ACADIA 2018 Includes Four Projects from Architecture's Digital Fabrication Labs
AAP architecture faculty and recent graduates traveled to Mexico City this fall to present current research at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). ACADIA is an international network of digital design researchers and professionals who facilitate critical investigations into the role of computation in architecture, planning, and building science, encouraging innovation in design creativity, sustainability, and education. Contributions to this year's conference were in relation to the theme of "On Imperfection and Infidelity," and included collaborative projects from the Department of Architecture's Sabin Design Lab, directed by Arthur L. and Isabel B. Weisenberger Professor in Architecture Jenny Sabin; the Robotic Construction Laboratory (RCL), directed by Assistant Professor Sasa Zivkovic; and a collaborative exhibition led by Assistant Professor Leslie Lok in partnership with Zivkovic.
Sabin and collaborators Dillon Pranger (M.Arch.'15); Clayton Binkley, and Kristen Strobel, both structural engineers at Arup; and Jingyang (Leo) Liu (M.Arch. '15, M.S. '18) contributed a paper titled "Lumen" to ACADIA's proceedings journal. Sabin presented the paper, detailing computational design methods, digital fabrication strategies, and the generative design process for the 2017 Lumen pavilion project by Jenny Sabin Studio, winner of MoMA and MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program.
"ACADIA is an incredible community of peers — people who support each other, foster engaged discourse, and push the boundaries of computational design and digital fabrication," says Sabin, who has participated in ACADIA annual conferences since 2007. This year, in addition to presenting her own work, she also moderated a panel discussion on the topic of adaptive systems.
Jeremy Bilotti (B.Arch.'18), Bennett Norman '18, and David Rosenwasser (B.Arch.'18) were the primary authors of "ROBOSENSE 2.0: Robotic Sensing and Architectural Ceramic Fabrication," the latest paper to come out of the Sabin Design Lab. Their research was supported by Sabin and Liu. Bilotti, Norman, and Rosenwasser collaborated in their development of the research as well as the presentation of the paper and received one of 16 merit-based scholarships awarded to students and recent graduates.
In addition to being a complete, peer-reviewed paper that was both presented and published in the ACADIA conference proceedings journal, Robosense is also an ongoing research project in the Sabin Design Lab. "The project innovates cyber-physical systems to generate interfaces for human-robot interaction in the context of robotic fabrication and computational design," says Sabin. "Our primary aim is to simplify and consolidate the multiple platforms necessary to construct feedback networks for robotic fabrication into an intuitive programming environment for advanced to novice users."
From the RCL, Zivkovic and Christopher Battaglia (M.Arch. '17) presented "Rough Pass Extrusion Tooling: CNC Post-processing of 3D-printed Sub-additive Concrete Lattice Structures." Their paper presentation walked through a relatively new two-step process that "drastically improves the precision of sub-additive printing, a spatial concrete printing method developed at Cornell," explains Zivkovic. "Taking advantage of the 3D-scanning technology and the robotic fabrication setup at RCL, the research team achieved and demonstrated the feasibility of the method and is currently working on future applications for the process."
Zivkovic also assisted Lok in the exhibition of their project, Corbel Cabin: 3D Printed Concrete Building, at the conference venue. Lok, cofounder and coprincipal with Zivkovic at their design practice, Hannah, refers to the project as a "case study at full scale" that uses 3D-printed concrete techniques in combination with analog, or "low-tech," construction. Corbel Cabin, also called Corbel-Bacon, is currently under construction in Ithaca, New York.
"ACADIA as an organization and community is constantly challenging ideas of what the future of architecture and the built environment will look like," says Rosenwasser. "This year, innovators were presenting prototypes of whole buildings, which would articulate movements based on the building's occupants and their emotions. Others were showing alternatives to heavy and wasteful building formwork by utilizing thin steel modular elements with a lightweight fabric sheet to create complex concrete structures with almost zero waste. In short, it's an extraordinary event, which reveals the cutting-edge expertise in our architectural profession."
By Edith Fikes