archolab Architectural Research Collaborative


Recovering Plaster as Architectural Substrate




Morphfaux is an applied research project that revisits the virtually lost craft of plaster to explore its potential for producing innovative architectural elements through the use of contemporary digital technology. The research challenges the flatness of modern, standardized dry wall construction and explores plaster’s malleability as a material that can be applied thick and thin, finished to appear smooth or textured, and tooled while liquid or cured. If the invention of industrialized modern building products such as drywall led to the demise of the plasterer as a tradesperson, our research seeks alliances between the abilities of the human hand and those of automation. By transforming historic methods using new robotic tools, Morphfaux has broadened the possibilities of architectural plaster. While our research has produced forms not possible by human skill alone, it also clearly illustrates a symbiotic relationship between the human body and robotic machines where human dexterity and robotic precision are choreographed in the production of innovative plastering techniques.


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