Friday, April 12, 2013

Concrete poetry in the rain

The development of beautiful concrete surfaces was the aim of a collaboration between the Danish textile designer Line Kramhøft and industrial concrete partner Spæncom.
My favorite of Kramhøft's surface designs is a combination of a surface treatment technique and graphics.
When dry, the concrete appears as is - and only when wet, the graphic pattern is brought to life.
See images of Kramhøft's exclusive concrete surfaces here.

[Images of wet/dry concrete surfaces by Line Kramhøft. Images photographed by yours Concretely at the 2008 exhibition at the Aarhus School of Architecture]

Dutch Solid Poetry
I suspect The Netherlands to experience grey skies as well - nevertheless, Dutch designers Frederik Molenschot and Susanne Happle have developed a similar technique which embraces wet concrete surfaces. They call the principle Solid Poetry. I love it and I want it.
Liquid affection and solid poetry
Susanne Happle writes about her 2004 graduation project: "Whenever the weather change the landscape transforms, the light becomes different and the whole atmosphere changes. All materials seem to alter. In my project I explore the possibilities for hidden design appearing as the environment changes. I applied techniques to enduring and solid materials as glass (liquid affection) and concrete (solid poetry), so that natural processes like differences in temperature causing condense reveal patterns on windows. Rain uncovers decoration on a city square. The possible applications of solid poetry and liquid affection are various: either at home in the bathroom, in the garden, in saunas and dance clubs, where the humidity is high or public spaces like bus stops or pavements. All forms of solid poetry have in common that they change the whole setting; they are surprising and have a life of their own."via where she also shows suggestions of writing that appears on your foggy bathroom mirror etc. 
[Solid Poetry, via]

Ipanema in Copenhagen?
Living in Copenhagen - it is raining right now - I'd just love if bad weather brought forth something poetic, a little treat to make you smile. On a wall or on the concrete pavement. I wonder if the appearance of the iconic pattern from the Rio de Janeiro sidewalks would make Copenhageners dance in the rain instead of frowning?
[Sidewalk on Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. Via]

PS - in reality, I am dreaming of sipping a caipirinha on Ipanema beach - no concrete - no rain.

898 - Fabric-formed concrete couch

Inspired by the previous post about Nacho Carbonell's soft concrete, here's a few images from my own backyard.

898 (kg)
Carbonell's 'soft sofa' reminded me of something that I haven't shared with you - so here's another one - a couch cast by my students during a TEK1 workshop in 2011. The focus in the workshop was on exploiting sharp edges and curved surfaces. The theme was benches but this piece is more of a couch-thing than a bench.
The 898 is cast in fabric-formed concrete. The edges of the furniture is controlled and cut out of rigid plywood. Its surface, on the other hand, is made to appear soft and cast in fabric restrained with a garden fence netting.
[898, couch. From TEK1 concrete workshop at the Royal DK Academy, School of Architecture]

The title of the piece, 898, refers to its calculated weight... The really attentive Concretely reade, may recognize the surface. The students who made the 898 were inspired by the expression of an earlier fabric-formed piece for which the forming method was also its expression.
[Fabric formed concrete surface from 'Wall de Mort'. I discuss the project in my PhD dissertation - and regret to admit that I changed its funky title to the Net Wall... ]

898 couch by:  Cisse Bomholt, Philip Messmann, Michael Sivertsen, Maja Kozak Dehlin, Amanda Lilholt, Mathias Rasmussen, Søren Rosendahl Svare and Kenni Bruun Rasmussen.
Wall de Mort by: Siri Reisæter Rasmussen, Astrid Asmussen, Rasmus Gosvig, Christian Bencke Nielsen
TEK1 teachers, 2011: Anne-Mette Manelius, Finn Bach, and Johannes Rauff Greisen

Dutch concrete sofa

Continuing to share old news, this piece of old news (to me) is still much more recent than Mr Englund's 60's work. The Dutch designer Nacho Carbonell designed the prototype for a concrete couch cast on site in flexible formwork. - back in 2007. - it is in fact more a designed process than an object.

[Soft Concrete by Nacho Carbonell, 2007, image via MatandMe]
See more images of the piece at the designer's website

Carbonell writes about the prototype: "The idea of the process defining the final shape of the object, is something that has always interested me. You cannot have total control, the materials are alive and do what they want. I just give them boundaries, against which they can react with freedom, always surprising me. They are my best partners and my source of inspiration. Experimentation is my way of translating a concept into an object. Here I created bags of different shapes. Once the bags are filled up with concrete they reveal their final shape and function, in this case a proposal for a bench for outdoor purposes. The concrete is first colored, then poured into the bags. Once these are ripped off, the furniture  achieves a friendly, funny and soft look as well as a beautiful texture imprinted on it by the material of the bags. Another aspect that is very interesting about the project is the possibility of creating it on the spot, allowing it to be integrated better into the surroundings." via

While discovering Carbonell through the fabric-formed lens, I admit to enjoy the development of his work away from the solid to the more spatial, it is so much tighter. He has made some collections of spatial and communicative structures that are light and textured and architectural sculptures that I would love to experience live. Check them out here.
[Communication Line by Nacho Carbonell, via]

898 in Copenhagen
Pardon the jump but Carbonell's sofa reminded me of something in my own backyard that I haven't shared with you - so see the next post here.