So I was spending some more time thinking about Ian Grigg’s choice to pair a 50-peso note with the 100 Euro note in the flower currency video.
I do think this is encoded. The note he shows features Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican Independence movement Jose Maria Morelos. The town where he was born was renamed for him - Morelia, which happens to be the base of operations of Derek Broze in Mexico.
It is also the site of an 18th century aqueduct - water.
In the fall of 2021 Mexico introduced new artwork for the 50-peso note that won awards for being the most beautiful bank note in the world. It featured an axolotl a rare salamander that lives most of its life as a juvenile.
Julian Huxley did research into metamorphosis of the axolotl looking at manipulating its thyroid. Thyroid research has long used radioactive isotope tracking. It was around that time that he helped start up the biology department at Rice University. For a short time Huxley and Norbert Weiner were room mates in Houston.
I am linking Ian Grigg’s statements on the beauty of money to Eisenstein’s “Sacred Economics” and Celo’s push for “beautiful money.” Celo also imprints the word “prosper,” which to my thinking could be a reference to Prospero (like Nvidia’s MAYA programming software) the grand illusion.
All of these stories that are being woven around social impact tokenization of “public good” will enmesh us in perpetual soul harvest where are vital energies are used to run the machine.
I think corn is a part of this, too based on the research I did around Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program and the slashed tortilla subiside.
If axolotl is a stand-in for metamorphosis, then corn is target number one for genetic re-programming, an attempt to undue or pervert the central feature of Mayan cosmology. Which brings us back to the Dresden Codex @stephers.
Morelia is a center of quantum physics and radio astronomy, too. @leo
Curious if you can follow this line of thinking…or I am just too out there?
I don’t know - does that look like a black sun on that bill?
Further thought on axolotls: they can metamorphose into “proper” land-dwelling adults, but this is very rare. The great majority of them don’t exactly live their lives as juveniles, but rather exhibit neoteny, which means that though they retain certain juvenile body features, and continue living in water, they become sexually mature. So you have a symbol of an adult living as, and looking like, a juvenile. The original note featured butterflies, which undergo a complete metamorphosis.
I remember seeing a wall shrine to the origins of radioiodine therapy at MGH, when I was there debating nuking my own “toxic multi-nodular” thyroid. I was given the option of RAI or surgery. I opted for surgery which seemed scarier but safer, given the increased likelihood of developing kidney cancer, post RAI, later in life. It seems now, twelve years later, my thyroid is growing back, and I welcome it with relief. The thyroid is also, fittingly, shaped like a butterfly.
ADDON. Version 1.0. Released on 2021-May-19. Provides 65 components. Created by Mathias Bernhard. Features 0 video tutorials.
AXOLOTL provides a set of components for volumetric modeling in Rhino Grasshopper. They work based on the principle of signed distance functions (SDF). In boundary representations (BRep), objects are defined by vertices connected by edges and faces. In function representations (FRep), objects are defined by a function f that maps any point (x,y,z) to a real value d, the distance to the objects: f(x,y,z)=d The components are organized in groups. A typical workflow is to choose objects from PRIMITIVES, combine them using e.g. Boolean operations from COMBINATIONS, add further MODIFICATIONS as necessary and finally visualize the distance object using a component from the MESHING tab. Furthermore, there are different kinds of LATTICES, some MATH functions, components to convert Rhino GEOMETRY into an SDF and some utilities to ANALYSE the SDF.
Dr. Mathias Bernhard is a Research Associate at PSL. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. Before that, he was a postdoc at Digital Building Technologies, ETH Zurich. He holds a Doctor of Sciences (Dr. sc.) in Architecture from ETH Zurich. His thesis, “Domain Transforms in Architecture – Encoding and Decoding of Cultural Artefacts,” draws a map of the variegated field of CAD and investigates the implications of alternative models of abstraction and their creative potential. He is an architect with a profound specialization in computational design, digital fabrication, and information technology. He is particularly interested in how artifacts can be encoded, made machine-readable, and digitally operational. His research focuses on what computational design instruments can fully harvest the potential of recent developments in digital fabrication, more specifically, additive manufacturing. He is the developer of various volumetric modeling packages that employ function representation and signed distance fields as an alternative to the more widely known boundary representation for three-dimensional geometry.
