MakeLab 2017: 'Data-Space' In 2017, the programme revolved around the theme of ‘surveillance’, investigating the changing relationships between the built environment and its inhabitants through new protocols for the recording and application of user data. The forest was used as a laboratory for the construction of a large scale 'data space' that incorporated sensors and communication devices, which were then used to test complex and evolving recognition and influencing behaviours. [more information]
MakeLab 2016: 'Physical / Digital Growth' This year’s project used specific site related information to ‘grow’ the design of an architectural structure within the computational and physical environment. The structure is composed out of local timber and CNC fabricated birch plywood components and offers seating and viewing pods oriented at specific directions of interest around the site, including a view towards the sea from the highest point in the tower. [more information]
MakeLab 2015: 'Performative Envelopes' This project used a sphere typology to gather different densities and views of the sky dome. The mapped data was translated into different material densities, resulting in a series of customised ribs that formed the enclosure. Three platforms built onto the sloping terrain invited visitors to experience height level differences and related shifts in perspective towards the surrounding landscape. [more information]
MakeLab 2014: ‘Microclimates’ / Filter In 2014, the program focused on ‘microclimates’, designing and testing the potential environmental, social and ergonomic performance characteristics of lightweight and site specific inhabitable structures. Using straightforward rule-based design processes set up within simple parametric design software, the projects explored synergies between digital fabrication and the principles of generative design. This project employed a varying tetrahedral packing logic combined with tension active fabric surfaces to create a 'screen', filtering qualities such as sun, wind and privacy around a contemplative space within the forest.
MakeLab 2014: ‘Microclimates’ / Weave The 'weave' project explored the interplay between site occupancy and material clustering to articulate and grow an architectural structure with a highly optimised site specificity. The ongoing analysis of the people movements and activities within the site informed the placement and additional of shell elements, forming an inhabitable landscape within the forest suited towards site-specific seating that enjoyed shelter from wind and specific views towards the surroundings.
MakeLab 2013: ‘Site to File to Factory to Site’ / Pod This project used the timber harvested from local trees in it's pure form, cut into disks to be nested together to form a double curved shell structure. To allocate different disks from the varying pieces of lumber, a Kinect 3D scanner was set up to measure the tree trunks before cutting. The best matching component numbers and connections were then projected onto the wood, to be marked before cutting with a chain saw. The assembly of this customised 'kit-of-parts' resulted in the correct curvature forming gradually over time.
MakeLab 2013: ‘Site to File to Factory to Site’ / SmokeLab Inspired by the unprecedented cold weather, the workshop aimed to set up an advanced digital manufacturing process in the protected environment of Hooke park’s workshop space. This allowed to test not only file-to-factory processes, but also innovative strategies for the deployment on-site of factory produced, customised building elements. In the 'SmokeLab' project a 3D pointer system was tested using computer controlled laserpointers intersecting as construction node points in 3D space.
MakeLab 2012: 'Emergent Constructions’ / Stix Using a CNC positioning device to carry out fabrication instructions in iterations over time, this project tested a scenario where the final formation of a field of sticks was directly informed by the monitoring of people movements in the forest. The project investigated an architect’s role that is setting up the rules of a process rather than form, allowing for a more open-ended method of negotiation between structure, users, and environment.
MakeLab 2012: 'Emergent Constructions’ / Blue Under the title ‘Emergent Constructions’, this project similarly focused on the opportunities in the integration between innovative material processes, devices and computational methods. The project used the ongoing 3d scanning of people and material on-site, to inform a generative design workflow in real time. Final constructions were not predetermined, but emerged out of performance-based rules, integrated in computational models that drive on-site fabrication strategies.
MakeLab 2011: Gridshell Using a CNC positioning device to fit in a carrying case for outdoor use, one of the two student/tutor teams explored design+build methodologies based around the device used to indicate node points of a triangulated timber structure. [more information]
MakeLab 2011: G-Cloud Using a CNC positioning device, one of the two student/tutor teams explored design+build methodologies based around the 3d scanning and materialisation of people movements through the site, using the 3D pointer to indicate node points of a triangulated timber structure with varying density correlated to the intensity of people movements recorded. [more information]