Robotic Fabrication as Catalysts for Emergent Topologies and Traditions: Nomadic Small Pavilions and Permanent Mega Structures in Kuwait
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This paper reviews tendencies and drives for future parametric computational design and robotic fabrication/construction automation. It sheds light on the local current impact of the computational paradigm and mass-customized robotic fabrication in Kuwait. This paper is intended to answer the following two questions: Is parametric design and robotic fabrication allowing for emergent architectural topologies? Is robotic fabrication a catalyst for legitimizing change in architectural traditions at a local level? This has been experimented on two building scales. One with more ephemeral or transient nomadic pavilions, designed by the author, intended to demand our momentary attention, offering essential opportunities for research, experimentation, heuristic testing and prototyping - public delight and exposure. Though impermanent, these can even go so far as to be catalysts for positive change displaying affirmative qualities of temporal architecture. On the other hand, the author shares parametric design and robotic fabrication practices/consultation on local permanent mega structures currently under construction. Such mega buildings act as proof that geometrically complex buildings do not stay in the realm of small experimental and heuristic research only, but incorporated in large-scale complex building, branding and placing countries on the global map. Robotic fabrication and construction gives rise to new paradigms such as "zero-tolerance" building with "file-to-factory" production allowing for Ruskinian tectonics blending structures with ornamental aesthetics, similar to gothic architecture. With the profusion of robotic fabrication and construction, the author claims that change in the physical built environment is eminent. A final inquiry will be raised as a future research topic pertaining to robotic in-situ "mobility-on-demand", Artificial Intelligence, "Machine Learning", "Big Data" and "evolutionary robotics" which raises the question of what will our future mass-customized cities look like and what type of physical infrastructure is needed to facilitate mobile robotic fabrication and construction.
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