“the oldest bricks date back to around 7500 BC, these were sun dried mud bricks, around the third milliennium, fired bricks were invented. with the invention of the steam engine early brick-making machines used stiff mud which was forced out in long ribbons on a conveyor belt, transferred to moulds and cut by a revolving cutter. today, as we march into the 21st century armed with new computer aided design (cad) and computer automated manufacturing (cam) technologies we can liberate ourselves from the traditional form of the brick without sacrificing any of the functionality of the brick.”
25/07/2012 § 1 Comment
rael san fratello, planter brick (2009)
since monday’s post post about the tai ping bridge in rural china being built with triangular pavers hollowed out to be filled with soil and plants, i started to think about an old rael san fratello project involving 3-d printed bricks. in the tai ping bridge post, there were images of the students and locals producing bricks the traditional way, building a form work and casting the paver.
which brings me to the planter brick. it is essentially the same product (a building component capable of housing soil and plant), but the manufacturing process is so wildly different and fascinating. i’m not interested in the idea of a green path or wall, as i am fascinated by the idea of casting without form work. simply put, we build things twice in the casting process. first as a negative space (form work), then as a positive space (the product). 3d printing eliminates the need for form work, which means a reduction in material and thus waste.
as for plants growing out of walls, i imagine that in two hundred years, people will say that during the baroque period architects designed walls covered in fat babies (putti) and at the turn of the millennium architects covered walls in plants.
a young hare
[title + imagery] today’s title comes from rael san fratello’s planter brick project description. the first image comes from the emerging objects website. the next two images also come from rael san fratello’s project description.
[more brick making] the down side of 3d printing is that it won’t take a village to produce a brick anymore. see a community in action in this ayh post.