Towards Real-Time Adaptive Fabrication-Aware Form Finding in Architecture

Dave Pigram, Max Maxwell, Wes McGee

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


This paper identifies the disciplinary potential latent in the combination of algorithmic design and sensor-enabled robotic fabrication to achieve multiple channels of feedback between design, fabrication and assembly. Three key methodological shifts are identified. The first is a shift to fabrication-aware-form finding. In comparing analogue form finding to digital form finding practices, it is clear that a greater number and diversity of constraints can be negotiated within an information-based digital environment. The second methodological shift is to bi-directional negotiation between design and production limits. Robotic fabrication is highly customizable—initial constraints do not need to be seen as fixed. The final shift is the introduction of sensor feedback and near real-time control. This permits the continual redefinition of parts during fabrication in response to material-, dimensional- and assembly-volatility. Taken together, these shifts challenge the typically linear and compartmentalized nature of the processes linking design with construction and therefore open up new ecologies of design practice and opportunities for innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016
EditorsDagmar Reinhardt, Rob Saunders, Jane Burry
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319263786
ISBN (Print)9783319263762
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventRobotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design - University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 18 Mar 201619 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameRobotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016


ConferenceRobotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design
Abbreviated titleROB|ARCH 2016
Internet address


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