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Prototyping for Architects

Mark Burry, Jane Burry


The first overview of the increasingly popular practice of uniting digital design and fabrication technologies with hands-on building techniques

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Prototyping is an essential part of the designer’s repertoire. Designers prototype their projects to test them, structurally, aesthetically, technically. Whether the prototype works or not is not the point: prototyping is the revelatory process through which the designer gains insight. There are three reasons why contemporary prototyping techniques are transforming the way architects design and build: 1) at a miniature scale, prototyping aids the architect in the presentation to clients of complex spatial ideas; 2) prototyping empowers the architect-designer to test and prove a building’s feasibility, leading to more open-minded construction solutions; 3) whether additive (3D printing) or subtractive (robotic milling), prototyping can lead to unexpected and exciting new possibilities within design as a whole, across design disciplines, thus blurring the boundaries between them in highly creative ways.

The book has four sections: an introduction that charts the rise of prototyping in design history, more specifically in architecture; an overview of techniques; a survey section featuring 30 projects, each presented through texts drawn from first-hand interviews, on-site photographs and drawings; and a reference section, which includes a glossary of technical terms.

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Further Details


Format: Quarterbound/PLC (no jacket)

Size: 23.5 x 21.7 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Publication date: 16 May 2016

ISBN: 9780500343050

About the Author

Jane Burry is a research fellow at RMIT’s Spatial Information Information Architecture Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

List of Contributors

Bob Sheil