A New Machinecraft

A Critical Evaluation of Architectural Robots
  • Cristina NanEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 527)


This paper intends to develop an understanding of the new role robotics occupy in the architectural process, from the early stage of conceptualization to the final stage of its materialization. This issue will be addressed on two levels of discourse. While the first level discusses the theoretical-philosophical framework behind the architectural integration of robots, the second investigates the resulting methodological implications on an applied research project. A critical evaluation of the use and the self-development of robots or robotic devices by architects is being aspired to. The attempt to redefine the status of the machine in general, and specifically of the robot, seeks to illustrate the robot as an active design agent.


Robotic printing Robotic fabrication Construction strategy Machinecraft 



This paper and the presented theoretical part relies on the author’s PhD thesis, completed under the guidance of Professor Dott. Arch. Paolo Fusi, conducted at the HafenCity University Hamburg and funded by the DFG, the German Research Foundation.

Minibuilders, the here described research project, was developed during the Open Thesis Fabrication program 2013/2014 at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya. The OTF program is constructed on the idea of offering a suitable academic framework and guidance for its participants to conduct individual or group research according to a self-imposed research agenda. Minibuilders was conducted by a group consisting of six international researchers, under the guidance of Prof. Areti Markopoulou and with the help of multiple staff members of the mentoring institute. Further information on the individual members of the research team, the extended academic support, sponsorship and collaborators can be viewed on the official webpage dedicated to this project:


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HafenCity UniversityHafencityGermany

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