Professionals in the AEC industry are well aware of the issues that grapple the built environment. That the construction industry is the largest consumer of materials and is responsible for 40% of all carbon emissions is a commonplace fact. Construction work is also a large waste generator and could greatly benefit from circular design principles. Almost three-quarters of all construction projects tend to be over budget, and nearly half of the spending on buildings goes into the overheads. In a fast-paced world with multi-faceted challenges, technology, and digitization seek to deliver significant solutions.
Robotics: The Latest Architecture and News
Rethinking Cities' Relationships with Nature: Robotic Urban Farmers
In our current context of ecological crisis, global warming, biodiversity loss, human population growth, and urban sprawl, we need to rethink the way we build and live in our city. We have observed the consequence of uncontrolled urban planning and construction driven only by a capitalist and productivist vision of the city, packing as many humans as possible in the cheapest constructions available, without consideration for the impact on our planet, our fellow animals & plants inhabitants, and our own wellbeing. The concrete jungles we have been building for the past century have proven to be disrupting our climate (Global Warming, Local heat island effect), our ecosystems (loss of biodiversity, and recess of animals & plants population), and our economy (the food and product industry have been displaced far away, replaced by the only service industry, and the generation of the huge amount of waste in the city).
"The Same Technology that Will Allow Us to Address Housing Challenges on Earth, Will Allow Us to Venture Off to Space": Interview with Jason Ballard of ICON
Founded in late 2017, named one of the "Most Innovative Companies in the World" in 2020, and selected as ArchDaily's Best New Practices of 2021, ICON is a construction company that pushed the boundaries of technology, developing tools to advance humanity including robotics, software, and building materials. Relatively young, the Texas-based start-up has been delivering 3D-printed homes across the US and Mexico, trying to address global housing challenges while also developing construction systems to support future exploration of the Moon, with partners BIG and NASA.
Featured on Times’ Next 100, as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future, Jason Ballard, CEO and Co-Founder of ICON spoke to ArchDaily about the inception of the company, worldwide housing challenges, his ever-evolving 3D printing technology, and process, his partnership with BIG, and the future of the construction field on earth and in space.
Singapore's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Illustrates the Vision of Architecture in Nature
The Singapore Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai illustrates the city's aspiration towards a sustainable future that merges architecture, nature, technology and culture. Under the title "Nature.Nurture.Future", the pavilion designed by WOHA Architects and landscape design practice Salad Dressing showcases a sample of Singapore's urban environment that epitomizes its City in Nature vision. The multi-layered green space creates a self-sufficient ecosystem highlighting ideas of sustainability and resilience through the marriage of technology and nature.
Automating the Construction Site
For several years, the construction sector has been facing a labour shortage, generating a growing interest in automation. The health crisis has only exacerbated the trend, prompting automation companies to turn their focus from car manufacturing to the construction industry, for which automation is expected to grow up to 30% within the next few years. The following explores present capabilities and future possibilities of automation within the construction process, its integration within the mainstream practice and the impact on design.
Round Houses of Raw Earth: 3D Printing Sustainable Homes in 200 Hours
A recent collaboration between the team of Mario Cucinella Architects (MC A) and WASP, specialists in 3D Printing in Italy, has resulted in the first 3D-printed construction of a fully natural, recyclable, and carbon-neutral material: raw earth. The circular housing prototype is called TECLA and it was built in Massa Lombarda (Ravenna, Italy) using multiple 3D printers synchronized to work at the same time.
Integrating Computational Design and Research Could Stimulate New Digital Craftmanship
The Advanced Master “Design by Data” in Computation Design & Robotics for Architecture and Construction was launched in 2016 and is one of the latest programs in innovative professional education at l'École des Ponts ParisTech. The program was designed to meet the increasing need of the professional sectors of architecture and engineering for combining architectural awareness and skills in creative engineering. Design by Data trains professionals to master advanced design tools (coding, generative design, machine learning) as well as digital manufacturing and design processes (robotics, 3D printing, and mechatronics) applied to architectural and construction projects.
3XN Unveils Design For New Robot Developers Hub
Denmark-based 3XN Architects has unveiled their design for a new Robot Developers Hub in Odense, Denmark. Designed as the new home of Universal Robots (UR) and Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), the 20,000 square-meter hub will offer specialised environments for robot research and development.
