Going global with fabrication

May 7, 2013

By Frank Edgerton Martin, Fabric Architecture,May 2013


With digital fabrication, the fabric industry has a powerful tool to combine international expertise with on-the-ground knowledge of local building conditions and client needs. Thanks to computer-aided design software and the Internet, clients, designers, fabricators and manufacturers can work together across time zones and long distances. The combination of digital design and digitally-controlled fabrication is leading to creative and unexpected production that is redefining the industry and blurring traditional boundaries of the trades.

In almost all projects, digital fabricators can work with local architects familiar with local codes and the client’s needs. As Murray Higgs, CEO of Auckland-based Structurflex, explains, “architects provide their concept design, the function and location of the projects…and [details about] the particular translucency required.”

Structurflex is in constant contact with fabric suppliers and manufacturers who “regularly keep us up to date on new products and their marketing priorities,” Higgs says. He goes on to praise fabric manufacturers for their promotion of fabric architecture and helping to grow the total market.

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