The Indicator My Robot

By Randy Green,2014-12-02 10:41
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    Courtesy of Guy Martin

    The Indicator: My Robot


    Deep in suburban southern California, the future of architecture has already arrived. This future is not just about more complex forms

    and compound geometries. It is not simply about software but how to make what is generated with software a reality. It is about

    processes, ways of working, and materials. It is also about more control for the architect. This is what Guy Martin had in mind when

    he started his own firm.

    Guy Martin Design, is quite possibly the most famous firm you have never heard of. He’s the guy who figures out how to make some of Philippe Starck’s more complicated creations, translating the digital into the physical.

    Mr. Martin works behind the scenes in a non-descript warehouse with no windows. Thankfully, he has a huge ventilation system. He

    spends most of his time here with Marie, his robot accomplice. He’s moved up in the world. He used to operate out of a shipping

    container (also without windows) in the parking lot of SCI-ARCuntil he graduated and was asked to leave and take that damn container with him.

    Keep reading after the break.

    GH: What was your motivation for starting a design firm based on robot technology and in-house fabrication? You were trained in

    architecture. Didn’t you hear that architects are supposed to draw stuff?

    Courtesy of Guy Martin

    GM: Yeah I did not get that memo. In fact I find a lot of richness and potential in being very close to the means of production and the

    materials. It is a dialogue that the profession has shied away from. There was a time when a sociological need was met by distancing

    the profession from these two issues, but I believe that this no longer serves the profession. With these technologies and methods we

    can remove that barrier and regain some of the control and craft that the architect used to have when he was master mason. It is an

    emphasis on demonstrating concepts and having to wrestle with the resistance materials and methods expose to us in the process.

    Removed from having a hand in the craft and being somatically distant from the materials and methods we are not witness to the expressive potential inherent in these steps of design. I am more interested in working at reintegrating these concepts back into the

    architectural process. There is also the desire to push the automation of building so that the built work can economically allow for

    material expressiveness. Then there is also the concern of re-integrating more craft into building through digital means. GH: Where are these tools and processes more commonly employed?

    GM: There would be two sets of tools one computational and the other would be analogue equipment. The computational tools would include laser scanning, FEA tools, haptic force feedback devices, scripting etc. The analogue would include not only the robot but also

    hardcoating and extrusion machines, automated fiberglass deposition, automated spraying, laser trackers, and assorted automated

    tooling. These types of tools are found in aerospace, manufacturing, automotive, and prototyping industries.

    Courtesy of Guy Martin