Kristen Gandy

Kristen Gandy

Brooklyn, NY, US


Thermoplastic Concrete Casting

Research Through Making Grant
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Ann Arbor, MI

Thermoplastic Concrete Casting explores formwork making and concrete casting with thermoplastic textile. Casting in concrete typically requires extensive formwork that takes time, material, and a tremendous amount of labor to produce.

This novel way of creating formwork for casting eliminates heavy rigid molds and scaffoldings for support. Instead, using sartorial techniques borrowed from tailoring and patterning in clothing production, pliable non-woven thermoplastic textile is cut and felted together (a process of needle punching), and then heat-stiffened to rigid form, ready for glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) casting. The project explores the relationship between form, material behavior, and performance of both non-woven thermoplastics as formwork with complex geometries and concrete casting to create thin-shell, materially efficient structures. 

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Status: Built
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, US
My Role: Research, fabrication, production, design support
Additional Credits: Design Leads: Tsz Yan Ng + Wes McGee
Project Team: Kristen Gandy, Andrew Bradford, Layth Mahdi, Simon Anton, Scott Chriss, Asa Peller