The Otherness of The Machine

Dr Willmann, you trained as an architect but now primarily work on mapping the connections between architectural theory and computer aided design. Can you explain a little about how these interests converged and how your interest in robots in architecture arose?

In my opinion, today’s very specific implementation of robotic fabrication processes – in comparison to the lack of material substance in the early days of architecture’s digitalisation during the 1990s – is practically forcing architecture’s arrival in the digital age. Particularly from a theoretical/historical perspective this is very interesting since we are no longer witnessing the delayed modernisation of the discipline, but rather the advent of a uniform technological basis for architecture, which since the onset of building industrialisation in the early 20th century has remained more vision than reality. Clearly, this has a number of substantial implications; for instance, with this shift in the production conditions, the Albertian division which has determined architectural practice for the past 500 years, between intellectual work and manual production – between design and realisation – is now being rendered obsolete.