Digital Technology in Architecture

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Due to the recent development of advanced design and building technologies, the architectural design education and practice are witnessing a transformation in the processes of design and construction. Advanced architecture is becoming more predominant as design and construction strategies progress, and as of today, it is possible to design and build almost anything. Such trend requires an understanding of the field’s realm by facilitating means to create and innovate through technology.

As a result, opportunities of great potential provided by advanced tools in design and construction technologies open new possibilities for such movement to be incorporated within the architectural design education at the levels of teaching, research, and implementation.

Reflecting on the relationship between architect, materials, and construction techniques through the means of science and technology, a significantly enhanced employment of advanced skills and tools has been applied to the architectural field in the form of essential mechanisms. As a result, facilities such as Digital Modeling and Fabrication Labs emerged and rapidly started influencing in the way architects work, communicate, interact and collaborate. As of today, the integration of these technologies within design and construction has become a vital requirement.

During the last two years, the faculty of Architecture, Design and Built Environment has adopted such line of work by defining an ambitious plan in the form of steps to be taken by the faculty with the aim of providing an avant-garde platform for both academic and professionals to explore the latest trends in technology applied to architecture. From the acquisition of digital tools to high-tech machines, the process of exploration of design proposals gained the option of being transformed from virtual to physical, real scale forms and components of advanced geometrical complexities. Shapes and materials will be able to be explored throughout the different levels of the curricula. At the same time, the professional field will take advantage of the services that the faculty will be able to provide, thus, progressing along with technology and strengthening the ties between academy and professional practice.

One of the main facilities at the faculty that will promote the application of science and technology in a pioneering mode is the Digital Fabrication Lab. Equipped with advanced automation tools, the facility that has the possibility of hosting pilot projects and experimental schemes on different research levels related to advanced architecture. The lab consists of 3D printers, laser cutters, a CNC milling machine and a robotic arm, in addition to a series of manual tools that complement the facility for the production of a wide range of study models to real scale prototypes.

The research field of Science and Technology in architecture will be enhanced by theoretical and practical experimentation that opens the possibility for innovation, thus providing the faculty with the possibility to cope with the speedy advancement of technology, and merging it within architectural education and professional practice.