"Crowd-Driven Pattern Formation: Computational Strategies for Large-Scale Design and Assembly" in Architectural Design Journal


Founded in 1930, Architectural Design combines the currency and topicality of a newsstand journal with the rigor and production qualities of a book. Each title of Architectural Design is presented as a thematic volume edited by an invited guest editor, who is an international expert in his/her field. Renowned for being at the leading edge of design and new technologies, Architectural Design also covers topics as diverse as architectural history and theory, the environment, interior design, landscape architecture and urban design.[wiley.com]

Written in collaboration with Marcello Coelho, Toby's article, "Crowd-Driven Pattern Formation: Computational Strategies for Large-Scale Design and Assembly," was included in an Architectural Design book entitled: Autonomous Assembly: Designing for a New Era of Collective Construction that was edited by Skylar Tibbits.

  • Marcello Coelho is a Brazilian computation artist and designer. His work focuses on the boundaries between matter and computation and includes interactive installations, photography, wearables, and robotics.[wikipedia]
  • Skylar Tibbits is an architect/designer and lecturer at MIT. His work in the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT is mapping the future of how we make things.

In the introduction to the book, Tibbits notes that the future of construction might include insect fabrication, smart components that can assemble themselves, or collaborative structures with swarms of people and new material phenomena. Toby and Marcello's article backs that up with a discussion of three large scale installations that were collectively assembled by humans and computers working in close collaboration. The third of these examples is the Hive project from Autodesk University 2015.

Read more about The HIVE

Autodesk believes that the future of making involves 3 fundamental changes:

  • Products themselves will be smarter with enablements via the internet of things.
  • Processes will move towards automation via robots and greater efficiency through techniques like additive manufacturing.
  • Consumer demand will shift toward bespoke creations instead of generic off-the-shelf goods.

Toby and Marcello's article is a perfect example of how products and processes are changing.

Way to go Toby and Marcello!

Collaboration is alive in the lab.