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MSc 2 CpA 2024: Space Architecture

Vertico 4.jpg


Rhizome 1.0 approaches developed in 2021-22 for underground off-Earth habitats on Mars using Design-to-Robotic-Production-Assembly and -Operation (D2RPA&O) methods will be further advanced in Rhizome 2.0 and/ or Moon Station in order to demonstrate the scalability of the concept. The aim is to (a) understand whether approaches are applicable to large i.e., ‘real-life’ construction scale and (b) outline the associated challenges and develop appropriate solutions. In this context, the design takes functional, structural, material, and operational aspects into account. It furthermore, integrates sensor-actuators into the life-support system of the habitat. It takes advantage of Computer Vision (CV) and Human-Robot Collaboration/ Interaction (HRC/ I) at various stages in the construction process.


Several firms have been developing ideas for off-Earth construction such as | Autonomous Additive Construction on Mars by Foster+Partners and | Marsha.


The development of designs for interactive i.e., cyber-physical architecture will be implemented based on user scenarios with students working in groups. They will employ D2RPA&O methods that link design directly to building production, assembly, and operation processes. While D2RP links design to materialisation by integrating all (from functional and formal to structural) requirements in the design of building components, D2RO integrates environmental requirements as distributed robotic devices embedded into those components that are then assembled in the D2RA phase. Together they establish the framework for robotic construction at building scale. The main consideration is that in architecture and building construction the ‘factory of the future’ will employ building materials and components that can be robotically processed and assembled.


The D2RPA&O process will focus on three aspects:
1. Additive D2RP: The development of a structurally and functionally optimised 3D printed subsurface habitat inline with the Rhizome 1.0 study;
2. HRI-supported D2RA: The development of stackable Voronoi-based components (;
3. D2RO: The development of interactive/responsive lighting/ventilation/heating system and life-support system to accommodate individual needs.
Students work in groups with members taking specific roles focusing on either D2RP, D2RA, D2RO and/ or the integration between them. The design has to be informed by structural, acoustic, and robotic path simulations as well as the integration of the life-support system.


Henriette Bier, Arwin Hidding and Vera Laszlo (RB lab); Micah Prendergast and Luka Peternel (CoR lab)