Dave Pigram is a designer, educator and researcher who has relocated to Sydney after living and working in New York for many years.
At UTS, he is a senior lecturer in architecture and his research and teaching is centred on algorithmic design techniques and their combination with robotic fabrication processes. He has previously served as a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan; Visiting Researcher at the ETH Zurich; and Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab.
Dave is a founding partner of supermanoeuvre, an international award-winning architecture and innovation practice operating globally from Sydney. The practice won the ‘AA and RMIT Independents Group Fellowship 2014’; ‘Young Architect’s Forum [YAF], Atlanta: Design Build Challenge’; the Powerhouse Museum’s 'International Lace Award (Multimedia) 2010-2011'; and was one of six chosen to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale 2012.
His work is widely exhibited internationally including at the 2008 and 2010 Beijing Architecture Biennales, the Centre Pompidou, and is in the permanent collection of the FRAC Orléans. His writings are published in New York’s Log Journal of Architecture, The Architectural Review Asia Pacific and books such as ‘Fabricating the Future’ and ‘Contemporary Digital Architecture: Design and Techniques’.
Dave has worked as a project team leader for Studio Daniel Libeskind, has taught at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP); the Architecture Association (AA) in London; the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia [IAAC]; Princeton University; the Pratt Institute; TUDelft; and Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark.
Méndez Echenagucia, T, Pigram, D, Liew, A, Van Mele, T & Block, P 2019, 'A Cable-Net and Fabric Formwork System for the Construction of Concrete Shells: Design, Fabrication and Construction of a Full Scale Prototype', Structures, vol. 18, pp. 72-82.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Institution of Structural Engineers This paper describes the construction of a thin-shell concrete roof with a novel cable-net and fabric formwork system. The system consists of a fabric shuttering installed on a cable-net structure, which is tensioned from stiff boundary beams supported by standard scaffolding props. The cable-net is made from 2015 uniquely sized cables and rods, connected by 953 steel nodes. A specific non-uniform distribution of prestress was computed, such that under the weight of the wet concrete the cable-net sags into the desired shape of the final concrete shell. All of the elements of the formwork system were digitally fabricated by specialised industry partners in Switzerland. After the installation of the boundary structure, the cable-net was tensioned with the prescribed non-uniform prestress. An on-site shape control system was used to minimise deviations between the as-built geometry and the digital model. Starting from the lower supports, the concrete was sprayed on the flexible formwork from two aerial platforms in a carefully planned sequence. The construction of the shell together with partners from industry was a proof-of-concept demonstration of the formwork system, showing that concrete shells with complex doubly curved geometry can be built efficiently and with minimal material waste in a real-world context.
Block, P, Schlueter, A, Veenendaal, D, Bakker, J, Begle, M, Hischier, I, Hofer, J, Jayathissa, P, Maxwell, I, Echenagucia, TM, Nagy, Z, Pigram, D, Svetozarevic, B, Torsing, R, Verbeek, J, Willmann, A & Lydon, GP 2017, 'NEST HiLo: Investigating lightweight construction and adaptive energy systems', Journal of Building Engineering, vol. 12, pp. 332-341.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This paper presents research on lightweight construction and smart, integrated and adaptive building systems. The research is focused on addressing challenges related to the building industry at large, including most prominently the improvement of energy efficiency, onsite power generation, and the reduction of the quantity of materials required to build. We introduce four innovations in context of the design of an experimental building (NEST HiLo): a lightweight, unreinforced funicular floor system; a flexibly formed, concrete shell sandwich roof; a soft actuated, adaptive solar facade and an automated, occupant-centred control system. We demonstrate novel structural engineering approaches to compression-only concrete elements and shell design using multi-criteria shape optimisation. We explore a building facade concept, which employs robotic actuators for solar shading and on-site generation. In addition, the operational phase of the building will be used as a living laboratory where occupants' locations and needs for comfort are detected and used for the control of the energy innovations. The research provides insight into design topics that will become increasingly relevant for the evolution of improved lifecycle energy buildings.
Block, P, Schlueter, D, Veenendaal, D, Bakker, J, Begle, M, Hofer, J, Jayathissa, P, Lydon, G, Maxwell, IJ, Mendez, E, Echenagucia, T, Nagy, Z, Pigram, D, Svetozarevic, B, Torsing, R, Verbeek, J & Willmann, J 2017, 'NEST HiLo: Research & innovation unit for lightweight construction and building systems integration', Journal of Building Engineering.
