Group Project Clay Non-Wovens

  • Sonya Mantell, B.Arch. 2018
    David Rosenwasser, B.Arch. 2018
  • Class Option Studio: Digital Ceramics: Clay Tectonics
  • Instructor Jenny Sabin

Clay Non-Wovens develops a new approach for robotic fabrication, applying traditional craft methods and materials to a fundamentally technical and precise fabrication methodology. This paper includes new explorations in robotic fabrication, additive manufacturing, complex patterning, and techniques bound in the arts and crafts. Clay Non-Wovens seeks to develop a system of porous cladding panels, which negotiate circumstances of natural daylighting through parameters dealing with textile (woven and non-woven) patterning and line typologies. While additive manufacturing has been built predominantly on the basis of extrusion, technological developments in the field of 3D printing seldom acknowledge the bead or line of such extrusions as more than a nuisance. The blurring of recognizable layers is often seen as progress, but it does away with visible traces of a fabrication process. Historically, however, construction methods in architecture and the building industry have celebrated traces of making, ranging from stone cutting to log construction. With growing interest in digital craft within the fields of architecture and design, we seek to reconcile our relationship with the extruded bead and reinterpret it as a fiber and three-dimensional drawing tool. The traditional clay coil is to be reconsidered as a structural fiber rather than a tool for solid construction. In order to build upon this body of robotically fabricated clay structures, three distinct but connected challenges existed: the construction of a simple end effector for extrusion; the development of a clay body; and the use of computational design tools to develop formwork and toolpath geometries.

The paper for this project was accepted for ACADIA 2017's conference and proceedings book, hosted by Skylar Tibbits at MIT. The project was presented at ACADIA in the form of a lecture.