Imran Ashraf

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 2) MArch

ARTISANSHIP IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL FABRICATION >> BXT-001 is a guildhall created for and by the Guild of Digital Artisans. The project explores the possibilities of algorithmic design, machine learning, automation, and robotics as a non-human oblique representational system.

In 2023, a team of researchers from the University of Huddersfield started a skunkworks operation in the now empty and dilapidated Buxton House. The aim was to develop the emerging technology from the deceptive phase to the disruptive phase, as set out in the exponential technology framework laid down by Kotler and Diamandis.

The Guild operates as meta-designers, designing the way the building designs itself. The Hall is a building that continuously and perpetually builds itself by its operating system. Changing and evolving according to the conditions the AI intuits via its network of embedded sensors. The programme consists of three zones; the experimental fabrication workshop operated by the bots; the exhibition and experiential spaces open to the public; research laboratories and workspaces for the Guild members.

The Guildhall is designed to induce awe and wonder just like the cathedrals of old, but also to demonstrate the sheer power, the possibilities of exponential radical new technologies.