I’m organizing, with Alexandra Paio and João Pedro Sousa, an online workshop on the 2020 DigitalFUTURES conference. The workshop will be held over Zoom for participants and streamed to Youtube for the auditing students. Here is a summary:
Recent events with the virus have accelerated ongoing trends towards home working, long foreseen by authors such as Alvin Toffler. This transition calls into question all aspects of the urban environment from the way the cities and houses are organized to the very nature of construction. As work moves home, its changing requirements will contribute to more frequent renovations.
There is a rising awareness of the need to reduce construction impacts on the environment at the energy level, resource consumption and waste generation. Design for Disassembly (DfD) is a design strategy that aims to respond to the growing weight of embodied energy in the materials, the construction process, on the sequential renovation cycles over the building lifetime. It prioritizes reuse of building systems, components and materials and, at a lower hierarchical level, on recycling and down-cycling.
Digital design and fabrication tools have an important part in enabling design and production of building systems or hole buildings that achieve these principles, particularly through the use of digitally fabricated joinery. These production methods can accommodate local geometrical variability without incurring into significant production overheads, a fundamental enabler of mass customization.
The objective of this workshop is to test a design workflow for the development of context-aware mass-customizable demountable construction systems that can be deployed in online configurators for generic clients. On day 1 we will present the workflow and introduce RoomSurveyor, a Grasshopper plugin that implements triangulation algorithms inspired in empirical survey workflows. Participants will be requested to survey one space and propose a subdivision of that space – a concept design. On day 2 we will look at how to use RoomSurveyor components to produce parametric models of the surveyed space and validate that concept design. From the day 3 onwards, participants will focus on developing their own mass-customizable and demountable construction systems.