Portrait of Dr Peter Buš

Dr Peter Buš

Digital Architecture Lecturer


Qualifications: PhD, Mgr. Art., Bc.

Peter Buš is a Lecturer in Digital Architecture at the Kent School of Architecture and Planning. He previously gained experience as a postdoctoral researcher and co-lecturer at the Chair of Information Architecture, Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. After he graduated with a Master of Arts in Architecture degree from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in Slovakia, he founded a design research platform Peter Buš | Architecture | Computational Design | Research, where he explores the usage of generative computer coding and advanced modelling techniques for architecture and urban environments. Prior to obtaining his PhD degree in Architecture Theory and Design from the Department of Architectural Modelling (MOLAB) at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Peter worked as a practicing architect and as a researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory SEC in Singapore. Peter is registered as a member of Slovak Chamber of Architects in Slovakia.

Research interests

In his research agenda Peter concentrates on the development of custom-based computational environments, design workflows and simulation strategies within the field of Responsive and Adaptive Cities focusing on end-users’ perspective. This includes the development of design frameworks for urban and participatory design activities and experimental modelling and building strategies for architecture. The scope of his research is mainly focused on the phenomenon of emergence within natural and built environments and how complex relational qualities influence forms of architecture and cities.

Research Grants

Richard Rogers Fellowship awarded by Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) in 2018. Large-scale Urban Prototyping for Responsive Urban Environments: Towards Distinctive and Customised Future Cities

Through the Richard Rogers Fellowship, Peter investigates potentialities of computation, digital fabrication methods, and prototyping practices for their applications of construction deliveries in large-scale urban contexts and their capacities to respond to citizens' necessities. Within this scope, the research aims to reveal, examine, and define to what extent the return of workshop models through digital making is capable to deal with large quantities of bespoke productions, considering the current advancements in a building industry and fabrication technologies as well as a position of citizens in on-site participation.


Module CodeModule TitleInformation
AR836Design 4ATutor
AR837Design 4BTutor
AR838Design 5ATutor
AR839Design 5BTutor


Possible PhD supervision areas include:

  • Computational and generative design methods for architecture
  • Emergence as a design strategy
  • Interactive urban design prototyping
  • Participatory design for responsive cities
  • Large-scale prototyping methods using automation and robotics


Design and Research Principal “Peter Buš | Architecture | Computational Design | Research” (www.archa3d.com)

Certified Architect and member of Slovak Chamber of Architects reg. n. AA 1872 (https://www.komarch.sk/)



  • Ojha, V., Griego, D., Kuliga, S., Bielik, M., Buš, P., Schaeben, C., Treyer, L., Standfest, M., Schneider, S., König, R., Donath, D. and Schmitt, G. (2019). Machine learning approaches to understand the influence of urban environments on human’s physiological response. Information Sciences [Online] 474:154-169. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ins.2018.09.061.
    This research proposes a framework for signal processing and information fusion of spatial-temporal multi-sensor data pertaining to understanding patterns of humans physiological changes in an urban environment. The framework includes signal frequency unification, signal pairing, signal filtering, signal quantification, and data labeling. Furthermore, this paper contributes to human-environment interaction research, where a field study to understand the influence of environmental features such as varying sound level, illuminance, field-of-view, or environmental conditions on humans’ perception was proposed. In the study, participants of various demographic backgrounds walked through an urban environment in Zürich, Switzerland while wearing physiological and environmental sensors. Apart from signal processing, four machine learning techniques, classification, fuzzy rule-based inference, feature selection, and clustering, were applied to discover relevant patterns and relationship between the participants’ physiological responses and environmental conditions. The predictive models with high accuracies indicate that the change in the field-of-view corresponds to increased participant arousal. Among all features, the participants’ physiological responses were primarily affected by the change in environmental conditions and field-of-view.
  • Miao, Y., König, R., Knecht, K., Konieva, K., Buš, P. and Chang, M. (2018). Computational urban design prototyping: Interactive planning synthesis methods—a case study in Cape Town. International Journal of Architectural Computing [Online] 16:212-226. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1478077118798395.
    This article is motivated by the fact that in Cape Town, South Africa, approximately 7.5 million people live in informal settlements and focuses on potential upgrading strategies for such sites. To this end, we developed a computational method for rapid urban design prototyping. The corresponding planning tool generates urban layouts including street network, blocks, parcels and buildings based on an urban designer’s specific requirements. It can be used to scale and replicate a developed urban planning concept to fit different sites. To facilitate the layout generation process computationally, we developed a new data structure to represent street networks, land parcellation, and the relationship between the two. We also introduced a nested parcellation strategy to reduce the number of irregular shapes generated due to algorithmic limitations. Network analysis methods are applied to control the distribution of buildings in the communities so that preferred neighbourhood relationships can be considered in the design process. Finally, we demonstrate how to compare designs based on various urban analysis measures and discuss the limitations that arise when we apply our method in practice, especially when dealing with more complex urban design scenarios.

