This thesis asserts the role of architect as machinator.
Computational design and digital fabrication have been strongly influencing architecture for the last twenty years. By developing machines for playing out design into the physical world, work can be done simultaneously and iteratively on an architectural project and its representation. Metadesign.
This research program centers around the idea that machine behavior can generate morphology. The intelligence of the design process is explicitly implanted into the interaction between the design team and machines.
Real-time decision making is required and flexibility must be implanted within the design. In standard practice, materials and techniques constrain formal ambition. Instead, this thesis explores the potential for material behavior to continually re-define formal ambition and typological definitions.
Two robots were then developed for this thesis: a 4 axis fiber extrusion and a mobile 10 axis on site construction robot. The first, Black Thunder, is controlled via high level commands sent wirelessly from an iPhone. The architect can 'guide' the machine to work in specific areas, otherwise it operates autonomously spinning cocoon-like enclosures out of fiber and adhesive. The crawler, like Black Thunder, is intended to be built from existing machine products: this time a small construction crane, and a telescopic boom arm. It can be deployed onsite individually or in groups, and can take realtime design instruction from the onsite architect.
Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Bjork Christensen - Thesis Partner
Owen Merrick - Thesis Partner
Peter Testa - Thesis Advisor
Devyn Weiser - Thesis Advisor
Please contact me for a link to view the attached videos.