2012 - 2013 Lawrence Lek & Michael Dean

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Mark West & C.A.S.T

"Mark West has taught architecture at a number of universities throughout North America since 1981, while working as an artist, inventor, and independent researcher. His inventions of flexible formworks for reinforced concrete construction have been central to establishing this as a new field of architectural and construction research. He is the Founding Director of C.A.S.T, the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology, at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg MB) where he is an Associate Professor of Architecture."

"The Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology is an architectural research laboratory that embraces both the poetic and technical dimensions of architectural design. The work of C.A.S.T. seeks new boundaries for creative thought, design, and building technology. We do this work through physical explorations of materials, tools and building methods, the study of natural law, and the free play of imagination"

"Work at CAST generally begins with relatively small physical models made with “analog” materials (plaster to model concrete, paper or plastic sheets to model sheet metal, etc,). These models allow us to play with combinations of materials, tools, and processes, and to think about how the forms and ideas found might be extended to full-scale design and construction. This method relies on the “intelligence” of the materials themselves for clues to the architectural potential they may hold. This is a fertile and practical method of invention and discovery, particularly well suited to architectural research aimed at real constructions"


"These drawings by Mark West are selected from a larger body of work done over the past 30 years. Along with allied speculative works of art, these drawings are an integral part of the fabric formwork research. These graphite drawings, sometimes made on top of photo-collages, and sometimes made on white paper, follow original techniques of discovery and invention where form and space are found rather than strictly “composed”. The article, The Arrival of Form describes some of these techniques and their bearing on the technical research which owes its existence to this exploratory drawing practice"

All text ans images from the C.A.S.T website

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