Book section

  • Chang, M., Buš, P. and Schmitt, G. (2018). Feature Extraction and K-means Clustering Approach to Explore Important Features of Urban Identity. In: 2017 16th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA). IEEE, pp. 1139-1144. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICMLA.2017.00015.
    Public spaces play an important role in theprocesses of formation, generation and change of urban identity.Under present day conditions, the identities of cities are rapidlydeteriorating and vanishing. Therefore, the importance of urbandesign, which is a means of designing urban spaces and theirphysical and social aspects, is ever growing. This paper proposesa novel methodology by using Principle Component Analysis(PCA) and K-means clustering approach to find importantfeatures of the urban identity from public space. K. Lynch`s work and Space Syntax theory are reconstructed and integratedwith POI (Points of Interest) to quantify the quality of the publicspace. A case study of Zürich city is used to test of theseredefinitions and features of urban identity. The results showthat PCA and K-means clustering approach can identify theurban identity and explore important features. This strategycould help to improve planning and design processes andgeneration of new urban patterns with more appropriate featuresand qualities.
  • Koenig, R., Miao, Y., Knecht, K., Buš, P. and Chang, M. (2017). Interactive Urban Synthesis: Computational Methods for Fast Prototyping of Urban Design Proposals. In: Çağdaş, G., Özkar, M., Gül, L. and Gürer, E. eds. Computer-Aided Architectural Design. Future Trajectories: 17th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2017, Istanbul, Turkey, July 12-14, 2017, Selected Papers. Istanbul, Turkey: Springer, pp. 23-41. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5197-5_2.
    In this paper, we present a method for generating fast conceptual urban design prototypes. We synthesise spatial configurations for street networks, parcels and building volumes. Therefore, we address the problem of implementing custom data structures for these configurations and how the generation process can be controlled and parameterized. We exemplify our method by the development of new components for Grasshopper/Rhino3D and their application in the scope of selected case studies. By means of these components, we show use case applications of the synthesis algorithms. In the conclusion, we reflect on the advantages of being able to generate fast urban design prototypes, but we also discuss the disadvantages of the concept and the usage of Grasshopper as a user interface.
  • Berger, M., Buš, P., Cristie, V. and Kumar, A. (2015). CAD integrated workflow with urban simulation-design loop process. In: The Sustainable City X. WIT Press, pp. 11-22. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2495/SC150021.
    The urban space nowadays is considered as an aggregate of large amount of complex characteristics. Information collected by means of urban big data approaches play a crucial role in how to understand, interpret and model urban environments. Simulation models are the best solution for architects, urban planners and designers to integrate various information about urban complexity into the design process. The connection between several simulation approaches within one user interface is still a big challenge to make the design process faster, more accurate and visually convenient. The interface would be involved in the modelling process, pre-processing, simulation, post-processing and visualisation. A CAD integrated user interface is proposed where all these particular components are embedded into one system. The whole process would be based on a workflow loop whereby each component will be depending on the previous cycle. As a case-study of such a principle we establish an extendable modelling and simulation platform connected to a user through the game-engine Unity3D in order to achieve a robust interactive environment. The model platform operates with real urban conditions of an existing part of the city of Singapore and simulates the distribution of traffic’s heat within the investigated environment. Based on the simulation results the user can configure more proper spatial scenarios within the urban plan in different variations. The proposed system would help architects and urban planners to enhance their decision repertoire during the design phase and allows them taking into account more complex information about the urban entirety. The result of the research is therefore a computational decision-making tool with enhanced visual output.

