DRL v.13 Extended Research

Sand Panel

First week of Aug 2010, there was a architectural design workshop in Tsinghua University, Beijing.
There were many well-known invited lectueres and experienced tutors.
All the works were going to be exhibited in Beijing Biennale, September 2010.
Thanks to Yusuke and Rob, I involved in their course this time.
The course is to lead students to design a simple installation wall by using parametric approach and finally make the installation out of physical material.
Since the time is limited, so the main material source were actually provided initially to the students which is sand.
Students needed to play around with the material and its behavior, physically as well as digitally. and finally be able to control the material behavior and design a panel with their own creativity.


1. Basic preparation
Base Box Preparation
Using laser cutter to prepare base boxes in order to filter sand. The size of these boxes will eventually become the critical modul for whole production process.

In this case, the box produces 20 * 40 cm2 sand pannel.


2. Preparation
According to the initially designed point map, prepare each base pannels to filter sand.
3. Filtering sand

Pure sand in prepared boxes and allow sand to be filtered entirely.

4. Surface casting

In order to cast the thin layer of the sand surface, sodium thiosulphate is used. This process is dangerous, it is included mixing, boilling, and spraying procedure.

5. Pannel strengthen

In order to strengthen the sand pannel, a thin layer of rasin is applied to each sand pannels.

6. Base Pannel


Structural pannel
In order to make the final installation more handy, groups of individual sand pannels will be attatched on a larger MDF pannel.
This is the process of preparing the MDF pannels. All sand pannels are firstly placed on top of MDF pannels in order and holes be drilled on MDF pannels match to sand pannels.

However, in the process we realized it is better to drill whols after painting and set up lights, rather than drilling before paint.

7. Preparing base pannel
Paint & light set-up
Paint the pannel with black.

Set the lightings.

8. Assembly

Sand pannels are screwed onto MDF pannels in order. Just in case, we applied sillicon glue around joints to strengthen the whole pannel.

9. Complete & Install
Finnally, place them in order, connect lightings.

The installation brings the place nice atmosphere.

Link to Sandwork