In this project we develop an interactive robotic arm and vision system that can see and manipulate material in real-time. The designer controls the robot's actions by adding, subtracting, or modifying material in the work space and by forming spatial relationships. In these examples the spatial relationships include geometric reflections, arrays, and alignments, such as edge-to-edge, or point-to-point.
Studies of the Embodied Cognition in Design Activity
How do architects think through interaction with physical models? In this study we codify model making in terms of picking, transforming, and placing blocks to compare the interactions of architects and students.
Can the way we think with our hands be automated with robotic technologies? This study reveals human techniques observed in simple manipulation tasks and develops robotic programs that embed this know-how.
How can robotic tools consolidate the fabrication and assembly processes? Through workshops and undergraduate research projects we initially investigate stand-alone assembly systems for planar construction.
In collaboration with computer scientists in Singapore (SUTD) I developed a 3-axis digital-to-physical translation algorithm for generating high fidelity planar construction prototypes.
In this study we explore the cognitive challenges of the complex assembly involved in digitally fabricated planar construction. We devised interlocking jigsaw puzzles.
How can the work space of design activity change with interactive computing technology? We develop a simple solution to work in real-time with a robotic manipulator arm.
According to the Oughtred Society, this is the world’s first digitally fabricated analog calculator. This simple device pushes the limits of current 3D printing technology but raises the possibility for analog computation to surpass digital computing power.
Symmetry makes things predictable. That’s why cubes are boring shapes for designers. Rotate them along 13 different axes and you will see the same thing. I designed a set of 3D-printed blocks based on a special geometry that is surprisingly asymmetrical - the parallelepiped. While it looks like a cube it behaves differently from one when you manipulate it.
This study explores how humans interact with physical material in computational terms such as copying, rotating, arraying, and reflecting. Why and how are some people better than others? In what ways do they interact that can be observed through video analysis?
Given two identical tasks of rotating blocks, one in which you could manipulate physical blocks and the other only mentally, which would you do faster? We found people struggle more with physical rotation. Why is this?
Past Work 2007 - 2011
Mass Customization in Architectural Design
Under direction of MIT Prof Larry Sass (PI) I co-managed the design, fabrication, and assembly of one of five full scale houses exhibited at the MoMA’s 2008 open lot exhibition in NYC, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling.
In partnership with Dennis Michaud, Evan Richardson, and Larry Sass, I launched a start-up for mass customized easy-to-assemble backyard structures. Over the course of 1.5 years we developed a business model, financial plan, distributed manufacturing methods, and worked with 3 groups of VC investors.
Architectural Design 2.0 is a vision for rethinking design production to empower consumers and users of architecture. This can be done with online tools that will enable them to design and produce their own mass customized architectural structures. Such a change will be achieved by integrating digital fabrication technologies with the massive shift in Internet usage behavior commonly known as Web 2.0. This thesis begins with an historical framework of user-generated design and production in architecture and follows with an introduction to a digital-to-physical translation procedure that harnesses digital fabrication with an online open-source design platform. Finally, this thesis provides evidence of a working model for Architectural Design 2.0 by delivering a set of user-generated, full-scale prototypes.