Conference or workshop item

  • Chang, M., Buš, P., Tartar, A., Chirkin, A. and Schmitt, G. (2018). Big-Data Informed Citizen Participatory Urban Identity Design. In: Kepczynska-Walczak, A. and Bialkowski, S. eds. 36th Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europ Annual Conference (eCAADe 2018). Lodz University of Technology, pp. 679-688. Available at: http://papers.cumincad.org/cgi-bin/works/paper/ecaade2018_164.
    The identity of an urban environment is important because it contributes to self-identity, a sense of community, and a sense of place. However, under present-day conditions, the identities of expanding cities are rapidly deteriorating and vanishing, especially in the case of Asian cities. Therefore, cities need to build their urban identity, which includes the past and points to the future. At the same time, cities need to add new features to improve their livability, sustainability, and resilience. In this paper, using data mining technologies for various types of geo-referenced big data and combine them with the space syntax analysis for observing and learning about the socioeconomic behavior and the quality of space. The observed and learned features are identified as the urban identity. The numeric features obtained from data mining are transformed into catalogued levels for designers to understand, which will allow them to propose proper designs that will complement or improve the local traditional features. A workshop in Taiwan, which focuses on a traditional area, demonstrates the result of the proposed methodology and how to transform a traditional area into a livable area. At the same time, we introduce a website platform, Quick Urban Analysis Kit (qua-kit), as a tool for citizens to participate in designs. After the workshop, citizens can view, comment, and vote on different design proposals to provide city authorities and stakeholders with their ideas in a more convenient and responsive way. Therefore, the citizens may deliver their opinions, knowledge, and suggestions for improvements to the investigated neighborhood from their own design perspective.
  • Buš, P., Treyer, L. and Tartar, A. (2018). Customised Floating Neighbourhoods: Design Interfaces for Non-experts and Designers to explore Emergent Floating Formations. In: Huang, W., Williams, M., Luo, D., Wu, Y. and Lin, Y. eds. 23rd International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research: Learning, Prototyping and Adapting (CAADRIA 2018). The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), pp. 153-158.
    Urban water spaces, lakes and rivers have played a key role
    in socio-economic and spatial development of cities throughout centuries.
    There is an increasing trend in creating floating neighbourhoods
    and spaces on water worldwide. Design of floating urban spaces is complex;
    it requires incorporation of advanced computational tools to ensure
    correct interpretation of environmental conditions to make proper
    design decisions. In this study, we focus on an investigation of possibilities
    of floating neighbourhoods to adapt according to rapid changes
    of environments and demands of their end-users to address deeper engaging
    of non-experts in the decision and design processes. In so doing,
    we proposed modular assemblies as a floating neighbourhood, designed
    and tested computationally using advanced modelling techniques to address
    potentials of floating systems to grow and create formations in
    waterfront cities. In this paper we tested 2 possible spatial developments
    of floating configurations in order to understand non-experts’
    preferences captured from an in-house developed computational model
    in comparison with designer’s digital assembly strategies to deliver various
    emergent complex scenarios of urban development.
  • Buš, P., Hess, T., Treyer, L., Knecht, K. and Lu, H. (2017). On-site participation linking idea sketches and information technologies - User-driven Customised Environments. In: Fioravanti, A., Cursi, S., Elahmar, S., Gargaro, S., Loffreda, G., Novembri, G. and Trento, A. eds. 35th International Conference on Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe 2017). Rome, Italy: Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe), pp. 543-550.
    The paper introduces the methodology related to the topic of citizen-driven urban
    design and revises the idea of on-site participation of end-users, which could
    prospectively lead to customisation of architectural and urban space in a