This paper presents HiLo, a research & innovation unit in the domains of lightweight construction as well as smart, integrated and adaptive building systems, and will be used as a living laboratory where occupants' locations and needs for comfort are detected and used for control of building services. HiLo is a duplex penthouse apartment within the NEST building for visiting faculty of Swiss federal research institutes Empa and Eawag, in Duebendorf, Switzerland. HiLo seeks to address many challenges related to the building industry at large, including most prominently the issue of energy consumption and production, and the drastic reduction of materials required to build. The energy concept of HiLo targets zero emissions and net-plus energy in operation, simultaneously exploring lightweight, integrated structural systems. Several key innovations are introduced through HiLo: a lightweight, unreinforced funicular ﬂoor system; a ﬂexibly formed, concrete shell sandwich roof; a soft-actuated, adaptive solar facade; and an automated, occupant-centred control system. HiLo's ﬁnal design was developed by a core team from the structural, architectural and energy domains. This allowed the design to satisfy the challenging brief of providing a high performance building and a platform for the unit's research output.
The academy has always been central to the definition and transformation of architectural practice. The primary mandate of architectural education should be to expand the disciplines possibilities and self-awareness via a focus on its techniques of production. Algorithmic processes represent the latest evolution of the academys role in serving to transform the discipline. The drawing of static (compositional) objects is rejected in favour of the explicit definition of the relationships and procedural steps necessary to their formation.
Pigram, DA, Maxwell, IJ & McGee, W 2016, 'Towards Real-Time Adaptive Fabrication-Aware Form Finding in Architecture' in Reinhardt, D, Saunders, R & Burry, J (eds), Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 426-437.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper identifies the disciplinary potential latent in the combination of algorithmic design and sensor-enabled robotic fabrication to achieve multiple channels of feedback between design, fabrication and assembly. Three key methodological shifts are identified. The first is a shift to fabrication-aware-form finding. In comparing analogue form finding to digital form finding practices, it is clear that a greater number and diversity of constraints can be negotiated within an information-based digital environment. The second methodological shift is to bidirectional negotiation between design and production limits. Robotic fabrication is highly customizable—initial constraints do not need to be seen as fixed. The final shift is the introduction of sensor feedback and near real-time control. This permits the continual redefinition of parts during fabrication in response to material-, dimensional- and assembly-volatility. Taken together, these shifts challenge the typically linear and compartmentalised nature of the processes linking design with construction and therefore open up new ecologies of design practice and opportunities for innovation.
Vasey, L, Maxwell, IJ & Pigram, DA 2014, 'Adaptive Part Variation: A near real-time approach to construction tolerances' in McGee, W & Ponce de Leon, M (eds), Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2014, Springer, Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London, pp. 291-304.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This chapter introduces the concept of Adaptive Part Variation (APV) as a method where robotically automated fabrication and construction processes employ sensors and feedback to make real-time corrections to material and assembly processes by varying the geometry and location of future parts to respond to deviations between digitally defined and physically accumulating form. The potential disciplinary implications of the method are described followed by a comparison to existing approaches to providing tolerance for dimension error in architecture. As a case study, the material system of cold bending steel rod is utilized to investigate strategies for implementing Adaptive Part Variation within a fabrication workflow that includes the production, handling, and assembly of uniquely bent parts through synchronized robotic tasks and iterative sensor feedback. Two computer vision systems are compared to assess their value for APV processes. Finally, potential shifts in the deployment of procedural design methodologies are discussed in relation to adaptive automated construction processes.
Clifford, B, McGee, W, Pigram, D & Patel, S 2013, 'Material fabrications: Q+A' in Performative Materials in Architecture and Design, pp. 145-154.
Méndez Echenagucia, T, Pigram, DA, Liew, A, Van Mele, T & Block, P 2018, 'Full-scale prototype of a cable-net and fabric formed concrete thin-shell roof', Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2018 Creativity in Structural Design, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
This paper describes the construction of a thin shell concrete roof with a novel cable-net and fabric formwork system . The construction of the shell was a proof-of-concept demonstration of the formwork system, showing that through appropriate cable-net component design, and an on-site shape control system , concrete shells with complex doubly curved geometry can be built efficiently and with minimal material waste.
