Material Imagination in Architecture draws on history and the visual arts, and contemporary architecture to explore this popular theme in architectural practice and education.
In the context of a discipline increasingly driven by digital production, this text explores architecture and making and the diverse influences on the material reality of architectural form: it argues that the crafts, fabrication and assemblage of its making remain vital elements of contemporary architectural language.
This broad-ranging text bridges the gap between a technical or otherwise fragmentary knowledge of materials of the specialist, and the tacit or instinctive understanding of materials that the artist, sculptor or architect may have. It identifies key material themes pertinent to contemporary architectural debate and develops a discourse about future practice that is framed by environmental imperatives and grounded in a historical understanding of the meaning and use of materials.
Material iconology in architecture is a well-established tradition and this book draws on that background to investigate the possibilities, and limits, of using materials in contemporary design to communicate the themes and contexts of an architectural project, a material’s relationship to context, and to the history of practices that belong to the traditions of making buildings. Each theme is explored in case studies from twelve countries around the world, including the UK, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia and China.
Introduction. 1. Constructional Thinking 2. Material Dreams 3. Crystal Utopias 4. Making Surfaces 5. The Matter of Climate Change: Materials and Adaptive Innovation 6. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index