Topics: Emerging Media, College of Architecture and Planning

March 19, 2007

Ball State's Institute for Digital Fabrication will host an international symposium at the Indianapolis Museum of Art April 6-7 bringing together the world's leading thinkers and designers to discuss experimental materials and processes.

"Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture" will run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 6 and 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 7. Related workshops on building information modeling software and more will be available April 4-5 at the Ball State Indianapolis Center, at 50 S. Meridian.

"Our goal is to share collaborative design and production practices based on innovative and experimental processes of material exploration," said Kevin Klinger, director of Ball State's Institute for Digital Fabrication, and symposium co-coordinator. "We will examine various levels of engagement and the new forms of architectural production that bring designers armed with digital modeling tools closer to manufacturing and the assembly process."

An example of such an innovative process was pioneered at Ball State. SmartScrap, developed by Klinger and the Institute for Digital Fabrication, recycles limestone scraps from the Indiana Limestone Fabricators into configurations that can be used as building components.

"The scrap is cataloged by scanning the pieces and creating a digital inventory, and then a computer uses parametric design software to figure out how the shapes can be combined," Klinger said. "SmartScrap will help make the process more efficient and enhance the knowledge base surrounding digital design and digital fabrication."

Klinger is looking forward to hearing what new innovations are being advanced by his contemporary designers and fabricators to redefine manufacturing through digital fabrication, as this will better inform opportunities for Indiana manufacturing, he said.

International symposium speakers include Frank Barkow, Barkow Leibinger, of Germany; Fabio Gramazio, Gramazio/Kohler & ETH, of Switzerland; Achim Menges, Ocean North & AA, of the United Kingdom; and many more.

Cost to attend is $125. For more information, call Jennifer Weaver Cotton at (765) 716-1835 or visit

The Institute for Digital Fabrication, one of four immersive learning institutes created at Ball State and administered by the university's Center for Media Design as a result of a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund the Digital Exchange, is an initiative expanding opportunities for students to participate in innovative, immersive educational experiences.