Digital Terracotta @ Venice Biennale

May 30th, 2018 by admin

Finally, I can share some photos of our latest research project coming out of the Robotics Lab at HKU entitled “Digital Terracotta”. The project is part of the current Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Curated by Weijen Wang with co-curators Thomas Chung and Thomas Tsang, the exhibition addresses the theme of “free space” set by Venice Biennale curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects through 100 experimental towers by 100 different architects. Our tower suggests a model for Hong Kong’s vertical fabric that innovates through a new 1:1 material system.

Robotically controlled terracotta extrusions that are tailored to specific conditions offer an alternative to today’s material practice. Terracotta has a long history within the Chinese context, yet nowadays the material has been diminished to dull façade tiles. The project, therefore, suggests revitalizing principles of the past with the technology of today to alter our built environment in Hong Kong in a sustainable way.

Venice Biennale, Architecture, 2018, Hong Kong Pavilion, Christian J. Lange, Rocker Lange Architects, Vertical Fabric, Density in Landscape

Venice Biennale, Architecture, 2018, Hong Kong Pavilion, Digital Terracotta, Vertical Fabric, Density in Landscape

Digital Terracotta, Christian J. Lange, robotic 3d printing, Venice Biennale, Rocker Lange Architects

Digital Terracotta, Christian J. Lange, robotic 3d printing, Venice Biennale

Digital Terracotta, Christian J. Lange, robotic 3d clay printing, Venice Biennale

The show will be on view until November 25th 2018 at Campo della Tana, opposite of the main entrance to the Arsenale.

CeramicINformation pavilion at UABB Shenzhen

January 21st, 2018 by admin

I am very happy to share the recent outcome of our fall activities in the Robotic Fabrication Lab at HKU. The project entitled “CeramicINformation” is the second larger outcome of the Lab and is part of an evolving series, which aims to reconcile the material intelligence of vernacular crafts with the specificity and flexibility promised by digital design and fabrication technologies.The project is currently on show at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen, China.

CeramicINformation, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, Ceramic Architecture

CeramicINformation Pavilion, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic 3d printing, Christian J. Lange

This particular iteration explores the process of construction, and seeks to find an appropriate level of automation suitable for emerging and transitioning economies. Each of the approximately 1000 components that make up the experimental structure is unique and has a specific immanent relationship to its neighbors. This approach allowed the complex construction to be realized using unskilled labor, over a short period, without the need for typical architectural drawings.

CeramicINformation Pavilion, brick architecture, robots in architecture

Rocker Lange Architects, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, 3d clay printing, Robotic clay extrusion, Christian J. Lange

As a point of departure, this project examined the ubiquitous terracotta brick – common in modern Chinese construction, and explored it’s potential re-shaping through the process of robotic 3d printing. Approximately 1.5million lines of code were generated – with each brick containing an average of 1400 individual target-points.

Robotic Brick Facade, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, HKU

Ceramic IN formation Pavilion, robotically manufactured bricks, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture

The bricks were manufactured over a period of 20 days before the lightweight elements were shipped to the site and assembled into the multifaceted wall. The project not only highlights the new possibilities for architectural expression, but also the capacity these systems have to change the way in which we fashion the built environment.

CeramicINformation Pavilion, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, Robotic Fabrication LAB, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic 3d printing

CeramicINformation Pavilion, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic 3d printing

CeramicINformation Pavilion, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic 3d printing

CeramicINformation Pavilion, Shenzhen Biennale 2018, HKUrbanLAB, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic 3d printing

Credits:

Project Leaders:
Christian J. Lange
Donn Holohan

Research Assistants:
Mono Tung
Kristy Chow
Pamela Maguigad

Funding:
UABB Shenzhen

Project Location:
No. 82 East Zhongshan Street, Wanli Industrial Zone, Nantou Old Town, Nanshan District, Shenzhen

For images on the project please visit also:
http://www.arch.hku.hk/

Machinic Multiplicities | Christian J. Lange

November 6th, 2017 by admin

Christian J. Lange will give a talk entitled “Machinic Multiplicities” on November 9th 2017 at HKU. The talk is part of the current public lecture series entitled “In Progress” in the Department of Architecture.

Christian J. Lange, Machinic Multiplicities, The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture Abstract:

Architecture has always been deeply linked to tradition, site, and context. The collaboration between many different trades of skilled labor that were specific to a place was in part responsible for the diversity of architectural expression. With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, buildings became more standardized and normative, losing its uniqueness and producing at times environments of pure repetition. However, since approximately two decades we are witnessing a shift in the profession that has the capacity to bring it again closer to materiality, craft, and diversity. Computation, new software packages, and new CAAD/CAM construction methods have paved the way for architects, designers, educators and students alike to engage again much more in the innovation of building processes and the making of a building. With the advent of robotic fabrication in Architecture, we are now witnessing the next step in this evolution. While robots in other industries are mostly used for repetitive tasks, pioneers in the architectural profession saw the opportunity to utilize them for non-standard designs. In an environment with rapidly growing cities, robotic fabrication offers a trajectory for Architecture that has the potential to bring back specificity and diversity while maintaining attributes such as efficiency and economic viability.

