Demonstrationsfabriken : Eine gebäudetypologische Untersuchung

Moser, Franziska Julia; Trautz, Martin (Thesis advisor); Henn, Gunter (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2021, 2022)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2021


Since 2011 the Industry 4.0 project has invigorated the discourse on the future of industrial production in Germany and beyond. Industry 4.0 describes a paradigm shift in industrial production similar to the introduction of the mechanized factory system, mass manufacturing through the electrification of production and the advent of automated industrial processes - with potentially far-reaching consequences for established methods of production and factory work in general. Technological basis for this anticipated shift in production methods is the implementation of the Internet of Things in the production environment to connect resources, people and services in real time and enable them to connect among each other and exchange data over the Internet. Against this backdrop of transformational developments, the emergence of novel industrial buildings can be observed in recent years. These buildings position themselves in direct reference to the Industry 4.0 project and can thereby serve as a starting point to explore the architectural expression of this fourth industrial revolution. The term Demonstration Factory has been coined for this group of industrial buildings, in which the functions research, production and demonstration (exhibition) are combined spatially. Demonstration Factories also facilitate cooperation between academia and corporations by providing spaces for the realization of multi-disciplinary projects of varying duration and scope. Through this integration, both in terms of functions and occupants, Demonstration Factories aim at developing and testing the future of industrial production methods and the new work processes associated with it. Demonstration Factories are characterized by their compact floor space, high-quality architecture and openness towards visitors and the general public. The thesis introduces Demonstration Factories as an architectural concept and puts their emergence into a historical, societal and typological context. Defining characteristics of this novel building type, both in terms of function and design, will be derived from the systematic analysis of existing and future Demonstration Factories. This broadens the discourse regarding Industry 4.0 to include perspectives on the architecture of this era of industrial production.