The London Fine Arts Association has released a film showing its first major foray into robotic construction and has found that it will launch a new course focused on digital fabrication this year.
Robotic manufacturing was first used this year in the creation of Woodchip Barn by students in the AA School’s Design & Make program.
As a result of the success of the project, the creation of a new master’s course, known as style & Make, was created, which focuses on robotic technologies and their use in the wood construction industry.
“We are making robots a big part of our study here, and we think the use of natural forms in architecture is very promising, especially in conjunction with 3D scanning.”
Robotics is becoming increasingly essential in architecture, according to program director Martin Self.
The course is part of this trend in mechanical construction, promoted by researchers at the University of Stuttgart and ETH Zurich, and supported by architects such as Wolf D Prix and Kai-Uwe Bergmann from BIG.
The robotic arm will be used by students in the course, which is housed in Hooke Park’s Big Shed workshop, a fabrication room built by the students in 2012.
The second-hand robot is a fixed Kuka KR-150 with a range of 2.7 meters, the same type of industrial arm used by designer and researcher Achim Menges to develop a folding carbon fiber shelter for the V&A museum in London.
The arm incorporates a lathe-like mount that is digitally controlled. The Woodchip Barn is the latest in a series of annual structures designed by the students of the wood harvesting course from the surrounding forest.
To create it, wood collected from the Science Man Park was 3D scanned for its inherent strength, before being processed to create interlocking connections using the robotic arm.
“The explanation for this approach is that the varied characteristics of the native material can be exploited directly, while not wasting the industrial process to first standardize and then add variation to the part geometries,” added Self.