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Craft, Computations, and Constructions

Designs by Jonathan Dessi-Olive.

Learning from Guastavino

This MATERIAL COMPUTATION exercise served as a precursor to the EKFM Radio Studio project. Over the course of 3 months, PennDesign graduate students constructed a number of small tile vault prototypes to become familiar with the construction technique, begin to understand the material, and its formal limits.

Our techniques for design and construction were primarily intuititve. We used the shapes of hanging chains to design edge conditions on our vaults and basic materials such as thick-guage wire and string as our formwork/form guides. 

Vault Prototype - Philadelphia from Empowering Mfangano on Vimeo.
By Kordae Henry

E. Lewis Dales Fellowship, PennDesign - 1st Prize, $3500

Tile Vaulting Experiments at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design

Philadelphia, PA


Construction Team:
Jonathan Dessi-Olive (Project Captain), Kelly Berger, Kordae Henry, Erik Leach, Sam Rosen, Alyssa Olson, Moira Nadal, Ryan Koella, Bobby Lu

Other Projects:
all work by Jonathan Dessi-Olive unless otherwise noted.  © 2021 all rights reserved.