The Bartlett School of Architecture


Fabricate 2017: Rethinking Design and Construction

Fabricate is a triennial international conference bringing together pioneers in design and making within architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, materials technology and computation.

Elytra Filament Pavilion, Fabricate 2017

11 April 2017

Edited by Achim Menges, Bob Sheil, Ruairi Glynn and Marilena Skavara

The 2017 edition of Fabricate features 32 illustrated articles on built projects and works in progress from academia and practice, including contributions from leading practices such as Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Arup, and Ron Arad, and from world-renowned institutions including ICD Stuttgart, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton University, The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and the Architectural Association. 

Fabricate 2017: Rethinking Design and Construction is now available to download for free via UCL Press



The Triumph of the Turnip

Anthony Hauck, Michael Bergin, Phil Bernstein

1 Rethinking Production Futures

Cooperative Fabrication of Spatial Metal Structures

Stefana Parascho, Augusto Gandia, Ammar Mirjan, Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler

Infinite Variations, Radical Strategies

Martin Self and Emmanuel Vercruysse

Automated Design-To-Fabrication for Architectural Envelopes: a Stadium Skin Case Study

James Warton, Heath May and Rodovan Kovacevic

Robotic Wood Tectonics

Philip F. Yuan and Hua Chai

Rapid Assembly with Bending-stabilised Structures

Joseph M. Gattas, Kim Baber, Yousef Al-Qaryouti and Ting-Uei Lee

A Prefabricated Dining Pavilion: Using Structural Skeletons, Developable Offset Meshes,  Kerf-cut and Bent Sheet Materials

Henry Louth, David Reeves, Benjamin Koren, Shajay Bhooshan and Patrik Schumacher

Open Cage-shell Design and Fabrication (Healing Pavilion)

Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues

Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building, Manchester

Richard Maddock, Xavier De Kestelier, Roger Ridsdill Smith and Darron Haylock

2 Rethinking Materialisation

Infundibuliforms: Kinetic Systems, Additive Manufacturing for Cable Nets and Tensile Surface Control

Wes Mcgee, Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thün and Dan Tish

Robotic Integral Attachment

Christopher Robeller, Volker Helm, andreas Thoma, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler and Yves Weinand

Lace Wall: Extending Design Intuition through Machine Learning

Martin Tamke, Mateusz Zwierzycki, anders Holden Deleuran, Yuliya Sinke Baranovskaya, Ida Friis Tinning and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen

Robotic Fabrication of Stone Assembly Details

Inés Ariza, Brandon Clifford, James B. Durham, Wes Mcgee, Caitlin T. Mueller and T. Shan Sutherland

Adaptive Robotic Fabrication for Conditions of Material Inconsistency: Increasing the Geometric Accuracy of Incrementally Formed Metal Panels

Paul Nicholas, Mateusz Zwierzycki, Esben Clausen Nørgaard, David Stasiuk, Christopher Hutchinson and Mette Thomsen

Digital Fabrication of Non-Standard Sound-diffusing Panels in the Large Hall of the Elbphilharmonie

Benjamin S. Koren and Tobias Müller

Qualifying FRP Composites for High-rise Building Facades

William Kreysler

The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion: a Case Study in Large-Scale GFRP Structural Design and Assembly

James Kingman, Jeg Dudley and Ricardo Baptista

  1. Jenny Sabin and Mario Carpo
  2. Monica Ponce De Leon, Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael
  3. Carl Bass, Bob Sheil and Achim Menges
  4. Antoine Picon and Bob Sheil
3 Rethinking Additive Strategies

Discrete Computation for Additive Manufacturing

Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jiménez García and Vicente Soler

Cilllia: Method of 3D Printing Micro-pillar Structures on Surfaces

Jifei Ou, Gershon Dublon, Chin-Yi Cheng, Karl Willis and Hiroshi Ishii

Fused Filament Fabrication for Multi-Kinematic-state Climate-responsive Aperture

David Correa and Achim Menges

3D Metal Printing as Structure for Architectural and Sculptural Projects

Paul Kassabian, Graham Cranston, Juhun Lee, Ralph Helmick, Sarah Rodrigo

Mobile Robotic Fabrication System for Filament Structures

Maria Yablonina, Marshall Prado, Ehsan Baharlou, Tobias Schwinn and Achim Menges

The Smart Takes from the Strong: 3D Printing Stay-in-place Formwork for Concrete Slab Construction