3D Printing a 2-Meter-High Column in 30 Minutes: What's Next With This Technology?
There's no question that 3D printing is here to stay. However, it is still a developing technology that raises certain questions: Is it really effective for massive and large-scale construction? How sustainable is it? Will it go from being an option to becoming the norm in the construction industry?
To help clarify the broader picture of 3D printing's place in architecture and construction, we spoke with Alain Guillen, Managing Director and Co-founder of XtreeE. XtreeE is a platform that allows architects to bring their designs to reality through advanced large-scale 3D printing, which generates quick and precise shapes without material waste. Read below to find out how he and his team envision the future of robotics in architecture and why architects should prepare to embrace this new technology, leading us toward a more efficient yet equally creative future.
How Does Spot Work? The Robot That Compares Design to Reality at the Construction Site
In November of 2020, Foster + Partners announced a collaboration with the robotics design company Boston Dynamics. Together, the two have been testing Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, Spot, to help capture and monitor progress on construction sites. The robot boasts the dexterity to climb stairs, avoid obstacles, and traverse rough terrain, allowing it to monitor building sites and collect data quickly and easily. In this way, designers and contractors can remedy errors rapidly and at minimal cost, ensuring that projects progress according to their set timeframes and budgets. With manual data collection, errors might be noticed at a much slower rate and communication between contractors may suffer as well. Thus, Spot optimizes construction monitoring and on-site collaboration.
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.
OTF 3D Printing: Scholarship - IaaC
On behalf of IAAC, I’m glad to announce to you that the OTF:3D Printing Architecture program has extended the application deadline until April 19th for 2 FULL scholarships for next academic year. This is a great opportunity to learn about novel technologies for sustainable design and construction, thanks to additive manufacturing.
With the scholarship program we want to strengthen relations with local Universities or Research Centers in interesting contexts such as Moçambic, Zimbabue, Angola, Etiopia, Tanzania, Somalia, Angola, Camerun, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya and many more. It's a long term project, that wants to establish long and strong relations
The New Boston Dynamics' Spot 1.1 Revolutionizes the Construction Industry
Design:ED Podcast is an inside look into the field of architecture told from the perspective of individuals that are leading the industry. This motivational series grants unique insight into the making of a successful design career, from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition. Every week, featured guests share their personal highs and lows on their journey to success, that is sure to inspire audiences at all levels of the industry. Listening to their stories will provide a rare blueprint for anyone seeking to advance their career, and elevate their work to the next level.
Michael Perry of the Robotics Company Boston Dynamics joins the podcast to discuss the release of Spot 1.1, and how their company is using robotics to revolutionize the construction industry.
Educating Designers on Computational Design and Robotics Can Make Architecture and Construction More Sustainable
The Advanced Master “Design by Data” program in Computation Design & Robotics for Architecture and Construction was launched in 2016 and is one of the latest programs in innovative professional education at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. The program was designed to meet the increasing need for the professional sectors of architecture and engineering to combine architectural skills with creative engineering. Design by Data trains professionals to master advanced design tools (coding, algorithmic approach, artificial intelligence) as well as digital manufacturing and design processes (robotics, 3D printing, electronics and mechatronics) and apply them to architectural and construction projects.
Makr Shakr Opens Robotic Bars in Milan and London
Bar producer Makr Shakr has unveiled new rooftop robotic bars in Milan and London. Founded by MIT professor Carlo Ratti, the company's new projects are made to engage with the city and explore the potential of technology. In Milan, the project is the city's first robotic bar, while the London bar is on display at the Barbican as part of its AI: More than Human exhibition. Makr Shakr's bars aim to combine barman roots with food tech around the future of human-machine collaboration.
Robots will Construct Melike Altınışık' Robot Museum in Seoul
Turkish practice Melike Altınışık Architects (MAA) has won an international competition for the design of a Robot Science Museum in Seoul, South Korea. Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the competition called for a “world first” museum to support public education in robotics, and increase public interest in robots.
The principles of robotics, science, technology, and innovation have shaped all aspects of the scheme’s design, from form and structure to material and operation. The main character of the museum is to “create its own universe for robots and their visitors,” manifesting as a non-directional, fluid, spherical structure.