Robotic architecture unveiled in new V&A Dundee exhibition

Image credit: Michael McGurk

ROBOTIC architecture takes centre stage at a new exhibition at V&A Dundee.

The museum revealed that the new commission will sit alongside the next major exhibition Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine, which opens on November 2.

Up-Sticks by Gramazio Kohler Research and students of the MAS Architecture and Digital Fabrication at ETH Zurich is a timber structure inspired by traditional construction methods and fabricated using a collaborative human-robotic fabrication technique.

Computational strategies and robotic technologies were used to design, map out and place over 2,000 spruce planks and beech dowels. The result is a construction that twists and curves along the length of the gallery.

Mhairi Maxwell, V&A Dundee project curator said, “Up-Sticks is an informal turn of phrase to express leaving your home in haste. It is thought to originate from the rough cut, unseasoned timber frame architecture of the Scottish croft designed for temporary occupation, which would literally be taken with the household from place to place.

“The commission shows how contemporary knowledge in computation and digital fabrication technology can be combined with traditional knowledge to innovate the construction sector, at a time when resources are increasingly limited.”

Hannes Mayer, senior researcher at Gramazio Kohler Research added, “Up-Sticks is a demonstration of how traditional knowledge and craftsmanship can be combined with advanced digital design and fabrication processes to create surprising, beautiful and sustainable architectural structures. It reflects the integrative role architects can play in a digital building culture – for which we educate students in our MAS DFAB programme.”

Other projects by Gramazio Kohler Research include the first architectural installation assembled by drones and a pavilion built by a mobile robot from loose stones and string.