Introduction

For the third consecutive year, Digital Constructions will bring together international and local students, academics and practising architects in a two week programme including lectures, tutorials and a workshop investigating digital design and fabrication methods for the production of social housing in South Africa. Organised as a collaboration between the AA, the University of Hong Kong and local industry partners, the workshop combines advanced design processes with local manufacturing facilities for the production of 1:1 scale functional housing prototypes. Held this year in Cape Town to coincide with the AZA2012 Biennial Festival, the workshop utilises the most current digital design and fabrication technologies, exploring the potentials of their implementation within the challenging context of South Africa’s urban areas. As outcome, the workshop aims to construct full-scale working prototypes on a live site within the city, exhibited as part of the urban culture and architecture festival.

Starting with collaborative digital design processes, the programme will introduce participants to methods for creating fabrication-based, open-ended design systems that can incorporate programmatic and site-specific criteria. The implementation through digitally controlled fabrication processes such as CNC and laser cutting will allow for the testing and the evaluation of functional prototypes, leading to the iterative development of calibrated and realistic digital design models. In the second phase of the workshop, two of the proposals will be will be taken forward to construction, working in collaboration with local fabricators and using equipment and materials made available for 1:1 construction.

Participation within the workshop will be through team work, combining design development and project management to implement an integrated file to factory work flow. A number of public presentations will serve as a platform to discuss the work with local specialists, projecting the potentials of the design projects for future application within the city.

The workshop is open to current architecture students, architects and design professionals. For the application procedure please use the online form on the AA Visiting School website.
The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £50 Visiting Student Membership. Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation with local students can be arranged for visiting students. Participants need to bring their own camera equipment and laptops with a current version of Rhino and Grasshopper readily installed.

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