Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fall 2017

Course 6317 Material Systems: Digital Design and Fabrication

Instructor: Martin Bechthold & Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo Lopez

In Collaboration with Ziwei Song and Evelyn Cheng Zeng

Standard Fabrication Workflow for Customized Spatial Ceramic Units

In the course of the twenty-first century, the application of computer-aided design (CAD) and digital fabrication has radically pushed forward the boundaries of traditional architectural construction. Technological and industrial innovations have increased the possibilities for ceramics to achieve complex geometries in a mass-production manner. On the other hand, the current design practice for ceramic decorative facade system is still mostly restricted to the method of stacking or vertical aggregation. Cost and time constraints from mold making, as well as the particular nature of ceramic material property, leaves the spatial quality of decorative ceramic units remain undiscovered.


This research presents an integrated design and digital fabrication workflow for a customized 3D ceramic facade system. Several prototypes of fabrication method are examined, followed by an evaluation of each method and its potential for industrial mass production. The resulting design-to-manufacturing process was tested during the generation of a prototypical facade system for a canopy.

 © 2019 by Meng Jiang.

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