Photos: Robert B. Trempe Jr.
assail (v): to attack vigorously or violently; assault
Based on the word “assail”, a wood column was designed using 3D veneer, a newly developed material that could be formed into double-curved surfaces, and EPS foam. The word was used to define the primary act of the column’s formation. The veneer was placed over a formwork with sharp edges and opposing directions. This planned conflict between known material qualities and a form that would inevitably force it against itself resulted in a column embodying the effects of assailing forces. The veneer surface tore in areas that pushed the material beyond its ability to follow the given form. A six-axis robot was used to hotwire cut the EPS foam formwork, which the veneer was placed over and vacuum-formed into its final shape. The mold geometry for the “Assail” column was defined by a collection of specifically placed dramatic angles and narrowing faces that met at sharp and short edges. It was forced into a material that was more inclined towards subtle and gradual curves. The resulting cast and mold displays the collision of both the planned and unexpected disruption of material.