Cast Thicket, developed by assistant professor Christine Yogiaman and visiting assistant professor Ken Tracy, is one of four proposals selected as a finalist in the Digital Fabrication Alliance's 2012 international digital fabrication competition.
Titled APPLIED Research Through Fabrication, the competition garnered 68 entries from 13 countries in the Continuing and Speculative Research categories. The finalists' proposals deal with issues such as acoustics, material structure, ambient light occlusion, and movement monitoring through haptic and sensory relays.
For their proposal, Yogiaman and Tracy addressed current issues related to the creation of tall concrete structures, seeking to refine the typically heavy system of construction. Cast Thicket proposes three refinements to the site-cast concrete frame: replacing the steel formwork frame and rebar with prefabricated internal steel frame; replacing the plywood or steel forms with a thin membrane hung on the steel frame; and replacing the solid shear walls with a network of struts.
In its initial deliberations, the jury noted that Cast Thicket "offers a promising example of hybridizing contemporary means of representation and production with more traditional means of construction."
The other finalists in the competition are Latent Methods by Eli Allen, Spin-Valence by Emily Baker, and Fab Pod by Jane Burry and Nicholas Williams. All four have been given $1,000 funding for the second round.
Over the next four months, the finalists will further develop their proposals into larger-scale prototypes and mock-ups to test feasibility and technique. Their work will be exhibited and judged at ACADIA 2012 in San Francisco October 18-21, at which time a winner will be selected to complete a full-scale installation for the TEX-FAB 4.0 conference in Dallas.