Extruded Tessellation: Ceramic Tectonics

The tessellated wall explores the design space of a novel ceramic customization strategy developed by MaP+S researchers and students. The technique involves the automated cutting of clay extrusions that are industrially produced on a state of the art extrusion line. The ceramic elements have been extruded from a single die, thus reducing tooling costs.


wall a 1 s


wall b unit types

Wall A consists of  350 elements and 10 different types. Colors indicate identical cutoff angles. Within each color group several different element lengths exist. Wall B contains 28 different elements. The tessellated wall investigates the design space of this approach with a module design that features interlocking, ornamental patterns which allow for novel structural use of ceramic blocks in planar, folding and curved wall assemblies. The modules are produced with a complex extrusion die. Robotic manipulators equipped with wire-cutters can be integrated into the production system to trim off the end surfaces at custom angles and lengths as the wet clay is extruded. Alternatively, CNC disk cutters can perform automated cutting operations after the large ceramic extrusions have been fired. Both approaches allow for low-cost customization of the ceramic modules to achieve a unique three-dimensional expression, control views and light, as well as address different structural needs in the wall. The modules can be bonded with cement for permanent installations, or be dry stacked and clipped together for easy assembly and disassembly, such as in the case of CEVISAMA 2016.

close up s

plan b

The two walls displayed at the 2016 Cevisama consist of approximate 700 elements with lengths ranging from 15 to 60 cm. Variations in length and cutoff angle lead to 38 unique elements for the installation. These pieces are used to create a unique surface texture on every wall surface, but maintain the overall consistency of a strongly ornamental expression of the tectonic system.


MaP+S Team: M. Bechthold and L. Asensio-Villoria, Faculty

Juan Pablo Ugarte, Saurabh Mhatre, Sarah Norman (design and construction documents)

Eva Pirker, TU Graz (detailing strategy)

Client: Cevisama Research Sponsor: ASCER Tile of Spain

Curator: Javier Mira, ITC

Production: Decorativa

Installation: Grupo on Market

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