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FAST FORM/WORK : Casting a Sustainable Future

Jun 30, 2019 – Jul 21, 2019
Zurich, Switzerland
Research Question
Digital technology has become a standard tool in the architectural practice. However, many designs still remain too complex to build. With recent advances in digital building and material technology, we are finally able to realize designs that have, until now, only existed virtually. We are still only at the beginning of this advancement in building technology, but as we engage with experimental composite materials and new production techniques, the possibilities seem only to be constrained by our imagination.


During the summer of 2019, in collaboration with faculty and students from ETH Zurich, this workshop will be a hands-on investigation into the future of sustainable building technology. We will be exploring a brand-new building material, recently developed by the Complex Materials group of the ETH, an aerated foam made of a waste product that would otherwise end up in landfills. Unlike conventional concrete, this material does not produce any CO2 in its production. Students will be assessing the properties of this new material and exploring its potential. We will be casting large-scale elements to assemble into a full-scale architectural space. Together with the DBT at the ETH, we will explore various experimental large-scale casting methodologies and geometric concepts in tiling.

The workshop will also undertake an exploration of the concrete casting history of Switzerland. Visits to significant architectural sights that have experimented with complex concrete casting, including the NEST research center, will be supplemented with a tour of a precast concrete manufacturing facilities and lectures on the advancement of material technologies, such as carbon-fibre reinforcement.

Output and Findings
This workshop builds upon the casting experiments in the Transitional Geometries class at the GSAPP, and the full scale concrete work of Baier Bischofberger. The fabrication and geometric concepts explored in Transitional Geometries are now given the challenge of fabrication at full-scale, using an innovative new material. The outcome of the summer workshop is to produce a series of full-scale casts that will be captured in a photo essay by each student.
Partner Institutions
Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger, Digital BuildingTechnologies (DBT)
Prof. André Studart, Complex Materials, ETH Zurich

Other 2019 workshops

Urban Data: Parking in the Ala Moana Neighborhood and its Impact on Mobility
Honolulu, Hawaii
Aug 19, 2019 – Aug 30, 2019
Al Makassed, Beirut Islamic Society of Benevolent Intentions, A Patron of Modern Architecture
Beirut, Lebanon
Jul 16, 2019 – Aug 2, 2019
2019 Workshop - Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The Green Dip: Covering the City with a Forest
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Jul 5, 2019 – Jul 15, 2019
Sustainable Building Renovation in the Tropics
Havana, Cuba
Jun 17, 2019 – Jun 27, 2019
Hutson london su19 17
Circular Cities
London, UK
Jun 11, 2019 – Jun 16, 2019
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