The formwork system works by installing a fabric shuttering on a cable-net structure tensioned from stiff boundary beams that are supported by standard scaffolding props. Starting from the lower support points, the concrete shell is sprayed on the flexible formwork from two aerial platforms in a carefully
planned sequence. The cable-net is designed to deflect into the designed shape of the shell structure
under the weight of the wet concrete. The cable-net nodes are specifically designed to hold the fabric shuttering and to fix the carbon fibre reinforcement at the correct depth in the concrete section. They also serve as an indicator for the variable thickness of the concrete during spraying.
Due to construction tolerances and imperfections, the as-built shape of the cable-net is expected to deviate from the designed geometry. To minimise this deviation, an active control system is used. To reshape the cable-net, the cables on the boundary are tightened or loosened. Based on the measured geometry of the cable-net, a specifically designed control algorithm is used to find the set of adjustments necessary to achieve the desired shape.
Pederson, OE, Larsen, NM & Pigram, DA 2014, 'Post-tensioned discrete concrete elements developed for free-form construction', Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014, Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014, Springer International Publishing, London, pp. 15-28.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper presents a method for the construction of non-uniform precast concrete shell structures from unique parts. A novel method of discontinuous post-tensioning is introduced which allows tension to be taken through the connections. This increases the formal possibilities of the system beyond compression-only funicular forms. It also allows live loading to be catered for without significant thickening of the structure. Most significantly, the post-tensioning system allows for an almost total elimination of falsework a significant impediment to the realistion of complex shell structures. This advancement reduces resources needed for assembly, and increases the overall robustness of the system.
Also presented are a series of refinements that add to the geometric precision of individual concrete elements cast in lasercut PET moulds. These include the development of a casting rig used to fix casting moulds in the right position during casting and algorithms to produce mold details to mediate between the unique components and the repeated rig forms.
The last design experiment is the most elaborate, demonstrating a pavillion structure which incorporates all areas of development. The successful execution of this design experiment allows us to conclude that the building system in its current state of development is ready to be tested in a scale larger than the typical research pavilion.
Maxwell, IJ & Pigram, DA 2014, 'Gaudi's Puffy Jacket: A Method for the Implementation of Fabric Slump Casting in the Construction of Thin-Wall Funicular Vault Structures', Proceedings of Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014, Advances in Architectural Geometry Conference, Springer Verlag, London, pp. 61-77.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper describes a method for the production of thin-wall funicular (compression-only) structures from unique double-curved concrete components via a novel slump casting technique. The technique deploys fabric formwork within simple two-dimensionally cut frames to enable the efficient production of the unique parts necessary to tessellate form-found funicular geometries. Through the realisation of a high-tech / low-tech ecology of production, the paper seeks the reestablishment of generative pathways between each domain in the design-to-production cycle: architecture, engineering and fabrication. The method and resulting case study pavilions are situated within the historical trajectory of architectural form finding, specifically, the realisation of masonry vault structures.
Maxwell, IJ, Pigram, DA, Pederson, OE & Larsen, NM 2014, 'Fabrication Aware Form-finding: A combined quasi-reciprocal timber and discontinuous post-tensioned concrete structure', ACADIA 2014 Design Agency : Proceedings of the 34th annual conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Conference, ACADIA Riverside Architectural Press, USC School of Architecture, Los Angeles, pp. 375-384.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper describes a a design and construction method that combines two distinct material systems with fabrication aware form-finding and file-to-factoy workflows. The method enables the fluent creation of complex materially efficient structures comprising high populations of geometrically unique parts. The first material system employs a novel rotated joint design to allow the structural tuning of quasi-reciprocal timber frame elements fabricated from multi-axis machined plywood sheet stock. The second employs discontinuous post-tensioning to assemble unique precast concrete components into load-bearing structures, significantly educing or eliminating false work during assembly. The method is tested with the contraction of a research pavilion.
