A group of graduates from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London have developed an innovative production technique that creates concrete casting moulds out of wooden sticks wrapped in tensile fabric.

The research team was made up of Kazushi Miyamoto, Youngseok Doo and Theodora Maria Moudatsou and were under the tutorship of Daniel Widrig, Stefan Bassing and Soomeen Hahm, who encouraged the students to explore the notion of "freehand self-production in the age of computational design". 

Together they produced ‘Augmented Skin’ - a hybrid building material inspired by biological skeletal frameworks that combines a regimented structural core with a flexible opaque skin, coated in PVA.

The framework is used to cast materials such as concrete and can be assembled to form lightweight, interlocking structural modules quickly and at a minimal cost.

When cast in long “strands”, the resulting material could be used like steel I-beams or columns in architectural applications.

To demonstrate potential functions for the casting process, the research team developed several visualisations of the sorts of architectural structures that could be created including pavilions and bridges.

Augmented Skin was presented at the Bartlett's 2014 graduation exhibition B-Pro, alongside a chair and an arch constructed using the technique.

Courtesy Arch Daily