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IASS 2016 Tokyo Symposium: Spatial Structures in the 21st Century


IASS Symposium 2016

SESSION: Teaching Shell & Spatial Structures

Casting thin-shell structures with experimental materials and fabrication methods: an architectural design pedagogy

< Table of Contents for Teaching Shell & Spatial Structures
  • Proceedings Name: IASS 2016 Tokyo Symposium: Spatial Structures in the 21st Century
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 2518-6582
  • Session: Teaching Shell & Spatial Structures
  • Pages: 10
  • Title: Casting thin-shell structures with experimental materials and fabrication methods: an architectural design pedagogy
  • Author(s): Georg Rafailidis, Stephanie Davidson
  • Keywords: monocoque, found formwork, form finding, thin shells, spatial structures, unconventional materials, plaster shell, concrete shell, paper shell, temporary structures, cast fibers, fabric formwork, architecture pedagogy
Abstract
This paper documents the results of two syllabi, both innovative pedagogy for undergraduate architecture students which involved experimenting with unconventional materials toward the fabrication of thin-shell structures. Students were asked to construct a large span with found forms and a weak material in a short time. Materials included cotton linters, waste fibers, twine pulp, paper, and concrete, among others. Both courses were hands-on, allowing students to draw constant empirical observations about the physical behaviors and potentials of their materials through intensive experimentation and testing. Both courses incorporated ideas about 吐ound・or incidental formwork, and addressed issues of temporality and eventual decay. The objective of the courses was to cultivate structural intuition in the students through a making-intensive task at full scale using materials that offered no predetermined construction or fabrication orthodoxies. Both courses introduced a novel teaching method for architecture students, integrating fundamental structural lessons with design and material experimentation.

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