Volume 23, Issue 3 (2017)



BAU President Message

"Beirut Arab University proudly announces the initiation of a new project; ‘The Digital Design Fabrication Laboratory’, which presents a new phase of the University’s successful journey after the attainment of the FIBAA international institutional accreditation and the RIBA validation for the Faculty of Architecture - Design and Built Environment. This step is expected to revolutionize the future of education at the Faculty through expanding into a new horizon of digital design. This laboratory is a fully integrated technological unit, which will facilitate and accelerate the creation, design, and innovation of up-to-date models in architecture and design. It will be supervised by expert staff members and technicians, secured with an advanced fire-control system, and scheduled for periodical maintenance of laboratory equipment to guarantee the production of high quality and cost-efficient students’ projects. The launching of this laboratory will highlight the role of the Faculty of Architecture – Design and Built Environment and BAU in the map of distinction in the field of architectural education in the Middle-East Region. On this occasion, the Faculty is organizing an international workshop titled CoF, “Constructing the Future”, which aims to spread the culture of digital fabrication among students and to emphasize its significant role in the industrial sector. Through holding classes, public lectures, discussions, and practical sessions, invited international experts, along with professionals from the Faculty’s staff members, will propagate this culture to students. This special edition of APJ complies a number of the published research papers covering the topics of digital fabrication and parametric design."

Prof. Amr Galal Al-Adawi

President of Beirut Arab University, Lebanon

APJ Editor-in-Chief Welcome Message

"The onslaught of digitalization and the use of digital technology in education have become a must to meet the requirements of the 21st Century. To cope with this vision, the Faculty of Architecture - Design and Built Environment has established a 'Digital Fabrication Laboratory' that is equipped with tools including 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, a CNC Machine, and a Robotic Arm. These tools are connected with the ‘Digital Modeling Laboratory’ that enables students to explore and fabricate a wide range of unconventional components of geometrical complexities in the most adequate manner. These tools can also provide students with accurate simulations to the built environment for their designed projects through creating efficient 3D models in full details using different types of materials. The faculty will celebrate the launching of the lab on March 2017 along with the organization of an international workshop entitled CoF; 'Constructing the Future'. Experts from the academic and professional sectors have been invited to contribute in exposing and training students on this digital technology form. This special edition presents several papers as a theoritical base for the digital fabrication and parametric design. The nine days workshop, CoF, is considered a beginning of a new era in the faculty, calling for a real revolution in architectural education and pioneering this form of technology among others."

Prof. Ibtihal Y. El-Bastawissi

APJ Editor-in-Chief Dean, Faculty of Architecture Design and Built Environment, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon

Guest Editor Message

Alice in BIM-Land: behind the virtual mirror

Never before the AEC industry has been at a more exciting moment. The Next Industrial Revolution is happening precisely in the Architecture sector and the digital technologies are shaping the future of design. But this revolution is not about new design concepts, or the latest building technology; the new revolution is about managing and visualizing information, physically and virtually.

1. INPUT: Information Management

One of the main technologies that is transforming the AEC industry is BIM. However, BIM technology is no longer the future but the present. The use of Building Information Modelling is the current language to manage all information regarding the built environment in a digital way. Actually, there is so much information, that the “M” is no longer for “Modelling” but for “Management”. The future is really about how to manage all that information in an efficient way and making all stakeholders, even the non-technical ones like Asset Managers, to benefit from it as much as possible after the completion of the building. Being able to manage information makes it possible to take decisions in a wiser way. BIG Data is available for everyone, but not everyone is able to manage BIG Data. Thanks to latest software, the architecture industry is able to use Data from other industries to improve the decision making process and consider inputs that never before was able to do so.

2. OUTPUT: Information Visualization

Just as exciting as the changes happening in Managing the building information, is Visualizing it. The use of 3D printing, robotic arms or other digital fabrication techniques, is not really about new building technologies but more interestingly about new ways of visualizing building data in the physical world. In my opinion, these technologies will affect the industry based in the shared economy theory, rather than in the construction processes angle. The concept of physical property or transport will change and we will be owning and transporting bits of data. But for the very first time, we don’t need to build in order to fully experience architecture. Thanks to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), the digital building cost will change the industry forever. We are now able to pre-build our designs, identifying potential issues during the construction process and after completion. Surely in the near future, the concept of expensive materials will no longer exists as the digital cost of it is minimum. In the future we might live in digital environments and not in built environments, this will change the conception of our world as we understand it today: access to shelters for everyone.

Dr. Juan Juan Lago-Novas Domingo

Ph.D. March, Riba, Coam Founding Partner – Managing Director, Spain