Doctor of sciences (Dr. sc.) ETH Zurich, Department of Architecture
Domain Transforms in Architecture - Encoding and Decoding of Cultural Artefacts
supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt, Computer Aided Archiectural Design CAAD, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich
co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. Olga Sorkine-Hornung, Interactive Geometry Lab IGL, Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich
Master of Advanced Studies in Computer Aided Architectural Design MAS CAAD, ETH Zurich
Influence of the Topography on Computationally Generated Urban Structures
supervisor: Markus Braach and Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt
Studies in architecture at ETH Zurich, Graduation: Master of Science MSc / Diploma in Architecture, supervisor: Prof. Gregor Eichinger
Mathias Bernhard Dr. sc. ETH Zurich Dipl. Arch ETH / MAS CAAD
Postdoctoral reseacher at the chair for Digital Building Technologies DBT, ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger
Research and teaching assistant at DBT
Visiting lecturer for “Introduction to Python and BIM Programming for Architects” at CAS digital : Certificate of Advanced Studies, Prof. Sacha Menz, ETH Zurich
Visiting lecturer for “Digital Fabrication” at the Object Design studies programme at the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne HSLU, in collaboration with Yves Ebnöther
Research and teaching assistant at the chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design caad, ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt
Project architect and CAAD specialist in the interdisciplinary planning team for Arch_Tec_Lab, home of the Institute
of Technology in Architecture ITA on the ETH campus Hönggerberg
Research and teaching assistant at the chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design CAAD, ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Ludger Hovestadt
Freelance specialist planner for computational design and digital fabrication in collaboration with various architecture and design practices
Research, teaching and technical assistant at the Rapid Architectural Prototyping Laboratory RAPLAB, ETH Zurich
Internship at Bauart Architects, Berne
Studies in architecture at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, Graduation: Bachelor of Science BSc
Maths- and Economy Highschool Berne-Kirchenfeld
Ongoing Research Projects
online archive and database of building floorplans, as an augmented search engine with graphical queries, design reference system and basis for artificial intelligence and machine learning research in architecture
innovative teaching project Innovedum, funded by ETH grant
realtime topology optimization with generative adversarial networks, trained with image pairs of boundary conditions as input and topology optimization as output
compas_vol Volumetric modelling package for COMPAS, the computational design framework for architecture,
engineering, fabrication and construcion (AEFC)
role: lead developer, start:2018, supported by the National Centre for Competence in Research on Digital Fabrication NCCR dfab.ch, compas-dev.github.io
compas_terrain Computational terrain modelling for large scale landscape design
role: main developer with Ilmar Hurkxkens, start: 2018, collaboration with the chair for landscape architecture, Prof. Christophe Girot
Coral Reefs 3D modelling, printing and flow channel testing of suitable geometries for artificial coral reef restoration
with marine biologist Ulrike Pfreundt, Institute of Environmental Engineering IfU, Groundwater and Hydromechanics GWH, ETH Zurich
Smart Slab lightweight concrete slab in the DFAB House, fabricated with 3D printed formwork
role: design software development for form generation, finite element analysis, software interoperability pipeline, start: 2016, end 2019, NCCR dfab and EMPA, dfabhouse.ch
Axolotl Volumetric modelling plug-in for Rhino Grasshopper, role: lead developer, concept, design, programming
Incidental Space Swiss pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, architect: Christian Kerez, curator: Sandra Oehy
role: virtual reality application for the planning process, visibility analysis for light source distribution
Arch_Tec_Lab research in the architectural planning, fabrication and construction of the future
role: architect, computational and parametric design specialist, start 2010, end 2016, client: ETH Zurich
Gugelmann a novel approach to curation, browsing and online Galaxy presentation of art collections
role: lead developer, initial prototype in collaboration with Jorge Orozco, Nikola Marinčić and Sonja Gasser, 2015 - 2016
The following list contains a selection of projects I realised beside my research activity, as a freelance architect and computational design specialist, in collaboration with architecture and design practices. They all have in common an initial design idea by the architect, whose realisation and successful digital fabrication would not have been possible without the aid of bespoke software tools, custom-tailored to the clients’ and projects’ needs.
