Theory Seminar asked that participants explore the impact that robotics and automation may have within the architecture, engineering and construction industries.


Throughout conversations between participants and guest speakers, a clear fear that automation and optimisation may become an increasingly detrimental and imposing force within architecture was a constant theme. However, I posit that architecture is, and always has been, the consequence and expression of technology. While we are currently amidst the information revolution, the revolution that is affecting almost every facet of our modern lives, it’s one that does not change our buildings. With access to more data than ever before, it is still through the human filter that we decide its level of impact on the built environment and any robotic automation used.


From the conceptual & theoretical perspective; will the use of optimisation, robotic automation and computation see us move even faster to the ‘inevitable box’? Perhaps. Although I suggest a deeper investigation into the concerns of philosopher Masahiro Morioka who has argued that challenge is a necessary component of a meaningful life, and that as our lives become more efficient, our mental health pays the price. The same can easily be adapted to that of the architect, those that submit to resignation of becoming redundant perhaps would have always, and those that understand the inherit benefits and challenges will always seek ikigai.


Building upon this, the exploration of my research topic is to explore whether there is a position for robotics outside of purely digital fabrication within architecture, and what might that look like?


Theory & Context Seminar | MRAC 2018-2019

Faculty Ricardo Devesa