Architecture students install functional ceramic art in Loring Corners

Students merge the art of digital fabrication and ceramics in semester studio.

Architecture Students spent their spring semester merging the modern art of digital fabrication with the age-old art of ceramics. The result was the installation of two beautiful ceramic displays in Loring Corners near Loring Park.

The first installation, titled “Bird-Planters”, includes a wall of small ceramic planters and birdhouses. Planted foliage includes Japanese spurge and ferns, Sweet Woodruff, Blue Moon Woodland Phlox, Tiarella, and other plants that thrive in full shade, while the birdhouses were specifically designed for house sparrows—the most common bird found near the installation site.

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“Bird-Planters” by Hannah Biros, Josiah Hanka, James Matthes, Aaron McCauley, Ben Sherman, Kevin Xiong

The second installation, titled “Lumivine”, is a tessellating light fixture that will serve as both art and a source of light. The design, which resembles a long vine, was inspired by both natural patterns and the traditional architecture of Loring Corners. The purchased light string should last around 12 years.

“Lumivine” by Guyon Brenna, Kyle Huberty, Ryan Kelly, and Marcos Villalobos

“Lumivine” by Guyon Brenna, Kyle Huberty, Ryan Kelly, and Marcos Villalobos

Both pieces were part of a final project for a semester-long studio. The course, titled Digital Ceramics, addressed the issues architects face when introducing variation of building systems and materials. Students learned new ways of making, including 3d modeling and parametric design as well as digital fabrication with the use of a laser cutter and CNC router. The learned techniques were then applied to the ceramic reproductive process of slip casting.

Stroll down the alleyway in Loring Corners near Maple St. in downtown Minneapolis to see the projects for yourself. Be sure to tag Dunwoody in any photos you take on Instagram or Facebook!