Final Assigment: Straw casting

For my final assigment i decided to work with straw, a really common and natural material. In particular I thought of using it on one hand because i am really inspired by the contrast/connection that can be created by mixing this two material (as shawn in the sketches) and on the other hand to see if it possible to remove the straw and get a nice surfece on the concrete block:

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First of all I tried to find different kind of straw and similars to test in an easy way:

slide 2The first one is made only with straw taken by a strawbale, the second oneusing suerthin sticks of straw, for both the sample I used 50% of cement and 50% of water:slide 3

The third one is made with thicker straw sticks and with a more dense concrete (65% concrete, 35% water), for the last one I used smal wood sticks that i found in the ground and for the concrete I used again the 50%/50% mixture:

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Looking on the result, the third one i thought it was potentially the most interesting, then I tried to develop it more and try to see if it was possible to generate a wave shaped connection between concrete and straw:

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For theis sample i used a relly liquid mixture, with 65% of water, my intention was to generate a concrete that was able to go through the straw as much as possible.

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The result was quiet good, maybe the best one i did!, the cement followed exactly the shape that i did with the straw, and the surface is really clean and bright.

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After the first success I tried again the same mixture with the same process but with double amount of concrete just to see what happen, but the result is not super exiting, and is also really heavy.

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Then I found some transparent plastic straws and i tried to do the same with them, using a more dense mixture of concrete ( 30% cement 70% water) the result was surprisingly really good, the style of the object is really close to the art objects made by Harry Morgan.

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Assigment 5 – adaptive formwork

The shape:

For this assigment i tried to do two diffferent samples, the first one basically is a cilinder with halls inside generated by sticks made out of paper. The second sample should be a long piramind. For both i used the same strategy, a big cilinder of paper for keep the thinner sand and inside that the sample.WP_20170405_15_50_10_Pro.jpg


Why did I fail?

Considering the result i think that for the first sample the problem was the type of sand that I used inside the shape, probably still to much thin, so that the concrete was not able to penetrate through it

In the second sample even if i used thicker sand, i think i failed becouse of the paper, that was too light and thin and breaks almost immediately.


For both the experiments i decided to add 60 g of water, because I thought that the mixture was still to much dense.

fabric cast – gravity and different stretch


we poured concrete into fabric which we attached to a wooden frame. Before that we hung up two weights on the fabric. The idea was that we now have to gravity-components influencing the cast: the weights and the concrete itself.


different stretch:

We attached concrete on a wooden tile in to create some kind of pocket. After poring the concrete in we took a small rope and wrapped it around the pillow so it would be squeezed.

Assignment 3, AnnaEmanueleHanna

We wanted to investigate how concrete would behave when pouring it onto a almost vertical surface. So we attached a plastic sheet in a curve-like shape towards the wall. After mixing the concrete, with double amount of water, we decided to add some colour. Because we fell so much in love with the intense blue colour, we decided to not mix it in but to sprinkle some on top and see what would happen to in in the pour.


The result was quite nice. On the slope the concrete got really thin and cracked quite easy, in the “pool” the pigmentation gathered and created nice patterns of colour.

Looking at the thicker piece, the “pool”, you can see the difference in structure depending on what it was casted against. The plastic film created an extremely soft surface compared to the top which was quite 3dimentional and where the most of the colour ended up.

The edges are very thin and also very fragile. To summarise, it became a study of colour and pigmentation in concrete, but also a basic demonstation on how the surface of the form effects the surface of the cast.


Assignment 2, AnnaEmanueleHanna

Group 1

Assignment 2 calculations:


The first cast, where the sand was the variable, our cast was very nice, compact and grey because we only used cement and almost no sand.

The second cast, with water as variable, we had very little liquids in the mix. This resulted in a very dry “cake” that fell apart when taking it out of the form.

When it comes to the last three, with pigmentation, almost no colour change can be detected. When mixing the three we felt that we needed to add more water. They where too dry to put into the formwork. Unfortunately we just added random amounts, and also different in between the different casts. therefore there is a difference in colour and density between them.



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Where: Swedish designers Toki Drobnjakovic and Per Sundberg have renovated an underground strip club in Stockholm to create a workplace where walls are embellished with concreteset against bubble wrap.

How: Pouring concrete directly in air bubble wrap casting system

Why: this special casting tecnique make the concrete panel trasparent in some parts, are amazing the effects that you can obtain combining them with artificial or natural lights.


Pillow concrete


Separation Anxiety_04  by Heidi Shwengler
8 x 17 x 10″

Where: Berlin, Germany

Why: I think is really interesting the contrast between the softness of the pillow and the hardness of the concrete. This is the perfect casting process for emphasize this contrast.

How: using a normal pillowcase or a thick fabric and pouring the concrete inside and then changing the shape as you like.

The final result of the art installation was composed by many pillows like the one in the pictures. However from my point of view it could be used as an interesting forniture if you shape it in the right way.