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SCI-Arc’s Close-up Exhibit Explores the Potential of Digital Technologies on Architectural Detail

12:00 - 14 May, 2016
SCI-Arc’s Close-up Exhibit Explores the Potential of Digital Technologies on Architectural Detail, SCI-Arc's "Close-up" Exhibtion Explores Architectural Detail in an age of digital manufacturing and design. Image © Joshua White
SCI-Arc's "Close-up" Exhibtion Explores Architectural Detail in an age of digital manufacturing and design. Image © Joshua White

SCI-Arc’s “Close-up” exhibition is currently on display at the SCI-Arc gallery, featuring architectural details designed with the use of digital technology by top architects in the field. The exhibit, curated by Hernan Diaz Alonso and David Ruy, seeks to explore the impact of new computational tools not only on large-scale building analysis, but also on the “traditions of tectonic expression” associated with architectural detail.

“Out of the many critical shifts that the discipline has gone through in the last 25 years with the explosion of new technologies and digital means of production, the notion of the construction detail has been largely overlooked,” Diaz Alonso said. “This show attempts to shed light on the subject of tectonic details by employing a fluid and dynamic movement of zooming in and zooming out in the totality of the design.”

The 16 exhibitors include architecture firms like Morphosis, Gehry Partners and UN Studio – see preview images of them all after the break.

By UN Studio. Image © Joshua White By Gehry Partners. Image © Joshua White By P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. Image © Joshua White By Tom Wiscombe Architecture. Image © Joshua White +37

Open Call: BEE / HOUSE / LAB: International Design Competition

12:02 - 4 March, 2016
Open Call: BEE / HOUSE / LAB: International Design Competition

 

BEE / HOUSE / LAB, is an international design competition open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and other related fields. The competition calls for a design of a bee house prototype that can be fabricated and deployed for field testing. Up to ten designs selected by the Design Jury will be fabricated (30 prototypes per design) and deployed (300 houses), to study their space-form-habitat performances. 

 

Gramazio Kohler's Robotic Arm Creates an Elegant Twisting Brick Facade

14:00 - 22 July, 2015

Advances in computers and fabrication technology have allowed architects to create fantastic designs with relative ease that in years past would likely require the labor of countless master craftsmen. Architecture firms like Gramazio Kohler Architects are known for their innovative approach to digital fabrication, adapting technology from a variety of fields. To create this stunning new brick façade for Keller AG Ziegeleien, Gramazio Kohler used an innovative robotic manufacturing process called “ROBmade,” which uses a robot to position and glue the bricks together. 

Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler +15

Digitized Stone: ZAarchitects Develop “Smart Masonry”

09:30 - 13 March, 2015
Digitized Stone: ZAarchitects Develop “Smart Masonry”, Courtesy of ZAarchitects
Courtesy of ZAarchitects

When one hears the term masonry architecture, digital fabrication and automated construction processes are probably not the first ideas to come to mind. By its very nature, the architecture produced with stone masonry is often heavy, massive, and incorporates less natural light than alternative methods. However, with their research proposal for "Smart Masonry," ZAarchitects are proposing to change masonry buildings as we know them and open opportunities for digital fabrication techniques in stone and other previously antiquated materials. Read on after the break to get a glimpse of what these new masonry buildings could look like and learn more about the process behind their construction.

Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects Courtesy of ZAarchitects +11

Tel Aviv Museum Of Art Examines The International Circulation Of Prefab Concrete Panels

05:00 - 23 February, 2015
Tel Aviv Museum Of Art Examines The International Circulation Of Prefab Concrete Panels, © Elad Sarig
© Elad Sarig

Between 1945 and 1981 around 170 million prefabricated (prefab) residential units were constructed worldwide. Now, as part of a study undertaken by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2012 and 2014, an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art features 28 large concrete panel systems from between 1931 and 1981. In so doing, it explores a transnational circulation of these objects of construction, "weaving them into a historical collage of ambitions and short-lived enthusiasm for utopian dreams."

This show, curated by Meira Yagid-Haimovici, is an attempt to reveal "how architecture and urbanism was charged with historical, social, and political narratives, and how the modernist vision promoted the fusion of aesthetics and politics." The models, which are being exhibited as part of the Production Routes exhibition, seek to highlight the richness embodied in 'generic' architecture through the lens of prefab construction methods.

