Dorkbot:84 Dorkbot Seattle 0x54 scale


December 5, 2012 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm


Jigsaw Renaissance
815 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA, 98134


This month we'll be hearing from two people who take familiar processes to scales you might not be used to seeing.

Greg Howes: Using video games to design houses and robotics to build them

You may not have met one yet, but there is a small group of rogue builders asking themselves, "if Tony Stark decided to start a construction company..."

The challenge?
Construction is a $12 trillion industry globally and about $1 trillion in the U.S. (annually). It's big, it's everywhere, but it is also very slow to change and productivity in the industry is actually declining. Gaming is around $100 billion or so (depends on how you slice the data). The Sims game franchise has sold over 100 million copies and remains one of the most popular "games" of all time - indeed, people do like to "play house." The challenge, how can we integrate gaming and construction and use innovative technologies and the web to rebuild building and make it more open, efficient and capable of delivering mass-customized, architecturally compelling and high-performance buildings on demand.

We are one of the companies working on this. We are a small group of gamers, 3D software engineers, builders, robotics experts, and other wearers-of-many hats. We are also connected to a diverse group of digital fabricators and researchers collaborating to drive the industry forward by building innovation.

These photos give a hint of what digital fabrication makes possible in the built environment. This is just the beginning. Now they want to move design into the browser and use software and robotics to fabricate. And yes there are builders who skip home depot and go to the game developers conference to find new technologies to use - in construction.

Andy Rohrman / scntfc

Scntfc is Scientific American is C Andrew Rohrmann. We make some music. We make some visual things. Some of the visual things move, some of them don't. We use computers and cameras and keyboards and drum machines to make it all happen.

Among many things, Andy served as producer, creative director, and chief instigator for The Powers Project: A Creative Re-Imagining of Charles and Ray Eames' "Powers of Ten". He will talk about why they decided to remake it, the process of doing so, and some thoughts about how they played with scale in the film.