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The use of robots in the design and construction of buildings and structures provides a new set of opportunities for architects, engineers, and designers. Robots and the processes developed, enable the design of architectures and constructions while controlling uncertainties of complex systems in ways that humans cannot.
In this elective, students will design an object or structure that is based on parametric design principles. Allowing students to develop non-standard objects and structures of infinite variability will open up new and exciting design possibilities. The use of robots will allow students to produce prototypes of these designs, while developing an understanding of an established robotic fabrication workflow.
In this elective, students will learn the skills required to design structures for robotic fabrication, program robots to construct, and how to apply the workflow to an architectural application.
The first half of the semester will focus on developing robotic related skills and understanding of the fabrication process. This will be delivered by a variety of small design and fabrication exercises (to be completed in groups). In the second half of the semester, students (in groups of three to five) will develop a design concept and agenda (as a major project). The design of this project will include iterative prototyping through fabrication. The final project will demonstrate an understanding of the robotic fabrication process and its architectural application, while creating an aesthetic object with a high level of formal complexity – generated through the use of parametric design principles.
Students will be required to have a basic understanding of Rhino, as well as a willingness to learn and engage with Grasshopper. Students will be provided with plug-and-play grasshopper scripts for programming robots. A high level of technical support will be provided by subject tutors and Robotics Lab technical staff. Resources for students to improve their Grasshopper capabilities will be provided.
No knowledge of robots, coding or computer programming is required for this elective!
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject, students should be able to:
- Develop a design agenda and concept for an architectural outcome utilising the robotic fabrication process.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the applied fabrication process.
- Demonstrate an understanding of application of robotic fabrication to architectural design and construction.
- Apply critical thinking to the assessment of design proposals and make changes based on the assessment.
- Critical design thinking and analysis;
- Basic Robotic Fabrication Techniques.
- Basic Industrial Robot Programming.
- Physical and Digital Prototyping.
- Time and project management
- Ability to integrate digital tools and physical prototyping in the design process.
Last updated: 10 September 2021