Symposium: Model Making In The Digital Age

00:00 - 17 February, 2015
Symposium: Model Making In The Digital Age, Courtesy of University of Manchester / SEED
Courtesy of University of Manchester / SEED

An upcoming conference at the University of Manchester will tackle the idea of Model Making In The Digital Age. Based on the premise that the world of architecture is dominated by digital tools today more than ever, from design and manufacturing to the ways in which we visualise complex spaces and structures physically and virtually, this symposium seeks to shed new light on the practice of model making and its uses.

5-Axis Milling: The Next Level In Accessible, Versatile Digital Fabrication

00:00 - 16 October, 2014

The 5AXISMAKER is a desktop 5-axis multi-fabrication CNC machine that hopes to expand the possibilities of digital fabrication by making it cheap and more versatile. Should the project receive backing on Kickstarter before the 27th October 2014, the possibility of 5-axis milling will become an affordable reality for manufacturing complex design prototypes. The product in development "provides a large cutting volume for it’s size, therefore producing "generously sized objects." Developed by graduates of London's Architectural Association, they hope to "shake the manufacturing world with new ways of fabricating using industrial robots right at your desk."

A Practical Study in the Discipline of Architectural Modelmaking

01:00 - 6 October, 2014
A Practical Study in the Discipline of Architectural Modelmaking, Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers
Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers

Why do we make models? From sketch maquettes and detail tests to diagrammatic and presentation models, the discipline of physically crafting ideas to scale is fundamental to the architect's design process. For architect and educator Nick Dunn, architectural models ultimately "enable the designer to investigate, revise and further refine ideas in increasing detail until such a point that the project's design is sufficiently consolidated to be constructed." In Dunn's second edition of his practical guide and homage to the architectural model, the significance and versatility of this medium is expertly visualised and analysed in a collection of images, explanations, and case studies.

Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers Courtesy of Laurence King Publishers +5

Endesa World Fab Condenser / MARGEN-LAB

01:00 - 24 September, 2014
Endesa World Fab Condenser  / MARGEN-LAB, © Adrià Goula
© Adrià Goula
  • Architects

  • Location

    Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 08013 Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Project Architects

    Daniel Ibáñez, Rodrigo Rubio
  • Collaborator

    FAB LAB NETWORK
  • Client

    IAAC, ENDESA
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

© Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula +41

An Interview With Materials And Rapid Prototyping Specialist Krista Ninivaggi

00:00 - 30 July, 2014
An Interview With Materials And Rapid Prototyping Specialist Krista Ninivaggi, A light pendant developed by Ninivaggi for the vault space at Barclay's. Ninivaggi produced a full-scale mockup of the piece to convince the client of the design. Image Courtesy of Miho Aikawa and SHoP
A light pendant developed by Ninivaggi for the vault space at Barclay's. Ninivaggi produced a full-scale mockup of the piece to convince the client of the design. Image Courtesy of Miho Aikawa and SHoP

Named the 2014 Designer of The Year by Contract Magazine, Krista Ninivaggi of K & Co is an expert in material innovation. In the following interview, Susan S. Szenasy of Metropolis Magazine asks the young designer about her design process, the materials she uses and more. 

VIDEO: "Bionic" Architecture That Moves When You Do

00:00 - 26 May, 2014

The Brooklyn based firm The Principals are known for their interactive design, industrial design and installation work. The video above hi-lights their latest "bionic" installation, which actually responds and reacts to human movement thanks to myoelectric sensors that pick up voltage increases on the skin when a muscle contracts. To learn more head over to their website - and make sure to check out all of The Principals other installations featured on ArchDaily. 

The Depreciating Value of Form in the Age of Digital Fabrication

00:00 - 13 April, 2014
The Depreciating Value of Form in the Age of Digital Fabrication, The ICD / ITKE Research Pavilion 2011, demonstrating an example of a Voronoi diagram at work. Image © ICD / ITKE University of Stuttgart
The ICD / ITKE Research Pavilion 2011, demonstrating an example of a Voronoi diagram at work. Image © ICD / ITKE University of Stuttgart

In this article, originally appearing on the Australian Design Review as "Tolerance and Customisation: a Question of Value", Michael Parsons argues that the complex forms made possible by digital fabrication may soon be victims of their own popularity, losing their intrinsic value as they become more common and the skill required to make them decreases.

The idea of tolerance in architecture has become a popular point of discussion due to the recent mainstreaming of digital fabrication. The improvements in digital fabrication methods are allowing for two major advancements: firstly, the idea of reducing the tolerance required in construction to a minimum (and ultimately zero) and secondly, mass customisation as a physical reality. Digital fabrication has made the broad-brushstroke approach to fabrication tolerance obsolete and now allows for unique elements and tolerance specific to each element. The accuracy that digital fabrication affords the designer, allows for the creation of more complex forms with greater ease and control. So far, this has had great and far reaching implications for design.

