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Fabricating Evolution (by means of architectural selection)

Part 2 Project 2013
John Beattie
Newcastle University | UK
Can the emergent technology of 3d printing bring the bespoke back into a standardised architecture?

Evolution in architecture…

The thesis developed from initial research into the coded design processes at work within natural systems. In particular, the way these systems evolve and mutate from coded design (DNA) and how their specific rule sets are influenced by environment.

This thinking led me to a specific architecture that follows incremental development
based on designed rule sets. The study of a codified gothic became the platform to test
these ideas of evolution within an architectural paradigm. This intrinsic design code
provides a perpetual variation resulting in continual bespoke production.

Mass customisation…

With the emergence of 3d printing technology it is now possible to use a similar coded design approach by programming a single data model that then provides bespoke characteristics with each fabrication.

This ability to produce the bespoke at little or no extra cost could prove advantageous within standardised architectural typologies that utilise mass produced building components. To test this idea the thesis will employ a generic hotel development as the building programme. Such architecture is driven by standardisation with little allowance for the bespoke due to cost implications associated with current construction methods.

This discourse between bespoke and standardisation is researched through a non-linear design process resulting in a mass customised architecture, fabricated from the new material and economic possibilities afforded through 3d printing.

John Beattie


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