Mania Aghaei Meibodi, Mathias Bernhard, andrei Jipa and Benjamin Dillenburger

Process Chain for the Robotic Controlled Production of Non-standard, Double-curved, Fibre-reinforced Concrete Panels with an Adaptive Mould

Hendrik Lindemann, Jörg Petri, Stefan Neudecker and Harald Kloft

Ely Tra Filament Pavilion: Robotic Filament Winding for Structural Composite Building Systems

Marshall Prado, Moritz Dörstelmann, James Solly, Achim Menges and Jan Knippers

4 Rethinking Constructional Logics

Sensorial Playscape: Advanced Structural, Material and Responsive Capacities of Textile Hybrid Architectures as Therapeutic Environments for Social Play

Sean Ahlquist

Bending-Active Plates: Planning and Construction

Simon Schleicher, Riccardo La Magna and Jan Knippers

Precast Concrete Shells: a Structural Challenge

Stefan Peters, andreas Trummer, Gernot Parmann and Felix Amtsberg

From Lamination to Assembly: Modelling the Seine Musicale

Hanno Stehling, Fabian Scheurer, Jean Roulier, Hélori Geglo and Mathias Hofmann

Scaling Architectural Robotics: Construction of the Kirk Kapital Headquarters

Asbjørn Søndergaard and Jelle Feringa

Mpavilion 2015


Multi-performative Skins

Edoardo Tibuzzi and Deyan Marzev

The Armadillo Vault: Balancing Computation and Traditional Craft

Philippe Block, Tom Van Mele, Matthias Rippmann and David Escobedo

About Fabricate 2017

Fabricate 2017 took place at the Institute for Computational Design and Construction, part of the University of Stuttgart – a world-leading research lab in design for construction.

Fabricate 2017 is the third volume in a triennial series of conference publications. The idea of a conference that explored the currents between technology, design and industry emerged from the need to understand the ever-changing shape of the world around us. It began with ‘Making Digital Archtiecture’ in 2011 at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, since when Fabricate has received over 800 submissions from more than 40 institutions across 30 countries. Fabricate 2014 took place at ETH in Zurich, with the theme ‘Negotiating Design and Making’.

Fabricate is now regarded as the leading international forum in which centres of excellence in architecture, design, engineering and manufacturing can engage, collaborate and create. It has set the agenda during an extraordinary period for the built environment – one which has empowered the designer with new tools and capabilities, challenged the orthodoxy of standardised processes and witnessed inspiring collaborations in which expert representation has met expert realisation, and vice versa.

Much has changed since 2011: the projects chosen for Fabricate 2017 were of a significantly larger scale in terms of both size and reach, reflecting ‘Industry 4.0’, the high-tech strategy in which design, engineering and production are leading to a fourth industrial revolution. The categories ‘Production’, ‘Materialisation’, ‘Additive Strategies’ and ‘Construction’ made immediate sense, as did the conference title, ‘Rethinking Design and Construction’.

Both the book and the conference explore the multifaceted cultures of computational design and digital fabrication, which can no longer be generalised as ‘digital architecture’. A number of submissions also look at the blurring boundary between computational design and digital fabrication, which is being questioned by cyber-physical productions systems and challenged by new forms of man-machine collaboration.

About the authors

  • Bob Sheil is an architect, Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture, Professor of Architecture and Design through Production, and the School’s Director of Technology. 
  • Achim Menges is a registered architect and professor at the University of Stuttgart, where he is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Design. In addition, he is Visiting Professor in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. His research and design work has been published and exhibited worldwide, and has received numerous international awards.
  • Ruairi Glynn is the co-founder and co-chair of the Fabricate Conference series. He is Director of the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett, UCL, and installation artist recently exhibiting at the Centre Pompidou Paris, National Art Museum of China Beijing and Tate Modern London.
  • Marilena Skavara is Director at Codica, a London-based digital product studio, where she explores new interactions through digital services, wearables and prototyping.


Image from ‘Elytra Filament Pavilion - Robotic Filament Winding for Structural Composite Building Systems’. Photo of the onsite fabrication core of the Elytra Filament Pavilion.