Adel Honored with ARCC New Researcher Award

Assistant Professor Arash Adel is the 2023 recipient of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) New Researcher Award. The New Researcher Award recognizes Adel’s leading-edge research, which the award committee remarked “promises to shape one or more aspects of architectural research and practice.”

The ARCC is a global organization with the goal of strengthening the research culture and facilitating institutions in the field of architecture and associated design fields. The ARCC New Researcher Award was created to “acknowledge and reward emerging figures in architectural and environmental design research that demonstrates innovation in thinking, dedication to scholarship, contributions to the academy, and leadership within architectural and environmental design research.”

Two robots assembling a wooden structure.

“Arash’s research focuses on design computation and robotic construction toward sustainable building practices, with a specific focus on human-robot collaborative construction. This is significant for the field as while automation can lead to faster and more efficient construction processes and new design possibilities, synergistically incorporating human agents points to much more sustainable and equitable outcomes for the industry,” said Kathy Velikov, associate dean for research and creative practice at Taubman College. “Starting with his term as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Taubman College in 2019 and then his appointment as an assistant professor beginning in 2020, Arash quickly established himself as a promising new researcher and valuable member of the faculty. The research that he is doing is exciting, rigorous, and has clear potential to impact sustainable design and construction.”

Adel is the founder and director of ADR Laboratory. His laboratory conducts interdisciplinary research at the intersection of design, computation, and robotics, contributing to resilient, sustainable, and low-carbon construction outlooks and achievements. At the core of his comprehensive research is investigating human-machine collaborative processes, which tackle fundamental questions related to the future of the design and construction industries and their potential to have a broader impact on inclusive and equitable building culture.

Aerial view of a wooden structure with a person sitting on a bench.

Adel is particularly known for his work with novel integrative computational design methods coupled with robotic assembly techniques for manufacturing nonstandard timber buildings and structures. His experience includes numerous widely-published projects such as the DFAB HOUSE located in Dubendorf, Switzerland, and more recently, the Robotically Fabricated Structure (RFS) timber pavilion sited at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (shown in photo above).

“By synthesizing computational design, human robot collaboration in construction, and sustainable construction methods in wood, Professor Adel is showing how architectural expertise can transform our building methods, carbon footprints, and labor practices,” said Taubman College Dean Jonathan Massey. “He has clearly demonstrated outstanding performance in his scholarship, and he certainly holds rich promise for future contributions to architectural and environmental design research.”

Adel received his Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University and his Doctorate in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

Adel will be presented with the award during this year’s ARCC International Conference in Dallas on April 12-15, 2023. A full list of recipients of the 2023 Awards programs is available on the ARCC awards page.