Explorative Teaching – From Additive Manufacturing to Architecture
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Explorative teaching breaks with common and standardized design teaching methods. It is the quest for a new symbiosis of ecological materials and digital fabrication. How we design (space and design) and what we design with (materials, processes and simulation techniques) are two inseparable aspects of our future activities as architects and engineers. Substantial sustainability only emerges when all these aspects are combined into a complex whole. The obvious danger of “technification”, as unfolding at the latest with Material Cultures (see Material Cultures: Material Reform, Building for a Post-Carbon Future), versus the potential to combine ecological materials with the benefits of robotics, needs to be explored by experienced architects in research-based teaching. While the first generations of digital developments focused on the challenge of advanced geometry, the urgency of how we treat nature differently is now the driving force. Without innovation in building design, we will not be able to create the buildings of the future. This is where teaching and research must realign to play a leading role in recalibrating the design process.
Explorative design thereby promotes the interaction of technology and design and transfers individual inventions into a coherent overall construct. The holistic questions that come to light in the course of an architectural conception change the perspective within the research work. In turn, scientific findings offer designers a broad spectrum of new procedures and techniques that result in a sustainable architecture within the planetary boundaries.
Explorative teaching was investigated within the project “From Additive Manufacturing To Architecture” in the summer semester of 2022. In a cooperation between TU Braunschweig and TU Munich so-called “A-Projects” from the collaborative research center AMC TRR 277 were examined. This lead to the development of constructive structures in digital fabrication. In a second step, concepts for buildings were drawn up from the structural solutions, giving the constructive idea an aesthetic and architectural form. Finally, these student designs were technically refined and manufactured as collaborative demonstrators on a scale of 1:1. Innovative research approaches were integrated into the design and construction planning process of master student projects from the very beginning. The resulting architectural and technical findings were subsequently critically reflected upon within the scientific spectrum of the AMC TRR 277.
Plenty of inspirations emerged from the collaboration and interaction between teaching and science. Profound questions within the design process opened up various new perspectives on the current research approaches. The format of an interdisciplinary and explorative master project accompanying the science process will therefore be established in a regular manner for the next semesters. In a fruitful exchange between students and researchers Additive Manufacturing can be brought to the scale of Architecture.
Authors: Helga Blocksdorf/Moritz Scheible
From Additive Manufacturing to Architecture Teaching collaboration
Technische Universität Braunschweig:
ITE Professorship for Digital Fabrication
Prof. Dr. sc. ETH Norman Hack; M.sc. Philipp Rennen
IKON Institute for Construction
Prof. Helga Blocksdorf; Dipl. Ing. Moritz Scheible
Technische Universität München:
TT Professorship Digital Fabrication
Prof. Dr. sc. ETH Kathrin Dörfler; Dipl. Ing. Julia Fleckenstein
Chair for Design and Construction
Prof. Florian Nagler; Dipl. Ing. Anne Nieman
From Additive Manufacturing to Architecture – Information
The basic idea is to introduce students to the possibilities of 3D printing for architecture and for the entire building industry. For this purpose, a workshop is initiated that gives students a concrete understanding of the digital fabrication process from design to production. Using clay as an example, the students can directly participate in creative design, augmented reality, software and robotic 3D printing production. The special feature of the workshop is that the students themselves directly design an object digitally and this object is then printed by a robot.
an understanding of the processes of digital building – from creative design to 3D-printed building – and their own designed object. The new 3D technologies are massively changing the construction industry and opening up interesting new job profiles.
To get students excited about the new technologies of 3D printing and to see themselves in the field of additive manufacturing. Increase the number of female students in STEM courses such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering and architecture.
High school students/Upper School (from grade 11)
As part of the AdvanceAEC network, TRR 277 has organised lectures within the AdvanceAEC network and doctoral researchers gave a well-regarded workshop at the AdvanceAEC Autumn School 2022.
The Autmn School is aimed at early career researchers, e.g. master students, PhD students and postdocs from the partner institutions of the network.
The full-day workshop “revAMp – Additive Manufacturing in Construction: In situ Retrofitting Using AM with Mobile Robots” was going to experimentally explore whether the deployment of mobile robots on building sites could be utilized for retrofitting, customized renovation, or repair by applying in situ extrusion 3D printing technology.