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Building on the GSD’s long-time strength in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing techniques (CAD/CAM), studies in this area expand the scope of digital fabrication by engaging the use of industrial robots for fabrication. This next generation of fabrication techniques open up new opportunities for design speculation as well as for addressing building performance. Inherently interdisciplinary as a field of research and study, digital design and modeling is considered as an abstraction of making. Work in computation is augmented by studies of materials and questions of assembly, both of which feed into the actual computer-controlled fabrication process itself. Studies look both at the digital craft of parametric and scripted design processes for digital and robotic fabrication, as well at automation approaches in industry. Applications in architecture and in industrial design are both addressed. This area is also closely related to the MDesS technology design computation focus.

Theoretical work and case studies in this area are complemented by extensive physical experimentation. Prototyping work makes use of the GSD’s state-of the art digital fabrication lab that includes numerous CNC machines, rapid prototyping devices, and two flexible robotic workcells. The GSD is one of the first design schools to explore the use of flexible robotic fabrication in architecture through coursework and research. Related faculty include Martin Bechthold, John Nastasi, Ingeborg Rocker, Leire Asensio Villoria and others.

Typical Electives
2444 Advanced Landscape as Digital Media: Fabricating Grounds
4337 Digital Culture, Space, and Society
6210 Advanced Materials and Technologies
6211 Structural Surfaces
6409 Innovative Materials in Design 
6410 Kinetic Architecture 
6415 Construction Automation
6423 (Re)fabricating Tectonic Prototypes
6427 Advanced CAD/CAM

Research Projects

Surfacing Stone: Robotically fabricated stone shell
Mobile Information Unit: An interactive media kiosk used for exhibitions and aretist installations. 
Performative Ceramics: Customization of new ceramic products for high performance facades.

Research Unit: Material Processes and Systems Group

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