Rock Print

At the Chicago Architectural Biennial, there stands a four-meter-high installation composed of rocks and thread that was created by a robotic arm and stands without mortar or adhesive. Called Rock Print, the structure is a joint effort of designers from the Gramazio Kohler Research of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the Self-Assembly Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The tower was made by an algorithm-guided robotic arm placing specific patterns of thread, with humans then simply pouring a layer of gravel. These steps were repeated until the sculpture reached the desired height. Although the surface is fragile, the core is solid.The goal was to create an installation that can be taken down and reused.

Implications to Architecture and Design

The labs are continuing research on this construction method and its potential applications. The designers are hopeful that this can be used in landscape architecture and full-fledged buildings, allowing them to be repurposed after years of wear as the raw materials would be unchanged.


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