Studio 18

Like Humans

Danny Ngo and Darcy Zelenko

Studio Description

Architecture is both slow and beautifully ‘dumb’. This ‘slowness’ prohibits its ability to adopt new processes generated by a growing digital-physical environment. New technologies however, look to reframe these architectural mindsets and suggest alternative perspectives to ‘static’ buildings.

The construction industry has stagnated since the first Industrial Revolution and has been one of the ‘slowest’ industries to adopt the digital epoch. Inversely, the architectural discipline has exponentially up-skilled its pursuit of innovation to seek better solutions for living and building. This discontinuity within the building environment and its lack of affiliation with the digital paradigm has led us to compute more while constructing less.

The living habits of people are changing alongside this technological progression and our buildings stay static. This forces inhabitants to live according to their dwellings which collectively creates architectural inefficiency. If occupants' change-requirements can be mapped, they can be accommodated through a dynamic architecture. This requires a dynamic architect trained in the design of change. Mario Carpo argues for the redefinition of the role of the architect brought by the digital age and automation.

Studio Outcomes

Like-Humans seeks to propose novel buildings that are designed to change and accept transplanted ‘parts’ to suit the shifting needs of inhabitants. This will see future buildings re-use finite resources that would usually go to waste. Discrete Aggregation has the potential to help construction become more circular with the innate reusability that it offers. This has yet to become a serious offer due to issues of buildability. Design for Manufacture and Assembly offers a framework to measure designs for construction efficiency. While Computational Design enables methods of discrete aggregation it also provides an environment to help optimise digital materials for DfMA performance.

Students of Like Humans will formulate a position in regards to the studio thesis and use it to drive the design of a digital material which can be transplanted amongst buildings. A design methodology consisting of research and prototyping will be used to drive and refine designs ahead of testing. Current technological advances in mixed reality will be utilised to foster intelligent prototyping. A series of architectural design briefs will be assigned to students in order to test the re-configurability of their digital materials.

Studio Leaders

Darcy Zelenko is a PhD candidate at Monash University researching the use of computational design and advanced manufacturing in the production of timber housing. He also works as a research assistant at the Future Building Initiative, a lab focussed towards conceptualising and implementing a more industrialised approach to building. Darcy completed his architectural education at the Melbourne School of Design in 2016. He has worked as a lead digital fabricator at Fab Lab and also as a manufacturing consultant to industry. Darcy has taught extensively across undergraduate and masters level with a special interest in design/build and computational fabrication.

Danny Ngo works as a designer at Arup. He is a graduate of architecture with a keen interest in material, novel construction, and computational applications. Danny’s explorations aim to leverage digital fabrication methods and look to improve inefficiencies in the built environment. He explores prototyping as part of architectural design and participates in exhibitions to test theories. Danny’s primary investigations aim to link design, technology, and construction and explore living standards to improve the quality of communities and urban conditions.

Schedule Mondays and Thursdays 18:15-21:15

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