STF#8 - 2023: Presentations
Democratising Offsite, Digitising Onsite Construction
The Circular Factory (CF)
Advances in digital fabrication and computation enable us to address the increasingly urgent requirement of decreasing embodied energy and waste in construction. However, access to digital fabrication processes is not equally distributed, resulting in the construction industry being amongst the least digitised, with SMEs having limited access to digital construction processes. Through case studies, Alicia reflects on how human-compatible novel digital design and construction methods can augment onsite construction techniques by reducing material waste whilst building beautiful and efficient structures. The talk speculates on hybrid construction systems that enable emergent technologies to become an integral part of the construction ecosystem and change the way we build today for a better tomorrow.
Alicia Nahmad is an architect with a passion for robotics and digital fabrication, a strong believer that robotics can augment rather than replace human craft and that human-robot collaboration is the future of the construction industry. As a research-based practising architect, for the last 12 years, she has been engaged with the digitization of building trades and adapting advanced digital design and robotic fabrication methods to incorporate the wisdom and craft of traditional building cultures. Her projects include the construction of award-winning ‘Knit-Candela’ and diverse collaborations with practice and academic institutions. She holds a PhD from Cardiff University and a MArch from the AADRL.
Her work focuses on exploring design through integrating materials, local skills and cutting edge design and digital fabrication technologies - such as machine learning and robotics - in relation to context-specific environments. She has developed workflows for human-robot collaboration in the design and construction process that engage with local communities. Alicia’s work expands across a number of scales, from architectural pavilions and robotic installations to developing customised PPE masks for frontline personnel.
As an academic and an entrepreneur, Alicia is the founder of Architecture Extrapolated (R-Ex), The Circular Factory (CF), and MITollbox. Alicia works as an assistant professor at the University of Calgary SAPL. She also co-directs the Laboratory for Integrative Design. Before joining SAPL, she worked as studio master at the AADRL. Previously, Alicia worked developing digital tools for practices like Populous and Zaha Hadid Architects. Her work has been published in numerous conferences and journals and she has lectured internationally on related topics.