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2016 Emerging Design + Technology: Call for Papers

Download the 2016 Call for Papers The TxA Emerging Design + Technology conference brings experimental research and exploration among academics and practitioners to a broad audience of designers, practicing architects, construction industry executives, building products manufacturers, students, and other researchers. It takes advantage of the collection of over 3,000 representatives of these fields at the Texas Society of Architects Annual Conference and Design Expo to create a forum for sharing new ideas being formulated in schools of architecture and elsewhere. Selected academics and researchers will have the opportunity to present their papers during three 90-minute sessions at the Texas Society of Architects 77th Annual Conference and…

Field of Dreams

Architecture was once said to be technologically decades behind other constructive disciplines. Post-World War II mass production yielded the modern airliner for aviation, but Levittown for architecture. Now, thankfully, we’re catching up. Rapid prototyping soft- and hardware allow designers to directly test and manufacture at the human scale, from jewelry to complete building components. Our expanded tool kit arrives just as we’re also tasked with addressing our collective environmental crisis. These advances in fabrication and environmental investigation were key components of Field Constructs, a recent competition in Austin that featured four installations by talented, young designers. Field Constructs Design Competition…

Plastic Effects

While advances in digital technology have made many designs look sleeker, there is a continued desire to move “off the screen.” With this in mind, the marriage of materials with production has come to the forefront of design. For many architects, including Austin-based Igor Siddiqui, materials are capable of great transformation and should be considered early in the stages of the design process. Siddiqui, an assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and principal of ISSSStudio, is drawn to specific materials, such as rubber and bioplastics, that are flexible, pliable, and allow themselves to be…

Re-Flex by RTKL Associates

Re-Flex uses parametric design and digital fabrication to create a responsive modular system focused on filtering light. Designed by a team of designers at RTKL Associates, the concept is inspired by the human eye and the way the pupil responds to light. Each module is composed of four identical flat-cut pieces, which are folded and connected at the corners to form a square. As pressure is applied to the corners, the aperture at the center expands or contracts. The surface deformation not only controls the amount of light that is diffused by the system but also determines the ultimate volume…

Exploring Future Workflows with TEX-FAB

There is an upcoming generation of architects who love to make things. These young designers are engaging in sophisticated workflows between design and construction that are laying the foundation for a newly organized architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. For those of us who have been practicing for some time, often in disbelief and astonishment at how buildings get built, this is really good news.  As an industry, we are in the early stages of what promises to be a paradigm shift in how architects, fabricators, and construction teams work together. It is enabled by new digital tools and techniques,…