Dave Pigram // Experiments in Design and Fabrication

Today we had the pleasure of hosting Dave Pigram as part of the IAAC Winter Lecture Series 2015, giving a nice Aussie closing to our Australia Day Barbecue!

Dave started with his experience in more general terms on experimenting in design and fabrication, then moving on to more specific examples of this practice. In particular Gaudi’s Puffy Jacket, an experiment that had an initial phase in IAAC 2 years ago, as part of the Master in Advanced Architecture 2012/13 Negotiated Formations Workshop, run by Dave and his professional Partner Iain Maxwell (Supermanoeuvre). Gaudi’s Puffy jacket is a thin-shell precast pavilion, a playful tribute to the seminal research on form-finding conducted by Antonio Gaudi. This experiment was then further developed by Dave and his students at UTS in Sydney, proposing a more complex design, an applying the material learnings of the workshop developed in IAAC.

Dave then moved on to explain the HiLo project, currently being developed by a Core Design and Research Team consists of four partners, with the two academic partners residing at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), ETH Zurich: Professorship of Architecture and Structures (BRG) – structural innovation; Professorship of Architecture and Building Systems (A/S) – building systems innovation; Zwarts & Jansma Architects (ZJA), Amsterdam, Netherlands – construction innovation; and of course, supermanoeuvre.   One of the A/S team members being a IAAC Alumni, Mortiz Begle. HiLo is a research & innovation unit in the domains of lightweight concrete construction and smart, adaptive building systems, planned as a duplex penthouse guest apartment for the NEST building on the Empa campus.

Finally, Dave closed with the Utzon 40 project, a pavilion developed for the 2014 Utzon Symposium held at the Sydney Opera House in March. The Fourth International Utzon Symposium extended previous research on Utzon’s oeuvre and asked the question,‘What would Utzon do now?’. Utzon 4o, in collaboration with Aarhus University in Denmark, tested a design and construction method that combines two distinct material systems with fabrication aware form-finding and file-to-factory workflows. The method enables the fluent creation of complex materially efficient structures comprising high populations of geometrically unique parts. The first material system employs a novel rotated joint design to allow the structural tuning of timber frame elements fabricated from multi-axis machined plywood sheet stock.

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