Workshop: INDiiA/ Z'SHELL-ter With François Roche/GSAPP University

François Roche/R&Sie(n) just unveiled a new project-cum-workshop in India entitled z'SHELL' ter from 25 May to 25 June 2012. Application deadline is 15 April 2012.

Here is the presentation of this project:

Along with François Roche, this includes Ezio Blasetti, Stephan Henrich, Camille Lacadée and Jasmine Dürr.
Introduction We will head down to south India, Karnataka, Ganesha disguised as a young boy tricked demon king Ravana on his way to (Sri) Lanka, and buried Shiva's Atma Linga (phallus)… Today the land still perspires its traditions, as a significant birthplace to south-east asian ancient epics and artistic practices.
Yet the state of Karnataka is also home to the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore city, churning out 250 robots every year.
The region is challenged today by new economies and modes of fabrication. This contemporary context is precisely the site of an emerging geometry. On the rocky plateau above the village an unusual ambitious project slowly surfaces, and provides us with the occasion to embrace India's schizophrenic mind-set.
On the rocky plateau above the village an unusual project slowly surfaces, and provides us with the occasion to embrace India's schizophrenic mind-set: The Study Circle Library, one man's life dedication to literature, religion and philosophy in the form of books, has recently opened its new housing, as part of Pandrata Cultural Centre, an international platform for performing arts, where are notably thought Bharata Natyam and Kathakali, two classical south Indian dance forms, consisting of detailed gestures and precisely defined body movements…
Studio Outline & Project
Housed in the Study Circle Library, our design studio will be informed by readings, enquiries, interviews, and film-making. Switching between computation and hand/machine labour, we will develop and build an outdoor performing arts (outdoor), from an on-going procedural experimentation with the local material, laterite — red porous soil, rich in iron and aluminium oxides, formed by decaying rocks weathered by tropical heat and centuries of heavy rain -directly extracted from the site.
As much as the assemblage, the extraction mode will be generative of "z'ShellTer": carving, cutting, piling, interlocking, dissolving, grinding,…
To optimise production and develop knowledge, the studio will work on:Research (laterite expertise, know-how, political and cultural involvement, rituals, folklore and literate, extraction-transformation symbiosis)Process - computation (logic of aggregation, scattering, staggering, stacking, with variable components, on Rhino Grasshopper and python scripting)Material experiment (prototyping, test of resisting and decay, strategy of construction, machinism and robotic development)Report (photography, recordings and film/stop motion during all the process of construction)The work days life will be balanced between computation and hands-on work in situ (local knowledge, memories and know-how knitted with global tooling, computation and machinism) as exogenous-endogenous apparatuses.
A machine will be designed and produced to extract the Laterite with potential of water-jet creating a non repetitive component which is able to be re-introduced as a non-standard process to create the geometry of the experimental reading room. The knowledge of the cut will produce a specific "agencements" and assemblage able to renovate the traditional brick wall stereotype.
A report of the construction and opening will be done by a movie of 15 mn, with documentary art director including titles with credits, sponsorships…
This project (design, process, researches, documentation, construction, etc.) will entirely emerge from the collaborative work of our group, as a unique and engaged realization.
Blurring the limits between students and instructors, we will define together a strategy of co-responsibility and co-authorship.

More information: Here.
The differents pictures included in this post are from the (n)certainties course (Columbia + Angewandte / USC University).
credit images: R&Sie(n)