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.