Towards Fabrication-Informed Design Freedom: Agent Based Modelling Methods for the Co-Design of a Multi-Storey Wood Building System and its Cyber-Physical Fabrication

2021 - Current | Doctoral Research
German Research Foundation (EXC 2120/1)

Luis Orozco

Towards Fabrication-Informed Design Freedom

Agent Based Modelling Methods for the Co-Design of a Multi-Storey Wood Building System and its Cyber-Physical Fabrication

Timber is a renewable building material that has the potential to store captured carbon, and is more workable that other common construction materials like steel and concrete. Most contemporary timber buildings have one of a few restricted set of typologies. They are hampered in part by the limited open span discrete wooden components can achieve when they come directly from standard production, and also in part by the orthogonal shape of raw and conventionally prefabricated timber elements, which is preferable for international logistics. These restrictions lead to buildings designed specifically for one of a few programme types, with little or no possibility of adaptive reuse later in their lifespans.

This thesis sets out to investigate how co-design centred on digital design and fabrication methods can be leveraged to expand the possible in building design and construction. It will attempt to push timber multi-storey buildings beyond their current limited palette of building types using innovative design methods, including Agent Based Modelling techniques, integrated cross-disciplinary simulations, and design for robotic fabrication.

This thesis aims to enable co-design by integrating different disciplines into the same design process, by way of a multi-level and multi-agent design method. Its first objective is to develop modelling methods for architectural part-to-whole and whole-to-part relationships, that interface with other disciplines such as structural engineering, building physics, and fabrication. Its second objective is to link these methods directly to fabrication and construction modelling for direct engagement with pre-fabrication and assembly platforms.



ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart

Luis Orozco, Prof. A. Menges


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)

Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) EXC 2120/1




This image shows Luis Orozco

Luis Orozco

AIA, M.Arch., B.Sc.Arch.

Research Associate

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