UTA hosts panel with North Texas thought-leaders in architecture, design

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 • Media Contact : Herb Booth

A University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs symposium sparked conversation on the future of advanced manufacturing.

Pieces & Parts symposium
Pieces & Parts symposium 

CAPPA hosted the “Pieces & Parts” symposium to address the recent adoption of computer-aided technologies in the architecture, engineering and construction industries—and whether this adoption suggests such technology should also be part of architectural design.

Brad Bell, director of the School of Architecture, chose this theme to represent the not-so-distant future, where the pieces and parts of a building assembly will cut across the trades instead of being relegated to those traditionally associated with building systems.

Attracting guests from across North Texas, the symposium began with tours to two locations, the Beck Group/Factory Blue and Zahner. Both companies are at the forefront of innovative and sustainable technology within the manufacturing industry.

The tours provided a glimpse of different approaches to the idea of composite building assemblies. Factory Blue highlighted a step-by-step building approach to interior components driving advanced manufacturing. Zahner displayed how layered assembly building facades are produced with performance driving the design and fabrication.

The symposium included directors of manufacturing facilities, designers of labs and firms and academic leaders. Two of the speakers, Bill Kreysler, president of Kreysler & Associates, and Bill Zahner, CEO of Zahner, are foremost experts in the field of composite and metal advanced manufacturing.

“Their work is known internationally and has pioneered the way buildings are designed and constructed,” Bell said.

The discussion emphasized the importance of sustainability in the future of design. As technical innovation is integrated, productivity increases and advanced manufacturing establishes a sustainable framework. This allows a more efficient process, including less building waste, higher thermal importance and improved life-cycle costs of material.

The symposium participants also examined various scales of advanced manufacturing, ranging from designed public art to repetitive parts of high-rise buildings. Within the realm of architecture and the built environment, the capability to produce larger or more complex pieces and parts of buildings has increased to the point that questions of scale, tolerance, information control, ownership and craft also must be considered in different ways.

"I am excited to have such a prestigious group of thought-leaders together at one time sharing their vision on how digital technologies will revolutionize the design and fabrication of the built environment,” Bell said. “We are at a pivotal time where large problems will demand bold solutions.”


--  Written by Caroline Stultz