In his Digital Design Build Studio at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, Gernot Riether and his architecture students are researching a range of topics, including new computer-controlled fabrication and manufacturing methods.
By using computational tools, rapid prototyping and digital fabrication technologies, Professor Riether’s team of students is investigating how to lower costs and cut the time between design and build. They’re also exploring how to use old and existing materials in completely new ways — for example, glass fiber to reinforce concrete, performance fabrics like elastane (Lycra) to build structures, and sustainable plant-based polymers for materials harder than stone.
Professor Riether and his students are also developing new approaches for training architects. As an alternative or supplement to the traditional top-down teaching model (professor to student), he challenges self-organizing, interdisciplinary student teams to act as start-up companies, integrating architects with engineers, computer specialists, fabricators and builders.