Episode 21 – Robotics in Design w/ David Correa

Robotic automation has changed virtually every industry. Their ubiquity has moved from the assembly line to the house, from multi-axis manipulator arms to cute little vacuums and many other examples in between.

I say “virtually” every industry because there is a major one that still lags far behind in embracing the precision, reliability and endless potential of robotics and automation: the making of buildings. Given how this is an industry notorious for inefficiency and waste – problems put into stark relief thanks to the pandemic – one must wonder why are we not seeing robots on the jobsite or in the design office? One reason is access to training.

In this episode of Bevel, I enlist David Correa, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and a partner at experimental design collaboration llLab, to help explore how limited access to robotics education is slowing down an industry already sluggish to adopt the exceptional potential this technology has for the built environment.

We examine why there is no school in Canada (and very few worldwide) that has a dedicated program to explore how robotics integration could transform the building industry; how very few have courses or studios that actually engage research in architecture or construction using robotics; and discuss in what ways this deficiency is harming the A&D profession.