The “Now & Next” is an installation developed for the 5th International Insulation Cork Conference promoted by Amorim Isolamentos, the world largest company in the sector. Looking for showing new possible applications of cork in architecture, the installation was conceived as a set of 4 modules with 2×2 meters size, with each dedicated to demonstrate a different take on using CAD/CAM technologies to rethink the use of cork as a facade material in architecture.
Thus, Module 1 investigated the topic of “perforations” and presents a different design on each side – a “flower” and a “circle”. Due to this condition, it was fabricated using robotic water-jet cutting.
Module 2 examined the topic of surface texture. The undulated design explored the idea of continuity between panels. Fabricated with a CNC milling machine, the design also tried to optimise the use of a spherical tool to achieve a short production time for each panel.
Module 3 researched the idea of 3D shapes. The design explored the water drop effect to show the potential of cork to convey more three-dimensional and curved geometries. The panels were CNC milled on just one side.
Finally, Module 4 explored the use of a robotic arm to build a non-standard wall made out of regular cork bricks. The design exhibits a frame sitting in a vertical plane from which, an elevation and a valley can be read.
The installation was exhibited in the Conference room during the event, which counted with the participation of more than 100 people coming from different countries. The general reaction was the surprise to perceive the aesthetic and formal potential of cork.