GALLERY INDEX

MArch Studio 2013-14 (ARCH 5001) – Automation in Design

Related Staff : Martin Riese

Supervisor: Martin Riese
Teaching Assistants: Ramon van der Heijden, Alan Tai
Students: Chan Albert Ivan, Lai Wing Chung Michael, Lam Ho Yin Elton, Lo Siu Hei Kevin, Lu Ruixing Luis, Luo Jian LJ, Wu Yuting Ocean

This studio researched and explored the manifestation and integration of automation into the process of designing architectural facades.  The starting point for the use of automation tools was the management of “overall project control geometry” and the directly interconnected detailed “instantiation” and assembly of the actual elements of the building envelope into that framework.  Alternatives to the traditional assumptions about orthogonality and unchallenged mechanical repetition were sought, and these drove the search for viable languages of mass customization that were to remain appropriately informed by the practical requirements of specific projects.  Solutions were to be highly defensible in performance-based terms.

The intended result was for real and deliverable alternatives to the predictable and over used current façade status quo that often falls short in delivering adequate performance, individual expression and appropriately specific cultural identity.  The intent was to use automation to drive and manage meaningful variation whilst at the same time improving performance, efficiency and sustainability.  A renewed, collaborative quest was undertaken for a more innovative and varied built environment.  A one week tour of relevant Pearl River Delta region factories and completed architectural projects was intended to directly inform the process.  The studio was intended to directly inform the students’ imminent transition into architectural practice.

Exceeding expectations, the resulting projects displayed an occasionally serendipitous but nevertheless highly exuberant integration of rigorous, detailed research combined with confident individual creative expression.   The case for implementing automation technology in exploring and developing architectural language was clearly demonstrated.

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE