4-axis CNC wire cutting
Pushing the fabrication part of the project Digital Stereotomy in new directions, Matthias Rippmann developed a custom 4-axes CNC foam wire cutter to gain further understanding of the interlocking fabrication constraints in a physical setup. The wire cutter is able to cut very complex volumetric pieces, made up out of ruled surfaces, in an efficient manner. He furthermore developed a digital simulation and the software to generate the machine code, including the cutting sequences, for these geometries. The process is a prototype for e.g. full-scale stone cutting.Video 1Video 2
New Emerson Studio Pavilion
The Fall 2010 architecture studio from Prof. Tom Emerson, with the theme of "Bricolage" designed and constructed a wooden pavilion, entirely from recycled crates and palettes. Marcel Aubert and Prof. Block assisted with the structural design of the project named "96 Hands".
BLOCKLab ready for construction
The final design by Matthias Rippmann and Marcel Aubert for the hull of the BLOCKLab, to be built in the Civil Engineering Testing Hall at ETH Zurich, is ready for fabrication. The BLOCKLab is a state-of-the-art testing facility for modeling 3-D collapse of masonry structures using of 3-D printed structural models.More info
Prof. Block's research in Stereotomy book
Prof. Block's PhD research and work in collaboration with Escobedo Construction have been featured in the book "Construction Stereotomia. Dalla pietra al digitale". The authors identify Prof. Block's work on freeform masonry shells as one of the most exciting new evolutions in the field of stone cutting, in the art of "digital stereotomy".More info
Building the Tower of Babylon
Sign up for this interdisciplinary design workshop which will build a tower for less than CHF 1000,- on ETH Science City, addressing local materials, sustainability and the limits of our society. The selected student team (bringing together students from architecture, civil engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering...) will compete with their tower in an international student competition, organized by the GlobalTech Alliance. This elective will be guided by Prof. Em. Dr. Werner Oechslin, founder and director of the Werner Oechslin Library Foundation in Einsiedeln, Prof. Block, and Diederik Veenendaal.More infoMore info
Vaulting workshop in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
As a result of the success of the SUDU prototype, built at the EiABC in Addis Ababa, the Heinrich BÃ¶ll Foundation Ethiopia has invited the BLOCK Research Group to organize a workshop on structural vaulting with soil-pressed tiles. Prof. Block and Lara Davis will train local people in thin-tile vaulting in workshops in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa from Jan 31 to Feb 4.
Free-Form Masonry on WIRED.COM
Via eat-a-bug.blogspot.com, our research on Free-Form Masonry Shells got blogged on the wired.com "Beyond the Beyond" section, which provides coverage of an eclectic range of technology topics. Check out the post here.
Bridge with Fabric Formwork for ARC Competition
For their entry in the ARC competition, Dutch architectural firm Zwarts & Jansma has consulted with Diederik Veenendaal. Their design for a wildlife crossing in Denver (USA) includes some of our specialties; a thin concrete shell cast in a cable-net, fabric formwork. Their submission and those of the other finalists are now available for download at the ARC website.More InfoMore Info
Prof. Block invited to Structural Morphology Group of the IASS
Prof. Block has been invited to lead the 'Curved Surface Structures' study group of Working Group 15, Structural Morphology (SMG), of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS). The BLOCK Research Group is looking forward to taking a leading role in pushing innovation in expressive, and efficient surface structures.More Info
Prof. Block wins Golden Owl 2010
Prof. Block has been awarded The Golden Owl 2010 at the ETH-Tag on November 20, 2010. The award for engagement and excellence in teaching is given by the ETH Zurich Student Association, after nominations by the student body. Prof. Block was winner for the Department of Architecture.
Special issue of ATDF Journal on Architecture and Development
The special issue of the ATDF Journal "Design-Revolution in Architecture and its Impact on Development", edited by Prof. Block, was published online. The issue features many interesting contributions, including articles about the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretive Center in South Africa and NESTown in Ethiopia.More Info
Lecture at Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin
Prof. Block has been invited by Dr.-Ing. Karl-Eugen Kurrer to give a lecture about his PhD research in the Lecture series "Praktiken und Potentiale von Bautechnikgeschichte". Prof. Block's first German lecture, entitled "Neue Studien zum Dreidimensionalen Gleichgewicht von GewÃ¶lben", will be held at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin on Thursday November 18 at 18:00.More Info