Digital Fabrication

ARH art02

Dana Tănase
”Arhitectura” no. 3

Link to the article: http://arhitectura-1906.ro/2011/08/fabricatie-digitala/.

The reality is heterogeneous; it is a field of relations between different elements. Current architectural projects aim to generate a specific response, which is no longer a byproduct of form and program, but it is generated by each unique situation. Current practice of architecture focuses on generating complex heterogeneous spaces, characterized by multiplicity and variability. These architectural objects gain coherence by the phenomenon of differentiation, through serial variation.

Diversity is seen as a positive factor, rather than a simple variation of uniformity and assumes that everything is produced by accidents and differentiation. Differentiation is a creative and evolutionary process, through the generation of singularities. Repetition, regular grid, symmetry lose their purpose, because variability becomes as feasible as modularity while mass customization become an alternative to mass production. The increasing number of projects built using these manufacturing methods, showed that digital manufacturing makes it possible to build such buildings without exceeding the budget or the time expected.

By establishing a common data stream, the information can be extracted, shifted, and therefore used with greater ease and at a greater speed. Thus, by bringing the information to the forefront, a digital continuum is reached, a direct link is created between the project and built object. On the other hand, the close relationship that exists between the digital design and digital fabrication increases the control of the architect on the constructed object. Inevitably the responsibility increases too. By facilitating the involvement of the architect in the craft, the status of the master builder that the architect had in the past is recalled. In this context the architects should be aware of the production characteristics of the manufacturing equipment and they should design using the specific capacities of these machines.

Most of these technologies are applied and developed by academic research. These production methods are relatively new to the architecture practice, but they are beginning to be explored. There are research projects both within the universities of architecture and within the increasingly numerous workshops that focus on digital design in relation to the method of fabrication implied by the exploration. All these are meant to adapt and challenge these digital fabrication technologies, originally designed for other purposes, and to use them creatively in architecture.