The shape of things to come: new forms of digital craft in architecture

When Saturday, 29 October 2022, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm 
Where Bookshop by Uro, 5/30 Perry Street Collingwood, VIC 3066

Digital tools have dramatically transformed the way we design our buildings. But while computer aided drafting (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) are industry-wide standards, for the most part construction itself still takes place with tools and techniques that would have been familiar to your average builder at the turn of last century.

Advances in robotics and ‘file-to-factory’ production that were previously the preserve of the aeronautics or advanced manufacturing industries, however, are now finding application in construction—and not just for ‘iconic’ arts and civic buildings, but in private domestic architecture right here in Australia.

As these robot builders begin to make their presence felt, new possibilities are emerging for highly expressive architectural forms beyond the wildest imaginings of even the most accomplished master craftsperson.

In this event, several local architects at the forefront of this burgeoning mode of design and construction present a selection of their recent built work, and discuss what the implications might be for how we understand and interpret architecture.

To be considered: how might a robot-made building relate to our traditional understanding of craft and the value of ‘the makers mark’? Where might craftspersonship reside in a predominantly digital process? Does this new mode of construction and design bring with it an inherent new formal language or ‘tectonic’? Could a robot have its own form of ‘expression’? How do these construction techniques change the way we approach architectural design, and might they even detract from its humanity?


David Leggett (LLDS/Power to Make)

David is the practice leader of LLDS Architects and a qualified architect in Victoria and the UK. LLDS is an architectural practice that extends design and craft sensibility through digital technologies implemented through in-house robotic fabrication facility (Power to Make) based in Melbourne. The practice works have been exhibited and received awards in Australia and the UK. Their research in material practice and digital fabrication has been published in international journals and discussed at international forums. David teaches Master in Architecture design studio at the Melbourne School of Design. 

Paul Loh (Bond/LLDS)

Paul is the principal designer of LLDS Architects and a registered architect in the UK, where his built projects and research have been widely published and received several awards, including first prize in an International Competition. His work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy (London), the London Design Festival and Frieze Art Fair. Outside of the practice, he is a Professor of Architecture and the Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University. He was co-director of the Advanced Digital Design and Fabrication (ADD+F) research hub at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne.

Roland Snooks (RMIT)

Roland Snooks is a founding partner of the experimental architecture practice Kokkugia and director of Studio Roland Snooks. He holds a PhD from RMIT University and a Master in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University where he studied on a Fulbright scholarship. Roland is an Associate Professor at RMIT University where he directs the Architectural Robotics Lab having previously taught widely, including at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, SCI-Arc, and the Pratt Institute.

Host: Maitiú Ward (Uro Publications) Maitiú Ward is a director of independent architecture and design publisher and bookseller, Uro Publications.


This event is in association with the Craft Victoria 2022 program.

See the full 2022 program here.