This research has focused on relationships that faculty within the University at Buffalo have been forging with local industries, and how this is leading to practice models that hinge on developing material/ data-driven research in the academy, testing and applying these developments in industry and forming feedback loops between the two. From this process we have come to understand our work within various models of research; project 3xLP, the result of faculty as liaison or tactician between businesses to implement a project - focusing on managing the multiplicity of relationships amongst an expanding group of stakeholders.
More specifically, as part of our TEX-FAB SKIN competition winning entry, project 3xLP, we were granted the opportunity to build a second iteration of our thin-gauge SKIN prototype, refining and experimenting with our self-structuring system to introduce visual porosity while maintaining structural stability. This specific model of collaboration was a long-distance collaboration involving the TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance serving as the role of client, the University of Texas at Austin as project host, A. Zahner Co. and Rigidized Metals Corp. as material and fabrication sponsors, and ARUP as engineering sponsor. The project needed to be completed in a matter of weeks, not months, thus we saw ourselves in a new role - that of tactician, with the large majority of our energy dedicating to embedding more precise data regarding part numbers, geometric families, patterns, gauges, grain, and assembly sequence into the three-dimensional model.
In conclusion, these 'models of collaboration' suggest that these are not idiosyncratic moments, but rather, educational, research, and practice models that are intended to be sustained for the long-term. It is through initiating a conversation about computation-tied-to-making that we are able to directly engage in the supply chain, allowing architects and manufacturers to develop a collective-intelligence and a highly collaborative workflow.