Computer-integrated manufacturing by architect Charles Walker
Computers in the design office feeding information to the shop floor have altered the way we work. Before, we were concerned with standardisation and repetition in order to create economical designs, but now every component can be cut specifically to match its location.
We’ve had digitally enhanced design and analysis, and now we have digitally enhanced production. This means that steel and glass can be computer-cut and timber can be computer-milled. We’re increasingly handing over digital files, with possible clashes already checked, rather than drawings which need to be rechecked.
Optimum construction solutions are now achieved by minimising labour, and that means reducing time spent designing and time spent on the shop floor.
Charles Walker is an associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects