Archive for May, 2014

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c-LITH: Carbon Fiber Architectural Units

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

c-LITH is the reconsideration of the architectural building unit through the exploration of new composite techniques and materials. Our project develops individual components that exploit the strength, lightness, and variability possible with carbon fiber filaments when paired with computation, digital fabrication, and hand assembly.

Traditionally, architectural units made of brick or concrete are small and multiple, heavy, difficult to vary, and are much better in compression than tension. Using carbon fiber filaments to create variable units allows for larger individual units that can vary in both shape and structural performance as needed. Our units, pound for pound, have higher capacities in both compression and tension and therefore impact the design in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions. Most importantly, however, our units address the use of carbon fiber at the scale of architectural production.

The images below are of the project installed @ the Taubman College Liberty Annex Gallery as part of the Research Through Making Exhibit, March 12 – April 20, 2014.


DESIGN: Glenn Wilcox and Anca Trandafirescu
FABRICATION AND ASSEMBLY: Glenn Wilcox, Anca Trandafirescu, Megha Chandrasekhar, Troy Hillman, Secil Taskoparan, Rebecca Braun, Ryan Mason, Sam Seeger, Peter Choi, Chris Pine and John Larmor
FUNDING: Grant from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

FLYING CARPET | Awarded Again!

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

We received a Special Mention from the Architizer A+ Awards 2014 in the Architecture + Learning category for our ‘Flying Carpet’ project. The official listing can be found on the Architizer website. You have to scroll down to the bottom – we are listed under Special Mentions. Unfortunately no images shown here, but this mention is a big deal for us as Architizer receives thousands of entries from hundreds of countries and has a top notch jury – so we are quite jazzed about this international recognition for our little project.


Friday, May 23rd, 2014

We are currently conducting a research project on the use of pre-preg carbon fiber filament for the production of variable architectural building units. This required the design and construction of a baking oven. As the pre-preg only needs to be baked at a low 265 degrees Fahrenheit we could use infrared lamps as our heat source. The exterior dimension of the oven is 4′x4′x8′ and is constructed from a steel tube frame. Roxul is used as insulation with diamond mesh serving as the interior walls of the oven and concrete tile board the floor. The exterior is clad in OSB. Six Nutone heat lamp fixtures were used to hold the twelve 250w infrared lamps. We later discovered we needed to add eight more lamps to acquire the proper temperature. These were affixed to the oven ceiling with simple off the shelf ceramic fixtures. It was decided to run the two sides of the oven on separate circuits as it allowed us to run it from a 120v power source – this also proved useful as during one bake we lost a relay for one side of the oven and were able to maintain temperature by just using the working side. The temperature is regulated by a PID controller from Auber Instruments. Construction images and parts baking image below:


DESIGN: Glenn Wilcox
FABRICATION: Glenn Wilcox, Troy Hillman and Megha Chandrasekhar
PHOTOS: Glenn Wilcox and Megha Chandrasekhar


Friday, May 23rd, 2014

We received a 2013 AIA Honor award from the Huron Valley AIA for our ‘Flying Carpet’ project (shown below,) in the Small Projects/Low Budget category.