The emergence of digital design methods, advances in robotic and sensor technologies and the possibility to combine the knowledge of numerous disciplines in a single digital process have opened up new possibilities in architecture and construction. Industrial robots are some of the most important tools in this development, for they transfer the rapid progress in digitisation to the physical world.
Gramazio Kohler Research are pioneers in the research of robotic processes in architecture. They are not only interested in technological progress, but also in the question of how to create a comprehensive digital construction culture.
Architect Matthias Kohler is professor of architecture and digital fabrication at the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zurich. He founded Gramazio & Kohler Architects together with Fabio Gramazio in 2000. In 2005, having taken up their research activities at the ETH Zurich, they established the first robotic laboratory worldwide for non-standardised fabrication processes in architecture, thereby creating a new field of research. The work of Gramazio Kohler Research includes construction projects such as the robot-fabricated brick façade for the Gantenbein winery (2006), exhibition installations such as Rock Print (2015) and the Design of Robotic Fabricated High Rises studio for the digital design of robot-built high-rises in Singapore (2012/13).
Portraying such a construction culture, Matthias Kohler presented a selection of his most important projects such as the Programmed Wall (2006), explained central concepts such as “digital materiality” and surprised the audience with fascinating exhibition projects such as Rock Print at the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Built projects such as the roof for the Arch_ Tec_Lab at the ETH Zü rich or the DFAB HOUSE, which is presently being built, demonstrated the arrival of new digital methods in the contemporary world to the audience.