A&M students reflect Harvey in 3-D sculptures

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Art is imitating life at Texas A&M University.

Professor of Architecture Mark Clayton’s design students created 3-D wall sculptures reflecting levels of rainfall experienced by residents of over a dozen South Texas communities during Hurricane Harvey.

The students also tackled the daunting task of crafting curved surfaces – one of the most complex and challenging tasks in architectural design.

The class of 18 students formed four teams, each with the challenge of conveying inches of rainfall in three to four cities from August 25-28.

The Beach Team covered Laredo, Corpus Christi, Victoria and Angleton/Lake Jackson; the Forest Team depicted Galveston, Palacios, College Station and Conroe; the Lake Team portrayed Tomball, Bush Intercontinental Airport and Sugar Land; and the Peak Team tracked Pearland, Hobby Airport and League City.

The teams were given the choice of triangulated, shingled, ruled or 3-D printed elements to create their surfaces. They fabricated the elements of their 3-D sculptures from a variety of materials and put them together by hand.

Beyond the exercise in symbolism, this project allowed the students to combine digital with tactile – to manipulate numbers, Clayton said. The students also learned to collaborate as members of a team, which he says is an essential skill for any architect.

For more information on the Automated Fabrication and Design Lab (“Architecture Ranch”), you can click here.

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