Assistant Professor, Architecture
Director, ADR Laboratory
Dr. sc., ETH Zurich
M. Arch., Harvard University
Dr. Arash Adel is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He is the founder and director of ADR Laboratory. His laboratory conducts interdisciplinary research at the intersection of design, computation, and robotics; the research contributes 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. His research interests include human-robot collaboration, automated building assembly, additive manufacturing, construction robotics, computational design, extended reality, and STEM education.
Adel’s research has been supported by several competitive grants. In 2021, an interdisciplinary research team including Adel was awarded a $1.58M National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program (totaling $2M including subawards). This project, "Collaborative Research: Partnering Workers with Interactive Robot Assistants to Usher Transformation in Future Construction Work," envisions the potential of intelligent human-robot teams to increase productivity and streamline construction processes by taking advantage of robot capabilities, such as their precision for performing construction tasks and their ability to execute nonstandard assembly procedures. This research has explored opportunities for the successful construction of novel architectures that are too expensive or not entirely feasible with current construction practices, transforming the way we design and build.
Adel is particularly known for his work with novel integrative computational design methods coupled with robotic assembly techniques for the manufacture of 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.
Adel is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) New Researcher Award. This award recognizes Adel’s leading-edge research, which the award committee remarked “promises to shape one or more aspects of architectural research and practice.” His work has also been recognized with several other international awards, including the Canadian Wood Council’s Wood Design & Building Awards and the Architecture Press Release’s Global Future Design Awards.
Adel’s projects have been widely featured on influential platforms, including ArchDaily, Dezeen, and the World Economic Forum. His research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed papers published in prestigious international conferences and journals, including Automation in Construction, the International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC), and the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). He has lectured extensively, and his work has been exhibited at various galleries, institutions, and events, including the Liberty Research Annex at the University of Michigan, the Museum of Arts at Washington State University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Prior to joining Princeton University in 2023, Adel was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Adel received his Doctorate in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and his Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University.
A. Adel, "Computational Design for Cooperative Robotic Assembly of Nonstandard Timber Frame Buildings," Ph.D. Thesis, ETH, Zurich, 2020. Link
A. Adel, "Co-Robotic Assembly of Nonstandard Timber Structures," in Hybrids & Haecceities: Proceedings Catalog of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), Philadelphia, 2022. Link
A. Adel, A. Thoma, M. Helmreich, F. Gramazio and M. Kohler, "Design of Robotically Fabricated Timber Frame Structures," in Recalibration: On Imprecision and Infidelity: Proceedings Catalog of the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), Mexico City, 2018. Link
D. Ruan, W. McGee and A. Adel, "Reducing Uncertainty in Multi-Robot Construction through Perception Modelling and Adaptive Fabrication," in Proceedings Catalog of the 40th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2023), Chennai, 2023. Link
S. Mozaffari, M. Bruce, G. Clune, R. Xie, W. McGee and A. Adel, "Digital Design and Fabrication of Clay Formwork for Concrete Casting," Automation in Construction, 2023. Link