In the realm of architectural practices, the contemporary landscape is increasingly characterized by intricate design and planning challenges. This is especially evident in the construction and advanced manufacturing industries, where automation and assembly processes play a pivotal role across various sectors. Exploring novel avenues for design in this context holds significant economic promise. One compelling opportunity lies in harnessing industrial robots to revolutionize material applications on a practical, large-scale basis.
Australia, despite its robust construction industry, lags behind other developed nations in terms of innovation. With a substantial GDP contribution and employment share, it paradoxically ranks among the lowest in terms of digitization across all sectors. To address this disparity, our project seeks to establish a collaborative framework between academia and architectural firms, facilitating accelerated advancements in construction robotics and advanced manufacturing.
Through applied case studies, this research aims to actively engage architectural practices while allowing academic researchers to prototype and develop proof-of-concept solutions. This approach not only fosters innovation but also challenges conventional notions of architectural practice.
Our project, titled 'Systems Reef,' is a practical design research initiative that explores the robotic carbon fiber threading of a customized ceiling system for a commercial building. Within the project, we explore various threads of research, including workspace scenarios, data distribution, flexible team organization, and robotic applications. We emphasize the importance of bridging knowledge domains and fostering collaborative learning.
The project's second phase focuses on the sequential stages of design research, which encompass developing prototypes for robotic carbon fiber threading and implementing on-site building fabrication to create a new infrastructure distribution system. We discuss the project's criteria, benefits, and outcomes, culminating in an outlook for the future potential of design research within the 'Systems Reef' framework. Through this endeavor, we aim to redefine the possibilities of architectural practice and its synergy with cutting-edge technology.