ARC 605 Lab: PULP

Odd image of black and white blobs.

Image by: Marja-Sisko Ilvessalo-Pfaeffli 

The life span of contemporary uses is much shorter than the life span of buildings. This semester we will look at the potential of a short lived architecture that could simply disappear after its short time use. This ambition poses interesting questions regarding construction materials, the life cycle of construction systems, disassembly/decay and structural typologies. To address this agenda this studio will explore the architectural and structural potential of paper casting. A range of humble materials, from cotton to recycled paper, will be used. Traditional methods of paper making and paper casting will be learned and expanded upon using strategic, experimental tactics. Students will fabricate material swatches, scale models, and ultimately make a full-scale or partial cast paper enclosure or structure. Underlying each student project, the aim of the studio is to encourage students to develop habits of working that are resourceful, inventive, that produce little waste, and that lead to a form of architecture that is temporary, without a negative ecological impact.

The studio will foster material research in architecture as an integrated endeavor between scientific, tectonic and cultural readings. Students will exercise to express theoretical and spatial concepts through physical artifacts. Insights will be triggered by working within the material specificity and fabrication techniques of paper casting / fibers / pulp.

In this studio we aim to utilize the specific fabrication techniques and material constraints of paper to guide our research and generate form. You are encouraged to let your specific paper proposal express itself formally. Your design intentions and formal choices should be in a constant feedback with the applied paper casting techniques and its affordances. Unlike traditional construction materials, paper is comparatively weak and you have to let this material guide your project 


Associate Professor - Department of Architecture - Hayes Hall 312 - (716) 829-5896