Digital Fabrication in Architecture & Design Webinar with Fabio Gramazio, Jorge Lopes, and Barbara Iseli

Digital fabrication is a manufacturing process that uses a machine controlled by computers. This method has sparked the interest of architects and product designers, as it opens the door to new possibilities in terms of solving complex processes and new approaches for mass construction.

These new technologies have radically changed the way of designing, visualizing and constructing buildings and architectural elements. The digital movement has passed through various stages, from 3D printing in laboratories to on-site robotic manufacturing. The dissemination of the technology has allowed tackling complex design challenges on a global scale.

What is the impact of digital fabrication on the work of architects and designers? What are the implications when thinking about spaces? Where is it applied today, and how will it be useful for tomorrow? How can it be used to address issues in developing regions of the world and what’s its impact on sustainability?

To answer these questions, Swissnex Brazil invited Fabio Gramazio, professor for digital fabrication at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Jorge Lopes, professor for digital product design and art at PUC Rio (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro) about their work as well as the challenges and opportunities they see in digital fabrication for the future of our cities. Barbara Iseli, architect and founder of Insight Architecture will moderate the conversation. The event will be held in English, with simultaneous translation to Portuguese.

The webinar furthermore presents current work on the ‘Future Now Pavilion’, originally planned as the official Swiss contribution to the 27th World Congress of Architects - UIA2021RIO in Rio de Janeiro, which is now postponed to July 2021. The temporary installation, an initiative of Insight Architecture together with the architects Pedro Rivera and Diego Baloian, has been developed by Gramazio Kohler Research together with students of the MAS DFAB program. It is a collaboration with the ETH Zurich, Casa Firjan Rio de Janeiro, the Swiss Consulate Rio de Janeiro, Swissnex Brazil and numerous institutional and private supporters such as Presence Switzerland, Pro Helvetia, World Architects, ArchDaily, Edelweiss Air, MSC, ZZWancor, EBP, Kibag, Myclimate and Candido de Oliveira Advogados.

Fabio Gramazio is an architect with multi-disciplinary interests ranging from computational design and robotic fabrication to material innovation. In 2000, he founded the architecture practice Gramazio & Kohler in conjunction with his partner Matthias Kohler, where numerous award-wining designs have been realized. Current projects include the design of the Empa NEST research platform, a future living and working laboratory for sustainable building construction. Opening also the world’s first architectural robotic laboratory at ETH Zurich, Gramazio & Kohler’s research has been formative in the field of digital architecture, setting precedence and de facto creating a new research field merging advanced architectural design and additive fabrication processes through the customized use of industrial robots. This ranges from 1:1 prototype installations to the design of robotically fabricated high-rises. His recent research is outlined and theoretically framed in the book The Robotic Touch: How Robots Change Architecture (Park Books, 2014). From 2017 to 2019, Fabio Gramazio was Director of Studies for Bachelor and Master Architecture.

Jorge Lopes is a designer and the coordinator of the Nucleo de Experimentação Tridimensional (NEXT) of the Department of Arts and Design at the University PUC in Rio de Janeiro, where he develops interdisciplinary research involving 3D technologies in areas such as medicine, archaeology, paleontology, among others. Post Doc by Deakin University, Australia, PhD by the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom, Master by COPPE UFRJ and Bachelor in Design by the School of Fine Arts of UFRJ. He is a researcher at the National Institute of Technology and the National Museum - MCTIC and his trajectory reinforces the importance of dialogue between the various areas of knowledge.

Barbara Iseli (Moderator) is a multilingual Swiss architect. She graduated at ETH Zurich, and considers herself a "Carioca de coração," a Rio de Janeiro-an by heart, with professional experience in Switzerland and Brazil. At Boltshauser Architects in Zurich, she was project manager for large-scale housing projects and won school building competitions in Uster, Switzerland, and a residential building complex in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In Rio de Janeiro, she was in charge of the conversion of the Swiss Consulate and the design of Swissnex Brazil. Barbara has lived in Rio de Janeiro since 2012. She is a founding partner of the architecture office, Plural Projetos Singulares, Rio de Janeiro and Insight Architecture.

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Cite: "Digital Fabrication in Architecture & Design Webinar with Fabio Gramazio, Jorge Lopes, and Barbara Iseli" 09 Jul 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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