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Zaha Hadid Architects' robotically produced prototypes displayed at Digital Turn exhibition

United Kingdom - Aug 3, 2018 - 04:18   3273 views

A new exhibition, called "Digital Turn", houses various types of experimental models and robotically produced prototypes produced by Zaha Hadid Architects' Computation and Design Research Group (ZHCODE) at the Building Centre in London.

Digital Turn explores digital innovations and new processes in the built environment by showcasing new manufacturing techniques to expand boundaries of our digital and physical worlds.

Image © Sue Barr

The exhibition series is designed as a physical and metaphorical platform exploring how research in digital technologies is impacting the built environment. Leaders in academia, research and practice take "Turns" to exhibit experimental computational design and are invited to take part in the associated event programme to explore themes in more depth.

Image © Chris Jackson

The exhibition has opened at the Building Centre on July 25, 2018 and will be on view until September 14, 2018 at Store Street in London. Offering a changing platform focusing on the computation design, the exhibition showcases the ideas and technologies transforming the way we imagine, design and build our cities. 

Image © ZHA

Zaha Hadid Architects'  Computation and Design Research Group (ZHCODE) is well-known with its variety of computational programming on designs and architecture to create experimental structures, modular housing concepts and robotically assembled prototypes; offering a glimpse into the future of architectural design.

Image © ZHA

Visitors will now be closer to these various atypical models of ZHCODE at this exhibition. As part of the Digital Turn exhibition, ZHCODE explores "Tectonism" (the expression of structure and geometry through its fabrication and methods of making) and "Semiotics" (applying the physical design and construction aspects of their work to the social context in which they will exist).

ZHCODE’s exhibition follows on from The Bartlett’s Design Computational Lab whose work was on show previously. 

Image © ZHA

"Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid was a leader in innovation and design. This  ethos continues at Zaha Hadid Architects – the practice she established – particularly within ZHCODE," said ZHA in a press release. 

"Set up by Nils Fischer, Shajay Bhooshan and Patrik Schumacher in 2007, the group forefronts architectural experimentation by putting into practice their knowledge and research in programming, geometry and mathematics."

Image © ZHA

Projects on display in Digital Turn with ZHCODE include: Robotic additive manufacture and robotic hot wire cutting technology showcased in the Thallus sculpture - An insight into technologies such as timber bending and robotic fiber winding - Modular housing developed using algorithmic techniques to explore community development and densities and An exploration of design thinking behind Mathematics, The Winton Gallery at the Science Museum, London.

Image © Chris Jackson

"Architecture does not exist in a bubble. Ongoing collaboration and research is the foundation of ZHA. Robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and big data are all impacting architecture - and enabling the industry to address complex issues," said Patrik Schumacher, principal of Zaha Hadid Architects.

"We strongly believe in this collective, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and these rapidly evolving technologies are changing the way we design and construct."

Image © Chris Jackson

Digital Turn is a timely exhibition that brings together architects, engineers, planners, advanced manufacturing teams, contractors and academics to discuss the impact of technology on their work and the possibilities for the future.

Image © Chris Jackson

"In the early stages of the digital revolution the industry was slow to adopt new technology but that is all changing as we embrace the power of robotics, digital fabrication and artificial intelligence. Digital Turn showcases architectural, design and building projects born from advanced computational science and offers a glimpse into the future as the industry commits to digital possibilities," said Colin Tweedy, CEO of The Building Centre.

"Zaha Hadid Architects are leaders in the field of computational design. It’s clear that their investment in ZHCODE is proving fruitful with a range of technologies investigated for architectural use. The industry needs innovative practices with the capability to invest in research and development. We are delighted to exhibit their work as part of Digital Turn and I look forward to seeing how their research impacts the built environment," Tweedy continued.

Image © Chris Jackson

Digital Turn is created by The Building Centre and supported by The Built Environment Trust. The exhibition was designed by Install Archive. Graphics by Daly and Lyon.

Project facts


Co-Founders: Patrik Schumacher, Nil Fischer, Shajay Bhooshan

Head: Shajay Bhooshan
Senior Researchers: Vishu Bhoshan, Henry Louth, David Reeves
Designers: Filippo Nasetti, Tomasso Casucci, Federico Borello, Marko Margeta
Residents: Leo Beiling, Taole Chen
Extended: Lei Zheng, Mathias Fuchs, Vera Kichanova, Tyson Hosmer, Sobitha Ravichandran, Soungmin Yu
Alumni: Danilo Arsic, Tahmina mehmood, Mustafa El Sayed, Suryansh Chandra, Ramon Weber, Ilya pereyaslatsev, Daniel Zakarayan

Previous Interns: Meng Tang, Ruxandra Matei, Vladislav Bek-Bulatov, Li Chen, Daniel Tong, Leo Bieling

Key Collaborators:

- Block Research Group, ETH Zurich

- Stone pavilion with the Block Research Group
- Stratasys, Minnesota
- Odico Robotic Formworks, Odense
- Autodesk Residency, San Francisco
- ITKE, University of Stuttgart
- Institute for Experimental Architecture, Innsbruck
- AiBuild, London
- Incremental 3d
- Metsa Wood
- Kreysler Associates
- Andy Lomas
- Architecture Extrapolated
- OneToOne

Academic Partners:
- Nahmad-Bhooshan studio, AADRL
- Saman Saffarian, ITKE
- John Klein, Chikara Inamura: previously at Mediated Matter, MIT
- Institute for Experimental Architecture

Top image © Chris Jackson 

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