Waste - Technology - Architecture: A Posthumanist Approach
The construction industry contributed 37% of energy-related CO2 emissions, of which 11% resulted from manufacturing building materials such as steel, cement, and glass. The industry also contributed an estimated a third of world waste, mostly in landfill sites. While most research is focused on waste management, including recycling and up-cycling, the fundamental problem lies in how a building is constructed, designed, and assembled. This lecture will examine a posthumanist approach to address the contemporary issue of sustainability through technology. We will discuss through the research of Professor Loh: What does it mean to design with technology? How can novel technologies combat design waste? How do architectural design and construction facilitate human-machine collaboration? Last, we will question the future of architecture and construction practices through built architectural projects by the speaker.
Paul Loh is a Professor of Architecture and the Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University. Prior to this, he was co-director of the Advanced Digital Design and Fabrication (ADD+F) research hub at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. His research focuses on automation in construction, specifically on how robotic technology and advanced manufacturing can minimise and reduce design waste from current construction practices. Professor Loh researches flexible and reusable formwork for concrete casting and holds a patent for technology successfully commercialised through a start-up company. In addition, his research focuses on the cognitive engagement of digital technology in design practice and education. He is a UK-registered architect and founding partner of LLDS | Power to Make - a Design and Make practice based in Melbourne. His built projects have been widely published and received numerous awards, including first prize in international competitions. Professor Loh's drawings and art objects have been exhibited at the Science Gallery Melbourne, NGVT Triennial, Royal Academy (London), London Design Festival and Frieze Art Fair. Through his architecture practice (LLDS), Professor Loh has developed novel pre-fabricate and in-situ construction methods using point clouds, AR and VT technology. He has written extensively on digital craft in architecture design and technology-based teaching and learning environments with a forthcoming monography, Machine Aesthetics and Baroque Tendency, published by URO. He is the lead coordinator of the Architecture Futures Laboratory and CI in a cross-disciplinary Linkage grant on Designing Learning Spaces for Diversity, Inclusion and Participation.