Since early 2016, Christian J. Lange is leading the development of the new Robotic Fabrication Lab in the Faculty of Architecture. The talk will present a series of projects that have been developed within the LAB since, and touch on the potentials of this new line of inquiry.

Department of Architecture
Speaker: Christian J. Lange
Title: Machinic Multiplicities
Respondent: Kristof Crolla, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Date: 09 Nov 2017 (Thursday)
Venue: KB730, 7/F Knowles Building, HKU
Time: 18:30

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion recently featured on Dezeen

September 12th, 2017 by admin

Very happy to share the recent feature of the ceramic constellation pavilion on Dezeen.

Christian J. Lange to talk at the upcoming event “Imminent Commons: Urban Questions for the Near Future”

August 20th, 2017 by admin

Within the scope of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, co-directed by Hyungmin Pai and Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Christian Lange will be among the speakers at the upcoming event at HKU entitled “Imminent Commons: Urban Questions for the Near Future”. Speakers include Ole Bouman, Alvin Yip, Eunice Seng, Jason Hilgefort, Valerie Portefaix, Nasrine Seraji, Laurent Gutierrez and Chris Webster.

Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre of the Graduate House at HKU
Date: 28th August, 16:00 to 19:30

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Ceramic Constellation Pavilion

August 12th, 2017 by admin

I am very happy to share the recent outcome of our spring activities in the Robotic Fabrication Lab at HKU. The project entitled “Ceramic Constellation Pavilion – Spatial shifts through robotically fabricated terracotta bricks” represents the first research work in the newly formed collaboration between Sino Group and the Robotic Fabrication Lab.

Robotic Architecture, Hong Kong, Rocker Lange Architects, China, 3d printed ceramic architecture, brick facade

The Pavilion, which was guided by Christian J. Lange, Donn Holohan and Holger Kehne was built by students utilizing robotic technology. The research initiative that supports arts, cultures, and technology is intended to foster cultural awareness of new technologies for the built environment.

In a context that has been largely shaped by standardization and mass production, the project seeks to overcome the constraints of today’s architectural production through the introduction of a structure made entirely of non-standard components.

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion, HKU Urban Lab, clay robotics, robotic clay, 3d printed bricks, robotically manufactured teracotta bricks, 3d printed ceramics, Rocker Lange Architects

This inaugural workshop of the “Sino Group Robotic Architecture Series” utilized terracotta clay to test the possibilities and limits within robotic fabrication and to revitalize a material system that has a significant tradition in Asia.

robotically manufactured bricks, Christian J. Lange, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic Fabrication LAB, 3d printed ceramics, brick facade

Departing from traditional brick bonds, the 3.8m tall project articulates a load-bearing composite structure with timber – where each of the nearly 2000 3d printed terracotta bricks is unique and different, enabling varying degrees of transparency, morphological shifts, and new experiences.

robots in architecture, HKUrban Lab, 3d printed clay

Around 700 kg of raw terracotta clay was printed over a period of 3 weeks into individual bricks that were then fired at 1025 degrees Celsius. With 2-3 minutes average printing time for each brick, the pavilion is one of the first of its kind in the world that incorporates this specific material system.

robots in architecture, China, Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong

All components were fabricated with the equipment in the newly fitted Robotics Lab at HKU’s Faculty of Architecture and assembled during a ten-day workshop by students from the Department of Architecture.

The project was recently on show in the North Atrium of Olympian City, West Kowloon and will find its new home soon on the campus of the University of Hong Kong.

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion, teracotta architecture

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion, clay robotics, 3d printed bricks, robotically manufactured teracotta bricks

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion, Christian J. Lange, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic Fabrication LAB

robotically fabricated terracotta bricks

Ceramic Constellation Pavilion, clay robotics, 3d printed bricks, robotically manufactured teracotta bricks, ceramic architecture


Credits:
Project Leaders: Christian J. Lange, Donn Holohan, Holger Kehne


Research Assistants: Tony Lau, Anthony Hu, Teego Ma Jun Yin, Ernest Hung Chi Lok, Chau Chi Wang, Ren Depei, Mono Tung, He Qiye, Henry Ho Yu Hong

Workshop students: Go Yi, Sisay Sombo, Cheung Hoi Ching, Cheung King Man, Cheung Pak Yin, Ho Pui Lun, Verena Leung, Sharon So Cheuk Ying, Xu Junjie, Zhao Jinglun, Sampson Ip Cheuk Sum, Tan Shaoying, Yeung Tsz Wing

Funding: Sino Group

Structural engineers: Goman Ho &amp, Alfred Fong – Ove Arup Partners Hong Kong Ltd

For for images on the project please visit also:
http://www.arch.hku.hk/

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The robots are taking over … and building Hong Kong’s future

June 15th, 2017 by admin

Very happy to be included in a recent article on robotics in architecture in the South China Morning Post. The article discusses the current outlook of this technology in Hong Kong and was written by Ernest Kao. It’s actually a very good read. Enjoy!

