Robots and AI go for architecture with Norman Foster

Norman Foster Foundation

e-flux architecture

November 15, 2017

Robotics Atelier 2017
November 20–24, 2017

Public lecture: November 22, 6–7pm, “The Robotic Touch” by Matthias Kohler, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Auditorium Fundación Telefónica – Fuencarral 3 28004, Madrid, Spain
Public conversation: November 22, 7–8pm, Matthias Kohler with Amelie Klein, Curator, Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Auditorium Fundación Telefónica – Fuencarral 3 28004, Madrid, Spain
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The first Norman Foster Foundation Robotics Atelier, supported by the Rolex Institute, will take place on November 20–24, 2017 in a week-long event hosted in the Madrid Headquarters of the Norman Foster Foundation.

Ten scholarships have been given to students selected by the following universities and institutions: Ashesi University, Accra, Ghana; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland; Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), Barcelona, Spain; Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), Stuttgart, Germany; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, India; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MA, USA; National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore; The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK; Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencias y Tecnología, Santiago, Chile; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain.

Society is on the edge of being transformed through robotics and artificial intelligence. These technological innovations have the potential to change every aspect of our lives in far-reaching ways. Last June, in the Norman Foster Foundation’s inaugural forum “Future is Now,” a glimpse was given into how the world of construction would be revolutionised by these developments in what could prove to be a second digital era.

The selected students will engage with a group of specialists through a series of seminars and lectures culminating in a five days workshop led by the Atelier mentor, Professor Mathias Kohler, and his team. Leading robotics manufacturer Universal Robots will loan three units of their highly flexible robot arm, the UR5 Robot, to the Atelier.

Contributors to the workshop include Luis Miguel Ciprés, CEO of Barrabés Next, Pablo Jarauta, Coordinator of the European Institute of Design (IED) Scientific Committee, Amelie Klein, Curator at Vitra Museum, and Gijs Van der Velden, Co-CEO of MX3D.

The Robotics Atelier will include workshops, seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutoring, and development of projects by the students. As a way to disseminate knowledge and ideas, the public lectures will be recorded and live-streamed through the Norman Foster Foundation’s website: The lectures will be documented for publication in an annual series published by the Norman Foster Foundation.

During the course of the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to engage with the Norman Foster Foundation’s archive and research projects.

Norman Foster Foundation


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