Computational Design and Digital Fabrication

Summer Semester 2021 I ITECH Seminar
ITECH Module 49781
Master Module 47571

ICD: Prof. A. Menges, T. Schwinn, O. Bucklin, R. Duque Estrada, F, Kannenberg, Y. Tahouni
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Computational Design and Digital Fabrication

Robotic Fabrication
First Meeting: 20.04.2021, 9:45

Recent developments in computational design methods, fabrication techniques and robotic control open up new possibilities for materialization in architecture. Beyond the automation of traditional fabrication techniques, robotics affords the opportunity to explore adaptive, interactive, and responsive digital fabrication methods. Students will develop skills and understanding for relevant techniques: robotic programming approaches and interfaces, custom effectors, development and prototyping of custom electronics, and fabrication feedback.

Throughout the course, the students will receive instruction about the aforementioned topics and will be requested to engage practically with the given curriculum through accomplishing short-term assignments in small groups. Where possible, synergies with the ITECH Research Pavilion (participation encouraged but not obligatory) are encouraged, which will enable students to investigate fabrication-oriented design in interdisciplinary teams as well as developing suitable computational design tools. The result of the investigations will be a deeper understanding of the potential of robotic fabrication in architecture and proficiency in technologies for advanced fabrication of architectural systems, the development of computational tools, and experimental fabrication techniques. The course lays the foundations for behavioral robot control which will be explored in the following semester as part of the Behavioral Fabrication seminar.

At the end of the course, student groups will be complete a final seminar project combining the skills they have learned during the course.

Final presentation and hand-in: 13.7.2021


Lecture content will be fully provided through ILIAS. We will have weekly live sessions using WebEx during regular course hours to discuss the lecture contents and answer related questions. The remaining time of the live sessions will be dedicated to desk crits regarding your assignment progress.

Assignments will also be distributed and submitted through ILIAS. We will have pre-recorded tutorial videos but we are also open to do tutorials during the online sessions if required. Students will be asked to complete three assignments, two of which are hardware assignments, where you will need access to some basic tools. Depending on the pandemic situation, we will be able to permit individual groups into the Robolab to work on their projects if necessary and only if the then valid Covid regulations can be met.

Admission to the course for non-ITECH students will be based on a motivation letter, previous knowledge and participation in ICD courses, and final decision by the tutors.


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