Monday, August 19, 2013

Ole Egholm - Concrete making and formwork tectonics - doctoral defense

More flexible formed formwork tectonics
The Cast Thicket project I just wrote about here reminds me of work by the Danish architect and doctoral student Ole Egholm who also explores the formwork tectonics of folded plastic sheets. Egholm  is defending his doctoral thesis on Friday September 13th 2013 in Aarhus. His project is related to my own doctoral work in the sense that it is about concrete, formwork tectonics, about flexible formwork, uses Gottfried Semper and other similar theories and key texts about tectonics, and it is investigated through making with the assistance of lots of great students, yet Ole has a digital starting point where as my own investigations were analog. Also important is his focus on building systems based on concrete elements, for example the vault shown below. 
[Youtube video of the assembly of the ReVault]
The use of concrete elements in Denmark could definitely use a lift and Ole's approach is great. His project has the title The Tectonic Potentials of Concrete and you can read an English summary of it here. The experiment shown below is from the ReVault workshop made in Aarhus as a collaboration between researchers and architecture students from Aarhus and from University of Technology, (UTS) in Sydney, Australia.
[Images from Re-vault, via. Elements are connected with zip ties. See more images here]

Ole and I have found similar sources of inspiration and this becomes clear when Ole Egholm writes about his conceptual universe that it 
"is based on research into established writings concerning tectonic thinking. The ideas of German Theorist Gottfried Semper are presented as a strategy for describing form as a result of materials and technical matter. Furthermore the idea of poetic construction is presented. Set forth by the English / American theorist Kenneth Frampton, the idea is that poetic construction is achievable though attention the properties of materials, structural logics and the craft of making. The thoughts of Marco Frascari which suggest a reading of details as a creator of meaning are introduced to be able to help establishing a progression in the case studies. Due to the narrow research focus on the making of concrete, an additional conceptual framework which emphasizes tectonics as a physical phenomenon is presented: The relationship between material, technique and form. Finally, a distinction was made between relationships surrounding mould making and the actual creation of geometric forms in concrete. The former was referred to as mould tectonics, the latter concrete tectonics." From Egholm's summary
This relation between formwork principles and the cured physical manifestation (concrete) is what I relate to as Stereogeneity - I think that Ole, as I am, is drawing on the definition of tectonics presented by Eduard Sekler. - well, I did write an entire post about Sekler, the tectonic, and the relationship between the mold and the molded here

Revault credits, participants
Eleven students from Aarhus School of Architecture (AAA) and UTS
Dave Pigram -architect, Senior lecturer - UTS
Ole Egholm Pedersen - architect, ph.d. candidate - AAA
Niels Martin Larsen - architect, ph.d. candidate - AAA
Stefan Rask Nors - architect, assistant professor - AAA
Ronni Lundoff Madsen - M.Sc. Architectural Engineering - Alectia
Jacob Christensen - M.Sc. Architectural Engineering - Vision+

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