Our competition submission for the 2013 Design By Nature exposition is a collection of four concrete composite cubes (measuring 2.5 cubic feet each) that have industrial volumes ‘subtracted’ from 3 or more of their 6 surfaces. The durable cubes can be oriented together or separately in a variety of configurations. Each cube will contain a recycled foam core, which reduces their weight considerably compared to solid concrete masses of similar size. This makes the pieces suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses to include: low + high seating, side tables, coffee tables and sculpture.
Industrial, cast metal pump casings often start out in the wood shop. Millworkers + machine operators carve solid, laminated wood blocks to create ‘patterns’ that are used to make sand-moulds. The sand-moulds are then used for casting. It is common for companies to make one-off castings, which means that the patterns go to waste after their first use.
Our design team was exposed to an overwhelming number of decommissioned patterns this year. They are beautifully crafted relics of Canadian manufacturing. We approached Tim Sheppard, a local pattern maker with our idea for a Design By Nature proposal. He graciously agreed to donate a retired pattern component called a ‘core box’ that meets our size specifications perfectly.
OUR PROCESS ( See corresponding diagrams below)
A - Section the ‘core box’ into quarters and form the sides of each quarter using off- cut lumber
B- Suspend recycled pieces of dense foam insulation inside the formed quarters + pour fiber-based ECC (Engineered Cementitious Composite) into the core boxes
C- Extract the new cast volumes, polish and seal them. Compose them based on desired use.
Our process uses exclusively recycled material except for the outer cementitious skin + sealer. Virgin material use will be limited to 20% or less in this project.