„Fabricate 2014“ Conference at ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Last week I attended the two days „Fabricate 2014“ conference organized by the Professorship for Architecture and Digital Fabrication of ETH Zurich in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, that brought together researchers and practitioners in design and making within architecture, construction, engineering, design, manufacturing, material and software design (visit http://www.fabricate2014.org for an overview of the program).

A great team at FabLab Zurich designed and produced the unique and personalized 3D printed badges for each participant (see http://zurich.fablab.ch/fabricate-2014-nametags for the process). Speaking of FabLab: the originator of the FabLab network himself, Prof. Neil Gershenfeld, head of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, was among the speakers of the conference.

I can not cover all the interesting projects and ideas that were discussed, but I would like to quote a passage from the Keynote of Mario Carpo, a researcher who focuses his studies on the relationship among architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology, because I found it very relevant for my own work as „digital artisan“:

… design choices that used to be based on analytic calculations can now be made by trial and error, or even by intuition. Digital designers are discovering that they may often learn and design by making, just as artisans always have, but now at much bigger scales. Using the power of digital simulations, a designer can make and break more chairs, beams, or roofs in a few minutes on a screen than a traditional craftsman made and broke in a lifetime, learning—often tacitly—from this experience.
— Mario Carpo
Personal 3D printed conference badge by FabLab Zurich

Personal 3D printed conference badge by FabLab Zurich

Badge 3D printed with an Ultimaker by FabLab Zurich

Badge 3D printed with an Ultimaker by FabLab Zurich

Keynote speaker Mario Carpo

Keynote speaker Mario Carpo

Exhibition opening "The Robotic Touch ­­­­- How Robots Change Architecture" at ETH Zurich

Exhibition opening "The Robotic Touch ­­­­- How Robots Change Architecture" at ETH Zurich

Robot demonstration at ETH Zurich

Robot demonstration at ETH Zurich

Neil Gershenfeld together with FabLabbers

Neil Gershenfeld together with FabLabbers