Monday, November 8, 2010

My first case study!

On Monday, Daniela, Nadine, Giselle and Giorni and I all went to visit the workshop of Marcelo Cortés and two of my case study houses. We met Patricia at the workshop, who has been my most helpful contact in organising my research in Santiago. She showed us around the workshop where they prepare the earth and sell it. They collect the earth from lots of different places though I am not quite sure how wide their net is. First they have to sieve it to extract the clay properties. Then it is organised and stored in containers made of split recycled tyres. These are great because you can add more tyres to make a larger container, or remove to make a smaller one. They emphasize the elastic properties of the clay using an additive, so that it expands when water falls on it and also so that it becomes extremely light. This makes construction of more contemporary forms possible. The front part of the workshop is where the design happens using computers, behind Marcelo´s house there is a sheltered outside space where experiments and preparation of the earth happen.

Daniela has been a great help to me with my research, helping me to translate the interviews and my own (even badly written in English!) questions. She has also been great to bounce ideas off, and has challenged my research in a good way.

Marcelo Cortés workshop

Patricia, me and Marcelo

Entrance to Zona Ecológica y Cultural in Peñalolen

The tyre containers

The workshop where they prepare the earth

Marcelo´s house behind the workshop (not designed by him)

You can see the rotating drum they use to sieve the earth

The display in the studio part of the workshop where they design

Demonstration of what can be done

Different colours of earth (no pigment added)

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