DNA: Discrete Network Assembly



More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. The global housing crisis, new advances in digital sharing, the proliferation of slums and the increasing need for social housing are reshaping our idea of home and the architecture of our cities.

The suggested approach promotes an adaptive and rapid process to deploy architectural solutions through collaboration with robotic technology. Flexibility and adaptivity are achieved using discrete elements as building components within a geometric and structural efficient framework. The architecture proposed looks for flexibility, structural efficiency, material and cost reduction and expressive freedom as reaction to the increasing complexity of the contemporary way of living.

The structural system extends the principles of graphic statics into three dimensions, through the equilibrium between funicular polyhedral frames and convex polyhedral force diagrams as Block Research Group suggests. The network is the result of a boundary load condition in which the applied loads are perpendicular to each of the corresponding faces of the polyhedra. The membrane works as a uniform boundary load condition distributing the forces axially through the network minimizing the material usage; single curved developable face strips are achieved as result of the geometrical conditions. Network and membrane work in symbiosis as single performing member within the structural system.

Robotic technology has been considered as fundamental aspect of the fabrication process in a symbiotic relation with the human agent. The robotic arm has been utilized as a design tool to enhance the design quality and expand the limited human capacities. The use of the latter has been exploited to spatially orient and bespoke assembly discrete elements forming network topologies. A hybrid system of on-site prefabrication and assembly is proposed as fabrication strategy.


Design Research Laboratory (DRL), Architectural Association 2015 / 2017

Shajay Bhooshan Studio

Tutors: Shajay Bhooshan, Alicia Nahmad, David Reeves, Vishu Bhooshan

Robotic Consultants: ODICO Formwork Robotics

Engineering Consultants: AKTII

Team: Aydinoglu Begum, Federico Borello, Philipp Siedler