Christopher Battaglia

Design Innovation Fellow 2018-2020

Christopher A. Battaglia is the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Design Innovation Fellow and Assistant Teaching Professor at Ball State University’s Department of Architecture and 2018-2019 University Design Research Fellow for Exhibit Columbus. Battaglia researches techniques to spatialize concrete through additive manufacturing, subtractive formwork using re-useable aggregate materials, and innovative fabrication techniques in robotics. Battaglia holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a Master of Architecture degree from Cornell University, where he received the AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit 2017, and the Eschweiler Prize for Merit and Distinction 2017.

The research being conducted as part of the fellowship investigates architectural-scale Concrete 3D Printing for the fabrication of rapidly-constructed, structurally-optimized concrete panelized shell structures. The research titled Sub-Additive Manufacturing utilizes a three-dimensional tool path for the deposition of concrete material over a mechanically-shaped substructure of reusable aggregate. This process expedites the production of doubly-curved concrete form by replacing traditional formwork casting or horizontal corbeling with spatial concrete arching. Creating robust non-zero Gaussian curvature in concrete, this method increases speed over typical concrete fabrication practices. Utilizing robotics to integrate a streamlined workflow from digital design to physical fabrication, Sub-Additive leverages digital workflows to produce structurally, materially, and spatially optimized building components while dramatically reducing waste material. Addressing digital form finding and optimization, material behaviors (both concrete and supportive aggregate), and novel utilization of robotic fabrication, this research displays a series of key concepts advancing concrete 3D printing at full scale to create shell architectures.