Reading Response: Week 2
Robots were originally conceived of as being able to quickly do precise tasks and allow for maximum flexibility. However as the use and abilities of robots have grown, particularly in the automotive and manufacturing industries, the use of robots has instead shifted towards repetitive, standardized, and consistent tasks.
What is exciting about the new applications of robotic fabrication into the realms of architecture is the re-imagination of the use of robots for unique, experimental, and specialized operations. As is discussed in "Towards a Bespoke Building Process," robotic fabrication offers new possibilities in material studies, and assembly techniques, and "continues and extends the tradition of constructive thinking in architecture." Instead of using robots as they were used in the mid-twentieth century to focus on efficiency, and economic value through the replacement of human labour, we instead should think of robots as tools with which we can accomplish things that can be done no other way.
What the article discusses, and what I find to be one of the most exciting elements of digital/robotic fabrication as it applies to architecture is the ability for designers to play a larger role, and exercise increased control, in the manufacturing and construction process.