A “rauk” is a rock formation formed by abrasion. Abrasion is a mechanical process created by the friction of smaller particles moving against a rock. The rauks are created when the surrounding sea erodes rock rising out of the sea due to the land uplift. This mechanical process of sea erosion only leaves a solid core of limestone. Rauks are common along the coast of the island of Gotland but can also be found on the island of Öland.

image source: http://mapio.net/pic/p-23729186/
made by: natural phenomena
material: limestone
process: abrasion

antelope canyon


Image source: http://img11.deviantart.net/7493/i/2013/057/3/6/antelope_canyon__psychedelic_by_alierturk-d5w9l15.jpg

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

Made by: Water

Material: Sandstone


Flash floods formed the smooth walls of the slope canyon by erosion. Fissures in the Navajo Sandstone allowed moisture to get in and to shape the steep canyons by high speed. The floods picked up sand, causing the same effect as sandpaper.

Porous Cast

Image source: http://www.achimmenges.net/?p=4389

Made by: Casting

Materials: Concrete

Fabrication process:

This research was fostered by an interest in the formation process of diatoms and radiolaria, by Gabriel Sanchiz, Architectural Association, London, 2005-06.

Diatoms are unicellular or colonial algae and radiolaria belong to the order of marine planktonic protozoans.

The cast was made between two layers of rubber sheets, supported by a back-panel with an inflatable formwork.The result is a double-curvature cast. ”It can absorb thermal energy and release it to the airflow enabled by the porosity and the double-curvature can be utilised for exposure or self-shading.” (Gabriel Sanchiz)

I find this cast interesting because of Sanchiz´s ingenuity of finding a way to create a form with special qualities inspired from nature.

Ice Pattern


Made by: Freezing

Materials: Water

Fabrication process:

Ice crystals grow normally in certain given directions as determined by the internal hexagonal ice symmetry. These directions can be seen particularly in the so-called dendritic snow crystals with six ”arms”. When the air is relatively dry and the ground very cold, a pattern which reminds of snow crystals occurs, while humid air promotes feather-like shapes

I find it interesting that different temperatures and air humidity can achieve such beautiful patterns; arbitrary and at the same time so perfect and measured.

Sand Ripples

Image source: http://natuurfotografie.nl/natuurfotograaf-ronald-van-wijk-in-beeld/

Made by: Wind and water flows

Materials: Sand

Fabrication process:

When a wind or water flows across sand, the sand is dragged along the bottom and often is piled up to form ripples

“Ripples in sand, found on both beaches and dunes, are one of nature’s most ubiquitous and spectacular examples of self-organization. They do not result from some predetermined pattern in the wind that is somehow impressed on the surface, but rather from the dynamics of individual grains in motion across the surface.”

(Daniel M. Hanes in the department of coastal and oceanographic engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville)

It facinates me that the strong power from wind and water can establish such a small size, beautifull and playful pattern.

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: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/natural-wonders-in-the-uk-from-giants-causeway-to-durdle-door-10476339.html

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.