Eric Maslowski, Technical Creative Consultant


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AutoMason

Creating complex masonry patterns present their own design challenges but are very difficult to coordinate on site as bricks are put in place. Intricate designs need constant supervision and are prone to human error. This project explores the use of Cellular Automaton to simplify the designing and execution of complex masonry patterns.

Cellular Automaton (CA) is a rule-based algorithm that relies on the state of it's neighbors to determine what it's current state should be. By defining various rules and the desired start condition, the entire structures pattern evolves automatically. AutoMason allows one to create an arbitrary footprint for the proposed structure. It could be a standard rectangle or something a little more interesting. The user would then choose their rules and start condition by activating or deactivating certain bricks. The CA pattern then evolves the start condition into an interesting an organic pattern which can then be outfitted with support structures, converted into a voice pattern, and fed directly to those placing the bricks on site. There is no longer the need to know the pattern for the entire building when on site, only the chosen rules and the neighboring bricks. With the addition of voice feedback, that is even simplified to "brick, open, open, brick, brick."

Freer Masons Article | Live Architecture

Associate: Mike Silver and Peng

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