Catalysis: A paradigmatic shift in the production of architectural morphologies
Andrews, Kenneth Alfred
Master of Architecture
Through the advents of digital technologies we are witnessing a catalytic change in the technological processes and ideologies of building design and production. Digital design and manufacturing technologies have further advanced the capacity of manufacturing firms to mass produce building products and systems, but the paradigm shift is in the flexibility of these processes to mass customize. These new processes have also changed the system form of building production. Ideologies in manufacturing have changed from mass production of goods, to be stock pilled in speculation of use, to an ideology of "lean production" were technology has allowed production to occur closer to the point of demand, optimizing the supply and demand chains. This has the potential to catalyze the contemporary conditions of building production as the flexible notions of mass customization are overcoming the pit falls of mass production. It has become evident that with the advent of CAD/CAM technologies and the employment of the computer as a design tool there are powerful new ways to produce buildings. I believe that there is significant evidence that the digital revolution will continue to affect the design and productions processes as well as the morphology of the built environment Design processes, project organization, and information exchange have been the most effected as of yet, however there are still yet vast potentials for developments in the way buildings are "manufactured" and "assembled." This thesis researches, tests and exemplifies processes of building design and production that embraces the technological advancements produced by the digital/information revolution, and catalyses the limitations in the design and production process of the "mass produced" building processes that are employed today in an effort to free architecture from the confines of the architecture "catalog" of components.