ACAW 2019 in Review
The annual ACAWorkshop in Buffalo, NY draws architects and manufacturers from far and wide to explore the architectural applications of terra cotta and innovate within the medium. This year was no different: 9 teams gathered together at the 2019 workshop in August, hosted by Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. One of these teams was comprised of five designers from the Payette firm, all eager to learn more about the capabilities of terra cotta and develop their own prototype study.
“We participated in this event to increase our knowledge of terra cotta as a material, and the various fabrication techniques and glazing processes involved in its production, while engaging with designers from other well-known architecture practices.”
This year’s Payette team included Luke Gehron, Parke MacDowell, Craig Mutter, Sarah Solomon, and Jensen Ying. The team designed a prototype acoustical panel fabricated from terra cotta, an extension of the firm’s ongoing research on the uses of architecture to increase aural comfort within buildings.
While Payette – and every firm – has its own tried-and-true design process, exposure to the methods and knowledge of other groups is a very valuable asset. Collaborative events such as the ACAWorkshop keep fresh ideas and innovation flowing within the industry, preventing architectural design from becoming too insular.
“Overall the workshop was a uniquely collaborative opportunity that synthesizes the skills of manufacturers, fabricators, designers and engineers for a common purpose. We worked with many talented and knowledgeable people, and witnessed the workflows of other great architectural firms trying novel assembly and manufacturing techniques with terra cotta.”
Featured Image: Close up of Payette’s acoustical panel prototype, fabricated from glazed terra cotta. Photo credit: Charles Wingfelder, University at Buffalo.