Robotic Fabrication for Non-Standard Architecture
Research supervision: Professor Michael Tawa (The University of Sydney), Dr Michael Herrmann (str.ucture GmbH)
The University of Sydney (2014-present)
Contrasting with the concerns of modernism, the non-standard represents a reversal of the logic of mechanical reproduction, with mass-production for non-identical parts that can be assembled into geometrically complex architectural structures.
With the non-standard turn in architecture, achieved singularities demand further imperative that geometric innovation and production occur simultaneously in mathematical models through differentiation processes and the complexities of natural morphogenesis.
However, non-standard forms generated by the digital design tools are not intended for fabrication of concrete construction components as their translation into algorithms that deal with both the accuracy necessary for construction and the interfaces and formats necessary for file to factory production have not been integrated.
Consequently, there is a gap between the figurative and formal possibilities offered by digital technologies in architectural design and the current reality and capacities of the building industry to realise them. Efficient solutions for the production of non-standard concrete structures in architecture do not yet exist.
One distinct area in which very little research work has been done is related to the application of functionally graded concrete to the non-standard forms. Current research has achieved optimized concrete linear elements in functionally graded concrete. There has been no investigation in the optimized non-standard geometry.
In this context of digital innovation in architecture, two key questions constitute a line of inquiry for the thesis. The fist question concerns redefinition of the non-standard architecture in its relation between the figurative and the built - in the modes of production, aesthetic, historical value and use?
The second question concerns the application of innovative and the future-oriented methods in architecture with 'material design', 'automation' and 'complex geometry optimization'?
To address these questions the research devise and test the application of concrete material within an automated robotic prototyping process to realise pilot versions of non-standard architectural components. Customized architectural elements are designed and developed in ultra-high performance concrete and functionally graded concrete.
The significance of this research lies in its redefinition of non-standard architecture and construction processes that extend capacity of existing skills and technologies to achieve formal and material innovation.
The second degree of significance is concerned with environmental sustainability where non-standard construction component weight is minimised with performance, topology and shape optimization.
Note: This thesis is protected by copyright as a literary work and owned by Melika Aljukic. All rights reserved.
PhD © Melika Aljukic, June 2014 - present.