DIGITAL FABRICATION PROJECT ON CERAMICS
Material Practice as Research: Digital Design and Fabrication, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (Fall 2014)
Students: Kritika Dhanda, Alkistis Mavroeidi, Jake Rudin
Advisors: Leire Asensio Villoria, Carlos Felix Raspall Galli
Presentation of our project's prototype during final review (Dec. 2014)
Unfamiliar with many of the properties and methods of working with ceramics -- armed only with a knowledge of the material research process and a substantial collective design background -- the goal of this project was to unite a large-scale architectural agenda with an existing vocabulary of techniques from the ceramics realm. With a focus on light, visual permeability and the use of digital tools to aid in the design process, Celosía Cosída began with the idea that we wanted to create an adaptive, architectural screen with a large number of potential functions and configurations. The idea of modularity quickly came to be another key point of the research as the process of slip casting and creating a series of “molds and multiples” presented itself as the obvious choice for integrating digital fabrication and ceramics.
The hypothesis of the research phase ultimately became that with a single mold, varying only the perforations that allowed light and air to pass through the module, we could create a highly-versatile, visually-elegant screen that incorporated lighting elements and even ways of conditioning a space through radiative heating or evaporative cooling. Though the spatial conditioning was deemed to be an unreasonable endeavor with ceramics at this scale and with the given timeframe of the research, the question of how to do it remains an interesting problem and is explored -- though not to any full extent -- in this research.