    full-scale. The research in the first phase addresses the engagement of
    information technologies used for idea sketching in participatory design
    workshop related to local urban issues in the city of Chur in Switzerland by means
    of the Skity tool, the sketching on-line platform running on all devices. Skity
    allows user, which can be individual citizens or a community, to sketch, build, and
    adapt their ideas for the improvement of an urban locality. The participant is the
    expert of the locality because he or she lives in this place every day. The content
    of this paper is focused on the participatory design research project conducted as
    a study at the ETH Zürich and the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft HTW in
    Chur in collaboration with Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, mainly
    concentrated on the first step of the methodological approach introduced here.
  • Miao, Y., Koenig, R., Buš, P., Chang, M., Chirkin, A. and Treyer, L. (2017). Empowering Urban Design Prototyping: A Case Study in Cape Town with Interactive Computational Synthesis Methods. In: Janssen, P., Loh, P., Raonic, A. and Schnabel, M. eds. CAADRIA 2017: Protocols, Flows and Glitches. The 22nd Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia. The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), pp. 407-416. Available at: http://papers.cumincad.org/cgi-bin/works/Show?_id=caadria2017_058&sort=DEFAULT&search=%20Interactive%20Urban%20Synthesis&hits=3159.
    Although Cape Town city in South Africa is generally regarded as the most stable and prosperous city in the region, there are still approximately 7.5 million people living in informal settlements and about 2.5 million housing units are needed. This motivates the so-called Empower Shack project, aiming to develop upgrading strategies for these informal settlements. To facilitate the fulfilment of this project, urban design prototyping tools are researched and developed with the capabilities for fast urban design synthesis. In this paper we present a computational method for fast interactive synthesis of urban planning prototypes. For the generation of mock-up urban layouts, one hierarchical slicing structure, namely, the slicing tree is introduced to abstractly represent the parcels, as an extension of the existing generative method for street network. It has been proved that our methods can interactively assist the urban planning process in practice. However, the slicing tree data structure has several limitations that hinder the further improvement of the generated urban layouts. In the future, the development of a new data structure is required to fulfil urban synthesis for urban layout generation with Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimisation methods and evaluation strategies should be developed to verify the generated results.
  • Buš, P., Treyer, L. and Schmitt, G. (2017). Urban Autopoiesis: Towards Adaptive Future Cities. In: Janssen, P., Loh, P., Raonic, A. and Schnabel, M. eds. CAADRIA 2017 Protocols, Flows and Glitches. The 22nd International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia. The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), pp. 695-704. Available at: http://papers.cumincad.org/cgi-bin/works/Show?_id=caadria2017_057&sort=DEFAULT&search=Urban%20Autopoiesis&hits=1940.
    A city, defined as a unity of inhabitants with their environment and showing self-creating and self-maintaining properties, can be considered as an autopoietic system if we take into account its bottom-up processes with unpredictable behaviour of its components. Such a property can lead to self-creation of urban patterns. These processes are studied in well-known vernacular architectures and informal settlements around the world and they are able to adapt according to various conditions and forces. The main research objective is to establish a computational design-modelling framework for modelling autopoietic intricate characteristics of a city based on an adaptability, self-maintenance and self generation of urban patterns with adequate visual representation. The paper introduces a modelling methodology that allows to combine planning tasks with inhabitants` interaction and data sources by using an interchange framework to model more complex urban dynamics. The research yields preliminary results tested in a simulation model of a redevelopment of Tanjong Pagar Waterfront, the container terminal in the city of Singapore being transformed into a new future centre as a conducted case study.


