Group Project Trabecular Tile: Biosynthetic Investigations in Ceramic Tiling Strategies

  • Marwan Omar, M.Arch.II 2018
    Sasson Rafailov, B.Arch. 2018
  • Class ARCH 8913 Option Studio: Digital Ceramics
  • Instructor Jenny Sabin

Ceramic tiles have long been used in the field of architecture for their versatility and plasticity in production. The fabrication of standardized tiles allows for straightforward building practices while still affording incredible variability across an overall aggregation. Contemporary advances in digital fabrication have offered methods for producing complex variegation throughout a system of tiles without sacrificing this standardization, thus allowing for simple on-site assembly of prefabricated parts. While investigations of this nature have been made in terms of the ceramic brick, the tile has seen somewhat limited experimentation, with only a few practitioners beginning to push the medium into the digital realm. Variegation throughout the tile's surface in three dimensions, perforation, and deflection of the tile without sacrificing connection details are all properties for consideration and experimentation. The use of digital tools and generative design practices accelerates this examination, allowing for many possible issues to be cleared before entering a production phase. The combination of these tools with analog practices in production allows for holistic experimentation, resulting in advancements in the use of ceramic tile as a non-load-bearing architectural element. A system of prefabrication, as well as a light, metal frame structure, have also been developed to facilitate installation at building scale. Trabecular Tile combines advancements in computational design and fabrication logics to provide a variegated surfacing system that can accommodate buildings at any scale.