Out of 68 submissions from 17 countries across four continents, the winning proposal of Tex-Fab’s APPLIED: Research through Fabrication competition came from Kenneth Tracy and Christine Yogiaman of yo_cy, a design studio based in St. Louis work with digital tools to explore innovation in material science and parametric modeling. Their winning proposal, called Cast Thicket, is an exploration in tensile concrete. The designers wanted a lightly colored material, something stronger than traditional concrete that would pick up light and shadow, thus highlighting surface details. Light colored limestone aggregate was used as well as including limestone powder, white fiber reinforcement, Poraver glass beads for weight reduction, and metakaolin—a common material in porcelain and a superplasticizer reduces viscosity and binds the mixture. TOPOCAST Lab worked with yo-cy to optimize the process of production transfer from their lab in St. Louis to our lab in Arlington. After a series of full-scale prototyping we were able to collaboratively fabricate the proposal at full scale utilizing the larger fabrication support network of TEX-FAB and the structural analysis provided by Buro Happold. The final piece was showcased as part of the APPLIED: Research through Fabrication Exhibition that opened for TEX-FAB 4 conference on February 27th and ran until May 5th in the University of Texas Arlington School of Architecture Gallery.
Design: Ken Tracy, Christine Yogiaman, Lavender Tessmer, James Struthers, Lavender Tessmer, Jordan Smith, Cheng, Tang-Wen Vivian, : Matthew Carlson, Ting Lun Lai, Shu Liu, Christopher Moy, Tom Ishida, Daphne Robinson, Jicheng Shen
Commissioning Agent: TEX FAB : Brad Bell, Kevin McClellan, Andrew Vrana
Fabricator: TOPOCAST Lab: Brad Bell, Craig Gilliam, Amy Jarvis, Jacob Narvaez, Jeff Whately, Alexei Dukov, Austin Ede, Jack Gryczynski, Adam Heisserer, Kelsey Liggett, Khang Nguyen, Ricardo S. Bandeira, Patrick Young, Farid Pourabdollah, Ernesto Gonzales, Tyler Shafer
Design Optimization and Fabrication Supporters: Buro Happold Engineers, Crow Corporation