Ronald Rael & Virginia San Fratello
Artist Biography:
Rael San Fratello is an Oakland-based design studio grounded in the discipline of architecture as the basis for creative production. Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello established Rael San Fratello in 2002 following the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 to imagine alternative outcomes for architectural practice in a post 9/11 world. A primary focus of their work folds together indigenous and traditional craft and material practice, contemporary design technologies, and storytelling, as strategies to unravel the complexities of contemporary society.
Humor, play, and hybridity are important aspects of the work of Rael San Fratello, often layered with serious topics that span the themes of immigration, start-up companies, waste, homelessness, fashion, graphic design, and 3D printing. Their practice is closely tied to their commitment to public education in their roles as professors at the University of California Berkeley and San Jose State University.
Creative Statement:

This collection of architectural models presents an alternative possibility for the future of architectural production — one that recognizes how indigenous material practices can be a vital component of contemporary technology-based design. Through the use of additive manufacturing robots and custom software, these objects, made with traditional earthen materials demonstrate that coupling advanced manufacturing technology with traditional craft can be a way forward to create new designs that grow from an indigenous knowledge base.

Both models are 3D printed out of a local micaceous clay body that absorbs thermal shock which makes the pieces strong during firing, and also allows them to sparkle beautifully in the light. These models are representations for future buildings that will be made using these same techniques, however at a larger scale.