AN HYDRAULIC CERAMIC TIMER
How can we harness flow? In this material-led research, I have experimented with ceramics and created a novel hybrid substance made of clay mixed with Chamotte (a raw material consisted of a high percentage of silica and alumina). The new bioengineered porous clay allowed me to select the intensity of the flow and enabled me to monitor water passage through a vessel wall. This revelation led me to create an object which functions as a floating timer, providing an organic user interface. When the vessel is placed in water, the water seeps through it and when the object fills, it sinks.
I created different compounds of the clay, tuning the amount and size of the pores, each batch resulted in a different water flow intensity. Adjusting the flow’s intensity gave me control over the time it took the object to fill and sink. I chose to use the gradual water diffusion as a time indicator and decided to produce three timers, distinct for their composite, and thus their sinking time. The timers measure approximately 15, 30, or 60 minutes respectively, they are very durable and can be used repeatedly. The user can decide to choose a different timer each time, based on how long he wants his break from the outer world to be.
Final objects, inside-out
The vessel when placed in water
The vessel after the water fills it and it sinks
Chamotte consistencies I ground for the experiments
Material research of hybrid clay compounds
Experiments with materials who vanish during the firing process, to control the flow of fluids
Color exploration to indicate the flow
Water seeping through the vessel wall
Flowchart of the experiments, the insights and the applications (in Hebrew)
During the design process, I was inspired by natural resources, islands, and icebergs, thinking that once laid in water, the tool provides the user with allotted "self-time" and allows him to disengage from his surroundings as if he were in a desert island. Using digital tools, I fabricate the object’s shape building construction that will float stably and aesthetically.
Digitally fabricated object, to correspond with natural phenomena, island, and icebergs
This project represents one application out of many that can be done with this new material I designed. It can also include the use of color, scent, and minerals, thus generate plentiful possibilities. In my vision, I can see numerous industries and productions in different scales utilizing this controlled porosity and through it the flow of liquids.