טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentNakar Gil
SubjectStudy of the Impact of Digital Fabrication Technology on
Forming Design Knowledge in Architectural Design
of Spatial-Complex Building Envelopes
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Dr. Eyal Karni
Professor Rivka Oxman
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Digital fabrication technology is becoming widespread and available for applications in the field of architecture and building. The technology was originally developed for a variety of fields other than Architecture, such as Industrial Design, Aeronautics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. As a result, architects today must deal with methods and processes which are not considered natural to the traditional design and construction processes. The direct digital information continuum forming between design representation and means of production is unprecedented and creates a new opportunity to redefine the relations between conception and realization of architecture. Discovering and defining the affects of digital fabrication technologies on design and manufacturing methods and processes, and the need of understanding the changes in the nature of the architectural design process define the needs for this research.

The research is based on a case-study survey. The case-study pool is composed of 20 spatial-complex building envelopes which were designed and realized using CAD/CAM technologies. A classified knowledge database was constructed, based on the survey findings and literature review. Findings indicate that new architectural knowledge is forming in various domains: complex geometry and surface curvature, structure surface relations, building systems, derivation of building systems and components information, material properties and material processing, fabrication techniques and assembly. Survey findings are represented both in a written section and in the form of classification 'tree-diagrams', which enable mapping of single or multiple case-studies.

The knowledge-base classification system may be used as an aid in assisting architects with developing realization solutions to designed, complex-curved building envelopes. Design projects in progress may be mapped and analyzed in comparison with precedent knowledge based on built case-studies. The classification knowledge-base system developed in this research may be used for future research. For example, it can function as an accumulative platform which allows adding of new, innovative, case-studies, thus expanding the knowledge-base. In a future research, statistic information may be derived by mapping multiple case-studies and analyzing patterns in their realization chains. Future research may include a development of an interactive computerized interface, based on the classification system and findings, which allows project mapping, cross categories analysis, references to relevant internet sites of architects, experts and companies, etc.