Block, P, Bayl-Smith, MK, Schork, T, Bellamy, J & Pigram, DA 2014, 'Ribbed tiled vaulting: Innovation through two design-build workshops', Proceedings for Fabricate: Negotiating Design & Making, Fabricate: Negotiating Design and Making, gta Verlag, Zurich, Switzerland, pp. 22-29.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Traditional tile vaults are typically constructed springing off from walls or straight arches built from support element to support element on falsework. From these, the vault's surface can be built in space with minimal or no guidework. Built on previous research and focusing on continuous surface expression and fully representing three-dimensional equilibrium surfaces in compression, this research explores the design potential of three-dimensional networks of structural ribs, made possible by new funicular form-finding approaches. This new structural typology for tile vaults was investigated and tested through two intensive, design-build workshops in Australia, the first at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in October 2012, and the second at Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA), in May 2013.
Larsen, NM, Pederson, OE & Pigram, DA 2012, 'Realisation of complex precast concrete structures through the integration of algorithmic design and novel fabrication techniques', Advances in Architectural Geometry 2012, Advances in Architectural Geometry, SpringerWien, Centre Pompidou, Paris, pp. 161-174.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper describes a novel method for constructing complex concrete structures from small-scale individualized elements. The method was developed through the investigation of laser cutting, folding and concrete casting in PETG plastic sheets and funicular grid shell simulations as a generator of complex geometry. In two full-scale experiments, grid shell structures have been designed and built at Aarhus School of Architecture and the University of Technology, Sydney, in 2011 and 2012. The novel design method is described as an iterative process, negotiating both physical and digital constraints. This involves consideration of the relations between geometry and technique, as well as the use of form-finding and simulation algorithms for shaping and optimising the shape of the structure. Custom-made scripts embedded in 3D-modeling tools were used for producing the information necessary for realising the construction comprised of discrete concrete elements.
Maxwell, IJ, Pigram, DA & McGee, W 2013, 'The Novel Stones of Venice: The marching cube algorithm as a strategy for managing mass customisation', ACADIA 2013 Adaptive Architecture: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of teh Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA Adaptive Architecture, ACADIA and Riverside Architectural Press, Cambridge, Ontario, pp. 311-318.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The Marching Cube (MC) algorithm is a simple procedural routine for the surface representation of three-dimensional scalar fields. While much has been written of the algorithm's efficiencies and adaptive nature within the domain of computer graphics and imaging, little has been explored within the context of architectural geometry and fabrication. This paper posits a novel implementation of the MC algorithm coupled with robotic fabrication (RF) techniques, to realise an open-ended design method that approaches mass-customisation as the unique geometric distortion of a finite set of topologically consistent families of tectonic elements. The disciplinary consequences of this and similar methods that intimately couple algorithmic design techniques with robotic fabrication are discussed. These include the re-affirmation or expansion of the role of the architect as master builder that is enabled by challenging Leon Battista Alberti's 15th century division between design concept and building. The method and its disciplinary potentials are illustrated through the description of an installation built by the authors for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Clouds of Venice serves as a case study for a new integrated mode of production, one that increases the quality and number of feedback relations between design, matter and making.
McGee, W, Pigram, DA & Kaczynski, MP 2012, 'Robotic reticulations: A method for the integration of multi-axis fabrication processes with algorithmic form-finding techniques', Beyond codes and pixels: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA 2012, Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, Chennai, India, pp. 295-304.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper addresses the design and fabrication of non-uniform structural shell systems. Structural shells, particularly gridshells, have a long history but due to their complexity and the accompanying high cost of construction, their application has been limited. The research proposes a method for integrating the design and fabrication processes such that complex double curved reticulated frames can be constructed efficiently, from prefabricated components, requiring significantly less formwork than is typical. A significant aspect of the method has been the development of software tools that allow for both algorithmic formfinding and the direct control of robotic fabrication equipment from within the same modelling package. A recent case-study is examined where the methodology has been applied to construct a reticulated shell structure in the form of a partial vault. Components were prefabricated using 6-axis robotic fabrication equipment. Individual parts are designed such that the assembly of components guides the form of the vault, requiring no centring to create the desired shape. Algorithmically generated machine instructions controlled a sequence of three tool changes for each part, using a single modular fixture, greatly increasing accuracy. The complete integration of computational design techniques and fabrication methodologies now enables the economical deployment of non-uniform structurally optimised reticulated frames.
