Envelopes, Renewable Energies and Integrated Practice, ed. Franka Trubiano. Routledge. Oktober 2012. p.
P. Song. “Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair”. In DI Magazine 155.11 (August 2011). p. 44.
B. Fingerlos. “Bank Liege oder Stuhl”. In Holzdesign 07-08.2011 (August 2011). p. 9.
G. Morris. “Cardboard Cut-Outs”. In Living by Design Mar 2011. p. 29.
M. Behaneck. “Das Unplanbare planen”. In BM Bau- und Möbelschreiner 03.2011 (March 2011). p. 90.
L. Colin. “Tras la forma caprichosa”. In Obras 458.11 (February 2011). p. 21.
L. Colin. “Asiento Corrugado”. In Obras 457.11 (January 2011). p. 93.
R. Azpiroz. “Chick ‘n’ Egg”. In AD Architectural Digest Mexico Enero 2011 (January 2011). p. 19.
J. Seliakar. “Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair”. In Hise 62.10 (December 2010). p. 34.
D. Maguire. “Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair”. In Plan November/December 2010. p. 1,15.
B. Kraft. “Kunstbauwerk mit Dynamo”. In DBZ Deutsche Bauzeitschrift 9.07 (September 2007). p. 10.
P. Russel, D. Elger. “ – Hülle fürs Diplom”. In Bauwelt 35.04 (September 2004). p. 3.
S. Krüger. “Textile Architecture”. Jovis Verlag, Berlin, October 2009. p. 163.