Challenging the status quo

“With time, the city grows upon itself; it acquires a consciousness and memory.” Aldo Rossi

aptlab research and material innovation - Alusion

As many architectural students and tutors will tell you, the first step in a project after interrogating the brief, is to gain an understanding of the context in which the project sits.

When an understanding of a local context is portrayed within the architectural intent of a building, the architectural intervention is given justification and grounding within its place as it is directly conceived from the built and social conditions that surround it. 

aptlab research and material innovation - Alusion
However, everyone’s interpretation of the context will be different, so how do we as a profession agree appropriate responses? Surely, as my old math teacher used to say, as long as you show your working, you will get the points.
aptlab research and material innovation - Alusion
Whilst there are some commonly agreed approaches to this question, to be innovative in our practice, we must challenge the status quo appropriately. A material that we have recently researched in Aptlab which can mimic the proportion of the masonry brick or timber weatherboard is Alusion. However, the manufacturing process, substance and visual aesthetic of Alusion could not be more contrasting to the common brick.  This stabilised aluminium foam which uses 20% recycled content and is 100% recyclable is made by injecting air into molten aluminium, creating a completely unique lustrous aesthetic. Additionally, the amount of air injected impacts the density of the material, allowing for a variety of densities and appearances. 
aptlab research and material innovation - Alusion
So, on your next project, take the time to explore your own interpretation of the context, but make sure to show your working.

Link to suppliers website: http://www.alusion.com/index.php/products/alusion-versions
Architecture is inhabited sculpture.”

— Constantin Brancusi