Pigram, DA, Larsen, NM & Pederson, OE 2012, 'A Method for the Realization of Complex Concrete Gridshell Structures in Precast Concrete', Synthetic Digital Ecologies: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2012: Synthetic Digital Ecologies, 32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), San Francisco, pp. 209-216.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper describes a method for the design and fabrication of complex funicular structures fromdiscrete precast concrete elements. The research proposes that through the integration of digitalform-finding techniques, computational file-to-fabrication workflows, and innovative sustainableconcrete casting techniques, complex funicular structures can be constructed using prefabricatedelements in a practical, affordable, and materially efficient manner.A recent case study is examined, in which the methodology has been used to construct a pavilion.Custom-written dynamic relaxation software was used to define the overall form and successivealgorithms; it then defined each component's unique geometry, unrolled into flat shapes, andnested all parts into cut-files. PETG plastic sheets were two-dimensionally laser cut and folded toproduce the unique casting molds. The case study was carried out in collaboration between theAarhus School of Architecture and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Basic research incasting techniques defined the framework for the design process, and a custom-written dynamicrelaxation software application became the primary form-generating tool in the design process ofa constructed pavilion. Fabrication and construction constraints were embedded within the designof both the overall structure and its components. Finite element analysis [FEA] was completed inorder to verify the form-finding results, to ensure structural stability, and to direct adjustments ofthe structure during the design process.The constructed pavilion case study, constructed in a very short time, for low cost and with relativelyunskilled labor, demonstrates that the integration of algorithmic form-finding techniques, CNCfabrication workflows, and the use of innovative PETG folded-mold techniques enables thepractical realization of freeform funicular structures in precast concrete.
Pigram, DA, Maxwell, IJ, McGee, W, Vasey, L & Hagenhofer-Daniell, B 2012, 'Protocols, Pathways, and Production', Rob|Arch 2012: Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design, Rob|Arch 2012: Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art, and Design, Springer, Vienna, pp. 143-148.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Difference and repetition are a recurring thematic within architectural discourse. Through the championing of digital techniques (algorithmic, associative or other) and numerically controlled fabrication methods, contemporary practice seeks an expansion of the linear and highly standardized protocols of industrial production. Algorithmic design methodologies, when coupled to robotic fabrication, enable an explicit and bidirectional traversal of the modern division between design and making (Fig. 1.). This paper describes one such method which modifies the familiar marching cube algorithm to take advantage of its latent possibilities for fabrication efficiency.
Pigram, DA & McGee, W 2011, 'Formation Embedded Design: A methodology for the integration of fabrication constraints into architectural design', acadia2011 integration THROUGH computation: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2011, ACADIA, Calgary and Banff, Alberta, Canada, pp. 122-131.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper presents a methodology for the integration of fabrication constraints within the architectural design process through custom written algorithms for fabrication. The method enables the translation from three-dimensional geometry, or algorithmically produced data, into appropriately formatted machine codes for direct CNC fabrication within a single CAD modeling environment. This process is traditionally one-way with part files translated via dedicated machine programming software (CAM). By integrating the toolpath creation into the design package, with an open framework, the translation from part to machine code can be automated, parametrically driven by the generative algorithms or explicitly modeled by the user. This integrated approach opens the possibility for direct and instantaneous feedback between fabrication constraints and design intent. The potentials of the method are shown by discussing the computational workflow and process integration of a diverse set of fabrication techniques in conjunction with a KUKA 7-Axis Industrial Robot. Two-dimensional knife-cutting, large-scale additive fabrication (foam deposition), robot- mounted hot-wire cutting, and robot-assisted rod-bending are each briefly described. The productive value of this research is that it opens the possibility of a much stronger network of feedback relations between formational design processes and material and fabrication concerns.
Kaczynski, MP, McGee, W & Pigram, DA 2011, 'Robotically Fabricated Thin-shell Vaulting: A methodology for the integration of fof multi-axis fabrication processes with algorithmic form-finding techniques', acadia2011 integration THROUGH computation: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Asscoiation for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2011, ACADIA, Calgary and Banff, Alberta, Canada, pp. 114-121.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper proposes and describes a new methodology for the design, fabrication, and construction of unreinforced thin-shell stone vaulting through the use of algorithmic form-finding techniques and multi-axis robotic water jet cutting. The techniques build upon traditional thin-shell masonr y vaulting tectonics to produce a masonry system capable of self-support during construction. The proposed methodology expands the application of thin-shell vaulting to irregular forms, has the potential to reduce the labor cost of vault construction, and opens the possibility of response to external factors such as siting constraints and environmental criteria. The intent of the research is to reignite and reanimate unreinforced compressive masonr y vaulting as a contemporary building practice.
