Job title: Lecturer, Design and Digital Fabrication

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5790


Office address: Minto House

Research outputs: Dr.-Ing. Cristina Nan on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Cristina is a lecturer in Digital Fabrication and Design at ESALA. She studied architecture at the Technical University Munich and the University of Bath. She finished her PhD at the HafenCity University in Hamburg. Her PhD focuses on architectural robotics, the Digital Turn in architecture and the implications of the digitalisation of the discipline with regard to aspects of craft and the discipline’s identity. The doctoral research focuses on both the theoretical context and applied case studies. During her PhD Cristina attended the Open Thesis Fabrication Programme at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and worked as a researcher at the robotic project ‘Minibuilders’, which was widely published and exhibited. She has studied architecture at the Technical University Munich and the University of Bath.

Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, Cristina has worked in a series of architectural practices in Munich and Hamburg. Currently, Cristina is teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, offering courses for 2nd and 4th year students on the Architecture - BA/MA programme at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the Material Practice - MSc.

She specialises in digital fabrication, architectural robotics, additive manufacturing and algorithmic design. Cristina explores algorithmic design, digital fabrication and material systems as interdependent parameters in order to support the design process and the further evolution of the discipline. Simultaneously, the theoretical discourse in terms of the history of the Digital Turn in architecture and future of computational design is seen by Cristina as an essential component and a main driver of the discipline’s further evolution. A coherent architectural discourse and debate is a key component in offering a correct interoperation of the potential of digital tool, both for design and fabrication.

Besides her focus on digital fabrication, Cristina follows a strong line of investigation related to the socio-economic, geo-political and urban-territorial implications of the gas and oil industry in relation to the renewables energy sector, focussing primarily on offshore energy systems. In relation to this, her current research focuses on the Lithium-triangle, specifically Chile, and the Orkney archipelago.​

Based on Cristina’s research experience, she is interested in a cross-disciplinary research approach between Architecture, Science and Engineering:

  • Integrated Digital Design & Process Innovation
  • Parametric-Algorithmic Automated Modelling and Fabrication
  • Custom Designed Structures with Parametric-Algorithmic Systems
  • Development of Material-Specific Design Concepts
  • Automated Fabrication and Assembly
  • Customised Prefabrication: Robotic Fabrication
  • Robotics and Programmable Matter in Construction
  • Robotic Material Depositing Strategies
  • Building Strategies for On-Site Robotic Construction
  • Additive Fabrication & Multimaterial Printing, Material Depositing Strategies
  • Renewables Offshore Energy Systems ​ correlated infrastructures and their territorial, urban and socio-cultural impact
  • Lithium-Triangle [predominantly Chile]
  • Industrial and Digital Infrastructures  Territorial, Urban & Socio-Cultural Impact
  • Smart Cities — How smart is smart?
  • Smart & Inclusive Cities
  • Smart Cities & Human activity patterns, sensors, Internet of Things​

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.

  • Digital Turn - Theory
  • Computational Design
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Lithium Triangle
  • Industrial, Digital Infrastructures and Territory
  • Smart Cities