Data clay -Flabella Specific Objects, Rhett Russo & Katrin Mueller-Russo Furniture prototype employing press molding into rubber molds.

Flabella, involves the use of clay parts, at the scale of furniture and involved the fabrication and joining of multiple, hollow structural shapes using a ceramic press molding technique. This was achieved through the use of rubber molds and the seaming together of the wet clay components. Flabella is designed to emphasize the weight of the material, its deformation as a body and the anatomy of the surface. The design of the piece is the result of buckling or forcing a plastic surface into strange curvatures. It is through this relationship with the materials that traditional ideas of mass production can be extended using ceramic. With the aid of the 3D scanner we are able to refine our physical models and further develop the surface in relation to the constraints of the fabrication process.

There are four primary aspects of this work, 1. The adoption of the ceramic process as a means to develop intricacy, in particular, techniques that have been developed by artisans, and metal-smiths that can be intensified with digital tools. 2. The deployment of a plastic membrane as a computational mechanism for generating nuanced form and the production of feedback that operates independently from the digital environment, 3. The use of digital tools for formal refinement and optimization, 4. The development of a design process ‘From Technique to Product’ that involves the orchestration of disparate tools, often from separate industries into new workflows and new products.



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