Fabric formwork – prototype to typology

Article


Chandler, A. 2015. Fabric formwork – prototype to typology. The Journal of Architecture. 20 (3), pp. 420-429.
AuthorsChandler, A.
Abstract

When developmental vernacular practice is telescoped into industrial activity, the role
played by construction workers in the honing of a craft is rapidly bypassed. An almost
political act is required to maintain the contribution that the hand makes to the
uniformity of result that is demanded by the standard classification of typologies of
building and technique. Research into fabric formwork techniques conducted by Alan
Chandler utilises the flexibility of the concrete mould to explore the meaning of the
making ‘process’ and the workers’ role in relation to the formal ‘result’.
Chandler’s ‘Wall One’ exemplifies the exploratory prototype and its potential for
variety and the trace of the hand in making. The shift to a mass production typology
involved in realising the 325,000 square-metre Heatherwick studio project in
Shanghai, presented the problem of how to orchestrate the fabric into a fully
industrialised process. Part of the research then became how to make the shift from
play to profit - and can anything of craft survive the transition into the international
development marketplace? Through managing the inherent variety available to the
fabric itself, a fabric based formwork solution for realising a building at the scale of a
landscape offered the Chinese form work maker the opportunity to be present within
the results of a fully industrialised process – a ghost in the machine.

JournalThe Journal of Architecture
Journal citation20 (3), pp. 420-429
ISSN1466-4410
1360-2365
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2015.1042904
Publication dates
Print02 Jun 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Jul 2015
Accepted02 Jun 2015
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Architecture on 02.06.15, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13602365.2015.1042904
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