Les Ateliers : CNC milled exhibition booth cladding panels for Basel World (“world’s foremost show for watches, jewellery, precious stones and related industries”), role: design software tool development and manufacturer specific post-processor, with Dany Waldner AG, 2016 - 2017
NZZ canteen : CNC die-cut interior cladding panels, automation of production data generation, with Karen Rohwedder, 2007 - 2008
ARCH / SCAPES : Swiss pavilion for the 7th international architecture biennial in Sao Paulo, design software tool development, with HHF Architekten GmbH and ZMIK Designers, Basel, 2007
ETH Zurich - Digital Building Technologies DBT
The master of advanced studies program MAS in Architecture and Digital Fabrication (masdfab.com) is jointly organised by Gramazio Kohler Research (GKR) and the chair for Digital Building Technologies (DBT). It is the educational program of the National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication.
Teaching at doctoral level
PhD seminar 2019: title: Introduction to Computational Research in Architecture, Engineering, Fabrication and Construction, with Tom Van Mele (Block Research Group BRG), Romana Rust and Gonzalo Casas (Gramazio Kohler Research GKR), introduction to the compas framework with modules on form finding, robotic fabrication, volumetric modelling and 3d printing
Supervision of 6 final thesis
MAS dfab 2019: title: Computational Clay Coral City - An investigation in robotic aggregation of clay for the design and fabrication of engineeredcoral reefs, students: Eleni Skevaki and Nicolas Feihl, supervision: Mathias Bernhard, Marie Griesmar (artist, ETH Library Lab), David Jenny and Jesus Medina (GKR)
MAS dfab 2019: title: Generative Modelling with Design Constraints - Reinforcement Learning for Furniture Generation, student: Yuta Akizuki, supervision: Mathias Bernhard, Marirena Kladeftira, Reza Kakooee and Benjamin Dillenburger
MAS dfab 2018: title: Numerical Sculpting of in place Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing connections, student: Ioanna Mitropoulou, supervision: Inés Ariza (GKR) and Mathias Bernhard
MAS dfab 2017: title: Acoustic Mirrors, students: Marirena Kladeftira and Maria Pachi, supervision: Benjamin Dillenburger, Demetris Shammas and Mathias Bernhard
Bachelor in civil engineering 2017: title: 3D-printed Concrete Canoe; students: Moritz Studer, Oliver Wach and Kathrin Ziegler; supervision: PCBM: Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt, Nicolas Ruffray, Heinz Richner, Dr. Timothy Wangler, DBT: Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Andrei Jipa, Mathias Bernhard
Bachelor in civil engineering 2016: title: 3D Sand-Printed High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Concrete Hybrid Structures, students: Neil Montague de Taisne and Felix Stutz, supervision: PCBM: Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt, Nicolas Ruffray, DBT: Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Mathias Bernhard
Teaching at master of advanced studies level, MAS
Lecture and exercise; title: Introduction to Python programming, computational geometry and 3D printing; trimester 1 of a one-year full time program (2016 - 2019)
Lecture and exercise, title: Smart Brick – volumetric modelling (2017 - 2019) Teaching at master level, department of architecture
drums and percussion, fitness, running, hiking with my labrador Paula
List of Publications
Bernhard, Mathias. 2019. “Domain Transforms in Architecture - Encoding and Decoding of Cultural Artefacts.” ETH Zurich. https://doi.org/10.3929/ ethz-b-000381227.
