Adv Interdisciplinary Studio

Function often rests on what is not there. The space formed in the handle of a hot coffee cup allows us to hold it. Many small holes in a line allow us to rip a stamp out of its book. We often miss the importance of space, because we don't see it. The built environment, from ceramics to interior design to architecture, is often concerned with adding material. We will explore the hole as a metaphor for the importance of empty space. This studio will explore the potential of complex systems of apertures, holes, and perforations to perform beyond the purely decorative. Linking historic ornamental terra-cotta tile facades to contemporary performance skins, the course will engage the specifics of ceramic material and process to explore the engagement of the aesthetic and the functional. Form the mug handle to a simple window, openings provide an entry point, physical or poetic, for human habitation. When understood as multiples, this negotiation of material, space and natural forces offers many opportunities in our relationship with both object and space. Our inquiry will range in scale from the use of porous clay bodies to that of full-scale apertures. We will create new materials, new tools and new processes. Through an investigation of historic traditions and fabrication techniques and the design opportunities afforded by new production and fabrication technologies, we will locate the potential of hybridizing the analog and digital to produce a performance skin. The studio's prototypical installations will be interfacing with the Back-Lot initiative on the San Francisco Campus. We will make extensive use of both CCA's Oakland ceramics studios and San Francisco's shop and rapid prototyping facilities. Emphasis will be placed on exploring techniques such as mold-making and casting that inherently engage the notion of multiples and aggregation. Digital and analog modeling and fabrication will be used to produce full-scale 3D vertical surfaces. The immediacy of ceramic exploration will allow us to engage the poetics of a tactile material experience often left unexplored in the high-tech efficiency of material performance skins. Material cost: $50-$100