TxA Interactive at the Texas Society of Architects Convention in Fort Worth, Texas

Sean Ahlquist presented the research, developed with co-authors Catie Newell, Geoff Thun and Kathy Velikov, "Toward a Pedagogy of Material Systems Research" at the 2013 TxA Interactive Conference as a part of the Texas Society of Architects Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.


At one time, in the words of le Corbusier, architecture was described as the “masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light.” Now our attention is turned far more intently to the processes of formation and production that define these “masses”—which are increasingly understood as thickly layered assemblies with very specific material characteristics and environmental behaviors. They are not just in light, they shape and control it, as well as energy, air, humidity, acoustics, and with increasing frequency, information. Not only are we developing a deeper understanding of the characteristics and behaviors of materials themselves, but also we are now able to synthesize entirely new materials—polymers, composites, fibers, smart, and energy converting materials. This, combined with the increasing sophistication and pervasiveness of computationally driven design and fabrication technologies, has radically changed the design, composition, and modes of production of everything from clothing to cars—and architecture is trying to catch up.


Ahlquist, S., Newell, C., Thun, G. and Velikov, K,: 2015, Towards a Pedagogy of Material Systems Research, in Bieg, K. (ed.) TxA Interactive Conference Proceedings, Fort Worth, November 2013, Texas Society of Architects, pp. 22-33.