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RAF | A framework for symbiotic agencies in robotic – aided fabrication

Nahmad Vazquez, Alicia and Jabi, Wassim ORCID: 2016. RAF | A framework for symbiotic agencies in robotic – aided fabrication. Research Based Education 2016 1 , pp. 130-149.

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The research presented in this paper utilizes industrial robotic arms and new material technologies to model and explore a different conceptual framework for ‘robotic-aided fabrication’ based on material formation processes, collaboration, and feedback loops. Robotic-aided fabrication as a performative design process needs to develop and demonstrate itself through projects that operate at a discrete level, emphasizing the role of the different agents and prioritizing their relationships over their autonomy. It encourages a process where the robot, human and material are not simply operational entities but a related whole. In the pre-actual state of this agenda, the definition and understanding of agencies and the inventory of their relations is more relevant than their implementation. Three test scenarios are described using human designers, phase-changing materials, and a six-axis industrial robotic arm with an external sensor. The common thread running through the three scenarios is the facilitation of interaction within a digital fabrication process. The process starts with a description of the different agencies and their potentiality before any relation is formed. Once the contributions of each agent are understood they start to form relations with different degrees of autonomy. A feedback loop is introduced to create negotiation opportunities that can result in a rich and complex design process. The paper concludes with speculation on the advantages and possible limitations of semi-organic design methods through the emergence of patterns of interaction between the material, machine and designer resulting in new vistas towards how design is conceived, developed, and realised.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Publisher: The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2016
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 20:45

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