Through the lens of a specific material, concrete, and the interaction with its active properties, this research focuses on alternative procedures of construction that challenge typical generic forms of building, such as the general column-slab system, now ubiquitous across all building scales and cultures. In developing unique methods of fabrication, the aim is to create designs that have the potential to impact and influence the monotony of mainstream construction systems, whilst offering a design process that works with inventive incremental prototyping procedures, which test and explore the relationship between material, formwork and spatial consequences strategically and across a range of scales. Each design is considered as a prototype that adheres to the limitations of material and structural logics, as a productive space for design-research innovations. The research work begins with laboratory experiments using concrete to create smaller size objects. It then applies knowledge gained from these different material experiments and prototyping techniques and examines their ability to be scaled up via design-build structures. These then allow for further investigation into the capacity for some of the invented prototypes to address and influence the building of larger size projects, either through the actual industrial production practices found in the Pearl River Delta, or through site-specific architecture projects related to particular building cultures and technologies. The research originates with a series of nine column prototypes, extends to design-build structures and concludes with a house, Casa Trevo (Trefoil House), recently completed.
Olivier Ottevaere is a designer and teacher whose interest in architecture is driven by a hybrid approach between physical experiments and geometrical organizations. Integration of active structural principles, properties of materials and procedures of construction prompt the design pursue at the onset of each of his projects. Previously, he has practiced in New York, Lisbon and London until founding Double (o) studio in 2012. Prior to joining HKU in 2011, Olivier was Unit master at the Architectural Association and has taught design studios at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, SUTD in Singapore as well as at the EPFL in Switzerland for five years. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from the Cooper Union in New York, with an MSc in adaptive architecture and computation from the Bartlett in London and with a PhD from RMIT, Melbourne.
TAN Yuk Hong Ian
PhD CandidateDepartment of Architecture
Ian Tan is a PhD candidate at the Department of Architecture, HKU. His research focuses on the development of iron architecture in colonial port cities, primarily Calcutta, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and the relationship between materials, technologies, and design practices intertwined through maritime connections. He is a chartered conservation specialist and curator, with completed projects in Singapore and Hong Kong.
* Maximum capacity of Room KB 428 is 15 only.
All interested are welcome.