Read on to find out how this ease of form-making could diminish the success of complex forms. 

Autodesk Launches Foundation Aimed to Solve "Epic Design Challenges"

00:00 - 5 March, 2014
Autodesk Launches Foundation Aimed to Solve "Epic Design Challenges", Butaro Doctors’ Housing / MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan
Butaro Doctors’ Housing / MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan

Autodesk has launched the Autodesk Foundation, an organization which will "invest in and support the most impactful nonprofit organizations using the power of design to help solve epic challenges." In an effort to aid those tackling global issues such as "climate change, access to water, and healthcare," the foundation will provide select design-oriented grantees with software, training and financial support.

3xLP Winner of SKIN Digital Fabrication Competition

00:00 - 9 November, 2013
3xLP Winner of SKIN Digital Fabrication Competition, Courtesy of TEX-FAB
Courtesy of TEX-FAB

TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance’s 2013 international digital fabrication competition titled - SKIN is announcing the overall winner: 3xLP.

A total of 68 entries from across the globe representing 14 countries on 5 continents were narrowed down to 4 finalists and 4 honorable mentions in July by the First Round jury consisting of Phil Anzalone, Maria Mingallon, Gregg Pasquarelli, Randy Stratman, and Skylar Tibbits. The Second Round juried by James Carpenter, Neil Denari, Mic Patterson and William Zahner conferred and selected from the finalists 3xLP. All four finalists were  exhibited at the ACADIA Adaptive Architecture Conference at the University of Waterloo in October, 2013.

Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations

00:00 - 4 November, 2013
Puzzle-Piece Homes, A Solution for Rapidly Growing Populations, Courtesy of ECOnnect
Courtesy of ECOnnect

By now, we have all heard the mantra. In twenty years time, the world's cities will have grown from three to five billion people, forty percent of these urban dwellers will be living at or below the poverty line facing the constant threat of homelessness - scary statistics and even scarier implications. 

ECOnnect, a Holland-based design firm, envisions a solution for these future housing shortages, one that could build a one-million-inhabitant city per week for the next twenty years for $10,000 per family. Peter Stoutjesdijk, architect at ECOnnect, created the concept after widespread devastation in Haiti caused by a massive earthquake left of hundreds of thousands of people homeless depending on tents for temporary relief.

Robots, Cars and Architecture

00:00 - 15 October, 2013
Robots, Cars and Architecture, Robots assembling an Audi A3 © Courtesy of Audi
Robots assembling an Audi A3 © Courtesy of Audi

Since the dawn of the modern era, there has been a strong relationship between architecture and the car, especially in the works of Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier was fascinated by his car (the Voisin C7 Lumineuse); the aesthetics of this functional, mass produced machine deeply influenced his designs. Its focus on function translated into his concept that houses should be "machines for living" and inspired a series of experiments of mass produced, pre-fab houses (such as the Maison Citrohan). Most of these concepts were later materialized in the iconic Villa Savoye, whose floorplan was even designed to accommodate the car's turning radius. 

5 Robots Revolutionizing Architecture's Future

01:00 - 28 February, 2013
5 Robots Revolutionizing Architecture's Future, Rob/Arch Rotterdam Workshop
Rob/Arch Rotterdam Workshop

Robots fascinate us. Their ability to move and act autonomously is visually and intellectually seductive. We write about them, put them in movies, and watch them elevate menial tasks like turning a doorknob into an act of technological genius. For years, they have been employed by industrial manufacturers, but until recently, never quite considered seriously by architects. Sure, some architects might have let their imaginations wander, like Archigram did for their "Walking City", but not many thought to actually make architecture with robots. Now, in our age of digitalization, virtualization, and automation, the relationship between architects and robots seems to be blooming...check it out. 

Keep reading to see five new robots making architecture.

ETH Zurich: "Programmed Wall" Sci-Arc Robot House "Flight Assembled Architecture" KUKA/prc Grasshopper Plugin +9

Digital Fabrication / SketchChair

13:00 - 27 October, 2011
Diatom Studio, SketchChair Process
Diatom Studio, SketchChair Process

Digital fabrication has been a popular discussion among architecture and design professionals. Students are digitally fabricating their models and building their own personalized 3D printers. What was impossible to build by hand is quickly assembled through digital fabrication. As the technology rapidly evolves, larger objects are being fabricated at more affordable prices. Today we may be digitally fabricating furniture and tomorrow we might be 3D printing our house. Architects and designers are jumping on board and exploring the capabilities of this game changing technology.