For online version of the text please visit:
http://www.scmp.com/

Christian Lange, Rocker Lange Architects, Faculty of Architecture, HKU, The University of Hong Kong, Robotic Architecture, SCMP, Robots in Architecture

Ceramic Constellation | Robotic Fabrication & Building Workshop

May 2nd, 2017 by admin

Christian J. Lange will be teaching again a Summer workshop on Robotic Fabrication in Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. The program will take place from June 5th through June 16th 2017.

Ceramic Constellation, Robotic Fabrication, 3d printed bricks

This year’s summer workshop “Ceramic Constellation” is sponsored by SINO GROUP and is based on the current research undertaken in the lab that focuses on ceramic fabrication through the aid of the robot. Ceramics have a long history in Architecture, especially in the context of China. However, in today’s standardized world, the richness of the material is nearly gone. With few exceptions in contemporary Chinese Architecture, it seems that the materials’ remaining territory in the building industry diminished to the use of dull homogeneous façade tiles. Therefore the intention of this workshop is to test the potential of the material in todays advanced technological world and to build a large-scale pavilion that will be installed on a site in the Olympian City shopping mall in Kowloon.

The workshop comprises of a series of exercises on tectonics, computational design and robotic fabrication techniques and will culminate in the construction of a 1:1 large-scale architectural intervention. The workshop will expand the student’s skillset and understanding through building an innovative structure in real scale, and aims to open up the student’s understanding of the emerging creative uses of Robotics in Architecture.

Program:
– Workshop on Robotics in Architecture.
– Computational workshop on component based assembly structures.
– Fabrication of components
– Construction and Installation of a 1:1 scale intervention.

Set Up:
Hardware: 1 x ABB 6700 1 x ABB IRB 1600
Software: Rhino, Grasshopper, HAL

Participants:
Up to 20 students of the Department of Architecture, HKU, led by
Christian J. Lange
Donn Holohan
Holger Kehne

Dates:
The program will take place from June 5th through June 16th 2017.

Information session:
To give students a better understanding of the workshop we will have a lunch-time information session on May 12th in room 419 1:00pm.

Registration:
The program is open to all fulltime students registered in the BAAS, March, MLA, MPhil and PHD programs in the Department of Architecture. Interested applicants should send a one page CV to the BAAS secretary Angela Ting by May 19th.

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H-Residence on HGTV Asia

March 29th, 2017 by admin

Rocker-Lange Architects is happy to share the recent feature of their H-residence project on HGTV-Asia’s Small Spaces section. In this short film host James Koh is interviewing Christian J. Lange and his wife Alice to get some insides of the concepts behind this apartment renovation in Hong Kong. The video is now online on Youtube. Check it out.

Final outcomes of Fall M.Arch I studio @ HKU

January 6th, 2017 by admin

At last, we can show some photos of the final outcomes of the latest studio taught by Christian J. Lange at The University of Hong Kong. The M.Arch I studio entitled “Elements: Robotic Interventions 0.2 – Towards new territories in Architecture” had two main objectives. On the one hand it was a hands-on investigation on how we as architects can generate new technologies, material systems and craftsmanship with the aid of the robot, and on the other hand, the studio looked in how we can apply those for the development of architectural elements such as the column the roof and the wall.

Students eventually built three medium scale prototypes that were based on three different traditional timber construction techniques. The first being the “Dou Gong” bracketing system, which usually is the structural network that joins columns to the frame of the roof in traditional Chinese architecture. The second being the reciprocal frame structures that can be found in the timber woven-arch bridges in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. And the third being the “Luban Lock” or the so-called “Chidori system” a design concept derived from old Japanese/ Chinese toys, and that elegantly produces a six-legged hidden joint.

elements, robotic intervention, The University of Hong Kong, Architecture, robotic fabrication, Dou Gong, Christian Lange

Dougong, robotic architecture, China

weaving bridge,timber woven arch bridge, china, reciprocal structure, robotic fabrication, Christian J. Lange

reciprocal frame, architecture, timber woven arch bridge, Hong Kong

Luban Lock, Chidori  system, robotics, Hong Kong, Architecture

Luban Lock, Chidori  system, robotics, Hong Kong, Architecture, Christian Lange

credits:

supervisor:
Christian J. Lange

students:

Chau Chi Wang
Hu Zhihao
Hung Chi Lok Ernest
Lau Siu Yan
Ma Jun Yin
Ma Ki Ho
Ng Ka Chun
Ng Ka Lam
Ren Depei
Wong Siu Shan
Yan Ming
Zhou Zhengmian