Bringing together texts and work by theorists and practitioners who are making material central to their work, this book reflects the diverse areas of inquiry which are expanding current material discourse. Focusing on the cultural, political, economic, technological and intellectual forces which shape material practices in architecture, the contributors draw on disciplines ranging from philosophy, history and pedagogy to art practice and digital and low-tech fabrication.
By paying critical attention to material, a wide range of issues emerge which are otherwise excluded from architectural discourse, issues that shape and determine the buildings we make, the processes we use and the ways we understand them.
Beautifully illustrated and designed, this book is a unique collection which will be of great interest to architectural practitioners and theorists who want to consider the wider implications of material practice, and to students who are developing their own approach to making buildings.
Introduction: Architecture and Material Practice. Plans to Matter: Towards a History of Material Possibility. A Royal Gittern at the British Museum. Plenums: Re-Thinking Matter, Geometry and Subjectivity. Gordon Matta-Clark: Matter, Materiality, Entropy, Alchemy. Marx Matters or Aesthetics, Technology, and the Spirit of Matter. The Thinking Hand. Material Imprecision. Pumping Up: Digital Steroids and the Design Studio. A Philosophy of Engagement: Material, Process and Collective Action. Material Matters Workshop: A Photographic Essay. Surface Structures in the Digital Age: Studies in Ferrocement. Out of Control: Architecture's Media, Cybernetics and Design. The Methodology of Construction: The Gentleman's Tailor and the Home Sewer. Re-Fabrications. Between Birds' Nests and Manor Houses: Edwardian Cape Town and the Political Nature of Building Materials. Concrete as Conduit of Experience at the Brunswick, London. Unpleasant Matters. Material Responsibility and the Work of Rural Studio. Life Matters Making Place. The New and the Renewed