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Guest Blog - USC Looking for Ideas to Teach 27 Innovations

Guest Blog from Doug Noble, USC

Supported by a grant from the PCI Foundation, the USC School of Architecture plans to design and construct a full-size “wall” project in the 2016-2017 academic year.

We need your ideas.

\We are in the earliest stages of planning, and we are reaching out to the precast industry for advice. While it would be fairly straightforward to carry out this project and build a relatively standard wall, we want to do something special.  We need your help to guide us as to what “special” might mean.  

\We already have some ideas, but we want to hear from you. We would like to incorporate “27 Innovations” in the design and delivery of this project.

What does that mean? The wall will be constructed and installed in a permanent location. We want the results of this project to be more than just educating students about traditional precast.  We want to advance the envelope of precast, and develop a showpiece of new ideas, processes and technology.  We have some of the “27 innovations” already in mind, but we know that those involved in the precast industry will also have ideas that we are not aware of.

So this is your chance to let us know of ideas you might have about advancing the state-of-the-art in precast.  Maybe you have a new admixture systems, colorants, or an innovation in form-release.  Perhaps you have new embeds, or an idea about transportation.

We do not want to limit your ideas by describing our own just yet.  

If you join us in the conversations, we will share with you our plans as we go along, and we will keep you in the loop on discussions and the process as we complete this project.  

We have not confirmed this yet, but it is likely that the finished “wall” will become part of a visitors center pr educational facility in or near Joshua Tree National Park.  One of our important interests lies in matching our work to the extreme climate of this area (very hot days and cold nights), and possible architectural responses to this highly seismically active location.

Because we are funded by the PCI Foundation, this email is not about seeking financial support.  But if you have an idea about a unique aggregate, and you want to actually provide it, we would welcome this kind of participation and would be happ to add your firm logo to the project.

This year should be fun, educational, and newsworthy.  We want to make a splash at the PCI Convention next year when we show off what we have done. You are allowed to reply and say “I do not have an idea for you now Doug, but keep in touch and tell us your plan and maybe we can become involved further down the line as you know more about the plan."

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