The Bartlett School of Architecture


Digital Fabrication Research Exhibited in Covent Garden

15 May 2019

The Bartlett’s Material Architecture Lab will present a collection of work at the Aram Gallery in London this summer.

Sand coated project, by Material Architecture Lab for Digital Manual

Open to the public from 16 May – 22 June, Digital Manual presents a range of works from the school’s Material Architecture Lab, which demonstrate the Lab’s unique methodology of combining software and hands on experimentation with real and messy materials.

The Material Architecture Lab is part of B-Pro programmeArchitectural Design MArch at The Bartlett. The Lab applies a range of digital fabrication techniques to everyday matter, in an attempt to find new applications in craft, design and architecture. Over 20 experiments will be on display at various scales, made of coiled coconut fibre, 3D-printed sand, resin, recycled plastic modules and slip-cast ceramic.

Clay piped

Clay piped project, by Material Architecture Lab for Digital Manual
By fitting a robotic arm with a dispenser that extrudes clay, lines of the material can be deposited one on top of the other. The objects are produced digitally, but glazed in the traditional way. 
Coir lamina

Coir lamina project, by Material Architecture Lab for Digital Manual
A prototype coir chair that has a digitally-produced substructure. Inside it is made of polystyrene spheres that have been drilled with a robotic arm at precise points. The spheres are connected point-to-point by rods, and the whole assembly is covered by fabric. Coconut fibres and binder are then applied to the fabric surface by hand, making the whole piece integral and giving it a new visual language.
Metal coat

Metallizing project, by Material Architecture Lab for Digital Manual
By placing 3D-printed objects into a vacuum chamber, metal particles are attracted to the surface and create an outer skin which is more efficient than other heavier materials. Moisture is then introduced into the process and interacts with the metal particles, giving the object’s surface an uneven appearance. 
Sand printed

Sand printing project, by Material Architecture Lab for Digital Manual
A prototype screen, column and chair are made of waste product from foundry sand metal casting combined with carbon powder and a liquid binder. A dispenser filled with the binder is attached to a robotic arm which traces pre-determined lines and patterns into the sand bed. The lines harden and give the object an uneven, handmade quality, even though they are digitally produced. 

Other experiments include: Clay Cast, Foam Fashioned, Glass Blown, Plastic Assembly and Sand Lamina.

More information

The Material Architecture Lab is co-directed by Dr Guan Lee and Daniel Widrig.


Adam Holloway and Barry Wark.


Sara Saoud Alanezi, Daoyuan, Su DongChen, Pei Chen, Ziwei Chen, Andrea Guiatti, Hiroyuki Iwashita, Changjian Jia, Anna-María Hini, Li Li, Zhuoya Li, Jingyu Liu,  Shuchen Liu, Jiachen Wang, Yilin Cao, Qianren Wang, Sun Peiru, Youssef Abdel Rahman, Melissa Marchi Rumich, Ecenur Sezgin, Mridula Shiva Shankar, Yilin Tang, Mateo Cely Tovar, , Yanran Tu, Jiachen Wang, Xinqian Wu, Feiran Xu, Lu Yu, Mengxu Zhao, Yu Zhu.