Concrete tree

Seminar task01_östermalm

Where: Östermal, Stockholm. Sweden.

By: ?

Process: Contrete and pebblestone fills a hole in the tree. Structure have
been added to create an illusion to be part of the bark.

Material: Concrete, Pebblestone. 

In Östermalm in Stockholm this tree is to be found by the pavement in the
middle of the street. How did this happen? 


In contrast to the swelling and expanding process of fermentation I’m also interested in the way chloroplasts are tightly arranged within plant cells. Chloroplasts are organelles (a subunit within the cell) which main role is to conduct photosynthesis. The chloroplasts are protected by a double membrane which protects and gives room for this process within the cell. What I find fascinating is the way hexagonal shapes are created just by the tight packing of the organelles.


Link to image:

Hanna Skog


I’m interested in the way shape is created through the process of fermentation. Fermentation occurs when sugars are converted to gases, acids or alcohol. The process releases energy which means that the structure of the fermenting material will change, often making it bulk far beyond it’s pervious shape. Swelling doughs and ageing blue cheeses are examples of what this process could look like.


Link to image:

Hanna Skog


05_White-Butong_Hot Pants_72dpi.jpg

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.

Assignment 01

Assignment 01: How Things Take Form

  • Find 2-3 precedents of a casting or formation technique that interests you. (This does not necessarily have to be concrete)
  • Topics could include: art, architecture, science, medicine, nature, cooking, etc.
  • Post photos of it on the blog with the tags Assign01, your name, and any other relevant tags
  • Be sure to include a short summary: image sources, who it is made by (if applicable), materials used, fabrication process, and why it is interesting to you. If it is unknown, please speculate on how it could have been made.
  • Everyone will have a two-minute presentation of their findings in class next week



image source:

Giant’s Causeway

Antrim, Northern Ireland

Made by: Natural cooling

Process: Cooling

Material: Basalt

Antrim in N. Ireland used to be full of volcanic activity and it had a very large lava plateau made of molten basalt. As the basalt cooled, it began to contract and fracture, propagating vertically down the columns. Scientists have discovered that the rate of the basalt cooling determined the size of the hexagonal columns; those that cooled faster were smaller, and those that cooled slower resulted in much larger columns. This is particularly interesting to me because the material in this case is acting as a design driver. The external conditions of cooling in conjunction with the basalt material characteristics generate the final hexagonal shape, and open a good discussion of materiality and formation.


This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to Breaking the Mould seminar! This blog will be utilized for tutors to post assignments and reference material, as well for students to post their progress each week. Please make sure to tag/categorize each of your post with relevant tags, as well as your name in order to keep track of each student’s work. This can be done in the sidebar after logging in.

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Breaking the Mould           13:00-15:00

Vasily Sitnikov & Helena Westerlind & Annie-Locke Scherer

This course will investigate non-conventional casting methods to explore unexplored potentials of experimental casting. Concrete is the most used construction material in the world; however its architectural expression largely remains conditioned by rectangular rigidization of generic form work. Complex forms with differentiation and undercuts are expensive and sometimes impossible to fabricate and current modes of production are dominated by standardization that does not allow for experimentation or development of alternative production methods and.

The course will explore traditional and non-traditional methods of using concrete in architecture, questioning how novel methods of fabrication can result in new qualitative and aesthetic manifestations of cast concrete. It will further reflect on why this knowledge is helpful in respect to the development of architectural projects and design concepts.

To help students build up their critical statements, three technological frameworks will be offered:

  • Formless casting: investigating how to work with concrete without formwork (i.e. deposition) and working with various mixes that take a closer look at viscosity and mouldability during the curing time.
  • Soft formwork: the concept derives from the post-digital approach to architectural technologies.In this context the concept of soft form work tries to find a way to meet the latest ecological initiatives through critically reassessment of the established industrial standards and experimentation with non-conventional approaches.
  • Flexible formwork: exploring the realm of casting in fabric and other flexible materials and molds, expressing the rheology and flow of concrete, investigating the formal design implications and surface aesthetics of this casting technique