Architecture, as an interdisciplinary field, has always been both a challenger and a utilizer of cutting-edge technologies of its era. The 3rd Industrial Revolution has moved designers and engineers away from their drawing boards to computer-aided design, the 4th Industrial Revolution is looking forward to blurring the lines between digital design and physical construction. Following 3D printing and CNC machines, digital fabrication with its new advancements in computational manufacturing opens a new realm for a high-quality, future-oriented large-scale architecture environment: designers could make bespoken artifacts directly translated from digital design, producers could program new materials that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, computer-aided robots could automatically cut and drill holes for connections, and assembly precisely and swiftly……These changes are expected to transform our way of design, construction and building.
Pioneering in the field of digital fabrication, Prof. Dr. Philippe Block, Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) at ETH Zurich, Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication, will talk about his research on Computational Structural Geometry and its application in designing and constructing doubly-curved shell structures which formed the basis of projects such as unreinforced stone Armadillo Vault etc. Our second speaker, Prof. Dr. Philip Yuan, Associate Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, will introduce DigitalFUTURES, a global platform for research and education, and its role in addressing digital in architecture and design, with a focus on computational design and digitally controlled fabrication.
Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) at ETH Zurich, Principal Investigator at NCCR Digital Fabrication, will present his research on additive manufacturing and its potential to challenge traditional paradigms of design and construction. To conclude, Prof. Dr. Hao Hua, Associate Professor in Architecture at Southeast University, will focus on the innovative combination of digital fabrication and Generative Art by creating an interface between mathematical formulations and computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
by Libing Gu, Head of Academic Relations, Swissnex in China
16:03-16:15 Computational Structural Geometry
by Prof. Dr. Philippe Block, Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, Co-Leader of Block Research Group (BRG), Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication
16:15-16:27 DigitalFUTURES: A Global Knowledge Sharing Platform
by Prof. Dr. Philip F. Yuan, Associate Dean, Professor of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, Co-Chair of DigitalFUTURES Association
16:27-16:39 Additive Construction – Future Opportunities of Additive Manufacturing in Architecture
by Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, Principal Investigator NCCR Digital Fabrication
16:39-16:51 Generative Art
by Prof. Dr. Hao Hua, Associate Professor in Architecture at Southeast University
Prof. Dr. Philippe BlockProfessor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, Co-Leader of Block Research Group (BRG), Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication
Prof. Dr. Philippe Block is a full professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he leads the Block Research Group (BRG) with Prof. Dr. Tom Van Mele. Philippe is also Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication. He studied architecture and structural engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, where he earned his PhD in 2009. He applies research into practice on the design, engineering and construction of novel shell structures and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Rössler Prize for most promising young professor from ETH Zürich (2018) and the Berlin Arts Prize 2018 for Baukunst.
Prof. Dr. Philip YuanAssociate Dean, Professor of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, Co-Chair of DigitalFUTURES Association
Prof. Dr. Yuan is Associate Dean, tenured professor of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, Council Member of Architects Sector, Virtual and Automated Construction Sector as well as Academic Committee of Computational Design Sector at Architectural Society of China, Director of Academic Committee of Shanghai Digital Fabrication Engineering Technology Center and Co-Chair of DigitalFUTURES Association. He founded Shanghai based firms: Archi-Union Architects and Fab-Union Technology. Prof. Dr. Yuan is also a member in the Scientific Committee of The International Association on Spatial Structures (IASS) and the International Conference on 3D Printing and Transportation (3DTRB). His research mainly focuses on the field of performance-based architectural tectonics, the application of robotic fabrication equipment as well as developments of robotic fabrication technologies.
Prof. Dr. Benjamin DillenburgerProfessor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, Principal Investigator at NCCR Digital Fabrication
Benjamin Dillenburger is an architect and Professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at the ETH Zurich, where he leads the research group Digital Building Technologies. Currently, he is also Principal Investigator of the Swiss National Competence Centre of Research NCCR Digital Fabrication. He develops new digital ways of translating information into matter. In this context, his research focuses on additive manufacturing and its potential to challenge traditional paradigms of design and construction.
Benjamin Dillenburger’s work was presented in Venice Architecture Biennale, London Design Week, and Art Basel Miami. Recent work includes the design of two full-scale 3D printed rooms for the FRAC Centre Orleans and the permanent collection of Centre Pompidou Paris and the development of a lightweight concrete slab, as part of a housing project entirely fabricated with robots and 3D printers, the DFAB HOUSE.
Prof. Dr. Hao HuaAssociate Professor in Architecture at Southeast University, Founder of javakuka.org platform
Prof. Dr. Hao Hua is an Associate Professor in Architecture at Southeast University. He received Dr.sc. degree from the chair of Computer-Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) at ETH Zürich. Since 2014 he works at the Institute of Architectural Algorithms & Applications at Southeast University. His research focuses on computational design and digital fabrication. He received Young CAADRIA Award and the ALGODeQ Vanguard Prize. The javaKUKA.org was initiated by him in 2016 for robotic programming. His works were exhibited in International Exhibition on Architectural Algorithms & Applications (Nanjing 2016) and in China International Robot Show (CIROS 2018).
NCCR Digital Fabrication
The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication aims to revolutionise architecture through the seamless combination of digital technologies and physical building processes. Over 60 researchers from six different academic disciplines collaborate to develop ground-breaking technologies for tomorrow’s construction. Their research allows Switzerland to take a leading position within the global field of digital fabrication. To fully leverage the potential of digital fabrication, the following six disciplines collaborate intensively within the NCCR Digital Fabrication: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical and robotics engineering, materials science, computer science and control systems engineering. The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs) are a funding scheme of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
nexFrontier series is the latest webinar series at Swissnex in China which spotlights cutting-edge research in Switzerland and China. With a particular focus on Swiss National Centers of Competence in Research NCCRs and top-class research labs in China, this series hopes to introduce the most pioneering research advancements in Switzerland and China to an enthusiastic audience and promotes potential exchange and collaboration between the two labs or institutions.