Joshua Bard is Associate Professor in the School of Architecture. He is an architectural educator conducting applied research at the intersection of construction culture and robotic technology. Joshua’s teaching and research interrogate traditional binaries in design culture (industry/craft, machine/hand, virtual/physical space, digital/analogue production), discovering new potential for contemporary digital tools in the jettisoned logics of hand and material craft. Joshua creates augmented construction and design systems combining the best of human skill, algorithmic translation, and robotic automation. Joshua collaborates with roboticists and computer scientists conducting basic research in human machine interaction and reality computing. He also works with historians, material scientists, and tradespeople immersed in theoretical and tacit knowledge of building construction. The focus of these collaborations is to explore human-machine collaboration in the high-skill domain of the building trades. Joshua teaches undergraduate and graduate architecture studios and instructs seminars in robotic fabrication and computational design.
Joshua is a founding partner of Archolab, an award winning research collaborative finding their bearings at the intersection of architecture’s emerging techno-future(s) and a historically grounded commitment to making. Archolab’s research includes Morphfaux, a project that recovers ancient techniques of applied architectural plaster through the lens of robotic manufacturing, and Spring Back, a reformulation of steam bending using advanced parametric modeling and digital fabrication tools. Archolab’s work has been recognized with Architect Magazine’s R+D Award, an Unbuilt Architecture Citation from the Boston Society of Architects, and a Merit Award from the Canadian Wood Council.
Joshua received his M.Arch with distinction from the University of Michigan where he also served on the faculty and as Director of Taubman College’s Digital Fabrication Laboratory. Joshua holds a BA in literature and philosophy from Wheaton College and has worked for PLY Architecture (Ann Arbor, MI) and M1/DTW (Detroit, MI).