Aït Ben Haddou / clay and 3d printing
Ait Ben Haddou was the place were we went to reach the clay for our Big Delta, we were equipped of shovels, picks and sacks. The idea to go there came from a flyer which illustrated Ait Ben Haddou as an ancestral architecture example.
Alì, our driver, told us that in the desert houses are made by clay and that in Berber tradition for each wedding the couple choose the colour of the clay for their house between red and green.
So we lost ourselves between the high clay walls of Ait Ben Haddou, were the red of the buildings meets the blue of the sky.
Alì explained to us that the clay houses need no restoration except an addiction of 2 cm of soil every five years. So Ait Ben Haiddou offered us the chance to deal with the problem of water erosion, becouse of the continental, rainy weather of the center of Morocco.
In the mean time we had beautiful snowy mountains at our back.
We are already thinking how to resolve erosion problems with the use of an additive, starting from tradition we try to emprove it by modern technology.
So we started our clay collection. We discovered multiple layers of soil with different colours: the exterior one was unfitting our project becouse there was too much send inside of it. The underlying layer was perfect: it had the right proportion af sand and clay to create a functioning and consinstent mixture for our Big Delta. Not by chance it was the kind of soil used by Ait Ben Haddou abitants to build their houses.
Then we came back in Marrakesh, to African Fabers temporary Fab Lab, where we worked with Urban FabLab guys to make the mixture of clay and water using our hands and feet. We loved working in this way becouse it reflects our idea of starting from tradition to improve it, we want to take the best from every kind of technology, the new and the old ones, and connect one to the other.
In the video you can see Big Delta (Green Award winner in 3D London Printing Show) while prints some shapes obtained with Grass Hopper, using Ait Ben Haddou clay.