Digital Fabrication in Architecture: The Challenge to Transform the Building Industry

Friday, February 17, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 206 (Hynes Convention Center)
Society faces enormous challenges in constructing and maintaining a high-quality, future-oriented built environment. Many building processes involve substandard working conditions and are not very sustainable. Despite these challenges and opportunities, the building industry has stagnated in terms of innovation and productivity over most of the last century. Construction sites today look much like they did at the beginning of the 20th century. Current research in digital fabrication indicates that the development and use of digital technology in construction processes can substantially contribute to transforming the building industry, while enabling radically new forms of architectural expression. A key challenge in establishing a digital building culture is its multidisciplinary nature. To fully exploit the potential of digital fabrication processes, an institutional and funding environment that supports strong interdisciplinary research across traditionally separate disciplines such as architecture, computer science, material science, civil engineering, and robotics is needed. This session discusses three important elements of digital fabrication: planning and design; adequate material processes for digital fabrication in construction; and machinery for realizing and controlling these building processes. Speakers will show how these elements can be integrated successfully to transform the building industry.
Rahel Byland, ETH Zurich
Jane Burry, RMIT University
The New Mathematics of Making
Ronald Rael, University of California, Berkeley
Building Materials for 3-D Printing