Architecture and Digital Fabrication
Investigation on how robotic fabrication processes can directly inform the design and construction of high rise buildings
Recent developments in the fields of computer-aided architectural design and robotic fabrication, have opened the potential for a seamless connection between design and fabrication data. These advances in technology, especially in robotic fabrication, promise high precision and differentiation in build production without necessarily implicating greater expenditure of labour and materials. Despite these potentials, very few automated building processes have been realised to date. A failure caused by the mismatch between economy and the highly specialised nature of the robotic technology, which has left little space for variation and adaptation in the contexts in which they have been deployed.
Against this background, this module will identify the aptitudes of robotic fabrication on a conceptual and technical level and investigate possible impacts on contemporary design of high rise buildings. It does so in the urban context of Singapore, which is characterized by the extensive demand for high rise housing, while paying special attention to the local sites and specific constructional parameters in which these techniques are to be deployed. The goal is not to automate the complete building process. Rather the module will carefully develop specific design logics and constructional processes in Singapore’s housing programme, and identify the points at which a robotic intervention makes sense. This will allow the module to develop new high rise building typologies, offer insights into the production of formal variety and differentiation in generic urban conditions, and test the integration of robotic technologies into design and fabrication of key aspects of high rise housing projects in Singapore.