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Issue 4.1

Clay Cracking: A Natural Process Guiding a Design-to-Fabrication Method for Cast Aluminum Panels

Clay cracking, a natural process often associated with material failure, can be leveraged by designers to generate unique forms. When clay dries, a crack pattern emerges that is dependent on factors such as the clay’s water content, thickness, and boundary conditions. This paper presents a method for designing and fabricating cast aluminum architectural panels using naturally formed cracked clay patterns. Casting unique panels with clay has the potential to use less material and energy than traditional sand casting uses. The authors used this methodology to develop and fabricate panels for the Cast & Place pavilion (2017) in New York City.