Fairley, Rebecca (2013) Investigating the Surface Qualities of Concrete Through Creative Practice. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The research documented in this thesis is the written part of a practice based exploration into the surface qualities of concrete. The issue researched has been to uncover the possibilities of using concrete as a design material. By exploiting its ability to change from fluid state into a solid after curing. Therefore assuming the shape and textures of mould materials and to incorporate other materials into it’s surface.

This was done in a workshop environment using 6 developing methods of putting materials and concrete together.

These were;
* Casting concrete onto a material
* Adding the material to a wet concrete surface
* Mixing the material into the wet concrete
* Sections of concrete joined with a material
* Brushing the wet concrete onto a material
* Shaping the concrete with a material

The samples created acted as the data and analysed through a set of criteria;

• Variety and boldness of texture
• The interaction of material and concrete
• Design potential
• My feelings for the surfaces
• Judgements about the process

Results were collected and organised in a project journal which contained photographs of the samples, the materials and procedures used to make them. Also a discursive annotation using the criteria for analysis as the framework. This written work came in the form of notes, mind maps and drawings. The journal also contained recipes and methods used to make the samples.

The research has grown out of an interest in material manipulation and a current trend in using concrete in more exciting ways.

This work contributes to knowledge
* by showing that concrete is an adaptable material that can be used to create surfaces with texture and character.
* that concrete is relevant to current ways of viewing what surface design can achieve
* and by demonstrating concrete can be used to create surfaces that engage and excite people.

rfairleyfinalthesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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