The competition winning project seeks the design of a memorable canopy structure that serves as a functional roof and formal gateway to a new retail and restaurant precinct in Lane Cove, Sydney. The 200 metre-long sinuous roof canopy features a polished underbelly comprising non-standard overlapping aluminium shingles that reflect activity from the various shopping, eating, landscaped and children's play areas making for a vibrant and visually stimulating environment. The design both exaggerates the design intent of the existing landscape elements while offering a striking spatial element that cohesively links each space and program.
Frankston [Re]United is a creative architectural work submitted to an open international competition to design the new Frankston Train Station in Frankston, Victoria. The scheme was one of five schemes short-listed for further development before finally being awarded Runner—Up.
The project positions the new station design as a crucial catalytic step in the long term reclamation of the urban void caused by existing rail infrastructure that currently divides the city of Frankston into two. The scheme would have seen the city of Frankston transformed through the addition of a chain of new, diverse and positive public spaces and coherent pedestrian connections. An enhanced public domain celebrated by an iconic, efficient train station: a powerful symbol and primary driver of the city's future ambitions and prosperity.
The station design demonstrates a class-leading Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) approach to the integration of sustainable design and construction practices. The project defines a robust, cost-effective and highly repeatable strategies to issues of environmental comfort (heating and cooling), thus setting a new industry benchmark for public transport projects. The station buildings feature 100% external sun shading that mitigate solar gain and afford degrees of publicness and privacy, an earth-tempered cooling duct and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) units to individual functional spaces. These are supported by rooftop photovoltaic and solar hot water arrays and rainwater collection and result in a largely self-sufficient station precinct design.
The highly expressive timber roof design reinforces key urban corridors and serves as a powerful demonstration of the possibility of a smart-manufacturing paradigm (Industry 4.0) and carbon-negative construction method in a post-coal Victorian context. The forms are made possible through the coupling of bespoke computational form-finding methodologies to advanced fabrication (CN...
MYOLA sets a new benchmark for affordable sustainable living in Australia. The project demonstrates the possibilities of coupling passive design principles with sophisticated digital design and simulation tools, to realise outstanding environmental performance in combination with highly memorable living spaces.
This industry-based research projects seeks to identify novel manufacturing and market opportunities towards the increased adoption of engineered timber products, specifically Cross Laminate Timber (CLT), by the Australian construction industry.
The research consists of a number of speculative architectural demonstration projects communicated through drawings, models, scaled and 1:1 prototypes that draw upon primary research of exemplars projects overseas. The work seeks to both transfer knowledge and experiences from international contexts while calibrating those findings against market conditions and industry practices in Australia. The work identifies immediate and long-term opportunities for the uptake of CLT specifically within the multi-residential sector and offers novel approaches to its use through the lens of CLT as a composite material. The work demonstrates a positive relationship can be established between CLT and smart-manufacturing and Industry 4.0, key transformation mandates of the Federal Government that may lead to new economic streams and job growth in the currently resource-based forestry industries.
The work culminated in the construction of a 1:1 demonstration pavilion completed for the industry's biennale peak event - AusTimber. The national congress and trade event was held in Traralgon, Victoria in April 2016.
SuperCLT is a research collaboration between Iain Maxwell and David Pigram (UTS), Jane Burry (RMIT) and is financially supported by the government peak-body group: Forestry Wood Products of Australia (FWPA).
SuperExtrude demonstrates a new paradigm in additive fabrication through the realisation of a spatial fabrication strategy (akin to 3d printing) that does not require any support medium. This techniques offers new geometric and formal freedoms for the realisation of complex lattice structures.
