Angie Co

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Dear Joseph,

I’m an architect in New York, and am really interested in contributing to the CEB open-source project! I have been working on a wall system that takes a basic module, a “brick” of sorts, which can be pre-fabricated and then assembled on-site as a masonry unit. What is different is that my unit is an alternative to the rectangular brick, and is a module the incorporates fenestration and environmental controls in to the form of the unit itself. Structure is also inherent in the form.

I am applying for some grants and fellowships to continue my research, and I was hoping to touch base with you to assess the feasibility of this formwork being utilized for compressed earh blocks. Originally I was developing as formwork for concrete, as an alternative to regular CMU, but the sustainable aspects of CEB are incredibly compelling.

I am attaching couple of PDFs showing my basic concept for the unit system. This is part of my proposal for a fellowship in NYC. I know you must be super busy, but if you have any time to take even a quick look, I would appreciate it! I am also very open to a possible collaboration, which would include some of the grant resources funneling into your project.

My questions on include:

1. Can this kind of CEB module be incorporated into a press?

2. Is it efficient at all to consider pressing long extrusions of this form, and then cutting it at different angles? I wonder if this is an alternative to creating 9 different moulds (each at a different angle) for the bricks.

3. What do you think of the idea of playing with the soil mixture, such that we could possibly build in a natural decaying of the wall? This could be interesting for temporary structures. Perhaps we could use a combination of some sort of soil / peat mixture, and even embed seeds into it, so that the whole wall could “sprout” at some point, and then slowly turn into a garden which decomposes into the earth?

I know this is all a lot of information, but I would love to hear back! Please feel free to call me to discuss….!

And a little about myself: I am a LEED-certified architectural designer / artist in NYC, and am currently undergoing my architectural examinations to become a registered architect. I have a master degree in Architecture from Columbia’s GSAPP, and have a bachelor of art in architecture and a bachelor of applied science (from U. Penn). I have worked in the past with Bernard Tschumi Architects and Asymptote Architecture, and am currently working at Atema Architecture, a small environmentally-focused firm. I have also just started Studio-Co, my own research and materially-based practice.

I hope to hear from you soon! And FYI, one proposal for a fellowship is due this coming Tuesday, so I’m really trying to tie things together ASAP.

Angie Co