Category Archives: Material Matters

Material Matters

Material Matters was a two-week workshop where students studied various material fabrication methods, compositions, and applications, which were related to their projects.


crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. Borax, also known as sodium boratesodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. We used the crystallizing properties of borax to test the potential of making structures, using various threads and meshes.

Team members : Viraat Kumar, Gamze Gunduz, Diego Lopez Ibarra

KRY_N_STALLATION presentation

Video Links :

Crystal growth video :Crystal growth test

Scaffold test : Thread Scaffold

On site : On site construction

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Material Matters – digital tectonics

student team: Martin Firera, Julian Hildebrand, Ohad Meyuhas, Jordi Portell

teaching staff: Marta Male-Alemany, Victor Viña, Brian Peters

Our project “material networks” is based upon the investigation of a multimaterial building processes with the aim of being able to generate material networks which depending  on environmental factors on site such as heat, light, wind may feature specialized physical properties according to  the quantity and deposition of the single materials in the network. The deposition process is based on a piling principle. The project is still progressing,meanwhile some of the accomplished tasks and stages of the project are illustrated below.

test in variation of deposition sequence

manual deposition test with colored sand; creation of vertical and overlapping partitions between piles depending on tempism during deposition process. If piles are generated consecutively piles overlap each other, if deposition happens at the same time the a close to vertical separation between piles emerges.

machinic material deposition setup; colored sand has been poured from three nozzles contemporaneously.

we expected to see purely vertical partitions emerging during contemporaneous deposition of piles; instead due to imprecision inthe deposition process we had clearly blurred areas between two piles

testing realtion of quantity of water and layer thickness during hardening process with cement

machinic control of deposition with new nozzle

In order to organize the deposition of multiple materials machinically we created a nozzle prototype which can be filled with custom plastic bottles containing sand, cement or any other granular material sort. This nozzle can be connected to the shopbot at Iaac, a 3-axis milling machine which during the development of a separate machine can serve for first experiments in material deposition. Switch of scale

for further information please download our  “midterm presentation” pdf

click here for short documentation movies of material tests

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MAA 2010-11
Digital Tectonics
Marta Male Alemany, Victor Vina, Brian Peters
Students: Ayber Gülfer_Antonio Atripaldi_Mani Khosrovani_Andrés Briceño Gutiérrez

The idea to inject a fluid material to build underground structures like docks or pilotis in dunes is not new in architecture or engineering fields. This techniques using sand within a frame of a static and a rigid casting process where the way to inject the material is just to fill a hole drilled before.

We think that we can innovate injecting a fluid and structural material into sand using capillarity as a parameter to emerge a potential new geometry. Our intuitions are related to use sand as a medium to generate  this new geometry instead of a cast.
From a theoretical point of view, the specific material behavior injected is directly related with the sand capacity to absorb it by capillarity. This phenomenon in physic is called as sorptivity.

Through this, we think that we can generate an emergent geometry controlling the specificity of this phenomenon.

At this moment we know by facts that the best idea to inject into sand is to build a machine with a very thin nozzle in order to avoid the natural pressure of sand through the process of dig and do not waste energy.  In the same terms, use a low viscosity material is fundamental to achieve a sustainable process.

According to this, the  parameters of time_speed of the injection, angle of the nozzle and the viscosity of the material are the most relevant data that we need to provide the machine in order to control the potential emergent tectonic through computation.


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Videos and Presentation

Here is the full presentation in pdf format:

Here are videos of the fabrication process:

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Areana_Material and Machinic Matters

Material Matters

Influenced by an autonomous-deposition machine we started speculating about a mechanic fabrication on-site using the site`s material (sand).

The task of the machine is to re-arrange the existing surfaces by collecting from one node and depositing from the other, piling sand. Once the

surface is arranged glue is poured on strategic points of this surface. The choice of the points (coordinates) are yet to be discussed as it is an important

parameter of our fabrication process.

Trying to deal first with the deposition issues we hacked the milling machine (shopbot) to simulate in small scale the movement of an autonomous

machine. We simulated the movement of a double nozzle machine with a processing definition, extracted the movement`s coordinates and sent it to

the shopbot.

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