The inaugural FABRICATE conference in London in 2011, themed ‘Academia/ Practice’ was very successful in showcasing cutting-edge digital fabrication work originating from both academia and industry. The selected projects coming from both realms had an equal share at the conference and publication. FABRICATE 2014 in Zurich, following a ‘Funded Research Projects’ approach, featured work which at large was produced in leading academic institutions. The natural next step towards where ‘Design meets Industry’ will be taken with FABRICATE 2017 in Stuttgart.
The German manufacturing industry is internationally renowned and it is the stronghold of German economy. Today, Germany undertakes a substantial effort to gear up for “Industrie 4.0” – the next leap forward in digital manufacturing to- wards cyber-physical production systems and smart factories. The term “Industrie 4.0” originates from the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerisation of manufacturing. It indicates the significance of this development as the fourth industrial revolution. The technologies and ramifications of “Industrie 4.0” will have a profound impact on the way the future built environment is conceived, designed and materialised.
The University of Stuttgart is renowned for creatively engaging the rigour and insights of manufacturing and engineering science in architectural design. Stuttgart is situated within the heartland of technological innovation and advanced manufacturing in Germany. The south of Germany is home to a large number of world-leading fabricators in the building sector, which embrace digital technologies as a key factor for fabrication innovation. With these very fabricators joining the discussion at the conference, this is without question the ideal environment for the next FABRICATE.