Mirjam Konrad

Mirjam Konrad

JadeGrün - Fabricating Green Boats. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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EAP 2021 Mirjam Konrad

Water sports and especially yachting and sailing, despite its nature-loving connotation, are responsible for environmental pollution, mainly the production of non-recyclable boats. The current social rethinking promotes questions about alternatives to the common siling dinghies made of non-renewable, fossil-based materials. Newly developed micro shipyards have shown that novel materials such as natural fiber reinforced plastic (NFRP) make environmentally friendly boat building quite possible. However, these manufactories are not able to offer sufficient competition to the current dinghy building industry.

For this reason, this JadeGrün design project aims to establish a series production facility for green dinghies made of renewable raw materials in Wilhelmshaven. Wilhelmshaven, with its long shipbuilding tradition and the infrastructure of a seaport, is an ideal location, which will also bring visibility to the new dinghy boats, beyond the local water sports scene.

Looking into factory planning, it became apparent how little connection there is between the architectural design approach and the production design. Especially in this industry in which there is constant process optimization, the potential of applicable digital processes for architecture is often not fully exploited. But in the rise of automation and ever improving production technology, these digital design processes are necessary tools for designing sustainable factories, which can cope with the expected changes of demands on the production spaces several times during the life of the building.

Therefore, this thesis became an experiment to try to integrate digital processes, specifically optimizations, into the design process of this project. The emerging methodology of informed design uses a bottom-up-principle, where all design investigations, utilizing optimizations or not, build onto each other to create a pool of information. These analyzed results form the basis for the development of the final design, considering all collected information.

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