Material Synthesis: Fusing the Physical and the Computational Guest-edited by Achim Menges
new understanding of the material in architecture is fast emerging.
Designers are no longer conceiving of the digital realm as separate from
the physical world. Instead computation is being regarded as the key
interface for material exploration and vice versa. This represents a
significant perceptual shift in which the materiality of architecture is
no longer seen to be a fixed property and passive receptor of form, but
is transformed into an active generator of design and an adaptive agent
of architectural performance. In stark contrast to previous linear and
mechanistic modes of fabrication and construction, materialisation is
now beginning to coexist with design as explorative robotic processes.
This represents a radical departure from both the trite modernist
emphasis on 'truth to materials' and the dismissal of materials by the
previous generation of digital architects.
The issue features
designers, researchers and thinkers that are at the forefront of
exploring new modes of material enquiry and its deep interrelationship
with technology, biology and culture. Through their work, which unfolds
from multifaceted alliances between the fields of design, engineering
and natural sciences, it seeks to trace the emergence of a novel
material culture in architecture.
engineering contributors include: Sean Ahlquist, Martin Bechthold,
Philippe Block, Karola Dierichs, Jan Knippers, Achim Menges, Neri Oxman,
Steffen Reichert and Tobias Schwinn.
Scientific and philosophical perspectives provided by: Mario Carpo, Manuel De Landa, Neil Gershenfeld and Thomas Speck.
the design research of: Harvard's Material Processes and Systems Group,
MIT's Mediated Matter Group and Stuttgart University's Institute for