Materialising Design

Materialising Design

Current methods for materialisation within the building industry are based on mass production. They rely on the standardisation of material and fabrication to afford control and optimise material use. With digitisation these methods become outdated and new models for material optimisation emerge. Where subtractive digital fabrication techniques have matured and been applied to realise complex buildings, recent research efforts utilise bespoke machines or industrial robots as general fabrication tools for additive fabrication to innovate mass customised materials with designed performances.

The topic is tackled in the innochain Work package 5 , which will focus on trialling fabrication and planning methods for new designed materials that embed material optimisation within their composition.

The workpackage is lead by the The Bartlett School of Architecture / University College London

research projects

ESR11- Controlled Deposition of Concrete

Author: Helena Westerlind

Generally, applied digital fabrication technologies are subtractive causing material waste at fabrication level. New research explores additive processes in building realization creating more sustainable and materially smart solutions. read more

Keywords: · concrete · deposition · material resolution


Author: Saman Saffarian

Current practices emphasise the stiffness of material to ensure structural performance. Building systems such as louvers or other adjustable shading systems and employ mechanical means to activate change. read more

Keywords: · Climate Adaptive Building Envelopes · Kinetic Elastic Facade · Material Gradient FRP


Author: Arthur Prior

Similar to ESR 11 this project investigates concrete printing as a new opportunity for building fabrication. The design possibilities and the attainable performance ranges radically change when we no longer are limited to pouring or extruding bulk materials, but have the ability to design precise and customised deposition patterns for robots to execute at high speed and high accuracy. read more

Keywords: · Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing · Controlled Material Deposition · Wax


Author: Kasper Ax

Industrial Partners: designtoproduction, Bluhmer Lehmann. One of the central achievements of digital chain is the ability to mass customise building elements creating individualised solutions and enabling new kinds of building geometries. While methods for the design and production of customised elements have matured, the planning of assembly procedures remains undeveloped in the building sector – in contrast to for example to product design . read more

Keywords: · Design for manufacture and assembly · Mass Customisation · timber


Author: Stephanie Chaltiel

Digital fabrication presumes prefabrication and off-site production. This has vast implications on the environment and building practice as a whole, as transportation increases energy consumption and carbon footprint and logistics necessitate a building logic based on elements effecting problems of tolerances and loosing structural and thermal advantages of monolithic structures while increasing costs and limiting the size of elements. read more

Keywords: · 3dprint · earth architecture · parametric vernacular · robots · robots in architecture

FlectoFold / Materialisation & Evaluation Process

Author: Saman Saffarian

ESR12- MATERIAL GRADIENT FRP AUTHOR: Saman Saffarian   FlectoFold is an Elastic-Kinetic Material-Gradient facade component. This video showcases the Materialisation and Evaluation Process.   read more

Keywords: · Climate Adpative Building Envelope · GFRP · Kinetic Elastic · Material Gradient


Acadia 2017, Boston: Paper Presented on the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016/2017

Author: James Solly

Acadia 2017 James (ESR08) and Sam (ESR12) both attended the Acadia 2017 “Disciplines and Disruption” Conference at MIT in Boston, 2nd-4th November 2017. During the conference, our colleagues from the ICD (Institute of Computational Design and Construction) presented the paper: Multi-Machine Fabrication: An Integrative Design Process Utilising an Autonomous UAV and Industrial Robots for the... read more

Keywords: · CFRP · Coreless Fibre Winding · GFRP · itke

ACADIA Autodesk 2017 Research Project Award

Author: Stephanie Chaltiel

The Monolithic Earthen Shells project recieves the ACADIA Autodesk 2017 award for Emerging research. Authors: Stephanie Chaltiel and Maite Bravo are very honoured to recieve the prize. Extract from the ACADIA 2017 proceeding on the Earthen Shells project: This project explores the implementation of additive manufacturing for monolithic shells, based on the deposition of different... read more

Keywords: · ACADIA · autodesk · award · earthen shells · robotic fabrication

Scientific Papers and Public talks: Monolithic Earthen Shells & Robotic Fabrication

Author: Stephanie Chaltiel

The Monolithic Shells robotic Fabrication project has been published in 7 international conferences recently including: in the proceedings of IASS Hamburg 2017, Ecaade Roma 2017, DMSParis 2017, Fab 13 Santiago de Chile, ACADIA MIT Boston. Most have been presented live including the challenging #Pechakucha of IASS Here you can download the PDF of IASS. 10162_manuscript and most... read more

Keywords: · ACADIA · DMSP · drones · IASS

FlectoFold Demonstrator / BauBionik Exhibition / Stuttgart

Author: Saman Saffarian

Design Development, prototyping, evaluation, fabrication & installation of an Elastic-Kinetic Material-Gradient Facade Shading System : FlectoFold This Large scale demonstrator is being exhibited as part of BauBionik Exhibition opening today at Schloss Rosenstein in Stuttgart, Germany. read more

Keywords: · CFRP Lamination · Elastic Kinetic Facade · Facade Demonstrator · itke · Material Gradient FRP

Earthen Shell Seminar May 2017

Author: Stephanie Chaltiel

Seminar ran at IAAC in May 2017- 5 sessions. Number of participanst: 12 Tutors: Stephanie Chaltiel, Abdullah Ibrahim, Noor El-Gewely Advisor CFD and Augmented Reality: Angelos Chronis Special thanks to Maite Bravo (Iaac) for her very rich input in the seminar external Jury members: Verena Vogler(Mc Neel Europe), Vincent Chavy (Universal Robots Barcelona), Amadeo Monreal... read more

Keywords: · earth architecture · monolithic shells · resin · robotic fabrication