Bernhard, Mathias, Michael Hansmeyer, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2018. “Volumetric Modelling for 3D Printed Architecture.” In AAG - Advances in Architectural Geometry, edited by Lars Hesselgren, Axel Kilian, Olga Sorkine Hornung, Samar Malek, Karl-Gunnar Olsson, and Christopher John Kenneth Williams, 392–415. Göteborg, Sweden: Klein Publishing GmbH. Advances in Architectural Geometry 2018.
Bernhard, Mathias. 2016. “Gugelmann Galaxy: An Unexpected Journey through a Collection of Schweizer Kleinmeister.” Edited by Harald Klinke and Liska Surkemper. International Journal for Digital
Art History Visualizin (2): 95–113. https://doi.org/10.11588/ dah.2016.2.23250.
Bernhard, Mathias, Nikola Marinčić, and Jorge Orozco. 2015. “ANY-FOLD: On Curation, Literacy & Space.” Trans curated (27): 84–87.
Bernhard, Mathias. 2013. “Frequency Analysis of Wood Textures.” In ECAADe 31 - Computation and Performance, edited by Rudi Stouffs and SevilSariyildiz, 1:597–603. Delft, NL.
Bernhard, Mathias. 2013. “Frequencies of Wood - Designing in Abstract Domains.” In Design Modelling Symposium. Berlin.
Akizuki, Yuta, Mathias Bernhard, Reza Kakooee, Marirena Kladeftira, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2020. “Generative Modelling with Design Constraints: Reinforcement Learning for Furniture Generation.” In CAADRIA. Bangkok, Thailand. (unpublished)
Mitropoulou, Ioanna, Inés Ariza, Mathias Bernhard, Benjamin Dillenburger, Fabio Gramazio, and Matthias Kohler. 2019. “Numerical Sculpting
Volumetric Modelling Tools for in Place Spatial Additive Manufacturing.” In DMSB - Impact: Design with All Senses. Springer.
Kladeftira, Marirena, Maria Pachi, Mathias Bernhard, Demetris Shammas,
and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2019. “Design Strategies for a 3D Printed Acoustic Mirror.” In Intelligent & Informed: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA 2019), 1:123–32. Wellington, New Zealand: https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch:443/ handle/20.500.11850/340650.
Hurkxkens, Ilmar, and Mathias Bernhard. 2019. “Computational Terrain Modeling with Distance Functions for Large Scale Landscape Design.” Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture, no. 4.
Meibodi, M.A., A. Jipa, R. Giesecke, D. Shammas, M. Bernhard, M. Leschok, K. Graser, and B. Dillenburger. 2018. “Smart Slab: Computational Design and Digital Fabrication of a Lightweight Concrete Slab.” In Recalibration on Imprecision and Infidelity - Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2018.
Kladeftira, M., D. Shammas, M. Bernhard, and B. Dillenburger. 2018. “Printing Whisper Dishes: Large-Scale Binder Jetting for Outdoor Installations.” In Recalibration on Imprecision and Infidelity - Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2018.
for Outdoor Installations.” In ACADIA 2018: Re/Calibration: On Imprecision and Infidelity, edited by Andrew John Anzalone, Phillip; Del Signore, Marcella; Wit, 328–35. Mexico City, Mexico.
Ruffray, Nicolas, Mathias Bernhard, Andrei Jipa, Mania Meibodi, Neil de Taisne, Felix Stutz, Timothy Wangler, Robert Flatt, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2017. “Complex Architectural Elements From Hpfrc
and 3D Printed Sandstone.” In RILEM Symposium on Ultra-
High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Concrete, edited by François Toutlemonde and Jacques Resplendino, 1:135–44. Montpellier, France: Association Française de Génie Civil (AFGC).
