dima
  • [research] Robotic Bricklaying

    [April 2017 -  Manchester School of Architecture - Technology Study] Brick’s status as a symbol of quality and solidity is threatened by the willingness of contractors to strip back detailing and cut corners in order to reduce cost. A study of Chi She Art Gallery, Shanghai, P.R.C completed in 2016 by Archi-Union Architects demonstrates an alternative future for the industry. The building features an reclaimed flemish bond brick wall facade with honeycomb sections and extensive undulating corbels, built entirely by robotic Arm. It is an early example of the implementation of robotic construction that will soon revolutionise the industry. Reverse-engineering the processes of construction using Rhino and Grasshopper allowed me to simulate the design environment and requirements of this technology. Building in complicated brickwork patterns has always been a very expensive, time consuming and increasingly rare trade. The fact that this has been achieved in such a modest project represents the dawning of an era: the democratisation of the skill of a master bricklayer. Robotic construction may revive brick as fundamental unit of construction in the modern era.