Just as technological breakthroughs have resulted in paradigm shifts in design practice in the past, so is the current revolution caused by innovations in digital design and fabrication technologies radically transforming methods of architectural production. Not only are increasingly sophisticated digital fabrication procedures allowing for the conception and construction of projects of an unforeseen complexity, architects and researchers are also now beginning to speculate on new types of design-build scenarios, using new technologies for projects and contexts that were previously unaddressed. Supported by powerful digital modelling and scripting tools, design strategies can now incorporate specific contextual attributes, such as local environmental data or material properties. In parallel digital fabrication allows for the direct materialisation of customised design solutions, thus offering qualitative improvements to single constructions for everyday life.
The Design & Build Workshop ‘Digital Constructions’ was an intensive, ten-day visiting school programme organised through a collaboration of the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Hong Kong, the Architectural Association (London) and sponsors PG Bison and Glass South Africa. The programme included lectures, tutorials and a workshop all leading to the design and building of 2 innovative urban dwelling prototypes. The workshop offered participants the unique opportunity to familiarise themselves with the most current digital design and fabrication technologies and implement them into the challenging context of South Africa’s social housing. As final outcome participants constructed full-scale working prototypes of innovative housing solutions for a live site within the city.
STUDENTS | Dirk Coetser, Arnold Wong Yok Fai, Brandon Robertson, Gordon Jubber, Joe Qiu Jiayu, John Saaiman, Kate Keightley-Smith, Khalid Khota, Nicola Botes, Paul Mok Chit Yan, Peter Lampard, Ruby Law Wai Yue, Wynand Viljoen, Gabrielle Aquadro, Viljoen Brand, Emil Cloete, Jens Sylvest, Dirk Bahmann, Dimitri Venetsanakis, Elmo Swart