  • Buš, P., Tartar, A., Wu, S. and Schmitt, G. (2018). Fish Trap - A floating Proto-assembly for Responsive Cities: Towards Citizen-Driven Customised Water Urban Spaces. [Fabricated pavillion]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000284060.
    Urban water spaces, lakes and rivers have an impact on the image of the city and have played a key role in the socioeconomic development of cities throughout the centuries. This positive trend makes the redevelopment of waterfronts an ideal test-bed for new concepts of citizen engagement and adaptive and responsive architectural designs. Unfortunately, waterfronts often change and change is activated from bottom-up, but even today, we can not actively engage the users in the design process. Hence, in this project, we will build a floating proto-architectural system, consisting of a set of simple pre-defined modules which can be assembled, re-assembled and assembled again in different configurations by the end users (citizens) on-site, leading to a diverse number of more complex architectural and spatial variants. Water, as a key environmental and architectural feature of a given space, will serve as a medium for adaptability, flexibility and interaction with the city. Our proto-assembly will behave like an ancient FISH TRAP; but this time in London, in waters of Thames; our novel fish trap will harness latest material, technological and computational achievements and digital fabrication methods together with robust architectural design practices. The users will transform the old design idea of simple fish trap to a unique proto-architecture.

Internet publication

  • Buš, P., Vlasák, T., Petrus, V. and Bou?il, P. (2016). Tokyo Pop Lab: Honorable Mention Layers Boxes in a 3D Visualization of Pop Culture [Internet Article]. Available at: http://www.archdaily.com/783875/tokyo-pop-lab-honorable-mention.
    The article presents the architectural design proposal of Tokyo Pop Culture Laboratory in Tokyo.


  • Abdulmawla, A., Bielik, M., Buš, P., Chang, M., Dennemark, M., Fuchkina, E., Miao, Y., Knecht, K., Koenig, R. and Schneider, S. (2017). DeCodingSpaces Toolbox for Grasshopper. Computational analysis and generation of Street network, Plots and Buildings. [Software package, Internet webpage]. Available at: http://decodingspaces-toolbox.org/.
    DeCodingSpaces Toolbox for Grasshopper is a collection of analytical and generative components for algorithmic architectural and urban planning. The toolbox is free software released by the Computational Planning Group (CPlan) and is a result of long term collaboration between academic institutions and praxis partners across the globe with the common goal to increase the efficiency and quality of architecture and urban planning.
  • Buš, P. and Ojha, V. (2017). Esum: Data Visualisation Tool. Data Visualisation of Human’s perception of Urban Environments. [Code protocol]. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11850/221080.
    The program provides basic data visualization taken from external sources, like CSV files with captured number values. Each value is translated into the visual representation using Processing shapes. The program uses external libraries for the visualization, i.e. Plethora Library, Unfolding Map Library and ControlP5 for GUI. In this visualization, 21 participants are walking through a street in Zurich, and their representational stress feeling related to environment conditions is displayed. This is an amazing way to visualize and spot identification of the environmental influence on the perception of the participants. Each participant's data were processed using Ledlab, Pandas, and other signal processing tools.


  • Buš, P., Wu, S. and Tartar, A. (2019). On-site Participation for Proto-architectural Assemblies Encompassing Technology and Human Improvisation: “Fish Trap” and “Orchid” Architectural Interventions. Complexity.
    This research investigates the notion of builders’ on-site engagement to physically build architectural interventions based on their demands, spatial requirements and collaborative improvisation, enhanced with the principles of uniqueness and bespoke solutions previously explored in computational models. The paper compares and discusses two physical installations as proto-architectural assemblies testing two different design and building approaches: the top-down predefined designers’ scenario contrary to bottom-up unpredictable improvisation. It encompasses a building strategy based on the discrete pre-cut components assembled by builders themselves in situ. The paper evaluates both strategies in a qualitative observation and comparison defining advantages and limitations of top-down design strategy in comparison with decentralised bottom-up building system built by the builders themselves. As such, it outlines the position of a designer within the bottom-up building processes on-site. The paper argues that improvisation and builders’ direct engagement on-site leads to solutions that better reflect human needs and lower-tech building principles incorporated can deliver unpredictable, but convenient spatial scenarios.
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