Ways of Making
“The preoccupation is with how to use materials and forms at a human scale, the scale at which people touch, experience and live in the world.” (Heatherwick, 2012, p.13)I am interested in honest materials, and using honest materials in honest ways. What happens when you place material at the very genesis of the design process? This design-led research aims to design first and foremost with material in mind. Using the intrinsic qualities present in a material in order to create an architecture that honestly represents craft and reveals the mark of its maker.
Steel and clay are the two dominant materials explored in this thesis. Oddly similar where material can be added on and joints can be fused together. Clay uses wedging and slip, while steel uses welding techniques. At first, these two are explored separately, then brought together through tests in creating objects and furniture at a 1:1 scale. Plaster, timber, and fabric have all been utilised in a minor sense as well.
Ultimately this research of material through handcraft has been used to heavily inform an architectural outcome, whereby the building itself is a culmination of material findings. This material inquiry is pushed through a Newtown site and the programme of a community ceramics studio to consummate a final working architecture.
In challenging the idea of absolute architecture, of final objects, and rather looking to constantly test ideas – designing through material investigation has led to invention and unpredictable outcomes. Understanding materials, and gaining practical experience of using them was essential to developing ideas and finding ways of making them happen.