Lauren Vasey is a Research Associate and a Doctoral Candidate at the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) at The University of Stuttgart. Previously, she received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Tufts University, cum laude, and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Michigan where she was the recipient of several merit scholarships and graduated with distinction. She has also previously worked at the University of Michigan Taubman College FABLab as well as at the ETH-Zurich, Chair for Architecture and Digital Fabrication.
Within the interdisciplinary and international ITECH master’s program at the University of Stuttgart, Lauren teaches seminars, master’s thesis, and design studios for the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilions. Her teaching and research have been recognized in international competitions including the Kuka Innovation Award, Fast Company Innovation By Design, and AEC Hackathons. She has led robotic workshops at the Robots in Architecture and ACADIA conferences, and lectured at venues including ACM Siggraph, Advances in Architectural Geometry (AAG), and Autodesk University. She has extensively collaborated with external research partners including Autodesk and recently the European Space Agency. Since 2016, Lauren is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of ACADIA, where she is currently the Chair of the scientific committee, and an editor of IJAC, the International Journal of Architectural Computing.
Collaborative and Connected: Cyber-physical Systems in Architecture and Robotic Construction
Research in robotic fabrication is poised to transform prototypical production processes and construction systems in architecture and construction. In fabrication research, the shift from the utilization of machines engineered for specific tasks towards the use of generic six-axis industrial robots has enabled the development of customizable fabrication processes and robotic control protocols. Further enhancement of robotic manufacturing methods with cyberphysical systems, which tightly couple sensor feedback with backend computational processes, enables entirely new possibilities for Architectural realization. Rather than executing predefined control code, robots can be pre-programmed with behaviors to sense, analyze, and act upon their environment in order to execute production and assembly tasks. Cyber-physical fabrication thus challenges many existing protocols in production chains: for example, static systems of design representation, such as plans and blue prints, as well as linear production workflows which separate and compartmentalize design and production. Interconnected systems can additionally be deployed to coordinate collaborative processes between multiple robots, sensors, people and devices, opening up additional possibilities for enhancing both accessibility and digital integration into the greater ecosystem of the building industry. However, to truly enable these possibilities necessitates a drastic re-design of characteristic material systems and processes, as well as new forms of collaboration between traditionally compartmentalized domains and disciplines.