A Closer Look on Digital Fabrication

On Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018, students from the College of Architecture and Design, alongside others of different majors, joined Ms. Hadil Ankouny, an architecture instructor at PU, in the General Smart Room for a talk on digital fabrication.

Students were introduced at the beginning to digital fabrication, which is a design and production process of establishing 3D models using a number of techniques, such as subtraction or stacking. During the event, Ms. Ankouny provided an overview of the history of the industrial revolution leading to our current state of technology. In addition to showing examples of 3D modeling, Ms. Ankouny explained the process in which robots are programmed to work to produce the final models. The students, and especially interior design ones, were very interested in the subject as it is very relevant to their major. They inquired about digital fabrication in architecture, specifically, and about its role in building enormous structures. All what Ms. Ankouny had to do was give the iconic example of “Cloud Gate” in Chicago, Illinois by the artist Anish Kapoor. This cloud-like gate is made of stainless steel plates that are welded together to form a huge passage for residents in the site. It is also an ideal structure to demonstrate how creative artists can get with their designs via highly technological fabrication approaches.

Digital fabrication, according to Miss Ankouny, will be people’s main means for manufacturing and production in the future, if not in the very near future. This method saves time, money and effort; for example, a model that typically takes over a week to be constructed manually and with a cost of $800 can be digitally fabricated in a couple of days with less than $100!

After this very informative session, it became obvious that PU’s future designers were looking forward to attending more workshops about creating better and more innovative models!

- Zahraa Chour
  Architecture student