Jipa, Andrei, Mathias Bernhard, Nicolas Ruffray, Timothy Wangler, Robert Flatt, Benjamin Dillenburger, and Mathias Bernhard. 2017. “SkelETHon Formwork 3D Printed Plastic Formwork for Load-Bearing Concrete Structures.” XXI Congreso Internacional de La Sociedad Iberoamericana de Gráfica Digital 3 (12): 345–52. https://doi.org/10.5151/ sigradi2017-054.
Jipa, Andrei, Mathias Bernhard, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2017. “Submillimeter Formwork. 3D Printed Plastic Formwork for Concrete Elements.” In TxA Emerging Design + Technology, edited by Kory Bieg, 9. Austin, Texas, USA: Texas Society of Architects.
Aghaei-Meibodi, Mania, Mathias Bernhard, Andrei Jipa, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2017. “The Smart Takes from the Strong.” In Fabricate, edited by Bob Sheil, Achim Menges, Ruairi Glynn, and Skavara Marilena, 210–17. London: UCL Press. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.14324/111. 9781787350014.
Aghaei Meibodi, Mania, Mathias Bernhard, Andrei Jipa, and Benjamin Dillenburger. 2017. “The Smart Takes from the Strong 3D Printing Stay- in-Place Formwork for Cocrete Slab Construction.” In FABRICATE, edited by Achim Menges, Bob Sheil, Ruairi Glynn, and Marilena Skavara, 3:210–17. Stuttgart: UCL Press.
Jipa, Andrei, Benjamin Dillenburger, and Mathias Bernhard. 2017. “SkelETHon Formwork 3D Printed Plastic Formwork for Load-Bearing Concrete Structures.” In XXI Congreso Internacional de La Sociedad Iberoamericana de Gráfica Digital, 3:345–52. São Paulo: Blucher.
Girot, Christophe, Mathias Bernhard, Yves Ebnöther, Pia Fricker, Alexandre Kapellos, and James Melsom. 2010. “Towards a Meaningful Usage
of Digital CNC Tools within the Field of Large-Scale Landscape Architecture.” In Future Cities: 28th ECAADe Conference Proceedings, 371–78. Zurich, Switzerland: ETH Zurich.
Masoud Akbarzadeh is a designer with academic background and experience in architectural design, computation, and structural engineering. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture focusing on Structures and Advanced Technologies and the Polyhedral Structures Laboratory (PSL) director. He holds a D.Sc. from the Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich where was a research assistant in the Block Research Group. In addition, he has two degrees from MIT: a Master of Science in Architecture Studies (Computation) and a MArch, the thesis for which earned him the renowned SOM award. He also has a degree in Earthquake Engineering and Dynamics of Structures from the Iran University of Science and Technology and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. His main research topic is Three-Dimensional Graphical Statics, a novel geometric method of structural design in three dimensions. In 2020, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award to extend the methods of 3D/Polyhedral Graphic Statics for Education, Design, and Optimization of High-Performance Structures. He is also a Co-PI in a $4.6 million grant funded by National Science Foundation to investigate high-performance, self-Morphing building blocks across scales toward a Sustainable Future. Has also received a $2.4 Million ARPA-E Grant to Research the Design of Carbon-Negative Buildings starting September 2022.
Mexico’s 100 Peso GUARDIAN™ Polymer Banknote Wins ‘Banknote of the Year’ Award
Mexico’s new 100 peso GUARDIANTM polymer bill has beaten more than 100 other candidates to win the prestigious “Banknote of the Year Award” for 2020, awarded by the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).
The new 100 peso banknote is the latest in a long line of polymer banknotes issued by the Mexican central bank. The first – a 20 peso note – was unveiled in September 2002, with a redesigned note issued 5 years later. The series will also feature 20 peso and 50 peso notes to be issued later. Once the latest ‘G Series’ of notes is complete, the bank estimates that polymer will be used in around 2 billion notes in circulation in the country. This represents around 30% of the total volume of notes in circulation.
Banco de México was both the printer and issuer of the award-winning design banknote. The vertical format note is printed on CCL Secure’s world-leading GUARDIAN polymer, which is currently used for more than 170 denominations and 75 billion banknotes issued by over 25 countries.
