Focus Artistic Research

Fluid Bodies - casting without formwork

Project lead: Klaus Bollinger
Institute of Architecture
Duration: 01.02.2018 - 31.05.2021
Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR 459 Programm zur Entwicklung und Erschließung der Künste (PEEK)

Today’s design dilemma is a technological gap between sophisticated software models and the ability of materializing those models into reality. Complex shapes are ‘easily’ drawn in computer software, but are very quickly constrained when it comes to building them in real world, at a scale 1:1 in a reasonable budget. Today there is an exploding world of virtual design strategies at our disposal, to create more efficient structures, explore new formal behaviors or aesthetics and simulate forms under given forces, but without a creative building industry to follow and fabrication strategies that keep up, those designs will only develop in the realm of digits and desire. ‘Fluid Bodies’ addresses those desires and channels them on to a widespread building material: concrete.

Concrete is solid, yet at its very origin it is a fluid building material that can take on every imaginable body and shape. The aim is to empower processual casting methods and to establish an alphabet of fluid bodies, that explores this simple but radical paradigm, and allows to explore volumetric formations by means of casting experimentation. By crossing between disciplines like architecture, fashion design, structural design and sculpture the goal is to compile a series of methods, and produce an array of casted prototypes that reach from small scale models to larger objects and explore alternative ways of producing, orchestrating shaping & reinforcing cast forms. We thereby challenge conventional formwork concepts and locked material assumptions with a transdisciplinary approach.