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RIBA President’s Medals: Silver

Words:
Pamela Buxton

Daniel Hall

Cycles of Toolmaking: An Optic, Tactile, Haptic, Material, Scalar and Pedagogic Study

Cooper Union, New York

Tutors: Lauren Kogod and Mersiha Veledar


 

Daniel Hall’s project combines two of his interests: tools and their mark-making and transformative potential, and experimental play in the city. 

His research included a month travelling in Japan visiting ceramic manufacturing towns and investigating places of play. Both informed the direction of the medal-winning project. In this, Hall designed a ‘Sensorium’ in the ceramic town of Mashiko, a community-led place for learning that replaces a school damaged in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. 

Hall analysed play spaces and the way they influence a child’s sense of scale and direction, and documented ceramic production and use from clay extraction to the manufacture of building materials and domestic objects. He methodically explores how tools such as scale sieves, axis measures and line tools are used and what they produce, from thrown pottery to perforated ceramic tiles.

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‘Patterns emerge, as cycles of tool marks are used and misused. Embedded in the character of these patterns are indicators of time, scale, movements of the human body, and a genealogy of tool evolution,’ he says.

His Sensorium draws on this research: ‘The cycle of processes generate layered patterns that function at different scales: masks of light, constructors of shadows, surfaces for haptic physicality, guides for water and air movement, insulators of temperature, frames of dimensional reference, cosmological orientation, and marks on the landscape.’

The Sensorium features a gridded concrete framed roof punctuated with voids embedded with glass curvatures that translate light through concentrated brightness, reflected gradients, and blocked shadows. Its design was informed by Hall’s research into the angling of the sun, carried out using a plexi glass line tool box to analyse wave refraction and curvature. On the underside of the roof, ceiling tracks for sliding partitions allow the space to be configured as required. Ceramic floor tiles have patterns of texture and glaze co-ordinated with the position of the under floor heated floor according to density of clay and glaze type.


Commendation:

Danielle Fountain, De Montfort University. Tutors: Ben Cowd; Sara Shafiei

Tom Hewitt, Northumbria University. Tutor: Shaun Young

Ivo Tedbury, Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL). Tutors: Manuel Jimenez Garcia; Giles Retsin; Mollie Claypool

Serjeant Award for excellence in drawing at part 2:

Thomas Parker, Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL). Tutors: Nat Chard; Emma-Kate Matthews

SOM foundation Fellowship UK at part 2:

Andres Souto, Royal College of Art. Tutors: Satoshi Isono; Clara Kraft; Guan Lee

SOM foundation Commendation at part 2:

Claire Longridge, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Tutors: Mark Dorrian; Aikaterini Antonopoulou


Silver Medal judges

David Gloster

Sean Griffiths

Alan Jones

Jing Liu

 

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