Flexible Space: Architecture through Digital Fabrication
Over the last few years, the global adoption of digital fabrication technology has extended the possibilities of applying the notion of prefabrication to the building industry. Modern fabrication has become one of the most important elements in the wide range of design practices in the 21st Century.
Technological advancements in manufacturing processes have allowed highly accurate, automated tools to manufacture ingenious structures. Engaging with the latest automated technologies (such as a CNC router - Computer Numerical Control) for prefabricated projects, allows for customisable configuration, easier construction methods, efficient construction time, and flexible space once the design has been created.
New Zealand based architectural design practices such as Makers of Architecture have manufactured flexible, prefabricated systems utilising digital fabrication technologies that can be easily assembled on site. This practice has become successful due to architectural solutions that are responsively and individually customised, affordable, efficient and sustainable, as well as being spatially engaging. Flexibility, functionality, modularity such as joint components and simple assembly methods that require less time and effort, and continual improvement are the keys to success with prefabrication.
Critical Question: How can digital fabrication methods, along with a prefabricated construction system, effectively be used to create a bespoke flexible space? This thesis will investigate and explore design and construction methodologies along with an exploration of Niuean hiapo (tapa cloth) as a part of the design process. This allows a connection with Niuean culture, with the aim of creating efficient and easily assembled 1:1 scale, flexible interior fit-out systems that can be applied within existing architectural space.