Plastic Stereotomy

TEX-FAB invited entries for its fourth edition of annual competition named “Plasticity’ which asked for a way to bridge the gap between innovative design practices and conventional practices. It also aimed at promoting the application of digital fabrication and parametric design in architectural field. Justin Diles – an assistant professor at The Knowlton School of Architecture was announced as the winner for his entry, “Plastic Stereotomy”.

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Stereotomy is an art of designing and building by cutting stone blocks as a whole into custom-shapes rather than using conventional stone masonry. Diles used this technique although his raw material was laminar plastics. He used FEM software to cut the solid as well as molded plastics aiming to reimagine relationship between volume, finish, materials and construction methods.

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Courtesy of Justin Diles

According to Diles, “Viva plastic! Plastic Stereotomy positions plasticity at the beginning of the design process by exploring the multiple, latent volumetric tessellations hidden in simple structural configurations, opening rich possibilities for architectural design and construction. Our proposal argues for the continuing relevance of stereotomy, a rich field of architectural technique that we hope can be reinvigorated by computation and our most intriguing material invention.”

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Plastic stereotomy is an enclosure made of 12 pieces interlocked together in random shapes. The width ranges from 8” to 18” thus giving an appearance of a block rather than panel or shell. The material is thick EPS foam covered in plastic FRP composite which is molded according to the required custom shape.

Courtesy of Justin Diles

Courtesy of Justin Diles

This design was later fabricated by Kreysler and Associates, California and then displayed at TEX-FAB in Texas.

By : Vaibhav Sharma

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