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D2RP&O #1: Topological Assemblage 2.0

Tutors team / Assistant Henriette Bier, Sina Mostafavi, Alex Liu Cheng, Ana Anton, and Serban Bodea / Marco Galli (MSc 4 student and SA)


The workshop advances design-­to-­robotic-production (D2RP) methods for exploring assembly and componentiality in relation to requirements of porosity and variation at different scales, ranging from micro levels, as material systems, to macro levels as spatial and architectural configurations. In this context, topological assemblage will be explored by designing and robotically producing a three-dimensional structure that consist of various components assembled into an integrated whole. The multi- material structure (similar to the component shown in fig. 1) is a piece of urban furniture (stool/chair) with integrated interactive/adaptive sub-components. It is to be placed on the Sajetplein/square in Amsterdam and will be proof of concept for:

- Process- and material-efficiency achieved through smart robotic (i.e. selective) material deposition and/or subtraction;
- Smart operation by integrating sensor-actuators such as lights, speakers, ventilators, and/or inflatable cushions, etc. in order to allow users to customize use of the urban furniture.
- Co-creation by making parametric model accessible to and editable by users on the Internet.

Required functional, formal, and interactive/adaptive performance will be explored as follows:
- Functional requirements will be addressed by mapping activities on a square in Amsterdam.
- Formal aspects are explored by taking into consideration material, structural, climatic requirements as well as principles of customisation, continuous variation, and componential assembly and re/combination.
- Interactivity/adaptiveness are considered from a distributed control perspective.

Main consideration is that the structure is composed of components that are together establishing hybrid systems (programmatic, climatic, structural, etc.), which are computationally and robotically processed and operated. Porosity and variation are investigated in relation to performative aspects (related to functional, structural, and/or environmental needs).

Fig1 Echosphere.png Fig. 1: Multi-performative building component addressing functional, structural, and acoustic requirements has been implemented with MSc 2 students 2016 (Echosphere)


The design of the urban furniture builds up on the Echosphere project (http://gsm.hyperbody.nl/index.php/Msc2G3:Group) built last semester with MSc 2 students. As such, a fragment of Echosphere will be developed into a piece of urban furniture.

Organisation This workshop is vertical meaning that MSc 1&3 work together in mixed groups. Each group will address one of the following topics:
- Componentiality & Assembly
- 3D Porosity & Surface tectonics
- Hybridity& Interactivity / Adaptiveness
Although the level of resolution with respect to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) may be kept theoretical, design proposals must intelligently consider both (1) the seamless integration of adaptive systems into the porous structure (architecturally and computationally), and (2) their possible functions / services with respect to, for e.g., localized illumination and ventilation, temperature-regulation, noise-reduction, sound-emission, etc., as a response to or an instigation of particular phenomena. In addition to local / embedded sensor-actuator systems, ambulant / remote systems may be considered. At present, intelligence in the built-environment tends to be situated in discrete structured environments, where the functional scope does not extend beyond their limited boundaries. But perhaps with the addition of ambulant / remote sensors, interaction may extend beyond the physical boundaries of the urban furniture. Finally, the distribution of sensor-actuator systems as well as their schematic system-architecture must be considered carefully to instantiate a continuous and feasible D2RP&O narrative.


MSc 1&3 deliverables are tailored to the different levels of involvement in the workshop:
– Interactive presentation showing concept, information models, and behavioral diagrams (MSc 1&3)
– 3D-4D parametric models showing the design at the phase of concept design, schematic design, design development, and construction design (MSc 1&3)
– Structure and materialization design for D2RP&O (MSc 3)
– Rapid prototyping, NC and robotic production (MSc 3)
– Report including photographs/movies documenting production, assembly process, and final result (MSc 1&3)