Robotic Prometheus

ARCH802, ARCH804, ARCH806, ARCH808

Students: Grey Wartinger, Matthew White, Jiansong Yuan
Instructors: Robert Stuart-Smith (ARCH802), Nathan King (ARCH806), Billie Faircloth (ARCH808), Jose-Luis García del Castillo y López & Jeffrey Anderson (ARCH804)
TAs: Patrick Danahy (ARCH802)

Urban development is responsible for some of the greatest local and regional extinction events, while also creating long-term threats of habitat loss for those species that do survive. Building facades pose a particular risk to bird populations. Bird strikes, collisions with reflective glazing, and loss of fly-through perching habitat through urban development, considerably impact migratory species, many of which travel directly through prominent cities such as Philadelphia on their journeys. Robotic Prometheus explores the notion of a multi-species facade,  by creating inhabitable spaces for bird nesting and perching while providing human privacy and day-lighting. A design and production approach to architectural ceramics was developed that goes beyond established industry methods of mass-production that are predominantly constrained by extrusion dies and molds.  The research develops a novel approach to 6-axis additive and manipulative ceramic processes to enable the development of a heterogeneous facade that embodies surface texture, nesting locations, and ornament. Robotic Prometheus engages with the plasticity of clay through multiple robotic manufacturing behaviors, engaging in behavior-based robotic motion through agent-based programming and custom robot end-effector tooling developments, enabling bespoke architectural designs to be achieved through integrated approaches to robotic fabrication and material production.