Speculative environment 002.c.
Arch 002


  • Fernando Bales University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Elise DeChard Ferris State University





concrete, formwork, readymade, postprocessing, 3D printing


Arch 002 describes a design research investigation using off-the-shelf high-density polyethylene drainage pipe as a flexible concrete casting formwork through a process oscillating between digital design, physical fabrication, and digital fabrication methodologies. Through this process, the project team generated hypothetical architectures that serve to further develop their material counterparts. Drawing on contemporary casting technologies and historical structural modelling techniques, the experiments suggest a system for the encoding mass and force into three-dimensional forms, creating structures that serve as drawings of their creation process. Exploring notions of the readymade and postprocessing, the research explores iterative processes of making to transform normative construction components into transcendent material experiences.

How to Cite

Bales, F., & DeChard, E. (2020). Arch 002. Cubic Journal, 3(3), 182–201. https://doi.org/10.31182/cubic.2020.3.031



Author Biographies

Fernando Bales, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Fernando Bales is an artist, designer and founder of FPB STUDIO. As an inter–disciplinary endeavour his studio delves into the fields of industrial design, set design, architecture, construction, fabrication, and landscape architecture. A graduate of North Dakota State University and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bales received master of architecture degrees from both institutions. Bales’ architectural products are tactile and reactive, based on his fellowship with craft, analogue and digital. He searches for new techniques to reveal that which is latent. A sincere empathy for space and the ever-evolving elements that form it are integral to his thought process and output. Fernando’s work has been exhibited nationally and has worked for multidisciplinary firms in Seattle, WA and Detroit MI. He currently is a lecturer at University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design and professor of practice at Lawrence Technological University. His practice currently resides in Pontiac, MI.

Elise DeChard, Ferris State University

Elise DeChard is a licensed architect and the founder of END Studio, a Detroit-based architecture / design / research practice dedicated to exploring transformational reuse, innovative material techniques, and playfully subversive interventions to transcend the traditional urban experience. DeChard presented projects “Site Spectacle Seed Sprout” and “The Glow of Grime” at the 2017 ASCA Conference in Detroit, MI, USA. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, The Architect’s Newspaper, Wallpaper Magazine, Design Milk, TreeHugger, The Oakland Press, Fox2 News Detroit, and Curbed Detroit. She is the founding partner of Tessellate, an experimental artist-run gallery and residency in a garage in Pontiac, MI, USA. DeChard holds a bachelor of architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master of architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She was a 2017 CRITPraX teaching fellow at Lawrence Technological University and currently teaches graduate architecture at Kendall College of Art and Design.


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Vesely, Dalibor. 2006. Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 16.