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GOUNDED.

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rammed earth sculptured tiles

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material study and experiment

Grounded. tiles, HUI series, applied on background wall.

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Grounded. Tile-HUI

75%filtered white soil + 5%calcium carbide +10% PVA+15% sand

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Design Concept:

 

Grounded tiles are a line of earthen products that bring grounded environment, connected to nature and culture, into living space and develop character overtime.

Grounded expresses the timeless connection humans have to land, and emphasizes the inherent truth of natural materials, and the beauty of earth's form. The tiles' tactility motivates people
to interact with their living space in both private and public environments. Through touch, the alluring depth of Grounded tiles draws people in to feel the complex forms and rebuild the sensation of nature.

Grounded.tiles in place on back living room wall. We want to bring natural and calm feeling to the living space.

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Meet with traditions:

 

This project was inspired by the traditional mud construction method, rammed earth, which utilizes properties of the material for sound reduction, as well as heat and humidity isolation. Rammed earth is usually used to construct a monolithic wall made from compacted layers of mixed gravel, sand, mostly collected easily from local, and calcium carbide residue.  Rammed earth is a economic, reusable and sustainable material has been used for thousands years in human history.

Learning and experiencing the traditional rammed earth, sustainable materials & manufacturing method across China.

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Rammed earth- sustainable materials & manufacturing method across China.

Approach:

 

The project reimagines rammed earth as interior sculptural tiles with lighter weight and more diverse patterns, while keeping the natural warmth of the original material.

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Grounded. tiles connect nature to hospitality.

Meaning of earth to people:

Origin of people in myths

Food source

Food source

Life circle

Home land

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Grounded distills the main characteristics of local culture, and relinks people to their roots with tiles made from their homeland's soil.

People have strong emotional and cultural connection to the earth; our identities connect to the local landscapes. Therefore, Grounded. tiles wants to maintain the original material's properties as great capacity with heat and humidity, but also develop the natural material with bio-degradebale PVA to introduce this non-toxic, environmental friendly and sustainable material. At the mean time, the tiles' form is introduced with inspiration from specific landscapes where the natural earth colors originate. Soft landscapes forms evoke a primal yearning for that natural and cultural connection.

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High rises are designed to fit maximum population in minimum area of land. To make the boring repetitive living space special, people can choose Grounded tiles for their home. The material adds value, and develops character over time from touching.

Live in the  ______ , touch the ________.
Nature
City
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Form Exploration:

Grounded expressed the timeless connection humans have to the land and emphasizes the inherent truth of natural materials and the beauty of earth's form.

Natural formations in the land inspire. The beauty of the earth, and the materials it give us, connect us to our source. Using Grounded tiles in our homes and public spaces, inspire tactile interaction. Through touch, the shape and depth of Grounded tiles replicate the sensations found in nature.

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HUI is a series of Gounded. tiles with a form abstracted from naturally occurring shapes in the earth. The depth and flow of the form trigger people to walk up and touch the surface.

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​4′′

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12′′

1.18′′

1.18′′

HUI   soft   conservative   quiet   elegant   poetic

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Because of the warm weather and fertile soil, southern China has been relatively rich since ancient times. With less worry about starving and wars, the area cultivated more poets and writers. The soft and quiet generations also developed more delicate crafts with gorgeous details.

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Grounded. Tiles Design:

1 of total 2-HUI series

HUI tiles applied on the hallway surface show intimacy details that Grounded. tiles care life moments.

Grounded. Tiles Design:

1 of total 2-SHAN series

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SHAN    tough   straight forward    energetic     loud hardworking

Because of the landscape of western China, people walk long distances to get groceries and meet each other. The harsh environment living condition breed people with rebellious and straight forward personalities. These people from western China never give up easily.

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​4′′

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12′′

1.3′′

1.3′′

SHAN tiles' tactility calm the moment and add relaxation to the shower.

Material development:

To improve the tiles' performance, I developed an innovative hybrid material, combining raw earth, mixed with sand, and biodegradable PVA. This re-envisioned material is more durable than the original earth material, yet still 100% biodegradable.

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mixed earth material

soil mixed with sand and calcium carbide

biodegradable PVA

made from PVA + starch

Grounded. material

more durable than original earth material but still 100% bio-durable

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Material experiments with various formulas and tests with color and texture.

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Biodegradable PVA

PVA is recognized as one of the very few vinyl polymers soluble in water also susceptible of ultimate biodegradation in the presence of suitably acclimated microorganisms. It is used as a binder for glazes, during glazing, and before screen printing. It is a strong surfactant and binding power is connected to its ability to wet particles .

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Earth is our home.

Earth is our home material.

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