Liencres, Cantabria (Spain)

Architecture, Design & Creative Fabrication through Critical Making

Techniques, materials and research

Developed for specific projects or as part of our learning process. We encourage you to join us leaving comments, questions, ideas.

Coloured resin technique uses a synthetic resin mixed with a curing agent (polymerisation catalyst) at room temperature and normal pressure, which is poured into a mould or plastic container. By mixing both liquids an exothermic reaction occurs, generating heat, and making the material harden within several minutes. Different types of resins can be used, including polyester resin, polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, acrylic resin and silicone resin. Being the normal appearance transparent, resins can be coloured using tints and fillers, allowing different degrees of opacity, tone and textures. Once the material dries it can be shaped and sanded. The images above show colour test for polyester resin which were done for the KU.BE 1:200 models.r.

Mould making and casting resin involves covering the object we want to reproduce with a flexible yet resistant material, creating the negative volume of the object, the so-called mould. In the example above for KU.BE 1:200 model moulds were done with silicone rubber contained with wooden walls set up around each volume. Silicone was then poured around the original volumes, and casted creating the mould. All the shapes of the project were reproduced using this technique.

Moulding and casting landscape from an original wooden base. This method allows us to reproduce larger objects achieving the same precision. For the base of the KU.BE model the landscape was casted with white polyester resin, using the same material as the rest of the zones. The mould and counter-mould were made by covering the object with a layer of clay followed by a layer of plaster filling the casting boards. Removing the clay layer leaves a cavity between the item and the plaster where silicone rubber is casted creating the mould.
Etched zinc method enables marking plans and drawings upon different metal surfaces, controlling the depth and precision of the etching. This technique can be used to produce tactile models which can be explored through touching sensations. By using a mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a surface, engraving is achieved, creating a design in intaglio. Such a process allows us to transfer information from a drawing to the base of a model. The images above show the process of etching used for Santander Rail Yard Regeneration model. It was developed in different layers to match the existing landscape, showing the former boundary between the sea and the city..
Paper embossing is the process of creating raised or recessed relief plans and designs in paper, providing a three-dimensional effect. In this case it has been used as a complement for the Santander Rail Yard Regeneration etched zinc model, creating a paper landscape of the city centre. The pressure of the rolling press compresses the fibres of the papers marking the surface with the desired drawing. Additionally, this technique can be used to create tactile models which can be explored through touching sensations.
Bamboo constructions are used in Latin America as an accessible, ecological and structure earthquake resistant solution. Combining this material with plaster we investigate the possibilities of bamboo and adobe working together as a roof dome. This cane roof system, called Domocaña works as a module which can adapt to different programs and locations. Load bearing walls are filled with soil to stabilise the structure. Bamboo School model recreates in a 1:20 scale the building process, using canes of different diameters and plaster as adobe finishing. The images serve as a tool on the site, a visual guide for anyone to follow and understand the construction of the project.