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  • The Straw-k

    Sofia BENNANI & Alexandra SINGER-BIEDER, The Straw-k at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture. Detail.
    paris FRANCE

    Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture of Paris
    critics : David TAJCHMAN & Philipp EVERSMANN

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Sofia BENNANI & Alexandra SINGER-BIEDER: As part of the researches we made on an innovative material, baptized Straw-k, during our diploma, which consists of the assembly of plastic tubes by autogenous welding, this project was built to demonstrate the material qualities via a scale one installation. We tested the mechanical, lighting and acoustical capacities of the Straw-k and we imagined the full digital fabrication process, from the positioning stage to the melting stage and compared the results between digital and artisanal work.

    The installation was located in the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture hall, on non-landscaped bleachers where students are used to seat and rest during their free time. The installation created a functional topography where you could sit, lie, walk, hide, and so on as a second skin, interpreting the black and white rigid colors distribution into an organic pattern. Moreover, two pieces of one square meter were melted via an industrial robot and integrated to the overall installation, made of 250,000 plastic tubes. For 10 days, the material was able to demonstrate its mechanical, functional and esthetical properties to the students and offered a very special ephemeral atmosphere to the school hall.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SB & AS: Material experimentations, Neri Oxman, Bernard Cache.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    SB & AS: Reading books and articles from Antoine Picon; listening to the sound of the fire going out of the torch and TwentyTwoFourteen from The Album Leaf

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    SB & AS: Gramazio & Kohler, Neri Oxman, Michael Hansmeyer, and Achim Menges.

    Additional credits and links:
    Special thanks to IUT Cachan, ETH Zurich, and Iguzzini for their contribution to the diploma project.

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