The award-winning note features one of Mexico’s national heroines, the writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The reverse “piece de resistance” image features the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a renowned temperate forest ecosystem. The design continues to highlight Mexican cultural and historic characteristics with new graphic motifs. The banknote also features significantly improved security features as part of the transition to GUARDIAN. Polymer banknotes continue to be popular IBNS favourites.
From all significant newly designed and widely circulated banknotes released in 2020, the 2000 members of IBNS nominated notes from 22 different countries, drawn from 5 continents – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America – as well as Central America, three island nations, and the Middle East.
Polymer is always popular with IBNS members, and Mexico’s award-winning entry is seen as providing a template as other countries reconsider how they design and promote new banknotes.
CCL Secure’s Director of R&D, Marketing and Design, Dr. Tim Berridge, commented: “Naturally, we’re delighted that Banco de México’s new 100 peso GUARDIAN polymer banknote has won this award. Such an innovative and beautifully designed banknote is a testament to the Bank. It’s also recognition of all hard work and support provided the CCL Secure team based at our production facilities in Queretaro and our design team in Melbourne. They helped to bring the Bank’s design concepts to stunning reality.”
As well as operating GUARDIAN polymer production facilities at Queretaro in Mexico, which form the basis of a longstanding relationship with Banco de Mexico, CCL Secure recently opened a purpose-built recycling centre in Zacapu, in the Mexican state of Michoacán. As with all GUARDIAN polymer banknotes, the new 100 peso note starts life as polymer pellets which are then transformed into the GUARDIAN polymer substrate film. Once the banknotes have completed their working life, they can be recycled by turning them back into polymer pellets. These are used for a wide range of products, including outdoor furniture and building materials.
Powerful Security Features
The unique manufacturing process that creates GUARDIAN™ polymer banknotes makes them inherently more secure than paper alternatives. In addition, CCL Secure has created and developed a range of additional security features to provide even higher barriers to counterfeiters. Our team is constantly researching new innovations and technologies. Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.
CINEMA is a stunning and memorable feature that provides depth and movement. The sheer complexity of its construction – with GUARDIAN at its core – inhibits counterfeiting and provides a secure store of value. Read more about CINEMA here.
This Optically Variable Device (OVD) reveals a hidden image when a light source is shone though the GUARDIAN window. ECLIPSE is a highly secure level 2 feature for the public and retailers.
VIVID is a family of level 2 security features that enables fluorescent and IR authentication to be integrated with the substrate design.
G-SWITCH is a visually overt feature that helps to create public confidence in billions of banknotes around the world. The easy to detect feature changes colour when tilted or when viewed in reflection and transmission.
AURORA uses the colour switch effect of two inks that have the unique effect of being similar in reflection but differ when viewed in transmission. This gives the public a fast and efficient method of authentication.
METALIX provides a metallic sheen in a range of colours adding to the impact of an image within the design, as well as offering exceptional durability.
CAMEO uses the GUARDIAN window and is a complex, secure and intuitive feature that can be viewed in reflection, transmission and on both sides of the banknote.
VIGNETTE is an effective alternative to a multi-tonal, mould-made water mark, that is visible in reflection and transmission.
Building Resilient Circular Economy
Circulor’s traceability solution will permit Recycling Technologies and TotalEnergies to track the recycled plastic waste and confirm compliance with predefined manufacturing parameters, such as elapsed time, mass balance calculations, responsible sourcing standards, or energy usage.
The industrial partnership is supported by the UK government’s innovation agency Innovate UK., with expectations that the novel technology will ensure transparency over the origin and the quality of materials entering and exiting recycling and manufacturing facilities.
The ultimate goal of the TrackCycle project is to link plastic waste suppliers, plastic recyclers, polymer manufacturers, and consumer goods companies together into a closed-loop plastic waste recycling ecosystem.
My guess is that polymer currency is already blockchain-enabled, so they get their blockchain either way…