MATERIALITY: ESSENCE AND SUBSTANCE
From the master/apprentice paradigm of learning building craft to the hallowed halls of formalized education, the historical trajectory of architectural study presents a challenge to integrating materiality within the conception and delineation of the built environment. Today representational tools and techniques are often compromised substitutes for the physicality of architectural works. Consequently, architecture’s pedagogical structures struggle to infuse tactility, material assembly, and making into the representational methodology of design education today.
After generations of architectural work being decoupled from the pressure of local resources, contemporary concerns for sustainability and material sourcing have shed new light on the need for architects, and thus architecture students, to comprehend the materiality of building in new ways. While design/build studios and material investigations embedded into the educational process attempt to bridge this divide, digital fabrication tools and highly engineered materials further challenge traditional means and methods.
With this history and these challenges, how might the materiality of representational artifacts align with both the design intent and the physical manifestation of buildings? How do foundational studies in design thoughtfully and effectively incorporate materiality and its inherent challenges and opportunities?