A working prototype of a bespoke precast concrete floor system developed for the NEST HILO project. Through a combination of integrated design and advanced fabrication strategies the system achieves a 70% reduction of concrete when compared to conventional construction approaches. The incredibly thin (2cm) unreinforced floor further integrates hydronic heating and cooling strategies resulting in a highly efficient thermally active surface, Critically, the reduction of concrete ensures significantly less energy is required to activate. Floor was produced in collaboration with the Block Research Group [BRG] and Architecture and Building Systems research group [A/S]
Pigram, D.A. & Maxwell, I.J. 2012, 'In the Cause of Architecture: Traversing Design and Making', Log 25, Reclaim Resi[lience]stance// ......R^2, Anyone Corporation, New York, pp. 31-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The machine killed the unique, or so Ruskin, Pugin, and Morris led us to believe. Authenticity was replaced by the generic metrics, ruthless efficiencies, and devouring scales of standardization, mass production, and the consumptive desires of capitalists. This sentiment is not lost on contemporary practice, which now champions the digital â through the lens of parametricism â in the rediscovery of variation and difference through the spectre of mass customization. Generally implied to be universally good, difference is conjured as an endless series of artifacts dimensionally distorted in the service of an individual user's contextual dataset: biometric, ethnographic, climatic, structural, preferential, etc. The classic cases are of proliferate hammers, each with "perfectly" fitting handles, or of sun-shading elements, each precisely tailored to its local solar situation. The general acceptance of the value of these possibilities is reflected in the recent proliferation of hierarchical associative modeling software programs (often imprecisely called "parametric"), and by their giddy adoption by a new breed of infatuated architects and students. Gregory Bateson's conceptual filter "a difference that makes a difference" is useful here. In the case of the hammer, the truly significant dimensional variances are the ones that cause a threshold to be crossed to make what was once a hammer now something else altogether â perhaps an axe or even a crowbar. Akin to the process of evolutionary speciation, this sort of topological change is often prevented at both the design conceptualization and design realization stages by overly constrained systems. Here, both robotics and algorithmic design processes come into their own by being open to and actually enabling massive changes in the topology, and not just the geometry, of their products. Architecture is populated more by uniqueness than it is by standardization or (serial) difference. The one-off is the rule and the repea...
Maxwell, I.J. & Pigram, D.A. 2010, 'Supermanoeuvre - Inorganic Speciation: Matter, Behaviour and Formation in Architecture', Contemporary Digital Architecture: Design and Techniques, Links International, Barcelona, pp. 208-227.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Pigram, D.A., 'Canberra 2110 - Cultural Attractor Field', faction, Gallery of Australian Design, Canberra.
Clifford, B., McGee, W. & Pigram, D.A., 'Periscope Tower', Modern Atlanta 10UP Design Build Competition, The Young Architects Forum of Atlanta (YAF Atlanta), Modern Atlanta.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
10Up is a design competition organized by The Young Architects Forum of Atlanta (YAF Atlanta). Modern-Atlanta (MA) hosts an annual celebration of architecture and design with a week of events in and around the US. In 2010, MA invited YAF Atlanta to create a competition for a temporary outdoor installation, open to professionals and students in the fields of architecture, industrial design, landscape architecture and urban design, which would act as a beacon for the event week.
Taking on the task of designing a rapidly deployable temporary installation on a limited budget and a limited plot (the buildable area is no more than a 10' x 10' footprint), we proposed a tower of foam. The Periscope Tower is a research output in the domain of algorithmically controlled robotic fabrication, a subset of emerging techniques of mass customisation and file-to-factory processes in the construction field. It represents the production of new knowledge in three ways. It is the first example of a post-tensioned structure constructed almost entirely from polystyrene foam at this scale. Second, it is the first architectural project to deploy a robotically mounted hotwire cutter paired with three-dimensional modelling software. Third, the project utilized custom written software that directly generates robot instruction code, eliminating the need for construction or shop drawings and enabling an empirical feedback loop between formational processes and material properties.
By combining these three areas of new knowledge, the Periscope Tower demonstrates the design potential and real-world practicality and use value of the fabrication and algorithmic design techniques in terms of speed of assembly, weight, and relative affordability. The Periscope Tower was the winner of the 10Up competition in its inaugural year.
Maxwell, I.J. & Pigram, D.A., 'Clouds of Venice', Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture, 13th International Architecture Biennale, Australian Institute of Architects, Venice, Italy.View/Download from: UTS OPUS