Sydney to host global conference on robotics in architecture - March 2016

14 December 2015
Researchers worldwide to gather in Sydney for ROB|ARCH2016, 15-19 March.

Sydney, Australia will host the largest gathering of robotics researchers in architecture and design from around the world in March 2016. ROB|ARCH2016 will be hosted by the University of Sydney in collaboration with five other Australian universities from 15-19 March at Walsh Bay on Sydney Harbour.

Robotics at work in the University of Sydney's Design Modelling and Fabrication lab (DMaF).

The use of digital fabrication in architecture and design continues to accelerate globally, as the potential for innovation and creativity using robotics is harnessed in the creative industries.

Held every two years, the international conference will draw academic and industry researchers in robotic fabrication from ten countries including Australia, USA, China, Korea, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Spain.

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will host the conference alongside partnering Australian universities The University of NSW, Bond University, RMIT, University of Technology Sydney, and Monash University.

Dr Dagmar Reinhardt, a researcher and senior lecturer in Architectural Design and Digital Architecture at the University of Sydney, said: “This is a significant global event for researchers and industry working on the next generation of robotics in architecture.

The robotics research currently happening has the potential to completely revolutionise the way we design and manufacture materials and construct buildings.
Dr Dagmar Reinhardt

According to the international Association for Robots in Architecture, Australian universities have been incredibly quick to acquire robots for teaching and research.

In 2013 only two Australian universities – the University of Sydney and RMIT – were using robots in the academic curriculum and research. By ROB|ARCH 2016, a large number of architectural schools in Australia will have industrial robots as part of their curriculum.

The University of Sydney has been building its capabilities and research in its Design Modelling and Fabrication lab (DMaF) in recent years. “Globally Australia is seen as a hotspot right now for growing the use of robotics in architecture. The collaborative work in our DMaF lab, with the support of teams of industry partners, researchers, robotic technicians and PhD students, is currently exploring novel pathways for architectural practice,” said Dr Reinhardt.

“With more architecture students now graduating with a deeper knowledge of robotics in fabrication, we can expect to see great change and innovation in the industry in the very near future,” she added.

ROB|ARCH2016 includes a three-day program of hands-on industry and research workshops using the latest robotic technologies in design; and a two-day conference with over 30 Australian and international speakers from world-leading universities and robotics companies.

The theme of the 2016 conference ‘Trajectories’ will focus on the integration of human-robot interactions informed by sensor input and real-time feedback in diverse environments.

The inaugural ROB|ARCH conference was held in Vienna in 2012. Initiated by the Association for Robots in Architecture, the event aims to develop the use of robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design, by closely linking industry with cutting-edge research institutions globally. Michigan was the host of the last conference in 2014.