A Cure for Concrete is a Crossing Parallels residency project with Stephen Picken, Professor of Polymer Materials, Delft University of Technology. It steers creation of visual imagery on concrete surfaces by experimenting with by-products of the wastewater treatment process added to Stephen’s existing, but underused, concrete curing* compound Delft Green. The resulting ornamentation-by-chemical-reaction-and-physical surface-drying would not only make buildings more beautiful, but also ensure concrete longevity.
The most exciting results have been achieved with the combination of Delft Green curing compound and Vivianite – ironic because Vivianite is known in the history of painting for being an unstable pigment. Beautiful organic patterns emerged with a likeness to my existing photographic work, and give us a glimpse into what we could add to our urban concrete landscape to improve our wellbeing through organicity.
*Inadequate protection of concrete while it sets causes 80% of all damage to concrete. Producing the key ingredient, cement, accounts for 8% of global CO2 emissions. The least we can do is ensure the concrete we do use will last as long as possible, by curing it properly.