Innovation That Matters

Depending on the location of the light, the walls seem to flow in different directions | Photo source ETH Zurich

Augmented building process combines human craftsmanship with digital design

Property & Construction

Complex shapes are achieved in unusual materials by using human dexterity and skill to bring computational designs to life

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Spotted: The Kirtvs Winery’s newest building appears to be made from undulating brick walls. Using a new process named Augmented Bricklaying, the structure combines digital design with master craftsmanship. Designed by a team from ETH Zurich’s Gramazio Kohler Research department and built by local craftsmen, the wine processing and storage facility is in Pydna, Greece.

Augmented Bricklaying is an interactive design process. An augmented reality interface uses an optical guidance system to allow masons to inspect the exact location of each brick. Adjustments are made immediately. The combination of dynamic design checks and artisan skill meant that the entire build was completed in three months. A total of 13,596 handmade bricks were used in the structure.

Depending on the location of the light, the walls seem to flow in different directions.

Mortar is a striking feature of the building and variations in the amount used to contribute to the wave-like look of the walls. The gaps between bricks allow light and air to filter inside without damaging the wine from extreme summer temperatures.

For industries steeped in tradition, new technologies must meld well with a brand’s heritage and culture in order to be considered for use. Two areas in which Springwise has spotted innovations making a difference are agtech and fashion. Algorithm-analysed soil health is helping vineyards manage land with fewer pesticides and “design-your-own” has been taken a step further by a startup that laser cuts single sheets of leather for handbag assembly at home by customers.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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