Published December 14, 2018
The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop convenes designers and engineers with faculty and students in Buffalo every year to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performance facade design.
The collaborative R&D effort launched in 2016 under the leadership of Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning with support from UB’s Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies Community of Excellence.
Companies come into the workshop with actual commissions in the first stages of development. Projects advance throughout the year in collaboration with experts at Boston Valley, UB and the nearby Alfred University College of Ceramics. The research culminates every August with a “maker faire” at UB, where students troubleshoot design, fabricate components and assemble full-scale prototypes.
Teams composed of designers, engineers and UB students come into the workshop with in-progress designs. They spend the week troubleshooting, fabricating and then assembling the final prototype. Photo by Douglas Levere Photographer: Douglas Levere
In the foreground is the facade prototype developed by Team Radical Matter, which worked with more than 700 pounds of extruded terra cotta. Photo by Douglas Levere
Team UB, which included UB architecture professor Laura Garofalo (second from left) and glaze artist Christine Jetten (second from right), examined the aesthetic and bioclimatic properties of iridescent glazes in architectural building skins. Photo by Douglas Levere
The Sasaki Associates design team assembles their terra cotta facade prototype on the floor of the school's Fabrication Workshop in Parker Hall. Photo by Douglas Levere
In addition to working sessions, the ACAW invites industry experts and scholars to UB to share their research and practice innovations in terra cotta. Photo by Maryanne Schultz
At the close of the week-long workshop, each team presents their findings at a final public presentation in Buffalo. Photo by Maryanne Schultz