['Beautiful'? Detail of fabric-formed concrete column cast at the Concrete Flesh Workshop at Chalmers (2009), yours concretely with Frederik Petersen and Kathrine Næss]
Parameters of investigation - and of evaluation
Thinking of the headline 'beautifying concrete' introduced here - it is quite interesting that it seems as if mostly architects would ever combine the words beauty and concrete , haha and in fact, I really find lots of the 'experimental data' produced in my workshops quite ugly, but beauty and how it is judged is really not the immediate aim when investigating construction methods at a fundamental level, at least it hasn't been for me, much. The challenge then, is that you need some sort of context to evaluate architectural experimentation. When the assignment for short student workshops deals with the process of constructing new formwork principles, there are little context beyond this, and these principles are then only left as traces on the final concrete object.
The question is how future student workshop will be when further parameters are added into the investigation of concrete futures cast in flexible molds. I made one attempt when introducing the fabric-formed concrete bench as the assignment - the evaluation from passers-by who now can check out these pieces on the quay behind the school may be a lot simpler now, but the use as research is definitely less clear. The challenge is definitely great to go from open-ended research through design to a different and possibly more direct aim when designing through research...