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. 


P1 - Final Review

Project 1 Final Review

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

     As all good things come to an end, Project 1 finally reached completion. The review experience was absolutely new, placing students from every studio in groups of two and alternating them through the whole pinup space. The idea was to provide a sense of diversity in design for the reviewers and the spectators. As you can see from the image above, I was fourth in line...

     The review concentrated around process and its prominence in my work. The work had various stages of modeling and shadow studies which led to the evolution of my concept. Light and shadow served to discuss the positive and negative forms created and seem to be valuable for my continuing work. Various points about form where discussed, but one in particular caught my attention. One crit mentioned that the inverted sections of the model resembled some sort of light erosion. As if the intensity of light that resided around the dark forms was eating away at the material of the models and thus created a lack of form, or resistance to a particular form. 

     In continuing my work I hope to use the concept of "light erosion" to create interesting forms. Cyanotype paper was also discussed as a possible process to obtain further shadow studies. After some research on cyanotype paper the possibilities seem endless; I'm imagining a model created out of cyanotype paper encased by another model in order to study the internal lighting conditions of the second. But we'll see...

Nonetheless I was relatively pleased with the critique and am looking forward to our next project. From what I hear we will be casting with rockite, a concrete patching compound. I'm looking at Tadao Ando for inspiration in creating interesting light volumes using concrete as my medium.