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Convective shell

City, materials, technology. The Convective Shell project stems from an immersive analysis of our cities and resources' contemporary roles. It seeks to explore new materiality concerning origin, production, application, and disposal. Its core objective is to inspire material analysis for architectural applications, encouraging the pursuit of opportunities where none appear and showcasing how critical thinking in the design process can yield powerful outcomes unexpectedly. In Japan, tons of crab shells are wasted annually. However, through a simple chemical process, these shells can be transformed into "Chitosan," the world's second most abundant polymer. This transformation effectively turns waste into a valuable resource. The project has developed a method to produce architectural components using printed chitosan. Chitosan is entirely recyclable, rich in nitrogen (suggesting potential use as fertilizer), and possesses robust antibacterial properties utilized in the pharmaceutical industry. The polymer's unique qualities are fully leveraged in this endeavor. The production process involves "printing" a solution of chitosan-glycerol, acetic acid, and water into frames of various sizes. The concentration of chitosan determines both the stiffness of the final panel and its deformation. As the water evaporates, the printed solution contracts, causing the laser-cut frame to bend to specific angles. Using just two parameters—chitosan concentration and frame size—a diverse database of components can be created. Once an initial database is established, nearly every geometry can undergo digital tessellation testing before fabrication commences. This method allows for a comprehensive exploration of designs and their feasibility before physical production, enhancing efficiency and precision in the architectural process.



Japan, Tokyo


Structure: N.A


Design: Luca Marulli

              Daet Washurushtakon

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