In Collaboration with: Yirui Wang, Bingxuan Liang, Harsh Kedia

This studio is unique in that its setting is split between the research and fabrication done in the CMU digital fabrication lab and in the Carnegie Museum of Art. The work done is developed as an ongoing exhibit in the spring of 2018 as a part of the HAClab Copy + Paste exhibit. 

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The motivating frame of Low Relief coincides with a proliferation of virtual reality in contemporary media, and seeks to position the built environment as a proto-virtual-interface.

The final project focused on engaging with the age old practice of moulding with plaster. We intended to have a conversation with this tradition through new aesthetics and articulations afforded by the techniques of robotic fabrication. Some examples include, variability of the height of the moulding, partially releasing the mould from the base resting surface, running moulds on complex surfaces, twisting of moulds from vertical to horizontal in the same run, and the splitting of moulds into two runs.

A series of new robotic workflows were designed to explore plaster as a soft material, and different complex surface geometries and lab settings as interface.


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Conceptual Renderings of Plaster in Retail, Museum and Kitchen Context

Typical moulding techniques involve the setup of a running bench, a profile and a rail, and typically the profile is run by hand across a surface, which then shapes the plaster into the section of the profile. Due to the affordances of this process, running molds are used for straight sections and simple geometries.

Robotic Arms allow for the profile to be attached at the end, as a tool, and thus, the profile can be run in many more configurations and orientations through the same run as compared to traditional plastering techniques.

Our project intended to manifest both an exterior and interior corner. The moulding starts off as a simple, traditional run, as it continues through the rest of the wall surface, it begins to morph and articulate various moments in the surface geometry. It then eventually slides through the corner itself, and goes onto the other side of the wall, and thus, in a very literal way, manifests inside-out and outside-in.