4. Contouring

Many of the materials used in the production of architecture are processed in or from a sheet format. Whilst they may have radically varying properties – most obviously with respect to colour, texture and thickness – these are essentially planar elements. Contouring changes this physical materiality by using an incremental subtractive technique, not dissimilar to carving, to provide three-dimensional features from what is ostensibly a ‘flat’ sheet material. Carving, of course, is a long-established technique of working with materials in architecture, principally in stone and wood in a period that stretches back to ancient civilizations. The main difference between the two processes lies in the nature of the tooling in each method. ...

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