Presented is a research investigating the ability of digital fabrication tools to provide an alternative method for creating complex forms as part of an ongoing PhD research. The digital tool provides a comprehensive digital basis for construction that, since the beginning of building industrialization, has been an illusion rather than a reality. Beyond catching up on technology, the digital fabrication tool hereby provokes fundamental changes in the architectural discipline: the mere relation of the digital reality of computers with the physical reality of architecture. As opposed to the experiments in the early days of digitization, the focus is no longer on form, rather it is on the physical improvement of the discipline. This paper therefore presents a review of contemporary attempts within the time frame of the past four years with a thorough analysis and breakdown of the prototypes. In comparison to these examples, and considering the same building materials, another case studies are explored as precedents in history that have challenged the traditional understanding of the production of architectural forms. The understanding of the essential factors that constitute the advanced design process is consequently put into discussion. The relations between these factors and their direct effect over the architectural process has changed with the digitizing processes. This is also discussed and analyzed in regards to the implications and possibilities emerging for an indefinite relation between the tool and the design. The paper suggests a new medium linking the virtual and built environments and highlights the limitations of these new trends.


Arch. Sukkarieh, Rasha