Phriends* for Shells at the Advanced Robotic Fabrication Seminar

During Phriends* for Shells, the Master in Advanced Architecture‘s Seminar in Advanced Robotic Fabrication, students fabricated five earthen shells with perforations and non uniform thickness, under the supervision of Innochain PhD Candidate Stephanie Chaltiel and the Digital Fabrication and Computational Design Expert Djordje Stanojevic.

This work has started with the very quick edification of bending branches and elastic fabric temporary form work. As a form finding experiment, the idea was to leave the branches bend the way they naturally do. The shells were scanned at different stages of the fabrication to allow Robot-Spraying trajectories fine tuning.

IAAC robotic-fabrication

Robot-Spraying applied for this fabrication process needs a significant amount of adjusting in terms of intermittent vs continuous trajectories, Spraying by points or by lines, the velocity, pressure, pace, angle, distance to the support. By varying those parameters in the digital world, participants were invited to observe the system performance in terms of material robotic deposition on the formwork in the physical world.

Constant manual craft in between Robotic fabrication were adjusted according to the phasing. Some layers of clay and sand were more or less fibrous, with different levels of viscosity.

IAAC robotic-fabrication

On the 12th of March in the morning the very calm and sunny moment of removing the branches and fabric with a bit of fear but with much joy to discover each unique earthen shell stands and reveals new aesthetics. The same day the students show their progress and some drafts of their future videos during a second critics session.

IAAC robotic-fabrication

The technique developed during this seminar doesn’t have any existing literature, as we’re creating a new robotic and manual fabrication method inspired by vernacular earth architecture. the students of this seminar are therefore creating history in the meticulous development of those new highly sustainable techniques.

To be continued, as the final submission will reveal the final shells with smooth edges, cactus sauce coating, and videos showing the beauty of robotic movements married to enjoyable manual craft.

Advanced Robotic Fabrication is one of the elective seminars of the Master in Advanced Architecture, an innovative program focusing on five Research Lines led by internationally renowned experts. Aim of the master is to bring together students and faculty from different disciplines towards the creation of a networked hub dedicated to research and innovation for the habitability of the 21st Century.

Learn more about the program by clicking here.