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ROBOTIC BUILDING MSc 2 Spring 2018   |   Cyber-physical Space
Team: Henriette Bier | Sina Mostafavi | Alex Liu Cheng | Yu-Chou Chiang | Arwin Hidding | Vera Laszlo | Rosanne la Roy
Guests: Philip Beesley (PBA and UoW) | Winy Mass (MDRDW and TUD) | Adrien Ravon (MDRDW and TUD)


On-demand / Plug-in / Mobile habitat / Reconfigurable and customizable workingliving/ playing units / Robotic Production / Robotic Operation


This semester MSc 2 engages in the investigation of utopian/dystopian visions about future habitats by reinterpreting Constant’s New Babylon and introducing static and dynamic functionalities such as infrastructure (structural frame, circulation, water and electricity, etc.) and reconfigurable furniture respectively.

Utopian/dystopian aspects are addressed by exploring the potential of cyberphysical systems in architecture (D2RPA&O), the challenges of overpopulation and urban densification, etc.

1. Utopia/Dystopia

Utopias envision ideal communities or societies possessing perfect socio-politicolegal systems. The term is derived from More’s book titled Utopia (1516). For instance, Constant’s New Babylon envisioned a city of the future where land is owned collectively, work is fully automated and thus human work is replaced with a nomadic life of creative play.

In contrast dystopias are communities or societies that are undesirable or even frightening as for instance described in Orwell’s 1984 (1949). These are characterized by dehumanization, totalitarianism, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society.

2. Customization and reconfiguration

The proposed cyber-physical space is controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and its users. Physical and software components are, in this context, deeply intertwined. The static and dynamic modalities of the space involve customization and reconfiguration, which will be achieved by means of Design-to-Robotic-Production and –Operation (D2RP&O).


Students will work with a generic bounding box representing a part of the megastructure that is overimposed on an existing city. Within this bounding box students will develop designs for customizable and reconfigurable units based on user scenarios.