Research Seminar ‘Bau auf!’ (Build up!)
At the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at the KIT Faculty of Architecture
In the future, architects and engineers will have to build in a way that is cycle-compatible for more and more people, using fewer and better materials. With regard to resource-efficient production, generative technologies offer high potentials. This is because the layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process only requires material where it is needed due to aesthetic criteria and mechanical stress.
In the research seminar ‘Bau auf!‘ (Build up!) of the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at the KIT Faculty of Architecture everything revolved around the traditional building material ceramic. A material that is experiencing a renaissance through new digital technologies such as 3D printing. The seminar was held together with the Karlsruhe Majolika.
Through experimental material research in connection with 3D printing, the aim was to make the still new technology more accessible to students. Within the seminar the students learned about the material itself as well as traditional manufacturing methods of ceramic materials. The examination of the new, high-tech production methods was the starting point for developing their own research idea. In the synthesis of tradition and innovation, the challenge was to develop their own work, which aimed to print a ceramic building material. The production by means of 3D-printing should be based on the construction, the structure or the materiality.
By working with Majolika, the students in ‘Bau auf!‘ (Build up!) gained valuable insights behind the scenes. Fabian Schmid, employee of Majolika and responsible for 3D printing, gave a guided tour through the Majolika workshops, a lecture and personal support to give the seminar participants the necessary information about the material, traditional manufacturing methods and the application of ceramic 3D printing. The students should benefit from Fabian Schmid’s experience and get to know the possibilities of 3D printing.
The experimental materials research within the seminars is constantly developing through practical series of experiments and is documented and presented through guided diaries and documentation, the reflection of one’s own work and in tangible results in the form of new materials or new application possibilities.
The results include numerous modular ideas, such as individually combinable shading elements for facades, pavilion structures for public areas or plantable structures that are intended to air-condition the interior by evaporative cooling. With their ideas, the students also addressed the already current and increasingly urgent needs of our built environment and considered the use of reversible construction methods.