Typical Jablite panels, whose mottled black-and-white patterning echoes that of most of Silo’s pieces; the mottling comes from the fact that styrofoam is made from small granules that expand—and fuse together—by way of pressurized blasts of 200-degree steam. “We did our first experiments with a kettle,” says Aparicio. “At first we thought, it’s going to explode! But polystyrene doesn’t actually expand that fast. I think it’s less explosive than popcorn.” Even so, Jablite was cautious at first, advising the designers to stick to traditional production methods. “They’re all about volume next door; their goal is to do stuff really quickly,” says Wanless. “They were telling us the way they know.”
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Typical Jablite panels, whose mottled black-and-white patterning echoes that of most of Silo’s pieces; the mottling comes from the fact that styrofoam is made from small granules that expand—and fuse together—by way of pressurized blasts of 200-degree steam. “We did our first experiments with a kettle,” says Aparicio. “At first we thought, it’s going to explode! But polystyrene doesn’t actually expand that fast. I think it’s less explosive than popcorn.” Even so, Jablite was cautious at first, advising the designers to stick to traditional production methods. “They’re all about volume next door; their goal is to do stuff really quickly,” says Wanless. “They were telling us the way they know.”