Apr 13, 2018 | By David

3D printing technology is increasingly being proposed in solutions to all kinds of architectural and design problems, and there are few areas where these issues are more pressing than in the planning and development of public spaces. A former prison in Los Angeles has been used as part of a project by students at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, who have suggested ways that it could be adapted for new purposes, by making use of 3D printing technology and other innovations.

The new design schemes were created by the first-ever graduates of SCI-Arc's new Master of Science in Architectural Technologies program. This is a one-year postgraduate degree that launched last year, intended to teach and develop ways to address critical issues in architecture with the help of the most cutting-edge technology, including 3D printing. The students' ideas involved using 3D printing to create models of unique new structures, as well as designing a self-growing park controlled by artificial intelligence.

The prison that the students looked to adapt was Lincoln Heights jail, which closed back in 1965. Since then, it has been used as theatre, as well as a set for music videos and horror movies. As useful as the prison in its current state might be for this kind of aesthetic, a complete re-design and re-development of the jail, with implementation of various new technologies and new ways to use the vast amounts of space, would be much more advantageous to society. The SCI-Arc creators, led by Marcelo Spina and Casey Rehm, saw serious potential in the disused complex. As well as its size, its proximity to the Los Angeles river as well as a public school made it a promising site for improvement. They believed that this potential could be exploited by using the most advanced technological breakthroughs.

The first stage of the project was to make some in-depth studies of the building and the surrounding area. To help with these, the students had access to five robots, a drone, a light detection and ranging scanner (LIDAR), and artificial intelligence. Once they got to know the structure, the team was ready to make proposals to adapt it..

(all images, credit: Dezeen)

3D printing was used as part of a project known as ''The Aesthetics of Digital Craftmanship'', carried out by students Arsenios Zachariadis and Hsiao Chiao Peng. 2D sketches of the prison buildings were taken and scanned, and then adapted to form 3D digital models for printing. The resulting models suggest new forms that the buildings could take, with 3D printing technology bringing a tactility to the design phase that would otherwise be difficult to achieve, hopefully inspiring imaginative ways to transform the space. The models also function aesthetically as abstract sculptures.

Another ambitious idea was to populate the entire site with "self-growing" plants, transforming the prison into an autonomous, organic park. The growth of the greenery would be controlled by artificial intelligence to create something between "the rainforest and the luxury of the garden mall", according to Sunhita Vartak and Burcin Nalinci. Their project was entitled ''Biophilia''.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Bob Loblaw wrote at 4/29/2018 4:56:00 PM:

No, the models do not function aesthetically. They look like garbage. And I can't stop laughing at the idiocy of "self growing" plants and AI managed control of greenery. These institutions especially in California are producing snowflakes with technical knowledge or skill but whom have absolutely zero sense, foresight, or comprehension of the real world. In the future they will be like janitors, hired by employers that have sense and can command these buffoons to do things that actually will work in the real world, but which they aren't competent to plan out themselves.

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