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35 degree

Yusuke Obuchi and Robert Stuart-Smith Studio

Ji-ah Lee (South Korea)
Behdad Shahi (Iran)
Junyi Wang (China),
Ahmed Abouelkheir (Egypt)


The aim of our research is to address the problem of material waste and the cycles of production and consumption of architecture based on the assumption that it is a product that has a certain finite life-span. Our question is: could architecture contribute to the process of reproduction over time, as well as enhance its value as a product? Or, in another words, could we design the life-cycle in lieu of the life-span? Following Frei Otto’s form-finding experiments and based on the studies of sand self-distribution behaviour acting under the force of gravity, Terri-form exploits phase transition properties of the material in order to generate site-fabricated architecture with a designed life-cycle in a location where sea and desert merge. This product emerged by means of natural materials that are widely available locally. Concurrently, at the end of the product’s life-cycle, the material fused back into its environment without leaving behind any waste. As a rule, the constant angle of repose – 35 degrees – is the dominant factor among all parts of our research, from analogue experiments to digital explorations. The fabrication methods we explored allow for various spatial qualities influenced by the material behaviour and digitally controlled parameters.