Why robotics? We get this question all the time!
Our interest in coupling robotic fabrication to computational (algorithmic) design strategies is a conscious attempt to rediscover architectures rich historical relationship with making. The practice values architecture that is materially and spatially rich and that is gifted with bespoke, idiosyncratic and ornamental qualities. We feel the compartmentalisation of design, manufacturing and construction has closed the doors on many such opportunities in design. We prefer to work in a more collaborative model with skilled contractors and project managers to realise the best possible outcome.
For the 2012 International Venice Architecture Biennale, supermanoeuvre harnessed robotic fabrication in order to challenge the reductive economies of construction and in doing so redefine the potentials of architectural space itself. Architecture for too long has been defined by a very low population of parts: columns, walls, floors, ceilings, etc... In contrast, CLOUDS OF VENICE proposed a new spatial experience no longer reliant on a limited set of discrete spatial elements. Instead, the project posited a highly diffuse and gradient spatial reading enabled by an ultra-high population assembly of mass-customised, robotically fabricated steel rods. The final installation included over 1000 unique pieces all digitally generated and robotically fabricated. Moreover we did so without ever producing a construction drawing!