ZAarchitects made headlines recently with it's proposal for "smart masonry." The German firm is looking to the past to develop digitally fabricated masonry structures for the future.
So what is "smart masonry?" According to ArchDaily:
Designers Dmytro Zhuikov and Arina Agieieva derived the foundations and construction methods of their new structural system from the techniques used in traditional masonry buildings ... One of the most significant challenges in designing masonry structures throughout history has been ensuring structural loading requirements and minimizing building mass wherever possible to encourage the flow of light and air. Because modern technologies allow us to optimize and minimize dead-weight, the structural skeleton of Smart Masonry is incredibly light. Additionally, complex geometries can be achieved through the use of robotic construction techniques, ensuring that each element can be replicated with the same precision each time.