Shajay Bhooshan Studio
Nik Arief Bin Nik Ab Rahman
Foam Tectonics activates a prototypical urban site through an automated robotic material system that is performative, lightweight and adaptable. The research takes materiality as its primary design driver. The speculative trajectories of automated digital fabrication, construction and machinic possibilities that arise challenge traditional design and fabrication processes.
The research aims to investigate the negotiation of distributed design intelligence through material programming, automated robotic production and a generative growth system. This is investigated through research into phase-changing materials such as expanding polyurethane foam (PU foam) as it provides a fast-reaction time, considerable strength- to-weight ratio, high resolution surface details, and is lightweight and relatively cost effective. Industrial robots are also integrated into the process of digital fabrication.
Through the deployment of a flexible, responsive material system, the project is able to adapt to differing site conditions and spatial needs. By demonstrating the possibility of mass customised unique nodal elements, the research speculates on the possibilities for lightweight self-supporting structural networks and novel types of shell structures.