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Concrete Design Master Class on Implicit Performance, August 2 - 9, 2008

read about the Concrete Design Master Class

The Concrete Design master Class on Implicit Perfomance took place at deSingel in Antwerp, Belgium. From August 2 till August 9, 39 students from the 8 participating countries continued their investigation in the competion's theme under guidance of curator Juan Herreros. The students, all laureates of the competition, worked in groups that each produced series of prototypes. They explored the possibilities of the material in relation to their interpretations of the theme. The investigations ranged from deteriorating surfaces to actively sensuous samples and were focused on structural properties, production techniques and esthetical appearances. The combined body of work and research produced during the master class represented an intriguing and challenging outline of future architectural applications in concrete.

The week started relaxed by exploring the city of Antwerp and its surroundings but quickly turned into a true workshop atmosphere. The first lecture of the week by Juan Herreros introduced the participants to the ambitions of the master class, to be scientific. By this Herreros meant 'to be of use to others', to produce a research that is valuable to users, industry and designers. The participants almost immediately had to generate concrete objects reflecting their view on 'Implicit Performance'. The objective of the master class was to produce a large quantity of comparable physical objects, iterations on a focused segment of investigation. Rather than working towards one conclusive 'final object', the ambition was to lay out a field of plausible applications. In doing so the various limits of the material and the ways in which concrete architectural objects can be produced were discovered and challenged. It is exactly this matrix of trials and errors that produces an acute awareness of the material's potential and of the position of applied material research within a design process. In other words to explore the width of possibilities rather than to focus on the one solution. Or in Juan Herreros' words to actively submerge into a state of 'suspended reality' that will only reveal its true impact later on in ones endeavors.

The master class program was supported by a range of experts facilitating various needs and included keynote lectures by Enric Ruiz-Geli and Kersten Geers. Architects and critics from Spain - Angel Borrego and Jacobo Garcia German - and Belgium - Guy Chatêl and Stefan Devoldere - appeared during the week. Expert material and engineering support was offered by Arjan Habraken, Luc Tearwe and Peter Lieblang. While the general workshop process was guided by Ifke Brunings, Patricia Hessing and Siebe Bakker with FEBELCEM's Jef Apers as international coordinator, host and concrete expert as well.

The above-mentioned people represent just a portion of the energy and resources that was given. We like to thank all persons and organizations that have contributed to this master class. A special mention is reserved for Moritz Kung, curator of deSingel and his team for enthusiastically embracing our project and for their flexible support throughout the week.
We feel honored to have worked with Juan Herreros who's energetic and inspiring presence hovered over the works in progress truly unveiling concrete's implicit performances. Without the tremendous efforts of the individual participants during the competition and the master class none of this could have been achieved. Thank you all so much!

Ahmet Irfan Ertis, Alper Kanyilmaz, Ċse Flindall, Ayse Bozkurt, Barbara Grassl, Benedikt Krienen, Daniel Patterson, Diego Cayuelas Garcia, Eduardo Tajuelo del Rosai, Ege Özgirin, Eleonora Massaccesi, Emre Can Korkmaz, Fatma Aliosmanm Felix Wurst, Fredrik Sund, Gereon Töpper, Gertjan Rohaan, Halidun Senkal, Hans Ooms, Jamie Doak, José Maria Martinez, Juliane Greb, Kadir Öztürk, Karmen de Maaré, Lucy Riordan, Marcos Belmar, Paolo Borghino, Radim Louda, Rikje Maas, Roisin Aherne, Ryoko Ikeda, Santiago Varela Rizo, Sasha Smolin, Stefano Cerolini, Thuy Vu, Tolga Tutar, Wouter Dreessen, Yü Chen and Zeynep Erdinç

Juan Herreros - architect

Angel Borrego, Open Source Space - architect / artist
Ifke Brunings, SOAP Ateliers - structural engineer
Jacobo Garcia German, jacobogarciagerman arquitectos - tutor - architect
Jasper Westebring, Westebring architecten - architect
Patricia Hessing, SOAP Ateliers - architect
Siebe Bakker, bureaubakker - coordinator / architect

lecturers / critics
Arjan Habraken, Arup Netherlands - structural engineer
Enric Ruiz-Geli, Cloud9 - architect
Guy Châtel, SSA/XX - architect
Kersten Geers, Office Kersten Geers David van Severen - architect
Luc Tearwe, University Gent - concrete expert
Peter Lieblang, FH Bochum - concrete expert
Stefan Devoldere, A+ magazine - editor

Jerry Aerts & Morirz Küng, deSingel

international coordinator / host:
Jef Apers, FEBELCEM - concrete expert

Bernadette Scheerders, deSingel
Jan Geivaerts, deSingel - technical support
Jan Wildiers, deSingel - audio-visual support
Koen Slock, deSingel - catering
Leo Daems, deSingel - workshop support
Paul Vermeir, deSingel - technical support
Torsten Förster, BDZ - concrete expert

photography & video:
Aaron Hauptman, Brigitt Albers, Charlotte Albers and Wies van Saus

additional contributions:
FEBELCEM - dry mortar & formwork materials
BDZ - Peter Lieblang

Saturday August 2 & Sunday August 3: Antwerp, Gent & Juan Herreros

Monday August 4: brainstorm, first designs & lecture Enric Ruiz Geli

Tuesday August 5: first pours, Juc Tearwe on concrete & critic evening

Wednesday August 6 with Peter Lieblang and Arjan Habraken

Thursday August 7: another full day of production and testing

Friday August 8: last iterations & Kersten Geers

Saturday August 9: final presentations & critics