GSM 3 – Workshops: 10-11 November 2016

Robotic Building (RB)
Henriette Bier (Founder RB/ RB session chair/ NGB 3 editor)

Abstract
Robotic Building (RB) implies both physically built robotic environments and robotically supported building processes. Physically built robotic environments consist of reconfigurable, adaptive systems incorporating sensor-actuator mechanisms that enable buildings to interact with their users and surroundings in real-time. These require design-to-production and operation chains that may be (partially or completely) robotically driven.

While, architecture and architectural production are increasingly incorporating aspects of non-human agency employing data, information, and knowledge contained within the (worldwide) network connecting electronic devices, the relevant question for the future is not whether robotic building may be implemented, but how robotic systems may be incorporated into building processes and physically built environments in order to serve and improve everyday life; how these systems may offer solutions for energy-efficient building, demand-driven production and operation, and efficient use of resources.

The RB session of the GSM #3 symposium aims to answer this question by critically reflecting on the achievements of the last decades in applications of robotics in architecture and furthermore outlining potential future developments and their societal implications. The focus is on robotic systems embedded in buildings and building processes implying that architecture is enabled to interact with its users and surroundings in real-time and corresponding design to production, and operation chains are (in part or as whole) robotically driven. Such modes of production and operation involve agency of both humans and non-humans. Thus agency is not located in one or another but in the heterogeneous associations between them (inter al. Latour, 2005) and authorship is neither human or non-human but collective, hybrid, and diffuse.

Robotic Building exploits emergent results from interactions between human and non-human agents not only at design and production level but also at building operation level, wherein users and environmental conditions contribute to the emergence of multiple architectural configurations. In this context, design becomes process- instead of object-oriented, use of space becomes time- instead of program- or function-based, which implies that architects design increasingly processes, while users operate multiple time-based architectural configurations (Bier and Knight, 2014) emerging from the same physical space that may physically or sensorially reconfigure in accordance to environmental and user specific needs.

If spatial reconfiguration may be facilitating multiple, changing uses of physically built space within reduced timeframes, interactive energy and climate control systems embedded in building components and employing renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, may reduce architecture’s ecological footprint. Both rely on virtual modelling and simulation that interface the production and real-time operation of physically built space establishing thereby an unprecedented design to production and operation feedback loop, which is focus of the RB session.

Workshops
In addition to the RB oral session taking place on the 10th of November, two workshops are organized to address aspects of Design-to-Robotic-Production and -Operation:

D2RP workshop 10 November, 9:30-11:30
The Design-to-Robotic-Production (D2RP) workshop addresses design-to-production chains that may be (partially or completely) robotically driven. Such modes of production involve agency of both humans and non-humans. Thus agency is not located in one or another but in the heterogeneous associations between them (inter al. Latour, 2005) and authorship is neither human or non-human but collective, hybrid, and diffuse.
The goal of the workshop is to identify multi- and transdisciplinary strategies for D2RP and establish a framework for international collaboration with the aim to secure European funding .

Participants
Justin Dirrenberger
Henriette Bier
Salmi Timo

D2RO workshop 11 November, 9:30-11:30
The Design-to-Robotic-Operation (D2RO) workshop focuses on physical and sensorial reconfiguration of the physically built space in order to address changing environmental and user specific needs. For instance, spatial reconfiguration may be facilitating multiple, changing uses of physically built space within reduced timeframes, while interactive energy and climate control systems embedded in building components and employing renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, may reduce architecture’s ecological footprint.

The goal of the workshop is to brainstorm and discuss strategies for collaboration manifested in a number of possible ways:
· Talks and workshops delivered at partner institutions
· Co-authored projects, research proposals, papers and presentations
· Workshops co-convened at international, benchmark conferences/symposia
· Exchanges across the advanced graduate students and co-mentorship by faculty members who may also serve as MSc or PhD thesis committee members

Participants
Holger Schnadelbach
Henriette Bier
Keith Green
Sebastian Vehlken