Publication: Texas Society of Architects Emerging Design + Technology Conference (TxA)
Publication Type: Conference Proceedings
Conference Location: San Antonio, Texas.
Article Title: Craft-Based CFRP Systems for Rapidly Deployable Architectures
Authors: Andrew John Wit, Mariana Ibanez + Simon Kim
Publication Date: November, 2016
Page Number: 124-135
Abstract: Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) is revolutionizing the ways in which automotive, aviation, marine, and product designers think about the design and production processes. CFRP’s high strength-to-weight ratio, its material/structural efficiencies in design and fabrication, and its ease and accuracy of application through robotic fiber placement or hand winding/layering, as well as its ability to be fashioned into complex yet repeatable geometries, have opened up new possibilities for solving previously complex design and engineering problems. Although these traits make CFRP a more than interesting choice for utilization within the discipline of architectural design, current industrial processes for the placement of CFRP put emphasis not on the finished artifacts’ visual, tactile, and sensory-based possibilities that could be exploited through the utilization of this new material, but rather, solely on the production of optimized shells and easily repeatable forms. Unlike fields such as aviation, automotive, and marine design, where products are mass-produced to have identical dimensions, structural properties, and appearance, architecture requires the freedom and flexibility to seamlessly alter individual building elements or the design as a whole on a project-by-project basis. For this reason, this paper questions current methodologies of building construction and proposes a system for rapidly deployable architectures constructed by hand and/or robotic craft-based CFRP tow placement methodologies. Through the lens of the recently completed project rolyPOLY, this paper examines the benefits native to CFRP in the context of architecture while being applied and evaluated through the artifact's optical, structural, functional, sensorial, and tactile merits.