Collaboration with Brendan Shea
Ongoing Research Project

Investigating Instruments of Animate Assembly

Assembling Equilibrium points to a drastic reduction of scaffolding (whether physical scaffolding or robotic assembly armature) in the pursuit of a robust method of non-standardized assembling equilibrium stacked brick structures. The proposal to design a compact instrument for assembly necessitates a model that takes into account multiple metrics to be simultaneously managed; digital simulation of material behavior, robotic control of assembly processes, and flexible instrumental capacity for production. Searching for a maximization of scalar difference between the constructed artifact relative to the facilitating machine, this research forces an amalgamation of the computational model and physical prototype for advancement.

Investigations of vertical timber structures erected from the bottom up are the test for design of construction foresight. These constructs, which when erected stand significantly taller than the working reach envelope, build on the dexterity of the robot to modify parts as it assembles the whole. The design model focuses on the movement paths of: collecting a timber member, inserting the member into place, and simultaneously boosting up the set of all previously assembled elements. This model considers the robotic arm as temporary, but animate, scaffold during the steps of erection. The generative model equips the robot with an understanding of the moments of instability within the overall assembly process utilizing the strength of the robotic arm to lift and stabilize the timber structure from the bottom during moments of instability. The assembly procedure is Assembled Tower Simulation & Path Construction Model always considered in flux as members may be subtracted from their load bearing task during overall growth.

Physical prototypes presented of this research describe both the 1:1 joint construction / member placement, and 1:10 periodic verifications of global element analysis. A solver based digital model generates a number of potential global formations based on the interlocking rule set of rectilinear timber members while checking for overall equilibrium status at each iteration of growth.
An animate assembly will produce opportunities for architecture previously unfathomed.

Here, and from now on, architecture is the formative embodiment of its assembly.