P2 - Light and Concrete

Project 2: Casting Negatives

School: University of Michigan
Class: UG1 (Architectural Design 1)

    This project was introduced  and terminated in record speed. We were given two weeks to conceive negatives of our previous models in a concrete (rockite) form. After accounting for the time needed to acquire the material, becoming acquainted with the material and molding methods, constructing test molds, casting, review of first cast, constructing second mold, casting again, and finally creating sets of shadow studies and drawings, this project proved to be a very interesting two weeks.

The initial attempts used wood molds lined with aluminum air-duct tape. The use of carriage bolts in the first was intended to leave the imprint of perforations in the first cast. In the second I explored the ability of rockite to be casted into delicate and fragile shapes without cracking. 

 After the first casts, I decided to approach the molding process using foam because it would allow me to create more complicated forms and might prove easier to remove from the hardened cast by using acetone to melt the pieces embedded in the rockite. Here's the process...

     The final result lended two 4x6x8 casted cubes that contained various strategic voids. These voids were meant to be juxtaposed to create and capture light volumes. 

In retrospect the exploration had value, but in order to achieve the level of refinement in light capture I would require some more time to construct the project. The theme of light erosion was not embodied in this part of the project and thus a valuable concept was left behind. The light studies on the other hand might lend themselves to an interesting compositional drawing that uses each moment and places it in a programatic diagram along with others. I believe that for the next project we will add habitability to these spaces, so it might be worth exploring the value of these small light moments. 

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