Once upon a time for six months, I lived opposite a construction site, and enjoyed seeing a whole house go up bit by bit – the different levels, the roof-beams, the plastic-y material flapping around on the wind as roof-tiles were added on top. Anyway, the gradual process was interesting for an observer but must have been unpleasant and occasionally frustrating for the workers, scaling various heights and battling the elements. But that usual building scenario may be about to take a turn, if Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has his way.
Acknowledging that in the world of product design, almost everything is made automatically, he has been exploring the option of “scaling-up” the three-dimensional printing process, enabling it to build walls, roofs… even skyscrapers. Using cemente-like materials, the contour printer builds up structural elements layer by layer – in action, it’s like looking at a robotic baker piping icing onto a cake.
Although the animations that illustrate Khoshnevis’ TED talk demonstrate the development with conventionally shaped houses, he emphasises that the printing machine in fact liberates architectural construction from conventional geometry, and allows for a considered approach to building, say, in earthquake-prone environments. What’s more, some projects could take as little as 20 hours to construct, and with minimal time, low labour-usage, and very little waste occurring, we wonder if this is what all construction sites will look like not too far from now.
- “Non-league football is our punk rock” – Alex Brown’s work for Eastbourne Town FC
- Artist Esther Watson reimagines the flying saucers her dad created as a child
- Clara von Zweigbergk talks us through her art direction for Danish brand Hay
- John Molesworth illustrates the hustle and bustle of Record Store Day 2017
- “The artistic process becomes a form of yoga”: artist Christopher Davison
- More vibrant, goblin-like characters from illustrator Alex Jenkins
- Animator and director James Curran’s amusing 30-day Gifathon project in Tokyo
- Photographer Sophie Mayanne’s new personal project celebrates imperfection (NSFW)
- Jon Burgerman on his utterly brilliant Instagram experiments
- "Before I was a graphic designer I had nearly no idea what one was": meet Austin Redman
- Animator Saiman Chow’s trippy idents for Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty
- The daily grind: Louis Quail’s photographs of fascinatingly mundane offices