Weaving Physical-Digital Networks

Weaving physical-digital networks: Brazil-Germany integration experience

Tobias Wallisser1, Gonçalo Castro Henriques2, Amanda Ribeiro2, Ronaldo Lee Menna2
1State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, LAVA, Germany
2Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, LAMO, PROURB, Brazil

The idea of a network weaved this project in a conceptual as well as in a physical way. A network in the sense of an intangible connection between people, and a network in the sense of a materiality, woven to constitute the skin of a building according to different techniques associated with the ancient culture of covering to provide shelter.

Weaving Physical-Digital NetworksWe seek to integrate old cultural identities with new digital methods. In the time of the fourth industrial revolution, we might think about a network as something fully accomplished, as if the availability of an internet connection was synonymous with effective communication.

Weaving Physical-Digital NetworksIn our methodology, we face network challenges at the intersection of human communication and the physical and material domains.

The challenge is to discover what to exchange and how to do so. Through the Brazilian-German program `Connect’, we tested our research in two practical workshops in two continents.

The result suggests that is possible to weave a network incorporating local building traditions and analogue and digital processes of form-finding. The report describes our findings and shares critical reflections opening future research possibilities.

Weaving Physical-Digital NetworksThe fourth industrial revolution is about to bring profound changes in building technology, challenging a re-thinking of local building traditions and associated cultural identities.

Schwab (2018) highlights the relevance of collaborative networks to find meaning and purpose in technology. Our Research addresses a local/global gap bridging local building technologies with algorithmic design and digital evaluation.

It relies on collaboration to integrate technical and cultural knowledge to find innovative design solutions.

Weaving Physical-Digital NetworksThe Research started at a bilateral scientific Conference, where different fields of research, I.e. Sustainable water management, sensor automation technology and digital fabrication for building construction were brought into contact.

The conference was part of a meeting organized by Gabriela Celani and Olfa Kanoun at the UNICAMP in Campinas in 2016. The authors presented their research to an audience from different scientific fields during the conference.

The first two authors of the paper saw an opportunity to establish a collaboration to combine their research connecting traditional structures and digital building techniques.

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