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Automation: The Latest Architecture and News

A Brief History of Automation in Architecture

Efficiency in the construction site by reducing waste and lowering costs, improving safety through better planning, and introducing machines to assist in the construction and design process. These benefits can be achieved through automation in architecture, but for technology to reach this point of empowering and supporting creativity while also improving efficiency, we have come a long way. To understand how automation developed and the prospects it offers for architecture, here is a brief timeline.

Back to Basics: Natural Ventilation and its Use in Different Contexts

Automation is everywhere around us - our homes, furniture, offices, cars, and even our clothing; we have become so accustomed to being surrounded by automated systems that we have forgotten what life was like without them. And while automation has noticeably improved the quality of interior spaces with solutions like purified air and temperature control, nothing compares to the natural cool breeze of mother nature.

But just like everything else in architecture, there is no one size fits all; what works in Tanzania cannot work in Switzerland or Colombia. This is due to several reasons, such as the difference in wind direction, average temperature, spatial needs, and environmental restrictions (or lack thereof). In this article, we take a look at natural ventilation in all its forms, and how architects have employed this passive solution in different contexts. 

Obafemi University. Image via Prof. Dr. Zvi Efrat's Documentary© Dilanka BandaraFarming Kindergarten . Image © Hiroyuki Oki© Fernando Alda+ 30

Uncommon Store / Atelier Archi@Mosphere

© Yongjoon Choi© Yongjoon Choi© Yongjoon Choi© Yongjoon Choi+ 24

  • Area Area of this architecture project Area :  33
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year :  2021

From Empty Grids to Interactive Playgrounds: Parking Lots and their Evolving Identities

In theory, parking spaces serve only one function: park a car safely until it is used again, and in terms of design, car garages are flexible and straightforward, requiring minimal design interventions. However, parking spaces nowadays are no longer considered one-function buildings. The emptier the space, the more potential it has to integrate additional functions. Architects and urban planners have redefined traditional parking lots, adding recreational and commercial facilities to the structure. Instead of a typical structured grid plan with yellow and white markings on the floor, we are now seeing inviting structures that incorporate green facades and rooftop playgrounds, car washes, cafeterias, and work/study zones.

© Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLPVeranda Car Park in Rotterdam, Holland. Image © Paul de Ruiter Architects by Rien van RijthovenPagoda House I/O Architects . Image © Assen EmilovOpen Platform and JAJA Architects Win Competition to Design Denmark’s First Wooden Parking House. Image © JAJA Architects + Open Platform+ 25

A Fully Automated Construction Industry? Still a Long Road Ahead

Robotic automation has been widely adopted by the manufacturing industry for decades. Most automotive vehicles, consumer electrical appliances, and even domestic robots were made and assembled by “armies” of robots with minimal human supervision. Robotic automation brings higher production efficiency, a safer working environment, lower costs and superior quality. After years of development and deployment, the process now requires minimal human involvement.   

Labour in the Documedia Age

In 2013, Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey ranked 702 occupations according to their probability of computerisation in the near future, from least probable (“recreational therapist”) to most probable (“telemarketers”). "Architectural and Engineering Managers” was ranked seventy-third, and “architects” eighty-second, while “architectural and civil drafters” ranked three-hundred and fifth. Clearly, technological advancements in fields such as machine learning and robotics are rapidly confronting us with issues of changing professional demand and qualifications. In this essay, Maurizio Ferraris turns the table on us: what if what we should be concerned with is not maintaining the human element in labor as production, but rather recognising human labor as consumption? Expanding on the arguments of his 2012 book, “Lasciar tracce: documentalità e architettura,” the author sees in automation an extraordinary opportunity in defining a renewed centrality of the human element, as the production of value associated with digital exchange is read through the three concepts of invention, mobilization and consumption.

Public Lecture: Yusuke Obuchi, "Arms Race"

An arms race is on in the worlds of computation and architectural fabrication research. Robots with increasingly large, fast, and powerful capabilities are available and can produce outputs with military-grade precision. The assumption is that, through the use of these advanced tools, architects will advance the production of outputs — but can these tools be developed with traditional forms of human engagement still in mind? Robots are not particularly adaptive. They do not integrate changes with ease — at least, not yet. Humans, on the other hand, exhibit great capacity for adaptation but lack the precision of robots. How could