Explore Terra Cotta Facades at Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop

For a third year, experts in the fields of architecture and design will gather in Buffalo, N.Y., to attend the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW) being held Monday, Aug. 13, through Thursday, Aug. 16. Presented by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and supported by the UB Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART), the weeklong workshop combines the models of academic research, artistic experimentation and industry expertise to explore the design of ceramic components for large-scale production. The event this year will be highlighted with a keynote presentation from Christopher Sharples, principal of SHoP Architects.

Architecture’s top professionals from SHoP Architects, AECOM, Morphosis, Radical Craft, The Matter Factory, Sasaki and Studio NYL will form blended teams to tackle a variety of theoretical and practical challenges designing ceramic assemblies for high-performance buildings. Team members explore and learn from a leader in architectural ceramic manufacturing, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, with assistance from the faculty and students from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and Alfred University.

Following two events, the ACAWorkshop looks to build upon the knowledge gained from the previous workshops. The teams began working earlier this year, developing prototypes that explore the use of terra cotta for bioclimatic systems and consider the materiality and production of terra cotta in the design of the building’s envelope.

“Architects designing with industrially-produced ceramic components may have little material understanding of clay for large scale production, while most artists and designers trained in ceramics may have few opportunities to explore the medium at a scale beyond the individual object,” says Bill Pottle, director of business development at Boston Valley Terra Cotta. He adds, “At the ACAWorkshop, architects, engineers, and educators collaborate with designers and manufacturers in order to deepen their understanding of designing with architectural terra cotta.”

By focusing on the design of building envelopes simultaneously with the development of production of the assembly, Boston Valley believes that architects will walk away from this experience with the knowledge of how to utilize the manufacturing process in order to create a better building. The work put into ACAW will culminate in a final presentation of each teams’ findings on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.

The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop is jointly housed between the production facilities of Boston Valley Terra Cotta in Orchard Park, N.Y., and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning’s SMART Lab, with events in some of the historical locations in Buffalo, including the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House and the renovated H.H. Richardson Complex. Returning speakers include Dr. William Carty, the John F. McMahon professor and chair of Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University, and Anne Currier, sculptor and professor emerita from Alfred University and the 2017 Virginia A. Groot recipient. New speakers to the event include Matthew Krissel, partner with KieranTimberlake and Craig Copeland, associate partner with Pelli Clarke Pelli Associates. The final presentation on Thursday at the Hotel Henry is open to architectural and ceramic professionals and will be followed by a keynote address and reception. Christopher Sharples’ keynote address will begin at 5:30 pm.

For more details and sponsorship information, see the event website.

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