The Collaborative Construction Platform
Using the Combinatorial App developed by Automated Architecture (AUAR), this project, a collaboration with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), investigated the potentials for digital technologies such as accessible design software and robotics for the crafts and trades. AUAR’s approach is heavily focused on collaborative processes that enhance tradespeople’s existing skills with new technologies for safer, more diverse, and creative work environments. The prototype developed a collaborative, scalable 4-part workshop series that saw its participants, local Bristol residents Caragh Salisbury, Caroline Henn, Ellie Shipman, Jacob Corn, John Bennett, Nick Butler) doing a deep dive into their practice, designing structures on the Combinatorial App, and learning about robotics and the processes required to work with them, alongside wider conversations about automation, technology, and the relation of these to the participants’ own profession and work.
Due to Lockdown, the series initially culminated in an exhibition on Mozilla Hubs, where the designs were shown combined with audio recordings of reflections and thoughts of participants. Following the ease of restrictions, the team has hosted a demonstration using the Combinatorial App and an industrial robot to realize several of the participant’s designs. The prototype is part of an ecology of digital tools for collaborative construction being developed by AUAR in community-led settings.