The "FORGING FABRICATIONS / Prototyping Ideas" workshop will invent a series of machines that rethink fabrication logics. A three day workshop beginning with a panel discussion on the role of instrumental design thinking and fabrication in contemporary architectural practice. This discussion will be followed by a two day work- shop where groups of students working together in teams will construct a machine for rethinking the way fabrication can inform the design process. The workshop will be led by Jason Kelly Johnson from Future Cities Lab / CCA in San Francisco.
Jason Kelly Johnson (San Francisco, CA) is partner of Future Cities Lab, exploring the intersections of design with advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, responsive building systems and public space.
Andrew Witt (Gehry Tech / Harvard GSD). He is currently Director of Research at Gehry Technologies (GT). He was previously a director at GT’s Paris, France office, where he consulted on parametric design, geometric approaches, new technologies, and integrated practice for clients including Gehry Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, UN Studio, and Coop Himmelb(l)au.
Axel Kilian (designexplorer / Princeton SoA). Since 2003 Axel has been a tutor in the Smart Geometry workshops and in 2009 in the conference program. In 2008 he co-chaired the conference “Advances in Architectural Geometry –AAG08” in Vienna together with Prof. Dr. H. Pottmann and M. Hofer. Through designexplorer.net he consulted for Bentley Systems, designtoproduction, Hamilton Architects, worked for Metadesign, and collaborated with the Kinetic Design Group at MIT and the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab.
Organized by grad architecture student Brendan Shea and Nicholas Pajerski with support from Princeton Dean Alejandro Zaera-Polo and others listed here.
Software: Grasshopper, Firefly, Arduino (all free)
Tools: Arduino Starter Kit + multiple high torqueservos + half size breadboard + various sensors
Firefly Resources and Tools (link)
Firefly User's Manual (link)
Good All-Purpose Arduino UNO Pictures and Diagram
Arduino Pinout Diagram (link)
Build a circuit diagram with Fritzing (link)
Mechanisms, Linkages and more (link)
Convert at 180 deg Servo to Continuous (link)
Circuit Diagrams using Fritzing (link) - it's free!
PhD-Thesis-Peter-Schmitt "Original Machines" (link)
It is without question that our current zeitgeist is faced with considering the role of machines and our tools of production a forefront of discussion as robotic processes are an ever expanding influence upon our societal constructs. As an architect it is necessary to examine how these machines are used to for fabrication within architecture, specifically how they can be given agency in the design process. In recent years the influence of CAM technologies on the production of architecture has without a doubt begun to reformat the the definition of feasibility and process of architectural construction. Given the role of these technologies the literacy of a designer should extend beyond one’s ability to simply perform the “function” a tool as given, but to rethink the logics of a that specific tool toward a more desired or descriptive architectural craft. Andrew Witt has stated that understanding the “knowledge” within a particular tool can either “enable or disable the designer in the act of design” therefore it is fundamental that instrumental design thinking is considered as a generative design model!
The expansion of the field of architectural design out of standardized building methods or parts into more experimental and parametric construction logics (CNC machining, rapid prototyping, robotic construction, etcetera) it is necessary these instruments we use for fabrication are addressed as an option for expansion within the design process.
Therefore this workshop will aim to challenge the current acceptance of common fabrication processes by urging users to prototype new instruments by which physical artefacts can be produced. Through the design of a “tool for fabrication”, the architectural design output is intrinsically connected to the development of an instrument, reorienting the process into a more recursive model of evolution through the machine itself. Small mechanised tools embedded with fabrication logics produced at the workshop will act as a way to engage with this type of design process in an expedited manner.
An instrumental process of thinking through tools is necessary alongside design thinking in order to produce an architectural design process that will provoke and progress the practice today.
“This workshop will invent a series of machines that rethink fabrication logics.”
A three day workshop beginning with a panel discussion on the role of instrumental design thinking and fabrication in contemporary architectural practice. This discussion will be followed by a two day work- shop where groups of students working together in teams will construct a machine for rethinking the way fabrication can inform the design process. Each team will be composed of students from within the architecture school, participants of HackPrinceton, and assigned team leaders. At the end of the third day a review to discuss the machines constructed and their potential futures will be held.