P+DC [Re]Place Series

Using Digital Fabrication to Drive Innovation

Digital fabrication driving innovation in building materials, construction processes, and manufactured products

Course Lessons


Meet the Presenter

Tsz Yan Ng

Assistant Professor in Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Michigan

Tsz Yan Ng's material-based research and design primarily focus on experimental concrete forming (hard) and textile manipulation (soft), often times in direct exchange and incorporating contemporary technologies to develop novel designs for building and manufacturing. A common thread to her work investigates questions of labor in various facets and forms – underscoring broader issues of industrial manufacturing innovation, of human labor, crafting, and aesthetics. She’s the principal of an independent architecture and art practice with built works in the US and China.
Patrick Jones - Course author
In this session, the presenter Tsz Yan Ng, professor in the Architecture department at the University of Michigan, will introduce her research and recent installation case studies to support sustainable ideas in fabrication and construction. She will discuss her work as collaborative in nature and interdisciplinary in scope ranging from textile manufacturing facilities to commercial retail interiors and installations. She will introduce projects that deal with labor questions in various facets and forms—underscoring broader issues of industrial manufacturing, human crafting, technology, and aesthetics. She will discuss her material-based research and design primarily focus on textile manipulation and experimental concrete forming, incorporating contemporary technologies to develop novel designs and innovative ways for building and manufacturing.
  • Participants will be knowledgeable of custom extrusion processes as a sustainable solution addressing the extensive use of materials through formwork and reduction in construction waste.
  • Participants will understand the increased reusability of concrete products by modifying components, thus extending the life of building components and reducing the carbon accounting.
  • Participants will understand the benefits of functionally graded knits for volumetric concrete casting. Participants will understand how automation's reduction in labor and materials also supports complex geometries and textures that would typically be difficult to achieve with formwork and steel. Knit casting also reduces construction waste. Through lightweight and transportable formwork, casting is possible closer to the construction site and reduces transportation issues. Participants will identify the three types of Knit casting structures, including tubular with infill, tethers, and panel-to-panel tubular.
  • Participants will review and assume the benefits resulting from timber use as a sustainable and renewable material. Through analysis of the SPLAM_Spacially Laminated Timber Pavilion and Outdoor Classroom project case study, the presenter will demonstrate the sustainability benefits of the emerging SPLAM technology. In addition, participants will understand linking manufacturing with digital technology and how special laminated timber can reduce the total material volume. The project also will demonstrate the benefits of offsite manufacturing and minimization of onsite construction.
  • 1.0 AIACES HSW Learning Unit
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