Phase 2 / Earth in the Venice Laguna: from ground to printed architecture

At the beginning of Phase 2 of the workshop, we had a presentation by Elisabetta Carnevale about her work, 3D printing and rammed earth techniques applications in modern architecture.

After that, we proceeded with the testing of the samples collected during the first phase. We evaluated six samples based on viscosity, consistency, amount of sand and clay particles to find the best one for 3D printing.  For each sample, a series of empirical tests was conducted involving smell, sound, touch and water. As the next step, we tested manual 3D printing and defined the most promising options for the next phase of the workshop. Of course, it was important to keep in mind which samples could or could not be used depending on their location in the Venetian Lagoon. 

EARTH 1 / Salt Marsh 

  1. Rough, sandy texture (noisy) 
  2. Mixed colours – grey and yellow
  3. Smells like iron 
  4. Not very organic 
  5. Has a good amount of clay 
  6. Creamy and oily

EARTH 2 / Sant Erasmo (organic) 

  1. Darker colour, meaning there’s organic matter 
  2. Presence of clay 
  3. Rough texture 
  4. Not very noisy 
  5. Smells organic (but probably still unstable) 
  6. Would need to be sieved/crushed for printing 
  7. Doesn’t have a lot of clay 
  8. A lot of silt 

EARTH 3 / San Giacomo (excavation)

  1. Contains a lot of clay 
  2. Not very sandy 
  3. Smells slightly organic 
  4. Plastic state 
  5. Very fine silt 
  6. Very creamy, with some medium aggregates 

EARTH 4 / Sant Erasmo (sandy) 

  1. Organic, sandy, rough 
  2. Feels even, doesn’t have larger aggregates 
  3. Sounds gritty/sandy
  4. Mushroom smell (organic)
  5. Doesn’t have much clay (doesn’t hold water very well and doesn’t keep its shape) 

EARTH 5 / Unused dredged sediment 

  1. Feels uneven 
  2. Two colors: blue/green + brown/yellow
  3. Not organic
  4. Humid, almost in the plastic state
  5. Doesn’t smell 
  6. Small amount of sand, very fine salt  

EARTH 6 / Freshly deposited dredged sediments  

  1. Very soft and smooth 
  2. There is some sand 
  3. Very humid
  4. Slight organic smell, suggesting small content of organic matter
  5. Has a lot of clay 
  6. Particularly sticky 

EARTH 7 / Garden Soil

  1. Slightly dry
  2. Smells very organic/earthy
  3. Presence of roots 
  4. Rocks and larger sediments 
  5. Low content of clay – absorbs some water, not quite easy to mould
  6. Rocks make it harder to mould 

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