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Frontiers of Architectural Research

Front. Archit. Res.    2019, Vol. 8 Issue (2) : 121-135
Making Bibelot: Casting material research within cultural frameworks
Erkin Özay1(), Gregory Delaney1, Nicholas Traverse1, Andrew Pries2
1. School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
2. Boston Valley Terra Cotta, NY 14127, USA
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Material investigations in architecture often exclude practice implications by narrowly determining the scope and limitations of research. Such limitations are necessary and warranted for open-ended inquiries undertaken in controlled conditions. Working with commercial outfits in the context of a prescribed project, on the other hand, requires a clear attitude that accounts for the agency of the manufacturer. A small design-build intervention, completed with an in-kind donation from a terra cotta manufacturer in Buffalo, NewYork, gave us the opportunity to take on such a collaborative investigation. In order to explore the potentials of terra cotta as a building material to the greatest extent, wes trategically increased the complexity of the endeavor, challenging the design and manufacturing team to address production problems in a timely manner to meet the project goals. In doing this, we relied on conceptual constructs that address specific material and institutional histories of terra cotta and the cultural context, registered as form, color, and ornamentation in the project. The paper gives a detailed account of the entire process and the working assumptions by bridging the design and manufacturing decisions in an interrelated manner.

Keywords Material research      Terracotta      Design-build      Color inarchitecture      Ornamentation     
Corresponding Authors: Erkin Özay   
Issue Date: 12 August 2019
 Cite this article:   
Erkin Özay,Gregory Delaney,Nicholas Traverse, et al. Making Bibelot: Casting material research within cultural frameworks[J]. Front. Archit. Res., 2019, 8(2): 121-135.
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Erkin Özay
Gregory Delaney
Nicholas Traverse
Andrew Pries
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