Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop

This year we are enhancing the workshop with more activities and a different curriculum. The workshop’s goal is to educate and be educated by participants working in different areas of ceramic design. It will include introductions to current design and manufacturing techniques, visits to architectural projects and daily lectures to stimulate our imagination on the potential of this material. A significant portion of the workshop will be devoted to working collaboratively in teams to explore innovative design applications for ceramics as they pertain to bio-climatic functions. The teams will be supported by a Boston Valley Terra Cotta adjunct and a UB architecture student who can assist them in developing designs for facades, walls, objects and surfaces.

The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop is jointly housed at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning’s Hayes Hall and the production facilities of Boston Valley Terra Cotta in Orchard Park, NY with events in some of Buffalo’s most significant historical monuments. The Western New York region offers both a historical connection to clay experimentation and a contemporary ceramics research hub anchored between Boston Valley, the University at Buffalo, and Alfred University.

A significant component of the ACAWorkshop is the experimentation with new technologies as they impact the production and performance of large-scale ceramic applications.

The 4-5 person groups will work together 8 hours a day for 3 days, collocated at Boston Valley Terra Cotta and University at Buffalo. Participants have access to industry experts and educators, to learn, create, and get their hands dirty with the various industrial scale forming methods to explore and develop large-scale applications for ceramic components.

2017 Teams

  • Team AECOM

  • Team Morphosis

  • Team Walter P Moore

  • Team UB

Workshop Theme:

Bioclimatic Ceramic Systems

A workshop program dedicated to the experimentation of large-scale applications for ceramic components, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop brings together a collection of interdisciplinary professionals working collaboratively in small groups to explore innovative ceramic façade solutions to architectural challenges. The ACAWorkshop combines the models of academic research, artistic experimentation, and industry expertise.

The material connection across multiple scales is one of the most important opportunities of the ACAWorkshop program: while most architects may employ industrially-produced ceramic components, they may have little material understanding of clay whereas most artists and designers trained in ceramics may have few opportunities to explore the medium at a scale beyond the object. While most residencies may allow artists to explore with the relationship of hand, to form/geometry, and material, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop introduces experimentation and expertise in aggregation and production workflow.

This year’s workshop focuses on the bioclimatic use of facades in new construction and retrofitting buildings nearing the end of their façade life.

Team Objectives:

Team AECOM will be developing a series of terra-cotta building envelope components arrayed as a counter-current heat exchanger.

Team Morphosis will be focusing on the high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansion of the ceramics to create panels for a kinetic facade system.

Team Walter P Moore will be investigating composite formulations and assemblies utilizing ceramics in a hybrid formulation to provide an expanded purpose to ceramic cladding.

Team UB will be exploring the possibilities of ornamentation is enhancing bioclimatic qualities: luminescence, shading, thermal absorption, and cooling.

ACAW 2016 Wrap-up

The ACAWorkshop combines the models of academic research, artistic experimentation, and industry expertise.
The workshop took place August 7th–12th, 2016 in Buffalo, New York and was presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

Learn More

Even if you aren’t attending, stay up to date with what’s happening at the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop.

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