Augmented Skin

April 1, 2018
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Hybrid concrete casting system

Augmented Skin is a custom casting process that enables the creation of complex objects and building components. The technique utilizes different materials in combination to create biomorphic objects that conjoin traditionally disparate elements of structure and cladding. Developed at London’s Bartlett School of Architecture by designers Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo, and Theodora Maria Moudatsou, the project incorporates two design logics: strand and skin. The strand is based on the human body’s skeleton; it is a string-like form that functions as the primary framework. The skin serves as the object’s surface and is situated between strand components.

Before fabrication, digital simulation is utilized for the surface deformation design, the distribution of the strand components, and structural testing. Internal cross-shaped strands function as the structural reinforcing for the casting material. These are covered in an elastic fabric that is coated with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and the resulting semirigid, self-supporting tension system serves as the formwork for concrete casting. Once the concrete is cast and cured, the final object bears an uncanny resemblance to vertebrate organisms whose structure and skin reveal a much more intimate relationship than in conventional buildings or furniture.

Contact: The Bartlett, London, UK.

For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

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