• University at Buffalo
    Alfred University

University at Buffalo/Alfred University

The prototype explores a ceramic application of a reconfigurable stack-Interlock system derived from traditional wood joinery. While we celebrate the permanence of the terra cotta, the study suggests exploring the impermanence of the built environment by a unique reconfigurable stacking method. Users can build and unbuild meaningful structural support using modularized terra cotta blocks.

The team aims to achieve geometric freedom based on limited block types. While we control the modularity of the block geometry, the 3d printed dowels allow continuously changing contact surfaces. In this prototype study, the top and bottom parts provide an identical surface to surface load transfer and the geometry of the side opening is free from the stacking mechanism. Therefore, we can allow customized porosity of the wall construction and minimize the waterjet cutting process for the precise interlocking mechanism. On top of the porosity control, this stacking behavior works with a wide range of thicknesses which can provide a more refined structural solution.

2021 Team Participants

Team Members

University at Buffalo: Dan Vrana, Fabrication Manager, Architecture, Digital Design and Fabrication; Jin Young Song, Associate Professor, Architecture, Digital Design and Fabrication; Jongmin Shim, Associate Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, FE Analysis
Students: Phuong Vu, Graduate Student, Architecture; Sakeena Nazir, Graduate Student, Architecture; Nicole Sarmiento, Graduate Student, Architecture; Lydia Ho, Graduate Student, Architecture; Adrian Cruz, Graduate Student, Architecture; Jiatao Wu, Undergraduate Student, Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering

Alfred University: Johnathan Hopp, Assistant Professor of Design; Shawn Murrey, Sr. Kiln Specialist, Adjunct Faculty
Students: Margeaux Claude, Ceramic Art and Design Graduate Student; Corwyn Lund, Ceramic Art and Design Graduate Student; Jaclyn Head, Ceramic Art and Design Graduate Student; Mackenzie McDonald, Ceramic Art and Design Undergraduate Student

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