Rock Print

This collaborative installation, showing at the Chicago Architectural Biennial, is by Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, and the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT.

Event Details


The Chicago Architecture Biennial
4 West Burton Place
, Chicago, Illinois 60610 United States


October 03, 2015 - January 04, 2016

Rock Print is the first architectural installation to be built from low-grade granular material and constructed by robotic machines. Conceived as an intriguing vertical object, the installation presents a radically new approach to The State of the Art of Architecture – the official title of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015 – and brings forward a new category of random packed, potentially fully reusable, poly-dispersed jammed structures that can be automatically fabricated in non-standard shapes. Following an initial period of robotic assembly, the installation will comprise a large-scale architectural artefact in its completed form, exhibiting distinct features, such as, for example, full material reversibility and the respective reusability of the aggregated materials; structurally active interlocking, differentiated structural performance, while yielding high geometric flexibility and articulation. Performing a full scale 3D “rock printing process” that uses the self-aggregating capacities of the material itself, this visionary project is the first collaborative installation by Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, and the Self-Assembly Lab, MIT.

The Chicago Architecture Biennial will open on 3rd October 2015 and will close on 3rd January 2016.
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Credits: Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, and Self-Assembly Lab, MIT
Collaborators: Andreas Thoma (project lead installation), Petrus Aejmelaeus-Lindström (project lead research), Dr. Volker Helm, Sara Falcone, Lina Kara’in, Michael Lyrenmann, George Varnavides, Stephane de Weck, Dr. Jan Willmann
Selected experts: Prof. Dr. Hans J. Herrmann and Dr. Falk K. Wittel (Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich), Prof. Dr. Heinrich Jaeger and Kieran Murphy (Chicago University)
Selected consultants: Walt + Galmarini AG